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Archive for January, 2008

Tension-Set Engagement Rings: Yay or Nay?

Posted on January 17th, 2008 by Courtney in Wedding Rings 13 Comments

Tension Set Engagement RingEvery time my husband sees a tension-set engagement ring, he goes off on a tangent about how much he likes them and how that’s the kind of ring I should have gotten. Good thing I got to help pick it out.

Don’t get me wrong. I think tension-set rings are awesomely contemporary and very pretty, but there’s just something about the tension setting that makes me nervous. It just seems like tension couldn’t be enough to hold that valuable little rock in place forever.

So are my fears rational? Or am I just paranoid?

Apparently setting a diamond by tension alone is quite the craft; the jeweler has to be incredibly skilled, because if they set the stone with too much tension, it can crack, and if there’s not enough tension, that tiny little gem could be lost forever. Sort of a Catch-22, don’t you think?

Also, if you’re really into having a gold, white gold, silver, or platinum ring, you better be okay with a larger, heavier ring. Because these metals are softer, jewelers have to use more to create the required tension to get the contemporary setting style.

Anyway, those are the major cons for buying a tension set ring. Now that you know of the potential flaws though, it’s only fair to mention the benefits. Here they are (and in list format, no less!):

  • The tension setting has only been around for about 30 years, so they are the most modern style available.
  • Experienced jewelers and manufacturers must be licensed to engineer tension settings so if you go through a professional, you can probably feel secure with your ring.
  • If you go with titanium, not only can you count on having a less bulky ring, but it allows for a tensile strength of between 30,000 and 45,000 pounds per square inch—at least 100 times more than most gold, silver or platinum tension set rings!
  • Most manufacturers agree that if you have your ring inspected at least once a year, any problems with your tension setting will be detected before your diamond cracks or is lost.

Basically, if you like the tension setting, go for it! From what I found out, titanium seems to be becoming ever more popular, and you’ll want to make sure you invest in an inspection plan through your jeweler. Most stores offer this regardless of what type of ring you get, so just make sure to go ahead with it and cash in ever 6 months to a year!

Do you have any stories about your tension set diamond? Let us know what you know by commenting below!

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Top 5 “Green” Wedding Tips

Posted on January 17th, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Green Weddings, Wedding Planning 5 Comments

Sunflower With Wedding Rings

As we are all concerned for the environment, one of the biggest trends in wedding planning today is having a “green” wedding. Bridal Guide magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Diane Forden offers us these fabulous green wedding tips.

1. Save a tree, cordially
Start with your invitations. Find a stationer who offers uncoated, recycled or recyclable paper. Many stores sell beautiful papers made from cotton fibers (recovered from garment factories) or 100% recycled handmade cards embedded with flower seeds.

2. Eat, drink and be merry
Serve guests an organic feast of foods produced without chemical fertilizers, antibiotics or pesticides, and top it off with organic drinks. During cocktail hour, for example, try Square One vodka and Juniper Green gin, both fermented without additives.

3. Let your wedding bloom
Brides and their florists should choose eco-certified flowers. Organic blooms are often requested by season, such as tulips for spring weddings and sunflowers for nuptials in autumn.

4. Give a little back
Provide your guests with party favors they will enjoy and can reuse. Consider fair-trade tea, coffee or chocolates, tree seeds or saplings or re-usable totes. Natural soaps and body lotions are also a favorite.

Charitable registries are also a great way to give back. Companies like Target and JCPenney will donate a percentage of each gift purchased off the couple’s registry to a charity of their choice. Or forego gifts all together and suggest that guests contribute money directly to a good cause. Sites like the provide great charitable wedding ideas and resources.

5. Getaway in green
Going green doesn’t need to end with the wedding day. You can be eco-conscious on your honeymoon by choosing a hotel dedicated to preserving and enhancing its environment. Green hotels, for example, use low wattage bulbs, soap dispensers instead of bars and only change towels and sheets daily if the guest so requests it.

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Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Posted on January 14th, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Locations 1 Comment

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

If you are looking to plan a green wedding in beautiful surroundings, look to California’s wine country.

The trendsetting Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is forging the path in creating green, environmentally friendly weddings. Celebrated romanticist, Kelly McLeskey has recently added unparalleled “green wedding” options to her repertoire of distinctly unique nuptial packages. With a reputation for designing inimitable personalized affairs for her discerning clientele she unveiled this week an “ala carte” menu of environmentally responsible options. Any (or all) of the below green alternatives can be incorporated into her distinct galas.

  • Beautiful Recycled Paper Invitations complete with Soy Ink Printing
  • Personalized menus highlighting local organic produce, wines, and coffees and house made wedding cakes
  • Digital Photography Services
  • Organic, Local Floral Décor
  • Hybrid Vehicle Guest Transportation or Arranged Car-Pools
  • Fairmont Green Honeymoon Packages

“Each wedding I plan is tailored to fit the needs and personality of the couple. Like many of the couples I have the pleasure of working with I am very committed to the “long-term care” of the planet. A wedding celebration is a great way to both educate and exemplify the beauty of green to friends and family,” shares Kelly. It is my goal to inform, inspire and empower our guests in making the best green choices for their lifestyle.

