With This Ring, I Thee Wed

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Jewelers Mutual Insurance for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

As I write this, I am exactly one week away from my wedding! It’s hard to believe that the day that has been in the works for so long and dreamed about since I was a child is just 7 days away. Wedding planning is a true whirlwind, so it’s important to steal a moment away from spreadsheets and to-do lists to remember why you’re getting married in the first place! So this morning, I am reminiscing about the day that we got engaged.

We consider New Year’s Day to be our “anniversary”, since it was after a friend’s NYE party that Jai and I realized we were a perfect match. Because of this, Jai knew that he wanted to propose over New Year’s. The year that we got engaged, we were spending New Year’s Eve together at home – just the two of us relaxing, enjoying dinner and talking about our future. Jai then told me that I should play a round of World of Warcraft with him, so I logged on to my computer.

When I got into the game, Jai had created his own customized quest with personal messages to me. My character was led to a treasure chest and when I clicked on it, it revealed a ring and the message: Will you marry me? I stood up from the computer and hugged him in real life while crying happy tears!

The next morning, we went over to his grandma’s house to tell her the happy news. We made conversation while she and her daughter were taking the Christmas tree down, and then casually said, “Oh, by the way, we got engaged last night.” Jai timed this for when they had put the Christmas ornaments down so that they wouldn’t drop them in their excitement as they screamed and jumped up!

Back in the 1980s, Grandma used to run a jewelry store, and still had some nice rings in her safe deposit box at the time of our engagement that were leftover from her shop. So after she hugged us, she said, “I have some rings if you’d like to look at them…oh, you probably want to buy your own, though.” I said that I would very much like to see her beautiful rings, and the words had barely left my mouth before Grandma was putting on her coat and excitedly hurrying out the door to the bank to bring some rings over for me to look at!

Jai had wanted to pick out the ring with me so that I could get exactly what I would like (this is pretty common these days! Learn what brides-to-be want in an engagement ring). As we looked at Grandma’s rings, my eye was drawn to a beautiful 14k platinum diamond ring. It was stunning and fit my style perfectly – it was the one! We took the ring to a local jeweler to have it re-sized, and after we got back, Jai surprised me before a dinner party I was throwing by putting on a nice suit and taking me outside to propose a second time with the ring. And that’s how this whole wedding adventure began!

Getting some henna art to show off my ring hand after we got engaged!

I’ve learned so much about weddings during our engagement, especially since we’re doing it DIY and I am serving as my own wedding planner. There are so many details to think about! For our wedding bands, Jai and I are both wearing heirloom rings from our respective grandparents. From getting the rings sized to finding out about spacers and how to properly clean them, I’ve learned quite a bit about jewelry in the last few months!

Since our rings are so meaningful to us, it’s very important that we keep them safe during the chaos of the wedding day, so I’ve been taking a crash course on Jewelry Insurance 101. Jewelers Mutual has a lot of great advice for keeping your rings safe to give peace of mind during a sometimes-stressful time. Since they specialize in jewelry insurance, they are the experts in protecting these symbols of your love. Whether you just got engaged or are celebrating a milestone anniversary, you can Get a free jewelry insurance quote online in minutes and scratch one more item off your to-do list!

What’s your proposal story? Did you get ring insurance after you got engaged? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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Our Wedding Was Featured in The Wall Street Journal!

Our wedding made front page news! The Wall Street Journal interviewed Jai and I for an article on eclipse weddings that ran both online and on the front page of Wednesday’s WSJ. Click here to read the piece and pick it up on newsstands today!


Wedding Livestream on 8/21 at 9:00 AM PST

Because our loved ones are spread across the world, Jai and I are harnessing the miracle of modern technology to share the moment live with those who are unable to attend in person! Our wedding will begin streaming live on YouTube on August 21st at 9:00 AM PST thanks to our videographer, William Ensign of Entangled Productions. Just bookmark this link and come back on the big day to see us tie the knot!

How to Save on Wedding Invitations

This is a sponsored post.

Sending out invitations is one of the first steps that you take when planning a wedding. And between save-the-dates, invitations, envelopes, RSVP cards, inserts, and postage, it’s also an expense that adds up fast. If you’ve been pricing out invitations and getting sticker shock, don’t worry – I have three suggestions that can help you trim your invitation budget:

1. Go Virtual

Our Wedding Invites

I love snail mail and sending handwritten cards! But since we are sending out over 300 invitations to our wedding – many of which are being sent internationally – traditional invitations would have been an unnecessarily high expense. Instead, I used Paperless Post to send digital save-the-dates and invitations out for free. They’re really cute and come with a lot of benefits, like a fun matching website, being able to track RSVPs in real time, and countless hours saved, since email invitations are much quicker and easier to send than mailed invitations. And for those on our guest list who don’t have email addresses, I was able to order a set of 10 physical copies of our digital invitation (Shown above) for $32.40, not including postage. Given that average prices for wedding invitations can easily be around $500-1,000+, that’s a big savings!

