My Trio Rings Blog provides useful information about how to experience the timeless traditions of marriage on an affordable budget
Ready to Propose? 5 Ways to Pop the Question This Fall
Are you ready to propose? Indiana National Guardsman Jesse Fordyce was very ready recently. The Iraq war veteran held up a giant hand-painted sign at the airport with the help of family and friends to propose to his girlfriend Kelly, who also serves in the military. As Kelly descended the escalator to baggage claim, she was surprised to see the giant sign and her boyfriend on one knee with an engagement ring nestled in a grey box.
5 Creative Fall Proposal Ideas
1. Get your fall on at the pumpkin patch. Jump on the hayride, sip some cider, and pick the perfect pumpkins with your future bride. Make plans to carve the pumpkins on a later date, and hide the affordable engagement ring set inside of a scooped-out pumpkin.
2. Take a hike together to enjoy the fall colors. When the moment is right, simply get down on one knee in the middle of the path with the ring box in your hand, and think of a creative way to tell your bride-to-be that you have fallen for her and are ready to propose.
3. Give thanks for your love at Thanksgiving. Nestle an engagement ring in the middle of the apple pie (plan well, so no one swallows it!), or slip a ring onto her finger during the Thanksgiving grace when everyone is holding hands around the table.
4. Dress up as a vampire for Halloween. Instead of using your best fake Transylvanian accent to say, “I vant to suck your blood,” find the perfect moment to cry out, “I vant to marry you!”
5. Invite your future wife over for an old-fashioned leaf-raking party. Challenge her to see who can rake the biggest pile of fallen leaves, and then reclaim your youth by jumping into the piles. When you are both lying in leaves and laughing, pull the affordable engagement ring set out of your pocket.
Photo Credit: Flickr (Mark Guim) markarus
5 Ways to Weatherproof Budget Weddings
With all of the extreme tropical weather (and earthquakes!) in the United States over the last few weeks, thousands of weddings have been disrupted or postponed. One problem with these recent weather patterns is that making last-minute plans often derails budget weddings with large, unexpected expenses. According to CNN.com, the average American wedding already costs over $25,000, and a huge percentage of that tab is composed of sunk costs that will be lost if the wedding does not occur on the day it is planned for.
There are some venues that offer wedding insurance for a fee, to help recoup costs in case of a tropical storm or other unexpected problem. However, many of the costs of a wedding are paid outright for perishable goods. Brides and grooms who are affected by tropical weather may lose money on flowers or food – and then might need to purchase those items again at a later date if they postpone their wedding. Often, a performer or venue will still charge even if the wedding did not occur. Budget weddings can’t withstand that kind of last-minute expense. In some cases, the alternative might be to have a room full of beautiful flowers and a table full of delicious food, but very few guests to enjoy it, if weather conditions make travel difficult.
So what are the savvy bride and groom to do? Here are 5 strategies:
1. Avoid hurricane season. Although you can’t plan for an earthquake, you can absolutely schedule your wedding outside of hurricane season, which conveniently also avoids the expensive peak wedding season. This is helpful if you are planning a wedding on a budget.
2. Explore cancellation and insurance policies. Find out the cancellation / postponing policy for the wedding venue and all of your vendors as you are planning a wedding on a budget. Be certain that you are comfortable with those policies in case of a natural disaster or other problem. If any offer an insurance policy, consider purchasing it if the terms are acceptable to you.
3. Weatherproof your honeymoon as best you can. Beyond budget weddings, severe weather can also disrupt honeymoon travel plans. You may wish to purchase travel insurance policies or plan travel for a time of the year when tropical weather is unlikely.
4. Have a backup plan in mind before disaster strikes. If you are flexible and already have a plan B in mind, then you are less likely to have to pay a premium for last-minute changes.
5. Keep your wedding simple. If you are planning a wedding on a budget, avoid elaborate perishable flower arrangements, for example. Choose a venue that will not need such expensive decorations that will go to waste if you need to change your plans.
