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The Best Ways To Save Big On Your Dream Wedding

We’ve all heard stories or watched tv shows about weddings that cost as much as a house. Now that it’s your turn to get married, you know that’s not an option for you. But, that definitely doesn’t mean you can’t have the gorgeous wedding of your dreams. You just have to go about it differently. Here are some tips for getting the perfect wedding day for less mula. 

1. Shop Around- Even if you love the first thing you see, it’s wise to shop around for venues and other vendors you’ll use. Some venues charge more because you have to use their caterer, bar tender, decorations, cake, and invitations. Although this makes it convenient, you can usually get cheaper prices if you hire all the vendors separately. Some venues allow you to bring your own food, drinks, decorations, etc, whereas some do not. This can also make a big difference in the price. For example, you can buy flowers in bulk for cheaper than going with a florist that the reception center has a contract with. Remember to shop around for your dress, the bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen attire, and decorations. You may be able to find a cheaper price for the item you love elsewhere. 

2. Use Your Peeps- Using every connection possible will really help with cost. Some people know someone who is a DJ, photographer, videographer, bartender, etc, but even if you don’t, there’s always a way that your friends and family members can help you out. Even if he or she is not a professional, have them practice, and if you like what you see, take advantage of their services for a smaller fee or as a wedding present. Know someone who’s an excellent cook or cake maker? Seen someone edit pictures for fun? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Now days, anyone can become certified to marry you through an online program that registers you as a minister. If it’s not something you can do yourself, but you don’t want to pay a ton for a pro, you might be surprised what asking around and posting on craigslist or facebook can do. 

3. DIY- Look into making your own center pieces, decorations, arranging your own flowers, making a play list instead of hiring a DJ, or making your own cake. There are tutorials online for pretty much anything you want to make. You can have your friends and family members pass around a video camera all night and then edit the footage yourself instead of hiring a videographer. Or you can buy frames from DI and spray paint them to match each other instead of buying expensive frames. It’s important to add up the cost of every part involved in what you’re making. Sometimes, “doing it yourself” is cheaper, and sometimes it’s not. Because some projects involve lots of different parts, it’s sometimes more expensive to try and make the cute favors you saw on pinterest than to just buy mints online in bulk. Do your research before starting a project. 

4. Time and Place- The wedding “season” is usually April through September. So if you get married anytime between October and March, vendor pricing is significantly cheaper. Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular days, so some brides save thousands by choosing to get married during the week or on Sunday. The location also has a big impact on cost. You can save money by choosing to have your wedding and reception at a park, church, restaurant, home, or cabin instead of pricey reception centers. Other brides have saved money by taking their wedding to a close-by destination that might have cheaper pricing. 

Like I mentioned before, you can save a lot of money by shopping around with your vendors, and that includes the rings as well! Click here to visit a jeweler that gives you more bang for your buck. Have fun with planning your wedding while saving money!

How To Make Your Wedding Flowers Memorable

What you choose for the flowers at your wedding help aide in the overall feeling and theme you want your wedding to have. What are the different ways to do that, and what’s trending this year in the wedding flowers world? Read on to find out!

1. Classic and Modern Classic- As much as times have changed, there are still many brides who want their day to be as traditional and timeless as possible. They dreamed of having the classic, ball-like bouquet of one flower. This beautiful, uniform look is often used with one color of roses. The modern twist on this same idea is the romantic luxe of 2015. This look involves the same shape, but not all the same flower. The florist uses lots of different, romantic, full flowers in various complimentary colors, but no fillers. This is an expensive option, but if you have the budget for it, it’s stunning.

2. Garden- The most popular look in 2015 will be “freshly picked from the garden” look. This look has an uneven shape, and sometimes appears to be in a ‘V or ‘L’ shape rather than perfectly round. Instead of the typical commercial flowers, these “natural” bouquets are stocked with plants that appear to be simply gathered from a local meadow. This type of bouquet does not have one or two uniform flowers, it contains lots of different kinds of flowers, vines, branches, and foliage. These are typically larger in size than the classic look, and allow the bride to showcase the landscape of where she’ll be getting married, show an earthy, boho side of herself, and achieve a laid-back feel for the wedding.

