Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Budget Weddings Part 1 (The Engagement Ring)

*This post contains an affiliate coupon code. This simply means that I will receive a small percentage of sales completed using this code. It will not add any additional costs to your order and will greatly help me out*

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I recently spent a large amount of time (14 months!) preparing and planning for my October wedding.  Trying to plan a wedding is stressful enough without budget constraints, and it seems like there are a lot of websites with some decidedly unhelpful advice on how to save money.  I found a lot of good tips, but some of them seemed like they weren't geared towards real people.

Several of my friends have been with their significant others for almost 5 years but keep putting off getting married because of the cost of a wedding.  While one option would be to simply go to a courthouse and get married in front of a judge, there are several options to have a real ceremony and reception on almost any budget.  Here are some ideas:

1) The ring:  I know, I know. Almost every girl dreams of having a big sparkly rock on her finger, but diamonds are expensive.  Additionally, the majority of diamonds are not ethically sourced.  You could always go a for a less conventional engagement ring and use a pearl, vintage (not new!) ivory, opal, etc..., or you could avoid a significant amount of expense and moral conflict and go for a synthetic or lab-created diamond or simulated diamond.

Synthetic diamonds are essentially the same as natural diamonds, but have been artificially created in a lab environment.  They have the exact same geological composition as natural diamonds but are created using technology.  Many companies specialize in lab grown diamond jewelry.  I would advise asking around and doing your own research to find the best company for you, but here are some companies to get your search for the perfect engagement ring started.
Diamond Nexus
Mia Donna

Diamond Nexus Belle Engagement

Simulated diamonds are NOT diamonds but are other stones or materials that are made to look like diamonds.  Very good diamond simulants look almost identical to diamonds at first glance and should really only be identifiable by a gemologist or jeweler.  These are by far the cheapest way to still get a sparkly diamond look for your engagement ring.  Be wary of extremely cheap rings, though, because the quality of settings and the ring itself will still affect whether or  not it looks "cheap" or "fake". Here are a few options to consider.
Carat* Jewellery

As with making any decisions about making a life change, I would recommend talking to your significant other about your feelings on not having a "real" diamond ring.  If you do decide to go the route of a lab grown or simulated diamond, do your research and find a reputable company with good reviews.  Best wishes and happy (hopefully) engagement!

Check back for more budget wedding tips including flowers, ceremony, and more!