My Trio Rings Blog provides useful information about how to experience the timeless traditions of marriage on an affordable budget
How to Plan a Surprise Wedding
You’ve probably been to a surprise party or two in your life, but the surprise wedding is a less common event (unless you’re hanging out with the likes of Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively or Leighton Meester and Adam Brody).
The idea is simple: invite friends and family to a party - to celebrate your engagement, your birthday, your anniversary, a holiday, etc. - and don’t tell them until they arrive that you are actually exchanging his and hers rings in just a few minutes. Surprise indeed!
For some couples, a surprise wedding it is the perfect medium between a big traditional wedding and eloping. Your loved ones still get to be there for your special day, but you alleviate a lot of the pressure and stress that can go along with wedding planning. You can do what you want as a couple, without too many outside opinions on where it should be, who should be invited, what style reception you should have, etc. The surprise factor may also help you keep the guest list down and save money on the things that aren’t as important to you (not to mention on save-the-dates and invitations!).
It can be challenging to keep something so big under wraps. You might also ruffle some feathers if you leave close friends or family members in the dark until the wedding day. Since a gift registry would blow the surprise, it’s also less likely that you’ll receive gifts (though some guests might send you a gift after the fact).
Tips on Planning a Surprise Wedding
1. Decide who is in the know.
Hint: tell as few people as possible! Make a short list of insiders - perhaps your parents and your siblings - and stick to it. Make sure you tell your vendors that it’s a secret as well! This lowers the chance that someone will accidentally spill the beans so the event stays a surprise.
2. Create a decoy event.
To get your guests to arrive at your wedding, you’ll need a good excuse for a party. You might want to plan this around the holidays when you would be getting together with friends and family anyway, or you can create a cover story with a different celebratory party. Make it clear that there is a specific start time and suggested attire so no one is embarrassed later.
3. Hire a wedding day coordinator.
Even if you don’t have a wedding planner to help you with all the details leading up to the big day, you will need some help coordinating the actual surprise event. Hire someone to handle all the day-of logistics - from organizing the meal service and the music schedule to moving guests to the right places and making sure the best man has the his and hers rings - so you can relax and enjoy your party.
4. Have fun with it.
One of the best parts of planning a surprise wedding is that you don’t have to go the traditional route at all if you don’t want to. Celebrate the way you want to, whether that’s backyard cookout or a themed costume party.
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3 Magical Holiday Proposal Ideas
When it comes to romance, it is hard to top the magical ambiance of the holiday season. The chilly weather, cozy fires, festive decorations and fun traditions seem to bring out the romantic comedy fanatics in all of us, and for that reason, it is an ideal time of year for a wedding proposal. Here is some creative inspiration to help you plan your big moment.
Sweet & Simple Holiday Proposal Ideas
1. Getaway for Two
The holidays can get hectic quickly - with family events, work parties, shopping for gifts and so on - so set aside a weekend in November or December just for the two of you to get away from it all. Take a mini vacation at a hotel or B&B an hour or two away, or plan a staycation where you turn off your cell phones and pretend to be tourists in your own town. Sleep late, eat great meals, see the local sights and enjoy time together as a couple. Pop the question over a cozy dinner, on a walk or any time you are both feeling relaxed and happy. You’ll be able to celebrate with your loved ones afterward over the holidays, but you’ll always appreciate this time just the two of you.
2. Snow Write
If you live in a snowy climate, one of the simplest and most romantic holiday proposal ideas is to take advantage of this winter wonderland. You’ll have to be flexible in the day that you propose, but if you plan in advance - browsing women’s engagement rings to find the perfect one, keeping an eye on the weather a few days at a time, enlisting help if you need it - it should be easy to pull off. Find a backyard, a field or another quiet place unlikely to be disturbed and spell out, “Will you marry me?” in something that stands out against the white snow - for example, red rose petals or dark branches. Have a friend stand guard while you find an excuse to bundle up and take your sweetheart on a snowy walk. Have the ring ready and celebrate over hot cocoa or wine with friends and family.
3. New Year’s Magic
Celebrate the start of a new year as an engaged couple. Put together a small memory box of your time together - photos, mementos, inside jokes, gifts, etc. - and give it to her on New Year’s Eve with a letter telling her how much you love her and want her to be a part of your future. Ask her to marry you, and have the champagne ready to toast to an exciting start to the new year.
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5 Fall Wedding Trends You’ll Want to Follow
Planning a wedding can have its stressful moments, but one of the most enjoyable parts is getting to find all the small touches that make it uniquely suited to you as a couple. See which of these fall wedding trends will be perfect for your special day!
1. Vintage accessories
Old-fashioned chic is not going out of style any time soon. Take advantage of timeless touches that you can incorporate into your wedding day, such as vintage jewelry, hair accessories, vases, picture frames, champagne flutes or a box to hold your his and hers matching ring set. Search for unique pieces at garage sales, thrift stores, your parent’s basement and Etsy.
