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  • Choosing the Bridal Party

    Choosing your bridesmaids and groomsmen is often a challenging task.  Between family, childhood friends, school friends and others, it is difficult to decide who to include in your wedding party.  These tips will help you decide who makes the coveted list.

    1. Put family first

    While you may be very close to friends who feel like family, it's important that your actual family be included in the bridal party.  Family members want to do more than just attend your wedding; they want to play an active role in the big day.  Including them as a bridesmaid or groomsman helps convey the importance that you place on that relationship.  For the bride:  if you have one or more sisters (or sister-in-laws), we recommend including them in the bridal party.  Many brides often go a step further and make their sister the maid of honor.  For the groom: it is  a good idea to include your brothers or brother-in-laws as groomsmen, ushers, or to give them another role on the big day.

    1. Be selective

    We have all attended weddings where it takes thirty minutes for the bridal party to make their way down the aisle.  While it is important to include your closest family and friends in the wedding party, adding bridesmaids and groomsmen in order to have a larger group may not make sense.   Additionally, as soon as you include one person from a period in your life (high school friends for example), there is added pressure to include others who would consider themselves to be in the same boat. By being selective about who you include in your wedding party, you will ensure that you are surrounded by those closest to you on your big day. Who do you trust to keep the wedding bands safe? Trust is very important too!

    1. Try to understand peoples' circumstances

    Hopefully all those closest to you and your fiancé will be available to be part of your big day.  If one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen cannot make it to the wedding, try to understand, and don't let their absence harm your big day or the relationship.

    Choosing bridesmaids and groomsmen can be a difficult process, especially while making sure everyone feels included and not hurting peoples' feelings.  By following these tips you will increase your chances of a smooth bridal party selection.

  • What You Need to Know Before Buying Vintage Engagement Rings

    As the fashion saying goes, “What once was old, is new again.” This is particularly true for the engagement ring industry. While many people still opt for a new or customized ring, many soon-to-be-engaged couples –specifically millennials- are increasingly looking for more vintage style rings

    As more people are researching how to sell an engagement ring and actively putting their rings on the market, it’s no surprise that we are beginning to see a number of vintage engagement rings for sale. Before buying a used vintage engagement ring, there are a few items that you need to keep in mind.

    Vintage vs. Vintage Styled
    One of the biggest confusing factors for people who are shopping for vintage engagement rings is determining the difference between vintage styled and an actual vintage ring. This should ultimately be the first question you ask the seller. Vintage engagement rings originate from a specific time period whereas the vintage styled rings are modern rings designed in an older style. To the average or even overenthusiastic buyer, the two types of rings can look the same, and that is the easiest way to get duped without doing your research.

    Ring Durability
    One of the truly special qualities about vintage engagement rings is the fact that many of them were made by hand. They are true works of time, dedication, and craftsmanship. Depending on the age of your ring (some rings circulating that originate from hundreds of years ago!) you may notice small cracks or chips in the ring and stone. Make sure you ask the seller about the durability of the ring, including flaws, age, and prongs. Factor in your lifestyle and how active you are,\ and determine how feasible a vintage engagement ring is for you.

    Possibility of Resizing
    Have you ever fell in love with a pair of shoes only to find out they aren’t in your size? Many vintage rings fall into this problem. With the shoes, you can always find a new size in that same pair, but for rings, the solution is not that cut and dry.  Before falling in love with a ring, be sure to find out if the ring can be resized or not. Most rings can be resized as far as two sizes in either direction before conflicting with the design and integrity of the ring.

    There’s something aesthetically pleasing about seeing a vintage engagement ring. Whether it’s the gem or the design of the band, vintage engagement rings are a simple glimpse into the styles and signs of the past. Keep these simple tips in mind when looking for a beautiful vintage engagement ring.

  • Ditch the Hitch: Reasons to Sell Your Engagement or Wedding Ring Now

    where can i sell my engagement ringEngagement and wedding rings typically symbolize forever; a lifelong investment and dedication to the one you love. However, in some unfortunate instances, the engagement is called off or the marriage comes to a crashing end, and what you’re left with is a sore reminder of what could have been or what once was.

