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Monthly Archives: August 2013

  • Best Places to Propose in Rhode Island

    best places to propose in rhode islandAre you planning on proposing in “The Ocean State” sometime soon? Just because Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States (District of Columbia doesn't count!), doesn't mean it should be overlooked. Rhode Island is one of the most scenic states in all of the U.S. because of its large bays and ocean views. If you plan on getting down on one knee in Rhode Island, here are the best places to propose:

    1. The Cliff Walk

    Located along the eastern shore of Newport, The Cliff Walk is truly one of the most breathtaking spots in all of Rhode Island. If you’re looking for a romantic and exhilarating spot to pop the question, look no further. The Cliff Walk extends for approximately 3.5 miles along the cliffs of the Atlantic Ocean. The Cliff Walk is open from sunrise to sunset, 365 days per year, and there’s no charge! Pick the perfect spot along your walk to present the love of your life with a sparkling diamond cluster ring

    2. Roger Williams Park

    If you’re looking for a setting with rose gardens, water activities, or even a zoo, consider popping the question in Roger Williams Park in Providence. This park is an impressive 427 acres, which contains attractions like a carousel, a gazebo on the water, and scenic bridges. Did I mention that this park also has one of the oldest zoos in the country? If you’re looking for a proposal setting with a lot to offer, this is the spot for you.

    3. Block Island

    Is there anything more romantic than proposing on an island? You and the love of your life can take a ferry over to this beautiful island and spend the whole day exploring. Rent a bike and visit all that Block Island has to offer-- a farmer’s market, lighthouses, sprawling hills, and pristine beaches. At the end of your day, get down on one knee and ask that all-important question.

    If you are looking for a more intimate indoor venue, you can always propose at a great restaurant in Rhode Island. You know your partner best, so pick a spot that will make your proposal special and unforgettable.

    Make sure you have your diamond cluster ring ready before getting down on one knee!

  • What Do Wedding Planners Do?

    what do wedding planners doIf your wedding is coming up in the near future, hiring a wedding planner has probably crossed your mind at least once. But what do wedding planners do? How does it work? If you can afford it and if you’re willing to delegate some of the details to someone else, wedding planners can make your big day a lot easier and more enjoyable for you. This post will give you all the details you need to know before deciding whether or not to hire a wedding planner. Let’s get to it:

    1. First Meeting

    When you’re considering hiring a wedding planner, the first thing you’ll do is have an initial consultation with your prospective planner. You’ll outline what you would want the planner to do and what you expect to do yourself. The wedding planner will try to get a basic understanding of all the events surrounding your wedding--the ceremony, the reception, the rehearsal dinner, etc. The wedding planner will want to know your anticipated budget, your style, and the progress you’ve made in the planning thus far. After this conversation, the wedding planner will tell you the packages he/she offers that will best represent your needs. The two most common types of wedding planning are full service and day-of coordination. 

    2. Full Service

    If you want a wedding planner to help you every step of the way and coordinate the actual ceremony, this is the option for you. Your wedding planner will be constantly in touch with you about booking a venue, choosing a cake, vendors for food at the reception, and much more. She will help you with every decision that needs to be made and cover the logistics of making those decisions. The planner will even attend your bridal salon appointments to help you pick the bridesmaid dresses. Even if your wedding planner won’t be covering all the details (invitations, place cards, programs, save the dates, etc.), she will make sure you stay on schedule so it all gets done in time. She will supervise from the beginning of planning to the moment you and your sweetheart slip on your matching wedding bands and into the celebratory reception. 

    3. Day-of Coordination

    If you just want a wedding planner who will take care of all the logistical details on the wedding day, then day-of coordination is the best option or you. The wedding planner will make a schedule, which he will coordinate with the vendors, photographer, DJ/band, and others, to ensure the day runs as smoothly as possible. The wedding planner will hand out this schedule at the rehearsal dinner and make sure everyone in the wedding party knows when and where to be on the day of the wedding. He will show up early at the venue on the day of the wedding to oversee all set up, and he will liaison between the vendors and the bride/groom. During the actual ceremony, the planner will make sure everyone is in place at the designated time and ensure it goes off smoothly. After the ceremony and the reception are over, the planner will then make sure the wedding gifts get where they need to go, rented materials are returned, and much more. A full-service wedding package takes care of all this plus the extensive planning beforehand.

    Sometimes wedding planners specialize in different things, so keep that in mind when you’re searching for one. For example, some wedding planners specialize in style and design, so if you’re hoping your wedding will look magazine-worthy, start there. Just remember, a wedding planner’s main goal is always this: to give you the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. 

