WEDDING NOTES™ – Centerpiece Choices

ImageSeen at current weddings – a wide variety of centerpiece options which complement the theme of the wedding and/or reflect the couple’s search for “something unique”!

For fans of traditional floral arrangements, there is the assurance that given the right color combo and size, guests will feel right at home with the idea of flowers on the table that complete the look of elegant special occasions.  Flowers work beautifully as long as the arrangements are either low enough (under 12-14 inches) or high enough (at least 30 inches) so that guests can converse across the table – or at least see each other.  Formal arrangements in glass or silver containers send one message, while daisies or sunflowers in canning jars send another.

With the changing view of wedding cakes, many brides are opting to make desert the centerpiece of guest tables.  Cupcake trees, lollipop cakes, cookie and dessert bar assortments and miniature versions of the bridal cake make perfect centerpiece options.

Guest favors artfully arranged on clear plastic or glass trays work well when accompanied by thank you notes from the bride and groom.

Candles of varying height and shape arranged on mirrors make a wonderful centerpiece for each table and their accumulated impact is wonderful.  However, be sure to check the reception hall’s heating/cooling system.  If a lot of air is going to be blowing over the tables, your candles won’t last long.  If your reception is in a tented area, think about LED tapers that look almost real.

Some brides have made the wine being served with dinner an integral part of the centerpiece.  With some greenery and/or wrapped cheese miniatures the different bottles make an intriguing focal point.

Collect a variety of glass serving pieces and fill them with beverages (or water) the theme color of the wedding.

Photos of the bride and groom as children framed and grouped in the center of the table, work well as centerpieces and conversation starters.

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Gemstone Guide~What to know before you buy

Gemstone Guide~What to know before you buy

ImageGemstone Education
This Gemstone Education defines the five most essential characteristics of Gemstone along with tips for its care. By understanding these characteristics, you’ll be able to shop with confidence.

Color

The color of a gemstone is its most significant characteristic, and many jewelers consider it to be the most vital evaluation criterion. Gemstones are found in all the colors, one can imagine, Color of a gemstone depends on following three characteristics: hue, saturation, and tone.

    • Hue
      Hue is the basic or unique color of the gemstone. In other words, hue is described as the shade, tint or sensation of a color. While almost all gemstones have some shades of other colors, the most valuable gemstones are those that exhibit a pure color and only ‘slight’ hues of other colors in addition to their primary color.
    • Saturation
      Saturation is a measure of the intensity or purity of a gem’s hue or color. A gemstone that is free of gray or brown hues is considered to be strongly saturated and is more valuable than a gemstone with lower saturation. Saturation often decides the cut of a gemstone. A high-quality gemstone cut delivers an even color throughout the stone and exposes the fewest inclusions.
    • Tone
      Tone represents the depth of a gemstone color, ranging from colorless to black. In other words, tone is described as the relative lightness or darkness of a Hue. Gemstone tone is described as ‘light’, ‘medium-light’, ‘medium’, ‘medium-dark’, and ‘dark’. Medium-light to medium-dark tone is considered as most valuable range.
    All the above three characteristics are associated with each other and plays very crucial role in determining the gemstone’s color. The more intense the color, more is the value. This does not mean darker, but intense.

Clarity

Clarity is a term used to describe the absence or presence of flaws inside or on the surface of a gemstone. A flawless gemstone is rare and usually expensively priced. Most gemstones have inclusions, or tiny mineral flaws, that can be seen under magnification or by the careful eye. A gemstone may have inclusions, cracks, spots, clouds, or any other blemish or imperfection.

Clarity is a key factor in determining quality and the value of a gemstone. Inclusions not only distract the eye, but interfere with the behavior of light in the gem, and have a significant affect on brilliancy or sparkle. Generally most minerals contain inclusions and spots but if they do not affect the durability of colored gems then these inclusions or spots will not devalue much for the gems except diamond.