3. Color- Depending on the time of year of the wedding, the colors that are being used predominantly change based on what’s in season. For spring weddings, peonies are a very popular choice, as well as light pastel colors. During the summer, coral, turquoise, yellow, and lavender are used a lot to compliment the light, bright season. In 2015, the major change will be the richer, deeper tones making an appearance at a lot of weddings. Some examples are marsala, eggplant, rust, wine, deep raspberry, navy. Pops of these colors throughout very natural looking floral arrangements bring a formal touch to a rustic feel. 

4. Unique wrappings and additives- Many brides are ditching old customs and showing their personality through their bouquets. The two main ways brides are doing this are, 1) adding subtle touches to the bouquet of flowers, and 2) choosing what to wrap the stems in. Many add a little bling throughout the bouquet, some add a few pearls, some a broach, or touch of gold. Others have added feathers, seashells, or pieces of cactus as well. Brides take the opportunity to personalize their bouquets with the wrapping of the stems. Some attach pictures in lockets of loved ones who have passed away, add a charm that signifies their religious convictions, or wrap it with the material of their mother’s wedding dress. 

Now that you have ideas swimming in your head for all of the floral possibilities, it’s time to make it official! If you’re like many brides, you’ve started planning and looking around at possibilities well-before actually getting engaged. If that’s the case and you need a little guidance in engagement ring shopping, click here. Enjoy your engagement, and your new life together as husband and wife!

The Hottest 2015 Wedding Color Trends

One of the first things brides think about after getting engaged is their wedding colors. Here is a guide for the newest, hottest wedding colors trends for this year. 

1. Neutrals- Many brides are opting for light beige, nude, cream, champagne, and ivory tones for their wedding colors. This creates an understated, elegant tone for the wedding. For brides who want just a touch of color mixed in, adding a very light color that doesn’t demand a lot of attention can be the perfect solution. For example, light shades of blush, mint, blue, sage, and lavender. The softer tones were popular in 2014, and it seems to be continuing for weddings this year. They evoke a soft, romantic mood for the event, and usually compliment most skin tones.

2. Vintage- Vintage-inspired weddings are becoming more popular as well. In the past silver was the popular choice to add to other colors for sparkle, and now gold and rose gold are much more trendy. Some brides are making shades of gold the overall color scheme, but most are using it to compliment other colors they choose. Popular options are navy and gold, black and gold, peach and gold, rose gold with light pink or light blue. If you love the vintage look, find some key pieces to use as your inspiration and use those colors for your wedding. Vintage colors, decor, and wardrobe create a timeless atmosphere, and allow for the Bride’s style and personality to show through. 

3. Bold Colors- Bold colors are back! Some choose to pair one bold color with one softer color, others pick a few bold colors that compliment one another. The most popular this year are turquoise, eggplant, aqua, coral, emerald, yellow, and last but not least, marsala. These colors help you to better define a distinct theme for your wedding. For example, if you’re sick of serious, boring weddings and want to show your spunk, you might choose yellow and gray for a casual feel. If you want the event to be more formal, marsala with gold will add all the beauty and elegance you’re looking for. 

4. Seasonal Choices- Some brides are choosing colors to best compliment the setting of the wedding or the season. For the most part, lighter colors are being chosen for spring and summer and darker colors for fall and winter. Beautiful fall wedding colors are burnt orange, rustic yellow, and brown. For a winter wonderland wedding, pair silver with light blue and white. Use your surroundings as inspiration and your wedding will be cohesive and stunning.

Got the scoop on the latest wedding colors but still looking for the perfect ring? Many brides start planning before the actual proposal so that they can get everything done in time. If you are still in the market for a gorgeous ring, here’s a ring guide to help you find the perfect one. 

Enjoy your engagement!

