A Hudson Valley Ceremonies Wedding in Coxsackie, NY

Natasha & Adam

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Venue: Private Home, Coxsackie, NY
Caterer: Hickory BBQ & Victoria’s Wood Fire Pizza
Bakery: Deising’s Bakery
Rentals: Events Unlimited
Flowers: Hudson Valley Ceremonies
Photography: Monarch Photography
Transportation: Coxsackie Transport
Planning/Coordination: Jeanne Stark, Hudson Valley Ceremonies
Invitations: Hudson Valley Ceremonies

Advice from the happy couple:
“Our wedding day was absolutely perfect and one of the happiest days of our lives yet! Yes, it rained not just a few raindrops, a monsoon, but I would not have changed a thing. Take a moment during the Reception to thank everyone that helped along the way and to everyone there that is our only regret we never got a chance to do that!! It was amazing to have Jeanne and her support team we felt like they were family and loved every moment of our day. Couples that are starting on the journey…there will be fights, tears, laughter and always love because with anything that is truly special you must work at it to get the very best and it is worth every second. 😊”

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When To Book Your Wedding Vendors

We always have a lot of last-minute requests from brides and grooms, and we’re often sold out on their wedding date. For some of these couples, they know they are “late” in their planning, and are looking for any wedding officiants who are still available on their date. For others, however, I get the impression that they have no idea that most of the companies they are calling will not be available. Are couples being told that they don’t need to hire an officiant until later in their planning process?

Curious, I went to the top three wedding planning websites to see what they tell brides. Some of what I found made sense, but certain parts of each “wedding vendor checklist” didn’t seem to match reality. There is a general rule of thumb that you can follow when booking your wedding vendors, “If it requires a specific person, do it as soon as possible.” Certain wedding vendors provide products (like cake, flowers, and invitations) and can provide those products to multiple couples in a single day. Anything else needs to be secured as quickly as you can, because they are a scarce resource. Wait too long, and the one you want will probably be booked.

When to book a Ceremony Officiant, Pastor, Minister, Reverend, Priest or Rabbi:
The Knot: 9-11 months
WeddingWire: 6 months
Brides.com: 11 months
My suggestion: 9-12 months
Notes: Finding the right ceremony officiant is crucial, assuming that your ceremony site doesn’t come with an officiant included. A really good officiant can make your ceremony amazing. Since you’re hiring a specific person, I recommend booking them early in the process.

When to hire a Wedding Planner or Day of Coordinator:
The Knot: 9-11 months
WeddingWire: 9 months
Brides.com: 11 months
My suggestion: 12+ months
Notes: A wedding planner will have the greatest amount of utility to you and can help with the rest of your vendor selection, so start here. I highly recommend hiring one — you’ll thank me later.

When to book a Wedding Venue:
The Knot: 9-11 months
WeddingWire: 9 months
Brides.com: 11 months
My suggestion: 12+ months
Notes: This should also be done as soon as possible. This is another scarce resource, and reception venues will book up to two years in advance of a popular date. Contrary to popular belief, simply saying a date is your wedding date does not mean that is your wedding date — unless it doesn’t matter to you where you have your wedding . You do not have a wedding date until you put down a deposit on your ceremony and reception sites. Without a firm wedding date, you can’t hire any of your wedding-related services. Hence, this is the place to start.

When to hire a Wedding Caterer:
The Knot: 9-11 months
WeddingWire: 9 months
Brides.com: 6 months
My suggestion: 10-12 months
Notes: Once you have your reception site booked, it is imperative that you hire your caterer as soon as possible, unless catering is included at your reception venue. Every caterer has a limited number of events they can do on any given date, and booking early ensures that you will be able to choose the one you want. I would also advise you not to wait for a tasting if it’s more than a month into the future — you should be able to get a clear picture of a caterer’s quality and their style of food from their website and WeddingWire reviews. This is an area where a wedding planner can help a lot. They have probably worked with every good caterer in your area and know who is good, who is not, and who will fit your budget.

When to hire a Wedding Photographer:
The Knot: 6-8 months
WeddingWire: 6 months
Brides.com: 6 months
My suggestion: 10-12 months
Notes: I was actually surprised by the “expert” timelines on this one. Six months? Really? Most couples think the photographer is an important part of their wedding, and I can tell you that most of the top-tier wedding photographers are going to be long gone at 6 months to go. In my opinion, you should include the wedding photographer in the group of vendors you hire immediately after setting your wedding date. The top talent will book first, so hiring a wedding photographer close to a year before your wedding is a good idea.

