The Chase stock photo: Radu Florin (Pexels)
Between the mirth of Thanksgiving and the romance of Valentine’s Day, America finds itself at the height of engagement season.
According to Weddingwire.com, as many as 40% of engagements occur during this stretch of the year. With all of February left and love still in the air, there’s a chance that you or your partner are planning to pop the question. With this in mind, here are some important things for you and your beloved to know.
Make sure you are ready for this commitment. Ask any married couple: living together is much different than dating. Take the time to get to know each other as intimately as possible to make sure you’ll have a harmonious home. Having a mutual plan for the future will save you a lot of trouble down the road.
You don’t need to break the bank in order to get your partner a ring. The traditional rule of thumb for the cost of a ring is two months’ salary, but that “tradition” originated in a 1930’s ad campaign by diamond company De Beers. The campaign aimed to associate diamonds and hi
gh cost with engagements, and it is clear that it was more successful than they could have imagined. In 2020 though, you can purchase a personalized ring on Etsy for as low as $25.
Be creative! Your engagement is a moment that you both will remember for the rest of your lives, so it’s worth it to make it a memorable story. Scour the internet for some inspiration and try to incorporate your partner’s interests. Consider asking friends and family for some ideas too; a team effort could truly make the big moment special and help to calm your nerves.
When you’re planning your wedding, remember you can always go second hand. While it may seem tacky, evenfinancial.com estimates that the average traditional wedding costs up to $31,000. That’s a figure that would make most of us consider a job as a wedding planner. For your wedding though, it’s possible to buy your dress and other essentials second-hand. On preownedweddingdresses.com, you can buy a wedding dress at just $600 after an 80% discount.
If even discounts do not bring the budget within your range, it’s also valid to do some DIY and make your wedding your own. From the veil to your decorations, there are many personal touches you can make yourself by following tutorials online or employing your own artistic touch.
Shaylee Moon, an ENMU student in the midst of her engagement, has her own advice: “The most important thing in all of this is to enjoy this time. Wedding planning can be stressful, and there’s so much that goes into it, so much money, and then on top of that there’s so many people who have opinions, so I think you can get stressed out, but it’s worth it to remember that this is such a cool time, and you’re only going to be engaged for this time, so enjoy this.”
It’s important to remember as young people that there isn’t just one way to get married. There are a variety of traditions here in America, but don’t feel bound to them if they feel extraneous to you. A nontraditional wedding is just as valid as any other, and as long as you both put in the work and are committed to one another, you will be amazing.