Getting The Date Right. #FiveWordsToRuinADate

The dating world is a jungle. We all have had moments of success, and complete, utter failure. And that’s okay, because it takes a couple of “foot in your mouth” moments to recognize the great dates for what they are! That’s what it takes to find the one you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. Sometimes it’s you, and sometimes it’s your date who’s ruining the evening. Here are some of the biggest #fivewordstoruinadate to avoid saying yourself, or run for the hills when you hear your date say them.

1. “Let’s think of baby names!” or “I’m in love with you.” These are both normal things to say if you’ve been together for years, but on the first few dates, it makes you seem crazy and desperate.

2. “Can my mom come with?” and , “I still have bunk beds.” People who are unusually dependent on their mothers while in their 20’s are weird.

3. “I’m not a racist but…” This is just like preceding a rude comment with “Not to be rude but….” If you say that before hand, it doesn’t make the comment suddenly become a nice one.

4. “You play World of Warcraft?” or “What’s your favorite Starwars character?” If you’re a nerd that’s fine, but maybe don’t show all your nerdy cards right on the first date.

5. Definitely avoid saying something like, “So who is paying tonight?”, “Order from the dollar menu.”, and “How much do you make?”. Anything that focused on money makes you seem incredibly shallow, and focused on cost not the other person.

6. “Here, have a Tic Tac.”, “What an interesting outfit choice.”, and “Wait, this is a date?” If you’re thinking things like that, don’t say them out loud, it will only make them feel self-conscious.

7. “Indian food gives me gas.”, “I have irritable bowel syndrome.”, and “Don’t worry I’m not contagious.” Talking about disgusting health issues over dinner on a date is never the right time. Keep your health history to yourself.

8. “I know. I googled you.”, “So, about my online persona…”, “Let’s take a selfie first.” Preoccupation with technology is not a desirable thing.

Hang in there, daters. Before you know it, you’ll be laughing with your fiance over these awkward first date moments. Once you’ve gotten through all the madness and you’ve finally found “the one”, click here for your guide through the engagement process.

Engagement Ring Trends Of 2015

If you’re hoping to get engaged to your sweetheart in 2015, you’re probably wondering what the latest and greatest trends are now. Although it does depend on your personal style, there are a few new styles that are starting to become more popular, and other styles that are popular now will continue. 2015 is going to be a fun year in jewelry fashion because styles are going back to the timeless, vintage looks, trying new things with completely modern looks, as well as combining the two and getting the best of both worlds.

Here are the top 5 looks for this year.

  1. Rose Gold- White gold and platinum used to be the go-to trendy pick for young brides, but now we’re seeing the style turn back to the feminine, coppery tones of rose gold and the classic elegance of yellow gold. This style allows the diamonds to stand out more because of their contrast in color with the medal of the band.
  2. Diamond Clusters- Instead of opting for a large center stone, many brides are getting large rings with a cluster of smaller diamonds put together. Jewelers can achieve this look in different shapes, but the most common is a round shape with several halos of small diamonds surrounding each other. This is a very vogue, vintage class look.
  3. Gemstone Rings- Because of several celebrities opting for gems for center stones rather than diamonds, it’s becoming a very stylish choice for engagement rings. Many use sapphires, emeralds and rubies. Not only is it cost effective, it allows you to personalize your ring more with your favorite gem, or the birthstone of a loved one. This aesthetic makes your ring completely unique and adds a bit of elegant charm.
  4. Different Shapes- Say goodbye to everyone having the same round or princess cut center stone diamonds! Although those classic cuts will definitely still be popular, more exotic shapes are becoming popular. Picking up momentum are asscher, emerald, cushion, heart, pear, marquise, and trilliant cuts. These cuts are art-deco era inspired, and add a little more personality to your ring.
  5. Halo Styles- The halo has been popular for a long time, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon. Halos are beautiful way to accentuate the center stone, and make the ring appear bigger and more eye-catching. They can be used with any shape of diamond, and are well-liked by most people.

Whether you’re into the modern floating settings and strong lines, or the ornate vintage styles, anything goes in 2015! More and more brides are breaking the rules with engagement rings and customizing them completely to what they love. Whatever your style is, don’t be afraid to go for it with your engagement ring in 2015.