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa strives to meet the growing public demand for environmentally-friendly products and services.

Renowned for natural mineral waters, unparalleled charm and gracious service, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, is located 40 miles north of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge at 100 Boyes Blvd. in Sonoma Valley, the heart of Northern California’s wine country. A recipient of both the AAA-Four Diamond and Mobil-Four Star Award, the resort consistently provides the country’s finest European spa experience. Don’t for get to check out Truly for your cheap wedding favors!

Visit the Inn’s website at or call 1-800-441-1414 or (707) 938-9000 for more information.

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

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Give Back With The Allumonde Ring

Posted on January 14th, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Rings 1 Comment

A growing trend is for brides and grooms to give donations to their favorite charities and incorporate other ways to include causes close to their hearts during their wedding.

The Allumonde Ring is a sleek, designer ring that gives 21% of the proceeds from each ring to charity – 19% to the non-profit of the buyer’s choice and 2% to UNESCO. The ring would make a fabulous wedding band to symbolize a bride and groom’s love for each other and the charities close to them.

The Allumonde Ring

The rings are available in acrylic, stainless steal, titanium black, titanium gold, sterling silver and 18k gold, ranging from $35 to $2,500. These rings are sold exclusively online at

The Allumonde Ring, designed exclusively by industrial designer Richard Hutton, has become a symbol of DESIGN 21’s mission to make life better across the globe. The name Allumonde means “Light the world” and DESIGN 21 hopes the ring and its mission will do just that.

Nineteen percent of the proceeds from the ring go to the charity of the purchaser’s choice. Another 2% goes to UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to help fund DREAM CENTERS, establishments that provide arts education to children in conflict-ridden countries across the globe.

What a great opportunity to buy a fabulous ring and give to your favorite charity!

DESIGN 21: Social Design Network is an online community that connects socially conscious individuals with designers to address global injustices related to health, education, poverty, peace and the environment. DESIGN 21 believes that designers and artists see the world differently, and found in their personal expressions are exciting and innovative ways to support positive social environments. The online community is a place that allows like-minded people across the globe to share resources, inspire each other and use their talents to take action.

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Milestone Anniversaries

Posted on January 14th, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Anniversaries 1 Comment

Glenn and Rosie GipsonEvery few weeks, we like to highlight some milestone anniversaries of couples around the country.

Here are some of the latest …

Charles Thomas “Glenn” Gipson and Rosie Modean Robbins Gipson of Gastonia, North Carolina celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on December 1, 2007!

Their daughters, Linda and Judy, along with one of their granddaughters, Gwendolyn, hosted a reception to commemorate the occasion. The Gipson’s have two other grandchildren and seven great grandchildren!

Congratulations to the happy couple! Here’s to many more years to come!

Robert and Joy KingsleyRobert and Joy Kingsley of Sedgwick, Kansas celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Friday, January 11, 2008. The retired couple has six sons, who hosted a reception at their local church.

Instead of gifts, guests at the reception each brought an index card with a favorite memory or photo of the couple to add to their celebratory album. What a great idea!!

Congrats to the Kingsleys and all the other couples celebrating anniversaries this month!

Photo credit: Gaston Gazette, The Kansan

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Katharine McPhee Looking for Buyer for Wedding Photos

Posted on January 14th, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Celebrity Weddings 3 Comments

Katharine McPheeWe always hear about celebrities selling their wedding photos to magazines (and many of them donating the money to charity). However, I think this is the first time we have heard of a celeb actively shopping around the rights to her photos.

According to the New York Daily News, American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee is looking to sell her photos from her upcoming February wedding to Nick Cokas.

According to the paper’s source, she is seeking $60K and has already been turned down by “… People, In Touch and OK! magazines.”

I would think if you were a big enough star, magazines like People would come to you, instead of you having to ask for buyers.

Don’t worry Katharine, I’m sure someone will buy them! :)

Photo credit:

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Britney Breaks Out Her Old Wedding Dress

Posted on January 14th, 2008 by Courtney in Funny, News 1 Comment

Britney SpearsIn case you’ve been so incredibly busy planning your wedding that you haven’t had time to think about anything else (and trust us, we know it happens), we’ve got some wedding related info on your favorite pop tart, Britney Spears.

No, I don’t mean she’s getting married again (at least not just yet). Actually, she just felt like dusting off her old wedding duds. This either means she thought they deserved to be worn more than once, or she’s trying to get Adnan Ghalib to start thinking of marriage.

The pop princess was spotted with her new beau at a Mercedes dealership this past Friday showing off her old wedding dress while purchasing a brand new car. Rumor has it the car is for Ghalib, who has been ‘the only one there’ for Britney since her very public breakdown last week.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think wearing your old wedding dress while buying a brand new (very expensive) car for a guy you barely know is all that level-headed. Britney isn’t really known for being that composed lately, though. Just think about her newest relationship: gossip magazines are reporting that Britney and Adnan are already talking marriage!

