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Indoor or outdoor wedding venue?

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Some brides to be have always imagined having an outdoor wedding, and some have known since they were young ladies that they would have their weddings in an exquisite ballroom, different spouses are attempting to settle on their ideal style and area for their wedding.


In case you’re one of those ladies weighing both indoor wedding and outside wedding choices, here are a some reasons to consider either type of wedding venue:


Outside Weddings:


Outside wedding venues already have their own natural decor, with lavish trees and beautiful, bloom filled gardens… giving an effectively blossomed venue that you don’t need to use a huge percentage of your budget on decorations.  Expert gardeners have made a mystical wedding venue emphasizing wonderful flowers, as the setting of an outside wedding.


Open air wedding venues on Long Island are accessible for the majority of the year, from prevalent springtime weddings to top season late spring weddings to fall foliage excellent autumn weddings, with distinctive “looks” for each season. Also, compact cooling and warming units can make an exceptionally agreeable environment for the greater part of your visitors in any season.


The best open air wedding venues give a few diverse spaces to your wedding’s stages, from a space for your ceremony, as well as a space for your cocktail hour, and of course an area for your reception.


Open air wedding venues also give the opportunity for amazing wedding photographs.


Open air spaces are unlimited and open, giving a vaporous air to your service and gathering.


Open air weddings give a remarkable style for visitors to appreciate, making your wedding unique compared to the indoor weddings that visitors have attended that season.

Indoor Weddings


Ballrooms offer the astounding look and feel of their rich architecture, which could be accented by florals and embellishment lighting to make an awesome scene for your wedding.


Indoor banquet halls offer full safety from any weather conditions, from a cool and blustery day to rain to snow to muggy summer humidity. The environment is impeccably situated to your and your visitors’ pleasure.


Indoor event venues give the likelihood to endless menu options, without stress over high temperature’s impact on specific sorts of dishes.


The best wedding venues offer distinctive spaces for the diverse phases of your wedding, from a space for your cocktail hour to a bigger assembly hall for your reception, and different rooms all through the wedding venue for your guests to explore.
There are obviously perks to both types of wedding venues, and consequently many of our Long Island wedding couples choose not to choose. They choose the best Long Island wedding venues that incorporate indoor and outdoor event space.  They frequently want to have their wedding outdoors, and the same goes for their cocktail hour, and then having their reception in the ballroom.  It’s nice to have both options just in case the weather should turn poor.  Having both indoor and outdoor aspects to your venue, you’ll have the best of both worlds.  Here at  Windows on the Lake, we have the best of both worlds.  With our beautiful banquet hall, and out amazing outdoor garden locations overlooking Lake Ronkonkoma you’ll find all you need for the perfect wedding.

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Plan a Long Island Wedding Reception on a Budget

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Plan a Long Island Wedding Reception on a Budget

Planning a Reception on a Budget

Those dream weddings you see on TV are just that: a dream. They’re shows designed to go big on splash and not take the average person’s budget into consideration, especially when the average American wedding is around $25,000. That may sound like a big figure, but the dollars get eaten up pretty quickly on food and alcohol, the venue, licensing, floral arrangements, music, gifts, clothing, rentals, photography, and more. So instead of giving you an unrealistic recipe for a Long Island wedding reception that’ll make your eyes boggle at the final cost, we here at Windows on the Lake have devised an easier, less expensive way of having a reception that you and your guests will remember for years.

Food and Beverage

Your guests have to eat, yes, but they don’t need Kobe-grade filet mignon and crab legs to have a memorable time. They will, however, remember if you serve really awful food, so don’t try and be too cheap in this area. With that in mind, there are still many ways you can have your reception food on a budget at a high-quality Long Island banquet hall and still send everyone home happy.


