Category Archives: Wedding Wednesday

4 Cute Ways To Announce Your Engagement

“WE’RE ENGAGED!!!” It’s the text/snapchat/Facebook post everyone hopes to receive from their long-term relationship-bound bestie. But what if you’re the bestie? What if it’s your sparkly new ring on that very important finger? Chances are you’ve had a secret Pinterest board for quite some time now (no shade, just jealousy. I had to preemptively-pin in public like some sort of animal.) Chances are you have a pretty definitive seasonally-dependent line up of possible color schemes. Chances are you know damn well which flowers are verboten from all arrangements. What I’m saying is, you’ve already started to put some thought into your wedding – put some thought into all the goodness leading up to it! You only get one shot at getting/being engaged and married (well, ideally) so live it up! Enjoy every minute – ok maybe not those minutes you spend freaking out over ridiculousness like cake filling flavors or escort cards. But do enjoy the precious moments of sharing this joyful time with loved ones. Especially your engagement announcement. Gone are the days of impeccably worded newspaper announcements. And even Charlotte York’s NYT wedding section obsession is now a thing of ancient history. But listen lady, you can do better than an emoji filled status update. I believe in you. Save the autocorrect for the select texts you can’t wait to send, then put your phone down, bask in the glow of your newly engaged status – not your FB one. Then select your favorite of these cute ways to announce your engagement.

Cute Engagement Announcement Idea

via the abyss of Tumblr. If you have a real source, holla.

Alright, you’ve got the ring, let the socially acceptable designer shoe shopping consumption BEGIN! Just kidding. Please be responsible with your wedding budget and do not spend it all on expensive footwear (although you already know how I feel about that subject). However if you do happen to have a pair of Valentino’s lying around (or any pair of cute shoes for that matter) – how sweet is this photo idea? And perfect for the truly girly-girl who has been dreaming of her wedding day forever.

Engagement Portrait that your friends & family will actually want to keep

via Pinterest

It’s rare that I read some long comment on a Pin I actually agree with. Typically I’m wondering if this DIY pink lemonade dish soap is going to break my dishwasher or why anyone would put that much effort into Elf on the Shelf. But this Pinner brought up a good point: smoochy pic engagement announcements are sweet, but your friends and family love you, know you, and want to cherish this time in your life too. They’d probably rather not do so with a snapshot of you two sucking face (that’s what the first kiss is for!) Give them a beautiful portrait they can both leave on their fridge for 2 years after your actual wedding and scrapbook.

Introducing Us: cute engagement announcement

via Introducing Us

If you’d rather take things digital, please please please for the love of G_D use this idea so I can live vicariously through you. I’m so upset this didn’t exist when I got engaged! Intorducing Us is a service that lets you create a relationship timeline that culminates in an engagement announcement (and Save the Date if you so choose.) It allows all of us to become Jess & Russ, regardless of any graphic design skills or cleverness. And it is so.cute.

Ring pic engagement announcement

If you do elect to share the happy news via The ‘Gram, please take care to include your intended in your ring pic! He’s spent a considerable amount of time agonizing over the perfect ring for you (trust me, you have no clue how many times I had to assure him that “halo” can mean both pave and micropave). Give that man some credit & show off his sweet face!

Old European Cut Diamond Engagement Ring Eye Candy

Old, or European? (10 points if you recognized that song.) Well, lucky you because today it’s all about both. Old European cut diamonds are a favorite among the vintage and antique loving set. One of the O.G. ways to cut a diamond, the Old European cut predates today’s most popular shape, the round brilliant. The OEC is also round, but has a smaller table (the flat top surface of the diamond), a taller crown (the sloped sides of the diamond above the middle girdle), and an open culet (the pointy bit underneath). This graphic from GIA can help you out if you’re convinced I just spoke Dothraki. The OEC also has fewer, larger facets than today’s tightly carved 57 or 58 facets on a round brilliant. Overall, the OEC can appear warmer, with more character, and more handmade. Thus, it looks fantabulous in equally vintage inspired mountings. So when RLJ buys a parcel of Old European cut diamonds, we like to pop them into some equally old and European looking mountings. The result is a stunning ring that will have any vintage engagement ring lover swooning, even with a brand spanking new ring.

Old european cut engagement ring

1.01ct Old European Cut Diamond Cluster Style Engagement Ring

This beautiful 1.01ct diamond is a K color and VS 1 clartiy – and it has company! The main European cut diamond gets an assist from .18ctw of other European cuts that cluster around it like so many petals on a flower.

2.45ct Old European Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

2.45ct Old European Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

This 2.45ct Old European cut diamond is set into a more traditionally antique style mounting. A platinum band is carved with a leaf motif and inlaid with .46ctw of round brilliant stones that stud all sides of the shank, the prongs, and the gallery. The overall effect is of a beautiful, diamond flower that buds with the K color, VVS1 center diamond.