Not to be mean, but I really hope we don’t see wedding number three for Brit for a little while. Is it safe to say it’s better not to have married and divorced than to have never married at all? In this case, I think it just might.

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Wedding Wear: Mother of the Bride

Posted on January 14th, 2008 by Courtney in Wedding Attire 4 Comments

Mother of the Bride Formal DressMothers of the Bride (and the groom) play a pretty important role in planning the wedding. They are there to offer suggestions, comfort the bride when she’s super stressed, and make everything work out the way they’re supposed to. It’s just what they do, right?

With all the hard work she’s put in, not to mention all the wedding pictures she’ll be in, it’s super important that the Mother of the Bride (MOB) look good. Actually, she should look great, just not too great.

Picking out the perfect MOB dress can certainly be tricky. The MOB should look and feel great on the big day, but it’s uber-important that she not upstage the bride—not always an easy task. It’s always best to see what the bride thinks of her mother’s dress before the wedding bells ring, but these four tips will keep the MOB from making any huge mistakes in picking out her duds:

  • Don’t Wear White: This one requires little explanation. The MOB (and anyone else) should never, ever, (ever) wear white unless the bride specifically asks her to. Which she won’t, so just don’t do it. Never. (Ever.)
  • Collaborate with the Mother of the Groom: Traditionally the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom wear similar colors, if they can agree. It is at least worth talking about so they don’t clash horribly.
  • Consider the Formality of the Wedding: The MOB shouldn’t wear a casual sundress to a black tie wedding. This tip is pretty much common sense.
  • Think of the Wedding Colors: Though the MOB probably won’t be donning the same colors as the wedding party (though she could), she should remember she’ll be posing in a LOT of pictures. She should take care to select a color and style that won’t clash with everyone else’s attire.

In essence, the MOB’s attire should be classy, elegant, and stylish, but it shouldn’t outdo the bride’s efforts. There’s a fine line of what looks great and what looks too great, but if she’s careful she’ll find the perfect dress that she and her daughter will both love!

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Buy Your Own Wedding Gazebo!

Posted on January 11th, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Locations 1 Comment

Vixen Hill GazeboIn recent years, more and more couples are planning outdoor weddings. In addition to indoor/outdoor reception facilities, other beautiful outdoor wedding locations can include beaches, parks, lakes, golf courses and even wineries.

A great idea to enhance your outdoor wedding is to buy a do-it-yourself gazebo. You can get married under the gazebo. Then after the ceremony, put it in your backyard and enjoy it for many years to come.

Vixen Hill, a leading manufacturer of modular Western Red Cedar structures, offers a full line of gazebo and pavilion designs starting at under $4,000. These gazebos are perfect for outdoor weddings. Each model is designed for easy assembly, often within a single day, with or without the assistance of a contractor. After your wedding, you can use the gazebo in your own yard. Therefore, unlike other wedding costs, you will get use out of your purchase long after your wedding day.

“When you include a gazebo in the wedding plans you are including a monument to the occasion that can be enjoyed long after the tents are gone,” said Christopher Peeples, Vixen Hill founder and owner. “With our larger gazebos and pavilions there’s an opportunity to eliminate tent rental entirely.”

I love gazebos. I think they look so romantic, and they are perfect for lounging and sipping tea on a warm day. I would love to put one in my own backyard.

The design team at Vixen Hill can consult with customers to produce the perfect fit for their special needs and environment. All modular gazebos are pre-fabricated of the finest kiln-dried Western Red Cedar, and are available with or without wooden floorsystems and concealed electrical wiring. By combining gazeboes or pavilions in multiple layouts for your wedding, there’s virtually no limit to the square footage that can be created.

You can go online to their “Do-It-Yourself” studio to design, build and order custom units for assembly with or without the help of a contractor. To contact Vixen Hill for design assistance, learning more about their products or to request a catalog, call (800) 423-2766 or visit

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Green Wedding Tip: Kick Up Your Heels

Posted on January 10th, 2008 by Courtney in Wedding Attire 1 Comment

Mohop Gold RibbonIt really seems like going green has become a part of the permanent wedding scene. If it’s not one thing you’re doing to be eco-friendly, it’s another; it’s exhausting! On the other hand, green is for the greater good, right?

Glad you think so.

Well, since being a bride turns virtually any female into the ultimate girly-girl, I would venture the best way to make the green effort fun is to involve your sharp style sense. What would you say if I told you there are some fabulous shoes out there made entirely of enviro-consious materials that aren’t just green, they’re actually cute!!

Mohop shoes are my latest and greatest find, and even though I already had my turn walking down the aisle, I still want a pair! They are incredibly versatile: each pair comes with five ribbon options and endless tying possibilities. So really it’s like you’re getting thousands of pairs of shoes for the price of one! (Ok, not really, but I’m a really, really big fan. Can you tell?)

The less than great news is that they do cost a pretty penny at a little over $200 a pair. Ouch.

If you really want to justify the purchase though, just tell everyone it’s for the environment’s sake. No one can get mad at you for greening your footwear, right?

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