September 2018

September 27, 2018

Diamond rings have been sporting the hands of newly engaged women since ancient times. In the mid 1940s, DeBeers revived the ritual with its famous “Diamonds Are Forever” campaign. Today’s brides are blazing new trails by selecting nontraditional wedding rings that express their individual style.

Brides Ring in an Era of Self-Expression With Unique Engagement Rings

True Colors

“Brides today want to be unique and they don’t mind taking chances with colors, settings, and stones. When it comes to choosing an engagement ring, natural pink, blue, and even green diamonds are trending. These precious and rare diamonds originate from only a few mines in the world, and they can elevate a traditional setting to an entirely new level. While diamonds are always in vogue for engagement rings, millennials are also opting for nontraditional stones, such as color-changing alexandrite, beautiful tanzanite, black opal, and even aquamarine. We are in an age when anything goes, and brides are embracing the idea of individuality and self-expression!” says Jordan Fine, CEO of JFINE.

JFINE

3.64 carat Natural Australian Black Opal.

1.12 carat fancy orangy-yellow marquise, 1.59 carat Argyle blue diamonds and .01 Argyle pink diamonds set in platinum and pink gold.

1.97 carat fancy light-yellowish green diamond surrounded by Argyle pink melee and set in 18K gold.

Argyle Origins ring with 2.02 carat oval fancy intense purplish-pink diamond surrounded by Argyle pink diamonds and white diamonds and set in platinum.

Three-stone ring with 1.63 carat fancy gray diamond and .40 carat fancy purplish-pink diamonds set in Argyle pink diamonds.

Kathryn Money, vice president of strategy and merchandising at Brilliant Earth agrees: “Customers are seeking products that express their individuality and are increasingly drawn towards uniqueness. They want a ring that isn’t like everyone else’s, which we’re seeing manifested in many different ways, such as choosing a distinctive ring setting, using colored gemstones in lieu of a diamond, using a fancy (non-round) diamond, or opting for rose gold.” Money adds that 16% of respondents in a recent survey they conducted favored a colored gemstone engagement ring over a diamond. “Brides are increasingly gravitating towards colored gemstone rings, including sapphires in a range of hues, emerald, morganite, and aquamarine as a way to create a distinctive, stylish statement that can also hold personal meaning. Morganite gemstones set in rose gold settings are definitely trending!” says Money.

Insuring Your Ring

Are the rules different for insuring a nontraditional wedding ring? We asked Janece White, senior vice president at Chubb Personal Risk Services. “For starters, when selecting your forever ring, be careful you understand the durability of your selection. For example, it’s understood that a diamond is the hardest substance on the planet and can take everyday ware with little concern. However, that is not the case with other gem choices. Second, select a reputable jeweler who can explain how to take care of your ring, assure you of its actual origin, and provide authentication of your chosen stone. With diamonds, it’s fairly common to get a diamond certificate, but that is not the case with other gemstones. Last, but not least, make sure you insure your purchase for its replacement value. After going through all of the trouble to find the perfect ring, you want to make sure you can replace it if something unfortunate happens,” notes White.

Behold these eight exquisite engagement rings:

Brilliant Earth

Windsor Ring

Lyrical shapes scattered with shimmering diamonds form a halo around a glistening center morganite gemstone in this unique engagement ring. Morganite has been increasing in popularity due to its romantic “millennial pink” hue that pairs perfectly with trendy rose gold.

Lotus Flower Ring

A subtle floral diamond halo blooms around a center oval sapphire in this exquisite engagement ring. The deep royal blue gemstone exudes a regal feel, while the oval shape gives the ring a sense of elegance.

Cambria Ring

This glittering halo setting features delicate pave diamonds that encircle a vibrant yellow round sapphire and adorn the band. An open gallery makes this ring light and feminine for a truly special look.

Lena Ring

A cushion-cut emerald is the main attraction of this 18K yellow gold ring. Emeralds have historically known for their radiant hue. In fact, the color was named Pantone’s Color of the Year in 2013 for that very reason.


Written by Stacy Marcus

September 27, 2018

Weddings gifts are always tricky but one way to make them truly special is to personalize them! Whether you’re looking to ask the ladies in your life to be part of your wedding party or in need of a wedding gift, personalized wines make a great choice. Bride & Groom and The Original Wedding Expo has partnered with Personal Wines to help make your gift shopping a little easier.

Personal Wine is a personalized wine company whose sole focus is around the art of gift giving something “as unique and thoughtful as it is useful and enticing”. For starters, Personal Wine has a great collection of reds,whites, sparkling, rose, and more all ranging in different sizes and price points. Whether you’re looking to gift an elegant bottle of top notch, Veuve Clicquot or a simple pinot noir, Personal Wine has it all.

