Monday, September 13th, 2010...10:15 am

Ask Claudia: A Long Island Barbecue Wedding

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Serena, Long Beach

Q:  Hello Claudia, I am so happy that I came across your section of this website.  I am a clueless bride.  I was born and raised on Long Island and have never questioned the fact that I want to get married on Long Island.  My fiance and I are on a super tight budget (egh, who isn’t now a days).  I was never one of those girls that dreamt about my wedding day so a majority of the major traditions are not important to me.  I am looking for a location on Long Island, preferably near either my moms (Mt. Sinai) or my dads (jamesport) so that I have a location to get ready etc.  I am looking for a pretty park, restaurant  that I can have cocktail hour and a (idea…vision) BBQ style. Now, I don’t mean hay stacks and such but my fiance and I LOVE bbqing and its really the casual feel we are looking for. My friends convinced me that I’d wear a dress, and this is something I finally have gotten excited about.  Do you know of any places that aren’t known for having wedding (hopefully less expensive) but have the room for a 80-85 person party/dancing/cocktail hour.  Our ceremony would probably be something either there, or on a beach near by, or somewhere with a view.  Ideas?

A:  Serena, we’re glad you found us, too!   So let’s recap your needs a little bit:  a wedding on the North shore (where your dad and mom live), very casual, perhaps outdoors, and maybe with a fun, barbecue menu.   Many Long Island brides ask us about casual, beachfront weddings and I have suggested checking out Dreamer’s Cove Inn & Spa in Aquebogue.  This smallish inn is on a private beach, so you can have an outdoor ceremony and reception if you like.   Now if you’re willing to forgo the water for a rustic setting, look into Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead.  Here, you can have a lovely wedding in a charming barn that can be decorated to accommodate any wedding style.   Another idea that’s perfect for Long Island couples:  how about hosting a beach clambake the night before your wedding?  You can do that if you book your event at Peconic Bay Winery.   This venue meets many of your requirements — spectacular water views, a lush, green ambiance, and you can make it as formal or as casual as your heart desires.   Finally, for a restaurant option, look into the landmark Soundview Restaurant and Lounge in Greenport.    Here you can have a casual, sunset wedding against an amazing waterfront backdrop.   An outdoor deck surrounds the main dining room, but views are available from every angle, both inside and out.

I’m sure these will give you a great starting point.  Do read other Ask Claudia posts from local brides who have asked for venue ideas as well.  Also, I encourage you to click on  “Wedding Venues” on our top  tool bar and on our Best Picks listings — these are recommendations direct from Long Island wedding planners.   Best of  luck and please come back to let us know where you’ve booked your wedding…