This is the first in a four-part series with our partners Rare Carat, on how to save on the most expensive parts of your wedding. To read the next blog in the series, visit Rarecarat.com
The first thing you think of when people talk about budgeting for the wedding is the actual day— the dress, the venue, the flowers! But what about BEFORE the big day? Stakes are high for creating a memorable proposal these days. Just ask the people at howheasked.com, they’ve got over 53 thousand subscribers on YouTube. Maybe you’re not planning to hire a marching band, but even the most humble proposal can come with some big costs.
Here are some money saving tips for a few of the classics: the ring, some flowers, and pictures to save the memory. You’re on your own with the marching band…
Unless you are planning something extraordinary, the ring is the most obvious and probably your biggest expense. There is a huge range in price when it comes to engagement rings, anything from a couple thousand to a couple million dollars. Knowing what a diamond is worth isn’t always cut and dry. It can be overwhelming even if you know what you’re looking for.
If you want something special, unique, and beautiful, but you don’t have millions of dollars to spend, the good news is you don’t have to.
Technology has evolved to solve all our comforts, and now that includes shopping for diamonds! Tech company Rare Carat takes the guesswork out of this important purchase. The site lets you search and compare thousands of retailers to find the perfect ring for the best quality at the best price. Think of it like Kayak but for diamonds.
Not only can you peruse thousands of options from the comfort of your couch, but they offer tons of free information about what to look for, how to find the best deals. Brush up on your 4 c’s (cut, color, clarity, and carat) and let this smart AI help you save time and money on the centerpiece of your proposal.
Nothing says romance like flowers. Whether it’s an elegant bouquet, an extravagant arrangement, or a romantic sprinkle of petals, using flowers is a great way to set the mood.
The most obvious choice is to go with your partner’s favorite flower. Even the most exotic blooms can usually be found with a little research. However, if you don’t know their favorite flower or they simply don’t have one, consider some classic options or choose based on their meaning.
Tradition won’t steer you wrong with red roses, but cheerful sunflowers or a delicate pink peony can be just as romantic. Think about your partner’s personality and style, and even check out what certain flowers mean.
For the best price on flowers, go wholesale and don’t be afraid to DIY! We love showcasing new trends and bouquet breakdowns to make the process easy and fun. Buying seasonal bundles means you get the freshest blooms and the best deals. For the same amount of money you would spend on a lavish premade bouquet, you’ll be able to do something truly memorable with all those extra flowers. Have fun and get creative! Imagine surprising your partner with this DIY hanging floral display. We go the extra mile for the one we love, right?
If there’s no picture, it didn’t happen, right? These photos are priceless when you think about preserving memories, but they can also be practical. Engagement photos are a great way to try out a photographer for the wedding— most wedding photographers have deals that include the engagement photos. They can be used to announce your engagement on a website or the old-fashioned photo in the paper. You can use them for your decor and for save the date or thank you cards. When you think about the value you get from a professional set of photos, it can put that cost into perspective.
If you want to have photos of the actual proposal, you’ll need to line up someone for the event. If you also want video, make sure you have at least one person for each so you don’t miss a single moment. This is great for candid shots, to document that fantastic setting you worked so hard on, and to capture the natural giddiness of the moment.
If you don’t need or want photos on the day, plan out a photo shoot within the first month so you have them back in time to use for your save the dates or invitations. Shop around and get recommendations from friends. If you have a friend or family member who knows what they’re doing and can take great photos that’s wonderful! Don’t do it just to save a few bucks though. You can’t ever get that moment back, so we think it’s worth spending a little extra for photos that will last a lifetime.
We’re not here to tell you to play things small. If you’ve got a big idea planned for an amazing proposal, then go for it! Hire that string quartet, go skydiving, produce a professional music video— just be sure it’s in your budget. Nothing kills the romance faster than a huge credit card bill hanging over your head before you even walk down the aisle. With the deals you got on the ring and flowers, you might be able to add an extra trumpet to the brass section.
Laurel Nakai is a writer and editor who writes content for everything from tech to lifestyle, but has a special place in her heart for flowers.