Finding our way to being engaged and deciding to get married, didn’t go the way I had imagined. I always thought it would be a surprise and I’d be swept off my feet. The thing about love, like real love, it sweeps you off your feet from the very beginning and everything else is a bonus. We’ve talked about getting married since very early in our relationship. It wasn’t something we felt we had to do, but knew one day we would want to. Life happened, we went on a trips to Spain, LA, San Francisco, Hawaii, spent time with family and friends, bought a house, I changed jobs, Mark was promoted, the list goes on. Then at the end of last year I felt we talked about getting married more and more, it seemed like it was time. (Side note, I may have also had a mental break at one point, after some wine, stating to Mark that when we do get married no one will care because we’ve been dating forever, lol!)
At Christmas in the hot tub, as real men do, Mark asked my dad to marry me. I, of course, was not supposed to know this, but my dad was bursting with joy and couldn’t contain himself. There were definitely some tears shed and it’s been a nice little secret to hold. Soon after Mark started asking ring questions, I realized then he didn’t have a plan or a ring. We started talking about rings, what kind of designs we liked, the style, shape and at one point I asked Mark his budget, it was big, like more than the value of my car! At first I was swooning, looking up all these amazing rings, they were stunning, beautiful and expensive! Then one day, with my camera on a tripod in self-timer mode, and me trying to take a Frugal Fashion Friday photo, I had an ahha moment (these actually happen). The ring we had been looking at was gorgeous, but in that moment I realized it didn’t fit the life we worked so hard to build.
Since being together we have accomplished so much in our careers, financially and as a couple, even though Mark had this money, I didn’t feel right spending it all on a ring. One night I told Mark about my ahha moment and how I would like to look for something more affordable. He actually asked me if I was sure, and I said yes. He responded by saying, don’t you want to show this off, be proud and say my man bought this for me. I laughed, because it was adorable, and said no I don’t. I am proud of you, of us as a couple, the life we have built and all that we have. I do not need a large diamond for anyone to know that.
I started searching, and surprisingly found quite a few rings under $5000 that were magnificent (article to follow next with rings under $2000! Yes I found some even less expensive but still to die for!) Then we found the one. A ring made by Eden Philippa, a Toronto designer, using reclaimed metals and conflict free diamonds. Here’s the catch, we bought my engagement ring, two bands for my ring and Marks ring for a little over Marks ORIGINAL BUDGET FOR ONE RING! Now I realize we still may have spent more than some people can afford, but keep in mind we bought four rings for half the budget. The best part! I can’t wait to brag about how my boyfriend, oh sorry, FIANCE, found a Canadian designer using reclaimed metals, making beautiful affordable rings.
When we finally found the ring, Mark said the best thing, he told me that he loved this ring because you can see the wedding band. I hadn’t realized it before but all the other expensive rings hid the wedding band, and this meant something to him. I feel good that I stuck with my gut and we made the right choice for us. I think we are beyond a time where partners have to spend three months’ salary because that is the rule or engagement rings can only be diamonds when there are so many unique alternatives or that anyone would judge our relationship based on ring.
We are choosing to get married because we want to celebrate with the people we love, in our hearts we already committed to one another.
Welcome to Wedding Wednesday.