Photo Credit: Flickr (Sister72) Jackie
Should You Have a Flower Girl in Your Budget Wedding?
The flower girl has been a traditional member of the wedding party since ancient times, when she represented the bride blossoming into womanhood. The flower girl is usually a relative of the bride or groom between the ages of four and eight. She walks in front of the bride and throws flower petals during the wedding processional.
Does this tradition fit into your budget wedding plans?
A flower girl is not very expensive. It is easy to create your own coordinating flower basket or find one inexpensively. You can buy packages of fake flower petals from a craft store, or you could easily tear off real ones from a couple of flowers that coordinate with your color scheme.
These days, most couples don’t even pay for the flower girl dress. It is generally the parents of the flower girl who purchase the dress. Many brides select a coordinating flower girl dress at a bridal shop, but those can be expensive. If you’d like to make a budget wedding choice, you may wish to choose a dress from a non-wedding store that has a color or pattern or style that coordinates with the bridesmaids for a much lower cost to the flower girl’s family.
The other costs for having a flower girl in your budget wedding would simply be another head at the reception and a small thank-you gift for her participation.
Some brides prefer not to have children in the wedding party, though. The traditional flower girl and ring bearer (who carries the his and hers wedding ring set on a pillow) can be adorable, but they can also add an element of chance. Sometimes children forget their rehearsed roles, walk in the wrong direction, or make other mistakes in their performance. (This writer became infamous for coming to a dead stop at the head of the aisle as a seven-year-old and sobbing loudly until the bride herself came to rescue her.) If you would be upset rather than charmed by such an incident, then you may wish to forego the flower petals and ask an adult member of the bridal party to carry the his and hers wedding ring set. The decision is up to you.
Photo Credit: Flickr (edenpictures)
Beyond the Budget Wedding: 3 Honeymoon Destinations
You’re almost there. You ordered your inexpensive trio ring set many months ago. You’ve gotten a great deal on a budget wedding venue for the big day. You ordered a delicious bargain wedding cake that looks like it cost a pretty penny. The budget wedding dress of your dreams is even in the bag.
But have you started to think beyond your budget wedding? Where will you travel on an inexpensive honeymoon without blowing all the money you saved on your wedding? Here are three ideas.
1. The Caribbean
Depending on what part of the country you live in, the Caribbean may seem out of reach. But sometimes travel websites offer amazing vacation packages to the Caribbean from an airport near you, especially during the off-season. Caribbean cruise packages also sometimes go on sale, and their all-inclusive packages might be a great deal if they sail from a port near you. Tobago and Aruba are rumored to be cheaper than many other islands in the Caribbean, especially if you stay off of the beaten path. You may also wish to consider the U.S. Virgin Islands, where you will not have to pay currency exchange rates or sales tax on any of your purchases.
2. A Nearby Luxury Hotel
If you want all out decadent relaxation on your honeymoon, remove the high travel costs. Honeymoon at a luxury hotel that is within driving distance, and splurge on gourmet meals, couples massages, breakfast in bed, and a room with a hot tub or a fireplace rather than on gas or plane tickets. This nearby hotel could also be a great destination to relive your honeymoon and celebrate anniversaries in the future.
3. A State Park
If you are outdoorsy, escape from it all in a secluded state park cabin. Cabins usually run far below $100 per night, and they generally come equipped with bathrooms, kitchens, and climate control. Be certain to reserve your cabin in advance, since state park cabins are often very popular as an inexpensive getaway. Be certain to pack your own champagne, picnic supplies, and easy but romantic foods to eat. If you’re planning on doing any serious hiking, you may wish to leave your inexpensive trio ring set in a safe place in the cabin so that it doesn’t get dirty.
What are your ideas for budget honeymoon destinations?
