Wedding Planning on a Tight Budget

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice style to save money when planning your wedding day!

Planning your wedding can be really exciting at first – but once you start to tally up all your wants and needs for the the big day, it’s normal to start stressing about money. Most likely you don’t have an endless amount of cash to spend on your wedding, so you’ll need to create a budget. While it might seem tough to stick to your budget and still get what you want, there are a few tricks for planning the perfect wedding without going overboard on expenditures.

Avoid “Wedding” Items

Whether it’s napkins, cups, plates or guest favors, higher prices often accompany merchandise earmarked for weddings. Pay close attention when you’re shopping for anything wedding-related, and compare the prices of similar products. You might get sucked into thinking that you need monogrammed wedding napkins or cups customized to your wedding palette, but you can find similar items for much cheaper if you expand your search beyond party stores and wedding supply sites. Just because you are using an item in a wedding, doesn’t mean you can only buy it at a wedding supply store.

Wedding Store

Explore Catering Options

If your wedding will be held at a hotel, conference center or banquet hall, explore creative options for providing food and drink. Purchasing a select number of items at a supermarket or savings club will give you the option to use gift certificates, gift cards and coupons to defray costs. The cost of alcohol can be reduced if you streamline the selection instead of providing a full bar. You’ll save a ton by having a buffet for a big group instead of paying per-person for individual meals. If your reception after the ceremony will be on the short side, you can always just serve desserts instead of a full meal. The idea that you have to have a sit-down dinner after your ceremony is a popular tradition—not a rule.

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Eliminate a “Plus One”

Your wedding day is a time to celebrate with all your friends and family, but what about people you’ve never met before? A quick way to trim costs on your reception expenses is to eliminate the option of a “plus one” for guests who will bring someone you’ve never met. In addition to creating a guest list to keep track of your actual invited guests, consider filling out wedding budget (you can find plenty of printable budgets online) to effectively keep track of all your purchases and expenses. Including RSVP send-back card with your invitations can give you a good idea of how many people will attend will so you can better estimate how much you’ll be spending on food, space, etc.

rsvp-card

Consider a Pre-Owned Dress

Think about putting superstition aside and consider buying a used wedding dress. Sites like eBay and PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com offer a wide variety of styles, sizes and price points. Instead of paying thousands for a brand new dress, you can pay just a few hundred, including the cost of having the dress steamed or cleaned. Plenty of brides have kept their dresses in mint condition, and as newlyweds they are willing sell to another bride in order to recoup some of their wedding costs. If you can find someone in your area selling a used dress, you won’t have to pay for shipping. Offering to pay cash can net you an even deeper discount.

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Choose a Venue Carefully

When choosing a venue, look for a space that gives you the option to choose your own vendors. Some venues require brides to purchase a catering or event-planning package, which bumps up the price. Look for affordable options like state or city parks, a friend’s home, a church or synagogue, or buildings in your community. Having an outdoor wedding can save tons on decorations, because the picturesque scenery will provide a naturally beautiful backdrop. This is where RSVPs will come in handy: If you know how many people will be coming, you can choose a venue that will fit the group instead of paying extra for a huge space that you don’t actually need.

backyard-wedding-reception

Planning a wedding on a strict budget takes time and effort. But getting creative with your choices – for instance, avoiding “wedding-only” stores, out-smarting the wedding dress industry, or considering less traditional venues – can free up extra money for the areas of your wedding you care about most. Perhaps having a highly-talented professional photographer is important to you, or maybe you want to save money for an epic honeymoon. Whatever you want to spend your money on, sticking to a budget can help you allocate enough funds to the parts of your wedding that truly matter to you.

Your Holiday Season Elopement

From Christmas to New Years Eve, what better time for shopping, meeting family and friends, exchanging gifts, and . . . getting married. When you think about it, what better time during this “season of giving” than to share the most important gift of all — your marriage. And yes, the holiday season is an ideal time to elope.

