Tuesday, July 6, 2010

When you don't live in NY or LA...

Wedding planning can include hurdles that city dwellers don't have to consider.  I'll be talking about this a lot since many of the wedding blogs I follow cater to more urban readers, and I live in a county of less than 15,000 residents.  Vera Wang doesn't exactly have an outlet here. 
One of the difficulties with rural areas is simply finding vendors and sites.  Often rural sites serve as destination weddings and sites can be priced accordingly.  Below are a few affordable wedding site options for rural areas. 
 - National/state/city parks.  Be sure to ask about details and restrictions - for how long do you have the site, is alcohol allowed, what kind of equipment do they have and what will you have to provide, etc.  Some of the benefits are choosing your own caterer (be sure they are familiar with the site and have all the gear they need to get the food out - you may need a generator or catering kitchen), affordability, and a unique setting.
 - Museums and historic sites.  These can include gardens, historic mansions, and ghost towns.  You may have to be a member, but membership could still be cheaper than other sites.  Bonus: if the fee is listed as a contribution instead of a rental, it could be tax deductible. 
 - Inns, ranches, bed & breakfasts.  Chances are you can rent out the entire space for the weekend, providing a home away from home for friends and relatives, and the luxury of having one space fulfill multiple requirements - hotel, ceremony site, and reception site.  While luxury destination ranches will be expensive, smaller inns can be reasonable.  Check with the inn about catering - they may require you to use the in-house facilities - and the number of guests allowed.  
 - Also check with the chamber of commerce.  They will likely have a list of meeting and event sites in the area.

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