Archive - April, 2006

Oh, promise me!

I\'ll promise you if you promise me

Apparently, where proposals of marriage are concerned, engagement rings are out and promise rings are in. At least, less hopeful men are opting to present their sweeties with gigantic diamond solitaire rings when they propose and instead buying the big bling later when they can choose something that they know their future brides will love.

“It used to be the case that a man would buy an engagement ring to offer to his fiancé when he proposed to her,” said one jewelry retailer. “But that tradition is starting to die out as women prefer to choose their engagement ring themselves.

He continued. “Now, men are just as likely to buy a promise ring to propose with. This is a less expensive ring which is used symbolically during the proposal. The couple can then go shopping together to purchase the ‘real’ engagement ring, allowing the bride-to-be to have a say in the type of ring she wears.”

Um. Okay. So now men are supposed to buy two rings? Promise rings have traditionally been worn by women who were going steady, betrothed or “engaged to be engaged,” or committed to men they might or might not marry at some point in the future. The promise rings I’ve seen in stores tend to look a lot like scaled down engagement rings. According to Google Answers:

It wasn’t until betrothal ceremonies became passé in the late 18th and 19th centuries that an engagement ring finally became *the* thing to wear. The name “promise ring” (and the idea behind it) didn’t come about until recent years (in the 1990s). It is a custom mostly (but not entirely) followed by Christians, and is a way for young couples to promise that someday (usually at no set date), they will marry. A promise ring usually assumes the marriage will take place over a year from the time of giving. The promise ring comes before the engagement ring, which is given when the couple is ready to begin planning their wedding.

It’s sort of like a hierarchy of jewelry. The promise ring is trumped by the engagement ring which is trumped by the wedding band.

Personally, I think some of the promise rings out there are so lovely (like the white gold and princess cut diamond ring above), I wouldn’t mind getting one as an engagement gift.

Star for a day

As lovely as a star

When choosing a wedding gown, it is important to consider the 360 degree view. Wedding guests spend quite a bit of time looking at a bride’s back and bum – during the ceremony, as she dances with her dad and as she dances with the groom, and while she and her new husband jog to the getaway car once the cake has been cut.

That’ s part of the reason why I am so fascinated by this satin strapless pseudo-corset-top gown from Impression Bridal. Instead of the usual bows or bustles, it has a wonderfully unique star-shaped gathering of fabric held together with what appears to be a bejeweled brooch. And, as that brooch is situated around the knee area, it serves to draw attention away from the bride’s posterior. The gown itself is available in various shades of white and (my favorite) a cool ice blue.

The tan, buff naked man is unfortunately not included in the purchase price of the gown.

Bridal Jewelry: How much is too much?

Charming chandeliers

The art of balancing accessories is one that eludes many people. All too often, women and men stroll the streets wearing far too much jewelry; oddly contrasting scarves, shoes, and handbags; or uniformly tight or bulky clothing. It’s no wonder that brides who picked their wedding day dresses decisively feel confused and conflicted when considering their matrimonial accouterments.

Jewelry retailer Anna Bellagio (creators of the lovely and feminine chandelier earrings with round-cut cubic zirconia above) has a wonderful guide to bridal jewelry on their web site. Because there is a fine line between all decked out and overdone, they suggest that the key to bridal jewelry splendor is balance.

A pearl and crystal tiara may be perfect when paired with a matching necklace, but can become a bit much when you add a pair of dangle earrings and a bracelet to the mix

As a general rule, your mix of bridal jewelry and wedding accessories should reflect the formality of the celebration. A small, informal wedding calls for a simple ensemble, while a large, formal wedding can be the perfect stage for more elaborate bridal jewelry.

They suggest brides-to-be use a three-step process to determine whether their bridal jewelry is just enough or too much. Step one involves the future bride making a list of all the jewelry and accessories she plans to wear and carry on her big day. Step two involves assigning each piece a “glam factor.”

You might assign a 1 to a pair pearl stud earrings because they’re so simple and small in scale, while that gorgeous 3-inch high rhinestone tiara you have your eye on would fetch a 5 both for it’s size and sparkle.

Finally, the future bride should add up her bridal jewelry glam numbers. Up to a six and you have pretty simplicity. Between seven and fifteen indicates a moderate and balanced “glam factor.” Anything above fifteen, however, may make brides look too glitzy for their own good.

Personally, I’d just recommend doing what Coco Chanel always advised: When you think your look is perfect, remove one accessory from your person.

The art of wedding photography

Go Speedracer Go!

Weddings are made up of many intimate, funny, touching, and beautiful moments in time. Photographers endeavor to capture those moments so that they may be preserved and cherished in years to come. Photo District News recently announced the winners of its 2006 wedding photo competition, Top Knots, the New School of Wedding Photography. The images presented by the winning photographers are colorful (like Justin Marantz’s Go Speedracer Go! above), visually interesting, and uniquely composed. Go and have a gander at some gorgeous real life wedding moments.

Hot Mommas

One lovely lady

With folks living longer than ever and generally being hipper and healthier as they enter their mid-lives, I find it entirely unsurprising that many mother-of-the-brides are seeking classier, sleeker looks. They want to dress for the solemnity of the occasion yet avoid looking like staid old dowagers. While something in blazered two-piece taupe tends to be standard MotB fare, I love this Cachet organza skirt set with its wide flutter collar and forgiving ruched waist. It’s simple, elegant, and wonderfully colorful without being all, “Look at me! Look at me!”

And that is often the best way to draw appreciative eyes in one’s direction.

Natural bridal (and bridesmaid) beauty


Juice Beauty Hydrating Organic Facial Kit

I think a lot about my future wedding. Okay, I’m obsessed with my future wedding. And I’m not even engaged yet. Go figure. I kept getting distracted today wondering what I’ll toss to all the single ladies if I decide to carry a fan instead of flowers. Anyway, since I’m an organic kind of gal, I often think about organic wedding options. Earth-friendly birdseed. Free range chicken. A natural fiber gown. And, of course, natural beauty solutions.

I really, really like Juice Beauty stuff because its made with organic ingredients – you know, stuff you can pronounce. I happened to stumble across this hydrating facial kit that can help brides-to-be prep their skin for the big day. It could also make a fabulous “little something” for future brides to give to their best girlfriends when the wedding is on the horizon and tensions are getting hot.

Consider this:

Big bling!

Do your bridesmaids wish that they, too, were sporting big bling? Buy them these faux-fabulous princess-cut replica diamond key chains from My Divine Wedding and they’ll feel as iced-out as the richest rap star.

Can’t afford the wedding day jewels you’d really like? Lease ‘em! Adorn Brides lets brides drape themselves in luxurious diamond jewelry for thousands less than retail price. Of course, you have to return them after the wedding’s over.

People who don’t wear their wedding rings are more likely to neglect their children, according to a social psychology expert at the University of Alberta. Dr. Andrew Harrell lead an experiment in which 862 caretaker-children combinations were observed in fourteen supermarkets in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. “Caretaker neglect was measured as per how often the caretakers or their charges, estimated to be between one and seven years-old, wandered out of sight or were more than 10 feet away from each other.”

(I’m not sure I buy this. People have a lot of different reasons for wearing and not wearing rings. And it’s not unreasonable to let an older kid wander ten feet away.)

Not sure what being the mother of the bride entails? It’s Her Wedding But I’ll Cry If I Want To: A Survival Guide for the Mother of the Bride helps mothers help their daughter be the best brides they can be.

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