Get Engaged With The Most Creative Winter Proposal

Thinking about getting engaged? Now might be the best time! Christmas and Valentine’s day might be a little cliche, and it gives you chance to catch her totally off guard if you avoid a special day. If you’re stumped on how to do it, here are some ideas to help you brainstorm.

  1. Walk Down Memory Lane- There are several different variations of this idea, but the main point of it is to remind her how far you’ve come together. You can take her on a walk in the mountains right after a beautiful snow fall where you’ve tied pictures on the trees of you two together in order from when you met to now. That way, she’s literally walking down a lane of memories. You can stop and read how you felt at each of the big moments you’ve shared, or simply reminisce together. Decorate it with roses and christmas lights, and end at a gazebo or large, decorated tree.
  2. Scavenger Hunt- Send her on a scavenger hunt, hitting all of your special places. At each place will be another clue, and you can include a romantic story about how you felt or what you remember from that place or day. You can use the “walk down memory lane” idea as the last step, or find another fun way to meet her at the end and propose.
  3. Spell it Out- While doing an activity of some sort that means a lot to you both, you can find a way to spell out “Marry Me.” Some have put it in a field and rode in a helicopter or hot air balloon over it. You could go snowmobiling or four-wheeling up to the top of a hill or mountain and have a large banner displayed below. Since you’re proposing in winter, you can write in the snow, or form the letters with snow.
  4. Make it a Trip- Make it a weekend getaway by taking her to a cozy ski lodge in the mountains, a family cabin, or to a local tourist spot. She will welcome the escape from the stresses of her life, without having to take a full week off or spend tons of money. While away, you can get her a massage, go to romantic dinners, or see the local sites and find a way to work your proposal in.
  5. Get Sneaky- Think about ways you could really surprise her. Sometimes with a romantic date girls can see it coming, so how could you work it into her daily schedule to catch her off guard? You can work with her co-workers, friends, family, or classmates to come up with a way to interrupt her average day with a proposal. You can have her boss tell her there’s a meeting in the conference room where you are all set up and waiting, you can have her friends and family help you set up a surprise party, or you can lighten up her least favorite thing of her day by planning something special.
  6. Use Winter Sports- During the winter you can use skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tubing, or snowmobiling to help you propose. Think about what she enjoys doing during the winter and try to incorporate that into your plans. You can use any of these outdoor sports to lead your sweetheart to a secluded, decorated area where you can surprise her and pop the question.
  7. Use food- There are lots of ways that you can use food and drinks to propose to your loved one. Some have put the question inside a fortune cookie, spelled it out with spaghetti, or in the icing on a cake. There are also stencils you can use to pour chocolate or cinnamon powder through to create words on top of the whip cream on a hot chocolate. Usually it says “enjoy” or something like that, but you can make one that says “Marry Me?”. If your girl loves hot chocolate and snuggling up by the fire during the winter, that’s the perfect way to do it!

Remember to make it personal for her, get creative, and have fun surprising her!

What Engagement Rings “Anti-Diamond” Girls Dream About

The cliche saying, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” is not always true. Nowadays, more and more couples are deciding to go non-traditional for their weddings and engagements- and why shouldn’t they? Your wedding, engagement, and life should be exactly what you want it to be, not what societal expectations are in your culture. That being said, this goes for the ring as well. There are lots of girls that don’t love the sight of diamonds as much as the average, and like a more personalized, unique feel for their ring. There are lots of trendy, beautiful, unique rings that do not involve diamonds. Another reason could be that your gal would rather have more money go towards a house down-payment, a killer honeymoon, or a new car. Either way, diamond-less engagement rings are gorgeous, and can be wonderful ways to show your sweetheart’s personal style, and your unique love story. Here are some ways to stay diamond-free.


Stone-less Engagement Rings

My mother’s job was assisting in surgeries where she needed to always be wearing gloves. This is not possible with a big rock on your hand. Having a simple band with no stone was perfect for her job, her style, and it looks very elegant and timeless. There are lots of styles where you can still add a focal point to the ring by adding twists, shapes, colors, or designs to the band.