When to book a wedding DJ, Band or Musicians:
The Knot: 9-11 months
WeddingWire: 9 months
Brides.com: 6 months
My suggestion: 10-12 months
Notes: The same rule from above applies to your wedding music as well — you are hiring a specific person and the top talent will be the first to get booked. Waiting too long to book your wedding music will leave you with a limited number of available vendors to choose from.

When to hire a wedding Videographer:
The Knot: 6-8 months
WeddingWire: 6 months
Brides.com: 6 months
My suggestion: 10-12 months
Notes: If you’re going to hire a wedding videographer, you need to decide early in the process how important the wedding video is to you. If a fabulous, amazing wedding video is a high priority for you, then you need to treat the videographer the same as the photographer and book them as early as possible. For the top wedding videographers the same scarcity rule will apply and they will get booked very early.

When to hire a wedding Florist:
The Knot: 6-8 months
WeddingWire: 6 months
Brides.com: 6 months
My suggestion: 6-9 months
Notes: Now we’re getting into the wedding vendors who can do multiple weddings in one day. Most florists can handle a few weddings at a time depending on the size of their shop, so booking one at a year before your wedding isn’t as crucial. That being said, I think that it also depends on how important the flowers are to you. If you have your heart set on a certain florist or a certain style, then I say pull the trigger and put down a deposit. The really good florists still sell out during the busy season, so you can’t wait too long.

When to book the wedding Cake:
The Knot: 6-8 months
WeddingWire: 6 months
Brides.com: 6 months
My suggestion: 6-9 months
Notes: Most wedding cake bakeries will do multiple wedding cakes on any give date, so you’re safe waiting for a little while. I highly recommend visiting multiple cake shops and sampling their cakes. You’ll end up making a better decision if you shop around a little bit.

When to buy wedding Invitations:
The Knot: 6-8 months
WeddingWire: 6 months
Brides.com: 5 months
My suggestion: 6 months
Notes: Since you’re not going to be mailing your invitations a year before your wedding, you don’t need to buy them that early either. However, I do recommend sending “save the date” cards to your guests as soon as you secure your reception site and wedding date.

When to hire the wedding Transportation:
The Knot: 2-3 months
WeddingWire: 2 months
Brides.com: 6 months
My suggestion: 5-6 months
Notes: If you are going to hire professional transportation (limos, shuttle buses, whatever) you need to do it more than 2 months before your wedding. My advice is to do this about 6 months before your wedding. Remember If you are getting married from late April through the beginning of June, you really need to jump on your limo situation. Most brides don’t think about it, but it’s prom season — most limo companies will completely sell out on Fridays and Saturdays.

A Hudson Valley Ceremonies Wedding at Blueberry Inn on Kiernan Farm

Keegan and Tim

Wedding Location – Blueberry Inn on Kiernan Farm
Ceremony Officiant – Richard King (family friend)
Caterer – Hickory BBQ
Dessert – Cake it Up
Photographer – Tami Ling Photography
PhotoBooth – iFlickPhotoBooth
Videographer – Bakwoods Productions
DJ/Band/Musicians – DJ Jimmy Lutz
Florist – Petals Ink along with Jeannie Bishop (mother of the groom)
Coordinator/Planner – Jeanne Stark
Bridal Attire –
Bridal Gown by Sincerity
Bridesmaid Dresses by Bill Levkoff
Shoes by Toms
Men’s Attire –
Groom’s Suit by Mantoni
Groom’s Tie by Tommy Hilfiger
Groomsmen pants by Calvin Klein
Groomsmen ties from The Tie Bar
Shoes by Clarks
Rings –
SuzyB (bride), Boone (groom)
Jewelry –
Colorway Jewelry
Alex and Ani
Hair/Makeup – Signature Braids
Invitations – Anns Paperie
Favors – Mason Jars with DIY tags

Advice from the happy couple:

Have family and friends help wherever they can because then you can have some weight lifted off of your shoulders!
Take in each moment, because it flies by!
Right after you get married, have 5 minutes alone, just the 2 of you to take it in and enjoy the moment by yourselves!

