Outside Wedding Games

Checkers wedding lawn games

Take advantage of beautiful weather and a gorgeous outdoor venue by kicking off the post-ceremony celebration with wedding lawn games. Set up on the grass for couples or groups, yard games for weddings are not only fun to play but can also act as an extension of your décor, be it rustic, beachy or boho. When selecting outdoor wedding lawn games, play up your theme, wedding colors and anything that helps to tell your love story.

  1. Ring Toss: Honor the exchanging of rings with the wedding games version of ring toss. Make your own ring toss set with painted glass wine or soda bottles in your wedding colors and decorate with faux jewels to make the tossers reminiscent of your wedding rings.
  2. Cornhole: Turn this tailgating favorite into a great wedding game for guests. Customize the boards with your wedding date and your new last name, and you’ll have a memorable backyard game to use in your own yard for years to come.
  3. Giant Connect Four: Step this classic childhood game up a notch by making it giant-sized. For a fun touch, paint the playing pieces in two of your wedding hues and let the connecting fun begin.
  4. Badminton: Set up a net to encourage guests to volley the birdie back and forth. If you’re looking to round out a boho vibe, have a bit of fun with your net choice by hanging a wide macramé curtain from a rod on stands. For a nighttime option, lace twinkling lights into the net to keep the wedding lawn games going long after sundown.
  5. Giant Checkers: Create this well-known game board using spray paint on grass or chalk on pavement, or even roll out a checkered game board rug for a reusable option after the wedding lawn games are done. Incorporate your wedding colors by painting the pieces accordingly.
  6. Ladder Golf: Another popular game played at parking lot parties, ladder golf is fun for two or more people to play. Teams take turns throwing bolas (two golf balls attached at either end of a nylon rope) at the ladder. First team to 21 points wins! 
  7. Giant Jenga: Marriage is a game of balance, and no game better represents that than Jenga. Use a large, outdoor-sized version as a wedding game and include “Did You Know” facts about you and your partner on each block for a personalized touch.

    Find more games here: https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-games

Popular Anniversary Gifts & History

Marriage is an important occasion in anyone’s life.  When you make the choice to spend your life with that special someone, each year that goes by is a testament to that loving unification that was your wedding day.


A wedding anniversary is the opportunity to celebrate how much you love each other, how strong your marriage is, how long you have been married for, and how you have withstood the tests of time,  together.  It is a promise to build on that love for another year and the best way to show you mean that promise is with anniversary flowers.

Flowers are usually a part of relationships from the beginning.  From that first date, to Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, right through to your wedding day; It is only befitting that your anniversary be marked with a beautiful fresh floral arrangement.

Flowers are a universal way to celebrate wedding anniversaries and each flower has its own meaning. For every year of your wedding anniversary there is a traditional anniversary flower to offer to the one you love.

Flowers, with their combined beauty, vitality, colour and scent are an appropriate means to express emotions, desires and heartfelt feelings.  Without knowing anything about flowers, they are still a beautiful and meaningful gift, but there is so much more to flowers.  The natural diversity of flowers helps us communicate a wide variety of sentiments, conveying a message where words may fall short.  Sometimes delicate, sometimes robust, flowers transcend language and cultural boundaries to deliver a poignant emotional statement. 

The idea that flower bunches or arrangements conveyed a series of secret meanings between lovers was popularised in Europe, especially France, in the early 1800s.  This ‘secret’ language using flowers was first introduced into Europe through the letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in 1718.  This romantic notion that lovers could speak with each other through a ‘secret’ language quickly gained favour in the 18th century Europe. 

The language of flowers has evolved to the present-day where thoughtful sentiment and powerful emotion are still communicated with carefully selected flowers.

Top 10 Most Popular Gifts for Anniversaries

Image result for most popular anniversary gifts his and her

1. Flowers:

Love is a pledge; a promise of sharing and caring and a memento—never let love disappear from your married life. On your anniversary consider giving him/her a bouquet of red roses to illustrate your undying love for your partner. Let the passion of the rose say a lot.

Send a bunch of roses with a card to say how the year of marriage has meant to you and start falling in love all over again.

