Options for your Engagement Ring Purchase

The time has come. You’ve either decided to propose your girlfriend for a life together or thinking about it. What do you do now? First thing to do is to buy a diamond engagement ring, a ring that shows your love for her.

Putting the engagement ring on your fiance
Putting the engagement ring on your fiance – a moment you never forget

Since people are inclined towards engagement rings, we highlight the engagement ring purchase options to help you through.

Diamond Rings – Diamond rings for an engagement are bliss. Women love Continue reading

Cash Wedding Registries solve the wedding gift problem

Do you remember some of the gifts you got when you got married….. I remember very few of them.  I know that when I was creating a wedding registry I really wasn’t being practical.  I was living in a dream world and just scanning everything that caught my eye.  If I had that scanner 1 year AFTER my wedding I would have picked items differently.

Cash wedding registry
Cash wedding registry - the perfect gift

One great way to help out a newlywed couple is to just give them cash.  At least they can make a better honeymoon from it.  (We both know they are not going to tuck that money into savings for when their firstborn child falls from a tree and breaks his arm in half and has $40,000 worth of surgery…. oh wait… that’s my personal story… I digress….

So anyway, this seems like a pretty smart idea to me… I personally think a Wal-mart gift card is the most useful.  Once you have the $900 set of China out and you can’t afford to put Ramen noodles on it, the Wal-mart gift card starts looking really good. Continue reading

Facebook becoming the popular replacement for wedding invitations

More and more brides are skipping expensive wedding invites in favor of Facebook clicks.

15 days before their wedding, Donna “Cheap” Turner and Mason Sigman decided to add “mass blast a Facebook invitation” to the to-do list.

Turner, 40, who grew up in Coral Springs and lives in Denver, CO, said she reserved old-fashioned fancy wedding invitations for the older more traditional family guests and used Facebook wedding invitations to invite, well, everybody else.

One advantage is you instantly know who is coming and who can’t.  People can even tell you why they can’t come and post on your wall positive messages. If someone hasn’t responded you can take the time to privately message them to find out.

facebook wedding invitation example
Facebook wedding invitation example

Though a wedding is typically the most formal event of a lifetime, informality and social media are taking the place of tradition and embossed stationery, experts say. Facebook invitations may not be elegant keepsakes — they are as fleeting as any online page — but they are more economical, immediate and environmentally friendly than the Postal Service variety.

“Anything digital is becoming the hot new trend,” said Leslie Jenkins, the author of http://weddingengagementnoise.com.

This fad has its critics, who say Facebook is too casual for inviting people to a highly significant event. They critique it as impersonal and, when it comes to tone and propriety, slightly off-putting and tacky. Of course, “those people” are probably making money of the old fashioned invitations.

Google

Tungsten rings better value than platinum or gold

Forget about what kind of rings your parents had. With the current prices of gold everybody is looking for alternatives to this more precious metal.

Ridiculous gold prices have jewelers and cash-strapped couples searching for wedding bands made of less expensive metals like tungsten rings, cobalt and even stainless steel.

Over the past three months, tungsten wedding rings, a steel-gray hard metal, has become an increasingly popular choice over gold with wedding band shoppers for most online jewelry sellers.

“The response to our recent men’s tungsten collection was immediate,” said Baird, adding that the company subsequently debuted a men’s tungsten rings collection in July.

As the depression hits Americans must close their wallets, consumers shopping for jewelry have become more willing to consider cheaper alternatives.

Kay Jewelers has also been selling jewelry made of tungsten and titanium for a while. Company spokesman David Bouffard said these “alternative” metals give customers more choice and a wider range of prices to choose from when it comes to wedding jewelry.

Blue Nile’s tungsten wedding bands cost a little over $200 while the cost of a Titanium wedding band is about $100. You can even go to eBay and catch a tungsten ring sometimes for only $30. The crazy part is they all look the same.

Compare that to $1,900 for a classic men’s platinum wedding band and $700, or higher, for a white gold band sold at Blue Nile

But it’s not just those celebrating their nuptials that are feeling the pinch. Jewelry makers and sellers themselves are also struggling with sharply higher prices for precious metals like gold and platinum.

Gold now costs about $1,840 an ounce, up 204% from about $605 per ounce just 60 months ago.

