SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - He proposes, she falls in love all over again and then the wedding planning begins. The dress options, the colors, the cake. It's all so exciting until the budget is busted.
"As girls, we imagine this. We plan it for a long time, and then when you see the reality of it, it's very overwhelming," said Katie Mason.
Mason is a bride, but now she is a bride on a budget. It didn't take her long to figure out that weddings aren't cheap.
"We didn't know, ballpark, how much everything was really going to cost us until we started looking into it, and from there, we were very overwhelmed," said Mason.
Why can weddings be so expensive?
"Somebody decided, 'Oh well. Let's throw some tray passed hors d'oeuvres in there,' and then a multibillion dollar business started with weddings," said Jean McGrury.
McGrury, who is a wedding planner in South Mississippi, attributes the rising cost of weddings to an increase in the price of living, but she says bride's eyes can often be bigger than their budgets.
"It goes on and on. They want a full open bar. They want a martini bar. They want a beer bar. They kind of do all these things that they want. They have these big grand ideas, but I always tell them you have to eat your peas and carrots before you get dessert," said McGrury.
Where do brides get all of these extravagant ideas?
"I tend to watch a lot of TLC. I look at a lot of Pinterest and all of the media that is surrounded by weddings. I guess the false hope came from oh well, they did it so why can't I? Then, when I evaluate the costs, I realize I can't do that," said Mason.
McGrury says while sites like Pinterest can be very helpful, she advises her brides to be careful when watching the wedding shows on television.
"Don't watch those shows. Don't believe everything you see when you're watching that," said McGrury.
McGrury says the average price of a wedding here on the Coast is anywhere from $75 to $125 per person. So, here's her big suggestion for cutting costs.
"I would have to say the best way to keep your wedding budget conscious, less guests," said McGrury.
Mason trimmed her budget by choosing a unique approach to feeding their guests.
"We decided to do a taco bar, self-serve, very casual. Kind of strays a little bit from typical etiquette, but at the same time it's fun. It's different," said Mason.
According to The Knot, couples are showing their creativity by choosing historical buildings and houses, but they usually come with a bigger price tag than a church.
"The first thing we wanted to do was find a venue, of course. So, we started looking around at a bunch of different places locally, and we realized that budget wise, it was going to be tough," said Mason.
Luckily, she found a place that fits her budget.
As the time approaches for her nuptials, Mason is confident in her cost cutting, and in some cases non-traditional, decisions that she will have her dream wedding without breaking the bank.
"To be able to say, 'Look, I only spent this much money,' when other people probably spent a whole lot more, it's pretty liberating. It feels good," said Mason.
Click here for tips to save money when planning your wedding: http://www.bridalguide.com/planning/wedding-budget/101-best-wedding-budget-tips