2. Chocolates:

 Treat your beloved with chocolates on this special day. Demonstrate your love with chocolates and pamper him/her with the flavour of the dark chocolates and with the taste of the almond and nuts filled chocolates. Surprise him/ her with a nicely wrapped chocolate tray on your wedding anniversary to sweetly say “I love you”. 

3. A Romantic Getaway:  

“Fade far away and dissolve” to the land of dreams; consider gifting him/her a fantastic dreamy getaway to prove how very much you love and intend to be with him/her at the tranquil luxury of some romantic place. Say bye to the mundane activities of daily life and bring back romance in your married life by giving your partner this wonderful gift.

4. Perfumes: 

Illustrate your deep love for your partner on your anniversary. Give him/her the perfume of his/her choice. Let the eloquence of the perfume do the wonder whilst articulating your undying love in a passionate way. Rekindle your emotion with the fragrance and bring that smile on his/her face.

5. Candle light Dinner:  

Take a break from the daily routine. Your anniversary is indeed the day to express your love for your partner; to thank him/her for being with you, to love you and to care for you. Make your anniversary lot more vibrant. Book a table for a romantic candle light dinner with your love to whisper those sweet nothings amidst the tender hue of the candle flames. This is definitely a romantic anniversary gift idea which will surely add that spark to your love life. When setting up your table decoration find votive candles, rose petals or floral centrepieces to decorate your table.  Order in from your favourite restaurant or better still dabble in the kitchen with your favourite food.

6. Keepsake Books:  

Would you be interested to add little bit of personal touch in your anniversary gift idea? Well, consider giving your beloved a personalized keepsake book. This romantic gift is indeed one of the best ways to show your love for your beloved. Let your beloved to note down her sweet reminiscences in this book and to relive those moments over and over again.

7. Make up kit:  

Appreciate her beauty with a makeup kit on your anniversary day. This is definitely one of the best romantic anniversary gift ideas for your partner to reassure her, how time has not being able to fade her prettiness. Give her a makeup kit on this special day and experience the beam of joy on her face.

8. Designer clothes:

Designer clothes are the perfect anniversary gifts for your partner to epitomize your deep adoration for him/her. Cheer up your beloved with the finesse of the designer clothes and redefine your love for your beloved in the most elegant way. Pamper your beloved with this anniversary gift that has been reckoned as one of the top ten anniversary gift for your special someone.

9. Jewellery:  

Take care of her with the purple hue of the amethyst, divine dazzle of the diamonds, crimson radiance of the corals on your wedding anniversary. Consider gifting her jewellery to show your deep love for her in accord with the shimmering elegance of gold and silver. Bring that precious smile on her face with jewelleries on this special day.

10. Watches:  

Make your beloved to feel special. Gift him/her a nice watch to show your undying warmth and love for Him/her. Pick a watch in keeping with the choice of your beloved to pamper him/her with its brilliance. Be it an elegant or the trendy watch it is the very majesty of the gift which will certainly woo your partner whilst reflecting your affection and passion and warmth for him/her.

Find out more here https://www.flowersbytina.com.au/shoppingcart/pages/popular-anniversary-gifts-history.html

Advantages To A Winter Wedding

Bride surrounded by bridesmaids in cranberry dresses

written by Elizabeth Mitchell 

You heard it here first: Winter weddings have a lot going for them. Yes, summer weddings sure are stunning but there are some downsides to consider. Sweltering heat could make a hot mess of a bride’s carefully coiffed wedding hairstyle. And with a hectic itinerary packed with other summertime nuptials, some guests might be forced to RSVP ‘no’ to your warm-weathered bash. Bummer, right? But with a winter wedding, you can avoid all that and get stunning snowy wedding photos, holiday-themed wedding decorations, and more. 

Still on the fence about throwing a winter wedding? Then you’ll warm right up to these winter wedding advantages. From less stress over the weather to better venue rates, here’s why you’ll be grateful to get married in the winter season.

1. Less Stress

One thing Dezhda “Dee” Gaubert, owner of No Worries Event Planning, loves about winter weddings is the lack of stress about the elements since they typically take place inside. The risk of rain and wind can make the planning period extremely stressful and potentially costly if you need to add a tent, she says. “Also, guests are frequently exposed to heat and cold in all outdoor weddings and they can be very uncomfortable. Taking Mother Nature out of the equation means less stress for you, your vendors, your guests, and your family.”