The holiday season elope is popular for many reasons:

– Your marriage is one of the greatest gifts that you can give and share;
– Elopement destinations are specially decorated and offer more picture opportunities;
– The holiday festivities and goodwill of others add to the romance of your wedding; and
– Combine your elope wedding with a winter sport honeymoon — a ski vacation, for example.

Picking the Perfect Gift

Picking the perfect gift during the holidays is one of life’s most difficult chores. You want your gift to be: romantic; heart-felt; represent an important part of me; valuable; and most of all — forever. It is difficult to think of a more priceless gift than the gift of love and support of each other throughout time.

The Most Festive Season

During the holiday season, all the travel destinations are decorating their establishments with festive Christmas trees, garlands made of evergreens, wreaths with poinsettia, gift-wrapped packages, twinkling lights, ornamental holiday characters figurines, fancy red and gold ribbons, the crackle of wood in a burning fireplace, and much more. Imagine the wonderful wedding picture opportunities these festive holiday decorations will offer. And in addition to the decorations, many destinations will also be offering holiday feasts and menu specials to celebrate the holidays — and of course your wedding, also.

Beware though, the holiday season is also the most popular travel time and some destinations may be crowded. Always call ahead and speak to the manager about your ideas and plans. In most cases, early reservations will be the safest. On the other hand, brides tend to be lucky and your destination may be able to accommodate you on short notice. Either way, call ahead for details.

Romance in the snow

A holiday season elopement is also a great opportunity to travel to a wintry location and enjoy a winter sport honeymoon. There are a multitude of travel destinations that offer every kind of winter sport and activity imaginable: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, tubing and sledding, sleigh riding, ice skating and much more. Add a few extra days to your elopement and enjoy the outdoor winter activities. The most important thing is to remember to bring warm outdoor wear; you can easily rent sport equipment everywhere. And if you don’t know how to ski or snowboard — professional lessons will have you schussing and gliding like a pro in a few hours.

Congratulations to All Our Couples Married This Past Spring!

Andrew & Leah 3/3 at HVC
Erin & Carly 3/9 at The Doubletree Hotel Chelsea
Brian & Angie 3/9 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Brett & SandiLynn 3/17 at The Round Hill House
George & Kelly 3/24 at The Fountains at Millbrook
Daniel & Kerianne 3/30 at Arbor Ridge Catering & Banquet
Chris & Danielle 3/31 at The Candlewood Inn
Cesar & Bruna 4/13 at The Villa Borghese
Gustavo & Diana 4/15 The Villa Borghese
Arya & Sapna 4/21 at The Hindu Samaj Temple and Locust Grove
Charles & Ashley 4/21 in New Paltz, NY
Mario & Paula 4/27 at Mesier Park
Joe & Marissa 4/27 at The VIP Country Club
Mark & Chelsea 4/28 at Shokan Weslyan Community Church
Shakia & Malcolm 4/28 at Atrium Caterers
Justin & Liz 5/4 at The Grandview
Chad & Kristen 5/5 at The Grandview
Jordan & Jordan 5/6 at The Full Moon Resort
Lisa & Terry 5/12 at The Skytop Steakhouse & Brewing Co
Earl & Rina 5/12 at Pamela’s on the Hudson
Dominick & Melissa 5/13 in Poughquag, NY
Christopher & Jessica 5/18 at The Grandview
James & Sharon 5/19 at The Rhinecliff
Krystal & Patrick 5/19 at Lake Minnewaska
Matt & Amanda 5/19 in North Salem, NY
Evangelos & Kimberly 5/19 The Ham House
Rosa & Austin 5/19 at The Gosling Pond B&B
Elaine & Davanh 5/19 at Beckwith Pointe
John & Sharon 5/20 at FEAST at Round Hill
Keith & Diandra 5/20 at Catlin Gardens
Jason & Regina 5/26 at The Wilderstein Historic Site
Laura & Shaun 5/26 at West Park Winery
Tom & Kelley 5/26 at Oceanbleu Beachfront Catering
Adam & Elizabeth 5/27 in Kingston, NY

Congratulations to All of Our Couples Married This Past Winter!