For diamonds, Clarity Grade Scale from F (flawless) to I3 (included 3) is used whereas for other colored gemstones a different grading scale is used. Colored stones have different habits of clarity, so that they are classified into three ‘Types’, which are defined as under:

    • Type I
      Type I colored stones include stones with very little or no inclusions. This category can include Aquamarine, Blue Topaz, Zircon, Morganite, Tanzanite, etc.
      Clarity in the Type I group is classified as VVS (minute to detectable), VS (minor), SI1 (noticeable), SI2 (obvious) or I (included)
    • Type II
      Type II colored stones include stones that often have a few inclusions. This category can include Corundum, Garnets, Iolite, Peridot, Quartz (Amethyst, Citrine, Ametrine), Ruby, Sapphire, Spinel, etc.
      Clarity in the Type II group is classified as VVS (minor), VS (noticeable), SI1 (obvious), SI2 (prominent), or I (prominent, affecting appearance).
    • Type III
      Type III colored stones includes stones that usually always have inclusions. This category can include Emeralds, Tourmaline, etc.
    Clarity in the Type III group is classified as VVS (noticeable), VS (Obvious), SI1 (prominent), SI2 (more prominent), or I1 (affecting appearance or durability).

Cut

A good cut is something that may give a gemstone its beauty and brilliance. A gemstone’s cut refers to its proportions and symmetry. The stone should be symmetrical in all dimensions so that it will appear balanced, and so that its facets will reflect light evenly, which will provide good brilliance to stone. A well-cut faceted gemstone reflects light back evenly across its surface area when held face up. If the stone is too deep and narrow, surface area will be dark and if it is too shallow and wide, parts of the stone will be washed out and lifeless.

While cutting, color of a gemstone should also be taken into account for optical efficiency. If a stone’s color is highly saturated, a shallow cut will allow it to pass more light, while a deeper cut may increase the vividness of a less saturated gem. There is no generally accepted grading system for gemstone cut.

  • Cabochon Cut
    Cabochon Cut
    In the cabochon cut, the upper surface of the stone is smoothed and rounded into a simple curve of any degree of convexity; the lower surface may be concave, convex, or flat. All the remaining cuts have flat facets.
  • Table Cut
    Table Cut
    In the table cut, the facets of the natural octahedron of the diamond are ground to smoothness and polished; one facet, the table, is ground much larger than any other and made the top of the gem, while the opposite facet, the culet, is left quite small.
  • Rose Cut
    Rose Cut
    The rose cut consists of a flat base and (usually) 24 triangular facets—resembling a cabochon with facets.
  • Brilliant Cut
    Brilliant Cut
    The brilliant cut is scientifically designed to bring out the maximum brilliancy of the stone. The crown of a brilliant consists of a table and 32 smaller facets, of which 8 are quadrilaterals and 24 are triangles; the base, a culet and 24 larger facets, of which 8 are quadrilaterals and 16 are triangles. The base and crown are separated by a girdle. The brilliant cut has certain proportions—in general, the depth of the crown is one third the depth of the stone and the width of the table one half the width of the stone.
  • Other Cuts
    Other Cuts
           MazarinCut      OldEuropeanCut     OldMineCut           PointCut             SingleCut

In addition to the above defined cuts, stones are also cut in a variety of square, triangular, step, emerald, and trapezoidal faceted cuts. The use of such cuts is largely determined by the original shape of the stone. Large rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are often cut square or rectangular with a large table facet surrounded by a relatively small number of supplementary facets.

The process of cutting and polishing gems is called gem cutting or lapidary, while a person who cuts and polishes gems is called a gem cutter or a lapidary (sometimes lapidarist). Few gemstones such as pearls and coral (usually referred to organic minerals) are not cut at all and many times left in their natural state. However, it is customary to polish these items, as with all gemstones. The quality of a gemstone’s cut can have a dramatic impact on how it looks but only a small impact on the price per carat.

