Your .o2 on engagement rings/casual weddings

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SomewhereOutThere, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok...I value the creative advice I have gotten here for fifteen years. Maybe you can advise or give your opinions...there are NO unappreciated answers so if you are so inclined, please respond.

    My daughter Jumper and son Sonic were raised in a loving home with myself and the love of my life and both say they had great lives with us, for which we are grateful. They mean it, which is precious to us both.

    On the other hand, those two kids grew up in a home that had no extra money at all and they asked for nothing and never complained. My oldest two have received a lot from my ex, but these two...nothing.

    We wrote a new will after my dear dad passed and we found out we would finally have some money, bless my fathers heart. I did not expect it. Thought the money was largely gone. But he made sure all three of us will get something significant.

    Although the money has to last a lifetime for us, and we are going to invest mostly in low risk and some medium risk things, it wont make us rich. But husband and I have decided to do some things for Jumper that we never thought of before as it wasnt possible.

    We are going to help her fiance pay for her ring (he wants to pay us back, We are going to pay for 1/3 of the wedding, which she is targeting at about $10,000 and,most importantly, we plan to gift the kids a big down payment for their dream home with land. After buying an RV for us for about 10K and maybe a $3000 boat, the rest will be invested/untouched. We will live on our small income and any profit from investment.

    So we want to keep everything lower cost. Real estate out here is can get a four bedroom home on five beautiful acres for $170,000 or less and this is where they want to live...out in the country.

    Ok, rings first. I read that the average ring is $5000. Yet I heard that couples who spend $500 to $2000 on a ring have a lower rate of divorce. There is no way we will give $5k for a ring. Up to $2000 tops. If they want more they can pay the rest. Is this fair? Jumper is not pretentious and it is our pleasure to help her out within reason.

    Jumper and fiance want a casual wedding. No church, but she does want her old volleyball coach to officiate. This coach is pastor of a big church in town and she loves Jumper. Jumper and fiance like the idea of an old barn wedding...this is done here. They have barns for rent for weddings! I assume there are no horses in them :)

    We may rent a pavillion for the reception, cook our own food (chefs in the family) and bring our own booze. His family drinks mostly beer! Not fancy!

    His family offered to pay for the whole wedding but now we will sit down and discuss it. Very nice, down home folks. Its not traditional, but neither are our families. We will let them pay some of it and we will. The kids say they they will also help. Both have jobs, althought dauvhter will not graduate from police academy until 2018 ( they will marry after she graduates).

    So after all this, with a down payment on a home being a wedding gift, our biggest contribution, what do you feel is reasonable for a ring?

    Also, any cool ideas for a down home but awesome wedding? My niece had a similar wedding and it rocked. After the ceremony everyone changed into jeans and we all had great home cooked food and fun on the beach. We can bring our boat.

    My daughter, like all my kids, tend to be non traditional and down home. (Hmmm...where did they get that?) Hub and I feel it is more important to get them a low house payment than a fancy wedding that is not their style anyway. We are both very excited and she is so grateful. The boat we are buying is also going to be shared by all of us.

    Her home will have lots of land and we will park our RV on it in the summer, when we are back in Wisconsin. Fiance has always lived on lots of land, both want land, and both want their kids to grow up in and go to school in a small town. The towns they are looking at are lovely and tranquil eith surprisingly good but small schools.

    So back to the ring and wedding. Is a $2000 gift to the ring ok? And what can you think of to have a fun, down home, wonderful low cost wedding? Music without a DJ? Neither family dances...

    Oh yeah we are buying the dress too, but limiting the cost on that too. Jumper wants me and Dad to come with when she buys dress just like the show "SayYes to the Dress" lol. She loves her daddy so much and wants him to like her dress. As if he wont think she is the most beautiful bride ever, no matter what she wears! And she wants me there as well.

    If you think we are wrong on any front, do tell. This is the first time we are able to contribute anything significant to our daughters life.

    For Sonic, since he is considered disabled, we will set up an appropriate trust for him after we cross into the spirit world. He will not be forgotten.

    Open to all thoughts. In spite of wanting to help, we need most of the money for us, and it needs to last for the rest of our lives.

    Thank you to all who read this and to any who respond.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  2. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    First, while I'm very sorry for your loss, it's so wonderful that you have had this inheritance to help you out and enable you to give Jumper a nice start to her married life.

    My opinion of engagement rings is - WHAT A RIPOFF! Really? $5,000? That would pay for a decent honeymoon! Jabber and I did two weeks in Italy on that much money in 2010! And what's it worth after? I guarantee you...NOT $5,000! Jabber and my whole wedding, which was formal and very nice, though we skipped the big dance part of the reception, probably didn't cost $5,000 17 years ago.

