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Editor's Note: DeKalb weddings follow frugal trend

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 8:58 a.m. CST

Our staff was having a planning meeting for this week’s issue when the Northern Illinois Wedding Expo came up.

“The food there is really good,” reporter Doug Oleson – who has covered the expo before – volunteered.

It’s a good thing Doug likes the expo, because he ended up getting the assignment. He had planned to hang out in the “groom’s room,” talking to the guys who got dragged to the expo by their brides, but it turns out there was no one there – the grooms were all in the main expo hall, sampling cupcakes and looking at flower arrangements with their brides.

You can read Doug’s story about the groom’s role at the bridal show on page 6.

I love weddings. I had so much fun planning my own wedding that for a couple of years I flirted with the idea of starting up my own wedding planning business. I’m a bargain shopper and was determined to get a good bang for my buck. I had the dubious advantage of a very long engagement; on the down side, it meant I changed the plans with some regularity, on the up side, it meant I had plenty of time to shop around.

My husband and I shared the cost of our wedding with our parents, though I think my parents took on the biggest share. My dad had only one request.

“Don’t let it cost as much as your college education,” he said.

It appears frugality is popular here; according to the website costofwedding.com, almost half of DeKalb weddings cost less than $10,000. That’s a bargain; the national average is more than $25,000.

Locally, 26 percent come in between $10,000 and $20,000, and a not-insignificant 15 percent cost more than $30,000. Not surprisingly, the venue and catering take up the biggest chunk of most wedding budgets.

• • • • •

Another of Doug’s stories this week also struck a chord with me. It’s about blood drives and the constant need for blood.

Blood donations tend to drop off during the holiday season, and it takes some time for them to pick back up. The polar vortex this year didn’t help – in our region, Heartland Blood Centers has had to cancel 12 blood drives this month due to bad weather.

On page 37, with Doug’s story, you’ll find a convenient list of blood drives scheduled over the next week or so. And here in the DeKalb area, you never have to wait for a blood drive – Heartland has a permanent location where you can donate on a regular basis.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I personally am overdue to donate. Like everyone else, I’m sure, I just get really busy. If nothing else, Doug’s story has guilted me into not letting the nice Heartland telemarketers who call to politely beg for my blood to go to voicemail. I’ll make my donation appointment tomorrow.

Maybe I’ll see you there.

Enjoy your MidWeek.

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