Monday, January 17th, 2011...9:43 am

Ask Claudia: Quickie Wedding on Long Island

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Kaitlyn, Holbrook

Q:  Hi, my name is Katie and I recently got engaged.  my boyfriend is a marine.  my question to you is how quick can a wedding be put together?  We have a very low budget.  We can’t set a date because we don’t know when he will get leave.  They usually don’t tell him till the last minute.  Is there a place on the island that is very affordable (we are low maintenance and don’t need a lavish wedding). How much time does a catering hall need, and what is the best  place that is extremely affordable.  Also what time of year would be cheaper.

A:  Kaitlyn, congratulations on your engagement.  We wish you all the best!  In regard to your questions above, it sounds like you will want to get married immediately.  Because you don’t know when your fiance will be going, it will be difficult to schedule  a “traditional” wedding in a hall.    Booking it is the easy part; it’s sending out invitations and then hoping guests can attend on the spur-of-the-moment that makes this a challenge.  You’d also need to book entertainment and a photographer/videographer at the last minute as well…Since you said you are low maintenance and on a low budget, how about forgetting about a venue altogether and hosting a small reception at a local restaurant?  You don’t even need to serve dinner — consider a brunch or luncheon, or make it a cocktail party with just appetizers.   Another way to go is by having a small affair in your home or the home of a relative, provided there is space.   If you went this route, you could contact a caterer to bring in food, china, etc.   Whatever you decide to do, don’t stress out about it.  The important thing is to exchange vows surrounded by people who love you both.   The rest is icing…