2. No Humidity

Living in the south—Charleston, SC to be exact—Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer, owner of Pure Luxe Bride, notes one of her favorite winter wedding perks is the lack of humidity, which, if you’re from the south, you know is a huge plus. Both your hair and makeup will thank you.

bride and groom snow

3. More Venue Dates and Better Rates

As wedding planner Kelli Corn of Kelli Corn Weddings & Events points out, most locations and vendors book up quickly during the summer months and come with a hefty price tag, whereas those same locations and vendors are available for a lower price during the colder months. Because the winter months aren’t as busy as others, they’ll also be able to focus more of their attention on your big day, adds Debbie Ley, venue owner of The Corner District. “Fall is tough for vendors and venue owners as they’re juggling so many events, brides, families, vendors, and logistics. 

You’ll have more flexibility to come in and set up early or break down late, as there’s likely not another event right after yours that the venue needs to prep for right away.”

4. Bonus (and Free) Decorations

Although the time of year might not be the reason you chose a winter wedding, there are many benefits to a celebration aligned with the holidays, notes Corn. “For one, any venue you select will most likely already be decorated for the holiday season adding a more celebratory feel to your special day.” And, at no cost to you.


5. Cheaper Travel and Accommodations

Travel and hotel stays are at peak pricing in the summer, when school is out and families take their vacation, tells Gaubert. Thus, “winter weddings allow guests to take advantage of off-season pricing for their travel and accommodation options.” This is a win-win for everyone, we think.

6. The Wedding Fatigue Won’t Be Real

The spring and summer months can get so jam-packed with weddings that your family, friends, and guests can start to get a serious case of wedding fatigue, says Rachel Silver, founder of Love Stories TV. “A January, February, or March wedding is likely to be the only one your guests attend that winter (unless of course you’re living in South Florida or somewhere warm), which makes it something that people will really look forward to.” Another bonus? “You’re likely to get your wedding film back faster in the winter because your videographer is less slammed in the spring and summer months.”


7. It’s Something Out of the Ordinary

Smash And Co. wedding calligrapher, Ashley Meyers Combs’s favorite advantage is simply that it’s something different. “From color palette to flowers and décor, there are elements of the season to inspire your theme that will stand out in a sea of peonies.” If your style is romantic, she recommends trying shades of winter white and lots of greenery, and if you’re going for a rustic-cozy vibe (think “Aspen Cabin”), use lots of wood and deep hues.

Embrace the season by throwing blankets over guests’ chairs or keep them warm by serving a hot signature cocktail, Combs suggests.

8. It’s the Best Time for Black Tie

If you’re planning a formal wedding, you can bet you’ll hear much less complaining from your guests in black tie attire when it’s cold outside, says Tracie Domino, founder of Tracie Domino Events. “Tuxedos weren’t meant for outdoor ceremonies and cocktail hours in the heat of the summer, however, they are the perfect choice for indoor winter weddings, as are gowns covered in sequins.”

Floral backdrop

9. You Won’t Be a Hot Mess

Some people seriously don’t deal well in the heat. It makes them irritated, cranky, and not to mention, a sweaty mess. Wedding planner Leah Weinberg, owner of Color Pop Events points out that when it comes to weather, you can always add layers to combat the cold, but in the hotter months, well, you can’t exactly take off your clothes. “If you’re stressed about being hot and sweaty for your wedding photos, then a winter wedding is perfect for you.”

10. Stunning Snowy Wedding Photos

If you’re blessed with a sprinkling of snow ahead of your big day, you can snap some stunning snowy wedding photos that’ll rival any sun-drenched summer snapshot.

Meaning & Symbolism of Roses

Image result for roses

Long a symbol of love and passion, the ancient Greeks and Romans associated roses with Aphrodite and Venus, goddess of love. Used for hundreds of years to convey messages without words, they also represent confidentiality. In fact, the Latin expression “sub rosa”(literally, “under the rose”) means something told in secret, and in ancient Rome, a wild rose was placed on the door to a room where confidential matters were being discussed.