Photo Credit: Flickr (roughedge57)
How to Choose a Diamond Cluster Ring That She’ll Love
You are ready to propose. One of the best ways to make sure that your girlfriend will like the diamond cluster ring that you picked out is to ask her ahead of time. Now, asking for your girlfriend’s input makes it difficult to plan an engagement that is a complete surprise, but some women will prefer to choose their own engagement ring, since it is an accessory that they will be wearing for life. Of course, you may have a strong sense of your girlfriend’s taste and sense of style, or you may have a girlfriend who has dropped a few pointed hints in your direction about her taste in rings.
For a surprise diamond cluster ring set, your best bet is to choose a classic style that will look good on anyone. Stay away from more unusual styles unless you are confident that your girlfriend will love the style, or you are picking the style out together.
There has been a lot of buzz lately about whether the celebrity engagement (and recent weekend wedding) of reality television star Kim Kardashian with basketball star Kris Humphries started off on the wrong foot as a result of Kim’s engagement ring.
Kim’s engagement ring is a large 20.5 carat diamond cluster ring with two different hues of stones. It takes up most of the bottom half of her ring finger, leaving little discernable room for a wedding band. Its asymmetrical shape makes it look gaudy and almost fake. Many wonder whether Kim had any input in the choice of this bold diamond cluster ring.
The safest bet is for you to avoid this possible celebrity engagement faux pas by either choosing a more classic style or asking your bride-to-be for her input. If you wish to create a surprise engagement, then you may also wish to be open to the possibility that she would like to take advantage of My Trio Ring’s free return policy in order to choose a style that is more to her taste.
Photo Credit: Flickr (chicagofabulous)
3 Surprise Budget Wedding and Proposal Ideas
As you are planning a wedding on a budget, you may be thinking about some unconventional wedding or proposal ¬ideas to save money or to express your personality. It turns out that you are not alone. Three couples have recently become YouTube sensations as a result of their unusual surprise proposals and weddings. (Warning for grooms-to-be: most women will agree that a surprise proposal is an exciting prospect. Many women would not be as happy about a surprise wedding.)
A Georgia man created a video of himself asking his girlfriend’s dad for her hand in marriage, and he arranged to have the video played during the previews when his girlfriend went to the movies. At the end of the trailer, he ran into the movie theater and surprised her with a proposal in front of the entire theater, which included many of her family and friends hiding in the back. This video has now gone viral on YouTube. Not all women would be excited about such a public proposal, but if you are planning a wedding on a budget and have a shy bride-to-be, you could easily modify this idea to use your own home video equipment and play a similar film for her on your own television as a creative and inexpensive surprise.
A Canadian man who was planning to elope with his girlfriend to Las Vegas instead orchestrated a surprise budget wedding for his bride-to-be behind their favorite restaurant with the help of friends and family. By carefully taking note of her preferences over the course of a year, he was able to create a wedding that was very similar to what she might have planned herself. When she showed up at the restaurant ready for a meal, he led her to her wedding dress instead. Many women would prefer to plan their own budget wedding, but this groom was very careful to create a special day that matched his bride’s taste. If you decide to use this idea, keeping it small and simple is probably the best strategy.
An unconventional Massachusetts couple recently decided to plan a surprise budget wedding together. However, the surprise was not for one of them but instead for bystanders at a shopping mall. They chose to organize a “flash mob” wedding. In their invitations to family and friends, they printed simple dance moves and instructions for participating in their public wedding. When the wedding started all of a sudden in the middle of the mall, both invited guests and unknown shoppers participated in their special day. This is a creative idea that could save a lot of money on such things as venue and decorations, but it takes a lot of planning (and special permission from the owners of the mall).
What other unconventional wedding or proposal ideas have you heard about?
Photo Credit: Alex Indigo (Flickr: alexindigo)
Simplify Ring Shopping with a Set of Diamond Cluster Rings
The U.S. economy may still be weak, but that is no reason to put your wedding plans on hold. You have met the love of your life, and you are ready to take the next step to make a lifetime commitment to each other. The weak economy just serves as a good reminder to use your resources wisely by spending your hard-earned money on a high-quality, low-cost three piece wedding ring set, especially a set composed of diamond cluster rings.
