Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!
Posts by :
Round diamonds are the most popular, making up 75 percent of all diamonds sold today. Its 58 facets display more fire and brilliance compared to other available shapes. They are the most versatile diamond shape because they can be used in many styles of jewelry, from pairing a solitaire with a simple gold band to surrounding it with many additional stones in a ring wrap.
Next in popularity is the princess cut, which is a square diamond with sharp corners and a lot of brilliance. A princess cut stone looks a bit smaller than a round diamond with the same? carat weight due to the princess cut stone being cut deeper to achieve its stylish shape. However, the princess cut, with 76 facets, often has more fire and brilliance than the round cut.
The marquise diamond, with a point on each of its two ends, often looks larger than other cuts of the same carat weight. With about 56 facets, the marquise is quite a sparkler. Legend has it that this stone was named in honor of Louis XV?s mistress, Marquise de Pompadour.
Once a popular choice for royalty and the rich, the emerald cut is a rectangle-shaped diamond that shows off its clarity better than other shapes. When looking within the stone, an emerald will resemble a prism, while a round or princess cut looks like a kaleidoscope. Emeralds have few (but larger) flashes of light; compare this to round and princess cuts which have more (but smaller) flashes of light.
While often chosen for its sentimentality, the heart-shaped diamond isn?t as popular because it simply doesn?t shine as brightly as other cuts. The very cuts that turned the stone into the shape of a heart take away some of its ability to sparkle and shine.
An elongated version of the round cut, the oval-shaped diamond is a great choice for long fingers. ?Popular since it appeared on the scene in the 1960s, the oval has 56 facets and makes a great choice for a center stone in multi-stone engagement rings.
This vintage shape made its comeback in the 1990s, appearing on the fingers of many Hollywood starlets. The Asscher is a modified-square cut with stepped facets, created in Holland more than a century ago. At that time, only the uber-rich could afford its brilliance. Today, the Asscher cut diamond is in short supply and high demand.
With a cut that resembles the emerald at first glance, its cut seems to go on forever when you look deep into the Asscher diamond.
The cushion cut diamond, square or rectangular with rounded corners, looks great in today?s vintage style engagement rings. The stones? 58 facets are generally cut large, creating large flashes of light.
The pear-shaped diamond is unique in that it resembles a round diamond at one end and a marquise at the other. When worn on the finger, the point should face one?s fingertips. Often less sparkly than the round diamond, the 58-facet pear tends to make the wearer?s fingers appear slimmer. This cut looks fabulous with trillions or smaller pears next to the main stone.
BAGUETTE & TRILLIAN
The baguette and the trillian cut are two additional diamond shapes which are quite popular these days, but rarely stand on their own. Instead, both are used to accent larger stones. Developed in 1978, the trillian was derived from the Princess cut. Trillians look like a triangle and resemble the Princess cut when you look deep within the stone.
Like the stick of French bread that shares its name, the baguette diamond is long and slim. A large baguette is rare. They are most common alongside a larger stone, or several may be set together in a channel setting.
If you have children, making the decision to marry or remarry affects their lives as much as yours. Your wedding day is the perfect opportunity to help your kids make the transition into this new blended family, no matter what their age.
Make sure your kids feel included from the start by beginning long before the wedding day itself. Younger children might help you stuff and mail the invitations, while older kids could use their confidence on the computer to keep your guest list and RSVPs organized in a spreadsheet or creating your wedding programs.
Let your kids have a say in what they will wear to the rehearsal dinner and wedding – within reason, of course. If your child insists on wearing cowboy boots and a superhero costume every day of the week, this might be a challenge. But, if your child understands the level of formality you and your fianc? have chosen for the event and you express your enthusiasm over the color or style of clothing, go ahead and let your child loose within those limitations and encourage their creativity as far as accessories he or she might wear such as a miniature bouquet or boutonni?re, headband or earrings, a pillow or some other way to carry the rings, etc.
There are numerous tasks that your kids can handle during the wedding and feel as though they are playing an important role.
1. Flower girl or ring bearer – Usually between the ages of 4 to 7.
2. Attendants — Junior bridesmaids or junior groomsmen are usually between the ages of 8 to 12, while older children may act as a maid or honor or best man.