Each color offers a distinct meaning:

Red: Signifies enduring passion

White: Humility and innocence

Yellow: Expressing friendship and joy

Pink: Gratitude, appreciation and admiration

Orange: Enthusiasm and desire

Wedding Games For Kids

Image result for wedding kid

Don’t forget about the wee ones at your wedding! Not only do they bore easily, but sitting still during ceremonies and dinners can lead to antsy pants. Set up a wedding games area just for them or pack their table with wedding games and fun activities to keep them entertained.

  1. Chalkboard Games: Turn the games you’d find on a children’s restaurant placemat— tic tac toe, hangman, dots and squares—into fun wedding games by creating erasable chalkboard versions so kids can play, wipe away and start again.
  2. Mini I Spy: Create an I Spy Wedding Game just for the kiddos by creating scavenger lists filled with pictures instead of words. Pictures can include the wedding cake, a ring, shoes, a dress, balloons and food. Supply them with disposable cameras and watch the hilarity ensue!
  3. Just Hitched Hopscotch: For an outdoor wedding, draw out a hopscotch grid or create one using large foam tiles for kids to burn off some energy. If the party is strictly indoors, find a low-traffic hallway or even a long coat closet to set up an inside design using easy-to-remove painter’s or paper tape.
  4. Dance Off: Adult guests can be slow to the dance floor, but that’s where kids can come in handy. Gather everyone around for a kids dance-off. Have kids dance together, or pair up an adult and kid to challenge one another to the best moves. You’ll tucker the little ones out quickly all while getting the party started without a lot of pressure.
  5. Couple’s Coloring Book: For the itty bitties of the kid’s group, create a wedding-inspired coloring book based on the details of your special event. Pair it up with a favors box filled with crayons, colored pencils and stickers to help them personalize their takeaway activity book.
  6. Cake Piñata: What says “kids” more than candy? And when that candy comes flying out of a wedding-themed piñata, it makes for the highlight of the kids’ wedding games. Pick a design that doubles as décor, features the couple’s initials, or looks like a giant wedding cake. Call everyone—adults included—to the dance floor to take a whack at spreading sweet treats to the crowd.
  7. Cootie Catchers: Also known as paper fortunes, these origami fortune tellers get a cool new look from the old junior high notebook paper version. Design your own or purchase printable custom designs. Fill a batch with questions for the kids and reserve others made just for the adults.

    For more games click here https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-games

Wedding games for kids coloring book

The 10 Most Popular Wedding Flowers of All Time

Winter Bouquet with White Anemones, Roses, and Ranunculus

written by Hannah Baker 

When it comes to wedding flowers, it can certainly be overwhelming (to say the least) as it comes time to tell your florist what you want. Besides the plethora of styles and color palettes, having to figure out what specific blooms you want—especially if you aren’t a “flower person”—can be a headache and a half. Once you’ve decided on one kind of flower you like, say a rose, you come to find out that there are over 100+ different types of roses.

The Most Popular Wedding Flowers of All Time

So what’s a wedding flower newbie to do? Well first of all, we’d like to congratulate you for taking the first step by admitting that you’re a newbie. You’re in a safe space here. Secondly, you’ve obviously come to the right place—we’ve compiled a list of the top wedding flowers we see time and time again; the perennial classics and some newcomers that we foresee sticking around and becoming a sort of modern classic.



This one is no-brainer—we all know what a rose is! What you may not know is that there are more varieties of roses than you can shake a bouquet at. The larger, fluffier, and more multi-petaled kinds are perfect face flowers (meaning, the showstoppers of a bouquet or centerpiece) for when you don’t want to use a peony, and smaller ones—like spray roses—add a delicate accent to bouquets and centerpieces.

Consider clustering spray roses alone in little bud vases and sprinkling them down your tables for a simple centerpiece solution.



Hands down, this is the most highly coveted of all wedding flowers. Everyone loves ’em, everyone wants ’em, but sadly they’re also one of the most expensive wedding flowers. So if you have to have them but you don’t have a big budget, maybe just keep the peonies to your bouquet and perhaps the head table (if you’re having one).



Usually black and white, these graphic flowers are perfect for the modern bride. The beauty of anemones is that they’re amenable to working alone in a mono-fleur arrangement or mixed in with other flowers as more of an accent. But beware! These beauties tend to be on the more delicate side, so if you’re getting married out in the heat, make sure your florist water-picks the stems!



