Step One, Get Ready
First off, you deserve congratulations. Come on, you found the person you want to get married to! That deserves some kudos. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself on a job well done. You rock!
Now before you meet at the altar, you get some time to prepare. Make the most of it, and have fun with it. It’s your wedding after all, so it’s not too much to ask of yourself to smile. This is a happy experience.
Let’s go into some ways you can be your most prepared self before saying, “I do.” And don’t hesitate to check out our blog post on this “readiness” topic, “How Do You Know If You Are Ready To Get Married In Vegas.”
Fall In Love (With Your Partner AND Yourself)
This one seems pretty obvious, right? But hey, if you’re going to get married, it wouldn’t hurt to love the person you’re marrying. Keep on getting to know your partner. Talk to them, laugh with them, get to know them. Take a date night (or a few) and go through Arthur Aron’s 36 questions together.
On top of that, show yourself some love. Don’t just like yourself, love yourself. Ask yourself how marriage will make you happy, how it will fulfill your hopes and dreams, how your life will improve with your spouse.
You Found The Right Partner, Hold On Tight
You know what they say, teamwork makes the dream work. Together you can go out there and face the world, chase some dreams, and have a lot of fun along the way.
- Keep on communicating
- Be affectionate
- Don’t stop dating each other just because you are getting married
This is going to be such an awesome experience. You will be smiling so much that your mouth will hurt. Remind yourself constantly of all the reasons you fell in love with them and how lucky you are that the stars aligned for you two.
Wedding Rings vs. Engagement Rings
Once you’ve made that decision, “I am going to get married,” then odds are one of the first thoughts that came into your mind was, “I’m going to need a ring.”
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of information anywhere on the subject of wedding rings and engagement rings. Whether you’re looking for information on cut, carat, metal, material, jewel, cost, what have you, you are bound to find something somewhere that will explain it in depth.
What’s The Difference?
Besides the fact that one is worn before the wedding and one after, is there really much that differentiates the two? Well, besides the time that each is given, there are a couple of other factors that separate them:
- Design: Engagement rings are noticeably more showy in design than wedding bands, usually featuring a main jewel that is either alone on the ring or else complemented by others (when Elvis got married, he gave his wife Pricilla a 3.6-carat diamond with a row of smaller diamonds surrounding the center). Wedding bands, on the other hand, are much more simple, yet no less elegant. Generally the rule of thumb is to find a wedding band that complements the engagement ring (or vice versa) as some people choose to wear them together.
- Expense: Engagement rings tend to be more expensive than wedding bands, usually due to the fact that engagement rings are more extravagant than their counterparts. Generally wedding rings for men and women can range anywhere from $150-$1,000 depending on what you are looking for. Meanwhile engagement rings can cost anywhere from $500 to upwards of $10k or more.
Is It Required To Have Both?
The truth is that it’s completely up to you. Your marriage will not be annulled because you decide to stick to just an engagement ring or just a wedding band. Sticking to one or the other is often more affordable, but this is your wedding, so whatever you feel right with is perfect.
Choosing A Ring
This is a big moment, a major step, so by all means you want to get it right! When deciding what rings (engagement and/or wedding) to buy, there are some considerations to make.
Trendy Or Attractive?
These are not always one and the same. Trends should always be a back-burner consideration, if (and that’s a major IF) you even take them into consideration at all. Here’s the deal, trends come and go. That’s what makes them trends. Getting something that is “trendy” or “in style” shouldn’t be your main priority when looking for a ring. Instead it should be a matter of finding something that you actually like and that your significant other will like too.
In fact, disregard trends altogether. The only thing that should matter is whether you and your spouse-to-be likes it, not whether or not it was popular on Instagram feeds.
Don’t Pay Much Attention To The GIA Grading
There’s a certain temptation once you learn about the “grade” of the stones. We’re going to be completely honest: unless you’re a diamond enthusiast, the factors that affect grading are really not something you might care about. Choose a ring you’ll love, not one based on a grading system that is meaningless to you.
Stick To What You Love And Stick To Your Budget
Usually where these two things meet is where you’ll find the ring that is perfect for you. Don’t spend money you don’t have on a ring that you’re not totally in love with. Find something that means something to you because it is special or reminds you of your loved one.
