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  • 4 Things You Don’t Need to Buy for Your Budget Wedding

    When you are planning your wedding, everyone seems to have an opinion, and it can be overwhelming to think of everything you need to buy or do before the big day. Just looking at the different checklists is enough to send you into a cold sweat!

    Luckily, not every item on every to-do list is an actual necessity. When you plan a budget wedding, you have to prioritize and decide what is actually important to you… and what is just important to other people. Give yourself permission to let go of the things you don’t really want or need, and just focus on what is most meaningful to you as a couple. Through these small choices - saving money on details you don’t care about and buying affordable his and hers wedding bands - you will have more freedom to splurge on other items.

    1. Wedding Favors

    Buying a small gift to send home with each wedding guest is a nice gesture but not a requirement. If you decide not to buy favors, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your budget wedding, and your guests won’t even miss them. They’ll be having too much fun celebrating your special day.

    2. Videographer

    If you can’t think of a time when you will want to sit down and watch a video of your entire wedding day, this might be an area where you can save. Many couples spend thousands of dollars on a professional videographer, only to watch the final product one time. Instead, ask trusted friends to capture a few of the important moments - exchanging his and hers wedding bands and saying your vows, cutting the cake, dancing for the first time as a married couple. You can also have your maid of honor or best man ask guests to send candid video clips and photos after the wedding so you can compile a highlight video later on.

    3. Flowers

    This recommendation goes against tradition, but if you are working with a limited budget, consider not having flowers at all at your wedding. Flowers are beautiful but can quickly get expensive for bouquets, venue decor and and table arrangements. Look at alternatives, such as grains, leaves, fruit or other seasonal and regional decorations.

    4. Programs or Invitations

    Designing, printing and mailing costs can add up when you multiply by 100 or 200 or more guests. Though many modern couples still opt for traditional printed invitations, RSVP cards and ceremony programs, they aren’t mandatory. A well-designed wedding website and paperless invitations can communicate all the information you need your guests to have at a fraction of the cost.

    What would you add to the list?

    Find his and hers wedding bands perfect for your style

    Photo credit: Danielle Holman Wedding

  • Spring Wedding Ideas: Favors, Food & Cakes

    Spring is in the air! (And if winter is still clinging on where you live, we hope it reaches you soon.) Spring is a beautiful time of year to say, “I do,” and start your life as a married couple. Here are a few fresh spring wedding ideas to help you bring out the flavors and favors you love (without breaking the bank). 

    Wedding Favors 

    • Give guests a memento that will last long after the ceremony. Buy small packets of seeds for your favorite flowers, herbs or vegetables and give them as favors, or get crafty with this easy DIY seed matchbook project.
    • If you have a favorite local specialty in the place you’re getting married, such as apricot jam, acacia honey or Texas hot sauce, find small, attractive jars or bottles to give to guests.

    Food

    You’re in luck! Spring has an abundance of seasonal produce that you can incorporate into the menu of your budget wedding reception. These spring wedding ideas are sure to be crowd-pleasers:

    • Asparagus: Crispy asparagus and cheese wrapped in puff pastry for an appetizer or roasted asparagus with browned butter as a side dish
    • Apricots: Fresh apricot, walnut and goat cheese tarts for an appetizer
    • Arugula and strawberries: Side salad with arugula, strawberries and almonds 

    Cakes

    Get colorful and flavorful with your wedding cake! 

    • Incorporate in-season fruit into the filling or decorations, or adorn the top of the cake with bright, fresh flowers.
    • If you’re not really a cake person, explore other dessert options, such as cupcakes, fruit tarts, ice cream sundaes or easter egg candies.

    What budget wedding ideas do you recommend for a spring wedding? Share your ideas in the comments!

    Browse our matching wedding ring sets 

    Photo credit 

  • How to Create a Crowd-Pleasing Wedding Reception Playlist

    The important thing to remember when you are planning your budget wedding reception is that you want to be able to enjoy your own party. The reception is the time when you can finally relax, let down your hair (or kick off your uncomfortable shoes) and dance the night away with your new spouse, your best friends, your parents and even your 90-year-old grandmother. 

