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Monthly Archives: March 2011

  • What to Pack on Your Budget Honeymoon

    budget-honeymoon-luggageOnce you plan the budget honeymoon (https://www.mytriorings.com/6-budget-honeymoon-tips.html) of your dreams, you will need to start thinking about what to pack. In general, it is a good idea to pack light, so that your new husband still has the energy to carry you over the threshold after carrying your luggage up to your hotel room. Here are a few simple tips for packing smart on your honeymoon.

    Clothing

    Check the weather forecast for your destination before you decide what to bring. Choose clothing items that are comfortable, versatile, and easily dressed up or down with simple accessories. Plan to bring light layers, even in the summer months when you may wish to put on a lightweight sweater over your sundress or shorts in the evening. If you decide to bring new clothing or new shoes on your budget honeymoon, be certain to wash new clothing and break in new shoes before you go. Most importantly, pack a change of clothes in your carry on luggage, just in case your checked bags are misdirected and you want to freshen up before they arrive. If swimming is in your honeymoon plans, consider bringing an extra bathing suit so that you don’t have to put on a wet bathing suit if yours has not fully dried from the beach the day before.

    Jewelry

    It is a good idea to leave expensive jewelry at home when you travel. Even if you purchased an inexpensive wedding ring set, you may not wish to risk loss, theft, or damage to your wedding jewelry. Some couples choose to leave their real diamond jewelry safely at home and purchase inexpensive fake cubic zirconia rings for travel. If you choose to take your wedding ring set with you, be certain to care for it properly.

    Toiletries

    Whether you are travelling to a strange city, a foreign country, or just a quiet bed and breakfast a few hours away, it is a good idea to prepare a small medical kit to take on your budget honeymoon that includes all of the prescriptions you need (or might need) to take, as well as your preferred over-the-counter remedies for common ailments such as upset stomachs or headaches. Depending on your destination, you may also need such items as sunscreen and bug spray.

    Treats

    If you don’t already have a good quality digital camera, this is the perfect time to get one so that you can start recording your memories of your new life together. Consider putting a camera on your wedding registry or buying one as a gift for your soon-to-be spouse so that you can record your honeymoon memories in photographs. Besides a camera, consider packing special treats to share with your spouse on the trip, such as gourmet chocolates, special champagne, or other favorite treats to share, in case you can’t purchase them at your budget honeymoon destination. You may also wish to prepare your own kit of pampering supplies in order to save money on spa treatments. Think about buying special lotion, bubble bath, or massage oil to surprise your new spouse.

    What other helpful travel tips can you share?

    Photo Credit: Celebratemanking

  • 5 Creative Proposal Ideas for Easter

    creative-proposal-easterHave you been thinking for a while now that you’re ready to propose to your girlfriend? If you can’t imagine living without her, and you are ready to commit to creating a life together, then it may be time to pick out an inexpensive wedding ring set and surprise your girlfriend with a proposal this spring. Proposals are common at Christmas and Valentine’s Day, so your girlfriend will probably be more surprised by a springtime proposal, such as a creative proposal on Easter. Easter is about a month away, so you still have time to pick out a beautiful wedding ring set and make a proposal plan. Here are some creative proposal ideas to get you started.

    Easter Basket Proposal

    Purchase an Easter basket and some Easter grass. Fill the basket with a variety of treats that will be special to your girlfriend, such as scented lotion, a pair of soft socks, a gourmet chocolate bar, a new book or movie, her favorite tea, a pottery mug, or even fun things for the young at heart, like crayons or a stuffed bunny rabbit. Purchase a pack of plastic Easter eggs. Fill them with a variety of Easter candies such as jellybeans or small chocolate eggs. Hide a wedding ring set inside one of the eggs instead of candy. Arrange all of the treats and plastic eggs nicely in the basket and surprise her with it on Easter morning.

    Easter Bouquet Proposal

    Consider a creative proposal at church. Many religious traditions ask that you bring or wear flowers to church on Easter morning. If you are celebrating the holiday together at church, bring your girlfriend a beautiful seasonal bouquet or corsage from the local florist or even from your own backyard. Use a piece of brightly colored ribbon to tie an engagement ring to the bouquet before you hand it to your girlfriend to carry.