    Jabber surprised me with my ring and I'm not sure what he paid, but I bet it wasn't more than $600. That's entire set. It had a 1/4 karat diamond and a three chips on either side. He offered to let me "trade up" but I would NEVER have even considered it! That was the one HE bought me and that was all that mattered!

    A few years back, I lost the big diamond. I had it replaced with a larger sapphire...that's really more my style anyway.

    Jumper sounds like a girl with a good head on her shoulders. What's her take on it? Have they been ring-shopping? Does she not know about this financial arrangement? That's perfectly okay of course, but I'd find a way to talk to her about her tastes. Maybe she'd prefer a different stone than a diamond? Maybe she wants a simple solitaire? I doubt she'll want anything too flashy and in the end, it's HER ring.

    One word - Pinterest! Search "Country Wedding Ideas". I promise, you'll have more cool ideas than you can possibly use!

    Exactly. A wedding is ONE day. An important one...but still just one. They aren't making any more land. This is the thing that makes me crazy about the price of engagement rings. The prices of those things are good starts toward down payment on a home...and homes go UP in value!
  3. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    It must feel wonderful to be in a position to help your daughter and future Son in law. Please do what makes you happy.

    Something I will mention from my point of view. How will you feel if they should divorce in the future? Will you be upset about the money you've given? If they have to sell the home and split the proceeds between both of them? No one likes to think of a marriage not working out... But...

    Do you have a diamond you hand down to them and they could choose a new setting? Some couples do a wedding band, and then as an anniversary gift purchase a solitaire.

    The casual wedding sounds perfect! My nephew did an outdoor wedding at a small B&B and barn reception. Instead of fancy cut flowers, you could buy potted plants that could later be used at their new home.

    Good luck!
  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    I agree with everything you mentioned in your post. You are being very generous indeed!

    The barn wedding sounds awesome. Husband and I got married in Las Vegas 25 years ago and had some friends with us and then we had a dinner at a lobster house that my in-laws paid for - they insisted but all his mom did was bit*h about my nephew's girlfriend that ate a lobster. OMG I have only a few people in my entire family so let the darned girl have a lobster right!!

    Just make it fun and easy and everyone will enjoy themselves! I think the foo foo weddings are so boring anyway and the food always sucks!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, thanks, thanks.

    I will give up to 2k for tje ring. Rest is up to them. Jumper is not pretentious and fiance has good job. If they want more he csn pay the rest.

    I honestly cant see a divorce, bit it is always a possibility. I am gping with my instincts and doing what I feel is right. Hubby as well. If they divorce, they do. Cant think about that now. I think these teo are at lower risk for one.

    Pintercast. Wow. Jumper and I will both look.

    Jumper isnt even sure she wants to firce guests to dress Both families are very chill.

    Thanks again!
  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member


    I love wedding planning. I truly think I could be a wedding planner in another life. If Jabber and I were doing it all over again, we'd have a very casual wedding. A church ceremony and then a barbeque in his parent's backyard (they have like 3 acres). I could see it...garlands of flowers and candles floating on the pond... :)
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Lil, sounds heavenly.
  8. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Barn weddings are considered formal weddings in Texas. A casual wedding would be held outside the barn.:p

    I love bbq and sweet tea at a wedding. If no one is a huge fan of dancing, do the traditional first dance, dance with parents, and then if other people want to dance fine dj or recorded sound tract on speakers.

    I went to a wedding that had lawn games spread out on the grounds. Most fun I ever had at a wedding. Guests were told on the R.S.V.P. to wear their nicest bluejeans and boots.

    It was simple. The decor was field flowers, candles, and a few other personal touches. There was no alcohol and no one missed it.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I never heard of a barn wedding before. Ever. I love the barbecue idea and will present that to her. Like the games idea too, but this is up to them.

    Our family barely drinks, excrpt for brother and sister in law, but his family drinks, however no expensive booze necessary. Such great ideas!

    My daughter is not looking for a traditional wedding and neither is her fiance. I suspect their vows will be their own. I would not be that surprised if their beloved dog were not included in the festivities. No, I am not kidding.
  10. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I love the Pinterest idea! Lots of great stuff.
  11. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    If anyone in the family/friends are crafty at all, Pinterest has a LOT of cute ideas for decorations that you can make.
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  12. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    SWOT what a wonderful gereous hesrt you have. First the ring $2,000.00 is more than enough. Have you considered looking at second hand rings. That may be off putting to some but I have a friend who is a jeweller and he says the best bargain is a second hand Diamond even if it is taken out of the set and remounted is is so much cheaper. With the Dicorce rate as high as it is there are loads on the market.
    I eloped and went to the beach, so I like small simple and casual.