3. Ushers to seat guests
4. Pass out something to the guests, whether it be the wedding programs, favors, bubbles or birdseed
5. Guest book or gift table duty
6. Roving photographer or videographer
7. Vocal or instrumental soloist
8. Read scripture or poetry during the ceremony
9. Add vows for you and your new spouse to express to the children during the ceremony.
10. Include the kids in lighting a unity candle or family candle, a prayer or a blessing during the wedding.
11. Present each child with a symbolic piece of jewelry such as a charm or medallion to represent your love and devotion during this time of growth and change.
12. Include your children in the first dance ritual at the reception by encouraging them to join you and your new spouse during the second verse or in a special song following your first dance.
13. Instead of a groom’s cake, let your kids choose the design and style of a cake for the reception.
What if your fianc? has children, but you don’t? Including his family in your wedding is still a great way to encourage a smooth transition into this new stage of your lives. This can be a
little tricky depending on the atmosphere and any challenges that might exist such as whether you may have already met his kids and started to form a relationship with them prior to the wedding or if his ex harbors resentment toward your happiness. Discuss the possibilities with your husband-to-be in advance of the wedding, with plenty of time to discover the best way to ask the children to be involved.
If your children are grown and have families of their own, think about using some of these ideas to make sure your grandchildren feel included in your day.
For some brides, there is no question. It?s fresh flowers or no flowers at all.
But for those who might still be considering which way to go, there are definitely pros and cons for real flowers vs. silk.
For some brides, nothing comes close to enjoying all of her senses being heightened on her wedding day, and that can include the dreamy scents wafting from her bouquet. Real flowers, of course, carry their own unique scents which isn?t the case with silk flowers. However, there are special scents available to add to silk flowers, so if you really want to go the silk route, that might be something to think about.
PRICE & QUALITY
Just because they?re imitation it doesn?t mean silk flowers will be less expensive than their real counterparts. In fact, some companies now manufacture faux flowers so realistic that it?s difficult to notice that they aren?t fresh.
Silk flowers can run the gamut from cheap and poorly made, to inexpensive with good quality, to high-price with high quality. You?re in luck if you?re able to find top-notch, lifelike silk flowers at a sale price, and some hobby stores frequently run coupons in their weekly advertisements.
If you have your heart set on out-of-season or more expensive fresh flowers, a little investigating will tell you whether you could actually save money by choosing silk. Out-of-season fresh flowers typically have the power to dramatically increase your floral bill, since it costs more for your florist have them shipped.
Taking care of some of your wedding chores on your own could possibly save you some money and if you are a do-it-yourself type of bride and plan on creating your own bouquets, you might consider using silk flowers. That way, you?ve got the luxury of time on your side. Buy your silk flowers and put the bouquets together in the weeks leading up to your wedding. Set up an area in your home so you can enjoy the challenge of creating the bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces.
Or, if you prefer to use real flowers in your do-it-yourself bouquets, take a hint from the French. Brides in France often visit a flower market the day of the wedding, grabbing stems that they like, and then tie a bow around the stems to create bouquets with a fresh, just-picked look.
This isn’t difficult to do if there is a wholesale flower company in your area or you know of a great source to find stems. Depending on the size of your wedding party and the number of bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces you need, it might be wise to enlist the help of your bridesmaids and borrow coolers from friends and relatives to keep the flowers as fresh as possible before the ceremony and reception.
Another option is to order flowers online from one of the reputable companies who will ship the flowers to you.
If you?re a fan of the hand-tied, casual bouquets that are so popular right now, you should be able to play with the stems until you?re satisfied with the look.
Silk flowers won?t wilt, which is something to consider if you would like to use flowers known for being fragile, if you live in a hot climate, or if you will get married outside.
Silk flowers are a bit more convenient because they?re lighter to transport to the ceremony and to the reception site. A lighter bouquet can be a blessing if you prefer larger bouquets as the weight of a real bouquet might become uncomfortable during the ceremony, especially to your maid of honor who is holding her own bouquet and the bride?s.
Also, you won?t need to worry about keeping silk flowers in water prior to show time, which is a common concern when using real florals.
Whether you choose live or lifelike, your wedding and reception will be beautiful with the right floral touches.
