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  • Best Sites for Budget Wedding Splurges

    Are you dreaming of a day at the spa with your maid of honor? Do you have a honeymoon bucket list that's way out of your price range? Do you wish you could afford that designer wedding gown? Are you frustrated that you can't find beautiful and original wedding accessories within your budget – from affordable wedding rings to vintage-inspired veils?

    Some couples feel frustrated planning a budget wedding, because they wish they could stretch their wedding dollars a little further.

    But the good news is that it's never been easier to find secret deals to make your wedding dreams come true – even on a tight budget. The Internet to the rescue! Here's what you need to know to get the most out of the web while wedding planning. 

    Budget Wedding Planning Like a Pro

    1. Groupon or Living Social

    Groupon or Living Social, two indispensable daily deal sites, feature a ton of fantastic offers on everything from international trips to spa days to cases of wine. 

    But both are unpredictable in their offerings, so you won't want to wait until the last minute to find a great deal on your wedding essentials. It's a good idea to make a list of your wedding priorities before you get started.

    Depending on how long your engagement will be, you probably want to go ahead and make arrangements for the basics (ceremony site, wedding gown, food, affordable wedding rings) and leave Groupon and Living Social for the elements that allow for a bit more flexibility.

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    What to Look For

    As interesting items become available on Groupon or Living Social, you might find that you're able to get great deals and splurge on things you didn't think you could afford:

    • A huge discount at a chic spa to purchase massages for you and your husband-to-be as a wedding gift, or manicures and pedicures for your bridal party.
    • An amazing travel deal for a honeymoon destination – think: Costa Rica, Iceland or Australia.
    • A fantastic restaurant deal for a girls' night out before the wedding.

    2. Ebay

    Ebay is a great place to start budget wedding shopping, because you can bid just as much as you are willing to pay for an item, and no more. You just enter your maximum bid, and you will find out at the end of the auction whether you won the item you hoped to buy. On Ebay, you can search for just about anything you can think of. Tradesy, OnceWed and PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com also have a fantastic selection of pre-worn (often designer) wedding and bridesmaid dresses. 

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    What to Look For

    • A stunning designer wedding dress or bridesmaid dresses for a fraction of the retail price
    • A vintage lace veil to complete your bohemian look
    • Funky wedding decorations for your reception venue 

    3. Etsy

    If you are planning a wedding on a budget, then Etsy is an excellent site for finding lovely, eclectic, handmade touches, often at an excellent price. Independent vendors sell both their own creations and secondhand treasures – whatever your unique budget wedding vision, you are likely to find something creative and beautiful that fits the bill on Etsy.

    What to Look For

    • A vintage-inspired 1950's wedding dress or bright pink peep-toe pumps 
    • Custom-designed stickers to place on the bottom of Hershey's Kisses as favors on the reception table
    • Handmade photo booth props and decorations 

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    4. My Trio Rings 

    Of course we couldn't talk about planning a beautiful budget wedding without just a little shameless promotion. It often seems impossible to find authentic and affordable wedding rings that match your unique style, but that's exactly what we offer at My Trio Rings. 

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    What to Look For

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    Photo Credit: Flickr/copyrightphotography; Pixabay; Flickr/savioseb

  • 4 Tips for Planning a Small, Budget Wedding

    planning-small-weddingLast week, we talked about how to plan a gorgeous budget wedding with a large guest list. Today, let’s focus on the opposite side of the spectrum: how can you plan the small, intimate wedding of your dreams?

    Maybe you want to keep the guest list on the small side because you only want to celebrate with your nearest and dearest. Or maybe you’d rather have a more modest wedding day and save money for your honeymoon or future life together. Whatever your reasons, here are a few tips for making your day special from the moment you say “I do” over your trio rings till the last guest leaves after the reception.

    Define “small.”