Size

Similar to diamonds, a gemstone’s weight is also measured in carats where one carat equals 200 milligrams. However, in case of gemstone, this may not give an accurate idea of its size, because different types of stones have different densities Two gemstones of the same carat weight may be different in sizes. For example, a 1 carat Sapphire or Ruby will be smaller than a 1 carat Emerald, though they have the same carat weight, because Sapphires and Rubies are denser than Emeralds. At the same time, a 1 carat Diamond will be larger than a 1 carat Ruby as a Diamond is less dense than a Ruby. Gemstones can also be measured in dimensions (diameter, length, and width).

Illustration of gemstone dimensions (L/W = Length to Width Ratio)

Asscher
Asscher Cut Dimensions

Baguette
Baguette Cut Dimensions

Cushion
Cushion Cut Dimensions

Emerald
Emerald Cut Dimensions

Heart
Heart Cut Dimensions

Marquise
Marquise Cut Dimensions

Oval
Oval Cut Dimensions

Pear
Pear Cut Dimensions

Princess
Princess Cut Dimensions

Radiant
Radiant Cut Dimensions

Round
Round Cut Dimensions

Trillion
Trillion Cut Dimensions

In case of gemstones, larger stones are not always valuable. The rarity at certain size will determine value of gemstones. A gem that is available naturally in weights of 10 carats or more may be less valuable than one that rarely available in large sizes.

Enhancements

Gemstone Enhancement is a treatment process other than cutting and polishing that improves the appearance (color / clarity), durability or availability of a gemstone. This treatment covers heating, oiling, irradiation, waxing, dying, bleaching etc.

There are many ways to enhance the appearance and durability of gemstones. Some of these treatments or enhancements, are permanent where as others are temporary. Gemstone enhancement has become such a common as well as accepted practice that experts believe the vast majority of stones are treated in some way. It’s important to remember that most gemstone enhancements greatly improve the appearance – and hence the value – of a stone.

All gemstones can be divided into 3 basic categories:

  1. N – The ‘N’ symbol appears on the chart only for natural stones which are not currently known to be enhanced.
  2. E – The ‘E’ symbol appears on the chart only for those gemstones, which are routinely enhanced. The type of enhancement covered by this symbol is indicated on the following chart.
  3. Third category covers those gemstones which are treated in a non-traditional manner and that enhancement process or code is not covered under ‘N’ & ‘E’ symbols.

Chart for Gemstone Enhancement Information

B – Bleaching: The use of chemicals or other agents to lighten or remove a gemstone’s color. Pearls and ivory also may be bleached to lighten their color.

C – Coating: The use of such surface enhancements as lacquering, enameling, inking, foiling, or sputtering of films to improve appearance, provide color or add other special effects.

D – Dyeing: The introduction of coloring matter into a gemstone to give it new color, intensify present color or improve color uniformity.

F – Filling: As a by-product of heat enhancement, the presence of solidified borax or similar colorless substances which are visible under properly illuminated 10X magnification.

G – Gamma/Electron Irradiation: The use of gamma and/or electron bombardment to alter a gemstone’s color; may be followed by a heating process.

H – Heating: Heating is one of the most common treatments used to enhance the natural beauty of colored gemstones. It is a permanent process that can dramatically improve the color and/or clarity in a number of stones, including sapphires, rubies, diamonds, aquamarine, amethyst, tanzanite, topaz, tourmaline and other stones.

I – Infilling: The intentional filling of surface breaking cavities or fractures usually with glass, plastic, opticon with hardeners and/or other hardened foreign substances to improve durability, appearance and/or add weight.

Care

Gemstones are generally hard and durable in nature but due to our day-to-day activities, it is expected that our gemstone jewelry get dirty and soiled. Even gems can be scratched, chipped or dulled if not handled correctly. With proper care, they can last a lifetime and can even be handed down as heirlooms to future generations without losing their shine and sparkle. Organic gems like pearls, amber, and coral require special care because they are porous.

