Accessorize your Wedding Ring Finger..Diamonds

Ok so I’m really not a big jewlery girl, so it takes some seriously unique and fun stuff to get me going. I’m pretty classic. I wear the same stuff every day, HOWEVER… if I were to amp up my accessory world Kate Gray Designs is where I would start, and then I would follow to my old favorites.. How much do you love these?

When faced with a wide assortment of engagement and wedding rings, a man can quickly find himself lost in a confusing maze. Fortunately, making sense of basic information reduces the confusion in trying to find the ideal ring for his ideal woman.

Set a Budget for your Engagement Ring

In 1959, Brides [the magazine] recommended that couples set aside 2 months to prepare for their wedding and published a checklist with 22 tasks for them to complete. By the 1990s, the magazine recommended 12 months of wedding preparation and published a checklist with 44 tasks to complete. Set a budget before looking at diamond engagement rings, just like not going grocery shopping hungry.a man should set a budget based upon realistic affordability and stay within that amount. Jewellers and diamond sellers have a stake in selling high priced engagement rings. Be cautious about overspending, but hesitate if a ring’s price seems too low for its apparent value; this could suggest that a man will not receive what he believes he is purchasing. If the ring appears undervalued, carefully scrutinize its full description. And you can always go for a crazy piercing wedding ring into your finger like the one you will see and the end of this post.

The 4 C’s of Wedding Rings

Diamonds are priced according to four qualities: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.

Cut of Wedding Ring

A diamond’s cut impacts the amount by which light reflects off the facets and back out of the diamond. Many experts consider cut as the most important quality in a diamond because a poor cut reduces the brilliance and fire of even the best diamond. Diamond cuts are graded as Ideal, Premium, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. You have many different types of cuts, one of the most popular are princess cut engagement rings.

Color of Engagement Ring

A diamond’s color receives a letter grade according to the amount of color present or absent in a diamond. A perfectly clear, white diamond ranks as D, and a diamond with the most yellow ranks as X. The letter grades assigned to diamonds fall within five categories.

Clarity of Engagement Rings

Nature exerts a lot of pressure during the natural creation of diamonds. This pressure leads to flaws in the form of cracks, bubbles, or other blemishes that affect the clarity of a diamond. When grading a diamond’s clarity, inclusion refers to an internal flaw, and blemish refers to a surface flaw. The degree of flaws place diamonds into one of six categories.

Carat Weight of the Diamond Ring

Although it is a good indicator of diameter, carat weight actually refers to the weight of a diamond. Each diamond carat weighs 200 milligrams.

Metal and Setting

The ring sets the scenery for the jewel, which may hold sole point of convergence or offer center with the band itself. Jewel engagement rings have four fundamental settings and may utilize any blend of the four to attain to different results. Considering future wedding groups, select the metal. Platinum, palladium, silver, and yellow, red, or white gold remain the most widely recognized metals for engagement rings and mens wedding bands. Most jewels suit any metal, yet white gold or silver exceptionally suit dark precious stones, and yellow gold can balance tinges in jewels with J-M shading. Choose whether the band and jewel ought to supplement one another or if the band exists just to hold the precious stone.

Think of the Wedding Bands

Unless a man buys a marriage set, which incorporates both the engagement ring and wedding band, he ought to consider a wedding band when buying the engagement ring. An engagement ring with a lengthened or substantial precious stone that broadens past the circle of the ring seldom sits flush against a wedding band; the further a jewel expands, the bigger the hole between the two rings. In these cases, gem dealers prescribe a wedding band shaped particularly to fit around precious stones of different sizes and shapes. Consider, as well, that numerous couples select to wear coordinating wedding groups. At the point when this is the situation, the metal utilized for the engagement ring will be the metal utilized for the wedding groups. Pick a metal both spouse and wife like.

Obviously you can always go crazy and do something like piercing the wedding diamond into your finger.

piercing-microdermal

Micro dermal Wedding Piercing via Piercing Models

Concluding, having a big guest list and taking a honeymoon led to more lasting marriages. So having that elegant backyard wedding, surrounded by all your family and friends, and then jetting off to a lavish honeymoon in Hawaii is sounding pretty good right about now.