    Before your wedding planner signals for you to head down the aisle, make sure you have your matching wedding bands ready.

  • The Biggest Celebrity Weddings of the Past Five Years, Part I

    celebrity weddingsIt’s no secret that our culture is obsessed with celebrities, and when two celebrities marry each other, that obsession intensifies. People scour the internet for photos to find out what designer the bride wore down the aisle, or even what other celebrities were in attendance. In honor of the ongoing wedding season, I decided it would be fun to look at the biggest celebrity weddings of the past decade.

    1. Prince William and Kate Middleton

    Is there really any better place to start than with the recent royal wedding? You could argue that Prince William and Kate are not technically “celebrities,” but, regardless, their wedding was widely anticipated and universally covered. The ceremony and the procession leading up to it were broadcast live all over the world, and millions held their breath as Kate exited the car, and the world was able to see her in her wedding dress (designer: Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen) for the first time. You can even relive the excitement by watching the wedding all over again! The wedding took place at Westminster Abby, which has served as the traditional location for coronations and has been the venue for most royal weddings for the past century. Kate’s sister, Pippa, was her maid of honor, and Prince William’s brother, Prince Harry, was his best man.

    2. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi

    Longtime couple Ellen and Portia swapped matching wedding bands in August of 2008 at their LA home. Portia’s dress and Ellen’s suit were both made by designer Zac Posen. Luckily for all those celebrity wedding and Ellen fans out there, Ellen released intimate videos and pictures that were taken on her wedding day to the public. In addition, Portia and Ellen did an interview with PEOPLE Magazine about their wedding. As if two celebrities marrying each other didn’t bring their wedding enough attention, the wedding also garnered attention because the on-going debate about same-sex marriage in this country. Ellen and Portia married after California’s high court found the Prop 8 ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional.

    3. Beyoncé and Jay-Z

    Beyoncé and Jay-Z were married in April of 2008, and, in fact, they celebrated their five-year anniversary in Cuba earlier this year. The fact that two celebrities and musicians of their caliber married each other alone makes this one of the biggest celebrity weddings, but what makes this wedding even more intriguing is that these two very-high-profile musicians were able to marry privately. There were more than 200 guests in attendance, but all of them managed not to spill the beans. The wedding was speculated in the press but not confirmed until weeks afterward. Beyoncé’s own mother designed her dress, and then only glimpse we've seen of it in the past five years was a photo released during a photo montage at one of her concerts. 

    If I missed your favorite celebrity wedding of the past five years, don’t worry! We have another post highlighting a few more memorable weddings coming up soon. 

    Before you walk down the aisle, make sure you check out our matching wedding bands

    Photo credit 

  • Best Places to Propose in Raleigh, NC

    Although Raleigh, North Carolina is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., it still maintains a small-town Southern charm. But though this city has the approachability of a classic Southern town, it does not lack for things to do. If you plan to pop the question in Raleigh, here are five of the best places to propose:

    1. Museums

    Are you and your sweetheart museum buffs? You’re in luck because Raleigh has a number of great museums. If you’re interested in the natural sciences, consider the Natural Science Museum. Interested in art? Check out the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design. If your partner is more of a history buff, check out the North Carolina Museum of History. None of these sound like your cup of tea? Check out all the museums that Raleigh has to offer. Bonus: many of these museums are free of charge!

    2. Sarah P. Duke Gardens

    If you imagine proposing in a beautiful, sprawling garden, then you should consider the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. There are some spots in this expansive garden that make you feel like you’re in your own little private world, which is one reason it’s one of our best places to propose. The garden is free to the public and is open from 8 a.m. until dusk.

    3. Jordan Lake

    Envision this: presenting the love of your life with a sparkling diamond cluster ring and asking him or her to marry you on a boat in the middle of a lake at sunset. Sounds pretty great, right? This state park facility also offers fishing, hiking, bird watching, and other activities if boating isn't the ideal way for you to propose. Jordan Lake also hosts several events during the year that might present the perfect situation for you to propose. 

    4. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

    Want to pop the question at a nice restaurant that perfectly embodies Raleigh, NC? Try Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern. This restaurant is located in an old Victorian home, which contributes to the romantic atmosphere. It has several different rooms, each with its own theme, and even though there might be other people eating there on any given night, the restaurant manages to make you feel as though you’re alone with your partner. If you need any more convincing: the food is distinctive and delicious.

    5. Historic Yates Mill County Park

    If you or your spouse-to-be is interested in North Carolina's agricultural heritage, this would be the perfect place for you propose. Even if agriculture isn't interesting to you, the Historic Yates Mill County Park is incredibly scenic and would make a great backdrop to any declaration of love. The park is an impressive 174 acres, which includes a wildlife refuge and an environmental research center. 

