By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Movie stars and members of the royal family don’t have to worry about the cost of their wedding, but most other brides have limits on what they can spend on their big day. Even for those on a budget, the cost can be significant.

Editors at recently conducted a survey and found the couples across the country spend an average of $27,000 on their wedding. That number is even higher, $36,000, for brides in the Boston area.

According to The Knot editor Anja Winikka, staying within that budget can be tricky for some brides. Her best advice is to set a few priorities and allow yourself to splurge in those areas, then look for places to save.

To show how much you can save, Winikka chose three major wedding expenses, the dress, the cake and the bridal bouquet. She found a splurge version and a steal that will save money.

First, she showed us two dresses from Bella Sera Bridal in Danvers. Both were similar in style and shape. The splurge dress was covered in crystals and was made with a high quality lace. The steal dress had fewer details and made with much less lace. The splurge dress was $3,100 and the steal was less than half the price at $1,200.

The bridal bouquets were put together by Pepperberry’s in Byfield. They were the same size and had similar color schemes. The splurge was made of exotic orchids and calla lilies and cost $325. The steal had a few orchids, but the florist was able to fill out the bouquet with less expensive hydrangeas. It was also beautiful, but a fraction of the cost at $125.

Finally, there was the cake which, according to Winikka, is the centerpiece of many receptions. The splurge cake, from Cakes for Occasions in Danvers, was covered in fondant and had carefully crafted sugar flowers. It also had detailed piping all over the three layers, a labor intensive work of art with a price tag to match at $900. The steal was also a beautiful three-layer cake but was covered in buttercream. The decorations were still festive, but much less labor intensive. That cake was $536.

There are many other ways to save on your wedding. One of the simplest is to avoid planning your wedding during popular times. Getting married on any day other than Saturday will save you money and a wedding in November or January will be significantly cheaper than the summer months.

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