My Trio Rings Blog provides useful information about how to experience the timeless traditions of marriage on an affordable budget
Valentine’s Day Proposal Do’s and Don’ts, Part II
Planning a Valentine’s Day proposal? You only have a couple more weeks to get ready for the big day, so we have a few more tips to make your proposal magical.
Your homework on which diamond engagement ring is right for her. Read up in advance on the 4's C's of diamond buying: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. Do a little detective work by asking her or her friends questions about the style she is drawn to. Does she like white gold or yellow gold? A classic princess-cut solitaire setting or a round-cut cluster setting with extra bling?
Feel pressured to spend two months’ salary on a diamond engagement ring. That idea is outdated and unnecessary, and you shouldn’t have to go into debt to buy a beautiful ring.
Look for affordable engagement rings that meet your standards, and you, your bride-to-be and your bank account will be happy.
Know the answer before you pop the question. You’re talking about spending a lifetime together, so this should not be the first time you’ve discussed marriage. Of course you want it to be special and surprise her with the way you ask, but the idea of growing old together should not be the surprise. Make sure you’ve both thought it through, talked about your future together and are on the same page. The good news is that this should take some of the stress out of your Valentine’s Day proposal!
Hide the ring somewhere strange. You may love the idea of tucking the diamond engagement ring in her molten chocolate cake so you can propose over dessert, but don’t do it. The idea may be sweet, but the reality is that the ring will get sticky and she could break a tooth or, worse, choke on it. You want your Valentine’s Day proposal to be memorable, but not quite in that way. Stick with a classic ring box.
Tell her exactly how you feel. This is a time when you can be as emotional and romantic as you want. Express how much you love her and all the reasons why you want to marry her. Don’t hold back, and don’t be afraid to get a little misty-eyed.
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4 Tips for Planning a Small, Budget Wedding
Last week, we talked about how to plan a gorgeous budget wedding with a large guest list. Today, let’s focus on the opposite side of the spectrum: how can you plan the small, intimate wedding of your dreams?
Maybe you want to keep the guest list on the small side because you only want to celebrate with your nearest and dearest. Or maybe you’d rather have a more modest wedding day and save money for your honeymoon or future life together. Whatever your reasons, here are a few tips for making your day special from the moment you say “I do” over your trio rings till the last guest leaves after the reception.
You may want a very intimate wedding of just immediate family and a few close friends, but your spouse-to-be might think “small” is closer to 100 guests. Talk about it as a couple, and ask what type of atmosphere you want for your wedding day. Will you be overwhelmed by more than 50 guests? Will you be disappointed if you don’t have the lively celebration a bigger group would bring?
Be prepared for other people’s reactions.
You may disappoint or even anger some people in your life by keeping your wedding on the small side. Be ready to field questions from your parents about why you’re not inviting all of their second cousins or co-workers and deal with distant acquaintances dropping hints that they’d love an invitation. Have a polite but firm, “We wish we could invite everyone, but we decided to keep it very small” or similar response prepared.
Estimate a budget.
See what you can realistically spend on your budget wedding without putting stress on your future finances. The good news is that with a smaller guest list, it will be less challenging to stay within your means, and you may have room for a few splurges. Prioritize what is most important to you both in your wedding day and what is a “nice to have” but not essential. Celebrate the fact that your diamond trio rings will help you stay within your budget!
Hold the ceremony and reception in the same venue.
Simplify your rental and transportation costs by hosting your entire wedding in one location. With a smaller party, you may have access to unique venues that aren’t available to larger weddings. Keep an open mind, and research private homes, gardens, libraries, B&Bs, restaurants, galleries and event spaces that might fit your needs.
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Valentine’s Day Proposal Do’s and Don’ts
Valentine’s Day is coming up next month, which is both a romantic and popular day to pop the question. You might worry that it’s too predictable to propose on a holiday, but you can still make it your own. If you want to plan a Valentine’s Day proposal, here are a few tips on how to make it memorable and heartfelt… and how to avoid the cheesy cliches.
Put some thought into it. Yes, Valentine’s Day is inherently full of romance, but you will still want to plan something thoughtful. Think about what you want to say to her, what place will be most meaningful to her and which diamond engagement ring she will love.
Go overboard. This may seem contradictory, but you don’t need to kill yourself choreographing a flash mob or hiring a skywriting airplane to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day proposal. If you find yourself stressing out about every detail or trying to plan the best moment of her life, take a step back. What matters is that you two want to spend the rest of your lives together. The rest is just confetti. Simplify how you ask so you don’t lose your message in theatrics.
Try to find a way to surprise her. It’s a tricky day to plan a proposal without her picking up on clues, so look for opportunities to catch her off guard (in a good way). Ask her best friend what might be a good diversion - for example, planning a romantic dinner at your favorite restaurant but adding a surprise stop she doesn’t know about before or after. Get down on one knee with a diamond engagement ring in the place where you first met or at a quiet spot looking over the city.