    Picnic Basket Proposal

    Plan an Easter picnic with your girlfriend, and tell her that you will be in charge of bringing the food. Pack a picnic basket full of your girlfriend’s favorite seasonal foods that you either make yourself or buy from your favorite restaurant or deli. Some springtime picnic favorites include pasta salad, fried chicken, deviled eggs, and fruit salad. Don’t forget to pack a bottle of chilled champagne or sparkling cider and glasses. Nestle the ring box into the basket with the food. Spread out a picnic blanket at your favorite park or nature area, and ask your girlfriend to unpack the food. As she takes things out of the basket, she will be surprised to find a ring inside!

    Easter Bunny Proposal

    Plan a creative proposal with the help of the Easter Bunny at your local mall. Take your girlfriend out to breakfast or lunch, and then suggest taking a picture with the Easter Bunny as a couple for fun. When you both sit on the Easter Bunny’s lap, pull out the ring and propose. If you can, warn the Easter Bunny photographer ahead of time so that he can be certain to catch the proposal on film for a special memory that will last a lifetime.

    Easter Cupcake Proposal

    Designer cupcakes are all the rage right now. Ask your local bakery to create two fancy cupcakes to share with your girlfriend for Easter dessert. Choose her favorite cake flavor, and ask the bakery to decorate the cupcakes in a creative way that incorporates the beautiful wedding ring set that you picked out. Serve the cupcakes after a special dinner at home, and surprise her with delicious his-and-hers wedding ring cupcakes.

    Photo Credit: pamramsey

  • More Expert Budget Wedding Tips

    budget-wedding-tips-from-wedding-plannerMy Trio Rings recently talked with Virginia-based wedding planner Lindsay Averette to find out how smart couples can spend their wedding dollars wisely while they are planning a wedding on a budget. Here are more of her insider tricks to saving on common wedding expenses.

    Can you give any examples of ways that having a wedding planner can help cut wedding costs?

    More often than not, a good wedding planner has established relationships with quality vendors. Because of this relationship and constant referral system, oftentimes vendors are willing to throw in an extra hour of services or give discounts on products to couples planning a wedding on a budget with a specific wedding planner.

    Recent clients of mine had a specific price limit for budget wedding entertainment—including a DJ for their reception, as well as a ceremony musician.  The DJ that they fell in love with was in the top tier of professionals in our area and almost rounded out their entire entertainment budget. Because I had referred him on many different occasions, he threw in an extra hour of services to the couple for free AND, as he’s a booking agent too, he gave them a $100 discount on a harpist for their ceremony.

    Do you have any other specific insider tips for couples who are looking to plan a lovely wedding at a low cost?

    Aside from my previous major cost-cutting suggestion, slashing the guest list, the easiest way to plan a budget wedding in every vendor category is to cut costs by holding your wedding in the off season, and, even better—on a day other than Saturday! Many times business is slow for wedding vendors in less popular wedding months and are willing to give you a deal on their services in order to stay busy. However, if you’ve been dreaming of that outdoor, garden wedding on a Saturday in May, here are some other ways to save:

    Flowers and Décor

    Research the flowers that are in season during your wedding date and in your region of the country. If the flowers don’t have to be shipped, you save money! Lately, the trend is an earthy, organic look for floral design. Many florists are now utilizing bushes, trees, and flowers from local gardens. Take advantage of these local, homegrown goodies as a way to save money.

    Oftentimes, post-holiday sales will strike and you can grab up some gorgeous vases, unscented candles, lanterns, and other non-floral décor for your budget wedding at a deep discount. Mix some non-floral centerpieces in and save money!

    Food and Beverage

    Don’t be fooled into thinking that buffets are cheaper than plated, served dinners—most of the time, they rival in price. The chef will often have to make a larger cushion of food in anticipation of Uncle Fred eating 4 plates at a buffet, versus only the one that’s served to him at a plated meal.

    Serve only wine and beer, or wine, beer, and a signature cocktail. A full open bar is extremely expensive. If you are having an outside caterer handle the bar, check to see if you can provide your own alcohol for them. Oftentimes you can return all alcohol that’s unopened.

