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So after almost 4 years together my bf and I are finally talking about marriage. We are 37 and 41 years old and both of us are not into "wedding stuff" in general. There's no way I'm wearing a white wedding dress, and we don't want bridesmaids, a big reception with people doing the electric slide, etc. (Not that anything's wrong with all that! Just not for us.) We also don't want to spend lots of money or have a lot of stress about the event. We do, however, want to make it special in some way. Do any of you guys have any non-traditional wedding tales to tell? Any great ideas for how to have a meaningful wedding without making a big to-do or spending lots of cash?<br><br><br><br>
My next question is about wedding rings. Although I've never had many concrete fantasies about being married, one thing I always envisioned is to have simple gold bands as wedding rings, mainly because that's what my parents have always had (they've been married over 40 years), and I like the simplicity of it. My bf, however, has expressed his desire not to wear a ring at all because he hates wearing rings and he doesn't want anything "heavy" on his finger. The only way he can see wearing a ring is if it's made out of hemp or something. When he said the thing about hemp I thought, you must be joking. So I guess my question is, does anyone have any good ideas for what we could get wedding rings made out of that would be sturdy and permanent, but also be "light"? Another question is, am I being too concerned with him wearing a ring at all? Should I just get over the whole symbolism of the ring and let him not wear one if he doesn't want to?<br><br><br><br>
And finally, a question for those of you who got married after already having established finances. How did you handle the pooling of your funds?<br><br><br><br>
I'd really appreciate any comments any of you have regarding these questions, whether you're married or not.
 

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Congratulations!<br><br><br><br>
Only comment I have atm is re: the ring. My parents have been married for 35+ yrs and my father has never worn his wedding ring. He doesn't like wearing jewelry. When I was growing up, and realized that other men DO wear their wedding rings, I thought it was weird cause my dad never did. Certainly didn't hurt my parents' relationship at all!!
 

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Congratulations. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
When we got married 2 years ago, it was by a justice of the peace. Aside from us, there were his grandparents, his father, and two of our friends (my parents couldn't make it, for reasons that really aren't that interesting). It took 6 minutes, and then later we went out to eat at a great restaurant with two of our friends who had missed the ceremony. It was a really nice day, and it was incredibly cheap.<br><br><br><br>
You should definitely consider being married by a justice of the peace, then giving yourselves a treat after to make it special. Maybe eating at an expensive restaurant that you've been wanting to go to, or have a great honeymoon, or go hiking, whatever works.<br><br><br><br>
We don't have wedding rings, so I can't advise you on that. We didn't get them initially because we were poor and they didn't seem important to us. A few times since, we've both thought that we might get them someday, but it's still not a priority. Since he mentioned hemp, you could have hemp bracelets, anklets, or necklaces. It doesn't have to fit on your finger to be symbolic, it's technically still a ring, just a really big one that encircles another part of the body.<br><br><br><br>
As for merging of finances... well, as I said, we were poor, so I don't have advice on that. We now have more money, but still debt.
 

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I bought a wedding ring for myself because I wanted one, but my husband of 6 years has never worn one, and we're happy as clams in a vegan resort. If it's really really important to you, I like Elena's idea of a necklace or bracelet or some other item as a symbol. Or what about a tattoo? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:">
 

