Tuesday, November 1st, 2011...8:48 am

Ask Claudia: BBQ Wedding on a Budget

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Katie, Mastic

Q:  Hi Claudia! I’m getting married June of 2013 and I’m trying to get a head start on things. I’m trying not to spend more than 5,000-7,000 on my wedding so my fiance and I were thinking about doing a back yard BBQ for our reception. I know that everything adds up with that but I don’t think it’s possible to find a venue for that price either. I did want to have the ceremony somewhere outside in a vineyard or park. We live in Suffolk county so anywhere close would be great, any ideas?

We also had another idea to have our ceremony and maybe just cocktail hour somewhere if that would be cheap enough and easier than getting all the things to have the reception in our back yard? any ideas would be great! thank you! :)

A:  Katie, thanks for writing in!   I love the fact that you are on a strict budget and want to adhere to it.   Sticking to a budget is difficult for many couples, because, as you rightly say, everything adds up and really quickly.   A backyard reception is a great way to go with limited funds.  Keep in mind that you’ll also need rentals — a tent (especially in June), tables, chairs, china, etc.   But why not combine your ideas of a backyard reception/cocktail hour?  With passed-around finger food (or buffet style), you won’t need as many utensils and other necessities that a sit-down meal requires.   And here’s a money-saving tip:  since your wedding will be outdoors, you won’t need to buy expensive floral arrangements.  Use mother nature as your decor and just place wildflowers in vases or a single bud, on all the tables.   Also, keep your guest list to a minimum and you’ll have a fabulous, intimate wedding.

As for having the ceremony in a park or vineyard, remember there will be permits required for public spaces, so check with the town before making the arrangements.  Click here for a series of articles I wrote for Celebrations.com on outdoor weddings.  A vineyard is also a nice idea, but ask about fees.   Here’s a list of a few Long Island vineyards to begin your research.   Good luck and let us know what you decide!