    Cake

    Sugar flowers and decorations are more expensive than non-edible décor. Also, if size doesn’t matter to you, opt for a smaller, simpler cake design and have a larger decorated sheet cake in the back to serve to guests.

    Stationery

    Skip the traditional inner envelope, ribbons, or paper folds. These invitations cost more to mail! If you’re planning a wedding on a budget, it is best to stick with a clean, single sheet invite.

    Lindsay runs a wedding planning business called LK Events & Design in Richmond, Virginia. She has a few more budget wedding tips to share with cost-conscious couples in the coming weeks.

    Photo Credit: Sugar Daze

  • Plan a Budget Wedding with an All-Inclusive Package

    All_Inclusive_Bud-get_Wedding_DestinationPlanning a wedding can be expensive. Unless you’re planning to have a budget wedding in your own backyard and make a lot of the preparations yourself with the help of family and friends, it is all too easy to go over your budget. Since paying for each wedding service individually can add up quickly, some savvy couples who are planning a cheap wedding choose to purchase an all-inclusive wedding package to save money. Here are three ideas to consider:

    1. Mexico Wedding

    If you’re interested in a budget wedding at a tropical destination, consider an all-inclusive wedding package from the Grand Velas resort in Riviera Maya. For a little over $2,000, you can have a small wedding package that includes an officiant, flowers, a photographer, a wedding planner, a ceremony for up to ten guests, music, champagne, and even wedding cake. Just bring your wedding clothes and your spouse to be, and all of the arrangements are taken care of for you. A destination wedding like this also saves money since it serves as a wedding and honeymoon all in one. After the wedding, enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving in the Caribbean, relaxing on the beach, exploring the jungle, and unwinding at the spa, all within a close proximity of the hotel.

    2. Cruise Ship Wedding

    If you are planning a cheap wedding and wish to have more guests but still would like to opt for a more exotic location, choose an all-inclusive wedding package on a cruise ship. Carnival cruise line is equipped to host weddings at a wide selection of ports, whether your guests are joining you on a cruise or are simply flying in for the big day. For a little over $1,500, you can have a wedding docked in a city such as Key West, Florida, that includes an officiant, a wedding planner, a photographer, a ceremony for up to twenty guests, music, flowers, reception food, a wedding cake, an open bar, and a champagne toast. After the ceremony, you can relax and enjoy your honeymoon cruise without having to lift a finger.

    3. Las Vegas Wedding

    Las Vegas is a popular wedding destination for many budget-minded couples. Many Las Vegas resorts offer competitively priced budget wedding packages. The Flamingo has a garden wedding chapel with a variety of all-inclusive wedding packages available. In addition to offering all of the standard wedding amenities, some Flamingo wedding packages also include spa credit and the free use of a limousine. After the wedding, enjoy your honeymoon in Las Vegas, where you can eat gourmet food, watch shows, observe wildlife, go shopping, try your luck in the casinos, or even just relax in the sun by the luxuriantly landscaped hotel pool.

    If you’re familiar with other all-inclusive wedding packages, please leave a comment and share!

    Photo Credit: joiseyshowaa

  • Creative Proposal Traditions from Around the World

    creative-proposalYou love to spend time with her, and you can’t wait to spend your life with her. If you’re ready to propose this spring, and you are looking for creative proposal ideas, think about bypassing the more common down-on-one-knee proposal. Instead, consider modifying wedding and proposal traditions from other cultures around the world.

    Rings of all kinds have been exchanged to symbolize engagement or marriage since ancient times. The Egyptians believed that the round ring symbolized eternity, and they advocated wearing the ring on the fourth finger of the left hand as many Americans still do today, because they believed that a vein in the ring finger leads directly to the human heart.

    The first documented exchange of a diamond ring to signify an engagement occurred in 1477 when Austrian Archduke Maximilian proposed to Mary of Burgundy, but until the 19th century, engagement rings were not as popular as other engagement gifts, such as sewing thimbles or livestock. Since the 19th century, though, diamond rings have become the standard symbol of engagement in America. Today, 80 percent of American women receive (or help choose) a ring when they become engaged, and they wear a wedding ring set that includes both an engagement ring and a wedding band after the marriage.