Diamond cluster rings are a wise investment, since they are real diamonds of a smaller size grouped together for high visual impact and low cost. Many popular jewelry designers today offer larger diamond solitaires supplemented with clusters or bands of smaller diamonds, but the diamond solitaire makes such rings much more expensive than diamond cluster rings without a large, central diamond.
Even if you can afford the ring options from a standard jeweler, the choices are much more complicated. By exploring your options online, you can avoid feeling pressured by salespeople in an in-person jewelry store.
On the My Trio Rings website, it is easy to navigate the three piece wedding ring set choices as well as the options of other combinations of rings, if you already have one of the rings in hand. All you need to do is pick a style you like that fits into your budget, and you can make decisions about your three rings with one easy click.
On jewelry websites which do not offer such combination deals, in addition to being far more expensive, it is complicated to navigate the various ring designs and figure out which rings coordinate with each other. For example, on popular jewelry websites such as kay.com or jared.com, you must search for each ring type separately, based on different styles and collections of each type of ring. For those of us who aren’t jewelry insiders, even the online ring search on such sites is frustrating and confusing. You may find an engagement ring that you like, but is it in your budget? Will it coordinate with a beautiful but budget-friendly wedding band?
Take the complicated guesswork out of the equation, and make your life a little easier with one-stop-shopping for a three piece wedding ring set.
Photo Credit: Anthony Easton (Flickr: PinkMoose)
A Brief History of Wedding Ring Sets
While shopping for wedding ring sets online is a relatively new convenience, the wedding rings themselves belong to a tradition that dates back thousands of years.
The wedding ring was first used in ancient Egypt, where grasses and reeds were woven into circles symbolic of eternity and completeness. The Egyptians were also the first to place the ring on the fourth finger of the left hand, believing that the vein from that finger led directly to the heart (the Romans called this the vena amoris, or “vein of love”). Over the course of time, temporary grass rings were replaced by rings made of leather, bone, and eventually soft metals.
Romans chose to use iron in their wedding bands, believing the strength of the metal to symbolize the strength of their love. Gold gained popularity in later centuries, and by the Middle Ages, the diamond was routinely used in wedding rings, along with other gemstones. The use of silver in rings had a brief revival in the Renaissance, and rings were inscribed with sentimental phrases and poems.
Wedding rings were almost entirely reserved for women until the mid-twentieth century, when the many separations caused by World War II (and increased marketing from jewelry companies) spurred men to begin wearing rings to serve as sentimental reminders of home. Before 1930, only 15% of marriages used wedding ring sets for both partners, while a mere fifteen years later, 80% of married men sported a band.
One of the first wedding ring sets may have been the sixteenth-century European gimmels. These rings combined to make a trio ring set that would have been separated prior to marriage – one ring for the prospective bride, one for the groom, and the third for a witness – and then rejoined into one ring to place on the bride’s hand on her wedding day. Tiffany and Co. introduced the solitaire diamond ring in 1886, but recent innovations in ring manufacturing, including the development of diamond cluster rings and trio ring sets have made it affordable for anyone to join in the historic tradition of exchanging rings to symbolize true love.
Photo Credit: Lisa H
Your Diamond Cluster Ring in the Workplace
For years, you daydreamed about meeting the man of your dreams. And, let’s be honest, when you met him, you fantasized about the perfect proposal. Now, at last, after looking at inexpensive wedding ring sets together and picking a beautiful diamond cluster ring as your engagement ring, an important part of that fantasy is about to come true – showing off your engagement ring (and then your coordinating wedding band) to your friends at work. It is thrilling to have someone notice the telltale sparkle on your hand and ask to see your diamond cluster ring.