Here are some tips that will help you to preserve the life and beauty of your gemstones:

Cleaning of Colored Gemstone Jewelry

Regular cleaning of Gemstone Jewelry is essential to maintain shine and brilliance of gems. On wearing them, they get dirty as you use various skin and body care regimen such as soaps, lotions and even our skin’s natural oils. Even when you are not wearing them, they collect dust. If you are cleaning your gemstone jewelry by your own then it will take few minutes to clean the same but before cleaning, you must be aware about the cleaning at home and cleaning by a professional jeweler:

    • To clean gemstone jewelry, first wipe it with a soft cloth to remove any dirt. You can use a small soft brush such as an eyebrow or lip stick brush, soap and water to clean your gemstone jewelry. Do not use toothpaste or any other abrasive cleaner on stones or mounting. Simply make a bowl of warm sudsy water with a mild detergent and gently place your jewelry pieces in the mixture. Never use boiling or hot water to clean gems. Then brush the gemstones with the soft bristles of the brush while they are in the suds. You will need to make certain that you rinse them clear of the suds after cleaning them. After this process, use a soft cloth or a jewelry polish cloth to pat them dry.
    • You can also use liquid jewelry cleaners which are sold by many department stores. You can find these liquid jewelry cleaners in kit form. You just need to follow all the written precautions and instructions of cleaning. But a Home Ultrasonic Cleaner should be used with extreme caution. It can be used to clean ruby, sapphire, diamond, iolite, amethyst, citrine, garnets, iolite, chrysoberyl, and unadorned gold jewelry but it may damage gems like emerald, pink tourmaline, peridot, pearls, coral, lapis lazuli, malachite, turquoise, and any gem that has many inclusions. When in doubt, don’t use it.
    • It is also a good idea to have them cleaned once a year by a professional jeweler, where he will check security of the settings. He will also give advice for repair of loose or bent prongs which hold your gemstones in place. This will prevent your gem from falling out of its setting and becoming lost. The jeweler will usually give your gemstone a professional ‘shine and polish’.
    • Now-a-days ultrasonic cleaning machines are available to clean jewelry by bombarding it with sound waves. This vibration shakes off dirt, but the vibrations can also cause damage to the gemstone, especially brittle stones like emeralds. Any stone inclusions can be greatly enlarged by the shaking, making the gem less attractive and valuable. For the gemstones, caution is recommended when using the ultrasonic cleaners.

Storing of Colored Gemstone Jewelry

Storing of gemstone jewelry is also important as a gem can scratch another gem, as well as other jewelry pieces. Storage of gemstone jewelry needs following precautions:

    • Gemstone jewelry should be stored individually in a soft cloth pouch to ensure that a gem should not scratch other gems or other jewelry.
    • Gemstone jewelry pieces are best stored in a fabric-lined jewel case or in a box with compartments or dividers.

Wearing Precautions for Colored Gemstone Jewelry

    • You should not wear gemstone jewelry while playing sports, working on heavy equipments or relaxing in a pool or spa (especially if you are in chlorine regularly). Gemstone can be chipped by a hard blow, and even everyday activity can loosen jewelry setting.
    • You should avoid the situation where your gemstones come in contact with chlorine bleach, hair spray or other chemicals because they can pit or discolor the mounting. Put on your gemstone jewelry after using makeup, perfume or cologne, and hair products.
    • If you have old style jewelry, perhaps passed down to you then consider resetting the gems into a modern style jewelry piece. Gems should be worn and enjoyed and not kept locked away in a safety deposit box.

If you will follow the above mentioned caring tips then your gemstone jewelry will always shine and sparkle like a new one.

Jewelry Design Contest!