    Before you get down on one knee, check out our selection of diamond cluster rings

  • Tips for the Best Wedding Photos

    Your wedding photos will hold the memory of your wedding for years to come. They should reflect you and your spouse as a couple, and they should stand the test of time. When you flip through your wedding album a week, a month, or years after your wedding, your photos should take you back to that day-- all the anticipation, excitement, and joy. How you capture your special day is important, so here are some tips and ideas for getting your best wedding photos.

    1. Before or after the ceremony?

    The question of whether you and your spouse-to-be should take pictures before or after you exchange matching wedding bands is a tricky one. A lot of couples highly anticipate the moment when the groom sees the bride walking down the aisle for the first time. For this reason alone, many couples choose to do their wedding photos after the ceremony. However, there are a lot of benefits to doing it before the ceremony: 1. The lighting is likely to be better; 2. The bride’s makeup will be fresh; 3. You won’t keep your guests waiting as long between the ceremony and the reception. If you’re considering taking your photos before the ceremony, but you want that special “first look” moment, consider setting a private one up before you take photos. This way, you aren't sharing your “first look” moment with tons of other people, and it can be captured better via camera.

    2. Getting ready.

    Some of the most fun and touching wedding shots are candids between the bride and the bridesmaids, as well as between the groom and the groomsmen. If you’re the bride, consider having the photographer in the room while you’re getting your makeup and hair done, having a glass of champagne with your bridesmaids, and just generally spending time with special people in your life. If you’re the groom, consider having the photographer document your last moments as a bachelor with your groomsmen and other important gentlemen in your life.

    3. Ten must-have photos.

    Here are 10 photos to be sure your photographer gets: 

    1. The bride next to her hanging wedding dress

    2. The bride’s mother helping her zip up her wedding dress

    3.  The wedding dress next to a bridesmaid's dress

    4.  The bride fixing her hair/looking at herself in the mirror

    5.  A close-up of the rings

    6.  The bride with her bridesmaids

    7.  The groom with his groomsmen

    8.  The groom while waiting for the bride

    9.  The groom when he sees the bride for the first time

    10. Your first kiss as husband and wife

    4. Trust your photographer.

    It’s likely that your wedding photographer has been shooting weddings for a long time. With that said, trust the photographer! If she stages a photo that seems awkward or silly, go with it! It very well might produce your favorite photo from your wedding. 

    5. Get photos from guests.

    Finally, consider a way for your guests to contribute wedding photos. A lot of people have been using hashtags on Instagram to keep up with photos their guests post on the photo sharing app. Some couples leave out disposable camera on tables at the reception so that guests can capture photos that way. Who knows, maybe a guest-captured photo will be one of your best wedding photos!

    Browse our matching wedding bands before your photographer takes pictures of your rings.

  • Tips for a Vow Renewal Ceremony

    Just because you’re already married doesn't mean you can’t get in on the fun of wedding season! Have you thought about having a vow renewal ceremony for you and your spouse? Reaffirming your love and commitment to your spouse is a beautiful reason to celebrate. As you plan your ceremony, here are some tips to consider:

    1. Hosts

    A lot of married couples host their vow renewal ceremonies themselves, but there have been instances when the original best man and maid of honor host the ceremony jointly. Your children may also be interested in planning the special occasion. In fact, I’ll tell you something about my own family: my parents never had a wedding. They were married in a courthouse, and their parents weren't even there! My parents have been together for 23 years now, and when they hit their 30th anniversary, my sisters and I plan on throwing them a vow renewal ceremony and give them the wedding they never had. (Shhh, don’t tell!)

    2. Vows

    Things have probably changed since you got married to the love of your life. You probably appreciate each other in completely different ways. Reciting the same vows you exchanged at your wedding is definitely sentimental, but you can also consider writing new vows to reflect on your marriage. How far have you two come as a couple? What do you love most about your partner now? How has that changed or strengthened over the years? 

    3. Rings

    After exchanging vows, most couples re-exchange rings. Here are a few ideas for making this part of the ceremony meaningful: you could have your original wedding bands engraved for each other. You could also use the ceremony as an excuse to get each other new anniversary bands to symbolize this new chapter in your marriage (and, let’s be honest, there’s never a bad time to get new jewelry!). 

    4. Celebrating 

    This is an anything-goes occasion. You don’t even have to have an officiant observe the renewal of the vows because it’s not a legal ceremony - you’re already married. The ceremony and how you choose to celebrate afterward is up to you and your spouse. Do you want a party? Or an intimate dinner with close friends? Go for whatever makes you two happiest! 