    “What are you going to do with your ring now?” is a question that you may have heard time and time again during the entire ordeal. After a while, you’ve probably begun thinking, “Well, where can I sell my engagement ring?” A number of sites, such as Have You Seen the Ring, have made headway in helping people sell their diamond rings to other lovebirds on the web. Selling engagement rings and wedding rings online is no longer taboo, but increasingly becoming embraced by millennials. If you’re just getting over a bad break-up or divorce, there are a few reasons why you should consider selling your engagement ring.

    One of the more obvious reasons to sell your engagement ring is to rid yourself of the emotional attachment to the past that comes with it. Whether you realize it or not your ring can directly or even indirectly affect your emotions. Keeping these reminders around you will only further delay your healing process and make it harder to move on. Additionally, if you can look at your ring without feeling anything, that’s another sign to let it go. Make some money off of your ring instead of holding on to painful or useless reminders.

    Another reason to sell your engagement or wedding ring online is for the financial benefit. Divorces can be expensive. Whether you’re still going through the divorce or have finished the process, you are well aware of the hefty price tag that came with the split. Selling your wedding or engagement ring to another happy couple will help you to alleviate some of those costs. You can take the first steps towards financial independence just by simply selling your no longer used wedding ring to someone who is shopping around for one.

    It may seem glum to consider selling your engagement or wedding ring after calling it quits with your significant other, but look on the bright side. Not only will you be rid of a painful reminder of the past and a few bucks richer, but you’ll be spreading joy and love to another happy couple ready to embark on their own journey together. It’s a win-win.

  • Gaining Clarity: Understanding the 4C’s of Diamonds

    Diamonds can be confusing business. Understanding the language of diamonds can be just as complicated as finding the love of your life. Yes, Google is abound with resources for gaining perspective about diamonds, but it can all get very jumbled and mixed up after a while. One notion that has remained a constant in the world of diamonds is the concept of the Four C’s. These Four C’s stand for Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat, and they factor greatly into the appreciation of your diamond. With our simple guide of the Four C’s, you’ll be a diamond expert in no time.

    Cut

    When it comes to the Four C’s, cut is often unappreciated by the consumer. Even if a diamond grades well in both Where To Sell Engagement Ringsclarity and color, the cut of the diamond can make it appear dull. The cut is what gives the diamond its breathtaking appearance and eye-catching sparkle. While most people think the diamond’s cut refers to the shape of it (round, marquise, pearl, etc.), the cut actually refers to its brilliance and ability to transmit sparkle.  Girdle thickness, table size, star length, and pavilion angle are all factors that contribute to grading the cut of the diamond.

    Color

    The Color is considered to be the second most important characteristic, especially in conjunction with the cut. The color of the diamond actually refers to the diamond’s absence of color. To grade the color, there is a 4-tiered, D-Z scale that is used, with D being the colorless end of the spectrum.

    • Colorless: D, E, F
    • Near Colorless: G, H, I. J
    • Faint Yellow Tint: K, L, M
    • Very Light Yellow Tint: N, O, P, Q, R
    • Tinted Light Yellow: S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

    Colorless diamonds are the most preferred and sought after style. To the untrained eye, many of the color distinctions are invisible; however, the color plays a vital role in the quality and price of the diamond. “Fancy Diamonds” such as those that are champagne, yellow, and even the rare blues and reds are noticeable characteristics that are more sought after by collectors.

    Clarity

    The clarity of the diamond refers to the tiny imperfections that are present in even some of the rarest diamonds. These imperfections are called blemishes or inclusions. When evaluating the diamond for these inclusions, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics are all factored into the price of the diamond. The clarity scale for diamonds has 6 categories:

    • Flawless (FL): No inclusions and blemishes visible under 10x magnification
    • Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
    • Very, Very, Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Inclusions slight enough that spotting them are difficult for a skilled grader viewing it under 10x magnification
    • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Inclusions are viewed with effort under a 10x magnification and characterized as minor
    • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification
    • Included (I1, I2, and I3): Inclusions that affect clarity are obviously visible under 10x magnification

    Diamonds that have the smallest or least amount of inclusions garner the highest grade in clarity.