    Barn weddings are very popular here. My BFF from childhood just had her daughters wedding at there own farm and they even put little vests on the laying hens for a lark and the Bride came in on a horse!
    The girls wore very simple summer dresses and the bride wore a lovely white cotton dress 3/4 in length. The men wore cammo T shirts and black jeans with boots, it looked really cute. They decorated the barn with sprays of wild flowers from the field and gardens. They are an extremely musical family so the brother of the bride and his mates played the music and the other family joined in at times. They roasted a massive pig and the rest was pot luck and BYOB. The cake was made by mom Simple and tiered in a ring of wild flowers. It was very pretty and delicious.
    They pitched a marquis because there barns are full.
    I know you will have the most amazing wedding filled with so much love.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow, such great ideas! Thank you so much!

    I have never heard of a barn wedding. I'm a city girl :). But Jumper grew up here and fiancer is a boy born and raised in the country on acres and acres of land. I love the area and home where he grew up. It is a country town very close to a smaller city, which has everything they would need, including a major medical center. There are female police officers wanted in nearby towns. They need women specifically because only females can frisk a female and there are not enough.

    However, if they want to wait until she gets a job to buy a house, thats okay. They wont go too far...Jumper loves it here and fiances job is in the area.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Speaking as someone who has been married three times -

    Your personal style changes over the years, as do the trends in ring styles. I would suggest something leaning more towards a classic style, especially since Jumper is a down-to-earth young lady. For my first marriage, my solitaire was only a quarter carat, since that was all we could afford. My second marriage, I had a half carat solitaire, which I gave to Miss KT when she turned 18.

    Hubby and I went shopping for my ring together. I really didn't know what style I was looking for. We found an engagement/wedding ring set, on clearance because the wedding ring was a different size than the engagement ring, but since I needed to have it sized anyway, who cares?

    As the other ladies have said, the four C's are important, but also look for things they've marked way down because of things like sizing, because that's really easy to correct.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Will do. Jumper loves a good bargain.
  16. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    SWOT, what a beautiful thing you are doing in helping them. Love, love, love that you would rather spend money on a down payment for a house than a big fancy party.
    $2K for a ring is a very nice gift also.

    When I got married we opted for the reception to be in our backyard. I loved the simplicity of it and yet we made it very elegant.

    I've been to a barn wedding that was awesome, down to earth but elegant.

    I love Pinterest, so many ideas!!!

    As for the flowers, you don't need to spend a bunch of money on a florist, be your own. Go to thrift stores to find glass vases of various shapes and sizes, they can be used for centerpieces.

    One thing I've seen a lot of lately is cupcakes instead of a big expensive wedding cake. Nice thing about cupcakes is you can have such a variety.

    How fun to be able to help plan the wedding. :love_heart:
  17. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Great idea for the flowers!
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Talked to Jumper today. It is interesting that fiance never popped the question...they have been assuming they would marry for a long time. Like it is a natural progression.

    Now that they are looking at rings, she is very excited though. She found a ring she loves, and when I see her tomorrow I will ask her what kind of style it is. She sent sa picture. I cant remember the style it is lol. Its more than the price we offered, but our part will offset the cost.

    She knows our main goal is to help her buy a house. She is excited about that too. The wedding is one day. The house can last a lifetime. Thats our priority and will be our wedding gift.
  19. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I went to a lovely barn wedding in Texas by a rather affluent family whose child rather use any extra money for the food. They married outside under a flowered arch then we went to the barn for dancing and buffet. It was lovely. They lined the "aisle" where the bride walked with mason jars with wildflowers. Put them on shepherd's hooks that were waist high.
    As far as what and how much, my m i l gave her daughter a set amount of money and said she could use it to pay for the wedding or put on a house or split it up. I thought that was wise. It allows the couple to learn prioritizing. It also gives them some control.
    The engagement ring gives me pause. It should be from her fiancé. He should make the sacrifice to give his bride what he can to show his love. It might be a time for parents to stay out of the commitment the two are making to each other.

    There are very few traditional families, splitting the cost of a wedding with other parents and the couple sounds reasonable to me. It gets tricky when control becomes the issue and it will. Maybe each parent giving a set amount of money towards the wedding and letting the couple have control will keep in laws friendly.

    My first engagement ring as my first house were very modest. It was all we could afford. No parental help(m i l didn't to for sons as she did for daughter). I've upgraded as life moved along but it was always husband and I working together to achieve goals. Just keep what's best for a young marrying couple so they learn how to problem solve, make mistakes and move on together. It's the glue in my humble opinion.

    Best wishes to young couple for a long and happy life.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Fran!

    We already promised for the ring. He will be paying some of it.

    Not worried about the wedding control. Its up to the kids. We are not controllig, nor are they. We are going to get together to talk about who pays what.

    Its good to "see" you again!