Be afraid of enlisting help. If you are having a hard time planning your proposal all on your own, don’t hesitate to ask a few trusted friends for their advice or help in putting it all together. They will probably be thrilled to be in on such a wonderful event, and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you don’t have to do everything yourself.
Create a happy memory. This is a story everyone will want to hear - from her grandma to your next door neighbor from childhood. Make it a sweet, positive and PG story she’ll be happy to tell all who ask.
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3 Tips for Planning a Big Wedding That’s Still a Budget Wedding
When you are planning a wedding on a tight budget, one of the first things to usually go is the large guest list. While scaling back the number of people who attend your wedding is a good way to keep costs down, it’s not the only way. You can stay within your budget by saving in other areas - such as choosing an off-season month for your wedding date or buying a his and hers matching ring set online instead of at a jewelry store - and freeing up money for the things that matter most to you.
If you know you want a big wedding - you’re from large families, you have many close friends, you are part of several communities that are important to you - this is still an achievable goal, even if you don’t have a lot of money to work with. Be flexible, get creative and be open to unconventional ideas, and you can get exactly the kind of wedding you want.
Ideas for a Large Budget Wedding
Find a venue through your networks.
The cost of renting location for your wedding can take up a lot more of your budget than you anticipate. See if you can work your personal connections to find a discounted (or even free) venue perfect for your big wedding. Brainstorm all of the cool spaces that friends, family members and acquaintances have access to - from your parents’ backyard and your cousin’s farm to the rooftop of the building where your best friend works and the back patio of your favorite coffee shop. Tell everyone you know what you’re looking for, and don’t be shy about asking about spaces you’re interested in. You could find the perfect place to exchange your his and hers matching ring set - for the perfect price.
Opt for casual cooking.
You want to feed your guests well, but that doesn’t mean you have to serve filet mignon. Call your favorite local hotspots for hearty homecooking or excellent takeout, and ask if they cater for large parties. Your budget wedding just may serve the best food your guests have eaten in a long time - pulled pork sandwiches and mac and cheese from the BBQ joint or lasagna and caprese salads from the mom and pop Italian restaurant.
Make it a block party.
Look for a big space where you and your guests can dance till the wee hours of the morning, and think outside the traditional reception halls. Rent a big picnic area of a local beach, and have the ceremony in the sand with guests sitting on blankets or folding chairs. Then enlist your family members’ help to set up a bonfire, casual self-catered BBQ and stereo system for burgers, beers and dancing by the water. Or rent out the auditorium of a school or community center for the night during a quiet season for events, and ask guests to bring potluck dishes in lieu of gifts or order pizzas from your favorite local spot.
Have you found your perfect his and hers matching ring set yet? Browse My Trio Rings' selection.
5 More New Year’s Resolutions for Wedding Planning
If you are newly engaged and planning your wedding this year, you have a lot to look forward to. You and your spouse-to-be may encounter stressful moments along the way – vendors that back out on a contract, sticker shock over a quote or tension with your parents over the guest list – but keep in mind that the wedding planning process should be mostly fun. Add these New Year’s resolutions to your list as you begin planning your wedding day!
1. Don’t let your budget get you down.
Most couples can’t afford to throw an extravagant Hollywood-style wedding for 500 of their closest friends – and that is OK. Be honest and realistic about the type of wedding you want to have, and then seek out creative solutions for making it a reality. Look for ways you can save on bigger purchases – like shopping online for affordable trio ring sets. See what makes sense to do yourself, barter for with vendors or enlist the help of talented friends.
2. Mark down the important deadlines.
Dedicate a calendar just to wedding deadlines and reminders, and start researching the hard dates you need to remember. How long will it take your seamstress to make alterations to your wedding dress or tuxedo? How many days in advance must you file for a marriage license in your state? Put everything on the calendar, and you will keep your stress level to a minimum.
3. Balance the tedious with the fun.
Find ways to make your least favorite tasks more enjoyable. Invite your wedding party over for brunch and mimosas to help you address invitations or make wedding favors. Pick out your beautiful trio ring sets as a reward after you have interviewed the five DJs on your list.
4. Set aside a little extra miscellaneous money.
Even if you are a wedding planning wiz who has spreadsheets with line items for every expense, you will still encounter unexpected costs along the way. A lost decorations order will require a last-minute run to buy supplies at the craft store, or a typo on the programs will need an extra round of printing. Earmark about 5 to 10 percent of your total budget for these surprise expenses.
5. Keep it in perspective.
When you are planning your wedding, you will probably have a few stressful moments. You and your partner may even consider eloping instead. But try to remember why you are getting married and why you are excited to share your day with friends and family. Learn to shake off the small stuff, deal with the big stuff and count your blessings. The important thing is that you found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with!
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