Wedding day blues
July 7, 2008, 6:54 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Wedding

I had my first good cry over the wedding today. Damn it.

We need to figure out a way to have this wedding on a budget without having it seem like we’re on a budget (read: no beans and weenies, no metal folding chairs, no casual family reunion feel). I hate to be so picky about this, but it is my once in a lifetime wedding, after all, so I’d like it to be remotely nice.

The beginnings of a frugal wedding
March 26, 2008, 1:27 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Wedding

This post was included in the 119th Festival of Frugality carnival over at Consumerism Commentary. 

Jake and I knew pretty early on in our relationship that we wanted to get married. We spoke about it extensively with each other and hinted at it to our families. He knew what my tiny ring size was (4 1/2), that I hate yellow gold, and that I wasn’t expecting anything flashy for my engagement ring. The only hang up was the fact that he had zero money to spend on something as expensive as a diamond ring.

I got a great idea from Jake’s sister in law when we talked about engagement rings during a family gathering. She had gotten the diamonds in her engagement ring from her mom. Her mom had divorced her father and her engagement ring from him was just sitting around, collecting dust. She willingly gave it to her daughter since she had no use for it anymore. Jake’s brother simply got the diamonds reset into a new band and voila, an engagement ring. My parents got divorced when I was eight years old and I knew that my mom still had the engagement ring my dad gave her. I called her up a few days later.

After I tactfully approached the subject of the ring, my mom said no for two reasons. First, she has bad memories attached to that ring and she didn’t want to “pass on” that misfortune to me. Second, she didn’t think the quality of the diamond was very high and didn’t want to give me something that wasn’t the best quality. I completely understand her point of view and have no hard feelings associated with her decision. Jake and I went back to start and let the issue rest for awhile.

Last summer, Jake’s parents were in the process of moving and his mom began going through all of their things and getting rid of everything they no longer needed. She looked through her jewelry and gave Jake a call. She had a pair of diamond earrings and a few rings that had diamond side stones that she no longer wore. She happily gave these diamonds to us to use for my engagement ring.

The diamonds sat in my jewelry box for a few months until Jake surprised me with the complete ring at bended knee.


Because we reused unwanted diamonds instead of purchasing a premade engagement ring, Jake paid considerably less for my ring than it’s actual value. While we did manage to save a good chunk of change by going this route, there are several other benefits to using my future mother in law’s diamonds in my engagement ring:

Since everything about my ring is unique and it was completely custom made, no one else could possibly have the same ring that I have. I like the fact that, just like Jake’s and my relationship, my ring truly is one of a kind.

I have a stronger bond with my future in laws because of my ring. Jake’s mom clearly likes me and wants me to be a part of the family, otherwise she wouldn’t have offered up the diamonds in the first place. I am eternally grateful for her generosity and I know that we will continue to grow closer over the years.

There is a history behind the diamonds– something you can’t put a price on- instead of just a jewelry store name.

By reusing diamonds, we are not directly nor indirectly supporting the mining of blood diamonds. I don’t think I could consciously wear a rock on my finger when there’s a possibility that someone died for that luxury of mine or that the profits made off of that diamond funded an unjust war. We are lessening the chances that the diamonds were involved in any sort of conflict by using stones that were mined years ago.

I hope that we continue to make frugal decisions as we move forward in our wedding planning. We’re already started on the right foot, thanks in large part to the benevolence of my future mother in law.