My Trio Rings Blog provides useful information about how to experience the timeless traditions of marriage on an affordable budget
Should You Plan a Mini-Moon?
Many couples dream of the glamorous honeymoon they will take together right after they say exchange matching wedding bands and say, “I do.” This vision is often of a faraway location (preferably with room service, beautiful scenery and no reminders of work back home).
But, while you might want to hop on a plane for Bali or the Amalfi Coast, you might not have the time, the finances or the energy right after your wedding. If that’s the case, how do you celebrate the huge milestone of getting married while not putting any more strain on your resources?
Enter: the mini-moon.
What is a mini-moon?
A mini-moon is the same concept as the traditional honeymoon - you two take a romantic and relaxing trip together before starting your new married life. The difference is that it takes the pressure off of you to go halfway around the world or plan a long and lavish trip. The perfect mini-moon can be a quick drive or plane ride away and last as long as you want. It can even be right in your own city - staying in a nice hotel and playing tourist for a few days (and not telling anyone you’re in town!).
What are the benefits of taking a mini-moon?
The great thing about a mini-moon is that it lets you to take time to appreciate each other and the importance of what you just did. As newlyweds, you deserve to revel in your new married status and not have to go right back into the daily grind. If you want to save up money and vacation days to take a big trip in six months or a year, you can and should. But a mini-moon allows you to do something special without causing stress or financial strain.
What are some good ideas for planning a mini-moon?
Mini-moon planning is a fun exercise to do together. Browse local guidebooks and magazines. Look at maps for nearby destinations. Research cheap short-distance flights. Find a location you are genuinely excited about visiting - especially if it is a good attraction for something you enjoy doing together, such as wine tasting, hiking, eating or gallery hopping. Look into the California wine country, upstate New York, big Southern cities like New Orleans and Austin or small Midwestern towns like Lanesboro, Minnesota and Nashville, Indiana. Plan a mini-moon you will remember for the rest of your lives.
Find matching wedding bands for your budget
Best Places to Propose in Long Beach, California
Long Beach is only about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, but it has its own distinct atmosphere and personality. With a population of close to 500,000 (compared to nearly 4 million in L.A.), it combines the thriving culture of a big city with the natural beauty of an upscale beach town.
Long Beach is full of stunning views and seaside scenery that make perfect places to propose. It also boasts lovely weather almost year round, so it’s easy to find just the right moment to pop the question. Shop for beautiful and affordable engagement rings, pick the one she'll love and plan a day to remember.
Romantic Places to Propose
No need to book a ticket for Venice - you can arrange a romantic gondola ride for two right here in Long Beach. Book a private hour-long tour of the Naples canals, timing it so you get to enjoy the sunset. You are allowed to bring your own food and drinks, so bring along a bottle of bubbly and some antipasti to enjoy. It’s supposedly good luck to kiss under every bridge, so uphold the tradition. Under one of them, take out a diamond engagement ring and ask her to marry you. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get one of the singing gondoliers who can serenade the newly engaged lovebirds.
The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is located on the CSU Long Beach campus, and it offers a serene oasis within the city. Explore the 1.3 acres of gardens, trees, ponds, statues and bridges. Buy fish food so you can feed the colorful koi swimming in the ponds, then sit down for a picnic in a quiet area. Present her with a ring along with her favorite dessert.
Catalina Island is just an hour away from Long Beach by boat, but it feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and it’s one of the best places to propose in the area. Take a day trip or stay in one of the small hotels on the island for a weekend getaway. Explore the charming town of Avalon, go snorkeling or rent a golf cart (full-sized cars are restricted on the island) to see more of the wild landscape. Find a spot with a gorgeous view (they are everywhere), get down on one knee with a diamond engagement ring and propose.
Browse our affordable engagement rings
9 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue
Where to host your ceremony and reception is one of the most important - and most difficult - decisions in the wedding planning process. The ideal wedding venue must meet a specific set of criteria - price, location, size, appearance, etc. - to be the right choice for your celebration. Have you narrowed down your options to a short list of venues? Here are the essential questions you need to ask before making a decision and signing a contract.
1. Do you have experience hosting weddings or other large events (such as birthday parties, corporate events, rehearsal dinners)?
You will want to make sure they have the capacity to handle an event with many guests, vendors and other moving pieces.
2. Is it possible to host both the ceremony and the reception here?
You can often save money and make logistics easier if you choose a single venue in which to exchange matching wedding bands and dance the night away. Ask if this is feasible, and follow up with specific questions about the space available and the work required to convert it from dining room to reception area.
3. What are the rates for different days of the week, months of the year or times of day? Do you offer different packages, or are prices customizable? Are there any additional service fees or charges?
Be very straightforward when you start talking about payment. Ask for all the options so you can compare prices and make the best decision for your wedding planning budget and timeline. Get a written list of all the rates if possible.
4. Are there any restrictions on which vendors we can use (for example, only using the in-house caterer or choosing from a list of approved vendors)?
This is an important question to ask if you have your heart set on a certain catering company, florist or DJ. Make sure you know how much choice and flexibility you have around vendors.
5. Do you have a facility director or event coordinator who will be here on the wedding day?
It’s extremely helpful to have go-to person to manage everything at the venue on your wedding day. Ask if this person will be present and what his or her responsibilities will be.