Birthstone Rings

Instead of getting the generic diamond center stone, personalize it by getting her birthstone, your birth stone, the birthstone of a child, or other significant person in her life. This will remind her of loved ones every time she looks at it, and remind her of how unique and special she is to you.

Other Stones

Clear glass stones can look very timeless and classic in a simple ring setting. You can make the design fit your style, while still staying within a very small budget. You can find rings with a glass center stone with every color under the sun as well. Using opals, rubies, and sapphires can also be beautiful options. Using one of her favorite colors or favorite stones will add that personal touch.

Diamond substitutes

For those who want the look of a diamond without the cost, moissanite, white sapphires, white topaz, or cubic zirconium could be a good choice for you. Although these stones might need some upkeep since they are not as strong as diamonds, they will still get you by if you want to wait to buy a diamond.

If you go into a jeweler and tell them you do not want a diamond and they’re still trying to sell you one, they’re clearly paid on commission and trying to upsell you. However, it should ease your mind when I tell you that there are reputable jewelers who will actually listen to you. If you go to a knowledgeable, trustworthy jeweler, they will be more than willing to help you find the unique, non-diamond ring of your dreams.

Shopping Smart for a Diamond Engagement Ring


In the market for an engagement ring? Congratulations! Not only is it a big step to find “the one,” it’s an even bigger step to find the ring. Although it may seem overwhelming, it is a lot easier than you think. And, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a beautiful ring. Wondering how? Here are the top 3 ways you can maximize the bang for your buck.

Know the C’s Of Diamond Buying

The 4 C’s of diamond buying are important to know before going into a jewelry store. They are what categorize different rings according to their value. The categories are Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat. The word “cut” does not mean square, oval, or circle. This term refers to how shallow or deep the diamond is cut. If it is cut with perfect precision, it allows the light to bounce off of the facets perfectly so that it sparkles. “Color” means how much color is in the diamond. A perfect diamond is completely colorless, and the price goes down as depending on how much of a yellow-ish tint there is to the diamond. “Clarity” means how clear the diamond is. If it is free of dark spots, (called ‘inclusions’ in the jewelry world) it will cost more because of it’s clarity rating. “Carat” simply means how big the diamond is. The average carat weight for a center stone on an engagement ring is around 0.5 carats.

Find A Trustworthy Jeweler

You will save a surprising amount of dough just by who you choose to buy from. There are jewelers who will absolutely take advantage of the fact that you are a first-time buyer. You can lessen the likelihood of that by doing your research beforehand, shopping around, and doing business with a professional, trustworthy jeweler. Find one that listens to your wants and needs, talks to you honestly about the values, and never pressures you to buy. It exists!

Choosing To Splurge Or Save

You have to know where you are willing to compromise and where you are willing to splurge. For instance, is it more important to you to have a large center stone than to have an actual diamond? Or is the most important thing to you the setting that the stone is in? A popular recommendation is to never compromise on cut. Having a bad cut means that it doesn’t sparkle, and that is obvious. Sometimes having a slightly included, colored ring is not visible to the naked eye but still gives you a big price break.

Just by reading these tips you’re on the right track. Ending up with a new, beautiful diamond ring is closer than you think!


Know the Best Stone for Your Engagement Ring

Buying an engagement ring is a big step emotionally as well as financially. How can you possibly know what to pick with the tons of options you have? Since this is an item worth so much money and emotion, it’s definitely worth a little research before you buy.

Here are the top 5 things you need to know.