  • Consider a lunch reception instead of an evening reception
  • Try serving a buffet for dinner instead of plated dishes
  • Book a venue that allows you to hire your own Long Island catering company and bring your own alcohol
  • Stick to just a few types of wines and beers, and skip the hard liquors and cocktails
  • Serve non-alcoholic drinks, like frappe mochas or fruit smoothies, as a delicious alternative
  • Keep your open bar open for limited times instead of having it available all night
  • Go for a cupcake cake — or cupcakes — instead of a lavish wedding cake
  • Provide your own appetizers



It’s hard to think of even one wedding where music doesn’t play a central role, it’s such a crucial part of the reception. But instead of hooking up your iPod to speakers — which is one of the fastest ways to stamp amateur all over your reception — follow these tips instead.


  • Head to a college near you and look for music student-DJs, as they’ll be itching for a place to try out their skills in the real world. You’ll get maximum effort for minimum price
  • Set up Songza, 8-Track or TuneIn Radio on your laptop, but not without a friend watching it. The last thing you want is for the type of music you chose to play the same 12 songs in an endless loop
  • Hire university students who are majoring in music to play at your wedding, as they’ll be a fraction of the cost as professional musicians but will play at a high enough quality your guests won’t notice the difference



This is a tough choice because while the previous entries allowed you some wiggle room, with guests forming their own (sometimes inaccurate) memories, photos are forever. Do this section too much on the cheap and you won’t have too much to look at down the road, but spend too much and you’ll be kicking yourself for years. Photography is one Long Island wedding reception aspect that isn’t worth cutting corners on.


  • Place instant cameras at every table and have guests snap their memories of your reception
  • Consider having your Long Island wedding off-season so you can snag a better deal on a professional photographer
  • Get quotes from photographers and compare as many as you can for the best price
  • Book a photographer for a set block of time to limit costs, like the first hour of the reception
  • Take a chance on a budding photographer who’s eager to establish themselves and build an extensive portfolio
  • Buy the rights to the photos instead of the photos, and print them yourself when your budget will allow



This is perhaps one of the easiest, most budget-friendly sections you can save money on in your Long Island wedding reception, as flowers are such an integral part of wedding receptions that the scales are tipped in your favor. Flowers are such a common commodity that many, many vendors deal with them, giving you options to find the perfect package for your reception.


  • Limit yourself to looking only at flowers that are in season
  • Make the bouquets yourself from cut flowers
  • Try ordering flowers online for a reduced price
  • Mix in silk flowers with live flowers to bump the cost down even more ( you can even rent silk flowers for a discounted price!)


At Windows on the Lake, we’re always looking for ways to make your Long Island wedding reception as magical as it can be, whether you’re doing your reception on a budget or have the sky as the limit. Give us a call today to learn how we can turn the wedding reception of your dreams into a reality.
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Choosing a Bar Mitzvah party theme:

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Since it is an essential day in your kid’s life, it is best to ask them which topic they would like best. Tolerating their thoughts for their Bar Mitzvah would imply that you have acknowledged their development at their extraordinary day.


Then again, you could choose a topic for them relying on their tastes. Case in point, if they are musically gifted at school, you can keep a musical subject.


Assess Yourself


The most effective method to Choose a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Party Theme?


Here are a few recommendations for choosing a Bar/Bat Mitzvah theme. You should ask:


What does my kid like?


Which action does your kid enjoy? Do they like reading? Do they play a musical instrument?


What is he/she best at?


It could be anything – playing tennis, riding a bicycle, board games, giving warm embraces, or actually chatting on the telephone for hours!


Who do I know?


On the off chance that you know somebody who has an inventive personality, you can take recommendations from them. I’d recommend calling that cousin who is known for her wacky plans. Know anyone who sings or plays piano? Call them!  It could add a great deal of zest to the gathering.


Does anyone need help?


You can really make a philanthropy topic and make the gathering fun, and in addition bring a change to the world. Consider whom you might want to help the most, and put aside a couple of trusts for that philanthropy. You can even let the visitors help (but don’t make them do it).

Why not?


Should you incorporate a topic to the Mitzvah occasion? Also the answer is – why not? The children revel in it, and grown-ups delight in it!