One of our all time fave flowers, dahlias are great face flowers because they have such a grand presence (dinner plate dahlia’s can be as large as your head) without packing the punch price wise of a peony. Plus, they come in so many beautiful colors and a wide array of sizes so there’s a variety out there for every kind of bride.



One of the sweetest smelling blooms, lilacs are drapey and romantic and can also work well on their own in a simple bouquet. Coming in shades of purple and white, lilacs are also quite delicate, so you have to be very careful to prevent wilting. Once it starts to go, there’s pretty much no reviving it.



You’ve probably seen these little guys in 75% of the arrangements you have pinned on your flower Pinterest board, but might not have known it. They are usually used as accents and not as the stars of the show. Ruffly petals with wiggly stems, these are great for adding a little movement and wildness to your bouquet or centerpiece, and come in a huge spectrum of colors, but are all around the same size.

Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea

There’s nothing not sweet about sweet peas. Everything from their scent to their dainty stems and almost translucent petals is oh-so-sweet. They often come in variegated colors, which somehow adds to their ethereal look and softness. We love the idea of a simple, small bouquet of sweet peas held together by a loose silk ribbon.



Mainly seen in classic blue or white, we’re really digging the sophisticated, chic older sister of the aforementioned classics—hydrangeas that are dusty and multi-colored, known as antique hydrangeas. Not only are they hardier (the diva-ish blue and white variety will die the moment they are even the slightest bit uncomfortable), but they’re also just so much more interesting. Take it from us.



Like many of the other flowers we’ve listed, tulips are so much more than the generic variety you’re probably picturing in your head. There are fringed tulips (that look just like they sound), double tulips (with twice as many petals than a normal tulip, making them much fuller), Rembrandt tulips (with beautiful red streaks running down their petals), and more. Plus, they aren’t budget busters, which is always a pro.



Although beautiful as house plants, orchids have long been synonymous with a kind of tackiness when used too aggressively as wedding flowers, or solo in all-orchid arrangements—à la so many early aughts wedding mistakes. Recently however, there’s been a resurgence of using orchids in much more interesting ways; there are some gorgeous sherbet and pastel shades, and some dusty colors that are really stunning. Take a chance on this up-and-coming modern classic.

Learn more here

Big Group Wedding Games

Wedding Shoe Game

When you want more than just guests from each reception table to interact, bring in the entire group with wedding games to please the masses.

Wedding Shoe Game

Ice breakers aren’t just for business meetings; they can also be wedding games to help guests get to know the bride and groom that much better. One popular example is the Wedding Shoe Game, in which the bride and groom are seated in chairs back to back. Shoes are removed so that the groom holds one of his own and one of the bride’s, and vice versa for the bride.

Either the DJ or a member of the wedding party reads the questions out loud for the entire reception group to hear. In response, the couple raises the shoe of the person who the answer to the question best represents. To get your guests more involved, have them submit questions into a box prior to the start of the game. For preset questions, consider the following:

  • Who has more clothing?
  • Who is most likely to fall asleep during a movie?
  • Who has the better shower singing voice?
  • Who is the better dancer?
  • Who made the first move for a kiss?

DIY Tip: A great way to get guests involved is by giving each person a stick with a picture of the bride’s face on one side and the groom’s on the other. When each question is asked, guests can hold up the picture that corresponds to their guess.

Wedding Bingo

Want to encourage mingling among your guests? Another wedding games ice breaker is Bingo. In this version, guests don’t sit and mark off a card as numbers are called. Instead, they have to take their card around to the other guests to find someone in the room who can claim “That’s Me!” given the clue provided, and then making it official by writing in their initials. When creating the cards, try to avoid being too generic with descriptions and think about unique clues to describe your guests. Here are some ideas:

  • Birth months
  • Instruments played
  • Tattoos
  • Sports fan
  • Odd talents

Other Large-Group Wedding Games

  1. Flip Cup: Back to those college glory days! If your guests are the imbibing type, you may want to include wedding drinking games like Flip Cup. To keep things from getting too out of control, fill a few of the red party cups with water or unspiked punch.
  2. Video Games: Not just for playing from the comfort of your couch, video games like Just Dance, Rock Band or Guitar Hero are a high-tech way to approach wedding games. You’ll need a little A/V help to get it set up in a way that’s both fun to play and watch without it stealing the reception focus.
  3. The Kissing Game: Not a fan of kissing when guests clink their glasses? Break out a giant DIY die (basically a large decorated square box) to decide the pucker up type. Label each side with “peck on the cheek,” “showstopper kiss,” “take a selfie kiss,” “roll again,” “bride kisses guest,” and “groom kisses guest”—or come up with your own options. Roll the die every time you hear that familiar clinking sound!
  4. Stand Up, Sit Down: All that sitting during the reception can be hard on guests’ backsides. Get them on their feet with a trivia game that instructs people to stand or sit in response to questions about the bride and groom.

    For more games click here https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-games

10 More Unique Wedding Invitations

It’s OK to say goodbye to simple typefaces and heavy card stock! Invitations set the tone for a wedding, and you don’t want to call on your guests with something that’s not your style. So if you’re open to surprising your guests with an invitation suite that feels more personal than traditional, consider using fun shapes, mixed materials, and hand-painted artwork to create the vibe you want.

There are endless ways to amp up the creativity level in your wedding invitations! In fact, you can customize every detail of your invitation suite, selecting everything from the paper it’s printed on to the stamp that seals the envelope. But remember: There’s a lot more to your invitations than what they’re printed on! So, don’t be afraid to get creative with the shape and presentation, color palette, and illustrations, and even extra embellishments like tasseled envelopes, raised type, and engraved designs. Even classic brides can get creative without throwing tradition out the window. It’s possible to keep the mainstays of a timeless invitation suite while elevating it with simple effects, like metallic foil lettering or gilded beveled edges. 

After all, designing your invitations is all about crafting your personal style. What kind of statement do you want to make when they land in your guests’ mailbox? If you don’t know the answer to that quite yet, these unique wedding invitation ideas are sure to inspire you. Here’s 10 more unique wedding invitations.

Use a Rustic Palette

rustic invitation

A violet and copper palette is rustic and elegant when combined with wax seals and silk ribbon. 

Carve Your Details on Wood

wooden invitation

There’s no better invite for an outdoor bohemian wedding than one fashioned from wood. An envelope with a fern print stamped on will seal the deal.

Bevel The Edges

invitation suite

Watercolor art, gold beveled edges, and engraved butterflies evoke a fairytale dream.

Get Eclectic with Cut-Outs

crystal invitation

Crystal inspired invitations are edgy and eclectic—perfect for the bohemian bride. 

Embrace Warm Tones

Indian inspired invitation

Burnt tones add a splash of color in this Indian inspired invitation complete with gilded lettering and patterned corners.

Stick With Patterns

art deco invitations

Bring the roaring ‘20s to life with an Art Deco invitation suite. Crisp lines, geometric patterns, and a black and gold palette strike a chord. 

Use Your Venue as Inspiration

playful invitation

Playful and fun, this retro print is reminiscent of a postcard—and so Palm Springs

Try Desert Glam

desert glam invitation

Dreamcatcher, feather, and desert landscape artwork combine for a desert glam invitation suite. 

Throw It Back to the 70s

disco invitations

Acrylic invitations are taken to new heights when they sparkle with glitter. This disco inspired invitation set puts a modern twist on the 1970s.

Make It Personal

spunky invitation

We’re loving the modern desert vibes in this spunky invitation suite, which get points for a personal touch—the groom, a graphic designer, created them himself. 

10 Engagement Ring Shopping Tips

vintage image of couple window shopping for rings

written by Jacqueline Weppner and Elizabeth Mitchell 

Is it about time to start engagement ring shopping? Congratulations! Buying an engagement ring and gearing up for the proposal is a crazy exciting time, and it’s easy to get caught up in the romance, but remember: an engagement ring is usually a considerable expense, so you want to make sure you do it right. Whether you’ll be scouting out rings together or you’re heading out to shop solo, these engagement ring shopping tips should help!.

1. Narrow Down What Shape You Want

First tip: If you know what your significant other wants in terms of diamond shape, that helps focus the engagement ring hunt immensely. Every shape (also known as a cut) is priced differently—and each has a different price per carat. Round cuts are the most expensive whereas pear and marquise are less so. If size is important to you, you can get more carats at a better price when you choose an alternative shape to the classic round cut. Before heading out to shop for an engagement ring, study up on ring cuts and have one (or two) favorites in mind.

