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Manolo for the Brides » Engagement Rings http://manolobrides.com Manolo Loves the Brides! Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:36:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.11 Engagement Season Is Upon Us http://manolobrides.com/2012/11/30/engagement-season-is-upon-us/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/11/30/engagement-season-is-upon-us/#comments Fri, 30 Nov 2012 23:04:14 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=12282

Sorry about the lateness of the posting. Things – particularly weather and some spotty power access – happened.


I thought you might all find it interesting to learn a little bit of trivia. Did you know that roughly 40% of all marriage proposals take place between the months of November and February? And the most popular time to propose marriage is Christmas?

Here are a couple other burning questions about engagement you probably never thought to ask.

Approximately 20% of men propose on one knee.

The first diamond engagement ring was given by Emperor Maximilian I to Mary of Burgundy in 1477.

Today some 74% of brides receive diamond engagement rings. Of those, roughly 60% help choose their rings, and 3% pick their own rings by themselves.

The average diamond engagement ring today costs $3,500 – $4,000.

When Grace Kelly played Tracy Lord in the film High Society, the role of her character’s engagement ring was played by Kelly’s own engagement ring for her upcoming marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco.

To those of you hoping for a wedding proposal in the coming months, I hope it’s in the offing for you!

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Lost and Found http://manolobrides.com/2012/11/09/lost-and-found/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/11/09/lost-and-found/#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 12:30:19 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=12186
It’s a good thing Vicki Belanger hasn’t moved house in seventeen years.

You see, seventeen years ago, Belanger’s siser, Valerie Lynch was putting sunscreen on her two very small children and her young nephew, all of whom were under the age of five, before heading off to a waterfront outing. She was doing this in Belanger’s back yard. As a precaution, she slipped off her wedding and engagement rings and put them aside on a platform next to the swing set.

Unfortunately, she forgot to put her rings back on before they left.

When Lynch discovered her rings were missing, she raced back to her sister’s house only to find… she couldn’t find them. About a year and a half later, Belanger found Lynch’s wedding ring, but not the diamond engagement ring.

And that’s where matters stood until October 28 of this year. By then, Belanger had met up with Kent Blethen, a jewelry hunting enthusiast. Belanger told him of her sister’s missing ring and Blethen offered to help her look for it.

After seventeen years, it took Blethen all of forty minutes to find the ring, still in Belanger’s back yard under roughly an inch of soil. The ring was cleaned, and then Belanger called her sister to tell her to come over without fail on the following friday.

This is how Lynch looked when her ring was revealed to her.

In all those years, she had never had the ring replaced. She just felt the original was too special.

After this, I think most of us would agree that the story by itself makes it far too special to think of replacing.

As for her husband, Mike Lynch, he’s relieved.

You see, today is their anniversary and now he feels he’s off the hook.

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Jennifer’s Rock, or You Can’t Win for Losing http://manolobrides.com/2012/10/09/jennifers-rock-or-you-cant-win-for-losing/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/10/09/jennifers-rock-or-you-cant-win-for-losing/#comments Tue, 09 Oct 2012 16:00:10 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=12023
See Jennifer Aniston. See her fiance, Justin Theroux. See the eight carat rock on her ring finger.

Look, if you’ve been reading this blog for more than a week you know my longstanding distaste for diamonds. They aren’t my thing. Never have been, never will be. And yet, I stand utterly mystified and completely annoyed at the general reaction to Jennifer Aniston’s new engagement ring.

Why? Because so many people are lining up to hate on it so for being too big, too gaudy, and not understated enough.

Look, I’m well aware that Jennifer Aniston is known for her trademark sleek, simple, girl-next-door-taken-to-eleven fashion sense. I know this ring is the opposite of girl next door. I know people expected her to sport a sleek, simple, super-tasteful ring.

But when I look at the design of this ring, I see that one spectacular, over the top accessory that really makes a super simple outfit. It’s really a very simple ring, except for the size of the stone. And even if I didn’t see that, it wouldn’t be up to me to judge that ring.

I don’t know whether Theroux chose it on his own, if Jennifer chose it herself, or if they collaborated on the decision. That – like the price tag – is between them and their jeweler. Whatever the case, she seems happy to wear it. And that – combined with an ability to pay the jeweler’s bill, which I’m not terribly worried about with this couple – is what matters.

Besides, just a few months ago, the same yet opposite chatter accompanied the appearance of the ruby and diamond engagement ring Facebook founder Mark Zucker gave his lady love, Patricia Chen. He designed it himself, taking into account her Chinese heritage and her upcoming career as a doctor as well as, presumably, her taste, and style mavens across the world howled in angry disdain that he had (according to their assumptions) spent so little cold, hard cash on the hardware. If Chen is going to practice medicine, the sort of ring they wanted Zucker to buy her would have just gotten in the way… and probably been denounced as too gaudy, anyway.