    Creating the perfect wedding reception playlist is one of the most fun parts of the planning process, and it gives you an excuse to rock out to “Billie Jean” over and over again. 

    Tips for Picking the Right Budget Wedding Reception Music 

    1. Compare costs.

    You may have your heart set on a live rock ‘n’ roll cover band for your reception, but before you make a decision, find out how much it will cost. A wedding band can provide lively and high-quality entertainment, but it often costs much more than a DJ. If you are trying to keep costs down, research DJs who have good recommendations and are within your budget, or look into the completely DIY route. With a rented sound system, an excellent iPod playlist and a music-savvy friend to keep things moving smoothly, you could create a great dance party for a fraction of the cost.

    2. Consider your audience.

    Whether you decide to hire a DJ or do the music yourself, you will want to come up with a list of songs that you definitely want to hear at the reception (as well as those you definitely do NOT want to hear). When you start to brainstorm your ideal wedding reception playlist, take into account your own personal tastes as well as those of your guests. Try to find a good mix tunes from different genres, eras and tempos that will get everyone out on the dance floor. For example, throw a slow song in for every five fast songs, and choose a little hip-hop and ‘80s pop for your college friends, some old-time rock ‘n’ roll for your parents and their friends and some Rat Pack crooners for your grandparents. You don’t have to go for all crowd-pleasers or wedding standards, but remember that getting too obscure will probably result in an empty dance floor. For example:

    Slow Songs

    "You Send Me" - Sam Cooke 

    "Fly Me to the Moon" - Frank Sinatra 

    "The Luckiest" - Ben Folds 

    "Dance Me to the End of Love" - Madeleine Peyroux 

    "If I Fell" - The Beatles 

    "Always Be My Baby" - Mariah Carey 

    Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

    Dance Songs 

    "Single Ladies" - Beyonce 

    "Footloose" - Kenny Loggins 

    "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" - Michael Jackson

    "The Twist" - Chubby Checker

    "Push It" - Salt ‘n’ Pepa

    "Say Hey (I Love You)" - Michael Franti & Spearhead 

    "Runaround Sue" - Dion & the Belmonts 

    3. Leave room for flexibility.

    Have a Plan B in case your selections don't seem to be clicking with your guests. Talk to the DJ in advance and give him the freedom to shake up the playlist and rely on his expertise to play songs that will get people moving. If you are going DIY, have a few close friends make back-up playlists on their iPods in case you want to swap them in.

    What are your tips for creating the perfect wedding reception playlist?

    Browse beautiful matching trio wedding ring sets that won't bust your budget.

    Photo credit

  • A Budget Wedding and Budget Honeymoon in One!

    If the idea of planning a budget wedding makes you break
    outin hives, then perhaps coordinating all the details of a more conventionalwedding just isn’t for you. Some couples opt for more simple, budget-friendlyoptions such as tying the knot at city hall and then hosting a small receptionat a favorite restaurant.
    Other couples like the idea of combining theirwedding and honeymoon in one package with a destination wedding or a budgetwedding at sea on a cruise. Indeed, a cruise can be an affordable way tointegrate a budget wedding and a budget honeymoon.

    Benefits of a Budget Wedding on Open Water

    1. Someone Else Will Be in Charge

    If you plan a budget wedding on a cruise ship, most of thework is already done for you. You just need to bring a wedding dress andinexpensive wedding rings. Many cruise ships even
    offer tuxedo rentals onboard. You can kick back, relax, and enjoy each other’s company while someoneelse takes care of all the wedding details, such as arranging music, food, andphotography as part of your cruise wedding package.

    2. You Will Be Pampered

    Even if you stay in the least expensive stateroom with noextras, you can’t avoid being pampered. Someone else makes your bed, takes outyour trash, and brings your free room service. Gourmet three-course dining islikely also included in your package, with
    a few specialty restaurantsavailable for an additional splurge. If you want to splurge, you can also spendtime being pampered at the ship’s spa, perhaps indulging in a couple’s massagebefore or after the budget wedding. Whether or not you decide to
    partake insome of the extras onboard ship, just remember to include tips in your budgetwedding / budget honeymoon cost estimates so that you can show appreciation tothe people who do the pampering.

