destination weddings

  • How To Choose The Perfect Wedding Ring

    The wedding ring is perhaps the single most important piece of jewelry that you will give to your spouse in your lifetime. It is important that you choose a timeless ring that will not become outdated or unstylish after a length of time. Men and women have different options available to them when choosing a wedding ring and it is not required that they choose matching rings.

    The couple traditionally picks out their rings together so there is no need for either the bride or groom to become unnecessarily stressed out about choosing the perfect wedding ring. Choosing the rings together takes a great deal of pressure off of the couple because they do not have to worry that their spouse may not like the ring that is expected to last for their entire lifetime.

    The material of the ring is an important consideration for both men’s and women’s rings. The most common materials include gold, silver and platinum although the rings can be made of any material that the couple chooses.

    Gold is the most popular wedding ring material. Gold can be 14 karat gold, 18 karat gold and 24 karat gold. Of these three options 14 karat gold is the type that is most recommended for wedding rings. 14 karat gold is durable without sacrificing luster. 18 karat gold can also be used for wedding rings but because it is a softer metal it is more prone to scratches. 24 karat gold is even softer than 18 karat gold and many do not recommended creating rings out of 24 karat gold because it is so prone to scratches.

    Silver is another metal that can also be used in creating a wedding ring. Silver is a soft white metal that is very soft and therefore prone to scratching. Additionally it is also prone to tarnishing and discolorations but it is still a popular choice because of its relatively low cost.

    Platinum is a precious metal that is becoming increasingly popular as wedding ring material. Although platinum is considered too soft to be used in making rings, small amounts of ruthenium and iridium can be added to platinum to increase the hardness and result in a wedding ring that is extremely durable.

    After choosing a metal for the wedding ring, it is time to consider the style of the ring. When it comes to style there are even more options available then there are for metals.

    Some of the basic wedding ring styles include flat bands, half-round bands and comfit bands. A flat band is one that is rectangular in cross section. These types of bands are also decorated with engravings.

    Half-round bands are the most traditional style available. These bands are flat on the underside or against the finger and have an arched structure on the top.

    Comfort-fit bands feature an oval cross section and they are heavier and more expensive than the other types of rings. If a bride intends to wear her wedding band with her engagement ring, she should consider choosing a wedding band style that matches her engagement ring so that neither

    Once you have decided on a metal and style, it is time to choose whether or not to engrave your wedding ring. A good jeweler should be capable of engraving anything you want onto your ring including letters, numbers and symbols.

    Many couples choose to have their names or initial along with the wedding date engraved on the inside of the ring. This is not necessary though as the couple is not required to have the rings engraved.

    If the couple does opt for engraving though, they must realize that they can choose to engrave anything they wish on the rings. It could either be names and the wedding date or a phrase that has significant meaning to the couple.

    The wedding ring is a very important piece of jewelry because it is meant to be worn for a lifetime. When choosing a wedding ring the material of the ring, the style of the ring and whether or not to include an engraved sentiment are just a few of the factors to consider.

    Shopping for a wedding ring can be a wonderful experience if the couple makes an effort to enjoy the experience instead of stressing about it.

  • How To Find The Best Caterer For Your Wedding

    The caterer has a very important role in your wedding. Therefore, you should take extra care in hiring the right caterer for you wedding day. Just like hiring any other vendor, you have to make your selection based on facts not feelings.

    The caterer may be an individual or a business. Even if the caterer is an individual, she still has to operate as a business. The caterer cannot legally cook at home and serve the food at your event. It is illegal for a caterer to use an unlicensed kitchen to prepare food.

    The caterer you hire should be experienced not only in catering events, but catering weddings. During your interview process, you should ask about the kind of events they have catered.

    Ask about the size of the events, how many guests they catered for. Ask if they had to deal with any emergencies or unexpected events. To learn about how they deal with emergencies may help you understand their level of professionalism.

    You should never hire the first caterer you meet. It may be tempting to hire the first caterer, especially, if you hit it off really well. It is in you benefit to meet with several caterers before you make your final decision.

    You must check references before you make your decision. If a caterer does not have any references, walk. You don’t want anything to do with a caterer that offers no references.

    References are important, but they do not provide an absolute protection. You may be able to visit the caterer’s kitchen, so you can see their operation in action. A visit can help you examine their organization and cleanliness.

    Caterers get booked well in advance, so hire one early. You should have a caterer lined up no less than 6 months prior to your reception. If you can find one a year before your event is even better. The more time you leave yourself to hire a caterer the more chance you give yourself to hire the right caterer.

    Once you have made a decision, it is time to put it all in writing. You should insist on a written contract. The contract should include the details of the menu, the date of the event, what is and is not included.

  • How To Look Good In Wedding Photographs

    The dress was beautiful, you got through the ceremony and reception without a hitch, but just when you thought your wedding was perfect, your pictures come back and you look awful. What can you do to make sure that your photos are as beautiful as the memories you have?

    Never scrimp on your photographer. Nobody’s going to remember if your bouquets had daisies or rare, exotic orchids. But years from now, your great grand children will be looking at your wedding album. They’re not just souvenirs, they’re heirlooms. Spend on them.

