Monthly Archives: March 2018

Guide to buying engagement rings in 2018

Buying engagement ringsWe’re sure you’ve already heard it a lot recently but, congratulations! You’ve found the one, mission complete. Level 2 – buy an enchanting engagement ring that will dazzle the mind of your soon-to-be fiancée or fiancé.

We’ll go through what the four main terms used for diamonds mean and how to know if they are of high quality or not.

Carat

The carat is a way of measuring the value of the ring you decide on. It can give you a price tag because it’s actually a weight. The heavier the stone the more expensive it’s usually going to be. Hence, the higher the carat of a ring, the more it will cost.

So, as you can imagine, the larger the stone is the higher the carat it’s usually going to be. With this said, some diamonds may seem larger but weigh less than a smaller one. This will be because the cut is shallower than the smaller yet heavier one.

Cut

This doesn’t describe the shape of the diamond, it’s referring to the way the stone has been cut. The better the cut, the better the sparkle, the better the diamond.

If you’re unsure then hold the diamond to the light and see if it reflects the light internally and externally well. You just want to see how bright it shines, to put it in other words. The cut also tells you how deep or shallow in shape the stone is.  

Colour grade

If you’re set on buying a diamond ring, you should consider the colour grade. Each diamond is rated on a scale starting at D to Z. A diamond grade D is the most popular because they are considered colourless.

The Z grade means the diamond is a light-yellow colour. Though you can also buy diamonds of green, red, blue, yellow and pink, clear is the most popular for engagement rings.

Green and red diamonds, however, are extremely rare so if you see one that’s in your price range, snatch it up while you still can.

Clarity

The clarity pretty much tells you if the diamond has any inclusions, imperfections and specks. No diamond is perfect, so don’t expect a completely clean clarity. But doesn’t that make each stone so much more precious and unique?

The style of the ring

If they love all things antique, you could choose from antique rings London. An antique ring usually is gold and often has a more unusual engagement stone, like an emerald or ruby for example.Buying engagement rings

The shape of the stone

There are 12 main shapes you can buy for an engagement ring:

  • Round

A round diamond is the most traditional shape for an engagement ring.

  • Radiant

Along with a beautiful name, the radiant shape is truly unique. They are square-shaped with flat corners.

  • Oval

Oval shaped diamonds allow light to reflect through easily, which effectively makes it sparkle more.

  • Emerald

The emerald shape is called this because it was once only used to cut emeralds specifically, however, you can now get diamonds and other stones shaped the same way.

  • Princess

This shape is square and sharp, though they look elegant and princess-worthy.

  • Pear

Also called the teardrop, it takes the form of a perfectly even droplet of water.

  • Trillion

Trillion cut diamonds are triangular and usually are used as accent stones to the main stone. With this said, they do also look stunning as the main-show stone.Buying engagement rings

  • Baguette

Baguette diamonds are rectangular and thin, so they are the best choice for those who have a minimalistic style.

  • Heart

Of course, you know what a heart shape is. This is the most symbolic shape for love.

  • Cushion

Similar to the princess shape, the cushion is square but has softer edges.

  • Asscher

These diamonds have more step-cuts than radiant diamond shapes, which allow the stone to sparkle extremely well, but the overall shape is very similar.  

  • Marquise

Also referred to by the name navette (little boat), the marquise is shaped like a small boat – hence the name.

Did this help you decide?

We hope it did! Let us know what engagement ring you decided on in the comments.

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Guide to sorting out your reception without breaking the bank

Wedding receptions. The most fun part of any wedding. The time to relax, enjoy and stuff your face with scrumptious food. Oh, and enjoy your first dance as a married couple – that’s the most important part, clearly.

How do you plan to sort your wedding reception out without it costing an arm and a leg? You finish reading this article, that’s how!

An inside reception

wedding planningYou’ve decided on an indoor reception, perfect! Now, how do you chose the venue? Of course, you’ll want it close to the wedding ceremony so that people don’t have to travel. Some places that specifically cater for weddings will have a reception hall or an area for your party after the ceremony.

However, more nontraditional wedding venues may not. Hence why you should find a local hall or indoor space to host your ceremony, before you book the wedding venue. You don’t want to book a venue then later find there’s no indoor room near to hold a party.  

Money-saving tip

Ask your friend or family member who has the biggest shed or barn (if you know any farmers) if you can hold your reception at theirs. You can offer them money to rent it out too, which will cost less than renting out a hall.

