Rings and Things: Going the Non-Traditional Route Part 1

Hi everyone! Today I was going to write about engagement ring shopping. I'm not engaged and no one popped the question, but I wanted to talk about the price of rings and diamonds. What this post turned into was a post on my thoughts on weddings, specifically my future wedding.

Let me back up a bit.

When you've been with someone for almost 8 years (scary haha) you probably already discussed marriage. Otherwise, why would you stay with that someone for that long? This is sort of cliche and silly, but BF and I knew we were soulmates from the very first week we started dating. I can honestly say that he is my best friend and the only person for me in this lifetime. When we started dating we just became inseparable. It was the nauseating, overwhelming, and too much for you kind of love from the very start (probably since I was 18) and I still remember us getting giddy over marriage after a month of dating. It felt like we knew each other for years.

So you see, marriage somehow was always in the stars for us, and we planned to get married after I finished law school. We never talked about the engagement of it all because I think we've always wanted that to be a surprise, but we've thrown ideas around about having a small and non-traditional wedding or getting married at court first then having a ceremony in a few years. It all depends on our finances and the reality is that we would rather be married than have a big wedding, and we would rather go on a nice, long honeymoon than have an extravagant wedding. We've thrown ideas around about having a destination wedding for just immediate family members, where everyone pays for their tickets. Another option was a backyard BBQ or a tiny DIY garden wedding.

When I mention this to people, I seem to get the same response.

"It should be nice," they say.

"You want to be able to look back and remember your special day," is what I hear often.

The thing is, I want something small. When I look back, I'll still remember the love we celebrated with the people we love, and without all the financial burdens. I'll remember it as the beginning of another chapter in my life.

I can't say that I've never dreamed of a big wedding (just look at my pinterest wedding board lol), but when I think about it now, I just don't want to deal with it. My thoughts may change if I make more money later (or if we win the lottery, which we don't play, but maybe we should) but at this point I'm not feeling it. Our finances don't allow it and I'm not willing to receive help for it. I would rather have my parents help me pay down my student loans or help me pay for a down payment on a condo before contributing towards a wedding. Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of having it all haha. But what's weird is that I'm perfectly okay with that.

(Btw, if my parents are reading this - all 4 of you, if you want to help me pay down student loans AND help with a wedding and a down payment - no one is stopping you. HA in my dreams right?)

The wedding industry makes a ton of money by sucking in brides to be with lavish images, reinforcing the old idea that a wedding should be the most memorable day of your life, complete with extravagant everything (you have to have a nice dress right, and flower arrangements, and a great photog, and the list goes on and on). That's not to say that you can't have a DIY wedding or stick to a budget, but it definitely contributes to that "idea" floating around in my head that a wedding should be something that society wants it to be, which in turn adds to the desires that someone has in their head. I completely succumb to it myself (again, see my pinterest board) but I am now in the stance where I am being realistic and putting other priorities first. I remember reading posts like these and scoffing at everything the author was saying. It's funny when you change your stance on something isn't it?

I guess we'll see what happens when the time comes (I'm thinking 2 more years) but I am also incredibly excited to plan a small wedding on a budget. Right now we're thinking $5,000 for the celebration and $5,000 for a ring. The BF wants to spend more on a ring though....

This is what leads me to my thoughts on engagement rings. But, I'll save that for another post because I have a lot of questions and a lot to say on that topic.

What are your thoughts on non-traditional and small weddings? Is it the new "thing" to do these days? Would you be offended if you weren't invited to a friend's wedding because it only consisted of family members? Do you have any tips on a DIY wedding? I'm new to all of this so I would like to hear thoughts. Guys, gals, married and non-married, I want to hear everyone's opinions :)

And thanks for reading this whole post. Kudos!


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