Be Creative, Reasonable, and Listen to Your Child


In the wake of assessing yourself, here is the thing that you need to do to think of a subject:


Be imaginative. It is about creativity. You don’t a theme repeat from another Bar Mitzvah, Right? Whether you are picking a season as a subject, or a game – simply verify it hasn’t been carried out some time recently. Contemplate the things that you wouldn’t typically consider. Attempt a meeting to generate new ideas. Record whatever you can consider…  and after that strike off the thoughts you think wouldn’t work.


Be sensible. Whatever thought you pick must be in your financial plan and time frame. There is no reason using a huge number of dollars on a topic when you can’t bear the cost of it. It is best to know your budget.


Listen to your kid. As expressed prior, it is critical to take the guidance of your Mitzvah child. When its all said and done, it is their day to sparkle.


Do Some Research


In the wake of assessing yourself, now is the right time to do some exploration (this one here is genuine diligent work, so take a seat and read this).


Let the gathering reflect the taste and identity of the Mitzvah kid. The subject ought to give them a chance to communicate. Common ideas would incorporate games, books, music, motion pictures, diversions, travel end, craftsmanship, nourishment, sweet, and past eras.


Keep the subject fixated on Judaism to some focus on the culture. It would additionally keep the youngster near their legacy. For this reason, you can choose something from biblical stories, a philanthropy, an acclaimed Jewish individual, Jewish occasions, or possibly their most loved Torah portion for the subject.


Utilize the Bar Mitzvah youngster’s name as a vital component of the subject. You can utilize an extraordinary text style for it, and use it all through the service.


Select shades that run with your subject, and look excellent as indicated by the area. You can additionally make a topic focused around two colors that are recommended by your soon to be mitzvahed child. These shades would direct you all through the embellishment, from blooms to cloths.


Joining the Theme


Strangely, the procedure of picking a subject does not stop at simply choosing what the topic ought to be. It reaches out to joining the subject. Alright so you picked a topic. What’s next? Here’s the answer:


Utilize the topic text styles and shades for invites. In the event that you have chosen some extraordinary logos or representation for your subject, you ought to incorporate them in the invite as well.


Verify the two colors you picked are incorporated in the closet of your youngster. It could be the color of his shirt, or the shade of her dress…  simply verify the shades are incorporated in their garments.


All the enhancement parts of the gathering ought to include the subject you have chosen. You can utilize the topic for centerpieces, doorway shows, publications, flags, paintings, and signs and so forth. Remember that a generally incorporated subject would take your visitors to an alternate world.


Augment the subject to your menu too. Case in point, in the event that you have chosen a subject for a specific place on the planet (we should say China), verify you serve their neighborhood nourishment (Chinese for this situation).


Your cute gifts ought to additionally reflect the topic of the gathering, so that the visitors can recollect your gathering even long after it is over (Chinese caps, for instance).


Here is a little tip: If you can’t choose things on your own, it is best to take exhortation from a gathering organizer. There are numerous organizers that have some expertise in Bar/Bat Mitzvah gatherings, and they can provide for you magnificent plans, and help you arrange the gathering.


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Best Wedding Reception Splurges

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Best Wedding Reception Splurges

Wedding Reception Splurges: Spend Wisely

Weddings are expensive today, and we here at Windows on the Lake are the first to admit that. It’s an extravagant affair that represents the biggest, most special day of your life, so it’s more than understandable that it should be worth more than, say, Christmas or a birthday. However, we also understand that not every wedding couple can afford to have the wedding of their dreams and may be on a budget, but here are 4 areas you shouldn’t hold back on.

1. Photography

Human memory is faulty and we have a tendency to remember what we want, and not always what actually happened. Sometimes this works to our advantage, but other times, we want an objective record of every single detail.

Your wedding reception in Long Island, New York is one of those events.

When you think back on your beautiful wedding on your 25th anniversary, you want to be able to share every memory with your spouse. Whether it’s the sweet romance of your first dance, the joy of cutting your cake together, or simply seeing all of your friends and family gathered together to celebrate your day. A professional photographer will do just that for you, knowing just what lenses to bring, how to adjust the shutter speed and f-stop, and everything else that goes into creating perfect images. An amateur on Craigslist with an iPhone will not.