    Before exchanging vows for the second time, check out our selection of anniversary bands to see which set is right for you.

  • 4 Tips for a Woman Proposing to a Man

    tips for a woman proposing to a manHas your guy been dropping hints about marriage but hasn't popped the question yet? Or would you prefer to take the first step and do the asking? Although it’s not necessarily common for a female to propose to a male, it’s not all that crazy either, folks. So, ladies, if you’re thinking about proposing to a man, here are some tips to keep in mind:

    1. Give him a gift.

    When a man proposes, he usually presents his girlfriend with a sparkling diamond engagement ring. Well, guess what ladies: you can give your man a mangagement ring. A ring on the left hand doesn't have to signify a wedding band. It can also be a token of your engagement! Or, if you’re not into the mangagement trend, you can give your beau a heartfelt gift that you know he would appreciate to commemorate the occasion.

    2. Don’t feel pressured to be traditional.

    You’re already foregoing tradition by asking yourself (good for you!), so you don’t have to incorporate other traditional aspects of a proposal if you don’t want to. Instead of getting down on one knee with a diamond engagement ring, try asking in a way that has an emotional connection to your partner or in a place that means something to you as a couple. 

    3. Make sure it’s not misconstrued. 

    If you’re proposing marriage with the intent that you both will now become an engaged couple, make sure that the seriousness of this question registers with your sweetheart. That doesn't necessarily mean that you can’t ask in a fun way. It just means that you don’t want your proposal to come off as simply a conversation topic. Let him know that this is the real thing, not just a hypothetical scenario. 

    4. Anticipate the reaction.

    Before you take the leap, consider your relationship and if you think you both are ready to get married. How long have you been together? Have you both talked about the future in detail? In addition, prepare yourself for his reaction. Most people are surprised to some degree when faced with a proposal, but your boyfriend might be even more surprised because of the non-traditional choice you've made to do it yourself. If you're ready, take a deep breath and go for it! 

    Any ladies out there considering proposing to their beau? Trust me, it will definitely be an option for me when the time comes. 

    Before making your way down the aisle, find matching wedding bands for your and your fiance. 

  • A Brief Recap of the Bachelorette Finale

    Did anyone else catch “the most dramatic” ending ever of The Bachelorette last night? I admit that I’m not one much for reality TV, but I seem to get caught up in the drama (real or scripted) of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. It's hard to resist romance, love triangles and surprise proposals, and last night’s episode definitely did not disappoint in the drama department. (Spoiler alert! Don't read on if you are waiting to watch the finale in your DVR queue.)

    The Bachelorette Finale at a Glance  

    After last week’s episode, in which front-runner Brooks left, it seemed like Bachelorette Desiree wouldn't be able to bounce back. She had stated repeatedly during her monologues, as well as in conversations with host Chris Harrison that she was in love with Brooks. Then, when Brooks told her that he couldn't see himself proposing to her, he left her broken-hearted in Antigua. After he left and before she decided to continue on her journey, she even told Chris Harrison that she just wanted to go home and she wasn't sure how she was going to proceed. However, she decided to stay and explore her feelings toward the two men left: Chris and Drew. 

    It wasn't long into the episode before Desiree sent Drew home. She said, “I’m not feeling the way I thought I should be.” Because she didn't feel the excitement she wanted to when she saw Drew and also because she didn't see their futures together, she sent him home. And then there was one...

    Chris was the only one left standing, and Desiree’s date with him went much better than her date with Drew. It was evident that she was excited to see him and be with him. Because Chris was the only guy left, he was the only one who was allowed the chance to take a huge step and meet Desiree’s family. Chris even got approval from Desiree’s brother! (Anyone who watched Sean’s season knows what a big deal this was.)

    I admit, at this point in the episode, I was shocked that Brooks hadn't made a return appearance. The popular theory amongst Bachelorette watchers was that Brooks would come back, apologize, and ask to have another chance with Des. Then Des would take him back, and we would see them sitting side by side on Chris Harrison’s couch on After the Final Rose. Even when there were 10 minutes left, and Desiree was standing in her evening gown waiting for Chris to come propose, I was still waiting for Brooks to show up. And... he didn't. Instead, Desiree happily accepted a sparkling diamond cluster ring from Chris, whom she admitted she should have loved all along. Definitely a surprise twist for the finale! 

    What did you all think of The Bachelorette finale? Were you also convinced that Brooks was going to come back? Or did you think Chris was going to be her pick from the beginning? Did Desiree make the right choice? 

