Weddings are expensive. There are very few ways around it—especially if you want to have something more traditional. When you plan a wedding, you quickly discover costs and areas of expense you didn’t even think about or realize existed. It can be overwhelming.

That’s why we’re here to help. We have two pieces of good news for you.

First, North Carolinians spend less on their weddings than the national average. According to 2015 statistics from a study by The Knot, the average national wedding (without the honeymoon), costs around $32,641. Comparatively, the average total for a North Carolina wedding is $27,978. That’s a whole $4,663 difference. Of course, these averages can change depending on your taste and your planning approach. Additionally, when comparing the national and North Carolina costs for several individual categories, it also turned out that less money was spent on most all of these categories with the exception of floral and decor.

That’s just the state. Where does Raleigh fall in the cost comparison? Interestingly enough, Raleigh covers a wider range in the various categories, from less than average to more than average. That said, you might see a bit more fluctuation in the cost as you crunch the numbers while planning your local wedding.

So at this point, while you’re probably glad to hear that your average wedding costs are going to be lower, you are most likely beginning to wonder what the other good news is. I will get to that now.

Wedding shows are an excellent tool and asset not only for wedding planning, but for keeping the costs low. How, you ask? Bridal shows and expos often have vendors who offer discounted services, bargains, giveaways and more if you sign up during the show. And the best part? Everyone and everything you need is all in one place. You can get information, ask questions, and make planning arrangements all while decreasing the stress and pressure.

And while you’re attending these shows this year, don’t forget to check out the Triangle Bridal Showcase in October, as well as our other events!