2. Lighting

It almost doesn’t matter at all how elegantly you’ve decorated your Long Island banquet hall if you don’t have the right lighting to accent everything. Wedding receptions in Long Island are all about ambiance and atmosphere, and the easiest way to achieve that is with skilled lighting.

By splurging on lighting, you can use it to camouflage potential “problem” areas, like shabby curtains, unfavorable window treatments, an unfinished ceiling, or anything else that isn’t exactly to your specifications. Conversely, lighting can accentuate the areas you do want highlighted, like your gorgeous centerpieces or fabulous entryway. This is definitely not one area to visit Walmart for.

3. Attire

No matter what you’re planning on wearing to your wedding, it’s worth it to spend a bit more. We don’t necessarily mean you have to get a custom-made outfit with Italian silk, but that you should be putting your dollars into the details.

Wedding clothes can be expensive, but they don’t always have to be, such as if you’re renting your outfit. But even if you go that route, invest in a really good tailor who can tuck and snip your clothing in all the right areas so you do look like you’re wearing custom-made clothing. Closely related to clothing is makeup: splurge a bit here so you look radiant and glowing, and not like a new person entirely. An excellent makeup artist is worth their weight in gold.

4. Entryway

All eyes will be on you when you enter the reception hall, so give your guests a fantastic image they’ll remember forever. You’ve already taken care of yourself with tip #3, and this section is another where you shouldn’t be shy about opening up your wallet.

Sadly, the entryway is one of the most common wedding reception features overlooked by wedding planners, but it doesn’t have to be on your big day. You don’t even have to pull out all the stops to have a hugely impressive entryway, only know which areas to key in on.

The floral arrangement should be well-proportioned and sophisticated, guests should be greeted with a signature cocktail or glass of champagne (plus non-alcoholic alternatives so all your guests feel included), and flawless lighting to highlight everything impeccably. Something else to keep in mind is the entryway — the first part of your wedding reception to make your guests feel as though they’re attending a truly special event — should reflect the décor inside. It doesn’t have to match it piece for piece, but you should have the same colors and textures for your entryway as you do elsewhere.

Once you’ve figured out the areas you want to splurge on for your wedding, let Windows on the Lake take care of the rest. Our team of professionals is skilled in every area you can think of for your wedding, and we’re ready to help you today.
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Planning a Long Island Bar/Bat Mitzvah

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Organizing a Bar/Bat Mitzvah can be overwhelming.  The best way to avoid having too much stress in planning this momentous event, is to start as early.  This way, you are able to enjoy the occasion because everything has been planned far in advance.  Here are some ideas for having a well planned Bar/Bat Mitzvah.


Many families planning a Long Island Bar or Bat Mitzvah, will start as early as two years before the event.   While this may seem a little premature, it is important to consider the area  you live in.  If you live in a place where there is a high Jewish community, you may have trouble booking a quality venue, because many of them will be booked for years to come.  So even if a couple years early seems ridiculous, the best advice would to at least book the venue.  Now as was mentioned, many venues might have already been booked.  But because you have given yourself the time to find the perfect Long Island location for your son or daughter, you can get a little creative.   There are many Long Island Wedding  Venue’s that are the perfect place for you particular Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  Make sure to check those out. There may be a hidden gem that others may not have thought of.


Once you have the Long Island Bar/Bat Mitzvah venue booked, a huge weight will be lifted off your shoulders.   This will give you some time, and the freedom to plan the rest.  You can toy with different theme ideas, and color schemes, whether you want a DJ or a band, and test out many of the fine caterers on Long Island. Having that extra time to decide on these larger issues, will make the small issues easy to solve when you are closer to the date.