 

 

Champagne & Cupcakes

My cousin got an invitation in her in-box from Kate Spade for a Champagne & Cupcakes party promoting their Spring line.  I thought it was such a cute idea that I needed to pass it on as a shower idea.

Shower’s are stuffy no matter how you try to shake ‘em up.  BUT, lately more “unconventional” showers are starting to pop up like daises among the perfect little begonias.  Throwing an unconventional shower might shock the brides Great Aunt Milly, but we are moving forward and there’s no reason you can’t incorporate a little bit of tradition with a whole lot of fun for a shower.

Before you start to plan though, ASK THE BRIDE WHAT SHE WANTS. I know it’s supposed to be a shower for her, and she’s not supposed to know anything about it…blah blah blah. But if you throw something she is going to hate, better to know before you call the caterer.

So, throwing a Champagne & Cupcakes Shower is different and super cute. Host one in the early afternoon  or even later on as a cupcake cocktail party. Cupcakes and Champagne make everyone happy.  These are some of my favorite east coast cupcake connoisseurs.

Babycakes NYC-New York, NY – “Delicious Everything-Free Cupcakes”- Oprah loves these gluten free, refined-sugar free, vegan treats!  And they deliver!

Crumbs – New York, NY- The Red Velvet and Boston Creme Cupcakes are INCREDIBLE.

Petsi Pies– Somerville, MA & Cambridge, MA- Known for their Coconut Creme Cupcakes and Whoopie Cupcakes filled with whipped cream!

The Baltimore Cupcake Company– They specialize in custom made cupcakes in a variety of flavors and a pretty amazing portfolio of “cupcake cakes.” Definitely worth checking out.

Fresh Cupcakes– Charleston, SC- These really are the freshest little desserts on King St.   The Pumpkin are surprisingly sweet and the Mint Chocolate Chip is my personal favorite.

Polka Dot Bakeshop– Charlotte, NC- Don’t you just love the name? They have the traditional Vanilla, Chocolate and Red Velvet, and the not-so-traditional including Smores, Mexican Hot Chocolate and Espresso.

Feel free to add any of your favorite local cupcake spots to the post and skip the “stuffy” in your next shower.

Baltimore Cupcake Company
“Angel” Cupcake Cake

Angel Cupcake Cake

Baltimore Cupcake Company
“Miss USA” Cupcake Cake

Baltimore Cupcake Company

The “BIG” Bachelorette Party

Berger…Aidan…Big.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the lovely ladies of SATC are hitting the big screen this weekend, and according to New York media, hundreds of sexy singles are heading to New York City for a, and we quote: ‘sex filled weekend of bachelorette style nostalgia’ complete with strappy stilettos and Cosmopolitans.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a themed Bachelorette party, especially if your bride-to-be is a serious fanatic.  Of course the timing helps too. If you are ahead of the game enough you could plan a complete SATC bachelorette complete with signature drinks, limo, movie and a night out on the town with your girlfriends in tow. Really… isn’t that what a bachelorette party is supposed to be about anyway? After this you will be tying the knot with your favourite men in this world and love will flow. Now is the time to party until you say yes. That doesn’t mean you should go all crazy and you still should show him your love. You love him from the heart otherwise you wouldn’t marry him, so make sure you send him some love quotes for him the heart from time to time. We all know the anonymous love quotes: ‘A happy men is a happy marriage! 😉

I’d skip the trivia and the big pink boa, but have fun this weekend girls! AM New York gives hometown city girls some options to avoid the mayhem this weekend and still pay tribute to the ladies who introduced us to the wonderful world of fashion, friendships and sex in the city.
I know the movie doesn’t come out until this weekend, but it debuted in London last night.  My cousin lives there and went to see the movie last night.  I don’t know if the movie is really that good, or if it’s a fix she hasn’t gotten in four years, but she’s going back for more tonight. Spread the love from the heart! Cheers!

Single fear in Wedding Season…

My wonderful friend Gina… who is happily involved in a relationship passed this blog-worthy article on to me to share with you all. I have to agree that being single during the engagement and wedding season can be a bit angst ridden… it’s also a really great opportunity to meet. and I quote: ‘nice, hot, single guys’. Ok, maybe just hot ones, but you could get lucky and meet the hot ones who are also nice. There are so few.