Antonio & Cheryl 11/4 at Overlook Lodge
Mike & Pamela 11/4 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Inna & Gregory 11/5 at The Stone House B&B
Glen & Sally 11/7 at The Rhinecliff
Brian & Ann Marie 11/11 in Hopewell Junction, NY
Matthew & Tiffany 11/12 in Stanfordville, NY
Justin & Jami 11/12 at Ceola Manor
Victor & Kristina 11/18 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Leah & Jonathan 11/19 in Hudson, NY
Vanessa & Mike 12/2 at HVC
Chris & Jennifer 12/3 in Yorktown Heights, NY
Kevin & Rosaria 12/17 at HVC
Evelyn & Claudia 12/23 at Minnewaska State Park
Mike & Willa 12/31 at Bear Mountain Inn
Nicholas & Carlina 12/31 at Patriot Hills
Jason & Jason 1/17 in Beacon, NY
Maria & Christopher 1/27 at HVC
Robert & Nena 1/28 at HVC
Melody & David 1/28 in Hopewell Junction, NY
Rudy & Nadine 2/11 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Rene & Dominique 2/17 at HVC
Kyle & Kayla 2/25 at HVC
Devon & Nicole 2/25 in Rhinebeck, NY
Angel & Ann Marie 2/26 at The Bykenhulle House

Getting Your Marriage License

Within 60 days of your wedding you can go and get your marriage license.  Here is what you need to do to get your marriage license if you have not yet:

1. Both the bride and groom need to go together to apply for the marriage license.
2. You may obtain a marriage license from any town hall in NY and get married in any town in NY.
3. You will both need to bring your birth certificates and picture id.
4. The cost of the marriage license depends on the town hall.  The cost can range from $25 to $40.
5. The marriage ceremony can not performed within 24 hours of getting the marriage license.
6. The town hall will provide you with the marriage license to bring with you on the day of the ceremony.

Please let us know if you have any questions about obtaining the marriage license and we wish you both all the best of luck and love throughout your marriage.

Congratulations to all of our October couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our October couples!

Sara and Jonah 10/1 at Oak Hill
Crystal and Thomas 10/1 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Carla and Robert 10/1 at New World Home Cooking
Suzie and Tony 10/1 at Belvedere Mansion
Lauren and Rick 10/1 at The Inn at Stone Ridge
Laryssa and Sharyn 10/2 in Elizaville, NY
Rosanna and Carl 10/2 St. Mary’s Church and The Rhinecliff Hotel
Amanda and Brent 10/2 in Hopewell Junction, NY
Nina and Miguel 10/7 at The V.I.P. Country Club
Andrea and Evan 10/8 at Bowdoin Park and Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Sasha and Matthew 10/8 at Schultz Hill
Katie and Anthony 10/8 at Emerson Resport & Spa
Melinda and Marcello 10/8 at Renaissance Westchester Hotel
Julianne and Tim 10/9 at The Chapel of Our Lady Restoration
Moira and Robert 10/9 at Blue Restaurant
Alicia and Robert 10/9 at Glen Sanders Mansion
Jillian and Jamie 10/10 at Locust Grove
Georgia and Christopher 10/14 at The Dutchess Golf & Country Club
Shanna and Michael 10/15 in Jewett, NY
Meredith and Nicholas 10/15 at West Park Winery
Eileen and Kurt 10/15 at The Meadowbrook
Jennifer and Robert 10/15 at Brookside Manor
Amanda and Wesley 10/16 at The Candlewood Inn
Wendy and Duane 10/16 at The Garrison
Alexandra and Brian 10/16 at Mohonk Mountain House
Kristen and Jonathan 10/19 in Saugerties, NY
Indy and Keyuan 10/22 at Castle on the Hudson
Jennifer and Paul 10/23 at Villa Borghese
Nicole and Shanee 10/23 at Round Hill House
Jamie and Raul 10/29 at St. Patrick´s Cathedral and Apawamis Club
Kathleen and Brendan 10/29 at Church of the Holy Spirit and Doubletree Hotel Tarrytown

Should You Elope?