    If you have your own romantic proposal coming up, pick out the perfect diamond cluster ring

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Monthly Archives: August 2013

  • Best Places to Propose in Rhode Island

    best places to propose in rhode islandAre you planning on proposing in “The Ocean State” sometime soon? Just because Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States (District of Columbia doesn't count!), doesn't mean it should be overlooked. Rhode Island is one of the most scenic states in all of the U.S. because of its large bays and ocean views. If you plan on getting down on one knee in Rhode Island, here are the best places to propose:

    1. The Cliff Walk

    Located along the eastern shore of Newport, The Cliff Walk is truly one of the most breathtaking spots in all of Rhode Island. If you’re looking for a romantic and exhilarating spot to pop the question, look no further. The Cliff Walk extends for approximately 3.5 miles along the cliffs of the Atlantic Ocean. The Cliff Walk is open from sunrise to sunset, 365 days per year, and there’s no charge! Pick the perfect spot along your walk to present the love of your life with a sparkling diamond cluster ring

    2. Roger Williams Park

    If you’re looking for a setting with rose gardens, water activities, or even a zoo, consider popping the question in Roger Williams Park in Providence. This park is an impressive 427 acres, which contains attractions like a carousel, a gazebo on the water, and scenic bridges. Did I mention that this park also has one of the oldest zoos in the country? If you’re looking for a proposal setting with a lot to offer, this is the spot for you.

    3. Block Island

    Is there anything more romantic than proposing on an island? You and the love of your life can take a ferry over to this beautiful island and spend the whole day exploring. Rent a bike and visit all that Block Island has to offer-- a farmer’s market, lighthouses, sprawling hills, and pristine beaches. At the end of your day, get down on one knee and ask that all-important question.

    If you are looking for a more intimate indoor venue, you can always propose at a great restaurant in Rhode Island. You know your partner best, so pick a spot that will make your proposal special and unforgettable.

    Make sure you have your diamond cluster ring ready before getting down on one knee!

  • What Do Wedding Planners Do?

    what do wedding planners doIf your wedding is coming up in the near future, hiring a wedding planner has probably crossed your mind at least once. But what do wedding planners do? How does it work? If you can afford it and if you’re willing to delegate some of the details to someone else, wedding planners can make your big day a lot easier and more enjoyable for you. This post will give you all the details you need to know before deciding whether or not to hire a wedding planner. Let’s get to it:

    1. First Meeting

    When you’re considering hiring a wedding planner, the first thing you’ll do is have an initial consultation with your prospective planner. You’ll outline what you would want the planner to do and what you expect to do yourself. The wedding planner will try to get a basic understanding of all the events surrounding your wedding--the ceremony, the reception, the rehearsal dinner, etc. The wedding planner will want to know your anticipated budget, your style, and the progress you’ve made in the planning thus far. After this conversation, the wedding planner will tell you the packages he/she offers that will best represent your needs. The two most common types of wedding planning are full service and day-of coordination. 

    2. Full Service

    If you want a wedding planner to help you every step of the way and coordinate the actual ceremony, this is the option for you. Your wedding planner will be constantly in touch with you about booking a venue, choosing a cake, vendors for food at the reception, and much more. She will help you with every decision that needs to be made and cover the logistics of making those decisions. The planner will even attend your bridal salon appointments to help you pick the bridesmaid dresses. Even if your wedding planner won’t be covering all the details (invitations, place cards, programs, save the dates, etc.), she will make sure you stay on schedule so it all gets done in time. She will supervise from the beginning of planning to the moment you and your sweetheart slip on your matching wedding bands and into the celebratory reception. 

    3. Day-of Coordination

    If you just want a wedding planner who will take care of all the logistical details on the wedding day, then day-of coordination is the best option or you. The wedding planner will make a schedule, which he will coordinate with the vendors, photographer, DJ/band, and others, to ensure the day runs as smoothly as possible. The wedding planner will hand out this schedule at the rehearsal dinner and make sure everyone in the wedding party knows when and where to be on the day of the wedding. He will show up early at the venue on the day of the wedding to oversee all set up, and he will liaison between the vendors and the bride/groom. During the actual ceremony, the planner will make sure everyone is in place at the designated time and ensure it goes off smoothly. After the ceremony and the reception are over, the planner will then make sure the wedding gifts get where they need to go, rented materials are returned, and much more. A full-service wedding package takes care of all this plus the extensive planning beforehand.

    Sometimes wedding planners specialize in different things, so keep that in mind when you’re searching for one. For example, some wedding planners specialize in style and design, so if you’re hoping your wedding will look magazine-worthy, start there. Just remember, a wedding planner’s main goal is always this: to give you the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. 