    Carat

    The carat on your engagement ring is much more than how big the ring looks or how many heads turn when they look it. Yes, it’s the conversation piece and many people commonly misunderstand it as the size of the diamond, but in reality, the carat is all about the weight of the diamond. You may hear diamonds referred to in “points”. Carats are divided into 100 points that allow for precise measurement of the diamond to the hundredth decimal.

    Understanding diamonds is important in making sure you pick the proper one. Diamonds are as unique as the person you are buying them for. If you are looking to buy or where to sell engagement rings, with this guide, you can make sure you get the best bang for your buck.

  • The millennial wedding economy: how a growing recycled trend is the next true love story

    Thanks to clever marketing by DeBeers, purchasing a diamond engagement ring has become a cultural norm.  Indeed, American couples spend billions each year on engagement jewelry.  With millennials looking to make eco-friendly choices, more of this generation is turning to recycled engagement rings, and the broader pre-owned wedding economy, as the best way to limit environmental impact and maximize value.
     
     
     
    Movies like "Blood Diamond" have helped shed light on the humanitarian aspects of diamond mining, yet little has been publicized regarding the significant environmental impacts of diamond and precious metal mining.  For diamonds, open-pit mining can lead to the disturbance of vast, complex ecosystems and the loss of surface and ground water. Alluvial mining, which takes place in waterways, contributes to wide-ranging marine ecosystem destruction. 
    The mining of precious metals, including gold, can have an even greater environmental impact.  Gold is often found in rock characterized by acid-generating sulfides.  When disturbed, this rock experiences a chemical reaction that produces acid and toxins.  These toxins often run into lakes, rivers, and streams, where they pose serious dangers to aquatic ecosystems.
    Many buyers hoping to purchase the same diamond and gold jewelry with significantly less environmental impact have turned to pre-owned engagement rings.  These rings may have been worn for a year, a month, or not at all, and offer a compelling value proposition.  The emergence of specialty pre-owned ring retailers has added additional safety measures including gemologists who verify every item sold.  These forums ensure that buyers will receive an authentic diamond and that the color, clarity, and carat of the ring will match the seller's representations, all while saving up to 50 percent off retail.
     
     
    As more millennials embrace an environmental and budget-friendly ring option, specialty pre-owned retailers have experienced a surge in growth.  CEO Philip Johnson credits this growth to a broader awareness of the value of pre-owned rings, and an increased interest in peer-to-peer economies.   Johnson estimates that purchases of recycled rings on his site in 2014 alone will save over 5,000 tons of ore and waste rock that would have been produced to create new rings (Source: http://www.earthworksaction.org/files/publications/20TonsMemo_FINAL.pdf).
    The growing trend in recycled weddings is mirrored in the pre-owned wedding dress market.  Leading pre-owned dress marketplace, PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, has experienced at least double digit growth every year since its 2004 inception, including triple digit growth in 2008 and 2009.  Founder Josie Daga states that "buying a pre-owned wedding dress is a smart way to afford the wedding dress you really want."  Daga's site helps brides save hundreds or more on luxury brand dresses that were only worn for a few hours, and offers an eco-friendly way to recycle the perfect dress, rather than leaving it to sit in a box.
      
  • SimplyBridal's Cohesive Themed Wedding Infographic


    Are you considering a 'Cohesive Themed Wedding'? 

    Take a quick look at 'Simply Bridals' fun infographic.