    Avoid complicated hairstyles and veils. You’ll be walking around, too busy talking to guests to check the mirror. You don’t want your veil hanging to the side, or your bangs plastered to your face. Keep it simple and elegant. If you want a dramatic veil for your walk down the aisle, look for a style that allows you to detach part of it, leaving you with something less cumbersome at the reception.

    Buy or make a small clutch bag or pouch that matches your gown. It should carry blotting paper, pressed powder, lipstick and blush. Ask your maid of honor to keep it handy for you.

    Wear waterproof mascara. You will cry a lot. It’s guaranteed. Black mascara will run and leave unflattering raccoon eyes.

    Don’t wear heavy powder eyeshadow. Again, you will cry. You will also sweat from walking around in heavy makeup, a thick gown, and hundreds of guests milling around you. Powder smears and cakes, and ends up under your eyes.

    Don’t wear sheer lipstick. You’ll eat it off. Or if you do, wear a matte or semi-matte base and apply the sheer lipstick as a top coat. Be sure to blot well, or it’ll end up around your mouth or on your teeth.

    Don’t wear heavy shimmery makeup – unless it’s applied by a professional makeup artist. It doesn’t photograph well under less than perfect lighting conditions. If you do, apply only on the eyes.

    Bridal makeup should be soft and romantic, not harsh. Natural pinks are most flattering, and really make you look like a “blushing bride”.

    Avoid hard-edged contouring and dramatic browns – unless blended well and kept close to the eyeline. Even lipsticks should stick to the pinks and brownish pinks. Bright reds look too harsh worn against a white dress.

    You’ll need good foundation that lasts long but doesn’t cake. The trick is to apply moisturizer first and let it “set”. This will prime your skin. Apply a matte or cream foundation, then concealer. Dust powder foundation with a brush.

    Take good photographs right after the ceremony, when everyone’s make up is still intact. You should have solo shots, couple shots, and group photos with your entourage, friends, family members.

    Ask for a few black and white photographs. They always have a soft, romantic feel.

    If you’ll be having outdoor photographs, light is most flattering in the morning and at dusk. Avoid any outdoor shots from 11 am to 2 pm; everyone will just be squinting.

  • How To Buy An Engagement Ring

    The most common of engagement traditions is the groom presenting the bride to be with an engagement ring. Most commonly, the engagement ring is a diamond ring. While diamonds are the preferred precious stones, diamonds are not the only gems used in engagement rings.

    The most important reason diamond rings are so popular is because they are the most expensive of gems; therefore, considered the most precious. The diamond jewelry retail market is a $30 billion market with over $5 billion of it spent on engagement rings in America.

    To the untrained eye, most diamonds look equally beautiful. Most people evaluate diamonds based on its size, shape, and price. A lower price typically means lower gem quality, not necessarily a bargain.

    Estimating diamond quality requires skill and experience. It requires grading a ring based on a combination of characteristics such as cut, clarity, color and carat weight. Such characteristics are called the “4 Cs”. A diamond’s weight is measured in carats. One carat is one fifth of a gram. Generally diamonds range from 0.25 up to several carats. The largest cut diamond in the world is 530.20 carats. Sorry, it is not fore sale. It is called the Cullinan and kept in the Tower of London. The Cullinan is set in the sceptre of King Edward VII.

    In addition to considering weight when valuing a diamond, color is an important factor. Colorless diamonds are rarest and they are the most expensive. Diamonds with a hint of yellow are considered less pure, and they are less expensive. Diamond colors are coded from D to Z. A through D grade diamonds are the most expensive and Z are the least expensive. Diamonds graded D-F are considered colorless and they are the most expensive. Reputable jewelry stores, usually, do not sell K thru Z grade diamonds.

    The most valuable color grades: A – D: Absolutely colorless. The highest color grade, which is extremely extraordinary. E: Colorless. An expert, still considered a rare diamond, can detect only minute traces of color. F: Colorless. Slight color detected by an expert gemologist, but still considered a “colorless” grade and a high-quality diamond.

    Another important factor determining the price of a diamond is its cut. As any of the other characteristics cut is equally difficult to judge for the untrained eye. The grading certificate that normally comes with the diamond will provide you a good idea. Independent testing institutions, such as the GIA, provide certificates with a diamond’s grading from excellent to poor. Naturally, a certified diamond means a larger price tag.

    In simple terms, the clarity of a diamond refers to its purity. Most diamonds have minuscule imperfections called “inclusions”. A flawless (no inclusions) diamond is extremely rare and valuable. At the same time, diamonds riddled with inclusions are less expensive.

    Clarity is graded from “flawless” (FL) to “imperfect” (I1 to I2). Most diamonds fall between those with very, very small inclusions (VVS1) to rocks with slightly larger inclusions (S1). If you can compromise on clarity, you are going to be able to save. To verify a diamond’s clarity, examine the laboratory certificate.

    If money is tight but you must have a diamond ring, stay away from the big name jewelry stores. Brand name more often than not comes with a larger price tag. Buying wholesale may be a viable option.

    As a rule, the wholesaler’s core business is selling diamonds to retailers, but they also sell to the public. Because they do not advertise in the same venues as retail jewelry stores, you have to seek them out. It is easier to find wholesalers than you think since many of them are listed as diamond merchants in the phone book.