But believe it or not, this part of your fantasy may not happen exactly as you expect it to. In many professions, the wearing of jewelry, even inexpensive wedding ring sets, is not permitted, so you may have to show off your diamond cluster ring on your own time.
The main reason that jewelry wearing is discouraged or prohibited in many professions is safety. In certain hospital units, for example, doctors and nurses are not supposed to wear jewelry that could catch on the hospital equipment. Others aren’t supposed to wear jewelry that would snag on their disposable latex exam gloves. For people such as carpenters and mechanics, there is also a concern that rings or other jewelry could catch on machinery and cause injuries.
If you work in a field in which you are not allowed to wear your diamond cluster ring, you may wish to think of other creative solutions. Perhaps you could wear your engagement ring and wedding band on a necklace. In some professions, it is common to pin wedding jewelry to one’s uniform or carry it in a special bag in a pocket. Or perhaps, depending on your job, you will wish to keep your jewelry safe at home in a special jewelry box while you are at work, and you can show off your sparkles on evenings and weekends. But even if you are free to wear your jewelry at all times, don’t forget to insure your wedding jewelry and care for it properly!
Photo Credit: Adam Lehman
5 Budget Wedding Photography
While some couples in Hong Kong are taking budget weddings to another level by tying the knot in McDonald’s, most Chinese couples spend extraordinary amounts on their weddings, including in the latest trend of elaborate pre-wedding photo shoots. Several months before the big day, couples put together pre-enactments of the event, dressing up in rented bridal gowns and tuxes, renting out a church, and hiring a photographer to capture those crucial marriage moments. Such performances can cost up to $10,000, which falls on top of the more traditional wedding expenses. Many couples choose to document a variety of staged experiences that incorporate several costume changes, and some couples even travel to exotic locations for these photo shoots, adding to the cost. Brides and grooms are seeking to capture fantasies rather than candid moments, and because of that, few pictures are actually taken on the day of the wedding.
In the U.S., the emphasis is on the big day itself, and anyone organizing a budget wedding knows that photographs are a crucial part of capturing the magic. As you plan your own budget wedding, consider a few alternatives to the high cost of wedding photographers. Here are a few suggestions:
1) Ask a trustworthy or artsy friend to take photographs.
2) Find a package deal with a local photographer who would be willing to do both your engagement and wedding photos.
3) To supplement professional photographs, leave disposable cameras on your guests’ tables during the reception to add more candid shots to the mix.
4) If there are shots you want to make sure you have, plan them out before the wedding day, and let your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family members know when and where you’ll need them. You’ll save your photographer’s time, thus saving money.
5) Ask recently married friends for their budget wedding tips. You want to be sure you have beautiful images of the day without spending an arm and a leg.
Photo Credit: Jakob Montrasio
McDonald’s: A Surprising Budget Wedding Venue
As you plan your budget wedding, devising ways to pinch pennies here and scale down there, you may not have considered moving your venue to the nearest fast-food restaurant. But in Hong Kong, where elaborate weddings routinely cost couples more than $40,000, a new trend in budget weddings seems to be gaining popularity: McMarriages!
Since January, Hong Kong-based McDonald’s franchises have opened themselves up to hosting weddings, with several planned packages for brides to choose from. The basic package costs only $1,300 (a bargain in today’s wedding-crazed environment) and includes rental of the space, a catered dinner, party favors for the guests, organized games led by perky employees, a wedding cake constructed out of individual apple pies, and, for a few hundred dollars more, a wedding dress made of white balloons. For a Hong Kong couple planning a wedding on a budget, such a set-up is ideal.
Sound crazy? In Hong Kong, McDonald’s doesn’t carry the same stigma of cheapness that it does in America. Couples that have taken advantage of the package deal so far have expressed how grateful they are to be able to share their happy day with friends and family in a fun atmosphere. In Hong Kong, taking a business client, a dear friend, or a first date to McDonald’s is perfectly ordinary, and many couples share rich memories of their times at a local chain.