    Choose a beautiful and affordable wedding ring set that includes an engagement ring for your bride-to-be. Then read the ideas below to help inspire a creative proposal that your girlfriend won’t forget!

    Chinese Proposals

    The families of the bride-to-be and groom-to-be have traditionally been very involved in the proposal process. Once the couple decides to get married, the families often get together to exchange gifts: money wrapped in red envelopes, tea, wine, and sweets, such as a double happiness cake decorated with traditional Chinese symbols. If you want to modify this tradition, gather your families together for an Asian-inspired evening complete with a double happiness cake from your local bakery. Pop the question with the whole family there to share in your happiness.

    Kenyan Proposals

    Wedding and proposal traditions vary widely among different African cultures. In the Rendille tribe in Kenya, a man sends beads to the woman he is interested in marrying. If she keeps the beads, then the couple is considered to be engaged. The woman’s family then gives her a special ornament to add to her beads if they also accept the engagement. If you wish to copy this tradition for your creative proposal, consider purchasing a special fair trade necklace in addition to a conflict-free diamond ring.

    Swedish Proposals

    In Scandinavian countries, men and women often both wear a ring to symbolize their engagement. If you want to copy this tradition, pick out a ring for yourself to coordinate with your fiancée’s ring. This ring can double as your wedding band, or you could pick out another ring as a wedding band. In Sweden, men also give their brides an additional ring at the wedding, the ring of motherhood. If you choose to use these traditions, a more standard wedding ring set package would not work for you, but your jeweler might be willing to work with you to customize a set.

    Women’s Proposals

    Although it is still traditional for men to propose to women, there is one day a year when women have historically proposed to men. Ladies, if you want to propose to your fiancé, the traditional day is February 29. The English traditionally considered this day to be outside of law, which meant that it was a day when women could be free from conventional gender restrictions. The next leap year is less than a year away, so start planning now if you want to surprise your boyfriend with a creative proposal in 2012.

    What are the most creative marriage proposals that you’ve heard about?'

    Photo Source: APDK

  • 4 Creative Wedding Venues

    creative-wedding-venueWhen you are planning a wedding on a budget, you probably want to avoid country clubs or pricey wedding packages at expensive resorts as possible locations for your wedding. Getting married in a church is generally affordable, depending on the church, but some couples want to plan something more unconventional. Fortunately, there are many creative wedding venues for the budget-minded bride and groom, if you are willing to shop around. In general, the more you are willing to do yourself, the more money you can save. Here are four affordable, out-of-the-ordinary venues to consider:

    1. Parks

    Many municipal, state, and national parks offer excellent prices on facility rentals, especially if you’re willing to ask friends to help you set up for the big day. Plan an outdoor wedding beside a beautiful vista, and rent the adjoining picnic shelter for a nontraditional reception after the reception, such as a barbecue. Some parks also have cabins or lodges that could be a creative wedding venue option for an indoor wedding.

    2. Gardens

    Getting married at a botanical garden or a garden associated with a historic home is an excellent way to save money on decoration and flowers, since the flowers growing in the garden create a beautiful, pre-decorated venue for a wedding. Simply purchase a bridal bouquet that coordinates with the flowers that are in season at the garden, and you will be all set. Some colleges and universities also have gardens that might be available for wedding use. Consider renting a big tent for an outdoor reception.

    3. Waterfronts

    Waterfront locations are very popular as creative wedding venues. If getting married by the water is a priority for you, steer clear of fancy waterfront hotels or expensive wedding cruises. Instead, ask around about area parks that border a body of water or more secluded public beaches. You may also want to consider renting a pier that juts out into the water. For a smaller wedding, a reception at a favorite seafood restaurant within walking distance might be the perfect fit.

    4. Backyards

    If you are planning a wedding on a budget, having a wedding at home may be just the thing to keep costs down. Instead of paying a rental fee, use that money to spruce up your house and lawn. Clean up the yard and get creative with landscaping. Plant bushes, bulbs, and perennials to decorate for the wedding, cut down on your florist bill, and enjoy for years to come. If you choose this option, you will want to start planning the landscaping as soon as possible to make certain that the plants are well established before the big day. You may wish to choose the date for your wedding based on when your favorite flowers will be in bloom.

    What are other creative wedding venues that you would recommend?

