Erie Brides on a Budget: Finding the Perfect Ring

- February 11, 2014

If you're planning your big day, you want the best of the best. However, you may have to find ways to cut costs. All week long we're helping Erie brides on a budget.

Gentleman, if you plan on popping the question, there are some things you should know when it comes to buying a ring. First, know your budget and explore payment options including financing. Some places like Dahlkemper's Jewelry Connection on Peach Street in Erie offer free layaway so you can make payments before you take the ring home. You may want to consider taking a woman close to her with you if you’re not sure what style she may like. The color, cut, clarity and carat weight are all factors in cost. If your bride-to-be wants a bigger stone, the jeweler can help you find a diamond in your price range that may be the carat weight you want, but may be slightly flawed. Halo rings are popular right now. Small diamonds surround the main diamond, creating the illusion of a bigger ring. Catherine Dahlkemper says you may have to give up one thing to have the other, so if you want a higher quality you may pay more or not have as big of a center stone. Or have a bigger center stone and a simple setting. Dahlkemper says to let the jeweler know what you want and they can build the ring you love, and you can see what it will look like on the computer before you make the purchase.

If you are recently engaged, the beautiful engagement ring needs to be followed up by ordering wedding bands for the bride and the groom. With money already invested in the perfect engagement ring, it can be tough to foot the bill for two more rings. When the big day is over, you're left with your pictures and your rings to last forever, so figure those rings into the budget. There’s no need to go into debt picking out wedding bands. Most jewelry stores including Dahlkemper’s and Breakiron Jewelers have wedding bands starting at very reasonable prices. Dahlkemper’s wedding bands in sterling silver start in the twenty dollar price range. Consider toning down the glam on the bride's ring and opt for a more inexpensive band and let the engagement ring take center stage. This will save you money and showcase your engagement ring at the same time. This is also the groom's time to shine. There's no need to match metals, just go for what you like. Jewelers are selling a lot of affordable alternative metals now that fit what the groom likes while still staying in budget. Also, you can ask if there are any rings on sale that may have been traded in or come from estate sales. You may end up with a designer ring for a fraction of the price.

Once you have the engagement ring and wedding bands, it's time to think about attendants. If you plan on having a bridal party, plan on giving gifts. One way to save is to ask your jeweler for a discount. Some stores will give a discount on merchandise for bridal parties or mothers of the bride and groom gifts if you purchased the rings there. You don't need to spend a lot for a token of appreciation. Some brides do decide to give a piece of jewelry to the mothers or bridesmaids to wear at the wedding. Breakiron Jewelers carries a lot of options for the ladies helping with your big day.

Throughout the week, we'll bring you more aspects of wedding planning, and ways to do it on a budget. There’s no need to break the bank to have the perfect day.

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