    3. You Will Be Entertained

    Amenities differ by cruise ship and cruise line, but mosthave something for everyone to enjoy. While you are on the cruise ship, you canlikely kick back by the pool, read in the library, have a mini-golfcompetition, learn to ice skate, unwind in the hot
    tub, view free theatricalperformances, take classes, or participate in a wide variety of other freeactivities.

    4. You Can Have Adventures

    When the cruise ship is at port, you can venture off on yourown to enjoy a more private budget honeymoon or participate in adventures withyour wedding guests. You can probably go parasailing, take a jeep tour, exploreancient ruins, go swimming with dolphins
    or sea turtles or sting rays, ride ona pirate ship or glass-bottom boat, climb a waterfall, take a horse andcarriage ride, go scuba diving, take a hike, go shopping, or relax in a hammockon the beach, depending on where you are and depending on your
    budget andtastes.

    You can make a luxurious,all-inclusive cruise vacation work well for your budget wedding and honeymoon.Get started by picking affordable rings today!

    Photo credit: coolinsights

  • Planning a Dream Honeymoon on a Budget

    One of the best ways to unwind and relax
    after the budget weddingand reconnect as a couple is to get out of town together. When you are planninga honeymoon on a budget, it is important to find the balance between getting awaytogether on an incredible journey of relaxation or adventure and
    staying withinyour price range. Expected travel expenses include such things astransportation, lodging, food, entertainment, and even souvenirs. Fortunately,there is a website that can help cut costs significantly.

    If you are planning a honeymoon on a budget, consider usingairbnb. Airbnbis a website with listings for rooms, houses, apartments, treehouses, RVs, andother lodging opportunities worldwide. Rather
    than staying in an impersonalhotel room, you could spend your honeymoon in an authentic home abroad,shopping at local markets, and cooking and living like locals in anothercountry. Or perhaps you would prefer to stay somewhere closer to home afteryour
    budget wedding.

    Picture this: use frequent flier miles to help pay for yourairfare, or drive a fuel efficient car to the honeymoon destination of yourchoice. Rent a home for a week or two. Plan on most of your culinary adventurestaking place in the kitchen, thus saving great
    deal of money. And consider some of these amazing lodging deals orothers like them for your honeymoon on a budget:

    1. A modern flat in Croatia for $39 per night

    2. A southwestern schoolhouse in New Mexico for $129 per night

    3. A treehouse in Hawaii for $40 per night

    4. An Airstream trailer in Portland for $50 per night

    5. A luxury villa in Kenya for $83 per night

    6. A private cabin in Belize for $40 per night

    7. A cottage on the Aeolian islands for $65 per night

    Where is the honeymoonof your dreams?

    Photo credit:visit~fingerlakes

  • Top 10 Reasons to Propose this Fall with a Trio Wedding Ring Set

     

     

     

     

    The sun is shining through the colorful leaves. Cool fall
    breezes are blowing. Change is in the air. Is it time for you to make a change in your life? Perhaps you are considering a proposal this fall, but you are still on the fence. Is now the right time for you to propose?

    10 Reasons to Proposethis Fall

    1. You know that he is the one.

    Maybe you have had many boyfriends, or maybe it has alwaysbeen him. Regardless, you know in your heart that he is the person that youwant to spend the rest of your life with, the person you want to share forbetter or for worse with.

    2. You see eye-to-eye on important issues like money, religion,and children.

    You have a solid foundation for starting a life togetherwith compatible values, attitudes, goals, and dreams. You’ve discussed the futureand have a shared vision for what it might look like as a couple.

    3. You are ready to start your life together.

    It is fun to go on dates and spend time together, but youare ready to start creating an entire life together.

    4. You know that he is ready, too.

    Sometimes women are more ready for commitment than men, butyou feel secure in your relationship and confident that you are both ready fortaking the next step forward together.

    5. You are a confident woman.

    You are a confident go-getter. You are sure of yourself anddon’t feel the need to wait for him to plan a proposal.