As time starts to tick away, and you get closer and closer to the big day, you’ll want to narrow down a few more items off of that big checklist of yours.  The nice thing again, is you’ll be able to see as you go, each item is smaller, and less stressful to handle because you’ve dealt with the big issues way ahead of time.  The next level of things to check off might be, beginning to figure out your guestlist, thinking of centerpiece and floral ideas, and getting some invitation ideas.  Now, because you’re probably still about a year out at this point, there is no need to make any orders or finalize anything just yet.  But it’ll be nice to get some general ideas, because this year will go faster than you think!


At this point you should have your theme and colors all worked out.  With this done you can begin ordering your party favors, invitations, decorations, and guest books.  With about six months to go, these items will be great to get out of the way.


You should send your invitations out with about three months to go before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  This will give your guests time to RSVP, as well as make their travel plans to Long Island, if they are not local.  Around this time, you should make sure your order to the florist is in. It might also help to give your DJ or band an idea of the songs you hope to hear.


With the finish line in sight, there are only a few things to finalize before your Bar/Bat Mitzvah is ready to go!  You’ll want to give your Long Island venue a head count.  Make sure all the clothes have been fitted; Now that your child is becoming a Jewish adult, you don’t want them dressed in something too small or too baggy on them!  Make sure your child’s speeches, poems, and prayers are finalized and ready to go.  But most of all, now that you have planned everything, and it’s time for the event, sit back, relax, and take it in.  You as a parent, should be able to enjoy this incredible moment in your child’s life.


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In-house Catering vs. Off-Site Catering

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In-house Catering vs. Off-Site Catering

When it comes to catering your reception which is better?

When it comes to catering your wedding what do you choose: the on-site catering provided by your venue or the off-site catering company your friend recommended? Well, the answer is simple. The in-house caterer will almost always provide better results for a cheaper price.

In-House Catering

First and foremost, your in-house caterer knows the venue. They know the location, the space, the staff, and flow of your Long Island catering location. They have experience working in the kitchen and have catered events just like yours over a million times.

They are familiar with where to go when they need something and who to ask for it. Since they have done this so many times they know exactly when each course should start and end so they can plan to start plating and serving different courses accordingly. This ensures everything will run smoothly and on time.

They already know the number of staff members they need to have on shift. The wait staff is train specifically for your venue and they know where to go and how to work the room to ensure everyone is able to try each hors d’oevres.

Off-Site Catering

It is important to keep in mind that if you choose to hire an outside caterer there may be hidden fees and risks. Many venues will charge an additional fee to bring in an outside catering company so if you are trying to budget, this isn’t the best choice. You also have to beware off fees from your off-site caterer. He or she may charge you for staffing, equipment rentals and more. You also need to check that your venue will allow the catering company access to a full kitchen assuming that you want your food fresh and cooked on-site! The biggest risk associated with hiring an off-site catering service would be losing your venue’s security deposit because your catering company damaged the venue site.

At Windows On The Lake, we guarantee your night will be a success. We only work with trained professionals. Our chefs can customize our menus to create any dish- whether it be ethnic, religious, or just your favorite meal. Find out more about our catering services by calling us today.

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3 Benefits of Booking a Long Island Banquet Hall

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3 Benefits of Booking a Long Island Banquet Hall

Do you know the benefits of choosing a Long Island Banquet Hall?

You got engaged! Congratulations. Now it’s time to plan your Long Island Wedding Reception. After you decide on the date and size of your party, you’re probably ready to make a list of possible wedding locations. If you want to have a successful  wedding, I recommend you book it at a Long Island banquet hall.

One of the many benefits of booking a Long Island catering hall is that it can provide a good time no matter what the weather. A wedding on the beach sounds like a lot of fun until it starts pouring. Catering halls have weather contingency plans because they know that rain or shine- this is still the most important day of you lives. Windows On The Lake, a premier Long Island banquet hall, offers a lakeside chapel, and an outdoor cocktail hour- but if unwanted clouds cover the sky and rain starts falling there are 2 beautiful indoor reception areas available to brides.

Another benefit of having your Long Island Wedding at a banquet hall is that it can be budget-friendly. If you choose to have your ceremony on-site you can save yourself from having to pay another site-fee or a limo to take you from the ceremony to the reception.
Last but not least, they know what they are doing. Catering to you is their job. Windows On The Lake caters to only one bride at a time- meaning the day is all about you. They make their living going above and beyond what you expect- and have been doing so for over 30 years.