Planning a wedding can be full of different stresses. Right from the beginning the bride and groom are pulled in many different directions. Where to have the wedding, who to invite and, even more stressing, who not to invite can be the most difficult decision of all. Decisions can be difficult and feelings can be hurt. On top of all of this is the cost: how much will we need to spend to have the wedding that we want? Where do we cut back? Where can we cut back? More and more of today’s couples are paying for their own wedding. The cost of a wedding is just something a great deal of bride’s parents can no longer afford to pay for. Even if they want to! The cost of housing alone puts an added strain on paying for a wedding. Many couples today even buy their house before they get married with the goal of having a wedding ceremony later that may never happen.

There are, of course, many ways to deal with these potential problems. Some will be easy and some may step on some toes. Thousand of couples get married every weekend across the country and enjoy the experience of a wonderful wedding day. One thing for sure, there will be a lot of decisions to make.

One way some couples deal with all of this is to, actually, not deal with any of it. They elope! Eloping answers or avoids having to answer many of the questions mentioned above. There are, however, other questions that will need to be answered.

What are some of the pros and cons of eloping? The main drawback is that you may hurt the feelings of your close family members if they are not invited. There is something to be said for all the planning, the ceremony, getting dressed up, and being the center of attention on your special day–you may appreciate the memories when you are older.

Once you decide that you want to elope, your choices of where to elope are almost endless. I googled ‘elope’ and got 802,000 hits. Everything from locations, hotels, photographers to Officiants were listed. This leads to more decisions. You may want to start with deciding what kind of surroundings you want to get married in: beach, mountains, tropical settings, what fits you best? If you travel out of the country you may want to have a simple ceremony before you go so you won’t have to worry about getting a copy of the marriage license from another country. Some countries make this easy and some not so much. Also, some countries don’t let you get legally married in their country so it may be a necessity. The basic things you need to take care of are; marriage license, travel plans, lodging, location of ceremony, officiant and a witness or two. Every state and every country will have different requirements regarding the marriage license. Making a few inquiries on the state or country websites regarding marriage would be a good idea.

Without going into detail, there are a couple of other options available to couples who are getting married. One would be the micro wedding. This can happen by traveling to a destination where you can invite up to 15 of your family and friends to meet you at a designated location for an intimate ceremony. The next option would be a destination wedding. This could be a location arranged ahead of time to host your wedding; a cruise ship would be another great option. In this case you can invite more people and they not only attend your wedding, but enjoy a nice vacation as well. (In both of these cases your guests pay their own way.)

Eloping is not for every couple, but it can be a great option for others. The vast majority of couples getting married have a full wedding. However, thousands of couples elope every year. It can be a great way to avoid some of the pressures and financial obligations associated with it. Which ever way you go, make sure you think it through because this is your special day and you will want to make sure it’s done right.

Congratulations to all of our September couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our September couples!

