Choosing an engagement ring is not always an easy task – whether the groom is on his own or you pick it together. It is something you will wear for the rest of your life, so finding the perfect ring is very important. Some find ‘the one’ straight away, but for others, it takes more thought and time. Having so much choice probably makes it harder! You have the jewellery shops of course, but don’t forget to look online as there are so many great websites with a huge variety of rings (sites like http://www.77diamonds.com/engagement-rings.htm are good).
Before you spend the whole weekend trekking around town and all night on the internet it is probably a good idea to at least have an idea of what you are looking for. With that in mind, here are a few questions and concepts that can help you to decide.
Diamond Or Gemstone?
The first decision you make when choosing your engagement ring may be whether to opt for a traditional diamond or a coloured gemstone, or both? Most think of diamonds when it comes to engagement rings, but if you are looking for something a little different perhaps a coloured stone is the way to go? Although why choose – why not have both?! If it is good enough for Kate (I love her diamond and sapphire ring – once Princess Diana’s)!
Once you choose your stones, you need to think about the general style and shape too. The traditional image of an engagement ring tends to feature a metal band with a single, prominent diamond on top. However, multi-stone engagement rings have become more popular as alternative options.
If you are going for a diamond ring, it is so important to learn a bit about diamonds and what differentiates one from another. Often, you may have a choice between a larger diamond or a smaller but more perfect one. Learn about the four C’s of diamonds – cut, colour, clarity and carat – and you will be better able to decide which qualities you most value in a stone.
Diamond shapes vary greatly, and the shape will do a lot to define the ring’s style. Some of the most traditional options include round and oval stones, as well as asscher. However, there are also alternative options, ranging from emerald and pear, to heart or diamond shapes. I think you just need to try a few and see what shape you like on your hand – also think about how it will sit with your wedding ring.
If you are looking for a little inspiration, take a look at the current trends in engagement rings - coloured gemstones, vintage settings, and even fancy diamonds – those rare diamonds that display natural colour, rather than the sparkling clarity most of us associate with diamonds. There is so much choice… just enjoy it!
It is obviously very traditional to have your bridesmaids all in the same dress in the same colour. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this but with more and more people seeking something a little different for their big day, one fab idea is to have your bridesmaids all mismatched.
The same style but all different colours, or maybe the same colour but all different styles – or even different styles and different colours?
Here are a few of my favourites where the colours are mismatched – if it is good enough for Carrie Bradshaw and Sex in The City…
Kitty & Dulcie are a vintage inspired bridal gown company with gorgeous dresses all under £400! You may remember me posting about Kitty & Dulcie last year? Well, they have a gorgeous new collection that I wanted to share with you – The Country Set Collection.
There are 7 beautiful gowns in the new collection, all paired with fab accessories from sister company Flo & Percy and photographed by Sarah Louise Johnson.
This first 50′s inspired gown below, the Baroness Pearl (£345) is a tea length, ivory lace and tulle gown – seen with an optional red satin sash (£30) and the I Feel Pretty Birdcage Veil (£185) from Flo & Percy.
The Countess Carmel (£395) is a full-length, ivory organza and lace bridal gown – seen here with the Flower Child Forehead Band (£185) from Flo & Percy.
This 50′s style Dame Dulcie (£350) bridal gown is knee length, ivory lace and satin. Seen here with the Hippy Chic Comb (£155) and Hippy Chic cuff (£165) from Flo & Percy.
The Lady Penelope bridal gown (£325) is a short 60′s inspired ivory gown in soft lace. Seen here with the Hippy Chic Forehead band (£175) from Flo & Percy.
The Madame Minnie (£350) is a tea-length, ivory satin and tulle bridal gown. Seen here with The Queen of Persia Headband (£220) from Flo & Percy.
The Queen Kitty (£395) is a full-length, ivory lace and tulle bridal gown. Seen here with the Rock Baroque Headband (£195), the Rock Baroque Sash (£195) & Cuff (£185) from Flo & Percy.