Custom cocktails have become all the rage at weddings. It?s easy to dream up your own fruity concoction ? or borrow a recipe that already exists and rename it in honor of the bride and groom.
Even if you don?t plan on having a bartender at your reception, you can still serve custom cocktails. Choose someone to man the bar and teach him or her how to make your signature drink. Some of your guests won?t care to partake, but others will get a kick out of your creativity and trying something new.
How do you find your own custom cocktail?
Start with what you already know. Do you have a favorite drink? If so, modify it or rename it for your wedding.? If it?s a martini, it could be as simple as adding the suffix ?-tini? to your last name and you?ve instantly renamed it.
Do you have a friend who makes a living tending bar? Ask for his or her recommendation for your special day.
Check with your caterer to see what type of drink would best complement the meal being served at your reception.
Visit the library or buy a book about bar-tending and you?ll find hundreds of drink recipes to spark your imagination.
Keep in mind the color scheme of your wedding and the color of the drink.
To get your started, here are a few ideas:
Rum and Pomegranate drink (red)
1 ? oz. white rum
? oz. orange liqueur
Splash of lime juice
2 ? oz. sparkling pomegranate juice
Colored sugar (for rim of glass)
Dip rim of glass in water, then in colored sugar. Combine rum, liqueur and juices with ice in the glass; stir.
Strawberry Watermelon Mojito
1? oz. strawberry vodka
? oz. fresh lime juice
? oz. mint-infused simple syrup
1 cup fresh seedless watermelon, cubed and chilled
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
To make mint syrup, bring 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil. Once sugar dissolves, remove from heat; add 10 mint leaves. Let cool for 30 minutes. Strain. Combine vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, ? cup of watermelon and 10 mint leaves in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 10 seconds. Strain into a glass with ice and remaining watermelon. Top with club soda. Garnish with additional mint leaf.
1 (12 oz.) can frozen lemonade
1 (12 oz.) can frozen limeade
4 cans water
2 cans of premium tequila
1 can Triple Sec
Stir all ingredients together. Fill blender carafe with ice cubes and pour one-fourth of mixture over ice. Blend until frozen slush is formed. Continue with remaining mixture. Serve in a chilled sugar-rimmed margarita glass with a sprig of mint and a small pinch of cayenne pepper. (Serve on the rocks by skipping the blender step.)
Candy Cane Cocktail
1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
1 oz. Vanilla Liqueur
1 shot vanilla rum
1 shot white chocolate liqueur
1 shot peppermint schnapps
Candy cane (miniature candy canes work well, or break candy canes into large pieces)
Mix all together and serve with candy cane garnish.
1 pint rum
2 bottles (750 ml size) champagne
3 cans (6 oz. size) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
6 cans (12 oz. size) ginger ale
Combine rum, champagne, lemonade concentrate and ginger ale in a large container and mix well. Freeze until firm. Thaw slightly before serving.
The last thing any bride wants is for her wedding to be a cookie-cutter replica of someone else?s wedding, or ? even worse ? to go through the traditional motions, totally lacking any touches that would reflect the heart and soul of her personality and that of her groom.
What are some easy ways to infuse your ceremony and reception with touches that will make it ?so you??
Sit down and brainstorm, jotting down the qualities you admire in your relationship with your fianc?. What are your values? What is it about the two of you that makes you who you are?
If a certain theme seems to stand out in your life as a couple, think it over and see where that takes you. It could be something as simple as a favorite color, something that has to do with where you met, a sport or an activity the two of you share, a sports team, an alma mater that you share, the best vacation you ever took together, or how your paths crossed at Disney World when you were 10 and you didn’t know about it until years later.
Maybe your signature drink for the reception will be the drink you were enjoying when his friends dared him to introduce himself to you for the very first time. Or the floral theme throughout the wedding and reception will pay homage to the bouquet he sent you after you both realized you were perfect for each other.
Another direction to go would be your heritage. Are there traditions within your culture or your family that would make a statement during your wedding?
Intertwine your personalities as you plan your day. Take advantage of the things that make you ? individually and as a couple ? unique, including your talents and hobbies.