The ordering process couldn’t be made any easier! First, you select your wine of choice from the wide variety on their site. From there it’s time to personalize your bottle. Choose from a vast range of labels, typography, images, etc. There are pre-made labels for specialized occasions such as weddings, birthdays, graduations, and other celebratory events. You can also start with a blank canvas and make each bottle completely unique. All personal labels are free of charge with any bottle purchase. Or you can add an elegant touch by choosing to engrave the bottle with a gold metallic inlay for $15! 
Looking to order for an event? Personal Wine allows you to purchase and design in bulk for a discounted price! If you need 6 bottles or 240+, the team at Personal Wine will find the best deal for you to create an everlasting memorable gift. Wine glasses, beer mugs, and other accessories are also included in their engraving packages if you want to pair a matching set of glasses with your bottle of wine! Head on over to their website at  PersonalWine.com to order and design your bottle!

September 13, 2018

Written by Stacey Marcus

Now that you’ve chosen the cherubs for your bridal party, how do you decide what they will wear? We asked Lindsey Bennett, lead designer for Azazie, an online bridal boutique, for her thoughts on flower girl fashion trends. Read on for some great insight on how to dress the little darlings.

B&G: How have the styles changed over the last few years?

LB: Flower girls’ dresses haven’t changed drastically over the past few years, but we have seen some slight updates to modernize the look and correspond to updated bridal and bridal party dress trends. Waterfall skirts and illusion necklines and hemlines have emerged, while interesting back designs—keyhole, crisscross straps—are also being incorporated for a fresh feel. Cascading or tiered ruffles are another way to add a delicate touch to a flower girl’s dress, tying back to a popular bridal party trend. As far as sleeves, capped, sleeveless, and short-sleeves are still prevalent, but spaghetti straps are growing in popularity in keeping with bridesmaid styles.

Alison White Photography

B&G: What are the colors that are trending today?

LB: Flower girl dresses are typically white or ivory with a hint of color to fit the color scheme of the wedding. Some brides opt to have their flower girls wear the same shade as their bridesmaids. Popular bridal party colors for spring include metallics and shades of green, as well as “dusty” colors in shades such as blue, rose, and sage, which serve as the perfect complement to these hues. The venue will also impact the color selection. An outdoor wedding looks great highlighting the green tones of the surroundings, whereas a beach wedding can look romantic using soft, muted earth tones such as champagne or sky blue. Another staple that looks great on kids is pastel. You can never go wrong with a lighter shade of the bridesmaids’ dress color.

B&G:How should the flower girl dresses complement bridesmaids dresses?

LB: An effortless and beautiful way for flower girl dresses to complement bridesmaids gowns is to incorporate the chosen color into the little girl’s dress on a smaller scale. Whether it’s a sash around the waist, a bow in the hair, or the hue of the little girl’s shoes or flowers, a pop of color mapping back to the wedding color scheme creates a beautiful visual for the big day. Brides might also consider having the flower girl wear a small corsage to correspond to the wedding color scheme as a subtle yet sweet way to create a cohesive look. If bridesmaids are wearing a sequin gown or a style with sparkling embellishments, flower girls could be adorned with a shimmering tiara or embellished sash. Flower girls should always be included in the theme, while making their own age-appropriate style statement.

Alison White Photography

B&G:What are the fabrics we will be seeing?

LB: For flower girls, it’s important to consider fabrics that won’t wrinkle or easily tear. For that reason, a head-to-toe silk dress is not ideal, while tulle makes for a fun skirt fabric. Layering it with cotton, lace, or silk on the top makes for a beautiful combination. Textured lace is also rising in popularity, offering additional dimension to dresses. Of course, comfort is also key, so itchy fabrics should be avoided. Little girls can get restless during the ceremony, and having a flower girl tugging at her attire can be a distraction when all eyes should be on the happy couple. Season and location should also be factored in, as a beach wedding will call for a more ethereal, casual fabric, whereas a formal function at a fancier venue might call for a princess/ball gown silhouette in more structured fabric.

Alison White Photography

B&G: Any advice on avoiding the common pitfalls of outfitting a flower girl?

LB: I think the best advice to avoid the pitfalls is to make sure your flower girl is comfortable. While it can be tempting to put these cute little ladies in an outfit mimicking the adults, with all the bells and whistles, we need to remember that they’re still kids. If they’re not comfortable, the ceremony may suffer. Avoid high heels and stick to flats for comfort; consider straps instead of a strapless gown to avoid fussing; opt for a tea-length dress instead of floor-length to avoid tripping; try not to overdo the accessories and instead give them one or two accents that will still make them feel like a princess; and most importantly, ensure that their dress allows them to move easily so that they can enjoy the party alongside everyone else for the duration of the wedding.