    6. You can afford a trio wedding ring set.

    You are ready to purchase a trio wedding ring set for thetwo of you, or maybe you have a couple of possibilities bookmarked to show himafter you pop the question.

    7. You can afford a budget wedding.

    You are in a good financial situation as a couple to be ableto afford to plan and execute a budget wedding in the near future.

    8. You have an exciting proposal plan.

    Maybe you want to propose to him at a baseball game beforethe end of the regular season, or you have another proposal idea in mind thatyou are ready to act on.

    9. You might want to plan a budget wedding for the fall orwinter.

    If you want to get married soon, then you will want to getmarried even sooner

    10. There is no time like the present!

    Are you ready to propose? Get started with a trio weddingring set today!

    Photo credit: Forest Wander

  • Surprise Your Man with a Trio Wedding Ring Set

    Ladies, are you ready to get
    married? Are you fairly certainthat your guy is also ready to take the plunge and start planning a budgetwedding with you? One good sign is that he initiates conversations about ashared long-term future together and can’t wait to spend his life with
    you.Just because he is ready to commit doesn’t necessarily mean that he has workedup the nerve to propose yet! Fortunately, there is no rule that says that youcan’t be the one to pop the question. To get started, choose a trio weddingring set that incorporates
    your style with his.

    A Trio Wedding Ring Set for Every Guy

    1. The Sports Fan

    If your guy would rather be glued to a sports game thandoing just about anything else, then you might want to consider a trio weddingring set such as this one that
    has a thicker men’s wedding band with styling reminiscent of a class ringor sports ring. The ladies’ wedding band is a smaller version of the men’swedding band, and the engagement ring features sixteen princess cut diamonds ina central square feature
    set in yellow gold. All this bling can be yours foryou and your husband-to-be for $799.99.

    2. The Sensitive Guy

    Some guys prefer a more masculine design, while other guyslean towards the romantic for their wedding band. If your guy has fun cookingdinner with you, discussing your favorite novels, or catching the latest romcom together, then he might like a wedding
    band with more subtle and elegantstyling, such as this one carat diamond trio wedding ring set that is set in white gold. In addition
    to tastefully stunning diamonds, these ringsalso offer romantic detailing on the bands, all for $1049.99.

    3. The Outdoorsman

    If your husband-to-be is happiest stomping through thewoods, fishing by the lake, or just spending time soaking in the greatoutdoors, then you might like to choose this ring set that features a curving leaf-like design. This 14 K white gold ring setincludes ¼ carat total diamond weight for only $579.99

    Even if your guy doesn’t fit into any of these categories,keep shopping around for the budget wedding ring set that is right for you. Now you are well on yourway to planning
    your budget wedding!

    Photo credit:benluckman

  • Budget Wedding Registry Tips

    If you are planning a wedding on abudget, then you are probably planning to start your life together on a budget,too. Think ahead carefully about what you might need in order to maximize theusefulness of your budget wedding registry. Before you start drooling over theenticing catalogs of your favorite expensive kitchen stores, take stock of whatyou already have. If you each already have a home, then you probably alreadyhave some duplicate items that you may want to sell or give away. Regardless ofthe situation, it is best to make a list of what you need first, then thinkabout what you want, and then start looking at the catalogs and websites tocraft your budget wedding registry.

    Budget Wedding Registry Tips

    Items to Choose

    1. Select long-lasting, highquality items for your wedding registry. Don’t choose items just because theyare inexpensive, because then you may need to replace those items in a fewyears.

    2. Select solid colored or neutralpatterned pieces when you are choosing items that will be around for a lifetime.If you ask for high quality white dishes, for example, it will be much easierto match those dishes to different seasonal décor or your own changing tastesover time.

    3. Do choose items for yourregistry in a variety of price ranges so that none of your budget weddingguests feel left out.

    4. In addition to more practicalitems, consider asking for some memorable items that will always remind you ofyour wedding each time you look at them and the person who gave the gift, suchas a really beautiful wooden fruit bowl or handmade pottery mugs.

    5. If you’re already pretty wellset for items for the kitchen, bed, and bath, then don’t forget to considerhaving a honeymoon registry instead to help pay for your budget honeymoon!