    For more wedding advice see http://www.simplybridal.com/blog/

  • Valentine's Day: In the age of e-commerce, everything's for sale - including your grandma's engagement ring



    In the aftermath of the recession, we've learned to do more with the things we already own. The sharing economy has people monetizing their time with TaskRabbit, turning their cars into ersatz taxis and transforming second bedrooms into inns with AirBnB. We've also learned how to give up the stuff that had sentimental - rather than utilitarian - value.  One of the best examples of this trend is the emergence of a vibrant market for second hand engagement rings. 
    Owners of unneeded engagement rings, whether from divorce or a family member's collection, often choose to sell these valuable items.  When traditional local options (Craigslist, pawn shops, or local jewelers) only provide 20-40% of the item's value, savvy sellers turn to online specialty retailers.  According to Philip Johnson, CEO of Have You Seen the Ring, by utilizing these secure peer-to-peer marketplaces, sellers can receive up to 60% more for their pre-owned jewelry. 
    This trend has also translated into big savings for Valentine's Day buyers of pre-owned engagement rings.  As the spend on an engagement ring has climbed to $4,000 (source: Jewelers of America), thrifty couples have chosen pre-owned rings and diamonds as a way to save money without compromising quality or style. According to Johnson, "a 1 carat round diamond in a halo setting that would retail for $6,500 at a local jeweler, can sell for as little as $3,300." 
    The peer-to-peer market for pre-owned rings continues to boom, and it turns out the stigma attached to proposing with a used engagement ring hasn't stopped buyers. For buyers who are concerned about buying pre-owned , Johnson offers some advice. "All diamonds are old, billions of years old to be exact, so purchasing a pre-owned diamond is one that is a billion and five years old.  Many buyers of pre-owned  rings realize that the memories and 'karma' associated with their engagement ring will stem from the life they and their spouse build together."
  • Show us your ring CONTEST!

    In honor of Valentine's Day, we want you to send us photos of your engagement rings! Enter our Show Me the Ring contest for a chance to win a $200 VISA gift card. Runner up will receive a Flip Video Camera. Be a Facebook fan, upload your photo, and have your friends vote for your ring to win! Grand prize and runner up winners will be announced this Valentine's Day (February 14th). CLICK HERE to enter and for contest rules. #showmethering #contest

  • Pantone Color of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid

    After much debate, the fashion gurus have determined that Radiant Orchid is the hot color of the season.  According to those in the know, radiant orchid is a blend of purples with a trace of light pink.
    We expect to see this bold color everywhere from clothing, to handbags, and even on jewelry. For brides looking for an alternative to traditional diamond engagement rings, sapphires in hues of purple will be stylish both today and in the future.
    Here are some of our favorite pieces of Radiant Orchid jewelry:


    What do you think of a Radiant Orchid stone as an alternative to a traditional diamond ring?
  • How to be Photo-Ready for your Wedding


    You might have everything set up for your special day: the pre owned engagement rings, the guest list, and the food for the wedding. But when it comes to having a wedding, the photographs are extremely important. You are going to want to have pictures that you can reflect on for years after you have tied the knot. Your photographs will serve as beautiful reminders of one of the best days of your life. It takes a lot of planning to have fantastic photographs of your big day. If you want to be photo-ready for your wedding, follow the tips below and you will be sure to have photographs that leave you breathless. 

    1) Think about your makeup choices. 

    Even if you don't normally wear makeup, it is a wise idea to invest in a few beauty products. For example, some face primers work very to smooth lines and color variations when applied before foundation.   This will come in handy if you are having a wedding outside or during the summertime. Look for primers that reduce shine and leave makeup lasting longer to ensure that your look lasts all day. 


    2) Create an essential list of wedding shots. 

    If you want to ensure that each and every picture comes out well for the wedding, develop a list of shots that you wish to capture. Here are some questions you should ask yourself ahead of time: 
    • Where do I want to have wedding shots taken? 
    • Are there any landmarks at the wedding venue that are ideal for photographs?  
    • Is there a certain location which has a specific meaning to me? (For example, was your first kiss with your soon-to-be husband underneath a particular tree where you are holding the wedding?)
    • Who do you want included in your pictures?
    • Do I want pictures of myself and the bridal party getting ready for the wedding?

    These are only a few photography questions to ask yourself before your wedding. Also, think about whether or not you want wedding pictures taken before or after the ceremony. 

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