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January 11, 2014

To do for your 'I do': Experts offer wedding-planning tips


Venue availability is limited for the sheer fact that weekend dates are in high demand.

After selecting a wedding date, but before printing it on an invitation, couples are encouraged to call around and make sure venue availability can be secured. 

Lodging should also be done in advance. Even if the ceremony occurs at a home wedding, guests may still need overnight accommodations. “Weekends are so busy that Hampton Inn can be booked a year in advance,” said Ashley Camarata, sales officer at Hampton Inn.

“In this area, during the summers especially, wedding participants are competing for space with those who visit the Baseball Hall of Fame,” she added.

Camarata said, “When looking into lodging, ask if there is a fee to hold a block of rooms, or what the cancellation policy is.” Some hotels also offer spaces for weddings and receptions. 

The rural setting of this region speaks to the couples who prefer an outdoor wedding location. Therefore, farm, or barn, weddings are in style. 

At Mapleshade Farms in Delhi, the 200-acre property offers a variety of options for tying the knot. “The couple can choose to be married in the barn, in the meadow, or on top of the picturesque hill,” said Abby Wilson, co-owner of Mapleshade with Jay Wilson. “The barn also serves as a plan B if it rains.”

Many wedding professionals make coordinated efforts with other providers. “The Mapleshade package is customized to each wedding,” says Abby Wilson. “The couple has access to a list of B&Bs, bakers, table and tent rentals, caterers, DJs, and so on. We all work together to make sure the wedding day runs smoothly.”

The bride and groom can ask providers about their organization capabilities. Do you set up and break down the tents? Do you decorate? When will the flowers be delivered, or do I need to pick them up? 

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