Image

Have you always wanted to be a jewelry designer or just create a piece of art for yourself? Now you can be rewarded for it from Skatell’s Jewelers! We are having our “First” Jewelry Design Contest. All you have to do is come into Skatell’s Jewelers and pick up our entry form and enter. You can design it on a sketch of paper and any design you desire. It can be a pendant, bracelet, earring or whatever you want.

Skatell’s has been creating pieces of Art for almost 50 years, and now we are rewarding one lucky winner at a package valued at over $500 for your idea.

   If you have any questions, please feel free to call one of our sales specialist or design team at 576-6434

or come in to our store. We are at 217 East Blackstock Road in Spartanburg!

Best things in Life are Free…at Skatells Jewelers

Maybe there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but at Skatells Jewelers, we have an ever growing list of free services

Free Services at Skatells Jewelers:

  1. Free Jewelry Cleaning–Diamonds always look bigger when they’re clean.  We have people bring in everything from one or two pieces that they are wearing to a whole box full.  Have a special event coming up?  Take advantage of our free service and get your jewelry looking its best…free.
  2. Free Jewelry Polishing–One step above jewelry cleaning is polishing.  This gets out all the nicks and scratches from normal wear and tear.  People often comment that they can never get their jewelry looking as good as we do at home. The secret is–we cheat.  By removing the surface abrasion off your jewelry, we are exposing the brighter surfaces underneath–like exfoliating:)
  3. Free Prong Inspection–I can’t even comment on all the clients we meet who have been married for decades and have never had their rings in for service.  It only takes a minute, but having your prongs checked by a pro on a regular basis (when you bring it in for free cleaning) can alert you to easily repaired/less expensive solutions before you lose a stone.  Think of it as preventative maintenance.
  4. Free Appraisal Consultations–Clients want to know the value of their jewelry for several different reasons.  Just to know, for resale, for liquidation, for insurance, etc.  Some items we group together in an appraisal (gold items without stones) and some require more extensive research.  We sit down with you and sort through your options and help answer insurance related questions you might have.
  5. Free Custom Deign Consultations–We recognize you’re not a jewelry professional (probably) and have no idea how much a dream piece of jewelry might cost.  Bring in your inspiration (costume pieces, catalog, magazine ad, internet pic) and any available trade-in gold & diamonds, and we will map out the design, out of pocket cost, and time frame free.
  6. Free Coffee, Bottled Water, Soda –I sometimes forget to offer this to our guests, but our tea table is out for guests to enjoy.  If I forget, don’t be shy–just ask:)
  7. Free Goodies–if the kids haven’t eaten them all.  Our cookie supply varies.  Feel free to help yourself to the snacks.
  8. Free Jewelry Box Sort–This is perhaps one of our most valuable services.  Bring in your box of jewelry (this especially helps when you’ve inherited a bunch of mixed jewelry) and we sit down with you and sort out the gold from the silver from the costume jewelry.  Now that it’s sorted, we can restore it,repair it, or size it very quickly.  You also have the option to trade it in towards a project, finished jewelry, or repair work.  We can also buy it or give you a short term loan against it.
  9. Free Diamond Testing–Several a day come in to see if their diamonds are the real deal.  Whether you found it in a parking lot or suspect a fake, we test it in seconds so you know.  Peace of mind is priceless.
  10. Free Ring Size Measurement–Perhaps you’ve ordered something on the internet or maybe you’re thinking of a future purchase, we measure your ring size for you without fuss.  We also explain that different ring styles fit differently, so let us know if it’s going to be a narrow or wide band.
  11. Free Courtesy Call/Text Message– When repairs/appraisals are ready, you’re the first to know.  Our company policy is to call or text you as soon as repairs are completed (in case you’re still in the neighborhood).  You can then pick it up at your leisure.  Most of our repairs and appraisals are completed ahead of schedule.
  12. Free Silver Polishing Cloth or Cleaner with ANY Purchase–Part of keeping your jewelry looking beautiful.  These little polishing cloths work on sterling silver, gold, costume jewelry, etc.  We offer free jewelry cleaning, but this little cloth will help you keep a perfect shine between visits.  It also works great of shiny knickknacks around the house–I use mine to cheat with silver photo frames.
  13. Free Craigslist Mediation–We want our clients to stay safe.  When selling or buying on Craigslist, there is an element of danger (read our post on Craigslist tips).  We recommend you don’t expose your home or workplace to potential sellers/buyers.  We invite you to meet at our shop in a comfortable, professional atmosphere.  We can diamond test, ring size, appraise, engrave your latest purchase/sale right in front of you.
  14. Private Personal Shopper. We offer any service you may need when you don’t have time or don’t know exactly what to give for the next gift. Let me help with all your jewelry Needs.