    You may want a very intimate wedding of just immediate family and a few close friends, but your spouse-to-be might think “small” is closer to 100 guests. Talk about it as a couple, and ask what type of atmosphere you want for your wedding day. Will you be overwhelmed by more than 50 guests? Will you be disappointed if you don’t have the lively celebration a bigger group would bring?

    Be prepared for other people’s reactions.

    You may disappoint or even anger some people in your life by keeping your wedding on the small side. Be ready to field questions from your parents about why you’re not inviting all of their second cousins or co-workers and deal with distant acquaintances dropping hints that they’d love an invitation. Have a polite but firm, “We wish we could invite everyone, but we decided to keep it very small” or similar response prepared.

    Estimate a budget.

    See what you can realistically spend on your budget wedding without putting stress on your future finances. The good news is that with a smaller guest list, it will be less challenging to stay within your means, and you may have room for a few splurges. Prioritize what is most important to you both in your wedding day and what is a “nice to have” but not essential. Celebrate the fact that your diamond trio rings will help you stay within your budget!

    Hold the ceremony and reception in the same venue.

    Simplify your rental and transportation costs by hosting your entire wedding in one location. With a smaller party, you may have access to unique venues that aren’t available to larger weddings. Keep an open mind, and research private homes, gardens, libraries, B&Bs, restaurants, galleries and event spaces that might fit your needs.

    Find the perfect trio rings for your special day

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  • 3 Tips for Planning a Big Wedding That’s Still a Budget Wedding

    big-backyard-weddingWhen you are planning a wedding on a tight budget, one of the first things to usually go is the large guest list. While scaling back the number of people who attend your wedding is a good way to keep costs down, it’s not the only way. You can stay within your budget by saving in other areas - such as choosing an off-season month for your wedding date or buying a his and hers matching ring set online instead of at a jewelry store - and freeing up money for the things that matter most to you.

    If you know you want a big wedding - you’re from large families, you have many close friends, you are part of several communities that are important to you - this is still an achievable goal, even if you don’t have a lot of money to work with. Be flexible, get creative and be open to unconventional ideas, and you can get exactly the kind of wedding you want.

    Ideas for a Large Budget Wedding

    Find a venue through your networks.

    The cost of renting location for your wedding can take up a lot more of your budget than you anticipate. See if you can work your personal connections to find a discounted (or even free) venue perfect for your big wedding. Brainstorm all of the cool spaces that friends, family members and acquaintances have access to - from your parents’ backyard and your cousin’s farm to the rooftop of the building where your best friend works and the back patio of your favorite coffee shop. Tell everyone you know what you’re looking for, and don’t be shy about asking about spaces you’re interested in. You could find the perfect place to exchange your his and hers matching ring set - for the perfect price.

    Opt for casual cooking.

    You want to feed your guests well, but that doesn’t mean you have to serve filet mignon. Call your favorite local hotspots for hearty homecooking or excellent takeout, and ask if they cater for large parties. Your budget wedding just may serve the best food your guests have eaten in a long time - pulled pork sandwiches and mac and cheese from the BBQ joint or lasagna and caprese salads from the mom and pop Italian restaurant.

    Make it a block party.

    Look for a big space where you and your guests can dance till the wee hours of the morning, and think outside the traditional reception halls. Rent a big picnic area of a local beach, and have the ceremony in the sand with guests sitting on blankets or folding chairs. Then enlist your family members’ help to set up a bonfire, casual self-catered BBQ and stereo system for burgers, beers and dancing by the water. Or rent out the auditorium of a school or community center for the night during a quiet season for events, and ask guests to bring potluck dishes in lieu of gifts or order pizzas from your favorite local spot.

    Have you found your perfect his and hers matching ring set yet? Browse My Trio Rings' selection

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

    wedding-vowsWhen 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

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  • 3 Tech Tips for Budget Wedding Planning

    budget-weddingModern technology has made it easier than ever to plan the wedding of your dreams - whether it’s an intimate affair with your nearest and dearest or an elaborate celebration with 300 guests. Wedding apps and websites help you stay organized, but they can also help you save a ton of money when planning a budget wedding. 

