Tuesday, December 10th, 2013...1:17 pm

Ask Jody: Long distance wedding-planning

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Jane, Ohio
Q:  I have a question that I hope you can help me with. My fiance and I are hoping to hold a winter wedding next December (2014). We are looking for a venue and any other advice that can accommodate our budget and guest list. First, since we are both originally from Long Island and our families still live there, we want to get married somewhere on Long Island. My family is in East Northport and my fiance’s is in Long Beach, so we are hoping to be close to one of them. Unfortunately, we currently live in Columbus, OH….so we will be planning from a distance for the most part. Second, we have a rather strict budget. We are hoping to spend less than 8,000 on the event… and believe we have a guest list of about 125 people.  While I know our budget is relatively low, we think that having a winter wedding will be helpful. Our major concern has been finding an appropriate venue. Can you help? Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you!

A: Hi Jane.  Congratulations on your engagement! Long Island and Manhattan are certainly two of the most expensive areas to get married, but there are a few ways to cut costs. Here are some of my tips:

- The winter season is definitely the least expensive season to get married (as you mentioned). On average, prices start to drop in November and stay at their lowest price through March.
- A Saturday night wedding is the most expensive option, so try to be flexible with the date and time. An afternoon luncheon or cocktail style party may be your best bet.
- You can also stay on budget by offering guests a limited bar (beer, wine & a signature drink), instead of a full open bar.
- Look for venues or wedding service stores that offer vendor packages. I would suggest contacting the Wedding Center in Commack.  They offer affordable vendor packages, which may also be helpful since you will be planning from Ohio!
Good luck, and happy planning!