While Americans may not be ready to abandon the church or large hall in favor of a fast-food restaurant, couples planning a wedding on a budget could certainly gather a few tips from their Asian neighbors. Why not forgo the elaborate wedding cake for something simpler and easier to serve, like cupcakes? Instead of forking over several thousand dollars for a fancy wedding venue, what about relocating your budget wedding to a beautiful state park or fun community center? You don’t have to get married at McDonald’s to save a few dollars!
What reasonably priced wedding venues have you heard about?
Photo Credit: Ian Mutto
Planning a Wedding on a Budget – and Giving Back
If you are planning a wedding on a budget, you will still want your wedding to reflect who you each are, and who you are as a couple. For some people, helping others and giving back to their communities are important passions. If that describes you, then you may want to think about how you can make the world a better place through your budget wedding, in addition to choosing to purchase conflict-free diamonds or incorporating environmentally friendly elements of a green wedding. You will also want to think about how to do this while still staying on budget.
Those of you who followed the royal wedding closely will be interested to know that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, instead of registering for tangible wedding gifts, asked their families, friends, and fans to give money to a charitable foundation in celebration of their marriage. They distributed over one million British pounds to some of their favorite causes, including charities that support sick children, military families, and environmental protection.
The royal couple may not have been exactly planning a wedding on a budget, but their ability to make a difference in the world through a celebration of their love can be pulled off on any budget. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
-Purchase wedding jewelry made from conflict-free diamonds
-Use reusable rather than disposable dishes and decorations
-Donate to a favorite charity instead of purchasing wedding favors for your guests
-Register for some charitable gifts in addition to more traditional gifts
-Choose to use local businesses rather than large chain stores as much as possible for your wedding vendors to help your community’s economy
-Send your guests home with tree seedlings to plant in their yards as a wedding favor
What other creative ideas do you have for making a difference on your wedding day?
Photo Credit: Corey Ann
Finding Europe on a Budget Honeymoon
When most people think about honeymoons, they imagine decadence and total relaxation. But even after being practical and planning a wedding on a budget, it can be difficult to settle for anything less than a dream honeymoon. Fortunately, with a little creativity, a budget honeymoon can very closely resemble the honeymoon of your dreams. Many couples dream about honeymooning in Europe, but even airfare alone can be prohibitively expensive for such a trip. If that is your dream, keep your eye out for special airfare deals on your favorite discount travel websites, and check out books from your local library about how to see Europe on a tight budget.
But if Europe is your dream, think about ways to stay closer to home for your budget honeymoon while still recreating the European experience. If you want an experience similar to a small village or town in Europe; wandering narrow streets, peeking into tiny local shops, and eating innovative cuisine at restaurants that aren’t part of a chain, then consider finding a nice hotel or bed and breakfast in a place like Montpelier, Vermont or New Orleans, Louisiana. This is an excellent opportunity to unwind and relax with your new spouse after all the hard work you put into planning a wedding on a budget – and you don’t have to take an eight-hour flight to get there!
Or if you want something a little more action-packed, think Las Vegas for your budget honeymoon. Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, Paris Las Vegas, and the Venetian are some of the resort hotels that offer European ambiance and experiences closer to home. Right there on the Las Vegas strip, you can take a gondola ride along a canal, visit a replica of the Eiffel Tower, enjoy luxurious suites decorated with European décor, and eat in a divine outdoor French bistro – in addition to being within walking distance of great shows, exotic animals, and a variety of nightlife. In Venice, Italy, the most luxurious hotels start at over $2000 per night for a room. For a fraction of that price, you could spend a week of luxury in Las Vegas, especially if you are able to find a package deal on your favorite travel website.
If you’re still working on planning a wedding on a budget, you might also want to consider Las Vegas as an excellent option for saving money with a wedding and honeymoon in one, since there are so many different places to get married in Las Vegas. Especially in the off season, Las Vegas resorts sometimes offer amazing deals.
