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What You Need To Know: Buying An Oval Diamond

There are many questions on “how to choose the best diamond” when in reality it is one of the most personal choices you can make. Today were going to go over color and length to width ratio in order to help you make your best decision.

Continue reading “What You Need To Know: Buying An Oval Diamond”
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Kristin Cavallari Returns Engagement Ring

Everyone who was waiting with baited breath to see if the Cutler-Cavallari split would go the same way as the Williams-Daniels debacle (in which the football player actually sued his former beauty queen girlfriend to get back the $76,000 diamond ring he sent her in the mail) can now breathe a sigh of relief. Cavallari, who reportedly loved her 5.2-carat, Asscher-cut engagement ring, has nonetheless offered it back to former fiancé Jay Cutler, Chicago’s quarterback. And the jerk took it. After reportedly breaking her heart, you think he’d at least give her a consolation prize (fact: diamonds are forever, even if relationships clearly are not). But no, sources say she offered and he took it.

This is just the latest in a recent spate of celebrity breakups that have made headlines concerning the return of the engagement ring. First there was Hugh Hefner, who magnanimously allowed fiancé Crystal Harris to keep her $90,000 engagement ring despite the fact that she called off the nuptials just a week before the wedding date (apparently Hef was just happy to have dodged the bullet – he let her keep the Bentley, as well). Then, of course, there was the scandal over Brooke Daniels, who apparently told former boyfriend Roy Williams (that’s right, they weren’t even engaged!) that she had lost the $76,000 ring he used to propose (it was later discovered in her father’s possession).

But Cavallari has outclassed the whole lot by giving back the ring, something that a spurned woman is rarely required to do. In the other cases, the recipients should have returned the rings as a matter of course since they were either turning down or breaking the engagements. Cavallari, who did not renege on her promise to marry, was the only one out of the bunch who had reason to keep the ring, and yet, she opted to return it. Of course, simply having it around probably produced a gamut of negative emotions, so she’s surely better off without it. Still, it must have been a hard thing to do considering the nature of her breakup. In any case, she is well shed of both man and ring. Now she can move on to a man who truly deserves her, and a ring that will be with her for the rest of her life.

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Engagement Off for Kristin Cavallari

Reality TV icon Kristin Cavallari, best known for appearing on MTV’s Laguna Beach and later, The Hills, has long been making headlines with the goings-on of her daily life. But she would probably rather the most recent news hadn’t made its way into the public eye. Apparently, fiancé Jay Cutler (quarterback for the Chicago Bears) has broken off their engagement just two months after proposing in Mexico (the couple had only been dating for ten months when they became engaged). Although reps for both parties have stated only that the two broke off the engagement, and that they are asking for privacy during this tough emotional time, an anonymous source has something different to report.

According to People Magazine, a source close to the couple has revealed that Cutler did the dumping, catching Cavallari completely off-guard. She was shocked by the news that Cutler had changed his mind about their upcoming marriage. The wedding planning had already begun, with the couple having chosen a date next spring (following the football season). And Cavallari, who has been spending a lot of time in Chicago with her fiancé, was apparently planning to move to the windy city to be near him during the football season.

So far there has been no word on what caused the split, with sources saying only that Cutler changed his mind about marriage. Cavallari, who has reportedly been “devastated” by the news, has yet to release a public statement. However, she has not completely retreated from her adoring public. Fans that have been tweeting their condolences at least got a few breadcrumbs when she sent out a short response, saying, “Thanks for the support. Love u guys.”

Of course, the question on everyone’s mind (besides the reason for the breakup) is whether or not she’ll return the 5.2-carat solitaire that has been her constant companion since April (let’s hope Roy Williams doesn’t start a trend). She was spotted over the weekend at The Beverly in Hollywood, drinking and dancing with pals Nicky Hilton and Alessandra Ambrosio. Notably lacking from the festivities was her monster ring. She was reportedly having a great time, calling to question reports of her supposed devastation, as well as the rumors that Cutler was solely responsible for the breakup.

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Fun Engagement Party Games

The couple that decides to throw an engagement party to announce their pending nuptials to family and friends may find themselves facing a long to-do list. There are cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to arrange, decorations to purchase and place, possibly a dinner to be catered, and all of this is only leading up to the main event: the announcement. Of course, many engagement parties these days actually occur after the happy couple has announced their impending union, which means you may also be on the hook for entertainment. If you’re looking for a way to keep your guests grinning until the main event (the toast), then here are just a few games to get the party started.