  • The C’s– You might have heard of the 4 C’s before, and these are important things to know before you buy a diamond ring. Simply put, the 4 C’s stand for cut, carat, color, and clarity. “Cut” does not mean the shape of the diamond, it means how shallow or deep the bottom was cut. If it was not cut with precision, it will not catch the light the right way so it won’t sparkle as much. “Carat” is the weight or overall size of the diamond. “Color” refers to how colorless the diamond is. A perfect diamond is colorless, and it ranges to a very yellow diamond. “Clarity” means how clear the diamond is. It ranges from perfect clarity to little spots or “inclusions” in the diamond.
  • Her Style– It’s important to know what her style is so that you can get something that she will be happy with wearing for the rest of her life. It is common nowadays to have both parties present during ring shopping, but if you’re going for the old-fashioned surprise, you’ll need to do a little digging. Notice if she tends to wear more silver, gold, simple or ornate jewelry.
  • Jewelers– Since you’ll be trusting the experts wherever you shop, it’s important to find a good, honest jeweler. Shop around a little and compare pricing and experiences at the various stores. Red flags could be the staff pressuring you, not listening to what you wanted, or showing you rings over your budget. Believe it or not, there are jewelers who will get you a beautiful ring in your price range, and give honest advice.
  • Certification– Whether the ring is $30,000 or $1,000, you deserve to know that what you have is a certified diamond. Make sure that your ring and all the diamonds in it (especially the center stone) is a certified diamond and you’re not being duped. This will also help with resale value if you desire to do that in the future.
  • Your Budget– It is imperative that you know your budget before you walk into a jewelry store, so that you don’t fall in love with something you can’t afford. Think about what your top amount is before you go shopping, because an impulse buy of this magnitude will fill you with regret later.

No matter what style you choose, using these great tips will definitely have  you on the right track to the perfect, affordable ring.


Choosing the Perfect Custom Engagement Ring

When I was getting engaged, the thing I wanted to avoid was having a ring just like everybody else. I watched all of my friends and acquaintances getting engaged and marveled at the likeness of the many rings. I knew I had expensive taste, so the thought of designing a custom ring frightened my then boyfriend.

Here are the 5 things I learned in my experience of designing my own custom ring.

  1. Uniqueness- According to Dr. Suess, “Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one in the world youer than you.” Your ring should be as unique and special as you and your relationship. You need that ring to be the perfect reflection of your love, and the beautiful things about you and  your style. Custom-creating a ring is a wonderful way to do that, and it is surprisingly affordable. If you think about it, there are few things that will last past the wedding day; the rings, the pictures, the video, and the dress. The ring may be the best thing to splurge on since you’re hopefully going to wear it every day for the rest of your life. The venues, florists, and caterers cannot tell you the same. Some things, unfortunately, will only last for 1 day. The ring lasts a lifetime.
  2. Artistry– You might think that you don’t have the artistic talent to design your own ring, but you’d be surprised. All you need is a list of things you like, and things you don’t like. Have somewhat of a vision for what you want, or leave more options to the designer. You could take pictures of rings you’d like combined, sketch out several options, or simply give your designer a list of adjectives for the look you’re going for. You and your designer will go over proofs several times back and forth until you approve the design 100%. There’s no harm in trying out what you think is going to look great.
  3. Designer– The designer we worked with was impeccable. She knew her stuff so much that I didn’t need to know the specifics, and she ended up capturing my vision completely. As I described it, showed her pictures, and gave her poorly drawn sketches of what I wanted, she created the design on a computer program. We sent it back and forth via email or in person until it was perfect. It was important to have a knowledgeable ring designer because, I didn’t know the exact scale or size that everything needed to be in order to look right. She knew all the different types of settings, and how to make the center stone pop. The perfect thing was, she always made sure that what she was doing was within our price range.
  4. Quality– No matter how crazy you go with the designs, it is always important to make sure your ring is made with precision and excellent quality. Always go for a center stone with an excellent cut. This is what makes the biggest difference in the level of sparkle and shine. Go to a jeweler that you trust, because going from the design phase to the creating phase is crucial. Make sure that the jeweler has a lot of experience and that it is exactly what you wanted when you get the finished product.

Because all of this takes time, make sure that you have the ring before your exact proposal day or week. Each case will be a different amount of time depending on how many edits it takes, how complex the design, and how specific you are about what you want. Getting a custom-made ring is something that will be as special and unique as you and your love are, and it’s a purchase you’ll never regret.