Single groomsmen are especially fun, I’ve found. Well maybe I just got lucky… But weddings can be really fun if the bridal party is made up of mostly single friends. We’re kind of a good time. Before you step into the wedding or read any further you must read up on these funny engagement and wedding quotes from goodmorning quotes. I laugh so hard my wedding dress fell of my shoulders.

Some notes and quotes to the wedding planners, brides and reluctant grooms…

A “single table” at a wedding, that’s suggested here, isn’t my favorite idea, but it’s ok with the right group. Especially if all of the singles happen to know each other, or know of each other first. Another fun thing to do is have an engagement party or have a rehearsal dinner that includes all out of town guests so  that singles can meet and mingle BEFORE the wedding actually happens.

DO NOT DRAG US KICKING AND SCREAMING OUT TO CATCH THE BOUQUET. In fact do away with it altogether and just give it to your sister. You know she wants it.

If most of your guest list consists of couples and a “few” single friends. Give them the OPTION of bringing a date. Especially if you haven’t spoken to them in awhile and aren’t positive they’re not in a serious relationship.  Just because you haven’t met your best girlfriend’s handsome, intelligent, successful boyfriend who also happens to be one hell of a threat on the dance floor… doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist.  If your friend wants to come stag, they will. But not giving them the option of bringing a date, when everyone else will be paired off, is kind of like pinning a scarlet “S” on them and calling it a night. Bad form.

And one last note to all of the married, engaged and otherwise taken friends of the single… lay off. We’re single because we want to be and we have high standards and we don’t need to be pitied or harped on. We’re fabulous.

Happy almost end of wedding season… sort of. :)

WED Favorites: Eco Chic Weddings

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would think green and give you some of my WED favorite “eco-friendly” ideas to style your wedding all happy and green without wasting and killing unnecessary trees and shit…

Ahhh…It’s the little things…

Dressed to Impress…

Go classic with this twist on the little black “organic” dress for your rehearsal dinner. The CMarchuska  Sylvia dress is perfect for toasting in, and perfect for the environment using high fashion, and highly sustainable fabrics and a super reasonable price. This hot up and coming line from designer Christine Marchuska  debuts on the runway tonight in NYC, and I’m told her Spring collection offers a brighter eco chic look for your favorite ladies in waiting. Stock up on her “Vivons Vert” (Live Green en francais” organic  tees for welcome baskets or out fit your girls in them instead of those terribly tacky “bridesmaid” shirts for wedding day errands, and bachelorette party weekends. I mean… would you really prefer to wear a rhinestone encrusted tank top?

CMarchuska Vivons Vert T-shirt $38

ALSO.  Brides… check out this AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL eco-friendly wedding gowns from Natural Bridals on Etsy. They are really simply magnificent and elegant and totally great for the environment and you and your hubby and the bridal party… just about everyone. The best bridal jewellery you will find online to accessorise your beautiful bridal dress and bridal party we have found on ring to perfection. Make sure to check these guys out because theres is on ton of information there!

 

Natural Bridals (Etsy) Eco-Chic Wedding Gowns $6,800

The dress above is made from Bamboo and Organic Cotton Jersey Dress with Organic Linen Flower Details and Charmeuse bust and sash. So pretty. And the one below is made from Hemp/Silk with Floral Jacquard Halter and a full gathered skirt… and that one is just $2,600.

Do Me a Favor…

Lose the favors altogether. thanks. Seriously. People throw them away… so instead of wasting money on cheap plastic doodads for weddings that will end up in someones junk drawer at home… keep it simple and donate to a charity. Your guests will understand, and probably be very impressed at your willing and giving spirit. If you MUST give your friends and family something to remember your special day by, keep it natural. Plant miniature herbs like lavender, rosemary and basil in tiny containers for guest to take home and plant in their own garden. Another idea… think locally and give your guests something that’s meaningful to you and your hubby. Jars of honey, homemade jam, and peaches might be local to your area and look adorable with a touch of ribbon.