6 Item(s)

Monthly Archives: March 2011

  • What to Pack on Your Budget Honeymoon

    budget-honeymoon-luggageOnce you plan the budget honeymoon (https://www.mytriorings.com/6-budget-honeymoon-tips.html) of your dreams, you will need to start thinking about what to pack. In general, it is a good idea to pack light, so that your new husband still has the energy to carry you over the threshold after carrying your luggage up to your hotel room. Here are a few simple tips for packing smart on your honeymoon.

    Clothing

    Check the weather forecast for your destination before you decide what to bring. Choose clothing items that are comfortable, versatile, and easily dressed up or down with simple accessories. Plan to bring light layers, even in the summer months when you may wish to put on a lightweight sweater over your sundress or shorts in the evening. If you decide to bring new clothing or new shoes on your budget honeymoon, be certain to wash new clothing and break in new shoes before you go. Most importantly, pack a change of clothes in your carry on luggage, just in case your checked bags are misdirected and you want to freshen up before they arrive. If swimming is in your honeymoon plans, consider bringing an extra bathing suit so that you don’t have to put on a wet bathing suit if yours has not fully dried from the beach the day before.

    Jewelry

    It is a good idea to leave expensive jewelry at home when you travel. Even if you purchased an inexpensive wedding ring set, you may not wish to risk loss, theft, or damage to your wedding jewelry. Some couples choose to leave their real diamond jewelry safely at home and purchase inexpensive fake cubic zirconia rings for travel. If you choose to take your wedding ring set with you, be certain to care for it properly.

    Toiletries

    Whether you are travelling to a strange city, a foreign country, or just a quiet bed and breakfast a few hours away, it is a good idea to prepare a small medical kit to take on your budget honeymoon that includes all of the prescriptions you need (or might need) to take, as well as your preferred over-the-counter remedies for common ailments such as upset stomachs or headaches. Depending on your destination, you may also need such items as sunscreen and bug spray.

    Treats

    If you don’t already have a good quality digital camera, this is the perfect time to get one so that you can start recording your memories of your new life together. Consider putting a camera on your wedding registry or buying one as a gift for your soon-to-be spouse so that you can record your honeymoon memories in photographs. Besides a camera, consider packing special treats to share with your spouse on the trip, such as gourmet chocolates, special champagne, or other favorite treats to share, in case you can’t purchase them at your budget honeymoon destination. You may also wish to prepare your own kit of pampering supplies in order to save money on spa treatments. Think about buying special lotion, bubble bath, or massage oil to surprise your new spouse.

    What other helpful travel tips can you share?

    Photo Credit: Celebratemanking

  • 5 Creative Proposal Ideas for Easter

    creative-proposal-easterHave you been thinking for a while now that you’re ready to propose to your girlfriend? If you can’t imagine living without her, and you are ready to commit to creating a life together, then it may be time to pick out an inexpensive wedding ring set and surprise your girlfriend with a proposal this spring. Proposals are common at Christmas and Valentine’s Day, so your girlfriend will probably be more surprised by a springtime proposal, such as a creative proposal on Easter. Easter is about a month away, so you still have time to pick out a beautiful wedding ring set and make a proposal plan. Here are some creative proposal ideas to get you started.

    Easter Basket Proposal

    Purchase an Easter basket and some Easter grass. Fill the basket with a variety of treats that will be special to your girlfriend, such as scented lotion, a pair of soft socks, a gourmet chocolate bar, a new book or movie, her favorite tea, a pottery mug, or even fun things for the young at heart, like crayons or a stuffed bunny rabbit. Purchase a pack of plastic Easter eggs. Fill them with a variety of Easter candies such as jellybeans or small chocolate eggs. Hide a wedding ring set inside one of the eggs instead of candy. Arrange all of the treats and plastic eggs nicely in the basket and surprise her with it on Easter morning.

    Easter Bouquet Proposal

    Consider a creative proposal at church. Many religious traditions ask that you bring or wear flowers to church on Easter morning. If you are celebrating the holiday together at church, bring your girlfriend a beautiful seasonal bouquet or corsage from the local florist or even from your own backyard. Use a piece of brightly colored ribbon to tie an engagement ring to the bouquet before you hand it to your girlfriend to carry.