1. Newlywed game. They may not be married quite yet, but it’s never too soon to test their intimate knowledge of one another. As long as the people creating the questions skirt touchy subjects (like past relationships, stints in the clink – hey, we were all stupid kids once – and starting a family) it should be a hilarious peek into the private lives of the lovebirds.

2. Ring toss. This will not involve making the bride chuck her engagement ring around the room, so don’t worry about losing the precious rock. Instead, the bride will be given rings of some sort (doughnuts are a good option since they’re soft) and blindfolded. She must then toss the rings onto the groom’s upheld finger (he could also hold a stick of some sort to make it easier) with only his guidance to tell her where to toss. At worst, the groom gets pelted (always fun) and at best she lands him on the first try!

3. Forbidden words. As guests mingle and get to know each other, give them each a token of some kind. The goal is to collect as many tokens as possible and to do so guests much catch others using forbidden words related to the couple, which could include items like wedding, bride, groom, engagement, and so on. The person with the most tokens at the end of a set time period gets a prize.

4. Wedding Taboo. Create a number of cards with specific words related to the couple or their upcoming wedding. Have each table form up into two groups and then guess the word on the card with clues given by another team member. The caveat, of course, is that the team member reading the card cannot say the word (or five related words) while giving clues.

5. Who’s who. Breaking the ice can be hard, especially when mingling two families, so help guests get to know each other by asking each to provide you with some wacky facts about themselves before the shindig. Print up fact sheets (sans names) and tell guests to try to find out which facts go with which guests by asking questions. Of course, they can’t actually use any of the key words listed. For example, if one guest rode a barrel over Niagara Falls, others couldn’t use the words barrel or Niagara Falls in their questioning. Instead they would have to ask things like, “Have you ever been to New York State?” or “Do you participate in water sports?” for example. At the end, award a prize to the person who gets the most facts straight.

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What Does a Promise Ring Really Mean?

You may have heard of this phenomenon of men giving promise rings. They’re not engagement rings (and they’re not worn on the third finger of the left hand), and yet, they are supposed to symbolize the intention to marry, or at least to become engaged (at some point). In short, they’re a pre-engagement ring, if that makes any sense. But what does it really mean when you receive such a promise?

Not to rain on your parade, but all it really says is that your man isn’t serious about getting married yet. You’ve probably been talking about marriage. Maybe you’ve been together for a while and you’ve started to actually hear your biological clock ticking (possibly making you a little pushy on the topic of marriage). Perhaps you’ve even hinted that your relationship “isn’t working out”, hoping that he’ll get the clue. Or maybe you simply feel that he’s the one, despite the fact that you’ve only been together a short while. The truth is that he’s probably giving you this ring in order to appease you without actually having to propose. A promise ring may hint at a future, but an engagement ring is a bold declaration of the intention to commit.

Of course, there could be other factors. Perhaps he simply doesn’t have the money to give you the engagement ring and wedding that he thinks you deserve. Wouldn’t it be nice if that were actually the case? Or maybe he really does love you, but just isn’t quite ready to commit (although he is beginning to think along those lines). It may also be part of his religion, given to symbolize his commitment to you and only you, or a promise to practice abstinence until the wedding. There are all kinds of reasons one might give a promise ring, but generally, you can bet that it has to do with a certain amount of hesitation to actually propose.

On the other hand, you do get a nice piece of jewelry out of the deal that you have no obligation to return if the relationship doesn’t pan out (whereas an engagement ring you would almost certainly want to give back). And at least he’s starting to think along the lines of marriage (even if he is putting off the engagement to some degree). So take him at his word, wear his promise on your right hand, and consider this as evidence that he’s starting to crack (meaning it’s time to push a little harder!).

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Engagement Ring Symbolism

You’re probably aware of the fact that an engagement ring is a symbol of the willingness to commit to spending your life with the person you give it to. It is a material manifestation of the love and devotion you feel for that special lady in your life; in short, it’s a promise in the form of a glittery gift. But it can also denote wealth and status for the woman wearing it, as well as her personal style. And originally, the engagement ring may have come into the marriage from the bride’s family, as part of her dowry rather than a gift from her betrothed (and it doubled as her wedding band in most cases, especially since the groom didn’t necessarily sport a ring). But an engagement ring is so much more than the sum of its parts. When you deconstruct it and look at the individual pieces, you’ll see that they have their own inherent symbolism.