2. Choose a Metal for the Band

Traditionally, engagement rings (and wedding bands, too) are made from yellow gold, white gold, silver, or platinum—although in recent years rose gold has emerged as a fresh, modern alternative. While platinum may look quite similar to silver, platinum is significantly more expensive as it has a greater density (and is also more rare). Some metals scratch easier than others, so be sure to consider lifestyle—as well as budget, of course—before deciding how important of a factor metals are the final decision. You’ll also want to think about if you want stones set in the band(s), as well!

3. Have a Carat Size in Mind

The age old question of quality versus quantity also applies to engagement rings; some people prefer a larger stone to a whiter stone, while others want the absolute clearest possible diamond, despite the carat count.

“The spouse-to-be should definitely have an idea of her (or his) stone size,” says Jaclyne Kirkorian of Jupiter Jewelry in the diamond district of New York. “As much as people say size isn’t important, it’s always the kicking off point, because color and clarity can always be tweaked to find something within your budget.”

If size matters, keep an ideal carat size in mind when shopping together, and be flexible on the other elements to suit your budget.

But also, keep an open mind. Your significant other might think they know what they want, when it comes to size or shape, but trying on rings, they might find out they want something else entirely—it’s always different once you start seeing things on your finger in real life.

And here’s a pro tip: You can save some significant cash if you choose a less common carat size. Diamond prices increase significantly when they weigh the most desired weights: think half and whole carat weights (.50, 1, 1.5, etc.). “Buy a diamond that is just shy of these common weights, and you’ll save money and no one will be able to tell it’s a .92 carat instead of a 1 carat,” says Emily Duke of Finesse Diamonds Corp.

4. Get Measured Correctly

This may seem obvious, but make sure you both get your ring fingers properly measured. You don’t want a ring that’s cutting off your circulation or, even worse, so loose it’s at risk of falling off. It should feel snug but comfortable. If you’re not shopping for engagement rings together, you can go get sized at a jewelry store on your own and then casually mention your size the next time the topic comes up (or tell your BFF so they’ll know the answer when your partner asks them).

5. Consider How Your Engagement Ring Will Look with Your Wedding Band

While it is easy to get caught up shopping for the perfect diamond, the engagement ring is only one half of the equation. Your wedding band—you know, the actual symbol of your marriage—is the oft-overlooked other half.

Definitely think about what style of wedding band would go with your ring. Some engagement rings don’t allow a band to fit flush against them, so it’s important to consider the full package of prong versus pavé and channel-set stones before committing to an engagement ring style.

Image result for engagement ring cute

6. Always Buy Certified

Buying an engagement ring is one of life’s most expensive purchases, so take your time to shop smartly. When you finally find the dream ring, make sure you are buying a certified stone from an accredited laboratory such as the American Gem Society or the Gemological Institute of America. Diamonds certified by the other labs can have inflated grades, giving the customer the illusion of getting a great deal, when in reality they’ve only gotten a lower quality diamond, warns expert Ira Weissman, creator of The Diamond Pro. In fact, according to Weissman, this is the biggest trick jewelry stores play.

7. Make Sure the Certificate Matches the Diamond You See

Most diamonds are laser inscribed on the girdle and this can be checked with a jeweler’s loupe, says Duke. “Many have inclusions so you can look at the diamond and see if you can match the imperfections to the map on the certificate, too.”

8. Be Smart About the Quality of the Cut and Clarity

Another tip: Save big by purchasing the lowest color diamond that will still look colorless to the naked eye once set in a ring, suggests Weissman. “For round diamonds in white gold, this is typically an I or J color. In yellow gold, you could even go down to a K color,” he says. “The difference in price between a J color and a D color is enormous.” As for clarity, same concept goes. Opt for the lowest clarity diamond that is still clean to the naked eye, as it’ll look identical to a flawless diamond assuming all else is equal, he notes. “The difference in price between an SI1 or SI2 clarity diamond and a flawless diamond is huge.”