    Picnic Basket Proposal

    Plan an Easter picnic with your girlfriend, and tell her that you will be in charge of bringing the food. Pack a picnic basket full of your girlfriend’s favorite seasonal foods that you either make yourself or buy from your favorite restaurant or deli. Some springtime picnic favorites include pasta salad, fried chicken, deviled eggs, and fruit salad. Don’t forget to pack a bottle of chilled champagne or sparkling cider and glasses. Nestle the ring box into the basket with the food. Spread out a picnic blanket at your favorite park or nature area, and ask your girlfriend to unpack the food. As she takes things out of the basket, she will be surprised to find a ring inside!

    Easter Bunny Proposal

    Plan a creative proposal with the help of the Easter Bunny at your local mall. Take your girlfriend out to breakfast or lunch, and then suggest taking a picture with the Easter Bunny as a couple for fun. When you both sit on the Easter Bunny’s lap, pull out the ring and propose. If you can, warn the Easter Bunny photographer ahead of time so that he can be certain to catch the proposal on film for a special memory that will last a lifetime.

    Easter Cupcake Proposal

    Designer cupcakes are all the rage right now. Ask your local bakery to create two fancy cupcakes to share with your girlfriend for Easter dessert. Choose her favorite cake flavor, and ask the bakery to decorate the cupcakes in a creative way that incorporates the beautiful wedding ring set that you picked out. Serve the cupcakes after a special dinner at home, and surprise her with delicious his-and-hers wedding ring cupcakes.

    Photo Credit: pamramsey

  • More Expert Budget Wedding Tips

    budget-wedding-tips-from-wedding-plannerMy Trio Rings recently talked with Virginia-based wedding planner Lindsay Averette to find out how smart couples can spend their wedding dollars wisely while they are planning a wedding on a budget. Here are more of her insider tricks to saving on common wedding expenses.

    Can you give any examples of ways that having a wedding planner can help cut wedding costs?

    More often than not, a good wedding planner has established relationships with quality vendors. Because of this relationship and constant referral system, oftentimes vendors are willing to throw in an extra hour of services or give discounts on products to couples planning a wedding on a budget with a specific wedding planner.

    Recent clients of mine had a specific price limit for budget wedding entertainment—including a DJ for their reception, as well as a ceremony musician.  The DJ that they fell in love with was in the top tier of professionals in our area and almost rounded out their entire entertainment budget. Because I had referred him on many different occasions, he threw in an extra hour of services to the couple for free AND, as he’s a booking agent too, he gave them a $100 discount on a harpist for their ceremony.

    Do you have any other specific insider tips for couples who are looking to plan a lovely wedding at a low cost?

    Aside from my previous major cost-cutting suggestion, slashing the guest list, the easiest way to plan a budget wedding in every vendor category is to cut costs by holding your wedding in the off season, and, even better—on a day other than Saturday! Many times business is slow for wedding vendors in less popular wedding months and are willing to give you a deal on their services in order to stay busy. However, if you’ve been dreaming of that outdoor, garden wedding on a Saturday in May, here are some other ways to save:

    Flowers and Décor

    Research the flowers that are in season during your wedding date and in your region of the country. If the flowers don’t have to be shipped, you save money! Lately, the trend is an earthy, organic look for floral design. Many florists are now utilizing bushes, trees, and flowers from local gardens. Take advantage of these local, homegrown goodies as a way to save money.

    Oftentimes, post-holiday sales will strike and you can grab up some gorgeous vases, unscented candles, lanterns, and other non-floral décor for your budget wedding at a deep discount. Mix some non-floral centerpieces in and save money!

    Food and Beverage

    Don’t be fooled into thinking that buffets are cheaper than plated, served dinners—most of the time, they rival in price. The chef will often have to make a larger cushion of food in anticipation of Uncle Fred eating 4 plates at a buffet, versus only the one that’s served to him at a plated meal.

    Serve only wine and beer, or wine, beer, and a signature cocktail. A full open bar is extremely expensive. If you are having an outside caterer handle the bar, check to see if you can provide your own alcohol for them. Oftentimes you can return all alcohol that’s unopened.