Heres a quick comparison of white gold vs platinum vs tungsten rings in everyday use.

White gold, even on a guy that works at a computer, will need replating every once in a while. It”s a nice classic though, and can be sized.

My tennis buddy has a titanium wedding band he”s been wearing for 4 years straight, and it”s getting pretty scuffed looking, but he loves the light weight feel and the color. He now has a titanium bracelet, necklace, and is looking for a watch to match.

I have a tungsten band I wear camping/surfing/traveling. It”s HEAVY, like more than platinum, and can withstand anything and still look great. It”s a very dark color, not quite metal looking, but really neat. I”ve had it a year now, and you can”t tell I”ve even worn it. Tungsten can”t be sized though, but you can just buy a new ring for alomst the cost of sizing a gold ring.

Talk about the money before getting married, not after

As the peak wedding season is approaching and more engaged couples plan to tie the knot, its important to have the “how much are you spending” before the walk down the aisle. Talking about money can be an emotionally charged subject, but it’s an important conversation for couples to have, as it’s never too early or too late to have the talk.

Marriage may be born a romantic notion, yet statistics show its foundation is built more on the management of cash than anything else. In fact, couples who fight about money once a week are 30% more likely to divorce than those who only quarrel a few times per month, according to research by Utah State University professor Jeffrey Dew published in “The State of Our Unions,” a 2009 report released by the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project. Dew also found the more consumer debt a newlywed couple accrues, the unhappier they become.

No, it’s not romantic in the traditional sense. And yes, you may disagree, but it’s better to figure out all of the “rules” to your financial relationship before the bills start to arrive or a hot financial issue arises. So remove the emotion by treating the conversation like you would a business meeting (Bill & Hillary Clinton were masters at this): set a date, prepare, and establish some ground rules to help foster a stronger dialogue.

married couple fighting money divorce
Prevent your marriage from becoming a divorce, talk money before wedding

Here are 6 financial things to discuss before you get married:

· Figure out your financial styles– Just like you have your own personal style, you probably have your own financial style, even if you’ve never thought about it. Are you a piggy bank saver, but your partner lives spends everything they have & more? What are each of your short-term and long-term financial goals? For what do you use your credit cards? The answer to all of these questions can shed some light on your individual financial styles.

· Disclose your financial past– When it comes to finances, you can’t just bury your past. So disclose things like how much debt you each have, whether or not you have ever filed for bankruptcy and where you stand today in order to create a clearer picture of how you can build a future together. Heck, pull a credit report on your spouse, why not?

· Review documents– Along with other legal documents, review who you would each like your beneficiaries to be on life insurance policies, IRAs, employer-sponsored retirement plans and pensions. And explain why you want to leave all of your estate to your old girlfriend from high school and your illegitimate love child.

· Discuss whether you want a joint account, a separate account or both– There is no right or wrong answer for which is best, it’s about what works for you as a couple, but it’s healthy to foster an open dialogue so that each of you feels good about the decision. Separate accounts are great if you want to have a mistress, otherwise just stick with a joint account.

· Work out a system to determine who will pay for what– If you opt for separate accounts, consider how you want to handle the daily finances and who will pay for what. This helps foster a sense of shared responsibility but it also helps you stay organized and on top of bills. This way when a check bounces their is only one person to blame, the idiot.

· Set up a schedule– Once a month go through where you are on each of your accounts. And once a year do a “deep dive” into all accounts and review your progress towards your goals. Sink or swim right, wrong.  Or you can just hope for the best and like the Big Bang theory, everything evolves over time and improves from a sea of chaos…. that makes sense right?

You have any other matters that should be discussed before they tie the knot?

Wedding Invitations online? Yes or No?

Even with the advances in social networking is it proper yet to sent out wedding invitations by enite, facebook, twitter, or text messaging?  Depends on what angle you want to use.  If people know you’re just being cheap, it may offend them. If you spin it towards a “green wedding” then people will respect how you kept the environment in mind even with your wedding.

eco friendly wedding invitations
Environmentally friendly wedding invitations - cheaper?