What do you think? Aren’t they fab – and at such amazing prices! Once ordered online, the gowns are posted within 5 working days – arriving wrapped in tissue, with a satin padded hanger, enclosed in a gorgeous pink box.
Harry Rocks is a London based jewellery brand that make it their mission to create individual, fabulously unique pieces by hand using sterling silver, gold plate and semi precious stones. They have a gorgeous bridal collection – perfect for a bride or bridesmaid.
I was very excited to receive my very own Harry Rocks gem last week – this Agnes Vintage Locket Bracelet shown below. I just love that each locket is a one off vintage find, hand sourced from antique markets on a pretty string of fresh water pearls and finished with their signature feather.
Isn’t it pretty… think I may have to invest in the matching necklace!
Olivier Laudus is a bridal accessory boutique selling gorgeous jewellery, hair bands/clips/pins/combs/tiaras and other luxury accessories. I say “bridal” but if you are anything like me then you would wear their gorgeous pieces for any special occasion really!
I have their Talia hairband, which I wear a lot – it is so fabulous and sparkly that I am actually going to wear it to the races this year instead of a fascinator!
Olivier Laudus began in 2004 through husband and wife team Olivier and Sangeeta Laudus not being able to find a ring cushion fabulous enough for their own wedding – so they commissioned one themselves and the rest is history!
In 2011 a Bond Street studio was opened for personal consultations. Olivier (formerly a stylist and model) designs some of the collection and manages the day to day running of the business. Sangeeta works in the city as a lawyer, and helps with marketing and business development for the brand.
We recently attended the Under The Vintage Veil bash in Brighton where a fab catwalk show was put on for us. The models were all wearing Olivier Laudus hair accessories and I am going to let the gorgeous photos (thanks Emma Lucy!) speak for themselves.
Aren’t they gorgeous! If you would like to sparkle in Olivier Laudus for your wedding day or other special occasion then pop over to their website to see the full range, or contact Olivier to arrange a consultation at their Bond Street studio x
With all these events to look forward to I thought I would share a bit of inspiration with you today. I love London Milliner Gina Foster – just look at these beauties. Check out her website for the latest Jubilee Collection.
Who does a hat better than the lovely Kate Middleton?! Some of her best hats can be seen on this collage below. I love the one on the top right and also the one in the middle that she is wearing with that very fabulous Alexander McQueen coat.
The peplum is currently a big trend in fashion and has been seen all over the catwalks, as well as also adorning lots of beautiful celebrities. According to Vogue - there is no better way to dress your midriff than with a peplum – “a short full flounce or an extension of a garment below the waist, covering the hips”.
Fashion and trends tend to spill over into the bridal market and this did not stop at peplums! They create such a beautiful feminine shape – emphasising the waist and curves. We thought we would show you a few of our favourite peplum looks today.
We love a veil here at Temple Gregory and wanted to see what you thought. I think they are like Marmite with many brides – when tried on you either love or hate. I would definitely recommend that you at least try one – just so you know for sure, as I have seen lots of brides change their minds as soon as they put it on!
I think the Duchess of Cambridge has played a big part in the recent growth in popularity after looking so gorgeous in hers.
In ancient Rome the veil was worn and was usually red or another bright colour – this was to conceal the bride from the evil spirits that would otherwise be attracted to her. It is also said that in medieval times, the veil was used to protect the bride from “the evil eye” whilst also being a symbol of purity, chastity, and modesty.
It is also considered bad luck for the bride to be seen by the groom before the ceremony and in the old days of marriage by purchase, the groom first saw his wife to be when he unveiled her during the ceremony! Thank goodness times have changed! Today a veil is more about style and sometimes modesty for the ceremony – but not usually evil spirits.
They come in all sorts of lengths, shapes and fabrics so here is a bit of inspiration for you.