Friday, December 26, 2008

'Tis the Season to Be-Jeweled

Ah, the holidays ~ what a magical time to be engaged to the one you love. Are you in the market for the perfect ring that says, "I love you" a thousand different ways? Here are some tips while shopping for the perfect diamond.

Always remember the four "C"'s ~

1. Carat ~ 100 points = 1 carat, or 1/5 of a gram. It's rare for a stone to weigh more than one carat.
2 Color ~ Diamonds are typically white, although a completely white diamond is very rare. Colors go all the way to a yellowish stone, and colored diamonds are also becoming very popular. Other colors include blue, yellow, red, green and even brown or champagne.
3. Clarity ~ Clarity refers to the stone's natural imperfections. The fewer the flaws, the more expensive the stone. As most imperfections can only been seen under a magnifying glass, this is a good place to save money if you wish to purchase a larger stone.
4. Cut ~ All finished diamonds have 58 facets, which are small planes that reflect light. The better the cuts, the better the reflection. Common cuts are emerald, princess, oval, pear, marquis and heart, but the most common and usually the most reasonably priced is the round cut.

Don't feel limited to diamonds as your gemstone ~ many brides prefer sapphires, rubies, emeralds, or amethyst. Another possibility is a family heirloom.

Once you've found the perfect gemstone and setting, make sure you insure your investment ~ you'll be glad you did!

Congratulations and Best Wishes,


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Economy vs. Your Wedding

Just great ~ the country goes into an economic "R" for recession, and you're planning the most special day of your life ... so far! Don't let the duldrums get to you, but do plan wisely. Carefully prepare your budget so that you don't run up unnecessary debts ~ by all means, do let a wedding professional help you. They know all the ins and outs, and can help you save money in the long run.

Determine who's paying for what, right up front. Her parents, his parents, bride & groom, lay all the cards on the table so that there are no surprises. Remember to communicate with all involved, even though it's your wedding.

Use your imagination, cut where you need to. Start by paring the guest list and send announcements to those you couldn't invite ~ they'll still love you and be so excited that you found that special someone, and you'll save a lot of money!

Happy planning ~


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

5 Thanksgiving Etiquette Tips

Whether you're going to someone's home to celebrate the holiday or having a gaggle of people around your table, it doesn't hurt to have some etiquette tips handy ~

1. Whether you're the host or the guest, remember to dress the part ~ even though there's football on tv, it's not a frat party. For men, a buttoned down shirt with a sweater and a jacket and dress slacks is appropriate. After dinner, the jacket can always be removed. For you gals, a nice skirt and sweater set with tights is a comfy way to spend the day while looking chic.

2. Guests should always remember to take a hostess gift ~ a bouquet of flowers or potted plant, a bottle of wine (if the host drinks alcohol), mulling spices, homemade cookies, or a little book are always nice gifts. Remember, it's the thought that counts.

3. Conversation starters ~ not quite sure how to handle all those people around the table who you don't know? Never fear, just ask questions! Everyone loves to talk about themselves if given the opportunity. E.g., "I understand you live in Akron. I know someone who went to college there ~ do you live near the campus or in the suburbs?" Find some way to make a connection, and you're off and chatting!

4. Clean-up ... well, lucky you, if you weren't the one in the kitchen for two days. If you were, go ahead and allow your guests to help you clean up. Spending that time in the kitchen is great bonding time, and the nasty task of cleaning up the kitchen is done in half the time and you've burned off a few calories in the process. If you're a guest, you get the message.

5. Family and friends are a real blessing ~ please don't take them for granted. Send a thank you note to your gracious hosts for a lovely Thanksgiving Day. They will love you even more to know that you enjoyed yourself so much.

Thanksgiving blessings to one and all!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Splash of Elegance

Splash! Here we are, ready to blog our way into the world of weddings, events and etiquette. We'll be blogging for brides or anyone planning an event and might have a question from advice on what to do with four sets of parents on the wedding day to zebras (ok, maybe not zebras!), but you get the point.
We love to have "blue sky dialogues" (that's dreaming like the sky's the limit), so let's blue sky your next event! Stay tuned ~