Platinum 1.43ct Old European Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Platinum 1.43ct Old European Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

This beauty is the OEC’s take on an antique style halo ring. The gorgeous center stone is a 1.43ct VS1 G color, and I love the negative space between its bezel setting and bezel set halo. The gap lets you peek into the platinum gallery’s open work and gives you an idea of how intricate the rest of this mounting is. With brackets of round brilliants that stop half way across the shank, it’s a stunning modern interpretation of the ever popular halo style that has an antique twist.

Vintage style diamond engagement ring

Vintage style diamond engagement ring

Finalmente, we arrive at what I think is the truest recreation of vintage style. I’m basing this on nothing. But if I were an old timey lady, I’d want this ring to match my sweet hoop skirt. And who wouldn’t? Its 1.06ct center stone is a G color, VS1 clarity, and it’s set into a stunning platinum mounting. The band is set with .22ctw of Old European cut diamonds that trail halfway down the shank. While the platinum itself is carved into ornate fretwork and beading so that the entire surface of this ring is teeming with detail. It’s positively yummy. Now grab your parasol, we’re taking my horse-drawn carriage to tea.

Engagement Ring Eye Candy: Well, Yellow

Happy National Plant a Flower Day! And Happy Pi Day! But guess what, we are celebrating neither of those here, today, in this realm of the internet. Why? It’s also 3-12 and therefore a holiday I just decided is Happy Chicago Day. Which is all well and good because Chicago is the chit, however it snowed AGAIN/STILL last night so you can’t really plant a flower here, unless it’s a tulip and you did said planting last year. And eating pie is a good way to reconcile oneself with wearing layers, but not as good for willing spring and sundresses into existence. So in lieu of flowers (or floral-inspired engagement rings) and pie (or pie-inspired engagement rings, whatever that looks like), we’re celebrating yellow diamonds. Because it’s made-up Chicago Day. And I live in Chicago. And I love yellow diamonds. Therefore by the law of verbal traps, um, you’re celebrating yellow diamonds. Extremely unique yellow diamond engagement rings, to be precise. Let’s proceed.

Asscher cut diamond engagement ring with yellow accent diamonds

If you follow me on Facebook, are related to me, or live within a 2 block radius of me, you’ve already heard about this ring. For the uninitiated, this is a diamond engagement ring that is out of this world. An Asscher cut is hard to come by. A 3 carat Asscher cut? Doubly so. Add to this the fact that there are emerald cut fancy yellow accent diamonds, something I’ve only ever seen in Shiraz-tinged dreams, and you have one of the most unique engagement rings I’ve ever seen. The 3.18ct center stone is a fabulous F color, and its SI2 clarity does have some visible internal characteristics, but let’s go ahead and call them beauty marks. Someone come give this beauty a loving home, before I’m forced to.

Cushion Cut Fancy Yellow engagement ringWhat’s that? 3 carats is too small for you? And you prefer a yellow diamond center stone? Come closer, darling, and meet this lovely 4.62 cushion cut. It too is SI2 clarity, but it’s yellow, so it’s even more forgiving. And with an additional 1.38ctw of diamond pave, the added sparkle will catch your eye before any inclusions do. And, in the rare instance where you notice a smidge of imperfection in this diamond, .30ctw of white trillion cut diamonds are there to bring you back to where you need to be: in love with this engagement ring.

Pear shaped yellow diamond engagement ringLast, but certainly mos def not least, is this insanely beautiful pear shape. Pear shaped fancy yellow diamond engagement rings are a rare and welcome treat, and RLJ was lucky enough to have two big, pear shaped fancy yellow pass through our hallowed doors in as many weeks. This one is a 2.01 carat and in keeping with today’s trend, has an SI2 clarity grade. It got the yellow gold bezel setting treatment to add even more warmth to its sunny disposition. And a hefty dose of pave with 1.22ctw of round brilliants in a halo and a split shank setting. Then, to set this ring apart, we added .76ctw of white marquise accents that are in a beautiful rose gold bezel setting. It’s a unique treasure, and it’s begging to be on your finger!

2014 Wedding Music Ideas (That Aren’t Lame)

True Story: Choosing our wedding music was the second biggest task of wedding planning. Although it was approximately 9 jillion times more fun than venue-hunting, choosing The. Perfect. Music. for every moment of our special day was a huge process. Did it need to be? Absolutely not. Unfortunately, I am Type-A to a fault, a Virgo, and far from an audiophile, but very very into the idea that we all have an internal soundtrack. Like I’m strolling down State Street to The Mowgli’s or Billy Joel on any given day. And I don’t even have earbuds in because I can’t get the damn LifeProof case off my phone.