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I have a friend who is getting married this fall during her honeymoon on an island in the Caribbean w/ just her fiancé and herself, the family will get together after they come back. Maybe you could do a destination wedding (the cost of the destination would pretty much be the cost of the wedding).<br><br><br><br>
As for wedding rings, titanium is VERY light and my b/f and I ordered some jewelry off of one of the e-bay stores for not too much. There are numerous people on e-bay that do custom work after you pay, including engraving, different finishes etc. The ring I ordered is very nice, has held up well for over a year and was, I believe $25. There were lots of "wedding ring" styles available.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>eggplant</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
We also don't want to spend lots of money or have a lot of stress about the event. We do, however, want to make it special in some way. Do any of you guys have any non-traditional wedding tales to tell?</div>
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Congrats! My husband and I didn't want a traditional wedding either. We had a really low-stress, simple one that turned out great. We got married at the beach (meaningful place for us) and had just family and a few friends there. My nephews played in the sand at my feet while I was saying vows. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> We sent out announcements to a few people afterwards and held a small reception a couple of weeks after our honeymoon.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">My bf, however, has expressed his desire not to wear a ring at all because he hates wearing rings and he doesn't want anything "heavy" on his finger.</div>
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This wouldn't be a big deal to me, so I'm not sure what to suggest. I once saw someone who did not wear a ring, but had one tatooed on. (He kept losing his ring and that was their solution, LOL.) Just an idea.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">And finally, a question for those of you who got married after already having established finances. How did you handle the pooling of your funds?</div>
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That was a big concern for us especially since we'd both been handling our own money as singles for so long. We weren't used to sharing expenses or having to consult with anyone before spending money and we didn't see eye to eye on how it should be spent. We ended up getting a joint checking account and also each of us had a personal account. We deposit paychecks into the joint account and pay most bills from there. From the joint account we write 2 checks, one to each of us, and use that money for hobbies, coffees, lunch money, basically whatever we want to "just spend" without it being in the budget or having to consult with the other person. It's worked well for us for 6+ years. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I just got married this last summer. My wife and I didn't want a big to-do and didn't want to spend a lot of money either. At first we just wanted something special, simple, and with our immediate families. After we were told our families word got out and other family members said "Well I don't care if I'm not invited, I'm going to be there." So we just decided to invite all our friends and family. It was around 100, but only about 40 showed up.<br><br><br><br>
We spent no more than $2,000 USD (which was way more than we originally thought). We printed out our own invites, bought some flowers and stuff to make the area look nice, rented an outdoor park area, rented some tables and chairs, paid for a magistrate to marry us, and paid a couple hundred for a local business to make some nice snack foods and a cake (we would have done the potluck idea, but our families are not veggies at all...). On top of that my wife bought a simple dress, not the white kind, we're what some might call 'hippies' sometimes. I already had some hemp pants and a nice shirt.<br><br><br><br>
Our ceremony was really simple just my wife and I wanted my brothers in it and my wife had her two close friends. We walked out, in pairs, then my wife and I read our vows and that was it. Less than 10 minutes, then we played games at the park and hung out enjoying the day and munching on food.<br><br><br><br>
If I had it to do over, there's alot of things I would have done to save some extra money, but at the time we didn't have a whole lot of time.<br><br><br><br>
On the topic of rings, it was actually my wife who didn't want to wear a ring at first. I kind of like the symbolism of rings. I told her it would mean a lot to me if she wears one, but that it was her decision. I also asked if we could at least go look at rings and try some on just to see. In the end she agreed that it wasn't too bad we got simple rings.<br><br><br><br>
We have lived together for several years, but only married in the last 6 months. On pooling our funds, we each had separate accounts, then a joint checking account. We put the same amount of money into the joint checking account monthly, which we used to pay for all of our expenses together (rent, food, utilities, house items, etc). After we married we thought it was silly and just put all of our money into one checking and one savings. We each have separate accounts for personal things though, but all of our money initially goes through our joint accounts. I like it better this way, because it helps us to not care about who makes what or how much. And all big decisions with finances are a joint decision...
 

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I second titanium rings. They're lightweight and many are very simple.<br><br><br><br>
As for pooling finances, remi and I have our own separate personal accounts & credit cards (and loans), but we also have a joint account and joint credit card that are used for joint expenses like rent or groceries. Our paychecks go into the joint account and a certain amount is taken out with each one, into our personal accounts (kinda like an allowance I guess). Our debts (just student loans at this point) are taken out of the joint account.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Don't congratulate me yet! It's been a long road to get to this point and nothing is certain yet...<br><br><br><br>
Thanks for all the ideas so far! I'll definitely look into the titanium rings and run that by the bf, but it's also nice to hear of good marriages where rings are not worn. I think part of a good relationship involves compromise and sometimes letting go of ideas of the way you think things should be when those ideas aren't shared by both parties and aren't really that important in the long run. We actually joked about the tattooed ring idea, but since we both hate tattoos (no offense to anyone here who has one), it was just joking.<br><br><br><br>
I like some of the wedding ideas too, especially the idea of having a quick ceremony with just us, or maybe with our parents and then having a nice dinner with some additional family and friends (we both only have a few close friends). I'm also really liking the thought of maybe going on a trip somewhere to get married, and then having a little party when we get back. He loves to scuba dive and we went on a wonderful trip last summer where I learned too. I think he might really be into the idea of getting married on a scuba trip. How does one go about getting married in a foreign country though?<br><br><br><br>
Thanks also to those of you for sharing how you manage your money. Some more things to think about...
 

