Here’s the dilemma: you love your partner, you’re compatible on many levels and you’d both love to get married. But your budget doesn’t extend to the kinds of flashy marriage proposals that you see on TV or in movies. In fact, between paying off your student loans, car loans, covering rent or mortgage, buying food and the occasional night out, there’s barely enough to buy the ring.
So how can you make a unique wedding proposal that will be memorable and romantic without breaking the bank? Here are a few tips:
For many, the ring is the most important part of any engagement. Rings don’t have to be expensive – perhaps there’s a family ring that holds significance, or an antique ring if that’s in your partner’s taste. A symbolic “placeholder” ring is also a way to propose on a budget – something that will be replaced later when there’s a bigger budget.
Location also plays a huge role in any proposal. Again, there is often a preconception that the location should be an expensive restaurant, or a luxurious holiday. But it can be even more special if you simply think back over your relationship to the significant moments: for instance, if you met on eHarmony.com, the location of your first in-person meet-up will be a place that holds special memories. A beautiful park, a favorite café, even the home can be transformed into a perfect engagement location.
While not compulsory, many proposals take place over a romantic meal. This doesn’t have to be an extravagant night out. A favorite neighborhood restaurant, a picnic spread with a nice bottle of sparkling wine and some tasty nibbles, a meal cooked at home are all ways to show you care that are easily managed on a budget.
What makes an engagement truly memorable is the extra bit of thought, creativity and care. Cooking a great dinner at home, organizing family or friends to be part of the special day or decorating a secluded picnic spot are all ways to show that you’ve thought long and hard about this special day. Most of all, it should be unique to you and your partner.
Wherever you live, there will be plenty of great places and ways to propose that don't cost a bomb. For example, if you met as singles in Austin (click here to find out more) and you're looking to propose in the Texan capital, here are a few suggestions:
House Wine is a laid back, individual place that offers ½ price drinks on Sundays and some imaginative wine cocktails. Firehouse Hostel offers handcrafted cocktails with the freshest ingredients and $6 Happy Hour cocktails.
In the great outdoors
For a breathtaking experience of nature, the McKinney Falls State Park is a short drive from the center of town. Propose at sunset on Mount Bonnell, or find a secluded swimming hole along Barton Creek Greenbelt.
At a restaurant
There are plenty of romantic restaurants in Austin: Chez Zee, for example, is lit with glimmering Christmas lights and has an affordable menu. Romeo’s – as you might expect from the name – has been voted Austin’s most romantic restaurant by several publications. For fans of Asian food, Uchi is a converted home that offers a great selection of contemporary Japanese cuisine.
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