    Cake

    Sugar flowers and decorations are more expensive than non-edible décor. Also, if size doesn’t matter to you, opt for a smaller, simpler cake design and have a larger decorated sheet cake in the back to serve to guests.

    Stationery

    Skip the traditional inner envelope, ribbons, or paper folds. These invitations cost more to mail! If you’re planning a wedding on a budget, it is best to stick with a clean, single sheet invite.

    Lindsay runs a wedding planning business called LK Events & Design in Richmond, Virginia. She has a few more budget wedding tips to share with cost-conscious couples in the coming weeks.

    Photo Credit: Sugar Daze

  • Plan a Budget Wedding with an All-Inclusive Package

    All_Inclusive_Bud-get_Wedding_DestinationPlanning a wedding can be expensive. Unless you’re planning to have a budget wedding in your own backyard and make a lot of the preparations yourself with the help of family and friends, it is all too easy to go over your budget. Since paying for each wedding service individually can add up quickly, some savvy couples who are planning a cheap wedding choose to purchase an all-inclusive wedding package to save money. Here are three ideas to consider:

    1. Mexico Wedding

    If you’re interested in a budget wedding at a tropical destination, consider an all-inclusive wedding package from the Grand Velas resort in Riviera Maya. For a little over $2,000, you can have a small wedding package that includes an officiant, flowers, a photographer, a wedding planner, a ceremony for up to ten guests, music, champagne, and even wedding cake. Just bring your wedding clothes and your spouse to be, and all of the arrangements are taken care of for you. A destination wedding like this also saves money since it serves as a wedding and honeymoon all in one. After the wedding, enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving in the Caribbean, relaxing on the beach, exploring the jungle, and unwinding at the spa, all within a close proximity of the hotel.

    2. Cruise Ship Wedding

    If you are planning a cheap wedding and wish to have more guests but still would like to opt for a more exotic location, choose an all-inclusive wedding package on a cruise ship. Carnival cruise line is equipped to host weddings at a wide selection of ports, whether your guests are joining you on a cruise or are simply flying in for the big day. For a little over $1,500, you can have a wedding docked in a city such as Key West, Florida, that includes an officiant, a wedding planner, a photographer, a ceremony for up to twenty guests, music, flowers, reception food, a wedding cake, an open bar, and a champagne toast. After the ceremony, you can relax and enjoy your honeymoon cruise without having to lift a finger.

    3. Las Vegas Wedding

    Las Vegas is a popular wedding destination for many budget-minded couples. Many Las Vegas resorts offer competitively priced budget wedding packages. The Flamingo has a garden wedding chapel with a variety of all-inclusive wedding packages available. In addition to offering all of the standard wedding amenities, some Flamingo wedding packages also include spa credit and the free use of a limousine. After the wedding, enjoy your honeymoon in Las Vegas, where you can eat gourmet food, watch shows, observe wildlife, go shopping, try your luck in the casinos, or even just relax in the sun by the luxuriantly landscaped hotel pool.

    If you’re familiar with other all-inclusive wedding packages, please leave a comment and share!

    Photo Credit: joiseyshowaa

  • Creative Proposal Traditions from Around the World

    creative-proposalYou love to spend time with her, and you can’t wait to spend your life with her. If you’re ready to propose this spring, and you are looking for creative proposal ideas, think about bypassing the more common down-on-one-knee proposal. Instead, consider modifying wedding and proposal traditions from other cultures around the world.

    Rings of all kinds have been exchanged to symbolize engagement or marriage since ancient times. The Egyptians believed that the round ring symbolized eternity, and they advocated wearing the ring on the fourth finger of the left hand as many Americans still do today, because they believed that a vein in the ring finger leads directly to the human heart.

    The first documented exchange of a diamond ring to signify an engagement occurred in 1477 when Austrian Archduke Maximilian proposed to Mary of Burgundy, but until the 19th century, engagement rings were not as popular as other engagement gifts, such as sewing thimbles or livestock. Since the 19th century, though, diamond rings have become the standard symbol of engagement in America. Today, 80 percent of American women receive (or help choose) a ring when they become engaged, and they wear a wedding ring set that includes both an engagement ring and a wedding band after the marriage.