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wrt the rings, there was a couple I knew who had these cool polished wooden rings. They had someone make them for them, especially designed, but I've seen some ads in "hippy" magazines <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"> for companies that sell them.<br><br><br><br>
My folks too, never wear their rings. They exchanged them, but then my dad didn't like the feel of his, and my mom eventually outgrew hers. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> I've always liked the idea, just for the symbolism. I love the part at weddings where they talk about the circle unbroken, as it knows no end, so our love knows no end, yada yada. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":love:">
 

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rings:<br><br><br><br>
a very, very light metal is titanium and the rings made from it look lovely. my husband has a titanium ring.<br><br><br><br>
beyond this, not wearing a ring is ok. my father doesn't wear one, and my mother wore hers occassionally (usually special occassions). so, a lot of people simply choose not to wear them. my husband wears his constantly, only taking if off for work outs, and i wear mine occassionally (in spurts usually for no good reason either way).<br><br><br><br>
services that are simple:<br><br><br><br>
i like JOP type stuff. if you don't want to do a private-getaway destination wedding (which can be affordable or pricey depending upon where you go), then perhaps inviting friends to a 'dutch' paid meal at a nice restaurant to make the occassion--and inviting and paying for a JOP, including that person's meal--would be nice.<br><br><br><br>
lots of options exist. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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pooling funds:<br><br><br><br>
sorry that i didn't answer this before. we actually don't really "pool funds." but, we do fund or work together as a financial team, building success together.<br><br><br><br>
first, we decided to live on a single income--that is, one income covers our fixed costs such as housing, food, clothing, transportation, insurance (home, health, etc), utilities, savings and emergency accounts, etc. the second income covers all of our 'other' costs such as internet, entertainment, cellphones, vacations, and any other investments that we want to make (we mostly use it for vacations). occassionally we'll save up for a big purchase with this money.<br><br><br><br>
our accounts are separate. his income covers our fixed costs. only his name is on those accounts. investments carry his name and i'm a beneficiary--when he makes them with his money and vice versa when i use mine. i have my own checking, savings, and investment accounts.<br><br><br><br>
we do this for a number of reasons, but the foremost is debt. i came to the marriage with more school debt than he has, and we wanted to make sure that should either of us default on our debt, they wouldn't be able to put a legal lien on the house or garnish the other person's wages. thus, this protects us in a lot of ways. we're able to maintain our home (in husband's name) and all of our fixed costs. I cover my debts via my income--and he's never involved. When i have defaulted on those loans (and i have, because they are great and there are times when my income fluctuates due to the nature of my job), creditors have tried to garnish my wages (i don't earn enough to allow them to garnish when they try to, and once i do earn enough, i start up payments again so they have no need to garnish), but when that fails they also try to garnish my husband's wages. because our accounts are separate, they are unable to do so.<br><br><br><br>
but, the way that we spend our money is a combined effort. that's what's important. we consider the totality of our incomes as 'ours' even though we keep things separate as far as bookkeeping goes. taxes really aren't that much more difficult, in fact, they're quite simple, but we tend to use an accountant anyway.<br><br><br><br>
so, it works for us.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>eggplant</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Do any of you guys have any non-traditional wedding tales to tell? Any great ideas for how to have a meaningful wedding without making a big to-do or spending lots of cash?</div>
</div>
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Have you thought about a vegas themed wedding? It worked for me and Astro. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
It took about an hour to plan which was the best bit as astro tends to start yawning at the very mention of the "W" word, cost a mere $1100 which is a bit more than the average theme because we had some special requests, but was still cheap. We didnt buy new rings, we decided we'd use the rings that we bought each other at the very beginning of our relationship. That ended up adding a meaningful contrast to the tacky glitz of our theme. And all up it was a very stress free event.<br><br><br><br>
The only problem is it all happened so quick and easy that sometimes it doesn't feel like we actually got married. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:">
 

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You could both just go without rings. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
My dad never had a wedding ring and when I got a bit older I found it quite surprising to find out that some (most?) men wear wedding rings. Now, I personally find it a bit patriarchal for a man NOT to wear one if his wife does. But that's just me.<br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<a href="http://www.meadowranch.ca/" target="_blank">http://www.meadowranch.ca/</a> there are some gorgeous wooden rings on here.<br><br><br><br>
i love wooden, titanium and even tattooed ones.
 