There are many benefits of holding your Long Island Wedding at a banquet hall. Check out our blog posts to see other reasons Windows On The Lake can provide you with the perfect wedding.

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Tips for hiring the right wedding planner

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The Wedding planning industry has really blown up over the past decade or so.  Planners will have different strengths between them. Some might be better with destination weddings, while some might be experts with many of the best Long Island wedding venues.  Some may be better suited for outdoor weddings, and some might have an expertise working with indoor venues.  Here are some tips for finding the right wedding planner.


What is your Budget?

Like most aspects in planning a wedding, how much money do you have or want to spend in this particular area. Some might say that they paid too much and didn’t really end up needing the planner after all, but as far as the wedding day is concerned, most feel having a planner was invaluable, and that they wouldn’t have survived the wedding without them.  But above all, deciding the budget will decide what kind of planner you can have.



Some wedding planners charge by hour and others have a fixed or a flat fee service rate.  Work out which will be the most cost effective for your wedding day.


Get Recommendations

The best way to find a great wedding planner is to get recommendations from family and friends. If they had a good experience with a particular planner, chances are you’re safe using them as well.  Also, if you are of a like mind, and they didn’t like a particular planner, you’ll know to stay away.  Ask your friends and family a lot of questions so can avoid wasting time looking at too many planners. If they liked them, there’s a good chance you’ll find one you like as well.

Start by experience:

The best way to start is looking at what type of experience the planner has.  You can see what type of families they’ve had to deal with, what types of weddings they have worked on, how big, how small, etc.  Now keep in mind, the more experience they have, and the more highly recommended they come, the more they’ll probably cost. If you have the budget, great!  But if you are trying to keep costs down, you should be able to find plenty of planners that have worked at several Long Island wedding venues, that have enough experience, yet will fit your budget.


Packaged Deal:

Owners of a few wedding venues cover the fee of wedding consultant and charge a flat rate for every wedding that happens in their premises.

Signing the contract:

Once you have selected the wedding planner and have negotiated the terms, never forget to take it in writing by signing the final contract. This will safeguard your interest and hold the consultant responsible if something does not go according to the plan.


Consult your partner:

Hiring a wedding planner is as big as wedding itself, so ensure that your partner is involved completely in the process of selection and budgeting.


Discuss Openly:

Once you have found the perfect Wedding planner for your, it’s time to sit down and discuss all the particulars.  Make sure they know all of your expectations for your wedding day.  If they understand the picture in your mind ahead of time, they’ll be able to do what is necessary to paint that picture for you.  So don’t hold back. They’re going to do everything they can for you.  Give them your theme as soon as you have it, so they can get started on all the homework they have to do to make your day perfect!


Family introductions:

Finally, make sure you introduce the planner to your family.  She will be working with them a lot!  Especially on the big day! So get them acquainted so your planner will know who they can rely on, who will be a burden.  Make certain you point out the friends and family that you want kept out of your hair while you are getting ready for the day.  Weddings can be very stressful and nerve wracking. Especially leading up to the ceremony.  You’ll want to be sure to keep those who will add to that stress, will be taken care of and kept out of your surroundings.  If a wedding planner knows who they are, they’ll do an amazing job of keeping them away.
Not everyone uses a wedding planner for their Long Island Wedding.  But if you decide that is the path you’d like to take, just use these tips and you can’t go wrong!

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Let Your Wedding Venue Save You Money

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Let Your Wedding Venue Save You Money

Picking the right wedding venue is the first step in saving.

Most brides have dreamed of their wedding day since they were little girls. Now that adulthood has set in, so has the reality of adapting that fantasy wedding to a budget version. Good news-  dressing in white doesn’t mean you have to spend all your green! Here are some tips to help you have that dream day without breaking the bank:

1. Choose a beautiful wedding venue.

Start with a truly lovely location, and you’ll find that your decorating budget can be reduced accordingly. A waterfront view or elegant reception hall are an ideal base from which to build.