Photo Credit: Jim G
Trio Ring Set v. Bridal Ring Set
So you know that this is the girl you want to spend the rest of your life with. You’re ready to propose. But which do you buy? The bridal ring set comes with the Engagement Ring and Ladies Wedding Band. The Trio Set comes with the Engagement Ring, Ladies Wedding Band, and Mens Wedding Band. Which one is better?
It’s a matter of preference. One isn’t better than the other. The Trio Ring Set comes with three rings that all match one another because they are made together to be a set. The Bridal Ring Set has the eye-catching engagement ring and ladies wedding band. Maybe you don’t want a flashy ring and want something simple instead. You could purchase a Bridal Ring Set and buy the mens wedding band separately. If you’re one of the people who need things to match perfectly and maybe want a little extra shine on your finger, then the trio ring set is a wonderful choice as well. Both are great choices. Remember, it’s the thought that counts. The shining diamond ring is just a little extra.
Affordable Diamond Rings
It’s every girl’s dream to one day receive that beautiful diamond ring. But when you think of a diamond, you think, expensive, expensive, and expensive. Diamonds are beautiful stones that do not need to be as unattainable as many people may think. Affordable diamond rings sound cheap and ugly but they don’t have to be. My Trio Rings offers ravishing diamond rings at amazing prices and layaway plans as well!
My Trio Rings doesn’t mark up the rings like most of the jeweler’s out there in the market. We believe in diamonds for everyone. Why should only a select few enjoy the beauty of diamonds in gold? Beauty can be enjoyed by everyone. Using only conflict-free diamonds, the rings are made with you in mind. In the way that you want to purchase quality rings, My Trio Rings works hard to get you breath-taking rings that are no less than what we would give to our loved ones as well. We want you to buy rings that bring you happiness. All people should be able to appreciate beautiful diamond rings. For you ladies out there, check out the rocks on the many diamond rings available!
Budget Wedding Tips from the Movie “Bridesmaids”
In addition to delivering laughs by the minute, the recent comedy
“Bridesmaids” can also offer up some budget wedding tips for the
discerning bride. For most of the movie – which stars Kristen Wiig, Maya
Rudolph, and Rose Byrne – audiences get a healthy dose of
what-not-to-do moments, from an impromptu bachelorette trip to Vegas to
an over-the-top wedding shower complete with puppies for party favors.
The underlying message beneath the comedy, though, is that simple is
almost always best, and that a wedding that stretches beyond a bride’s
budget is a recipe for disaster. Here are a few budget wedding tips that
can be gleaned from the hilarious missteps of “Bridesmaids”:
1. Keep it local.
Annie, the maid of honor in this movie, organizes a planning lunch for the bridesmaids and selects an authentic Brazilian restaurant in downtown Milwaukee. Sidestepping a country club or upscale brunch location for a local eatery is a great way to save money and also support local businesses during your budget wedding. Yes, the entire bridal party experienced a bout of food poisoning, but checking out a place before a special event can help prevent any last-minute surprises.
2. Go handmade.
For the wedding shower in “Bridesmaids,” the unlucky maid of honor has the wonderful idea of creating a French-themed event in honor of the bride’s love of France. Envisioning handwritten place cards, small Eiffel Tower party favors, and a few special French foods, Annie has just the right idea for creating a simple but meaningful event. But when her idea is hijacked and taken to the next level, with chocolate fountains, live horses, and a plane ticket to France, it completely overwhelms the poor bride. Remember that for a budget wedding, those handmade touches can really make an event magical.
3. Scale back.
When Annie and the other bridesmaids visit a couture bridal shop, Annie checks out all the price tags before gravitating to the simplest, cheapest dress. While her nemesis selects an $800 frilled extravagance, Annie’s selection is not only more budget-friendly, but is also much more beautiful. Scaling back can often produce surprisingly elegant simplicity.
