Tuesday, October 25th, 2011...8:51 am

Ask Claudia: Tented, Outdoor Wedding on Low Budget

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Mary, Yaphank

Q:  Hello Claudia, My name is Mary.  I am looking for an outside venue, I love barns and horses and farms.  I’d like a laid back feel. Obviously money is tight so we cant pay $10,000 site fee!  We are getting married at the end of April and are expecting like 200 people. We think putting a tent up with beautiful grounds is perfect!  I appreciate any suggestions you have!!!

A:  Mary, thanks for getting in touch.  I get that you want a casual, outdoor wedding, but you didn’t say what your budget is.  You want to get married at the end of April, which is wedding season.  Renting a tent may sound simple, but you may also have to rent all of the other equipment that is required for an outdoor wedding — chairs, tables, china, silver, linens…you see where I’m going with this.   When you add it all up and include entertainment, photography/videography, flowers, limo and of course, your wedding gown, it can tally up to a pretty penny.

But don’t be discouraged.   If you are willing to be flexible on your wedding date — consider winter, which is much less expensive — maybe cut down your guest list, and think about a variety of different venues, you can have a wonderful wedding.   I suggest you start by contacting  The Inn at New Hyde Park, which has several banquet rooms that can accommodate large or small weddings.   They also have a lovely outdoor area for the ceremony.   Next, check out hotel spaces and restaurants, which may be less expensive than traditional wedding halls.  Lastly, look at this varied list of venue options offered by Custom Catering.   From vineyards to small inns, I’m sure you’ll have plenty to think about once you visit these and compare.    Come back and let us know what you found!   And congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!