View More: http://tamilingphotography.pass.us/rings-and-utensils View More: http://tamilingphotography.pass.us/rings-and-utensils View More: http://tamilingphotography.pass.us/rings-and-utensils DSC_0334 Bishop-445 Bishop-398-2 Bishop-398 Bishop-338 Bishop-208 Bishop-182 Bishop-139 10629562_10154538428775077_8785868188896823640_n 10625033_10154538430720077_2822242501289124799_n 10624901_10154538425970077_7482351868628681945_n 10623016_10154538427740077_1061283491135084459_n 10616237_10154538427000077_721271096531351755_n 10615635_10154538427845077_625459065593720910_n 10615576_10154538426685077_6381747184940784190_n 10603336_10154538427360077_3084976759083381442_n 10599248_10154538430330077_4193758612229699097_n 10593067_10154538426355077_6695847805921427442_n 10592755_10154538431245077_6297981422765680979_n 10590536_10154538431980077_7653809817674692595_n 10568784_10154538426880077_8969463886911860159_n 10563159_10154538431560077_6142769563168163735_n 10562965_10154538429230077_328626233381336198_n 10557331_10154538431020077_5319409297967046815_n 10556308_10154538428395077_3276141339003225134_n 10547570_10154538430870077_2686673652812919714_n 10509619_10154538429490077_4190231565192108887_n 10502367_10154538430395077_1350567915075191837_n 10439471_10154538429370077_8374218268247049842_n 10402968_10154538429670077_3832821214593849622_n 10385379_10154538428005077_7904422682476379808_n 10384119_10154538431170077_3782271284049792632_n 10377444_10154538429925077_517968669250725395_n 10171022_10154538426175077_2643318770904907887_n 1920321_10154538431635077_7584760194523126761_n 1620748_10154538426440077_8500458513885480224_n 1620502_10154538431480077_7533248562213556537_n 1620441_10154538428935077_4244271335936925124_n 934785_10154538426055077_3287102033983412474_n Bishop-838

Ceremony Decor

Do-it-yourself weddings do not have to stop at favors, bouquets and gifts. If you are planning a wedding in a non-traditional setting, think about the ceremony decor, including the ceremony backdrop or chuppah. It can create the stage and photo backdrop for the wedding, as well as making the space for the ceremony and reinforcing the theme.

The first thing someone may think of is a twig and flower chuppah or some other floral arrangement.

Glynwood Wedding Chuppah

Also consider using paper or silk flowers for the backdrop. Giant paper flowers would add whimsy and fun to a wedding.

Floral Backdrop

There are many other materials to use for the ceremony backdrop, besides flowers, though.

Reclaimed building materials, such as windows or doors

Window Backdrop

Picture frames

Picture Frame Backdrop

Curtains

Curtain Backdrop

Crepe paper or streamers

backdrop streamers

Paper Poms

Paper Pom Backdrop

Handwritten words displayed on butcher paper

written-paper-scroll-wedding-ceremony

Books

Book backdrop

Whatever you choose for your wedding ceremony decor, enjoy yourself. Blend it into the ceremony and the theme. Staying in a budget is easy for someone with creativity and cleverness. Think of what will go best in the wedding setting and be easy for set up and take down.

A Hudson Valley Ceremonies Wedding at Twin Lakes

It was so wonderful to work with Laurie and Tom from Platinum Party Events at Twin Lakes in Hurley NY this past October for Amanda & James’ wedding.

A special Thanks to Laurie for the wonderful write up on their blog! Head on over and see what she had to say.

Here are a few pictures we captured of the amazing fall theme and decor Amanda & James had.

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Hurley NY wedding

Twin Lakes Wedding

Country Wedding

Fall Wedding

Vendors

Venue: Twin Lakes
Coordinator: Hudson Valley Ceremonies (Sage)
DJ: Platinum Party Events
Officiant: Hudson Valley Ceremonies (Mike)
Photographer: Family Friend

Wedding Vendor Referrals

I doesn’t matter if you have your Officiant or Coordinator booked with Hudson Valley Ceremonies we would love to provide you with referrals for any vendors you might still need for your big day. Here is just a sampling of vendor assistance we can provide:

Bakers
Bands & Musicians
Butterfly Release
Calligraphy
Caterers
Cigar Lounge
Dance Lessons
DJ’s
Entertainment
Florists
Flower Preservation
Hair & Make-Up
Ketubah
Lighting
Photobooth
Photographers
Rentals
Transportation
Venues
Videographers
Wine & Liquor

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.

wedding_catering

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.

PreOwnedWeddingDresses_brides-say-yes-to-the-preowned-dress-791x1024

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.