2. Get Crafty

If you’re the creative type, making your own invitations can be another way to save. This could be as simple as designing your own invitation using a free template and printing it off on nice card stock, or creating a piece of physical artwork and having it photocopied. If your guest list is small enough – and your ambition high enough – you could also consider handcrafting each invitation out of cardboard, or if you want to skip the Post Office entirely, use a unique object like a message in a bottle and hand-deliver it. The cost of this will vary on how many guests you have and the type of materials used; be sure to plan ahead and price out supplies if you decide to go DIY, because crafts can quickly get expensive if you’re not careful.

3. Use Coupons

Groupon Coupons

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of using Groupon Coupons to save on wedding supplies, and invites are no exception! For example, Groupon Coupons has a page of Shutterfly promo codes that currently includes an offer for 5 free wedding invitation samples. If you like what you see, you can save on ordering a full set of invitations from Shutterfly with promo codes for free shipping and 40%. Alternatively, you check out the Groupon Coupons page of Vistaprint coupons and get 25% off invitations or $10 off an order of $50.

Do you have any tips I missed? Share them below in the comments!

Save The Date: August 21st, 2017!

I’m so excited to share a wedding planning update: Jai and I have our date set for August 21st, 2017. We picked this day to coincide with the Total Solar Eclipse that is happening that morning, and will be viewing the eclipse with our guests as part of the wedding ceremony. It’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and I’ll be sharing all the planning details with you right here!

How to Make DIY Decorative Wedding Champagne Flutes

DIY Decorative Wedding Champagne Flutes

Photo Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media Family Networks/Photographer: Jeremy Lee

Getting crafty is a great way to save money on your wedding budget. The Home & Family show on Hallmark Channel is all about the DIY, and today they’re sharing this awesome champagne flute craft with us that will only set you back $35 for 8 glasses:

How to make your own Wedding Champagne Flutes

Photo Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media Family Networks/Photographer: Jeremy Lee

Materials:

• Acrylic Paint
• Satin Ribbon
• Tulle
• Rhinestones
• Hot Glue Gun
• Paint Pens
• Small Paint Brush

Directions:

1. For the women’s glasses, attach the ribbon and tulle to the bottom with a glue gun to create the same look as a dress. You can scrunch up the tulle for extra volume. For the bridesmaids, use pink. For the bride, use white.
2. Add rhinestones and any other embellishments you would like to complete the look.
3. For the men’s glasses, attach a matching bow to their ladies (so in this case, add a white bow to the Groom’s glass, and a pink bow to the Groomsmen’s glasses).
4. Add any embellishments you would like!
5. Voila! Raise a toast to your cute new bridal party champagne flutes!

Home & Family airs weekdays at 10 am ET/PT on Hallmark Channel.

Finding my Bridal Bouquet at Commercial Silk

Mini Cymbidium Orchid Bridal Bouquet
Sample product provided.

Until recently, it hadn’t even occurred to me to consider artificial flowers for my wedding – but then I discovered a company called Commercial Silk. They offer a wide variety of artificial flowers, topiaries and trees for homes, offices and outdoor displays. Their subsidiary company, Silk Plants Direct, offers smaller items like centerpieces, bouquets and corsages, and I became a fan last year when I chose one of their beautiful bouquets for my bridesmaids. Now that I realized what a great option silk flowers can be, I decided to pick out my own bridal bouquet from their selection.

Mini Cymbidium Orchid Bridal Bouquet in White Green

After looking through the bouquets and thinking about what I want my dress to look like, I decided on these Mini Cymbidium Orchid Bridal Bouquets in White Green from Silk Plants Direct. This is a pack of two bouquets that measure about 6.5″ tall. It is a more substantial bouquet than I expected, with some weight. It is small enough to just fit in my hands, giving a cute and traditional look. The flowers themselves are quite pretty – I wanted something that had a very classic look to it, and I think I succeeded here. I didn’t realize just how elegant artificial flowers could be until I was introduced to this company, and I’m so glad to have found them! I love the fact that these flowers will remain as mementos after the ceremony has ended, instead of just getting thrown away – whichever lady wins the bouquet toss will have a trophy long after the wedding has ended. I’m happy with my choice and can’t wait to walk down the aisle with my bouquet in hand!