Jennifer Aniston is not a doctor treating patients. She is an actress. She’ll mostly leave her engagement ring off when working, and it’ll look good on a red carpet. If she likes it and Theroux likes it, there’s no reason on earth they should change it.

Ultimately, if the ring works for everyone involved in the engagement, it works. If the person giving it can’t afford to do so or the person wearing it hates it, that’s when you’ve got a problem.

Big or small, diamond or no, gaudy or plain, can’t we just love the symbolism without worrying so much about the price tag or whether it seems like a departure from a signature style?

My ring makes me happy. Her ring apparently makes her happy.

That really ought to be enough.

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LOVE/HATE: Diamond in the Rough http://manolobrides.com/2012/09/18/lovehate-diamond-in-the-rough/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/09/18/lovehate-diamond-in-the-rough/#comments Tue, 18 Sep 2012 15:56:43 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11929 I’ve never been a fan of diamonds. When I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time at the tender age of ten, I knew I had met a kindred spirit when she talked about how disappointed she was the first time she saw a diamond and it wasn’t the brilliant purple of amethyst as she’d imagined. By the time I’d read my way far enough in the series for Anne to get engaged to Gilbert (Spoiler!), I was very much in favor of her choice of a pearl for an engagement ring.

When Mr. Twistie and I set the date, I did Anne one better and got a ring with no stone whatsoever. I love my sterling silver frog prince and wouldn’t exchange him for all the tea in China, let alone all the diamonds in South Africa. At least I do drink tea.

But there’s a trend in engagement rings that has very nearly turned my feelings about diamonds upside down: uncut diamonds.

This ring by Bario-Neal features a rough diamond flanked by a combination of yellow sapphires and citrine. Depending on the size of the diamond (.5 – 1.0ct) and choice of metal (yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, or platinum) it runs between $2,050 and $3,524.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE this ring. I like the fact that there’s an understated elegance to the main stone, and, yes, I do have a bit of a thing for citrine. I like yellow. One of the things I’ve always liked least about diamonds is one of the things that everyone else seems to prize most about them: the aggressive sparkle. I’m not a sparkly person. In this case, the sparkle is mitigated and I’m delighted.

My silver frog is still very much my favorite engagement ring of all time, and in no danger even if Mr. Twistie could afford to spend two or three grand on something that doesn’t need replacing. All the same, if I were getting engaged today instead of back when I did… I might be tempted to look at this or something very like it. I’m not afraid of my jewelry looking dated someday, nor of standing out from a crowd. I’m not much exercised about traditions that were created mostly by companies that profit from the creation of the tradition. I just know what I like, and I like this a lot.

So what say you? LOVE it? HATE it? Something else? Tell me what you think!

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Hey Guys, It’s Monday Miscellany Back Again! http://manolobrides.com/2012/08/13/hey-guys-its-monday-miscellany-back-again/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/08/13/hey-guys-its-monday-miscellany-back-again/#comments Mon, 13 Aug 2012 17:32:42 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11782

It’s been a wild and wooly weekend in the world of wedding news. I can’t pick just one story to cover, so lucky you, you get to see several things all in one article.

Over at the HuffPo wedding page, Ira Weissman has written an interesting article on why the diamond engagement ring is a worthless scam. Okay, he doesn’t use those precise words, but he makes it very clear that there are plenty of other options and it might behove more couples to explore them more fully before buying a diamond.

You know me. If you’ve got your heart set on a diamond, then I’m firmly of the opinion that you should have what you want, so long as you can afford it. If, on the other hand, you’re not sure what you want or you don’t want a diamond, this article could be helpful to you in explaining your decision to others… or in making the actual decision.

In news that makes you appreciate your own life and relationships, Na Cola Darcel Franklin, 31, spent the evening before her scheduled wedding to Billy Rafael Brewster, 36, arguing with the groom. Unfortunately she decided to end the argument with a knife. Franklin stabbed Brewster twice in the chest, one wound going through his heart. Brewster was pronounced dead just seven hours before the wedding was scheduled to begin. Franklin, as you can well imagine, is currently under arrest.

Best of all, several family members – including the children of the couple – were on hand to witness the horror.

And finally, on a much, much, much lighter note, the news from Fashionably Geek is that couples can now order the fabulous TARDIS ring they featured a few months ago. Yes, Pathetic Paripatetic, the original designer, is now taking special orders for couples who want to send a clear message that their love transcends time, space, and even Daleks.

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Me and My Gallifreyan http://manolobrides.com/2012/06/10/me-and-my-gallifreyan/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/06/10/me-and-my-gallifreyan/#comments Sun, 10 Jun 2012 15:48:01 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11509
(via Fashionably Geek)
I’m too busy having a fangirl squee moment to write anything coherent.

Take the box! Take the box!

