YOUR ENGAGEMENT, YOUR WEDDING & YOUR COMMON SENSE
The average price of weddings in the United States has risen to more than $20,000 (which doesn't make the slightest bit of sense for the typical family), but PRACTICAL and INNOVATIVE brides are finding creative ways to pull off perfectly wonderful, and truly memorable weddings for a fraction of that astronomical price.
HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS WORTH CONSIDERING:
You're going to wear your engagement ring for years. Get exactly what you want. You can do it economically.
Then we'll show you how to save on the wedding itself.
ENGAGEMENT & WEDDING RINGS: Gentlemen, don't even think about picking out the engagement ring by yourself. And for heaven's sake, forget about asking mothers, sisters, secretaries or best friends to pick it out for you. Women are very, VERY particular about the jewelry they choose to wear. Your fiance is the one who is going to be wearing your engagement ring for years, and nobody's taste in jewelry but hers should be considered. Decide what you can comfortably afford and tell that amount to the jeweler.
Ladies, you're planning a life together and you don't want to ruin a perfectly wonderful beginning. Decide what kind of engagement ring appeals to you then talk to a custom jeweler to see how you can get the look you want and still stay within a realistic budget.
Think outside the box. Do you have some odds and ends of good diamonds in your jewelry box? How about that tennis bracelet you never wear? How about grandma's diamonds? If the stones are good ones, they can be combined with a center diamond to create a seriously drop dead gorgeous, custom made wedding set.
Do rethink the idea of buying your main engagement diamond from that giant online diamond retailer. Why? Well, after seeing diamond after diamond sold by these folks and learning what the buyers actually ended up paying for them, we can tell you unequivocally that you'll frequently get a much better buy (and substantially better overall quality) if you purchase your engagement diamond from a small, reputable brick and mortar jeweler with a custom jeweler in-house.
Remember that Layaway is also an excellent way to purchase what you really want and still keep it affordable. Unlike using sky-high credit cards, no interest is charged on layaway purchases. If the layaway term offered by the jeweler is too short for you, (it's usually 1/3 down as a deposit with the balance paid over 4 months) simply ask the jeweler if he or she would consider granting you a longer term. Chances are the answer will be yes.
Estate jewelry also offers a particularly fantastic resource for the bride to be. If you happen to love the setting on the estate ring you've found, by all means, use it. But if you love the diamonds and you're not all that wild about the setting, ask the jeweler to incorporate them into a new ring, designed just for you.
Food for thought: ESTATE JEWELRY www.TreasureCoastJewelers.com
Food for thought: DIAMONDS & CUSTOM JEWELRY DESIGNS www.JohnDavidCooney.com
WEDDING INVITATIONS: You can't go wrong with classic
Food for thought: http://www.budgetweddinginvitations.com/shopping/prod_detail/main.asp-pid-5088
YOUR WEDDING DRESS: You can have spectacular on a
A carefully chosen $100 to $200. gown can easily pass for one worth several thousand dollars.
Food for thought: http://www.sheshopping.com/weddingdress.asp
FLOWERS: You can actually do the flowers for your
wedding yourself. It's easy. Start by casually wandering through your local
craft store and let your imagination run wild as you walk up and down the aisles.
Make a list of anything that catches your eye. Next, start monitoring what's
being sold in the flower section at your local supermarket. Look at Gladiolus,
Roses, Daisies, Carnations, etc., even potted flowers. Want a little something
different? Scope out the silk flower section in your favorite craft store, or
even at big box retailers such as Target, Walmart, and your local Dollar store.
Don't hesitate to mix and match silk selections with fragrant natural flowers.
Use lots of wide colorful ribbon to augment your floral displays. Decorative
boxes, baskets and simple vases are inexpensive and plentiful in most stores.