2. Develop a great relationship with your coordinator.

Your wedding venue’s coordinator most likely has a lot more experience with wedding planning than you do, so take his/her advice to heart. Wedding coordinators often have a few little money-saving tricks up their sleeve; listen and learn.

3. Don’t splurge on the dress.

Choose a dress that you love, but be reasonable with your selection. Identify your maximum amount you want to spend on a dress, and then don’t even think about trying on anything that is priced above your set limit, not even just for fun!

4. Consider bundling event services.

Some wedding venues offer all-in-one event services, which means you get discounted rates. If your dream venue has this option available, take advantage of it; not only will your wallet thank you, but it will save you some stress as well.

5. Work closely with your caterers.

Develop a good rapport with your catering team and have them help plan a menu that won’t wreck your budget. There are lots of ways to shave food and beverage costs, so let them know your limitations and see what creative solutions they have to offer.


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Information on getting married in New York State

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Where do you get a marriage license?

A couple who intends to be married in New York State must apply in person for a marriage license to any town or city clerk in the state. The application for a license must be signed by both applicants in the presence of the town or city clerk. A representative cannot apply for the license on behalf of the applicants. This applies even if the representative has been given a Power of Attorney. Notarized marriage license affidavits signed by the applicants cannot be substituted for their personal appearance.

Is there a waiting period?

Yes. Although the marriage license is issued immediately, the marriage ceremony may not take place within 24 hours from the exact time that the license was issued. When both applicants are 16 years of age or older, the 24-hour waiting period may be waived by an order of a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the County Court of the county in which either of the applicants resides. If either person is under 16 years of age, the order must be from the Family Court judge of the county in which the person under 16 years of age resides.

How long is the license valid?

A marriage license is valid for 60 calendar days, beginning the day after it is issued.

How much does the license cost?

If the marriage license is issued by a town or city clerk in New York State outside of New York City, it costs $40. This fee includes the issuance of a Certificate of Marriage Registration. This certificate is automatically sent by the issuing clerk to the applicants within 15 calendar days after the completed license is returned by the officiant (person who performs the marriage ceremony). It serves as notice that a record of the marriage is on file. Couples who do not receive a Certificate of Marriage Registration within four weeks of the wedding should contact the town or city clerk who issued the license.

If the license is to be issued by the City Clerk of the City of New York, please contact the New York City Clerk’s Office for current fees and requirements. The City Clerk’s Office can be reached at (212) NEW-YORK or via its web site at New York City Marriage Bureau.

Is a premarital physical exam required?

No premarital examination or blood test is required to obtain a marriage license in New York State.

Who can get married?

Age Requirements

  • If either applicant is under 14 years of age, a marriage license cannot be issued.
  • If either applicant is 14 or 15 years of age, such applicant(s) must present the written consent of both parents and a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the Family Court having jurisdiction over the town or city in which the application is made.
  • If either applicant is 16 or 17 years of age, such applicant(s) must present the written consent of both parents.
  • If both applicants are 18 years of age or older, no consents are required.
  • One parent alone may consent to a minor’s marriage if:
    • The other parent has been missing for one year preceding the application;
    • The parents are divorced and the consenting parent was given sole custody of the child when the divorce decree was awarded;
    • The other parent has been judged incompetent; or the other parent is deceased.
    • Parents, guardians or other people consenting to the marriage of a minor must personally appear and acknowledge or execute their consent before the town or city clerk or some other authorized official. If the notarized affidavit is made before an official outside of the State of New York, it must be accompanied by a certificate of authentication when the consent is filed in New York State.

Proof of Age and Identity

A person is required to establish proof of age and identity by submitting to the issuing clerk one of the following age related documents:

  1. Birth Certificate
  2. Baptismal record
  3. Naturalization record
  4. Census record

And one of the following identity related documents:

  1. Driver’s license
  2. Passport
  3. Employment picture ID
  4. Immigration record

Familial Restrictions

A marriage may not take place in New York State between an ancestor and descendant, siblings (full or half blood), an uncle and niece or nephew or an aunt and niece or nephew, regardless of whether or not these persons are legitimate or illegitimate offspring.