    Before your wedding planner signals for you to head down the aisle, make sure you have your matching wedding bands ready.

  • The Biggest Celebrity Weddings of the Past Five Years, Part I

    celebrity weddingsIt’s no secret that our culture is obsessed with celebrities, and when two celebrities marry each other, that obsession intensifies. People scour the internet for photos to find out what designer the bride wore down the aisle, or even what other celebrities were in attendance. In honor of the ongoing wedding season, I decided it would be fun to look at the biggest celebrity weddings of the past decade.

    1. Prince William and Kate Middleton

    Is there really any better place to start than with the recent royal wedding? You could argue that Prince William and Kate are not technically “celebrities,” but, regardless, their wedding was widely anticipated and universally covered. The ceremony and the procession leading up to it were broadcast live all over the world, and millions held their breath as Kate exited the car, and the world was able to see her in her wedding dress (designer: Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen) for the first time. You can even relive the excitement by watching the wedding all over again! The wedding took place at Westminster Abby, which has served as the traditional location for coronations and has been the venue for most royal weddings for the past century. Kate’s sister, Pippa, was her maid of honor, and Prince William’s brother, Prince Harry, was his best man.

    2. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi

    Longtime couple Ellen and Portia swapped matching wedding bands in August of 2008 at their LA home. Portia’s dress and Ellen’s suit were both made by designer Zac Posen. Luckily for all those celebrity wedding and Ellen fans out there, Ellen released intimate videos and pictures that were taken on her wedding day to the public. In addition, Portia and Ellen did an interview with PEOPLE Magazine about their wedding. As if two celebrities marrying each other didn’t bring their wedding enough attention, the wedding also garnered attention because the on-going debate about same-sex marriage in this country. Ellen and Portia married after California’s high court found the Prop 8 ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional.

    3. Beyoncé and Jay-Z

    Beyoncé and Jay-Z were married in April of 2008, and, in fact, they celebrated their five-year anniversary in Cuba earlier this year. The fact that two celebrities and musicians of their caliber married each other alone makes this one of the biggest celebrity weddings, but what makes this wedding even more intriguing is that these two very-high-profile musicians were able to marry privately. There were more than 200 guests in attendance, but all of them managed not to spill the beans. The wedding was speculated in the press but not confirmed until weeks afterward. Beyoncé’s own mother designed her dress, and then only glimpse we've seen of it in the past five years was a photo released during a photo montage at one of her concerts. 

    If I missed your favorite celebrity wedding of the past five years, don’t worry! We have another post highlighting a few more memorable weddings coming up soon. 

    Before you walk down the aisle, make sure you check out our matching wedding bands

    Photo credit 

  • Best Places to Propose in Raleigh, NC

    Although Raleigh, North Carolina is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., it still maintains a small-town Southern charm. But though this city has the approachability of a classic Southern town, it does not lack for things to do. If you plan to pop the question in Raleigh, here are five of the best places to propose:

    1. Museums

    Are you and your sweetheart museum buffs? You’re in luck because Raleigh has a number of great museums. If you’re interested in the natural sciences, consider the Natural Science Museum. Interested in art? Check out the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design. If your partner is more of a history buff, check out the North Carolina Museum of History. None of these sound like your cup of tea? Check out all the museums that Raleigh has to offer. Bonus: many of these museums are free of charge!

    2. Sarah P. Duke Gardens

    If you imagine proposing in a beautiful, sprawling garden, then you should consider the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. There are some spots in this expansive garden that make you feel like you’re in your own little private world, which is one reason it’s one of our best places to propose. The garden is free to the public and is open from 8 a.m. until dusk.

    3. Jordan Lake

    Envision this: presenting the love of your life with a sparkling diamond cluster ring and asking him or her to marry you on a boat in the middle of a lake at sunset. Sounds pretty great, right? This state park facility also offers fishing, hiking, bird watching, and other activities if boating isn't the ideal way for you to propose. Jordan Lake also hosts several events during the year that might present the perfect situation for you to propose. 

    4. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

    Want to pop the question at a nice restaurant that perfectly embodies Raleigh, NC? Try Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern. This restaurant is located in an old Victorian home, which contributes to the romantic atmosphere. It has several different rooms, each with its own theme, and even though there might be other people eating there on any given night, the restaurant manages to make you feel as though you’re alone with your partner. If you need any more convincing: the food is distinctive and delicious.

    5. Historic Yates Mill County Park

    If you or your spouse-to-be is interested in North Carolina's agricultural heritage, this would be the perfect place for you propose. Even if agriculture isn't interesting to you, the Historic Yates Mill County Park is incredibly scenic and would make a great backdrop to any declaration of love. The park is an impressive 174 acres, which includes a wildlife refuge and an environmental research center. 