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What’s Up at the Huff Po Wedding Page http://manolobrides.com/2012/03/01/whats-up-at-the-huff-po-wedding-page/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/03/01/whats-up-at-the-huff-po-wedding-page/#comments Thu, 01 Mar 2012 17:24:58 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11064
Sometimes it’s fun to take a gander at the weddings page at the Huffington Post just to see what’s being said there. The information and advice often ranges from the painfully trite to the downright deranged, but there’s also an occasional nugget of bridal goodness to be mined.

For instance, that photo at the top of this entry? That’s Len Kendall. When he decided to pop the big question, he went to Buzzfeed and posted this meme of himself asking Katie the Big Question… and invited his friends to create images in a similar vein to support him. The images include everything from Tim Tebow to Angelina Jolie’s right leg to… stuff I don’t recognize, but still find amusing. About the only one I didn’t see was Princess Beatrice’s hat from last spring’s royal wedding. Then again, I’m guessing the images at Huff Po don’t include every single effort.

BTW, the lady said yes.

Ira Weissman has an article to help you navigate the potential minefield of buying your engagement diamond online. It’s a simple guide to avoiding one or two popular scams. Could be helpful if there’s a diamond in your future.

Confused about tipping wedding vendors and their staff? Danielle Elder has shared her personal list of whom to tip and by how much. I would say it’s a good place to start, but recommend consulting with a good etiquette guide and/or savvy folks in your area before simply taking it at face value.

Then there’s an article from Stephanie Hallet on the history of Leap Day proposals. Yeah, turns out virtually every legend about how it got started has no verifiable basis in historical records, but that’s no surprise. My advice? If you’re the one who wants to propose, do it on your schedule. Oh, and best of all possible luck to you!

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What Once Was Lost…. http://manolobrides.com/2012/01/27/what-once-was-lost/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/01/27/what-once-was-lost/#comments Fri, 27 Jan 2012 19:55:06 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=10901
Wedding rings are precious, but they’re also small fiddly things it’s surprisingly easy to lose.

The couple shown above are Lena and Ola Pahlsson. One day in 1995, while Lena was in the midst of a marathon baking session for Christmas, she lost her ring.

The couple searched over and over. When they remodeled the kitchen several years later, they even looked under and behind appliances and under the floorboards. No luck.

Sixteen years after the ring disappeared, Lena was in the vegetable garden pulling up some delicious carrots, when one of them proved to have something surprising on it: her long-lost wedding ring!

This is just one of seven amazing stories of lost and found wedding and engagement rings in an article over at Neatorama. Go read them for a combination good laugh and glowy feeling of things coming right in the end. Oh, and to get a couple good ideas of what never to do with your wedding ring!

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LOVE/HATE: Is It Funny? http://manolobrides.com/2012/01/02/lovehate-is-it-funny/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/01/02/lovehate-is-it-funny/#comments Mon, 02 Jan 2012 16:06:43 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=10800
(Illustration via Strange Things My Imagination Might Do)

So. This ad. Okay, I get where they came up with the joke. All the same… I can’t help thinking it sounds an awful lot like the kinds of ‘jokes’ I’ve so often heard about sexual assault.

Oversensitive? I’m inclined to think not. All the same, I’d like to know what all of you think.

Clearly, I HATE this one. How do you feel? Why?

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Wedding Ring Photos – Tips from the Pros http://manolobrides.com/2011/06/09/wedding-ring-photos-tips-from-the-pros/ http://manolobrides.com/2011/06/09/wedding-ring-photos-tips-from-the-pros/#comments Thu, 09 Jun 2011 09:56:02 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=9743

Ah, the classic wedding ring photo...

Oh my, Wedding Photography Week II is winding down. And that means getting down to the nitty gritty – wedding ring photography. Love it or hate it, it’s one of those things I suggest letting your wedding photographer take since it’s a five second process and you may end up liking them. That said, I found a great set of wedding ring photography tips in a wedding photography guide for brides and grooms written by wedding photographer Glen Johnson. Here’s a taste:

This is one of the most difficult shots to get for a wedding photographer. Most couples are not aware of the fact that they are blocking it either with their hand positions or with their bodies. To turn this moment into a great photo opportunity, all you need to remember is that as you are putting the ring on, position your fingers on the top and bottom instead of on the sides of the ring.

One more tip is to avoid extending your free hand out to grab your partner’s wrist so that you can push that ring on there better. If you feel it is necessary to do this, try putting your hand UNDER your partner’s hand and grabbing on from below. This approach prevents your wrist from blocking the shot. Practice this couple of times, and you will see that it is possible to put the rings on while keeping your ring visible from your guests’ view, and photo capture.

Do you plan on taking wedding ring photos? Would you be terribly disappointed if your ‘slipping the ring on his/her finger’ shots didn’t come out?

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