On the other hand, the quality of the cut of the diamond is one thing private jeweler Dan Moran, founder of Concierge Diamonds in Los Angeles, advises clients to never sacrifice on. Why? It’s the cut of the diamond gives it that gorgeous sparkle we love. “If you take a so-so rough diamond and cut it perfectly, it’ll look absolutely stunning. On the contrary, take a top-of-the-line rough diamond and cut it poorly, and it’ll look like absolute garbage.”

9. Negotiate Like a Boss

Engagement rings can be marked up well beyond the necessary margins, explains Michael Dobkin, creative director and founder of Rosey West in New York City. In fact, some rings are marked up as much as 500 percent. “Really do your research before pulling the trigger and don’t be afraid to negotiate,” Dobkin suggests. “A good jeweler will be willing to work within your budget and get you the best quality that works for your needs.”

10. Head to the Wholesale District

Another option when shopping for an engagement ring is to work with nontraditional diamond retailers or wholesalers to avoid unnecessary markups, says Monil Kothari, founder of NYC fine jewelry start-up Antandre. “A wholesaler or a private retailer like myself is able to work with customers on a one-on-one basis to create a ring specifically for them,” says Kothari. “Moreover, because we don’t have the overhead traditional retailers do, we can save them more than 30 percent, giving them the best bang for their buck.”

Whether you’ll be scouting out rings together or you’re heading out to shop solo, these engagement ring shopping tips should help!.

Find out more here https://www.brides.com/story/ring-shopping-before-the-proposal

10 Unique Wedding Invitations


written by Hillary Hoffower 

It’s OK to say goodbye to simple typefaces and heavy card stock! Invitations set the tone for a wedding, and you don’t want to call on your guests with something that’s not your style. So if you’re open to surprising your guests with an unique wedding invitation suite that feels more personal than traditional, consider using fun shapes, mixed materials, and hand-painted artwork to create the vibe you want.

There are endless ways to amp up the creativity level in your wedding invitations! In fact, you can customize every detail of your invitation suite, selecting everything from the paper it’s printed on to the stamp that seals the envelope. But remember: There’s a lot more to your invitations than what they’re printed on! So, don’t be afraid to get creative with the shape and presentation, color palette, and illustrations, and even extra embellishments like tasseled envelopes, raised type, and engraved designs. Even classic brides can get creative without throwing tradition out the window. It’s possible to keep the mainstays of a timeless invitation suite while elevating it with simple effects, like metallic foil lettering or gilded beveled edges. 

After all, designing your invitations is all about crafting your personal style. What kind of statement do you want to make when they land in your guests’ mailbox? If you don’t know the answer to that quite yet, these unique wedding invitations are sure to inspire you. These 10 invites are everything but your parents’ paper goods!

Consider Color Blocking

color block invitation

Color blocking is in. A warm color palette of sunny hues puts a retro spin on this modern style. 

Mix Linen and Leather

linen invitation

Linen and letter pressed invitations are all understated elegance, complete with torn edges that exude vintage romance

Find Inspiration From the Outdoors

woodsy invitation

Pacific northwest wedding calls for a woodsy inspired invitation suite that comes alive with adventure and fun. 

Think Transparent

acrylic invitation

A transparent acrylic invitation with simple white lettering achieves contemporary minimalism.

Consider Chinoiserie

floral invitation

This colorful invitation suite is inspired by a Chinoiserie, the European interpretation of Chinese motifs. A teal and aqua color combination with hints of pinks illustrates cherry blossoms and bas relief birds. 

Have Fun With Illustrations

illustrated invitation

Illustrated fold-out watercolor invitations are full of fun and whimsy. This one features the bride and groom and a scenic landscape of the vineyard where they’ll tie the knot. The fourth panel is perforated so guests can tear off and send in the RSVP

Create an Indie Print

desert invitation

Design Your Own Royal Wedding

blue invitation

An invitation suite fit for a princess. Complete with illustrations and a custom-designed crest, these invites give off enchanting garden vibes. 

Work With Watercolor

watercolor invitation

These green watercolor invitations were inspired by a woodsy canopy of trees—and they’re completely magical. 

Forgo Paper

leather invitation

Forget paper—leather invitations add an unexpected texture and get major points for originality. Plus, they’re the perfect complement to the free-spirited bride’s indie wedding.