    Choose a beautiful and affordable wedding ring set that includes an engagement ring for your bride-to-be. Then read the ideas below to help inspire a creative proposal that your girlfriend won’t forget!

    Chinese Proposals

    The families of the bride-to-be and groom-to-be have traditionally been very involved in the proposal process. Once the couple decides to get married, the families often get together to exchange gifts: money wrapped in red envelopes, tea, wine, and sweets, such as a double happiness cake decorated with traditional Chinese symbols. If you want to modify this tradition, gather your families together for an Asian-inspired evening complete with a double happiness cake from your local bakery. Pop the question with the whole family there to share in your happiness.

    Kenyan Proposals

    Wedding and proposal traditions vary widely among different African cultures. In the Rendille tribe in Kenya, a man sends beads to the woman he is interested in marrying. If she keeps the beads, then the couple is considered to be engaged. The woman’s family then gives her a special ornament to add to her beads if they also accept the engagement. If you wish to copy this tradition for your creative proposal, consider purchasing a special fair trade necklace in addition to a conflict-free diamond ring.

    Swedish Proposals

    In Scandinavian countries, men and women often both wear a ring to symbolize their engagement. If you want to copy this tradition, pick out a ring for yourself to coordinate with your fiancée’s ring. This ring can double as your wedding band, or you could pick out another ring as a wedding band. In Sweden, men also give their brides an additional ring at the wedding, the ring of motherhood. If you choose to use these traditions, a more standard wedding ring set package would not work for you, but your jeweler might be willing to work with you to customize a set.

    Women’s Proposals

    Although it is still traditional for men to propose to women, there is one day a year when women have historically proposed to men. Ladies, if you want to propose to your fiancé, the traditional day is February 29. The English traditionally considered this day to be outside of law, which meant that it was a day when women could be free from conventional gender restrictions. The next leap year is less than a year away, so start planning now if you want to surprise your boyfriend with a creative proposal in 2012.

    What are the most creative marriage proposals that you’ve heard about?'

    Photo Source: APDK

  • 4 Creative Wedding Venues

    creative-wedding-venueWhen you are planning a wedding on a budget, you probably want to avoid country clubs or pricey wedding packages at expensive resorts as possible locations for your wedding. Getting married in a church is generally affordable, depending on the church, but some couples want to plan something more unconventional. Fortunately, there are many creative wedding venues for the budget-minded bride and groom, if you are willing to shop around. In general, the more you are willing to do yourself, the more money you can save. Here are four affordable, out-of-the-ordinary venues to consider:

    1. Parks

    Many municipal, state, and national parks offer excellent prices on facility rentals, especially if you’re willing to ask friends to help you set up for the big day. Plan an outdoor wedding beside a beautiful vista, and rent the adjoining picnic shelter for a nontraditional reception after the reception, such as a barbecue. Some parks also have cabins or lodges that could be a creative wedding venue option for an indoor wedding.

    2. Gardens

    Getting married at a botanical garden or a garden associated with a historic home is an excellent way to save money on decoration and flowers, since the flowers growing in the garden create a beautiful, pre-decorated venue for a wedding. Simply purchase a bridal bouquet that coordinates with the flowers that are in season at the garden, and you will be all set. Some colleges and universities also have gardens that might be available for wedding use. Consider renting a big tent for an outdoor reception.

    3. Waterfronts

    Waterfront locations are very popular as creative wedding venues. If getting married by the water is a priority for you, steer clear of fancy waterfront hotels or expensive wedding cruises. Instead, ask around about area parks that border a body of water or more secluded public beaches. You may also want to consider renting a pier that juts out into the water. For a smaller wedding, a reception at a favorite seafood restaurant within walking distance might be the perfect fit.

    4. Backyards

    If you are planning a wedding on a budget, having a wedding at home may be just the thing to keep costs down. Instead of paying a rental fee, use that money to spruce up your house and lawn. Clean up the yard and get creative with landscaping. Plant bushes, bulbs, and perennials to decorate for the wedding, cut down on your florist bill, and enjoy for years to come. If you choose this option, you will want to start planning the landscaping as soon as possible to make certain that the plants are well established before the big day. You may wish to choose the date for your wedding based on when your favorite flowers will be in bloom.

    What are other creative wedding venues that you would recommend?

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