Next time you watch a marriage-oriented movie, pay attention to see what budget wedding tips you can gather!
Photo Credit: Corey Ann
The Roots of the Diamond Engagement Ring
The history of the wedding ring is not fully understood. Many sources cite ancient Rome as the original birthplace of the wedding ring, but others cite ancient Egypt as the home of the wedding tradition centuries before. And these ancient Egyptian rings were pretty different from today’s gold and diamond wedding bands. Brides wore rings woven from plants that grew alongside the Nile River. These makeshift rings, a far cry from a diamond cluster ring of today, usually did not survive very long with daily wear. Later, women were given more long-lasting metal rings. At the time, iron was the preferred substance to make these rings, but iron rings had the problem of growing rusty.
As the tradition of wedding rings passed from the Egyptians to the Greeks to the Romans, and all over Europe, the use of more precious metals and jewels became increasingly common. In fact, in Ireland, it was considered bad luck to use any metal besides gold for a wedding ring. Diamonds became popular due to their strength and durability. Interestingly, the use of more expensive materials to create wedding rings transformed the ring into a symbol of an economic contract between families more than a sacred contract between two people.
Although there is no mention of wedding rings in the Bible, some wedding ring traditions do originate from the Catholic Church. Indeed, in the 13th century, Pope Innocent III standardized marriage practices. One change he instituted was an expected waiting period between an engagement and a wedding. He also mandated that a different ring should be used to formalize each contract. That is why women generally have both an engagement ring and a wedding ring today.
For centuries, it was women alone who wore wedding rings. That changed in the twentieth century. World War II brought about the change for many countries. The tradition of wearing a wedding band expanded to men so that they would have a happy reminder of their lives back home with them when they went off to fight. Wedding ring traditions continue to grow and change around the world. In some cultures, gold and diamond wedding bands are traditionally worn on the toe rather than on the finger. In other cultures, it is traditional to give an additional diamond cluster ring for a major wedding anniversary.
Whatever your religious or cultural tradition, you can find a diamond cluster ring set that best reflects your own relationship, while continuing a tradition that has become an important symbol of the marriage vows.
Photo Credit: TMAB2003
The Best Budget Wedding Music
Whether you say your vows on a secluded beach in the summer or in a large church in the winter, the music helps set the mood at any wedding. Even if you are planning a wedding on a budget, you will want to choose music that sounds beautiful, complements your wedding location, and expresses the personality of you and your future spouse. Here’s how to find music that can do all three without breaking the bank.
1. The Ceremony
If you are planning a wedding on a budget at a church, it is possible that you might be able to get a good deal on music provided by the church. The church organist or pianist might be willing to play music for your ceremony for a reasonable fee, or perhaps a few members from the church choir would be interested in performing. Other options for traditional music for your budget wedding ceremony include calling around to ask local music teachers or music students who might like to earn some extra money. Or perhaps you have a musically talented friend who would be willing to perform instead of buying a wedding present for you. If you are really tight on money, you might also consider simply purchasing a nice recording of popular wedding music, such as Pachelbel’s Canon in D, to play on the sound system at your budget wedding venue.
2. The Reception
You are likely to want your budget wedding reception to include festive music and dancing. You might be able to hire a good DJ for a few hours for a reasonable price, especially if you call around. If you find a new DJ who is just establishing their business, they may be likely to offer you a special discount in appreciation for helping them get started and spread their name around. Other couples who are planning a wedding on a budget find friends to play music at the reception or even create a mix of their favorite songs to play through an iPod or laptop on the venue’s sound system.
As with any budget wedding, the key to sticking to your budget is prioritizing. You may not be able to afford a renowned string quartet for the ceremony and a full band for the reception. However, you can choose what aspect of the music is most important to you. If live music is very important as you walk down the aisle, then consider saving money by hiring a DJ or creating your own playlist for the reception. Being able to make such compromises will serve you well in your marriage in the years ahead.
Photo Credit: Alice Carrier