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No need to wear rings, I agree on that one, but I also wanted to point out that hemp may not last your whole lifetime. I think that's one reason people use metals.
 

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I heard of a couple that had beautiful wooden rings and they carved their names and special vows on them. ... Also, My parents never wore their rings and they are still together after 30 years so it has definitely not impacted them.
 

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my parents never wear their rings. Well, I take that back. Mom used to, but she doesn't like jewelry. They recently celebrated their 25th anniversary and are very happily in love.<br><br><br><br>
I guess you guys can figure out what works for you. maybe take a look at some non-traditional rings, or ask him if he has any unique ideas regarding something for you guys to have instead of wedding rings.
 

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Congrats for getting to this point, eggplant! It's a time of transition, whether it takes six months or six years.<br><br><br><br>
WRT the ceremony, I don't know what symbolism you like, but I've long despised the practice of the woman's father giving her away, while the man stands there and waits for her. One progressive couple handled it this way: their entire families walked them in, both of them. Since their families had been instrumental in their lives and helped shape themboth of themit made a lot of sense. And, it made for fewer decisions about who would be the maid of honor and less hurt feelings because so-and-so didn't get picked to be a bridesmaid. The family just sat down when they got to the front, and the ceremony continued with the couple and the person marrying them.<br><br><br><br>
I have no way of knowing how close you and your fiance are with your families, eggplant, but it's an idea out there.<br><br><br><br>
Since you've had separate finances thus far, would I be correct in guessing you both have credit records? While you've probably already done this, a financial planner once told me never to marry anyone without exchanging credit reports. It's one more piece of the compatability puzzle. If your intended doesn't want you to see his/her credit score, it may signal a problem. Kinda like getting tested for STDs before you have sex.<br><br><br><br>
And, if you both have credit histories, you will be more protected than the 70-year-old widow who had always depended on her husband to manage the finances. Everything was in his name, and she couldn't even get a department store credit card because she had no credit history. She'd been frugal her entire life and paid everything on time, but the banks didn't know it was her, too, and not just her husband.<br><br><br><br>
WRT the rings, do you intend to stay married to this man for the rest of your lives? That may seem odd to ask, but katieq's point about hemp vs. metal and durability got me thinking. I know zoebird has said she's fine with it if she and her husband mutually decide to part ways somedayat least I think it was you, zb, and I apologize if I am wrongand I'm not sure where you stand on that, eggplant. Since you've been together for so many years already, you probably have a good idea what you're getting yourself into. Still, not everyone in your shoes is in it for life. If you're one of those "wait and see how we feel in five or ten years" sort of people, then hemp rings might work out well for you. You could renew your vows whenever the rings wear out, and it could be a good reminder to re-affirm your love if that is where you still are.<br><br><br><br>
Cheers! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/beer.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":beer:">
 

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The rings thing pretty much falls down to whether or not you are comfortable with him not wanting to wear one. If you're fine with it, no big deal.<br><br><br><br>
Also, if you want to have rings for the symbolism purpose then you could wear yours on your finger and maybe buy him a nice chain to put his on and he could wear it around his neck.<br><br><br><br>
I don't know about my own input ... being an atheist, I am not getting married in a church. Then I have to take in account the fact that my fiancé's mother couldn't come ... she would ruin it, never keeping her mouth shut and being completely cruel about the situation. My mother said she wanted to get drunk at my wedding and make a **** of herself to upset my dad and stepmom, so she's out. My father has not spoken to me in years, so he's not being invited. My fiancé's father sides with his mom, so he's not coming.<br><br><br><br>
So we're rounding up some close friends along with my cousin and we're heading up to the courthouse and just getting hitched in a legal form. After that we're going to do something simple like go to dinner and the local arcade or something to that extent.
 
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