I was reading about trying to go green for your wedding and I think an important point is brought up in repards to wedding gifts. She asked people not to wrap the gifts, or use “green” alternatives. (I suggested wrapping them in baby blankets, cloth diapers, the comics section of the newspaper, fabric, etc.)  So to keep to her “green” theme, she used Evite Continue reading

Should you hire a professional for your wedding makeup or do it yourself?

I’ve heard some arguments for and against the use of a professional makeup artist lately that I thought I would come up with a nice pro and con list for each of these:

Professional wedding makeup artist:  Pros

  • Possible to get it free with makeup purchase of a certain amount
  • You only use the makeup once, so need to buy special makeup you may never use again
  • Typically allow some sample trial applications to play with your makeup a little to find that perfect look
  • TEMPTU AIRbrush Makeup System ($225) is a lightweight system that lets you spray on concealer, blush, bronzer, or highlighter. It gives you a flawless, fresh, and dewy look. You can even use it all over your body.  Really fast to do….Sephora lets you do a trial of this stuff..
  • If you buy a wedding package sometimes it includes the professional makeup as part of it
  • If you never wear makeup this will add that extra surprise to the groom and obviously you shouldn’t attempt your first makeup application at your wedding
  • You can use a makeover as a gift to your bridesmaids as part of your package

Professional wedding makeup artist:  Cons

  • Price can range from $60-$100
  • If you’re not famaliar with the makeup artist they could do your makeup wrong and still have to pay
professional wedding makeup
Professional wedding makeup

Do it yourself wedding makeup: Pros

  • Like Chelsea Clinton, you could keep it real simple and opt to not wear any makeup.  Especially if you have a great skincare regimen and your skin looks great anyway like hers.
  • You already own your favorite colors and know how you like to look. Continue reading

How to plan a wedding in 1 week & under $1,000 dollars

I have a friend putting together a wedding for her cousin in one week. Will not go into the intimate details on why their was only a 7 day window but I hope to pass on some valuable insight into what sacrifices must be made when planning a quick & cheap wedding so quickly.

last minute weddings cause stress
last minute weddings cause stress

I give kudos to those married couples that have done something like this before, inspite of surprising last minute injuries. Of course, in their case it was her second wedding, not her first. I was also reading this:

If you have a little flexibility and make decisions fast, you can save big bucks on your wedding day. As Chris Mohr, a longtime wedding minister at Foothills Chapel in Colorado, explains, “People pull off pretty elaborate funerals in just a few days all the time.” Not to be macabre, but weddings aren’t that different — location, ceremony, flowers, music, food. . . .

Here are 5 quick advantages of a wedding on a short notice:

  1. Shorter notice typically means fewer guests attend, and the more time families Continue reading

Would you rent a faux wedding cake to save money?

Your traditional tiered wedding cakes from a local bakery typically prices out to at an average of $5 per serving. We all know the cake alone can take quite a bite out of the overall bridal budget, especially when you consider serving 100 people or more. Cupcakes are becoming a popular alternative, but even those aren’t cheap, and can start at $3 each from local cupcake specialists. With a little ingenuity, there are lesser-priced options to feed your guests that won’t sacrifice in taste or style.

faux showpiece wedding rental cake
Why pay for a wedding cake you eat when you can rent a fake for less?

If you have a lot of guests to serve, you can save several hundred dollars by renting a faux showpiece cake from a number of locations for $75 to $100 and then just serve an inexpensive sheet cake instead (a half sheet cake from Sam’s Club will serve 40 people at a cost of a mere $1.15 per slice). Choose between multiple designs for your faux cake Continue reading

Should you attend a bridal show before selecting your wedding vendors?

We all have Facebook friends that can typically refer a few of their top rated vendors on a photographer or wedding cake for your wedding. But hoe do you find vendors for all of those other aspects of your wedding that you don’t have a personal reference for? Here’s just a few vendors to keep in mind other than your rings and wedding dress:

Wedding & Bridal shows - bring your color board
Wedding & Bridal shows - bring your color board
  • bridesmaid dresses
  • candles
  • caterers for the reception
  • décor
  • flower arrangements
  • invitations
  • sample wedding cakes
  • table centerpeices
  • wedding DJ’s & musicians
  • wedding photographer portfolios
  • & more

Many local conventions centers will hold an annual wedding expo that allows Continue reading

10 tips on having a cheap wedding that your guests don’t notice

We all know money is tight with the economy being in the shape it is so I complied a list of 10 tips on having a cheap wedding that your guests don’t notice.