Use opaque vase selections instead of clear glass so that attention is focused
on the blooms and pretty ribbons instead of water and stems. For greenery to
go with your flowers, by all means, go ahead and take a look in your own back
Food for thought: http://www.celebrationsflowers.com/weddingflowersportfolio.html
WEDDING CAKES: While you can check out your favorite
small bakery, you should also consider the bakery department in your local grocery
store. Average cost of a beautifully designed buttercream frosted wedding cake
from your favorite local grocery store's bakery department generally runs about
$2.50. per guest. Delivery and set-up costs for your wedding cake might run
between $25 and $35, depending upon distance. Do shop around for cake toppers
to find something traditional or even select something unique that absolutely
delights the both of you. You'll need dessert size paper or plastic plates along
with spoons and forks. No ice cream is needed, this is a wedding, not a birthday
Food for thought: http://www.publix.com/food/catalog/Bakery/WeddingSpecialOccasion/Wedding/Home.do
Food for thought: http://www.magicalday.com/wedding-cake-toppers-main.html
BEVERAGES FOR THE RECEPTION:
Purchase clear plastic 5oz cups for your beverage station and have lots of ice, ice tongs, and small white cocktail napkins on hand.
NON-ALCOHOLIC CHOICES: Pitchers of orange juice combined with club soda (think of it as a non-alcoholic Mimosa), along with an assortment of soft drinks in liter size bottles will do nicely for non alcoholic beverages.
TABLE WINES: Oak Leaf Vineyards produces an amazingly good table wine at a budget price. The Pinot Grigio Chardonnay won a Gold Medal at the Florida State Fair. The Merlot won a Silver Medal at the Hilton Head Wine Fest. From The Wine Group, Oak Leaf wines sell for the amazingly low price of $2.97 per bottle. Oak Leaf is only available at Wal-Mart stores. A case of 12 bottles costs less than $36. Look for pretty, plastic stemmed wine glasses.
Food for thought: http://estore.websitepros.com/1926304/Detail.bok?no=508
Food for thought: http://estore.websitepros.com/1926304/Categories.bok?category=Cups%2FTumblers
THINK ABOUT A BUFFET TABLE INSTEAD OF A SIT DOWN DINNER:
Once again your local grocery store can save the day and this won't require
a full time table attendant. Great tasting and plentiful, you can choose an
assortment of sliced meats: roast beef, turkey, chicken, and ham.... all of
which can be complimented with generous bowls of chilled side dishes, like potato
salads, tossed salads, pasta salads, seafood salads, or a big bowl of cooked
shrimp with cocktail sauce. If desired, you can also offer baked beans, deviled
eggs, etc. It's ever so much easier to serve a good quality cold buffet than
worry about making sure hot foods maintain the proper serving temperature. Augment
your choices with platters of whatever else you desire: mixed nuts, chips with
a small ladle to serve from a bowl of salsa, perhaps water-crackers spread with
cream cheese and a dab of caviar, or set out a platter of raw vegetables and
garnishes (providing another small ladle for the dip); think black and green
olives, celery, carrots, brocolli and cauliflower, and set out a bowl of after
dinner mints, etc. etc.etc. Opt for the better quality, rugged plastic knives,
forks and spoons and select pretty paper or plastic plates. Some look just like
real china. Skip the expensive engraved napkins and just choose a large, good
quality dinner napkin. Basic white tablecloths and good quality paper napkins
are available from either the grocery store or your local party store. Arrange
to have serve-yourself spigot style pots of coffee along with liquid Cremora,
and packets of plain sugar as well as the pink, blue and yellow packets of sugar
substitutes. Don't forget to set out another pile of cocktail size napkins,
coffee stirrers and insulated coffee cups.
Food for thought: http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=Wedding+buffet&um=1&ie=UTF-8
Food for thought: http://www.smartyhadaparty.com/
MUSIC: Forget spending a fortune on live music. Check
references of local wedding DJ's and discuss the music you and your guests will
enjoy dancing to.
Food for thought: http://www.bridaltips.com/dj.htm
WEDDING PHOTOS: With digital cameras, a color printer,
professional photography paper, a good eye and a good game plan, you
can handle this one in-house as well.
Food for thought: http://shop.zatz.com/product.php?productid=21&js=y
Food for thought: http://www.chiff.com/entertain/wed-photo.htm
OUR BEST ADVICE:
IF YOU KEEP YOUR WEDDING COSTS REASONABLE:
You can have the ring of your dreams and perhaps even a downpayment on your new home.
AND.... IF YOU KEEP IT SIMPLE:
You'll ALL have a lot more fun.
Food for thought: http://www.wikihow.com/Plan-Your-Wedding