Don’t Forget The Setting
The stone is great, but the setting contributes a lot in its own right. Much of the overall appearance of the ring is due to the setting, and it can have a huge impact on the look of the gem as a whole.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Friends and family are going to be right there to help you all along the way. While the decision should come down to what you and your partner love, there’s no problem with asking for advice as to where you should look, what are good deals, and so on. They can show you their own, have insights on different metals and cuts, and even give you ideas of what your spouse-to-be might love.
Get Started Sooner Rather Than Later
If you feel rushed, you might choose a ring that you’re not altogether happy with. For something as meaningful as a wedding ring and engagement ring, it’s worth giving yourself more space to make sure you’re choosing the right stone, the right setting, and the right price. You can spare yourself the headache, stress, and doubts by simply starting earlier.
Go With Your Partner
This is a great date night idea. Go and browse rings. You don’t have to guess what your partner would like because they can literally tell you right then and there. It is a great bonding opportunity and it will give you a chance to communicate as a couple.
Setting The Date
Once you’ve got a ring on the finger, now is the time to start talking wedding dates, if you haven’t already. There are several considerations to take into account when choosing a day to get married, but here are some factors to ponder:
- Venue availability: If you’ve got your eye on a certain place, you should definitely do some research to determine when you actually could host your wedding there. Some venues have limited availability so if your heart is set, your options will become slightly more limited.
- Seasons and weather: If you’re planning on having an outdoor wedding, doing outdoor photos, or are even going with the classic tent for a reception, then season and weather is a must have discussion.
- Special dates: Is there a day that is important to you? Perhaps an anniversary with your spouse-to-be? Or maybe you want the same wedding day that your grandparents who you were very close to had? Sometimes a little detail like this can make an already beautiful event even more meaningful.
- Day of the week: Believe it or not, the day you choose to get married can have a huge effect on the cost of your wedding. Weekends tend to cost noticeably more because they are in the highest demand. Weekdays might be less expensive, but it also comes with the risk of some people not being able to show because of work, travel, etc. Speaking of which:
- Schedules of your most important guests: Is there someone who you absolutely cannot imagine having your wedding without? While this is a special time for you and your spouse, it is understandable that the availability of your closest friends and family would be influential on the day you choose.
- How long do you want your engagement to be: This one can have a huge impact on your eventual wedding day. Some people want a quick engagement, others are more than ok with a long one. Some couples want to be married 30 days after the proposal, others take a year or more. Often, discussing how long you want your engagement to be will give you a firm wedding day window to shoot for.
Time To Talk Budget
Yeah, not always the funnest conversation to have. But here’s some advice that will give some perspective: Setting a budget for yourself in any function of life is not prohibiting you from spending, it is actually giving you permission to spend in a way that you don’t have to worry about running out of money.
When it comes to a wedding budget, this is very important to remember. Keeping this mindset will help you feel more liberated as you plan your wedding. Here are some tips to help you make, and stick to, your budget:
- Envision your wedding: What kind of wedding do you want? Fancier? Casual? What kind of food are you planning on serving? Haute cuisine or finger food? Are you wanting a traditional wedding or a tropical destination? Knowing beforehand what you and your partner have in mind will help you frame what your budget should be.
- Look at your resources: Now that you have envisioned your wedding, it’s time to make clear what exactly you can afford. Don’t spend more than you have — You don’t want to start off your marriage in debt. Once you’ve done this, the next step is to
- Crunch numbers: Budgets run better when you can be realistic about what you can afford. A large extravagant wedding is obviously going to require more money than a more intimate affair. Deciding what you are willing and able to spend will put you in the right window to find what you should get.
- Learn what your priorities are: What are the non-negotiables for your wedding? Keep in mind that when sticking to your budget, if you spend more in one area, you’ll have to draw the money from another. Is your priority a certain venue, a certain dress, a certain guest list? Decide your priorities and figure out how much you want to devote to those areas (and at the expense of which others).
- Plan out the guest list: How big of a wedding you want and how big of one you can afford are different things. The number of people that come will have an effect on how much food you can order, your venue, and so on.