I have probably forgotten something, but will try to add it later.   You now officially have no excuse for not coming in.  We look forward to meeting you soon.

Come meet Debra Andon, one of our Sales specialist

Marriage on your mind? 50 Best Proposals

Marriage on your mind? She’ll be telling the story of how you proposed to friends and strangers for the rest of her life, so put your own spin on one of these ideas to make sure it’s memorable. Image

Best Public Marriage Proposal Ideas

1. Have a flair for the dramatic? Get in touch with the stage manager of an appropriately themed production and propose after the cast’s curtain call.

2. Take out a full-page ad in a newspaper you know your girlfriend reads daily.

3. Arrange a surprise proposal with a street caricaturist. Have him sketch a picture of you two with word bubbles. Yours will read, “Will you marry me?” and hers will say, “Yes!”

4. Pay the divers at an aquarium to put on a proposal show inside their biggest fish tank. Give them a handwritten sign that says, “Will you marry me?” to hold up against the glass.

5. Send your girlfriend on a treasure hunt. Start with a clue at home; then send her on a tour of your favorite spots all over town. When she gets to the last hint, the prize should be you on one knee.

6. Go out for a night of dancing and ask the DJ or bandleader to pass you the mic so you can dedicate a song and propose on the dance floor.

7. Hire a skywriter to spell out your proposal for everyone around to see.

8. Flying anytime soon? Use the plane’s loudspeaker system (of course, run your plan by the flight attendants first) and propose at 35,000 feet.

9. Movie buffs? Ask your neighborhood theater to run an ad featuring your proposal and make sure you get there in time for the previews.

10. Gather a bunch of your friends and family for a party. Have everyone in attendance put on a T-shirt bearing one of the letters in the phrase “Will you marry me?” When you walk into the room with your girlfriend, suggest a group picture and let the shirts speak for themselves.

Best At-Home Marriage Proposal Ideas

11. For a simple surprise, after she goes to bed, go to her jewelry box and replace her everyday ring with the engagement ring. She’ll be completely shocked in the morning when she goes to put on her regular ring.

12. Write her a love note with the proposal at the end of it. Tuck it into her favorite book or the one she happens to be reading at the moment, and when she finds the note, surprise her with the ring.

13. Turn off all the lights in your apartment and make a trail of candles that leads to a circle of votives positioned around the ring.

14. Slip the ring on her finger while she’s sleeping and wake her with champagne and strawberries. At first, the gesture will simply seem romantic — the real surprise comes when she notices her new piece of jewelry.

15. Tie a red-velvet ribbon from one spot in your home to another. Attach little notes recalling perfect moments in your relationship along the way. You wait at the last stop, ring in hand.

Best Tech Marriage Proposal Ideas

16. Create your own podcast proposal and sneak it onto her iPod.

17. Upload a video of your proposal to YouTube (tell her you have a hysterical home movie to show her).

18. Steal her digital camera and head to her favorite local outdoor spot. Bring a friend with you and have posters made with the words “will,” “you,” “marry” and “me?” Have your friend photograph you holding each one in a different position. Then, let her know you borrowed her camera and ask her to upload the photos.

