Wedding Lush » Engagement Rings Wedding Ideas & Wedding Tips Wed, 07 Mar 2012 04:48:16 +0000 en hourly 1 I’m Engaged! Now What? Mon, 29 Nov 2010 12:00:48 +0000 admin Unless this is your second, third, or tenth proposal, chances are that once you have accepted that shiny ring to be worn on your finger that you have no idea what steps to take next. Once you have calmed down from the excitement of becoming engaged, consider these as your next steps to help progress towards your wedding day:

Advertise your Engagement

Let people know that you're engaged! A lot of people find out that friends and family they haven't spoken to for years have become engaged through social networking websites. You can also consider sending along a silly eCard that tells everyone you're off the market and getting hitched. From that point on, most friends and family will expect your wedding to be within a year, year and a half.

Throw a Party

Engagement parties are far less common these days than they were 50 years ago, but why not relive the tradition' Enjoy yourself and celebrate this fantastic milestone in your life with an engagement party! This can be as simple as an elegant brunch at home with champagne and appies, or you can go all out and hit the clubs with the girls.

Pick a Date

Find a time of year that both you and your groom want to be married in. If he doesn't care, and if you don't care, then consider having a winter wedding to cut down on wedding costs. Start calling some reception sites you're interested in and see what days of the week they have free. Many brides and grooms pick their wedding date on what ever Saturday a particular reception site has free.

Finding Reception Sites

Unless you have friends who have already been married and gone through the hunt for the perfect wedding venue, you will have to do the research yourself. Several websites will offer the best (and the worst) reception sites that are in your area. Start calling places and visiting them in person as soon as possible. You should always book a reception site more than a year prior to your wedding if you really want to secure the location, and even that may not be leaving enough time.

Have Engagement Photos Taken

A great way to kick off your new life with your new partner is to have engagement photos taken. These are not only a great memento, but they can be used on your wedding invitations that you will be making later on. Most photographers can be hired on by the hour for $100-$300.

Start Thinking 'Budget'

Now's the time to start thinking realistically about how you and your groom are going to pay for this whole entire day. As boring as it may be, you will be patting yourself on the back for creating this budget for yourselves later down the road when you have a credit card bill that is manageable. No wedding should put you into debt; be realistic about how much you can save and how much you are willing to spend on your wedding.

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Different Metals for Wedding and Engagement Rings Sun, 28 Nov 2010 16:04:03 +0000 galleca Choosing a ring can be hard enough, given the different shapes of the gems there may be, the different clarities, just how many gems you should have on the ring, and price. One thing that is rarely considered or thought about is just what metal is being used for that wedding or engagement ring.

Gold is by far the most popular metal for a wedding ring, given how it is malleable (easily adjusted and sized) and it is valuable. Gold offers fantastic clarity, beautiful color, and you can actually change the shade of gold rather easily. You can find gold rings in yellow shades, white, red, pink, peach, and even green.

TIP: If you have an eco-friendly bride, you can consider buying an eco-gold wedding ring. These rings are created from gold that is retrieved from 'low impact' sources, meaning it has minimal impact on the earth. A lot of these rings are created from recycled or 'scrap' gold jewelry that is then melted down and molded into a new shape.

Platinum rings are the next most popular, and seem to be growing in popularity. These rings are more durable and are heavier, which is why a lot of men in particular choose to have a platinum ring. As platinum rings are heavier than a gold ring, you should also expect to pay a higher price for one.

TIP: Platinum rings can also be found in eco-friendly varieties, similar to gold.

Palladium is a metal that belongs to the same 'family' as platinum, except it is less expensive than its platinum counterpart. It is a lighter weight metal and is also whiter in color than both gold and platinum. It's harder than gold, scratch resistant, holds a beautiful polish and is hypoallergenic. If you have a bride who is prone to skin allergies, a palladium ring is a great way to go. For anyone on a tighter budget, palladium wedding and engagement rings are a great choice too.

Silver wedding rings are popular, though not as popular as gold and platinum. This metal is the whitest of the jewelry metals that are usually used, and it holds the best luster when polished. The only problem is that the luster is quickly lost and the ring will need to be re-polished. Silver rings are not as hard as gold, yet they will not lose shape easily and they are far less expensive than the other metals that are used for rings.

Mokume gane wedding and engagement rings are perhaps the less heard of, simply because they are more rare. These types of wrings are created through fused layers of gold that are then twisted and formed into interesting designs and patterns. These rings most certainly have a unique and special finish. The drawback to these rings is that they are quite expensive, being on parallel with platinum or 18K gold rings. But for anyone who doesn't want that old fashioned 'run of the mill' wedding or engagement ring, it is definitely an option to look further into.

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What to Look For when Buying an Engagement Ring Sun, 28 Nov 2010 13:52:03 +0000 galleca All jewelry stores sparkle with beautiful gems and jewels, but not all rings are created equal. There are a handful of different cuts of rings to choose from, a lot of different stones, different quality of stones, and you can also choose a number of different metal settings too!