 

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

Be Our Guest…

Paper is wasteful. Yes, yes we know. “But what about our invitations?!” She cried. Relax. There are plenty of recycled invitation options out there. Try 100-percent recycled paper from TwistedLimbPaper.com or plantable invitations from BotanicalPaperWorks.com are embedded with seeds that guests can plant and grow! How’s that for remembering your special day? If you’re feeling like you have a trendy and eco-chic crowd as it is who will understand your decision to opt for digital invitations over paper, go with MyInvitationLink.com and customize your invites with music and pictures.

CENTERPIECES…

Yes. Flowers are “green” already. But some of them are loaded with pesticides and garbage that make them less pretty, expensive, and dangerous to you and your guests. Stick with flowers that are in season to avoid shipping costs and fuel usage associated with bringing in exotic flowers from far away just because you refuse to settle on something that’s in season. Seriously. Pick your diva moments. This isn’t one of them. Go local and use fresh flowers from farmers markets and local gardens to decorate tables with recycled glass containers like these beautiful green glasses made from… beer bottles! So cute. Found objects and mismatched containers make great centerpieces.

If you’re still not sold on the eco-wedding and you think it’s totally impossible to integrate “green” into your wedding world check out the Etsy Handmade Wedding Blog post on “Crafting an Eco-Friendly Wedding”.

DIY Table Numbers

Over the years, I have found that table numbers are just one of those things that is left until about 5 minutes before the reception starts. People remember the place cards but forget about the table numbers.  So people know where they’re supposed to go, and then poof…a sea of tables without numbers. NIGHTMARE.

There are so many great DIY Table Number ideas out there. You can use numbers, your favorite locations, names pertinent to the people sitting at them. I worked one wedding where the couple used postcards of every place they had ever visited. Another friend had table names that match the people sitting at them. A table full of college friends sat at a table named after their favorite college bar, while the bridal party sat at the “VIP” table. There are so many different ways to go, and here’s the bet part you can DIY and save tons of money!

Below are some of my favorite Table Numbers and Names projects! Happy crafting!

DIY TABLE NUMBER TEMPLATES FROM MARTHA

DIY Table Number Templates from Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart offers templates that you can just print out yourself onto heavy card stock. There are two choices for border styles- one with a regular looping scallop, and one with more “free form” loops. There’s also a template without a number in case you’d rather insert your own text.

Directions: If you want the table numbers to be visible from two directions, print two per table, and place cut along the outer oval line and slip them into a place card holder or easel.

 

DIY PHOTO TABLE CARDS

DIY Photo Table Numbers from Martha

 

Another Martha Stewart inspired Table card is one with a photo of yourselves. The bride and groom hold up a number…a la Sesame Street, and VOILA! Table Card. Personally, I think these would be more adorable if you made funny faces in them. These are really great for an informal weddings or even showers.  Stick with the black and white though so it doesn’t clash with your flowers or centerpieces. Have them made into 4-by-6-inch matte prints and mount them on colored tented card stock to match your theme!

Directions: Glue each photo onto 4 1/8-by-6 1/8-inch paper. To make the “tent,” start with a piece of 11-by-17-inch card stock and cut a strip that is 17 by 4 3/8 inches (each piece of card stock can make two); fold strip in half width wise. Score, and make a fold 2 1/8 inches from each end to form flaps for base. Glue photograph to one panel of the tent. Overlap base flaps by about 1 inch; use double-sided tape to secure.

 

WINE BOTTLE TABLE NUMBERS

 

DIY Wine Bottle Table Numbers from Martha Stewart

Three cheers for Martha and her DIY ideas. Here’s one more from the MSLO family.  If you and your hubby are serious wine aficionados, or your wedding is being held at a swanky upstate or downstate winery, consider making the wine you’re serving at dinner double as the table number.

Directions: Just cover existing labels with graphic numbers printed on cover-weight paper using double-sided tape for a very chic look.

 

DIY LOCATION TABLE NUMBERS

DIY Map Table Numbers- Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

DIY Map Table Numbers- Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

So here’s that location idea I was telling you about. Use postcards, or maps, or just text on pretty backgrounds. Here, instead of table numbers, Elizabeth and Charles opted for names of Hawaiian islands instead of actual Table numbers.

