This week's "My turn" column is by Alison Crotts, director of catering at The Holiday Inn in Oneonta.
Whether you're recently engaged or already knee-deep in wedding planning, this is the article for you.
I personally know planning a wedding can be intimidating. I also know there are a lot of decisions to be made.
I hope what I've learned from working more than 100 weddings and planning my own can be beneficial to you.
I'm sure most of you know the basics of wedding planning, from visiting the many websites or by the abundance of bridal magazines published. What I'm about to offer you are a few of my own wedding tips that I've gathered along the way.
Let's begin with the biggest item: the budget. We all know weddings are expensive, but there are a few minor changes that can be made to lessen the cost.
The first thing I usually suggest to brides working with a tight budget is reviewing the bar options. A full open bar is a nice gesture for your guests, but it is not required.
Your friends and family will love you just the same even if they have to pay cash for their cocktails. Keep in mind that the bar option is not an al-or-nothing deal; some reception sites offer several bar packages, and you can find the one that fits your guests and budget.
Another way to cut back on costs is comparing the price differences between renting and buying. Local rental companies, reception sites and caterers have an abundance of wedding materials readily available for you to rent.
Had I known about renting when I was planning my wedding, I wouldn't have more than 200 votive candle holders sitting in my garage collecting dust.