Our top picks for flower girl fashion:

A-Line/Princess Knee-length Flower Girl Dress from JJ's House

A-Line/Princess Tea-length Flower Girl Dress - Tulle/Lace 3/4 Sleeves Scoop Neck With Bow from JJ's House

"

Ruscus Leaves Crown from BHLDN

3D Pearl Blossom Tulle Flower Girl Dress from David's Bridal

Girls Crystal Ballet Flats with Ribbon Bow from David's Bridal

Sequin and Tulle Flower Girl Dress with Satin Sash from David's Bridal

Ball Gown Flower Girl Dress with Heart Cutout from David's Bridal

Glitter and Rhinestone Rosette Flower Girl Headband from David's Bridal

Gigi Embellished Flat from BADGLEY MISCHKA

September 5, 2018

September 23, 2017 at Sterling National Country Club

Kevin and I met through mutual friends on Facebook. Kevin trekked over one afternoon during a snowstorm in December 2013 to plow out the house where I lived. He asked me to take a ride with him and we spent the next five hours riding around in the snow. I knew he was the one almost immediately but there could be no doubt when, in 2014, my dad had a heart attack and was diagnosed with esophageal cancer shortly thereafter. Throughout this ordeal, Kevin was my rock, my shoulder to cry on, and my best friend.

After my dad passed away in June 2015, Kevin asked my mother and went to the cemetery to ask my dad for permission to marry me. Kevin had been given his mother’s engagement ring, and my mom gave him a ring from my dad, so he had a new ring made combining the two. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my brother had a bonfire in his yard, and about thirty of our closest friends were there. At one point, my brother got up to make a speech, thanking everyone for their love and support during our dad’s illness. When he finished his speech, he turned it over to Kevin and the bright lights came on. Suddenly Kevin was on one knee with ring in hand. Naturally, I said yes! My brother set off some fireworks and everyone cheered.

We started planning right away and set a date far enough in advance so we would have time to save and have everything we hoped for. I knew that I wanted a rustic country feel, and I wanted everyone to be comfortable and to have a great time. I wanted a party!

We looked around at venues and nothing caught my eye until we came up the driveway to the Sterling National Country Club. One look at their grounds—the gazebo and water features, the ballroom, the bridal suite—and I knew it was where I wanted to say “I do.” Everyone there, from Jeff, the general manager down to the wait staff, made it so easy. When we went to the tasting, it was difficult to decide because everything was amazing. We ended up offering chicken chausseur and pork tenderloin with an eggplant vegetarian option. It was all cooked and served to perfection.

My first purchase after setting the wedding date was my wedding gown. I went to Marry and Tux in Nashua, NH, and I only had to try on three gowns before I found the one I wanted—an ivory strapless Cara Mia lace ball gown with a corset and medium-length train. Before having my gown altered, I had two hearts cut out of my dad’s favorite blue shirt and asked the seamstress to cover them in lace from my grandmother’s wedding gown. She sewed one of the hearts to my train where it was visible the whole day; I put the other one inside my dress to keep next to my heart.

For the centerpieces, I filled pint mason jars with fairy lights and wrapped jute around the covers and filled quart mason jars with blue hydrangeas and baby’s breath. We painted the table numbers on 7" lengths of trees, which had the tops cut at an angle. The trees were from the woods where Kevin grew up, which happened to be the land was in my dad’s family for almost 100 years, so my dad grew up there, too. I originally wanted lace and burlap table runners, but Jeff proposed round mirrors instead, which pulled it all together and looked amazing. For the favors, we ordered cozies and had chocolates made by Stewart’s Chocolates in Holden in the shape of cowboy boots.

We found the bridesmaids’ dresses at David’s Bridal. The long, navy blue dresses had lace at the top and a slit up the front which showed off the cowboy boots. I carried a bouquet of sunflowers, wheat, and greens wrapped in burlap, and my maid of honor and my bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet. The flower girl wore a lace and tulle navy blue dress with cowgirl boots and carried a tiny version of our bouquets. The men wore sand colored vests with ivory shirts and navy blue ties from Bonardi’s Formal Wear in Worcester. All the men wore dark blue jeans and cowboy boots.

We decorated the gazebo with sunflowers, and hung mason jars with sunflowers from the aisle chairs every fourth row. We had water bottles with personalized event labels—a great call since it is was sunny and almost 90 degrees that day. Two local craftspeople made me a beautiful wooden sign for the seat where my dad would have sat. We also set up a “memory” table in the bar area where we displayed photos from the weddings of our grandparents and great-grandparents, as well as a photo of my late uncle.

Our cake was made by Elena at Baked in Holden. We had four tiers with carrot, red velvet, chocolate, and vanilla cake. Each layer was wrapped with lace and burlap, and there was a willow tree figurine on top. We had a DJ and a videographer and photographer.

The whole day was a continual series of happy memories; there’s not one thing I would change. Sterling National Country Club was a great choice because it was convenient for all our guests to have everything in one place. The staff members were incredibly accommodating, friendly, and eager to please, which left me with the feeling that nothing less than perfect was acceptable.

The only advice that I would give to future couples is to make sure to give yourself enough time to plan exactly what you want. Two years seemed like a long time at first, but the time just flew by.

Ceremony and Reception Site:

Sterling National Country Club

Sterlingcc.com

Photographer: Meghan-Rose Photography

meghan-rose.com

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