Directions: Print out Location Names on translucent clear vellum paper and place on top of any image you’d like behind it. In this case it’s a map. But it could be pretty much anything, as long as you can read the word. Then head to your local craft store for antique looking frames and insert. Done and Done.

DIY! Personalized Bridesmaid Shoes!

Seriously. Does it get any better? I got this in my e-mail box the other day from Martha, well Darcy Miller, her wedding go-to- girl, and HAD to share this with you. What a great idea! I mean… I could easily get carried away with this. Can you imagine?

Personalized Bridesmaid/Bride/Everyday/Special Occasion Ribbon Shoes! Use narrow or wide ribbon (Solids, patterns, polka dots, gingham, stripes, the world is your oyster) to cover plain sandals. Craft stores likeMichael’s and A.C. Moore often have ribbon sales- I got 5 spools for $1 each over the weekend! Or if you’re really looking for the perfect pattern ribbon head to specialty shops like M&J Trimmings in New York.

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Wide or Narrow ribbon (depending on the shoe)

2. Darning Needle (For shoes with buckles)

3. Fabric Glue

4. SHARP fabric scissors

5. Your favorite plain pumps, heels, wedges or sandals that need a little kick of fun

Lela Rose’s new collection for Payless is a perfect line because they come in lots of different styles that can be customized to look similar… but different for each bridesmaid!

 

Gloria Platform Sling $24.99 - Lela Rose for Payless

 

Diana T-Strap Pump $24.99- Lela Rose for Payless

Imagine the possibilities! Now you only need an amazing wedding ring😉

Color Inspiration: Pink & Green…

Oh the ultra preppy, ultra fun and flirty color combo. Perfect for beach side, destination and tropical weddings that embrace the bright colors.

Depending on your details you can substitute traditional wedding dresses or bikini’s with patterned Lilly dresses. I will caution you. Lilly is not a cheap brand. But you get what you pay for, and your bridesmaids… providing they like to pop their collar as much as you do…. will thank you for opting for a dress they WILL actually wear again. If you’re feeling extra sweet offer to pay for your bridesmaid dresses as a thank you for agreeing to make you their priority for the next 8 – 10 months. :)

AND… Lilly has a great part of their online shop called “The Little White Dress” which might be a perfect bridal outfit change for a more casual wedding, a rehearsal dinner or an out fit to leave your giant party in. People still do that right? A fun new take on the “honeymoon suit.” Or keep with your own theme and don your own pink and green ensemble fit for traveling to someplace exotic, warm and honey-mooney.

You can always opt for something a little bit more conservative and go with solid colored bridesmaid dresses from David’s Bridal in shades of pink or green with alternating colored flowers. Lime green dresses with bright pink flowers are beautiful! And a pale pink dress with a bouquets of green and white works too! Plus it’s a little less expensive for your ladies in waiting. You can always incorporate the patterned look with “Little Lilly” for your flower girls. They have adorable children’s dresses that are perfect for a preppy wedding.

Green Bridesmaid Dress from Jasmine Bridal

I know I put this dress up a lot. It’s just so pretty. I can’t help it.

Maren Dress $98

Even the groom and his boys can get in on the action. Brides.com put together this look for a preppy chic wedding.

Invitations can go one of two ways too. Pick a solid color and embellish with the other color, or use both in a more complex patterned invite. Combine it with this unique opal engagement ring and you are the colorstorm of the party!

I’m a big fan of the out of town bachelorette weekend. I’m a bigger fan of brides saying thanks to their bridesmaids as much as possible. Do you really have any idea how much money we are spending on you?? A lot.

Polka Dot Bridesmaid Glasses $15

Seriously. How cute are those glasses!? I am obsessed. I love them. They are from Etsy seller The Preppy Polka Dot.  They also have these adorable shot glasses with fun ribbon that would be adorable to carry around for a bachelorette party!

And for further inspiration… courtesy of Velvet Intimates… because they’re awesome. Their pink and green bikini’s, bra’s and intimates rock.