19. Take the scavenger hunt high-tech: Send your mate a text message leading her to a secret spot. Keep her engaged by text messaging her sweet nothings along the way (and directions, of course) as you lead her to you, on bended knee.

20. Create a web page declaring your love and intentions. Leave your sweetie a clue with the web address written on it — don’t say a word. After the proposal has been officially accepted (which, of course, it will be!), she can proudly send the page to friends and family.

21. Set up a live-stream channel (on Ustream.com) and invite all your friends and family to watch the proposal live from wherever you choose to propose!

Best Foodie Marriage Proposal Ideas

22. Make the box holding her ring a selection on the dessert tray at your favorite restaurant.

23. Put together a gift basket of yummy delicacies — the best chocolate or coffee — and hide the ring among the presents (in its box, so it doesn’t get lost in the goodies).

24. Ask the pastry chef to write, “Will you marry me?” in chocolate sauce around the rim of her dessert plate.

25. Ask a baker to make a cake with the proposal written in frosting. Have him display it in the storefront and suggest a little window-shopping to your girlfriend.

26. Create a personalized fortune cookie with your own proposal message.

Most Playful Marriage Proposal Ideas

27. Create your own crossword puzzle and be prepared to help her work it out over breakfast.

28. Spell your proposal out in glow-in-the-dark star stickers on your ceiling. Get into bed, turn the lights off and wait for the inevitable gasp.

29. Spell out your proposal with refrigerator magnets.

30. Sneak into her office or classroom before she gets there and write your proposal on her desk or on the blackboard. Stay hiding in the coat closet or right outside the room until she arrives.

31. Get a ring size chart and ask your girlfriend to look up her size. When she accuses you of ruining the surprise that you’re shopping for a ring, say, “Okay, try this one instead,” and show her that you’ve already shopped for a ring.

32. Play hangman and have the phrase be “Marry me.”

Best Fall and Winter Marriage Proposal Ideas

33. During your annual Halloween prep, challenge her to a pumpkin-carving contest and carve the words “Marry me” into your pumpkin.

34. Write, “Will you marry me?” on the underside of a kite and take flight one warm, breezy afternoon.

35. Have a friend or family member set up a picnic — complete with wine and cheese, of course — for you in a park. Take your girlfriend for a hike on a route where you’ll stumble upon this surprise proposal picnic.

36. Scratch your proposal into the frost on her car’s windshield.

Best Spring and Summer Marriage Proposal Ideas

37. Propose in a flower or botanic garden when everything is in bloom.

38. Gather your families together for a barbecue and make it a family affair.

39. Go to the beach and casually build a sand castle (at a safe distance from the ocean!), and place the ring on the highest turret. Then invite her to admire your handiwork.

40. Make your own message in a bottle. On the night before a beach day you’ve planned, write a love poem on a piece of parchment paper, roll it into an antique bottle with a cork and bury it in a well-marked spot in the sand near your towels. Be sure you “find” the bottle as you dig together — and have the ring at the ready.

Most Thoughtful Marriage Proposal Ideas

41. If you’re artistically inclined or just like to make things with your own two hands, integrate something you’ve made into the proposal. For example, if you have woodworking skills, present the ring in a special hand-carved jewelry box.

42. Buy a pet that she’s always wanted (bunny, kitten, puppy) and loosely tie the ring around its neck. Or substitute a stuffed animal — still cute, but less maintenance!

43. Tell your girlfriend you want to make a time capsule together to bury and dig up years into the future. As you’re gathering the items, say it wouldn’t be complete without a picture of the moment you two got engaged! Have a camera ready to take that shot right after you present her with the ring.

44. Rent a Vespa scooter and invite your girlfriend for a ride, but remind her to be safe and wear a helmet. Hand her the helmet (with the ring box already in it), and then you can zip around town to celebrate!

45. Meet for a drink at a posh hotel bar. When it’s time to go, casually mention that you’ve already reserved a room for the night. When you open the hotel room door, have roses, candles and champagne all set up — everything for a perfect surprise proposal.