Previous Marriages

Information regarding previous marriages must be furnished in the application for a marriage license. This includes whether the former spouse or spouses are living, and whether the applicants are divorced and, if so, when, where and against whom the divorce or divorces were granted. A certified copy of the Decree of Divorce or a Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage may be required by the clerk issuing the marriage license.

Surname Options

Every person has the right to adopt any name by which he or she wishes to be known simply by using that name consistently and without intent to defraud. A person’s last name (surname) does not automatically change upon marriage, and neither party to the marriage is required to change his or her last name. Parties to a marriage need not take the same last name.

One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the surname by which he or she wishes to be known after the marriage by entering the new name in the appropriate space provided on the marriage license. The new name must consist of one of the following options:

  • the surname of the other spouse;
  • any former surname of either spouse;
  • a name combining into a single surname all or a segment of the premarriage surname or any former surname of each spouse;
  • a combination name separated by a hyphen, provided that each part of such combination surname is the premarriage surname, or any former surname, of each of the spouses.

The use of this option will provide a record of your change of name. The marriage certificate, containing the new name, if any, is proof that the use of the new name, or the retention of the former name, is lawful. The local Social Security Administration office should be contacted so that its records and your social security identification card reflect the name change. There is no charge for this service.

Whether you decide to use or not use this option at the time of your marriage license application, you still have the right to adopt a different name through usage at some future date. However, your marriage license cannot be changed to record a surname you decide to use after your marriage.

If you plan to use your married name at work, be sure to have your name changed in Social Security records. This way, you will get credit for all your earnings. It’s easy and it’s absolutely free. Contact any Social Security office. You can find the address and phone number of your local Social Security Office at You will need documentary evidence showing both your old name and your new name.

Where can a marriage take place?

A New York State marriage license may be used within New York State only. Please note that if you go out of New York State to be married, your New York State marriage license will not be filed in New York State.

What about the ceremony?

There is no particular form or ceremony required except that the parties must state in the presence of an authorized public official or authorized member of the clergy and at least one other witness that each takes the other as his or her spouse. There is no minimum age for a witness. However, in selecting a witness, choose at least one person who you feel would be competent to testify in a court proceeding as to what he or she witnessed.

Who can perform a marriage ceremony?

To be valid, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any of the individuals specified in Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law. These include:

  • the mayor of a city or village;
  • the former mayor, the city clerk or one of the deputy city clerks of a city of more than one million inhabitants;
  • a marriage officer appointed by the town or village board or the city common council;
  • a justice or judge of the following courts: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern or Western Districts of New York, the New York State Court of Appeals, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, the New York State Supreme Court, the Court of Claims, the Family Court, a Surrogates Court, the Civil and Criminal Courts of New York City (including Housing judges of the Civil Court) and other courts of record;
  • a village, town or county justice;
  • a member of the clergy or minister who has been officially ordained and granted authority to perform marriage ceremonies from a governing church body in accordance with the rules and regulations of the church body;
  • a member of the clergy or minister who is not authorized by a governing church body but who has been chosen by a spiritual group to preside over their spiritual affairs;
  • other officiants as specified by Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law.

The person performing the ceremony must be registered with the City of New York in order to perform a ceremony within the New York City limits. The officiant does not have to be a resident of New York State. Ship captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State.

Where do you get copies of records?

For copies of marriage licenses issued anywhere in New York State except the five (5) boroughs of New York City, a certified copy of the marriage record may be obtained from the office of the town or city clerk who issued the license, or from the New York State Department of Health. The fee is $10 if you obtain a certified copy from the town or city clerk who issued the license. If applying to the New York State Department of Health, the fee is $30. For a certified copy, write to:

  • Certification Unit
  • Vital Records Section
  • New York State Department of Health
  • P.O. Box 2602
  • Albany, New York 12220-2602
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