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Wedding planning in itself can be a pricy process — tack on a two-week international honeymoon on to that and the frugal side of you will definitely start to freak. But don't worry — there are simple, easy ways to save money on your first vacation as man and wife and get the most bang for your buck in the process. So, before you book any outrageous airfare or reserve a pricy suite, follow these simple travel rules to get the more for your money.
Travel during the shoulder season.
The time right before and after high season is your sweet spot. "The weather is still good, plus there are great deals," says Tracy Paurowski of American Express Travel. Try to plan your honeymoon right after getting engaged (or at least very early in the wedding planning process) so that you can keep those less expensive travel seasons in mind.
Play with your dates.
On average, you'll find the least expensive flights 57 days before a domestic trip and 171 days before an international one, according to Expedia. The best day of the week to buy your tickets? Tuesday.
Buy a package.
Bundling your travel can also equal big honeymoon savings: "A seven-day hotel-air package for Mexico can cost up to $400 less than booking your room and flight separately," says Paurowski.
"It's where you stay, not the view, that truly affects your trip," says Paurowski. So you're better off in digs overlooking the garden at your dream resort than in a beachfront room at a lesser hotel.
Members of Hyatt's reward program who marry at one of its hotels can earn points for up to five free honeymoon nights, while Marriott's members may rack up enough for up to two complimentary nights.
Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES June/July 2015 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here!