Don?t be afraid of sharing something that may seem silly. Those silly little touches are exactly the type of thing that will help your guests feel like they really know you, even if they happen to be just an acquaintance. Your ceremony will stand out as a special one in their minds rather than the same old, boring wedding that we’ve all had to suffer through so may times.
Looking for inspiration? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Get rid of those boring table cards and numbers and use your imagination. Instead, how about using shapes to distinguish the tables from each other. Whether you go with shapes or names, there are plenty of options. Ocean lovers or fans of fishing might choose things that live in the water, or names of beaches. If you met in college, choose your school?s mascot in different colors, names of your alma mater?s dorms, or names of streets or your favorite hangouts from those days. Do you share passion for the same sport? Name your tables in honor of your favorite teams or players.
Make your departure unique by choosing a special song to be played as you make your exit. Or perhaps you?d like to drive away in a classic car that you?ve borrowed or rented, a horse-drawn carriage, or even a helicopter.
MONOGRAM (Contact Living Jukebox DJ Service for this!)
Custom monograms or logos are gaining popularity with brides and grooms. Hire a graphic designer to create your look, whether informal or elaborate, and then repeat the theme wherever possible. Have a vinyl wall stencil created to attach to the wall near the dance floor, behind the head table at the reception, or to behind the cake table. Plan ahead so that your monogram will be visible when photos are taken, rather than having it hidden by your heads. Some DJ services offer packages where they shine your initials or your logo onto a wall or the dance floor, which makes a fabulous impression. (Yes, Living Jukebox DJ Service can do this!)
What’s hot for weddings now?
1. Gray is the “it” color for wedding apparel this year, with fabrics ranging from silver-gray
to lavender-tinged gray to deep, dark steel gray. Gray looks great with yellow or pink,
and it’s striking with a deep purple.
2. Pink continues its comeback, with shades of it showing up on details within the bride’s
dress, in large splashes on bridesmaids’ gowns and in bouquets.
3. Chocolate brown, so popular last year, remains high on the color wheel of choices for
If you’re intrigued by the idea of gray, pink or chocolate, but not sure about accent colors, take a
tried-and-true hint from interior designers. Visit the paint department of your favorite home
improvement store and collect strips of paint chips. Take them home, arrange them, and rearrange
them. You’ll soon find your favorites emerging as you ponder the possibilities.
4. Influenced by elaborate cake decorating challenges on cable TV shows, we’re seeing
more and more asymmetrical wedding cakes. These askew masterpieces are often quite
colorful, which is another trend we’re seeing plenty of – fewer white-on-white wedding
5. For a trendy reception, brides are taking a cue from the recent return of the cupcake fad.
Cupcakes situated on a tower continues to be a popular option, but the new trick is to
order cupcakes in geometric shapes instead of the expected round.
6. If you desire a more traditional wedding cake rather than cupcakes, the geometric-shaped
trend carries over into larger layers, as well. Square-shaped or hexagonal-shaped layers are
popular this year, and stacking the layers can create a unique, eye-catching look.
7. Monochrome cakes still have their place, especially when the bride opts for the ever-
popular black-and-white wedding theme. While black icing in moderation can be quite
striking against a stark white cake, some brides step it up a few notches with intricate
lacey details and splashes of black on their cakes.
8. Sample stations have emerged as a popular alternative to a sit-down dinner or buffet.
9. Wine and cheese pairings, champagne bars, coffee, and dessert stations are popping up at
receptions from coast to coast. Other options include potato bars with plenty of toppings,
sushi, seafood, and Tex-Mex stations.
Sample stations can be a very considerate way to pamper your guests who may have special
dietary needs. How about a selection for diabetics, vegetarians, or those with specific food
Multi-cultural couples also use food stations as a way to introduce their unique cultures to each
other and to their guests.
10. On the wall or on the dance floor, projecting your names or initials in light against a
surface can be a striking addition to your reception d?cor.
Choose a traditional-looking monogram with the bride’s initial on the left, the groom’s initial on
the right, and the initial for the groom’s last name in the center. Or, if the bride is keeping her
own name, go with your first names or initials. Another option is to have a graphic designer
create your own custom logo, incorporating something sentimental from your courtship with your
names or initials. Whether you realized you were meant for each other while high at the Eiffel
Tower or on a Ferris wheel, little details like this can be fabulous touches for your ceremony and
Check with your DJ to see if they have the equipment needed to reflect your initials or logo at
the reception. (Living Jukebox DJ Service can provide this!)
