Being a smart with money is essential to the wedding planning process. Trust me, if funds were unlimited, I would order everything I’ve pinned on Pinterest and more. And unfortunately, because funds are limited, the ring I painstakingly picked out had to be put on layaway. I swear that I am not one of “those girls” that picked out my own ring and told my fiance, “By the way, a ring is on hold, so be ready to propose at some point.” We did talk about marriage before we went ring shopping, and it is something we both really want. We had a vague budget in mind, and I had an idea of what I wanted, but to say we were prepared is probably inaccurate. So allow me to share with you how we muddled our way through making this rather astronomical purchase.
So I probably should have my girl card revoked for not knowing this one, but ladies, the diamond and the setting come separately. Every jewelry store we went to, we would pick out a few settings I liked, and the jeweler would say, “This is beautiful, it is white gold, with tiny diamonds here, and here. This costs around $3,000.” Ok, we think, $3,000 is something we can finance and pay off in a reasonable amount of time. Then she speaks again, “And over here we have the diamonds for the setting, this one is lovely and will run you about $3,000.” WHAT?! So the total cost is $6,000? You sneaky people you! The lesson learned here is, when you budget for a ring, keep in mind the cost diamond is usually separate from the cost of the setting, so have you budget and stick to it! Needless to say, we did not go with the $6,000 option. I want pretty things…but think of all we could do with that money!
When we began looking around, the first store we stopped at was Day’s Jewelers. I looked at a few settings and I found one that I fell in love with. Stone AND setting included in the very reasonable price! I must say I was ready to take it home right there. But very wise advice from Smokey Robinson (and my mom) “You better shop around.” We then planned a day of it! We walked around to large jewelry stores, small jewelry stores, custom settings, flawless diamonds. Can anyone say Pretty Woman? I did feel like a princess, “No dah-ling, I would rather have that one because this one doesn’t look just right on my hand.” Kate Middleton eat your heart out! In the end, I did come back to Day’s because I realized, when you’re in love, you go with your heart, and my heart really liked that ring.
Now lets talk turkey. There was no way we could drop that amount of cash on the ring, and I really didn’t want to charge or finance it due to astronomical interest rates. So what does the frugal bride do? Layaway! No, it’s not just for K-Mart shoppers! Day’s offered a layaway program, interest free for 10 months, but they keep the ring. After 10 months, paying a certain amount we could get the price down to a place where there would be affordable financing. So, October 2011, we got my ring! But since we couldn’t take it home, no formal proposal. Hence why I started planning without an engagement!
And now, the best part, a stroke of luck! Day’s called us up and asked us if we wanted to finance the ring for 24 months, interest free! Since we had been paying on it for a few months now, the price was down to a place where we could pay it off way before 24 months! And now the ring is in our (ahem HIS) possession. Now all I have to do is wait! (rather impatiently) for that wonderful proposal! If you are curious I do have a picture of the ring…but you know what? I think I will hold off revealing it until that big day when I have it on my finger for keeps! Stay tuned!