    Before you get down on one knee, check out our selection of diamond cluster rings

  • Tips for the Best Wedding Photos

    Your wedding photos will hold the memory of your wedding for years to come. They should reflect you and your spouse as a couple, and they should stand the test of time. When you flip through your wedding album a week, a month, or years after your wedding, your photos should take you back to that day-- all the anticipation, excitement, and joy. How you capture your special day is important, so here are some tips and ideas for getting your best wedding photos.

    1. Before or after the ceremony?

    The question of whether you and your spouse-to-be should take pictures before or after you exchange matching wedding bands is a tricky one. A lot of couples highly anticipate the moment when the groom sees the bride walking down the aisle for the first time. For this reason alone, many couples choose to do their wedding photos after the ceremony. However, there are a lot of benefits to doing it before the ceremony: 1. The lighting is likely to be better; 2. The bride’s makeup will be fresh; 3. You won’t keep your guests waiting as long between the ceremony and the reception. If you’re considering taking your photos before the ceremony, but you want that special “first look” moment, consider setting a private one up before you take photos. This way, you aren't sharing your “first look” moment with tons of other people, and it can be captured better via camera.

    2. Getting ready.

    Some of the most fun and touching wedding shots are candids between the bride and the bridesmaids, as well as between the groom and the groomsmen. If you’re the bride, consider having the photographer in the room while you’re getting your makeup and hair done, having a glass of champagne with your bridesmaids, and just generally spending time with special people in your life. If you’re the groom, consider having the photographer document your last moments as a bachelor with your groomsmen and other important gentlemen in your life.

    3. Ten must-have photos.

    Here are 10 photos to be sure your photographer gets: 

    1. The bride next to her hanging wedding dress

    2. The bride’s mother helping her zip up her wedding dress

    3.  The wedding dress next to a bridesmaid's dress

    4.  The bride fixing her hair/looking at herself in the mirror

    5.  A close-up of the rings

    6.  The bride with her bridesmaids

    7.  The groom with his groomsmen

    8.  The groom while waiting for the bride

    9.  The groom when he sees the bride for the first time

    10. Your first kiss as husband and wife

    4. Trust your photographer.

    It’s likely that your wedding photographer has been shooting weddings for a long time. With that said, trust the photographer! If she stages a photo that seems awkward or silly, go with it! It very well might produce your favorite photo from your wedding. 

    5. Get photos from guests.

    Finally, consider a way for your guests to contribute wedding photos. A lot of people have been using hashtags on Instagram to keep up with photos their guests post on the photo sharing app. Some couples leave out disposable camera on tables at the reception so that guests can capture photos that way. Who knows, maybe a guest-captured photo will be one of your best wedding photos!

    Browse our matching wedding bands before your photographer takes pictures of your rings.

  • Tips for a Vow Renewal Ceremony

    Just because you’re already married doesn't mean you can’t get in on the fun of wedding season! Have you thought about having a vow renewal ceremony for you and your spouse? Reaffirming your love and commitment to your spouse is a beautiful reason to celebrate. As you plan your ceremony, here are some tips to consider:

    1. Hosts

    A lot of married couples host their vow renewal ceremonies themselves, but there have been instances when the original best man and maid of honor host the ceremony jointly. Your children may also be interested in planning the special occasion. In fact, I’ll tell you something about my own family: my parents never had a wedding. They were married in a courthouse, and their parents weren't even there! My parents have been together for 23 years now, and when they hit their 30th anniversary, my sisters and I plan on throwing them a vow renewal ceremony and give them the wedding they never had. (Shhh, don’t tell!)

    2. Vows

    Things have probably changed since you got married to the love of your life. You probably appreciate each other in completely different ways. Reciting the same vows you exchanged at your wedding is definitely sentimental, but you can also consider writing new vows to reflect on your marriage. How far have you two come as a couple? What do you love most about your partner now? How has that changed or strengthened over the years? 

    3. Rings

    After exchanging vows, most couples re-exchange rings. Here are a few ideas for making this part of the ceremony meaningful: you could have your original wedding bands engraved for each other. You could also use the ceremony as an excuse to get each other new anniversary bands to symbolize this new chapter in your marriage (and, let’s be honest, there’s never a bad time to get new jewelry!). 

    4. Celebrating 

    This is an anything-goes occasion. You don’t even have to have an officiant observe the renewal of the vows because it’s not a legal ceremony - you’re already married. The ceremony and how you choose to celebrate afterward is up to you and your spouse. Do you want a party? Or an intimate dinner with close friends? Go for whatever makes you two happiest! 

