Tag Archives: Wedding

How to start your married life free of wedding debt

| ara@queenscourier.com

The average wedding now costs more than $25,000, multiple studies show. Few couples starting their lives together have that kind of cash, and many will fund their weddings – wholly or in part – with credit. While it’s normal to want the wedding of your dreams, your special day shouldn’t lead to years of unmanageable debt.

Money problems, including too much debt, can cause significant disharmony in a marriage and can even lead to divorce. Fortunately, some careful budgeting and smart use of credit can help you prevent wedding-induced money problems from interfering with your marital bliss.

As soon as you set a wedding date, you need to begin thinking about and discussing how you’ll pay for your big day. Your conversation should encompass several key financial talking points, including:

* Credit – Discuss candidly how you’ve both used it in the past, how you’ll use it going forward and what, if any, role credit will play in funding your wedding. If you haven’t already done it, exchange your credit scores, and discuss how you both arrived at your respective credit statuses.

Consider enrolling together in a credit monitoring product. Keeping a close eye on your credit leading up to marriage may help you better understand if and how you should use credit in funding your wedding. Websites like Freecreditscore.com allow you to see your credit score, which is a snapshot of your credit. The site’s Credit Score Center can help you understand how your score works, how it’s calculated, what factors impact it and when is the best time to apply for credit.

* Budgeting – A budget will be key to financial security throughout your married life. Establishing and sticking to a budget for your wedding is not only a good way to avoid overspending, it’s a good team-building exercise for future spouses. You can learn a lot about each other based on how you manage your wedding-planning budget.

For example, every budget includes income. You’ll need to realistically discuss your wedding “income” – funding sources you can rely on to help defray the overall wedding cost. Will your parents contribute? Will you dip into some savings? Will you pay for some things with credit?

* Savings – Saving money is often an exercise in compromise. For example, you may want a new car, but to save money you may buy a slightly used one instead of a current model. Saving money on wedding costs is the same. You’ll need to look for creative ways to save money.

Fortunately, there are many ways to do this. Changing the time of your wedding to off-peak seasons or days of the week, opting to hold it at a different venue like a park, botanical garden or even a zoo, choosing less-costly dinner selections and even making invitations and favors yourself, can all save you money.

Many people find it difficult to reconcile the idea of financial matters and romance. But don’t underestimate the romantic appeal of starting out your life together free of wedding debt. Having good credit, solid credit scores and little or no debt can be a great foundation for creating financial bliss in your marriage.


Councilmember Van Bramer weds longtime partner

| aaltman@queenscourier.com


Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer wed Dan Hendrick, his partner of more than 13 years, in a ceremony at Long Island City’s Studio Square on Saturday, July 28. Surrounded by family and friends, the couple exchanged vows and said their “I do’s” before celebrating at a summery rooftop soiree.

Same-sex marriage generated $259 million in first year

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


A first anniversary is always exciting, and this one even more so.

July 24 marked one year since the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York. The thousands of same-sex couples that married in New York City since gay marriage became legal in the state on July 24, 2011, have brought in millions for the city. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office estimated that the nuptials have generated $259 million in economic impact and $16 million in revenue. On average, same-sex couples spent $9,039 for their wedding celebrations.

Marriage license application forms don’t require individuals to identify their sex, so there is no exact count of how many same-sex licenses were issued. However, in the past year, of those who did identify, 58,136 couples were heterosexual and 7,184 were same-sex. Of those, 574 were from Queens.

Out of the same-sex couples, 3,898 were male and 3,286 were female.

When the Marriage Equality Act passed, the city hoped for these positive economic numbers. After the legalization, NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing and tourism organization, launched its “NYC I DO” campaign, promoting the city as a top wedding and honeymoon destination.

On July 28, openly gay Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and his partner will join the thousands of same-sex couples who have celebrated their weddings in the city.

“Love and commitment are worthy of celebration and New York City is once again at the forefront of equality. We are all enriched when people are free to be who they are, love who they love, and yes, marry the one they choose,” said Van Bramer.

His wedding and reception will take place at Studio Square in Long Island City.

Riverview restaurant is another popular place in LIC to hold wedding receptions, with its beautiful views of the water and Manhattan skyline. Before the Marriage Equality Act, same-sex couples celebrated their relationships at the restaurant, but it’s held many wedding receptions for gay couples in the past year, said general manager Kimo Raouf, including 10 to 15 in the last couple of months.

Riccardo’s by the Bridge, a catering facility in Astoria, has also seen an uptick, but only a small one.

“I did feel that it certainly would open up marriage to a new market,” said Anthony Corbisiero, Ricarrdo’s president. “Honestly, I thought we would do more.”

Before the legalization, the venue had about one or two same-sex weddings a year, and in the past year has had about four.


Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/23/2011: Two Queens students being probed in SAT cheating ring; three more LI students arraigned

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Hit-and-run on Bell Boulevard in Bayside

According to people on the scene, two pedestrians were hit by a car that then allegedly fled at 38th Avenue and Bell Boulevard around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22. One of the victims allegedly worked in the area. Read More: Queens Courier


Two Queens students being probed in SAT cheating ring; three more LI students arraigned
Two Queens students were being probed Tuesday by Long Island investigators looking into an SAT/ACT cheating ring that involved more than a dozen students out on the island, sources said. Attorney Matin Emouna, who also represents one of the Nassau County numbskulls, said no money was exchanged between the city students, one of whom took the college board test while posing as the other. Read More: Daily News


No Lavin, no problem for SJU vs. St. Francis

Playing without Steve Lavin, who missed his second game of the season as he continues to recuperate from prostate cancer surgery, the Red Storm nevertheless had little trouble with St. Francis (NY), winning 63-48 to snap a two-game losing skid and improve to 4-2. Read More: ESPN


New York Senator Malcolm A. Smith launches own Occupy NBA movement to get lockout settled

With local businesses losing money and neither side in the NBA lockout willing to negotiate, one city official is planning to follow the philosophy of the downtown protesters and occupy the NBA. As a prelude to what state Sen. Malcolm A. Smith calls a “national movement,” the Queens Democrat will lead a group of restaurant owners, season-ticket holders and disgruntled basketball fans in demanding refunds and gathering signatures on a giant petition Wednesday in front of Madison Square Garden. Read More: Daily News


Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, Dan Hendrick To Wed

The Daily News reports that Hendrick, communications director for the New York League of Conservation Voters, recently popped the question over dinner. The nuptials, slated for next summer, are likely to make Van Bramer “the first openly gay elected official in Queens history to be married,” the site said, as well as one of the first in the state to wed since New York State legalized same-sex marriages. Read More: Daily News


Public Bus Service Comes To Arverne By The Sea

The MTA is adding additional bus service to and from Arverne By The Sea in the Rockaways section of Queens, so that the neighborhood’s growing population can have access to the borough’s major shopping areas. Read More: NY1

Sting Shows 34 Queens Stores Allegedly Sold Alcohol To Minors

An undercover investigation joint investigation by the State Liquor Authority and NYPD last week found 34 grocery and liquor stores sold alcohol to underage decoys. For a full list of offending stores in the borough, visit sla.ny.gov. Read More: NY1

Jackson Heights Plaza A Hard Sell For Some Business Owners

A pedestrian plaza that was recently constructed in Jackson Heights has some business owners up in arms, despite it having the support of local elected officials and the community board. Read More: NY1