6. What is the deposit to reserve the venue for our date? What is the cancellation policy?
Verify the total amount you will need to pay for the reception, as well as the deadlines for each stage of payment.
7. Are children allowed? Is there an age cutoff?
This is especially important if you have your heart set on your friends’ children coming to the reception or your little nephew carrying the matching wedding bands down the aisle as the ring bearer.
8. Is there a time limit or are there any noise restrictions we should know about?
Be clear about the kind of wedding reception you plan on throwing - if you want a late-night dance party with a full bar but the venue prefers a subdued string quartet and wine and beer only, now is the time to find out.
9. Are there any recent clients I can speak to?
If a venue makes referrals available, take advantage of them! Ask previous clients about their personal experiences and recommendations.
Find your perfect matching wedding band sets
5 Creative Wedding Reception Ideas
Want to make sure that your guests have the time of their lives at your reception? Think outside the box when wedding planning, and try one of these creative wedding reception ideas that are sure to win you the “most fun wedding of the year” award.
1. Set up a SpeechBooth
Not all of your friends and family have the opportunity (or inclination) to give a toast in front of everyone, but many would still love to have the chance to offer their love, congratulations and advice more privately. SpeechBooth offers the perfect way to do this - with minimal expense and hassle. Simply order a DIY kit, and set up a video booth that is easy for guests to use to record their personalized messages throughout your reception. After the wedding, you’ll receive a professionally edited compilation video and all the raw footage of guests’ messages.
2. Offer a Respite from the Dance Floor
Even the most enthusiastic dancers at your wedding reception will need a breather from time to time. Set up a relaxing lounge area away from the dance floor with sofas, comfy chairs, water bottles, games and flip-flops for weary feet. It will be more comfortable and appealing than camping out at the reception tables.
3. Ask for Requests
If you want everyone to bust a move on the dance floor, one of the simplest creative wedding reception ideas is to let your guests contribute to the DJ’s playlist. At the beginning of the wedding reception, ask the DJ to announce he or she will be taking song requests for a set period of time. Let people write down their faves, and get ready for a great dance party.
4. Make Dessert Extra Refreshing
Instead of serving traditional wedding cake, opt to rent a retro ice cream, frozen yogurt or snow cone cart to serve refreshing desserts. Pick a few of your favorite ice cream flavors to serve, or create a signature daiquiri that can be enjoyed with or without alcohol added.
5. Serve Late-Night Munchies
The golden rule of wedding planning is to make sure your guests are well fed. A few hours after the dancing starts - well after dinner has been served - hire a local food truck to make a surprise appearance at your wedding reception. Guests will love refueling on tacos, mini sandwiches or other tasty treats.
Find your perfect his and hers matching ring set
5 Questions to Ask When Planning Your Honeymoon
Honeymoon planning is often one of the most enjoyable items of your wedding to-do list (after picking out your trio ring sets, of course!). After all, the two of you get to choose a place where you will travel as a married couple and do whatever appeals to you - whether that’s lie on a beach, go hiking through the mountains or explore an exciting city. At stressful moments during your wedding planning, it can also seem like a beacon of rest and relaxation.
The trickiest part about honeymoon planning is answering the big question: where should we go? There are an overwhelming number of possibilities - from destinations halfway around the world to getaways almost in your backyard. So how do you decide where to when planning your honeymoon? Use these five questions to guide your planning process.
1. How much are you able and willing to spend?
This is an important question to discuss, especially as you start to get a realistic idea of how much your wedding will cost. You may want to take a lavish 15-day cruise around the Caribbean, but your budget requires something more modest. Talk to your spouse-to-be about how much you’d both be comfortable spending on your trip.
2. How long do you want to go for?
Some couples take only a few days for their honeymoon; others take off for months at a time to travel the world. Your situation will depend on your budget, your work, your allotted vacation time and other commitments you have to consider. Talk about the ideal amount of time you would like to spend on your honeymoon, and see what’s possible.
3. What is each of you looking for on the honeymoon?
What comes to mind when you imagine your perfect honeymoon? Are you getting completely pampered in an all-inclusive resort in Hawaii, or are you relishing your independence and taking a train trip through Eastern Europe? Write down what is most important to you about your honeymoon, and share your thoughts with your fiance(e). What kind of weather do you want? What kind of activities do you want to do? What balance of planning and “winging it” do you prefer?
4. How far from home do you want to travel?
Are you both eager to shake off the long hours of wedding planning and get away from your familiar surroundings? Do you want to go to a foreign country where they speak another language? Do you prefer to go somewhere within a short drive or plane ride? Talk about your must-haves and your deal-breakers, as well as any steps you would need to take before going on a trip to a faraway destination (for example, applying for passports or getting immunizations).
5. Do you need help honeymoon planning?
There are a wealth of resources available online to help you with planning your honeymoon, but sometimes professional assistance can make your life easier and save you money. If you are having trouble narrowing down your final honeymoon location or you need help researching hotels and flights, contact a travel agent. He or she will often have insider info on how to get the best rates and can take one more wedding planning item off your plate.
Find the perfect trio ring sets for your wedding day