An outside reception

So, you’d prefer your reception out in the wilderness? Well, not quite wilderness, probably more like in a large garden or park, but you get the picture. As long as the weather is decent, an outdoors reception is a brilliant idea!

If you want to buy canapes for the reception it’s a good idea to read up on reviews of the types the shop has. This will allow you to get the best canape for the predicted weather and one that will comfortably fit you and your guests.

It also helps to price check because they can be expensive depending on the size, material and quality. Reading others reviews gives you a clearer idea of what the canape will be like too, seen as their responses will be from experience.

Money-saving tip

Host the reception at a public park (some may require permission, so check before).

Food

wedding planningFor vegans or vegetarians, you can make skewers using tofu from Clearspring as an alternate no-meat option. As for allergies, you could make a ‘nut-free’ zone and a ‘lactose-free’ zone etc. for all the main food allergies.

You don’t need to go overboard with this though, just a few ‘free-from’ food zones would add an inclusive touch to your wedding reception.

Money-saving tip

Cook the smaller dishes/snacks yourself with the help of family and friends. It would be stressful and too much to do for you to do all of the food, but the small stuff can easily be done by yourself and will drop the food catering cost down.

Hiring a caterer

wedding planningIf you’re planning a fairly large wedding reception, hiring an organised caterer will take a lot of stress off your shoulders. Caterers can sort out the food menu for you and suggest ways to keep the costs down but quality up.

Again, reading customer reviews for all the caterers you are interested in hiring is the best way to go about this. Plus, it helps if you know people who have recently hired the same caterers so that you can get a realistic view of what they experienced with the company.

Money-saving tip

Shop around! If another place offers a cheaper catering service, but you really want the more expensive company, mention to them that the other place is less expensive but offers the same service. You never know, they could drop the price a little!

What’s your opinion?

Do you have experience with planning a wedding reception without spending a ton of money? Please share your experiences and tips for our other readers to adopt at their own wedding.

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Finding the perfect wedding gift for a friend

So, your mates getting married. That’s great news, but what do you get them? If they opted out of a wedding gift wish list, then it can be tough to find something you know they’ll want and something that another person won’t gift them too.

wedding giftAll is not lost, so don’t threat! With this idea-list, you’ll gain inspiration and begin to think of ways you could put a personal touch on each gift idea.

Luggage sets for their honeymoon

Although this isn’t a traditional gift idea for weddings, it is extremely practical and thoughtful. Buy them a decent long-lasting luggage set that they can use for their honeymoon, and for any other holidays in the future.

You can always check out Gear Hungry and read their guide to buying luggage sets. It’s recommended to read reviews before making a decision to make sure you get a set that’s worth the money and of great quality.

Or, you know, they could take it the completely other way and use the suitcases to run away from each other. But that wouldn’t be your fault, you just provided the case!

In all seriousness though, in any circumstance, a high-quality luggage set will provide them with lots of use and practicality – whatever that use may be.

Photographs

PixaPrints have a wide range of photo printing services. Phone cases, canvas prints, mugs and more. Printing out a photograph of the couple is a nice way to remind them of an old memory.

If you’re very close with the bride and groom you could even print out an embarrassing photo you have of them. That way you can reminisce about funny memories and humiliating times – as long as you’ve got a close enough relationship for it to be funny, of course!

Just don’t go buying a drunken photo of the bride and groom if one of them also happens to be your boss, that would just be awkward and inappropriate (or hilarious if your boss would find it funny).

Wedding wish jar

wedding giftsFor the couple that love sweet gestures and simple but thoughtful gifts, a wedding wish jar is perfect. Fill it with your wishes for them and get their other friends and family members to add to it too.

It’s a lovely way to show them how much you care (a lot). Plus, they can look back on all the wishes you made to them years later. It could become a keep-safe jar which anyone can add to at the wedding.

A nice way to make it even more personal is to add small photos in the mix too. You can easily make a DIY wedding wish jars and decorate it as you please. All you’d need is a glass mason jar, small pieces of paper to write on and any decorations you want to include.

Unless you’re too busy or aren’t very crafty, in which case you can buy a wedding wish jar ready made with little wish tickets at almost any online gift shop.

What did you buy last time there was a wedding?

Think about the last wedding you went to. What did you gift the couple then? Was it something that you can buy again for your friends this time around?

Best wishes to you for finding the perfect wedding gift for your friend. Tell us what you ended up buying in the comments. And if you managed to grab a photo of the bride and groom’s reactions to the gift, share with us the funny or heart-warming pictures too.  

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