    A recent Fast Company article featured the story of Naa-Sakle Akuete and Kyle Healy, who are getting married in New York City - traditionally one of the most expensive places in the country to plan a wedding. The price tag for a fully catered wedding with 130 guests? Less than $10,000! That’s compared to a New York City average of $86,916 and a national average of $29,858.

    So how did they plan a budget wedding in an infamously pricey city? They used tech tools, creativity and their own time to save:

    They found their spectacular Williamsburg roof-deck location on Airbnb, invited guests using Paperless Post, set up a wedding website on The Knot and a registry on Wedding Republic, and jointly planned the event on a Google Drive spreadsheet. Using TaskRabbit, they are staffing the event with waiters, cleaners, cooks, and photographers. Instacart will deliver food and beverages directly to the site, while decorations will arrive via Amazon Prime. When her favorite wedding gown (the Nadia) sold out at the J.Crew store, Akuete managed to find the same brand new dress on eBay in her size for less than the listed price. Finally, instead of hiring a DJ, the couple have been slowly working on a Spotify playlist that will set the mood for each segment of the evening’s events.

    Here are a few tips for following in this innovative couple’s footsteps when planning your own budget wedding:

    1. Do as much as you can online.
    Design elegant e-invitations through Paperless Post or Green Envelope for a fraction of the price of paper invitations. Order matching trio ring sets online and pay much less than you would in a brick-and-mortar store. Look for the decorations, attire, favors and other main purchases on Etsy, Amazon, eBay or other websites where you can find unique and high-quality items for a deal.

    2. Seek out venues that don’t typically cater to weddings.
    Spaces that are used all the time for weddings often become more expensive. Think of some of the places you love as a couple that might not scream “wedding venue” but are still cozy or charming or elegant. Look on Airbnb for places that might be interested in renting to events, or call your favorite restaurants, art galleries or other businesses.

    3. See what can be a DIY project.
    You’ll probably want to pay professionals to do many tasks, but for others, be open to doing them yourself or enlisting the help of talented friends and family members. Designate someone the reception DJ, and someone else the centerpiece designer.

    Find affordable matching trio ring sets perfect for your special day

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  • 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 

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  • 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.

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  • Beautiful Music for Your Budget Wedding

    What are your wedding budget priorities? Do you have a beautiful and affordable trio wedding ring set picked out? Did you find a gorgeous gown on sale? What about music? Having the right music to set the mood at your budget wedding and reception is important, but it can also be expensive.

    Generally, it is cheaper to pay for a DJ than for live music. It can also be more affordable to book wedding music for off-peak times of year or even times of the week.  Ask your family and friends for recommendations in your area, and ask around for the best rate before you commit. Once you find the best budget wedding music, it is time to sit down with your DJ and plan out a kick-butt wedding playlist. You may already have a few songs in mind, or maybe just a general genre, but the more your DJ understands your taste in music, the better the party will be.

    Wedding Playlist Ideas

    “What I Like About You” by The Romantics

    “All I Want Is You” by Barry Louis Polisar

    “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC

    “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service

    “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel

    “Something in the Way She Moves” by James Taylor

    “Eternal Flame” by The Bangles

    “If I Were a Carpenter” by Johnny Cash

    “Dancing Queen” by ABBA

    “Happy Together” by The Turtles

    “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

    “Marry You” by Bruno Mars

    “At Last” by Etta James

    “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepson

    “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles

    “The Story” by Brandi Carlisle

    “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts

    “Better Together” by Jack Johnson

    Use this list of wedding playlist ideas to get your wheels turning about what you would most like to hear your DJ or band play at your budget wedding reception. And join in the conversation in the comments to share your favorite wedding songs!

    Photo credit: Wedding Photography by Jon Day

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  • 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

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