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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Don't Blow Your Wedding Budget! 3 Tips to Save

June 3, 2016 1:48 am

$27,000.

That’s the cost of the average wedding—and for many couples, that’s over budget. The overspending, however, isn’t due to a lack of restraint. Some wedding expenses may be unfairly inflated, according to a recent investigation by Consumer Reports.

Using secret shoppers, the consumer watchdog discovered vendors in a sampling of states, such as caterers, florists, limousine services and photographers, quoted higher prices for a wedding than for an anniversary party in over 25 percent of cases. One instance uncovered a $7-per-person cake-cutting fee!

“If you’re planning a wedding, you need to be aware that you may be paying a premium for products and services in some cases,” says Tobie Stanger, senior editor at Consumer Reports. “You may not think to bargain, but you should. While our findings aren’t enough to indict an entire industry, they’re a warning to wedding shoppers to read fine print, ask smart questions and negotiate before signing anything."

Stanger and Consumer Reports advise couples:

Get Married in the Off-Season – Weddings held in January and February tend to be the least costly. The same goes for off-days and off-times: weddings on Fridays and Sundays, and those scheduled prior to dinnertime, will likely be less expensive.

Compare Meal Prices – Thirty-five percent of those surveyed recently by Consumer Reports opted for a cheaper menu at their event. Bear in mind a buffet, while seemingly a bargain, may be more expensive than a sit-down dinner.

Reduce Booze Costs – Forgo premium alcoholic beverages in favor of house drinks, or, if possible, supply your own alcohol and hire a licensed bartender to serve it. You’ll be able to recoup what you don’t use!

Cutting back in these areas can help you keep your budget on track —and avoid incurring debt on your big day.

For more money-saving tips, visit ConsumerReports.org.

Source: Consumer Reports

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Expo: Hot Products for Outdoor Living

June 3, 2016 1:48 am

Kitchens outdoors, fires indoors.

That’s the takeaway from the HPBExpo, the largest outdoor living showcase in North America, hosted by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) earlier this year.

For many household manufacturers, the Expo is an opportunity to unveil some of the industry’s latest innovations in heat-producing appliances for indoor and outdoor kitchens and on patios and decks.

The talk of the Expo this year? Hestan Outdoor grills and Dimplex electric products, both of which received numerous accolades at the event.

Anaheim, Calif.-based Hestan Outdoor captured two Vesta awards, given in the Gas Barbecue category and in the Outdoor Room Products category. The company’s high-performance grill features an easy-open hood, interior hood lighting, built-in rotisserie with spit storage and lasered, stainless steel grates.

Three-time winner Dimplex took home a Vesta, as well, for Best Electric Product. The company’s Opti-myst® Pro 1000, a cassette-style, linear electric fireplace with 360-degree viewing capabilities, can serve as a dividing wall between a bedroom and bathroom.

Expect these two innovations to crop up in new builds in the year to come, as well as in a home improvement store near you in the future.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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