1. Invite only TRUE family and friends – This isn’t Facebook. Do you seriously need to invite everyone you went to college with? If you wouldn’t recognize them on the street, they shouldn’t be at your wedding. It’s your day, and you should be surrounded by the people closest to you in the world – and that doesn’t always mean blood relatives. You may need to make some compromises here and there, but don’t sacrifice the presence of someone you truly want there because your mom doesn’t want to offend some distant relative. That’s her problem, not yours.

cheap wedding cakes2. How big is your wedding cake? Most wedding cakes are 40-50% eaten. Why waste money on food thrown in the trash? If you want something gorgeous have a display cake that is perfect but smaller. Then feed your guests from a basic sheet cake to save money. If not interested in sheet cake have your local baker create a large cake with only simple white fondue covering it. You can even use organic edible flowers to decorate it with such as:

  • Nasturtium (peppery tasting)
  • Rose (mild, sweet tasting)
  • Lavender (perfume tasting)
  • Chicory (spicy, bitter tasting)
  • Oregano ( spicy tasting)
  • Pansies (semi-sweet tasting)

3. How long are you wearing the wedding dress? What, maybe 6 hours max? Don’t spend thousands of dollars on a dress you’re only going to wear once. David’s Bridal has $99 wedding gown sales constantly, and you can find awesome bargains at regular dress shops, too. Don’t forget eBay and Craigslist.  Your dress may even be a prom-season find that cost only $100. Do you honestly think your daughter will want to wear your wedding dress 30 years from now… I don’t think so. When your done, pass it to a consignment store and get some money back on it too.

4. Keep the menu simple. Do you really need crab balls and lobster bisque and filet mignon to be able to enjoy your wedding dinner? You can negotiate a five-course plated dinner (including filet mignon) with open wine and beer all night and an hour of passed hors d’oeuvres for less than $50 per person at a nice restaurant in town if you do your homework.

5. Get wedding flowers from your local grocery store or Wal-Mart/Costco. Our local Winn-Dixie even creates free flower arrangements if you buy flowers from them & bring in your own vase. You end up saving about 80% compared to typical florists doing this. Go ahead and ask for a discount and based on your quantity they will probably give it to you. Just keep in mind to use blooms that hold up, as you will need to make arrangements ahead of time. Make sure they use knives to cut the stems, not scissors (adds about 4-5 days to the life of the flowers)

6. Don’t ever hire a wedding DJ. Instead of hiring someone create a playlist on our iPod and hook it up to the reception hall’s speaker system. Your in control and you can make sure the Electric Slide is left out.

7. Be savy about wedding photography. Rather than spend thousands of dollars on a so-called professional photographer with 20 years experience, hire an art student from the local college or a friend of a friend that is gifted in the art of photography. It’s still a good idea to ask to see a portfolio and make sure the personalities fit your style, but don’t assume that you have to spend the Franklins for memorable pictures. But remember, these wedding photos are the only thing that you shouldn’t try to get your uncle Jimmy to do as his wedding gift either…BAD IDEA.

8. Who needs live music from a string quartet? You can walk down the aisle to a beautiful arrangement of Pachbel’s Canon in D Minor on a free CD or your iPod. Just have a good friend push the play button as you walk down the aisle.

cheap wedding invitation from Michael's9. Wedding Invitations get thrown away remember? There are many sources from which to purchase invitations, but one of the least expensive ways to purchase invitations is to do them yourself! You can purchase beautiful invitations that you can print yourself and save a small fortune at places such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc. If you really want to go ultra cheap use a website like evite.com for invitations and RSVPs. Heck you can even create an event on Facebook and do the same thing. This is the 21st century right?

10. Wedding Venue – If you belong to a church, or if your parents or another relative belong to a church, you can likely rent the church free to hold your wedding. Churches also often also have a place called “fellowship hall” in which you could have a free place to hold your wedding reception. Hopefully you hvae some family that’s Catholic since they typically have the most beautiful churches.

Hey, since this is a blog designed for 2 way conversation what other ways can you think of to shave money off that wedding bill?

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