    Before exchanging vows for the second time, check out our selection of anniversary bands to see which set is right for you.

  • 4 Tips for a Woman Proposing to a Man

    tips for a woman proposing to a manHas your guy been dropping hints about marriage but hasn't popped the question yet? Or would you prefer to take the first step and do the asking? Although it’s not necessarily common for a female to propose to a male, it’s not all that crazy either, folks. So, ladies, if you’re thinking about proposing to a man, here are some tips to keep in mind:

    1. Give him a gift.

    When a man proposes, he usually presents his girlfriend with a sparkling diamond engagement ring. Well, guess what ladies: you can give your man a mangagement ring. A ring on the left hand doesn't have to signify a wedding band. It can also be a token of your engagement! Or, if you’re not into the mangagement trend, you can give your beau a heartfelt gift that you know he would appreciate to commemorate the occasion.

    2. Don’t feel pressured to be traditional.

    You’re already foregoing tradition by asking yourself (good for you!), so you don’t have to incorporate other traditional aspects of a proposal if you don’t want to. Instead of getting down on one knee with a diamond engagement ring, try asking in a way that has an emotional connection to your partner or in a place that means something to you as a couple. 

    3. Make sure it’s not misconstrued. 

    If you’re proposing marriage with the intent that you both will now become an engaged couple, make sure that the seriousness of this question registers with your sweetheart. That doesn't necessarily mean that you can’t ask in a fun way. It just means that you don’t want your proposal to come off as simply a conversation topic. Let him know that this is the real thing, not just a hypothetical scenario. 

    4. Anticipate the reaction.

    Before you take the leap, consider your relationship and if you think you both are ready to get married. How long have you been together? Have you both talked about the future in detail? In addition, prepare yourself for his reaction. Most people are surprised to some degree when faced with a proposal, but your boyfriend might be even more surprised because of the non-traditional choice you've made to do it yourself. If you're ready, take a deep breath and go for it! 

    Any ladies out there considering proposing to their beau? Trust me, it will definitely be an option for me when the time comes. 

    Before making your way down the aisle, find matching wedding bands for your and your fiance. 

  • A Brief Recap of the Bachelorette Finale

    Did anyone else catch “the most dramatic” ending ever of The Bachelorette last night? I admit that I’m not one much for reality TV, but I seem to get caught up in the drama (real or scripted) of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. It's hard to resist romance, love triangles and surprise proposals, and last night’s episode definitely did not disappoint in the drama department. (Spoiler alert! Don't read on if you are waiting to watch the finale in your DVR queue.)

    The Bachelorette Finale at a Glance  

    After last week’s episode, in which front-runner Brooks left, it seemed like Bachelorette Desiree wouldn't be able to bounce back. She had stated repeatedly during her monologues, as well as in conversations with host Chris Harrison that she was in love with Brooks. Then, when Brooks told her that he couldn't see himself proposing to her, he left her broken-hearted in Antigua. After he left and before she decided to continue on her journey, she even told Chris Harrison that she just wanted to go home and she wasn't sure how she was going to proceed. However, she decided to stay and explore her feelings toward the two men left: Chris and Drew. 

    It wasn't long into the episode before Desiree sent Drew home. She said, “I’m not feeling the way I thought I should be.” Because she didn't feel the excitement she wanted to when she saw Drew and also because she didn't see their futures together, she sent him home. And then there was one...

    Chris was the only one left standing, and Desiree’s date with him went much better than her date with Drew. It was evident that she was excited to see him and be with him. Because Chris was the only guy left, he was the only one who was allowed the chance to take a huge step and meet Desiree’s family. Chris even got approval from Desiree’s brother! (Anyone who watched Sean’s season knows what a big deal this was.)

    I admit, at this point in the episode, I was shocked that Brooks hadn't made a return appearance. The popular theory amongst Bachelorette watchers was that Brooks would come back, apologize, and ask to have another chance with Des. Then Des would take him back, and we would see them sitting side by side on Chris Harrison’s couch on After the Final Rose. Even when there were 10 minutes left, and Desiree was standing in her evening gown waiting for Chris to come propose, I was still waiting for Brooks to show up. And... he didn't. Instead, Desiree happily accepted a sparkling diamond cluster ring from Chris, whom she admitted she should have loved all along. Definitely a surprise twist for the finale! 

    What did you all think of The Bachelorette finale? Were you also convinced that Brooks was going to come back? Or did you think Chris was going to be her pick from the beginning? Did Desiree make the right choice? 

    If you have your own romantic proposal coming up, pick out the perfect diamond cluster ring

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