Cheesy (but Hilarious) Proposal Ideas

46. Make a list of 10 reasons you’d like to marry your beloved. Read them to her in front of a crowd, have them delivered via singing telegram or send them written on individual note cards over the course of a day (or 10!), with the last card arriving by personal messenger (you!).

47. Want to really surprise your girlfriend? Cut out the bottom of a huge refrigerator box, wrap it with pretty paper and ribbon, and attach a card that says, “What’s inside the box is a gift to last a lifetime.” “Deliver” yourself to her office or front door.

48. Make her ring the surprise in a box of Cracker Jack.

49. Make her feel like a movie star and set your proposal to the scene of her favorite romantic movie. You could arrange your own Pretty Woman moment (the finale, of course): Rent a white limo and climb through the moonroof with flowers in hand to proclaim your love as you arrive at her place.

50. Another funny movie proposal? Steal from that famous Say Anything scene: Park yourself outside her house with a stereo blaring your favorite tune and propose on the front lawn.

–> PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT, IF YOU HAVE A GOOD IDEA FOR THE GUYS WHO NEED CREATE WAYS TO PROPOSE

WEDDING NOTES™ – Bridezillas Are Wrong

ImageWe all realize that the bride and groom are the focal points of this very special day.  The wedding and its celebration are milestones in individual lives and family memories.  It is a significant social and personal event that deserves the attention given it.

But what many of us have learned is that the weddings that are most remembered are those which consider the family and friends who will be joining the couple in celebrating the event.

Here are some ways brides and grooms can focus on guests and family.

  • Remember to treat attendants like the friends they are – not servants.  They are expending time and treasure to celebrate with you.  Certainly they are there to support your wishes, but not to grant your every whim.  Consideration and gratitude are welcome gifts to wedding party participants.
  • When you are developing your gift registries, remember to include items for all price ranges.  Friends and family members want to give you as nice a gift as they can.  Spend some time making thoughtful choices.
  • Select reception food that most guests will enjoy.  If you are planning an ethnic specialty, be sure to include an alternative.  Not every guest will welcome unfamiliar food.
  • If music is to be played during cocktails and/or dinner, make sure it is background music soft enough so that people can hear themselves and others talk.
  • If you are having a wedding dance, make sure that the band plays some “golden oldies” so that parents and/or grandparents and their friends can dance too.
  • Don’t micro manage everything.  Once plans are in place let vendors you’ve hired do what you hired them to do.
  • For everyone’s sake, try to limit the time delay between the end of the ceremony and the start of the reception to one hour or less.  If it must be longer, arrange something for the guests to do while they are awaiting your arrival.  No one wants to go home and come back again.

Remember that this is one of the biggest parties you and your family will ever give.  Make it memorable for your guests.

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WEDDING NOTES™ – Alternate Sites

ImageWhen a bride asks about ideas for a non-traditional wedding site, before we offer suggestions, we ask how flexible she is.  Planning a wedding at an outdoor site requires arranging two sites.  One is the prime location and the other is the alternate.  The weather has been known to ruin many original plans.  Don’t let that discourage you from having the wedding you want, but do have backup plans in place.

An outdoor site can be a perfect spot for those of different religious faiths.  It is a perfect choice for couples who love the outdoors or have families with extensive gardens or grounds.   Often outdoor sites are less expensive than closed venues.

The intimate setting of a chapel, beach, park or backyard offers the freedom to add personal touches to the ceremony.  The location choice will set the theme for your wedding celebration and once selected make many subsequent choices easier.  Canopies, tents and gazebos may be rented and needed.

Once you have secured plan A and plan b, other plans and decisions will flow more easily.   Decorations, food, refreshments, entertainment and guest list will all be governed by the location decisions you have made. It is good to have another viewpoint and advice on the unusual celebration you have in mind.