    Items to Avoid

    1. It can be tempting, but don’task for a bunch of fancy appliances that are likely to gather dust. If you’renot likely to make homemade pasta or funnel cakes but once in a blue moon, youmay  be best off asking for amulti-purpose electric griddle and borrowing the other items from a friend onoccasion.

    2. Don’t select items that are soexpensive or fragile that you would be too intimidated to use them – or thatnone of your guests would be able to afford!

    3. Just because you’re planning awedding on a budget doesn’t mean that you don’t have an eye for quality! Itemsthat are too inexpensive or cheaply made, such as particleboard furniture, isnot long-lasting and may not make it to see your first child, let alone yourgrandchildren!

    Photo credit: craiglea123

  • How to Make Budget Wedding Memories Last a Lifetime

    As you are planning for your budget wedding and deciding what your priorities are, consider that your wedding day will be a beautiful day, but it is also likely to be a busy day. Make sure that you are making plans that will help you make budget wedding memories that will last a lifetime.

    Make Budget Wedding Memories for a Lifetime

    1. Get Married When You Both are Ready

    When you are thinking about picking out an affordable wedding ring set and planning a wedding, make sure that you are both ready to get married and commit to each other for a lifetime. Read these tips to help you decide whether you two are ready to take the plunge.

    2. Choose Real Diamonds

    When you are selecting an affordable wedding ring set, be sure to choose real diamonds. Real diamonds are certainly more expensive than alternatives such as cubic zirconia, but fake diamonds do not have the strength and history of real diamonds, and they are not likely to last a lifetime. If you want to save money on real diamonds, simply consider purchasing diamond cluster rings that are part of an affordable wedding ring set from a reputable online jeweler. This is a wise investment at a great price, and it will last you a lifetime.

    3. Hire a Professional Photographer

    Many wedding planners and brides who have been there would agree that one of the most important things to NOT skimp on during your budget wedding planning is photography. If you want to share your wedding memories with your children and grandchildren in the years to come, then hire a professional who knows how to best capture your special day on film. In addition to ordering prints, it is also worthwhile to splurge on digital copies of your wedding photos, so that you can be sure to preserve those memories for a lifetime.

    4. Preserve Your Dress

    If you might want to pass your wedding dress on to a daughter or granddaughter today, don’t just throw it up in the attic. Protect your budget wedding dress investment by taking your dress to the cleaners or to a bridal shop to get it preserved in a special airtight box that will help your dress last much longer.

    Photo credit: Instant Vantage

  • Budget Wedding Knock-Offs

    It is not unusual for companies to create and market budget wedding knock-offs – dresses and jewelry budget-wedding-knock-offs and other wedding accessories that strongly resemble diamond cluster rings worn by royals or gowns worn by celebrities. After this year's marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton, for example, many designers copied Kate's wedding gown and her sister Pippa's bridesmaid dress to create budget wedding gowns more widely available to customers for less money.

     

    What is less common is for the designer of the object in question to also design a knock-off. However, designer Sarah Burton, who designed Pippa Middleton's draping silk dress, has just released a knock-off of her original design, which features a zipper in back, unlike Pippa's original buttons.

    This knock-off dress, however, is not exactly a budget wedding dress. Instead, it costs over $3,000 to purchase – out of the price range of many brides. The Bridal Association of America reports that an American bride pays an average of $1,500 on a wedding gown, even if she is not on a budget. So spending over $3,000 on a knock-off designer gown is indeed far beyond the reach of many.

    If you are planning a budget wedding and hoping to save money on a variety of items such as wedding gowns and diamond cluster rings, then perhaps avoiding such knock-off gowns in general might help you save a little money. If you make selections based on your own personal style, it could be far less expensive than trying to imitate the style and taste of someone famous, who probably has a great deal of money to spend on wedding accessories without thinking too much about a budget.

     

    Alternately, you may just want to avoid the big-name jewelry and gown designers altogether and instead browse the styles of lesser-known retailers who can offer the same quality at a much lower price.

    What are your tips for sticking to your wedding budget without compromising your style?

    Photo Credit: Flickr (www.chicagofabulousblog.com)

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