With concern for our earth growing, it’s easy to make subtle changes to make sure your wedding
has less of an impact on the environment.
11. Minimize the amount of driving for your guests by holding the ceremony and reception in
one spot. Sometimes this just isn’t possible. For example, your church won’t allow you to
have a champagne toast or an open bar at your reception. In that case, choose a reception
site that doesn’t require guests to drive to another town.
12. Recycled paper for wedding invitations is another easy way to go green. Or, take that a
step farther and use one of the many beautiful papers with seeds embedded, and ask
recipients to plant them and enjoy the flowers in their yards.
Other ways to go green include wearing a vintage gown, choosing organic or homegrown
flowers, beeswax or soy-based candles, and tossing biodegradable confetti as the couple makes
Beyond the Plastic Bride and Groom:? 4 Fresh, Fun Ways to Top Your Wedding Cake
What will be on display at the top of your wedding cake, attracting attention from the crowd and living on in photos?
While the traditional bride-and-groom figurines are still an option, today?s brides are ditching the plastic columns and fountains that were so popular in the past, and choosing something less cheesy.
WEDDING CAKE JEWELERY
Glitzy wedding cake jewelry is a fairly new trend that looks great on top of layers and icing. Wedding cake jewelry usually stands anywhere from three inches to five inches high and are available as letters with or without Swarovski crystals as accents.
A favorite is to choose the couple?s initial for the top of the cake. Add the bride?s initial on one side and the groom?s on the other, or let the single initial stand on its own.
If initials are included on the side, order them a bit smaller than the letter in the center. If that isn?t possible, be sure to sink the side initials a little deeper into the cake and let the middle letter stand up a bit higher, just to offset them for visual interest.
The letters will be anchored to thin spikes that will plunge into the top layer of the cake. The letters will look fine by themselves on the cake, or with flowers along their base. Just make sure the flowers don?t rest directly on the food.
Jewels are easy to find online, at wedding shops, or at bakeries.
CLEAR ACRYLIC TOPPERS
Crystal-clear acrylic cake toppers can be an elegant alternative.
They are available in several shapes and may be personalized. A heart-shaped acrylic topper could be personalized with your names and the date. Or a square topper could be engraved with hearts and your initials.
Since they?re lightweight, they will sit on top without risk of sinking into the cake.
Fresh flowers are always an elegant way to top off a wedding cake.
The most important thing to remember, however, is to keep the flowers from touching the cake itself. While some flowers are edible and considered safe to eat, there is always a possibility that a non-toxic flower may have been treated with a toxic chemical before the flower made its way to you or your baker.
Place a thin, clear barrier between the icing and the flowers to make sure the cake isn?t compromised.
Many of the most beautiful wedding flowers are unsafe for human consumption, including calla lilies, hyacinths, lilies of the valley, tulips, hydrangeas, birds of paradise and carnations. If you?d like to place fresh flowers on your cake, do some research first to make sure you?re not putting anyone?s health in jeopardy.
If you had your heart set on figurines atop your cake, plenty of options are available to you. Buy something brand new, whether traditional or whimsical, or enjoy a leisurely day looking around vintage shops or on eBay in search of something with a retro look.
With the sacredness of the ceremony out of the way, the reception is the place where guests want to walk in and say, ?Wow! Now we?re going to have fun. It?s time to celebrate!?
If you?re staying at the church for a while to finish taking photographs, don?t forget about your guests. They are already on the way to your reception site.
Considering the fact that guests tend to arrive for the wedding 30 minutes early, by the time the ceremony is over, they’ve invested quite a bit of time. Many have also traveled a distance to be there. Don?t rush through your photos before heading to the reception, but do be respectful of your guests.
Your coordinator, the reception site staff, or your attendants can help make sure the reception site?s tables are set up and the decorations are in place early the day of the wedding or the night before. Be sure to find out what time the band or DJ needs to set up, and make arrangements for someone to be there to let them in. If you?re using an off-site caterer and baker, you?ll need to make arrangements for someone to let them in as well, with plenty of time to set things up.
