If you’re planning your wedding you may already have sticker shock after pricing the venue and catering. Weddings can quickly escalate into the “unaffordable zone,” but that doesn’t mean you have to do without the finer details that make your big day unique. Before you decide to elope rather than go poor, here are some tips to save on your wedding plans:

Comparison shop. This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many couples set their sights on a certain venue without checking alternatives. From venues to catering to entertainment, always get at least three prices on alternatives. This will give you room to splurgeĀ  in the areas that mean the most to you.

Go easy on the wardrobe. Sure, you’re probably going to pay a small fortune for your bridal clothing, but you can save in other areas to make up for some of it. Look for clearance sales on clothing and accessories you want for your honeymoon, and keep it simple.

Trim the transportation. While limos are great, you may be able to save a bundle on a nice rental or borrowed car instead. Shop around and see what’s available in your area before you commit to a pricey limo package.

Discount your honeymoon. Look for deals on travel, and don’t grab the first one that catches your eye. If you have your heart set on Jamaica check online for the best deals, then visit a travel agent and compare offerings. They may have access to special package prices that aren’t available to online shoppers.

Ask for advice. We don’t mean from your BFF or your wedding planner; we mean from people you trust who are in the business you’re interested in hiring. Find caterers who are willing to break down pricing and tell you where to cut corners; ask your coworkers and friends how they would save on travel costs.

Modify your plans. While your wedding may be the biggest day of your life to date, your marriage will last forever. In a year or a decade it won’t really matter what was served at the dinner, but you’ll always remember the occasion itself.