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What Once Was Lost….


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!

LOVE/HATE: Is It Funny?


(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?

Wedding Ring Photos – Tips from the Pros

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?

Get Rid of Engagement Rings?

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Bling bling!

Tell me ladies, do you have a big fat diamond engagement ring on your finger? Maybe a giant sapphire? I personally don’t, not for any particular bias against them (when they’re conflict free) but rather because I am a ring snagger so I do best with low-profile rings that aren’t going to rip out my hair and destroy my delicates. I do have a surprising number of friends sporting big bling, some of whom I think must still be paying it off after a few years.

No matter. Whether you’re partial to something like Twistie’s silver frog or the 10 carat estate ruby I do occasionally wear (snag snag) or a huge honkin’ diamond set in platinum, there’s one thing most most engagement rings have in common. And that’s that engagement rings are given to women by men. Which is fine and dandy – who doesn’t love presents? – but it does have this weird way of tipping the scales, making people feel inadequate, and switching on the materialism in nice people who aren’t typically prone to that sort of thing. Plus, according to Slate’s Dear Prudence writer Emily Yoffe:

It turns young women — otherwise independent, successful strivers — into passive recipients, waiting for their prince to rescue them from their single state. In what other aspect of their lives do young women so totally turn over their future to the decisions of others? I get letters from women who regularly scour their beloved’s sock drawer, hoping to see a ring box, evidence that marriage is in their future. The ritual of the engagement ring means he decides, he buys, he proposes. Throwing the ring out of the equation encourages the progression toward marriage to be more of a continuing discussion, a joint decision.

What do you think? Should engagement rings go the way of the dodo or should things get back into balance with the introduction of an engagement gift for men trend?

Tell Me About: Alternative Engagement Rings

Alternative engagement rings… ask 10 people what that means and you might get 10 different answers, from sustainable gold and diamond rings and skinny hammered gold bands to gems from space and gold versions of acrylic silhouettes. And then, of course, there’s the beautiful Twistie’s silver frog! Some might say that any non-diamond engagement ring counts as alternative, but in this day and age? Really? (A sapphire engagement ring should not be considered out of the ordinary.)

Heck, there’s no rule stating that an engagement ring has to have a stone at all, much less a clear one – preferably a diamond or something close to it – in a solitaire mount. Or that the man has to give the woman a ring. Some women just don’t wear rings or can’t because of their professions. And there are women who do the proposing, and maybe they give their partner a ring, maybe not. There are couples who can’t afford a pricey ring and would prefer not to buy something cheap. Couples who would simply rather spend that money on something like a new washing machine for the house they bought together years before they got married. Some people like the look of that traditional big rock; some people would rather wear an onion ring than be caught dead in one.

Personally, I like alternative engagement rings. Actually, I just like rings. I’m not going to make any judgment calls when you come up to me with your Ring Pop and announce that you’re engaged. If it works for you, I’m thrilled on your behalf. Now you tell me: Did you or your intended choose an alternative engagement ring? Are you someone who strongly believes diamond engagement rings are the only ‘real’ engagement rings?

Image: Indiebride

William and Kate Set a Date


It’s probably old news to you by now, but Prince William, son of Charles, Prince of Wales, has set a day to marry longtime lady Kate Middleton.

They’ve also set a place, Westminster Abbey, and had about a bazillion photos shot of her wearing his mother’s famous sapphire and diamond engagement ring. A bank holiday has been declared, as well, for the royal wedding on April 29, 2011.

What is less popularly noted at this point is the conflict for so much of American political and punditical glitterati: it seems that April 29 is also the day before the annual White House Press Conference dinner.

The organizers of the Press Conference dinner have decided to go ahead with the date they have already been planning around.

And the Daily Mail has weighed in with plenty of questions about whether having a full-on royal wedding right now is in any way appropriate… though even they do admit William and Kate are stuck in a kind of damned if they do, damned if they don’t situation as far as publicity goes. After all, if they throw a lavish do, they’ll get flak for being wasteful and grossly out of touch with the masses of unemployed. On the other hand, if they have a quiet wedding in private, at least as many people will raise a ruckus for having been given no royal spectacle, and start to speculate on why they hid away on such an important occasion for the state.

The sad part is that in the end, this particular happy couple have less say in their own wedding plans than the average couple. Many of the decisions are based on tradition, protocol, and upholding the dignity of the monarchy.

Me? I’m not going to rag on them for decisions largely made by a phalanx of major domos and political advisors. I’m just going to hope that William and Kate have a long, happy life together.

It’s no more and no less than I would wish for any couple as they embark on the journey of marriage.

Eight Carats Not Enough?


I’m sure everyone here wishes the greatest possible joy to tennis star Maria Sharapova and her fiance, basketball player Sasha Vujicic. I know I do. I wish that to all couples in love.

And I certainly hope that she loves the purportedly eight-carat diamond ring she’s been sporting in honor of the engagement.

Now, with that out of the way, I clearly need to send a copy of Miss Manners to writer Chris Chase for penning this ‘whimsical’ piece on how Mr. Vujacic has cheaped out on the ring by not spending Chase’s estimate of Vujacic’s two-month salary. Chase estimates that two months worth of Vujacic’s salary comes out to $912,000.00, making the mere $250,000.00 he’s reported to have spent a pittance.*

Sigh.

We’ve been over and over and over this point here at Manolo for the Brides. Two months’ salary for an engagement ring is not etiquette. It was an advertising slogan for DeBeers. You know, the people who sell diamonds. Etiquette considers it painfully rude to even enquire as to the price of someone’s jewelry, let alone a piece so imbued with symbolism. Etiquette would also be appalled at estimating someone’s salary, even when it’s a matter of public record, for the purpose of shaming them into spending more of it. Seriously, these are things over which etiquette has a painful attack of the vapors.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when choosing an engagement ring, the gentleman should consider the taste of his lady and the state of his bank account (and credit rating). The lady, given the choice, should be thoughtful of his wallet. Everyone else in the universe should just butt out. Er… with the possible exception of the jeweler who is sort of required if the ring is being bought new or adapted from a not-so-new source.

Besides, if Mr. Twistie had followed the two months salary ‘rule’ I would never have gotten the engagement ring I wanted. It didn’t cost nearly that much.

*(I know the article is meant to be humorous, but it’s still based on a crass assumption that needs to be deflated at every possible opportunity. Way too many people think that ‘rule’ is a real one, so I continue to tilt at this particular windmill.)

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