Before you place your foot into the door of any other jewelry store, familiarize yourself a bit with some information so you can better decide just what you're looking for and feel confident that you have made the right choice.

A Stone's Shape

Whether it is a diamond, an emerald, sapphire or any other gem that you are looking at, there are eight different shapes that you will find most rings in. These include:

  • The Princess Cut: This cut has become increasingly popular over the years as it is regarded as being chique and classy. The princess cut looks like a box or a square in shape.
  • Round or Brilliant Cut: This is perhaps the most traditional shape for all gems to be cut into. This is a circular shaped cut.
  • Oval Cut: Though this is mostly reserved for gems other than diamonds, some women appreciate the elongated circular shape.
  • Pear Cut: This type of cut resembles a tear drop ' pointed at one end, and then gradually extending down into a rounded bottom
  • Heart Cut: This cut is rather self explanatory. The gem will appear to be in a heart shape.
  • Marquise Cut: The marquise cut is a gem that has points on both ends.
  • Emerald Cut: Though this previously was only used for emeralds, a lot of women now prefer the rectangular shape that an emerald cut offers for other gems, such as diamonds.
  • Trillion Cut: These gems are triangular in shape

The Four C's

You have probably already heard of the four 'C's'. The four C's involve the following:

  • Cut (as explained above)
  • Color
  • Clarity
  • Carat weight

These are the four things that will determine the cost of your diamond.

Cut: The cut of your diamond refers to the different placement and amount of small polished surfaces that are 'cut' into your diamond. These 'cuts' allow the gem to act as a prism and redirect light in different ways.

Color: Believe it or not, but diamonds are not just white in color. You can find some that are pink, red, and even blue. Colorless, the type we generally see, are the most valuable ' and therefore the most expensive. You want your diamond to be as colorless as possible, though this means that they are also the most expensive. The most colorless diamond is coded as 'D' on the color scale, and 'Z' is the least colorless diamond. 'Z' grade diamonds tend to be yellowish.

Clarity: Having the clearest diamond is of course best, but the budget may not provide for it. Here are the different clarity scale ratings:

  • FL (flawless): No color, blemishes, or external chips
  • IF (Internally flawless): No flaws are visible under 10x magnification
  • VVS1 or VVS2 (very, very slightly included): At 10x magnification, these flaws are difficult to locate
  • VS1 or VS2 (very slightly included): At 10x magnification, you will have moderate difficulty locating any flaws
  • SI1 or SI2 (slightly included): You can see flaws under 10x magnification
  • I1 to I3: You can see the flaws with your own two eyes

Carat Weight: This simply refers to the weight of the ring. Though size does matter, it doesn't matter nearly as much as the cut, the color, and the clarity of the ring. So don't become hung up on finding the biggest, least expensive ring in the shop.

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Tips on Buying an Engagement Ring Sun, 28 Nov 2010 12:52:07 +0000 galleca If you have stepped into a jeweler lately and you have told them you are looking for an engagement ring, you were undoubtedly flooded with hundreds of choices for engagement rings. Which one should you choose' All of the different cuts, the different colors, clarity and even the ring size can make anyone's head spin. Not only that, but there are a whole lot of different prices out there too.

If you really are clueless as to what diamond ring to buy, here are some tips for you so you can be sure that you choose the right one.

Listen to her Hints

If you two have talked about getting married, then a marriage proposal is expected at some point during your relationship. With this in the back of your girlfriend's mind, she has probably already begun dropping hints about the ring. Even if you didn't pick up on them before, she will probably repeat them in covert ways, so keep your ears open.'? Check to see if she has left any magazines around the house that she has purposely placed around the house with pictures and styles of rings that she likes.

Ask her Directly

These days, engagements are far less of a surprise than ever before. Men usually will flat out ask their girlfriend what they want in a wedding ring and they will go wedding ring shopping together. This is by far the easiest way to be sure that you get the ring that your girlfriend has dreamed of since she was a little girl.

What about Style?

To further complicate matters, there are a whole lot of different styles out there for wedding rings. One of the most popular is the classic solitaire. Solitaire rings are just one diamond that is set in a basic metal mounting. No woman will be displeased to receive a ring like this, especially as she can add other rings or mountings to it if she likes later down the road.

There are a lot of three-stone engagement rings out there for you to choose from as well. These usually involve one larger diamond in the middle of the setting, flanked by two smaller stones. These stones are sometimes different gems, such as emeralds, rubies or sapphires. If your girl has a preference of stone and color, but also likes diamonds, this is a great way to go.

And then there are the bridal sets. Bridal sets consist of an engagement ring and a wedding band that perfectly match and will obviously go well together. The engagement ring itself is usually one larger stone with smaller stones surrounding it. This isn't a bad choice for the budget conscious groom, as the sets are typically less expensive than if you were to purchase two separate rings. This will also save you from going ring shopping closer to your wedding date when you will already be so busy and caught up in the other details of your wedding ' or at least your bride-to-be will be.

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