Spend your time and money in Sumner

I’m betting that anyone who follows my column is sick and tired of reading about how great I think our Sweetheart Wine Walk turned out to be and about the local resources and businesses that offer everything you need to plan a wedding such as the one Ascension Productions staged during our event. You might even be thinking it’s my job to talk positively about our downtown businesses so of course I’m going to say we have everything you need right here locally. But in light of my daughter’s “real” wedding this past weekend, I wanted you to know I put my money where my mouth is, or more appropriately, where the newsprint is.

I’m a pretty practical person and love a good value. So when I read recently that the national average for the cost of a wedding was $30,000, I about choked on my Diet Pepsi. Since then, many friends have shared that they spent even more on their special occasions. The great thing about Sumner is that our downtown offers the best of both worlds. So it’s really about deciding on how fancy you want the event, setting a budget and then researching our local resources and asking a bunch of questions.

Because our family attends a local church, determining the location of the ceremony was fairly simple. And when researching local options for the reception, it was great to know there were several to choose from depending on how many guests you expect or how sophisticated you’d like the venue to be.

One of my challenges was that my daughter wanted to serve a menu that included a secret family recipe so we weren’t going to utilize a catering service.

However, I can tell you that last week when I was trying to push the industrial strength cart full of bulk food items around in the store, I was not so sure this was a sensible option when feeding more than 250 people. It crossed my mind more than once that I should have called one of our local caterers.

My daughter was thrilled with the local florist who had great money-saving ideas like reusing the bridal party bouquets for centerpieces at the head table. The end result was gorgeous floral arrangements that did double duty at a reasonable price.

When it came to choosing a photographer, I could hardly wait to call the gentleman who takes photos of our downtown events that we use in promoting Sumner. And after the wedding my daughter and new son-in-law stayed at a Sumner hotel before leaving the next morning on their honeymoon.

Ultimately it was great to stay local for two reasons. First, our family appreciated that they did not have to travel a long distance to attend the wedding. Second, I got to work with people I know and trust and for some reason writing sizeable checks to them didn’t hurt so much.

I have a smile on my face as I tell you this wedding gave a whole new meaning to my favorite phrase, “spend” some time in Sumner.