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!
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!
We have had the pleasure of working with Danielle and Ben on the planning of their beautiful wedding, which took place in June at Northbrook Park in Surrey. As you will see, they are such a gorgeous couple and so happy together – lots of pretty details and outfits too!
This film (from Mark Brown Films) is just fabulous – filmed with vintage Super 8, it really adds something special to it. Marks films always bring a tear to my eye – in a good way!
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
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.
I am delighted to be featuring the fabulous Debbie Carlisle Bouquets – who make beautiful vintage brooch bouquets and accessories. Debbie specialises in the beautiful bouquets, but also now makes other accessories for brides and bridesmaids.
Where the lovely Debbie started with her business – I started my business by making my own (& bridesmaids) bouquet for my wedding, packed full of vintage jewellery, buttons, crystals, beads, pearls – and lots of sentimental items from my relatives. After my wedding I made more and put them up on Etsy to see if I got any interest. I got orders very quickly and later went on to set up my own website, andDebbie Carlisle Bouquetswas born.
Every bouquet is a one off individual piece and Debbie sources all the vintage and vintage style items to make them up – she can also add your own sentimental items of jewellery or buttons to make it truly special and personal to you. You can even have your “something blue” included!
Each item is unique and varies, so prices vary – but they range around £295 – £1,295. Worth every penny for such a beautiful creation you get to keep forever.
As you would expect Debbie’s brides were requesting accessories to match their bouquets and this led to her designing her first full collection of accessories (of headpieces and cuffs) for 2012 – launched in October at the Designer Wedding Show.
This 2012 accessories collection takes inspiration from many different eras, with many pieces designed to have a softer more romantic vintage feel – but all with a modern, fashion-forward edge.
The ribbon bands included in the collection can be worn as headbands, forehead bands and bun wraps – allowing brides to mix up their look – and wear their headpiece in different ways long after their wedding day.
More recently Debbie has also added a specific bridesmaids range to the collection of accessories which are designed for style-conscious brides and their maids who want something a bit different to the traditional bridal norm.
Prices for the bridesmaid collection are between £25 to £100 and styles range from small simple bows to seriously glamorous forehead bands.
The collection fuses vintage-inspired glamour with a modern edge and is designed to be as versatile as possible. Debbie wanted to create something that was rock and roll rather than twee and traditional so brides and their maids could embrace fashion-forward style on their way down the aisle.
Debbie – I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to transform a DIY experiment for my own wedding into a profitable business that now sees hundreds of brides walking down the aisle in my creations. It’s such a privilege to be a part of anyone’s wedding day and I feel so proud every time a bride chooses me to make her accessories. The best part of my job is the excited reactions of my brides when they receive their piece from me – there’s no other feeling like it in the world!
What do you think – it is all gorgeous isn’t it?! Do you like the idea of having one of these bouquets instead of a floral one? Yes they cost a bit more than flowers, but it is something you get to keep and treasure forever – it will look fabulous displayed at home and you can hand it down to your children to use on their own wedding day.
Happy Wedding Wednesday! I am delighted to be featuring Kitty & Dulcie today – a vintage inspired bridal gown company with gorgeous dresses all under £400! It comes from a good pedigree too, being the sister company of the already super successful and well established vintage accessory company Flo & Percy.
Kirstie Taylor and Shelley Carter-Bright are the co-founders and strongly believe “that you don’t need to break the bank to look a million dollars on your wedding day” and so created this stunning range of gowns, all under £400, and available exclusively online. The Strictly London Collection…
The fab selection of knee-length, tea-length and full-length vintage inspired wedding dresses have been “made for fashion conscious females with a passion for retro glamour. Designed for the bride who’s bang on trend but doesn’t believe in paying over the odds.”
These gorgeous gowns are for, and accessible to, everyone – but a typical Kitty & Dulcie bride will have an “eclectic fashion sense, mixing high street buys with vintage pieces. She’s looking for an a la mode bridal dress at an unbelievably fairytale price and she wants leading edge designs that combine modern, feminine chic with a mix of vintage allure. The Kitty & Dulcie bride is no stranger to online shopping and she’s proud to brag about her latest bargain – she wants fantastic quality at affordable prices.”
After perusing the easy to use website and choosing your favourite, you will receive your tissue wrapped gown, beautifully boxed with it’s own satin padded hanger. You can then try the dress on in the comfort of your own home without any other worries or pressures.
Wow – I cannot believe how gorgeous these dresses are at such low prices! If this vintage inspired style is something you are looking for, then these are perfect. What do you think – which is your favourite?
The chaps to thank for this super cool photo shoot are –