2. Royal colors
Rich jewel tones are a stunning choice for a fall wedding. Choose from merlot, emerald green, royal blue, magenta or other colors that will complement the white, ivory or champagne color of the bridal gown. You can incorporate a bold color sparingly into the details of your wedding - from the invitations and the table arrangements to the flowers and the bridal party attire - but be careful not to go overboard. It’s most effective as an accent to more neutral tones.
3. Natural touches
One of the wedding trends fits perfectly with fall is using natural elements in your decor. Colorful fall leaves, vines, pinecones, acorns or grains are inexpensive and sophisticated. Blend them into your bouquets, or use them with vases, mason jars or bowls to take center stage in table arrangements.
Lace is delicate and full of subtle sophistication. It can be part of your wedding style in many different ways, whether you opt for lace sleeves on your gown a la Kate Middleton or you use the material to tie up bouquets or favors for your guests. Instead of the traditional ring box, you could also make (or commission from a seamstress) a fine lace envelope to hold your his and hers matching ring set.
5. Local food
One of the wedding trends you can adopt no matter where you are is to seek out a menu that is local and fresh. Opt for a caterer that uses many products from the surrounding geographic area, and ask how you can feature local specialties, such as apples, root vegetables, jams or wines. A farm-to-table wedding feast is both modern and a throwback to simpler times.
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Wedding Traditions of the World: Food Edition
Your wedding day is a time to mark a major milestone in your relationship and exchange wedding band sets, but it’s also an occasion to celebrate the family and cultural traditions that are most important to you and your partner. And what brings people together more than delicious food?
Here are just a few of the edible wedding traditions from around the world that you might want to incorporate into your own special day.
Pastry lovers will swoon over France’s traditional wedding cake, called a croquembouche. Instead of one large wedding cake, a croquembouche is actually an elegant tower made from cream puffs - profiteroles - and covered in cream, caramelized sugar or chocolate, as well as decorations such as flowers or sugar art.
The traditional Thai dessert foy thong, a long noodle dish made from egg yolks and sugar syrup, is often served at weddings. The name translates to “golden silk threads,” and the dish represents the enduring love between the married couple.
After the couple says “I do” and exchanges wedding band sets at the ceremony, the English wedding reception traditionally continues with a custom that dates back to the medieval era: a three-tiered fruitcake (Prince William and Kate Middleton served a larger version at their wedding in 2011). The dried fruit and nuts are symbols of fertility and good fortune, and the top tier is called the “christening cake,” which the couple keeps to eat at the christening of their first child.
In Morocco, delicious wedding traditions abound. Guests begin the celebration with milk - symbolizing happiness and safety - and dates - representing a sweet life. The wedding feast might include pastilla (or bastilla) - a meat pie traditionally made with pigeon but can also be made with chicken or seafood - or roasted lamb.
Kazunoko, or herring roe, signifies fertility and prosperity in Japan, and it is often served at weddings. The fish eggs are dried and pickled, then served on top of rice.
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Do Budget Weddings Lead to Stable Marriages?
A lavish fairy tale wedding may not lead to a fairy tale marriage, according to a new study.
Researchers at Emory University studied 3,000 married couples to determine factors that predict if a marriage will last or not. Their study found that couples who spent more on engagement rings and wedding expenses were more likely to divorce than couples who went for affordable engagement rings and more modest budgets: “Overall, our findings provide little evidence to support the validity of the wedding industry’s general message that connects expensive weddings with positive marital outcomes.”
Here are some of the interesting results from the study:
Affordable engagement rings are a wise investment.
Spending a more modest amount on an engagement ring is linked with a longer-lasting union. Men who spent between $2,000 to $4,000 on an engagement ring had a 1.3 times greater risk of divorce than men who spent between $500 and $2,000.
Budget weddings are prudent.
Though wedding costs continue to rise in the US - according a national survey conducted by TheKnot.com, the average wedding cost was $29,858 in 2013 - keeping expenses low is advisable. Weddings that cost more than $20,000 were more significantly associated with divorce than those with a lower price tag.
The size of the guest list is important.
The study results suggest that couples should strive for budget weddings, but that doesn’t mean you should head to Vegas to elope. Couples who have a large wedding ceremony attendance are more likely to stay married. In fact, couples who elope are 12.5 times more likely to end up splitting than couples who have 200+ guests at their wedding.
A longer courtship relates to a longer marriage.
Couples who dated longer before their engagement were less likely to split than those who dated less than a year (1-2 years: 20% less likely; 3+ years: 39% less likely).
Going on a honeymoon is a good idea.
Book those plane tickets! Couples who took a honeymoon were 41% less likely to get divorced than those who didn’t.
Some conclusions we can draw from the study are:
- Knowing each other well is an essential part of a stable marriage.
- It’s important for a couple to be surrounded by friends and family who support the marriage.
- More expensive is not better when it comes to weddings. Affordable wedding rings and more modest wedding budgets may alleviate the financial stress and debt that can come with more lavish weddings.
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