Since the Dow is in the dumps and everyone is, ahem, freaking out about the economy (which is why I choose to live in a news-free bubble lately), I've decided to walk you, dear reader, through how to save moola every step along the wedding planning way. Not cheesy ways to cut corners (like having a cash bar or BYOB) but things you can do that won't impact your wedding's vision, only the state of your piggy bank for the better.
So, let's start at the beginning…
The Engagement Ring
This in an area I've seen many couples blow the entire budget on. We're talking $12,000 for a ring and the groom has budgeted $2000 for the entire wedding. That's like buying a Hummer and then budgeting $20 as gas money.
Yes, the ring is something you'll have forever. It is not, however, an investment (are you planning on selling the ring at any point?) nor does a bigger/more expensive ring mean that your fiance loves you more than if he gives you a smaller/less pricey bit of bling. It's an emotional purchase, one that the diamond companies have paid considerable bucks over the years to persuade men to spend one-quarter of their annual income on a ring.
My advice? Spend what you can afford. No sense in going into debt for a ring. If you want an investment, buy gold bullion (seriously – it's a sure thing) but don't plan on your engagement ring to feather your nest egg.
While a ring in a blue box does have a certain cachet, a quality diamond can come in any color box. Check out Abazias Diamonds, where you can build your ring and buy quality diamonds at a fraction of the price in the stores.
Other cost savings tips include using a family heirloom (you can always reset the stone if you don't like the setting) or using something other than a diamond. You can also find some lovely stones and rings through estate sales. There are gorgeous rings out there, within your budget – just need to think outside the box a bit.