While they?re waiting for your grand entrance, your guests will be happy with light appetizers. Keep your guests there, having fun and satisfied. You don?t want guests thinking, ?Well, I?m starving so I?m leaving.?
A coordinator can take care of the guests and prevent an awkward transition from ceremony to reception.? If you don?t have a coordinator, appoint someone to make sure that when people arrive at the reception, the music is playing, the bar is ready, the hors d’oeuvres are being served, and there is some sort of organization to it so people don?t arrive only to stand around waiting for the bride and groom to get there.
What?s the most important part of a reception? The visual impact is what people will remember.
Another way to add ambiance is to rent a chocolate fountain. If the chocolate fountain is there, you?ve got a great party.? The chocolate fountain earns points for being visually appealing and also tops another important aspect of the reception ? cuisine.
Food is one reason people come to a wedding, so don?t disappoint them.
There are lots of choices when it comes to food for your reception. Sit-down dinners tend to be most expensive since your caterer will need to hire more servers. Appetizers can be a less expensive choice, but not if they?re being served at meal time. Guests tend to fill up on them, making your per person price higher. When it comes to choosing between a buffet or hors d’oeuvres reception, it all depends on what you would like to serve. Often, a buffet can be the same price or less expensive than ordering finger foods.
To keep your guests happy, make plans to cut and serve the cake in a timely manner. Guests of all ages don?t want to leave before they enjoy a piece.
Depending on where you live, one of the most expensive additions to your wedding reception could be the fancy mints that are served alongside the wedding cake.
These are often molded into the shape of a heart or a flower, or the shape might have special meaning to the bride and groom. They are sweet, smooth confections that are labor-intensive and, as such, may come with a hefty price tag.
If you’ve got the time to devote to creating your own wedding mints, you can freeze them, leaving plenty of time to devote to other wedding-related tasks without having to worry about the mints at the last minute.
First, you?ll need to obtain the mint molds. This type of mint needs to be formed using soft, flexible plastic molds. Keep in mind that candy molds are not the same thing and you won?t have the same results. Candy molds are made from a stiffer plastic, which does not allow the mint to pop out like the flexible molds.
Flexible molds are easy to find online and they are available in many forms. You might choose an initial mold to represent the bride and groom?s last name. Other options to consider would be roses, calla lilies, swirls, hearts, cupid, bells, bride and groom silhouettes or doves. If the wedding has a western theme or the bride and groom share a love of all things equine, choose a boot or cowboy hat mold. If he proposed at the beach, choose a sea shell mold. An ultra-religious couple might choose praying hands or a cross. The possibilities are endless.
You?ll only need one mold of each shape, since you?ll be pressing the dough for each individual mint into the mold and popping them out. If you plan to have helpers, go ahead and order an extra mold or two for them to use and you?ll get done much faster.
When it?s time to make the mints, be sure to clear off plenty of work space on the counter and cover it with wax paper or parchment paper.
To make the mints, follow the recipe to make the dough (below). Take a very small ball of dough, roll in granulated sugar, press into the rubber mint mold, press out immediately, and let dry at room temperature for 1-2 days.
Once the mints have dried, pack them in freezer-safe containers, with wax paper separating each layer. They may be refrigerated for up to six months or frozen for up to a year. If frozen, take them out of the freezer the morning of the wedding, remove the lid, and allow to thaw.
Cream Cheese Mint Recipe
8-oz. block Philadelphia brand cream cheese, room temperature
2 lb. bag of powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon flavoring (peppermint, cr?me de menthe, vanilla butternut, almond, etc.)
Food coloring, if desired
In a mixing bow, beat together the cream cheese and flavoring until smooth. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Add food coloring, if desired (the more you add, the darker the color, so be careful). Mix well. You?ll want the dough to be stiff enough to hold its form, but not liquid enough to slide out of the mint mold without setting up.
Form balls of dough approximately 1/2-inch in diameter. Roll in granulated sugar, press into rubber mint mold, press out immediately onto wax paper, and let dry at room temperature for 1-2 days. NOTE: May need to adjust the size of the dough balls based on the size of the flexible rubber mint mold that you have chosen.
Makes approximately 150 mints!