Elizabeth and Ron 9/3 at Poets Walk
Elizabeth and Dana 9/3 at New York Country Club
Melissa and Jeremy 9/4 at The Links at Unionvale
Nicole and Nick 9/4 at Twin Lakes
Jill and John 9/4 at Millbrook Winery
Kellie and Mark 9/4 at The Falkirk Estate and Country Club
Gabrielle and Dean 9/10 at West Park Winery
Laurie and Rick 9/10 at The River Grill
Kaitlyn and Brian 9/10 at The Onteora Mountain House
Luciana and Eduardo 9/11 at The Ashokan Reservoir
April and Jill 9/16 in Central Park, NYC
Kaeleigh and Cory 9/16 in Gardiner, NY
Nichole and Peter 9/16 at The New York Country Club
Michelle and David 9/16 at The Glen Island Harbour Club
Jennifer and Marcelo 9/17 at The Stony Ford Golf Course
Stacy and Craig 9/17 in Yorktown Heights, NY
Veronika and Brainerd 9/17 at Oak Hill
April and Heath 9/17 in Kinderhook, NY
Sarah and Justin 9/17 at West Settlement
Beth and Hermann 9/17 at Del Posto Ristorante, NYC
Melissa and Kyle 9/18 at The Grandview
Nicole and Derek 9/23 at Arbor Ridge Catering & Banquet
Adam and Erin 9/24 at Mary’s Parish in Greenwich, CT and Westchester Country Club
Jessica and Kyle 9/24 at All Souls Church
Peter and Nicole 9/24 at The Historical Harness Track
Daria and Lukasz 9/24 at Mohonk Mountain House
Nicole and Ryan 9/24 at Overlook Lodge
Aimee and Michael 9/24 at Highlands Country Club
Katie and Rick 9/25 at Mohonk Mountain House
Jessica and Todd 9/30 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel

Congratulations to all our August couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our August couples!

Shelly and Frank 8/4 at Belvedere Mansion
Sierra and Bryan 8/5 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Victoria and Isaac 8/5 at Brookside Manor
Damian and Shawn 8/6 in Rhinebeck, NY
Nicole and Rina 8/6 in Rhinebeck, NY
Tista and Prashant 8/6 in Jewett, NY
Crystal and Pedro 8/6 at Hunter Mountain
Lauren and Corey 8/6 at Windham Mountain
Ashley and Ismael 8/7 at Catlin Gardens
Jeremy and Sonya 8/7 at The Marist College Gazebo
Kristine and Vincent 8/14 at Full Moon Resort
Russell and Meiling 8/14 at Kefi Restaurant in New York, NY
Lance and Folami 8/18 at Riverfront Park
Kimia and Terrance 8/18 at The Grandview
Melissa and Ted 8/19 at The Grandview
Andrew and Ashley 8/20 at FEAST Round Hill
Vicky and Holly 8/20 at The Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery
Sherry and Eric 8/20 at The Grandview
Robin and Michelle 8/21 at The Rhinecliff
Michelle and Matt 8/26 at Trump Hudson Valley
Tina and Rami 8/27 at The Grandview
Priscila and Ed 8/27 at The Grandview
Michael and Melissa 8/27 at Mohonk Mountain House
Melissa and Luke 8/27 at Rolling Greens at Dutchess Golf and Country Club
Heather and Blake 8/27 in Salt Point, NY

Congratulations to all our June couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our couples that were married this June!

Louise and Dan 6/3 at Anthony’s Pier Nine
Suzanne and Michael 6/4 at Minnewaska Lodge
Maya and Craig 6/4 in Hopewell Junction
Jennifer and Michael 6/4 at Lippincott Manor
Jessica and Jeff 6/4 at Le Petit Chateau
Kristin and Dennis 6/5 at The Grandview
Nicole and Hector 6/10 at Glen Island Harbour Club
John and Sarah 6/11 at The Stone House B&B
Isabelle and Richard 6/11 in Salt Point
Allison and Pat 6/11 in Hyde Park
Angela and Mario 6/12 at the Villa Borghese
Ezra and Karen 6/15 at Perkins Memorial Tower
Melanie and Dave 6/18 at Harvest on Hudson
Jacqueline and Evan 6/18 at Total Tennis
Ashley and Ammi 6/18 in Hudson NY
Sarina and Hamza 6/18 at Villa Barone Hilltop Manor
Michelle and Kevin 6/19 at Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa
Lisa and Christopher 6/24 at The Villa Borghese
Simone and Brendan 6/25 at West Park Winery
Rebekah and Harry 6/26 at The Onteora Mountain House
Justine and Jeffrey 6/28 at The Walkway Over The Hudson
Natasha and Steven 6/30 at Belvedere Mansion