That kind of internal playlist. So unless each fabbity fab fab moment of the day was queued up with the appropriate tunes all was lost. Add to this the obligatory “input” on each portion of the day’s playlists: “Well, if you don’t play all Ella Fitzgerald/Frankie/Dean/Perry, your Father and I will just celebrate once the wedding is over,” or “YOU HAVE TO PLAY DEADMAU5. PLAY DEADMAU5.” It is a recipe for completely unnecessary anxiety (story of my wedding planning.)

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Engagement Ring Eye Candy: Bezel Set Beauties

Bezel set engagement rings are some of the most unique engagement rings you’ll come across. The bezel setting is a thin layer of metal that hugs the perimeter of a diamond (or other gemstone) rather than using prongs to keep in in place. Often, the bezel is part of a bowl-like setting that cups the diamond from underneath, a technique that’s especially popular with fancy colored diamonds. Using metals like yellow gold or rose gold can beautifully enhance a fancy yellow or fancy pink diamond, or even a pale pink gem like Morganite, for a more intense look. One of my favorite ways to turn a “special” diamond into something of true beauty is by taking a stone with great clarity and a hefty carat weight, but color that’s more “Bud Light” than fancy intense is by setting it into a yellow gold bezel setting and adding pave (as demonstrated below). This can even be done with white diamonds that err on the side of brown to create a gorgeous end product. As long as the stone is clear, you still have a ring that’s unique, colorful, and has the fancy look without the hefty fancy colored price tag. Of course, using it in white metal with white diamonds adds an unexpected twist to engagement rings, especially vintage style engagement rings or actual antiques. While the bezel setting typically conjures modern imagery (think Tiffany’s Bezet collection – wonder where they got that name), it can be used with great effect in a vintage style ring. Check out some of my favorites from RLJ below.

18kt gold two tone fancy yellow diamond engagement ring

18kt gold two tone fancy yellow diamond engagement ring

This diamond is lovely, albeit very pale yellow. It’s still fancy yellow, but RLJ thought it could benefit from a little boost. Think of this yellow gold bezel setting as a push up bra for your diamond. Then consider the rest of this setting a low cut top because yowza. It is, as we professionally refer to it within the industry, iced out. A halo of pave white diamonds show off its popular cushion cut, and the pave continues onto the tops and bottoms of the shanks. It is kind of a split shank, but the negative space is filled with big old baguettes, bringing the setting’s total diamond carat weight to 2.40ctw.

Bezel set oval fancy yellow diamond engagement ring

Bezel set oval fancy yellow diamond engagement ring

Another fancy yellow, but this one is slightly darker in tone. The yellow gold bezel setting brightens up the imprint of this 3.44 carat oval shape diamond. And it too gets an added dose of bling from a pave halo and split shank, but check out the accent diamonds – they’re also in bezel settings! This is a fantastic use of continuity to tie the different shaped and different colored diamonds back to the star of this ring, the center stone. The added diamonds tack on an additional 2.16 carats to its total weight!

Antique style bezel set engagement ring

Antique style bezel set engagement ring

This is the perfect example of an antique style bezel set engagement ring I mentioned earlier. While the bezel setting is employed in minimalist, modern styles, it’s actually one of the oldest settings, dating back to ancient times. So its use in antique rings is unexpected, but shouldn’t be! This gorgeous Old European cut diamond shines in a smooth platinum bezel setting, with an assist from accent stones above and below, and four additional bezel set rounds on either side. It is gorgeous and perfectly captures the romantic essence of a time gone by, with a totally different look than a lot of other antique rings I’ve seen/tried on/drooled over.

5.32ct Fancy Yellow Oval Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

5.32ct Fancy Yellow Oval Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Finally, we wrap up with a huge fancy yellow diamond in a micropave setting, because that’s what dreams are made of and this is how I roll. I put this ring on my finger once to post to Instagram and had an extremely hard time removing it, despite the fact that it is exactly my size. In fact, my entreaties to the Big Boss to justletmekeepit often reference the fact that massive diamond rings are exactly my size. And by size I mean 5.75 and over 4 carats but I digress. This rock is breathtaking. It’s a hefty 5.32 carats but its spread is so great that it could pass for 7. And while sacrificing that depth on a white diamond could spell disaster for its cut grade, this baby still sparkles and shines – and all the more thanks to a yellow gold bezel setting. Normally I pass on micropave halo and shanks for a more stark Graff/Winstonesque style, but the delicate diamonds paired with a very elongated shape have me singing a different tune. Yes I’m playing favorites this week – it’s almost as good as playing dress up.