Let’s start with the band, which is most often in the shape of a circle (yeah, there are some weirdo ones out there that are square, hexagonal, octagonal, or even triangular, but they don’t tend to fit very well). The circle is indeed functional, fitting well on the finger, but it also carries a heavy symbolism. It has been used to indicate eternity, perfection, and completion (as in the perfect and everlasting love that is supposed to result from marital union). But the material the band is made from may also have significance. The metal used will not only speak to a certain era (since trends change) but also the value of the piece. Silver is relatively inexpensive while gold and white gold cost more. And platinum, which is the most expensive, is also the toughest, withstanding both tarnish and damage for the most part.

Then there is the stone used in the ring. Most commonly it is a diamond (or multiple diamonds) and this is not accidental. Not only are diamonds instantly recognizable as holding monetary value (since they are only found in relatively limited supply); they are also the hardest natural substance on Earth, making them virtually indestructible (except for flaws). In fact, most diamonds are cut and polished with tools made from other diamonds. They symbolize longevity and strength, which every marriage can benefit from.

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The Art of Preparing a Flawless Proposal

When planning to propose, most guys will either go for the obvious (a candlelit dinner that ends with him on one knee) or rack their brains (and empty their wallets) trying to come up with something amazing that’s never been done before. The truth is, you don’t have to opt for either of these extremes. If you know the woman you love, you can easily come up with a proposal plan that will wow her without resorting to over-the-top antics (or phoning it in with a checkered tablecloth and a ridiculously long spaghetti noodle). Here are just a few ways to prepare for a flawless proposal.

1. Consider her preferences. Does she live life like she’s on a stage? Then maybe a proposal in front of her family or at a sporting event is the way to go. But if she’s like most women, she’ll want the occasion to be intimate, so think about creative ways to get her alone.

2. Listen to what she says. Women will often tell you exactly what they expect if you just open your ears and pay attention. Did she fall in love with the bedroom proposal from the movie Stepmom (the ring on a string)? Or has she told you that she always pictured herself receiving a ring at the top of the Eiffel Tower? Your lady will likely drop hints here and there, so make sure you’re listening when she does.

3. Ask for help. You might be surprised by all of the creative ideas your friends and family come up with on your behalf. And if all else fails, go to the internet. There is an absolute wealth of information on interesting ways to propose. You’re guaranteed to find at least one that is perfect.

4. Go all out. You don’t need to break the bank when you propose (since you’ll probably need that money for the ring or the wedding), but you should do everything you can to make it a special event since you only plan to do it once. This doesn’t necessarily entail added expense, but it will require you to use your imagination and come up with a plan that is as unique and memorable as the woman you’re proposing to.

5. Practice makes perfect. If you think there’s a good chance you’ll falter once you get to the starting line, practice what you’re going to say. You shouldn’t memorize it word-for-word (you don’t necessarily want it to sound rehearsed), but get down the basic gist of what you want to say before you take a knee.

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Kim Kardashian Moves to NYC: Wedding Bells to Follow?

By now just about everyone is familiar with the vivacious vixens of the Kardashian clan (sisters Kourtney, Khloe, and Kim), but Kim did it first and did it best in the arena of celebrity socialites. It all started with outings with gal-pal heiress Paris Hilton. Then there was a sex tape. And now the bootylicious babe behind the hype has her own reality show. But while she’s ahead of her sisters professionally, she seems to be trailing on the personal front. Khloe married basketball star Lamar Odom back in 2009, and Kourtney may or may not be engaged to longtime boyfriend Scott Disick – she denied it via Twitter, but rumors continue to circulate (like it matters…they already have a baby). So we’re back to Kim, who is currently connected romantically to New Jersey Nets forward Kris Humprhies.

It is rumored (there’s always an anonymous source, isn’t there?) that Kim plans to move to New York City before the basketball season starts in October so that she can remain close to her boyfriend of five months. If there’s any truth to this tale, the next obvious question is: when are we going to see a rock on that perfectly manicured ring-finger? According to another source (sigh…also anonymous) the engagement is imminent, and may even be announced as early as this summer, before she makes the cross-country move. This could be just so much grist for the rumor mill, but let’s not let that stop us from a little idle speculation, such as: what kind of ring is Kim likely to receive from her baller beau?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and wager that she’s sporting something in the neighborhood of 3 carats before summer is out. Flawless, nearly colorless, and prominently displayed are my personal predictions. Why only 3 carats, you ask? Despite Kim’s glamorous life, she is notoriously scant on blingy embellishments, preferring one or two key pieces to loads of accessories. And understated is the only way to describe her selection of accouterments (not that she needs them to dazzle, with her exotic looks and gorgeous bod). However, she is definitely about the quality, so even if the stone is smaller than expected, it’s going to be expensive.

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A Very Long Engagement…Or is it Short? Which is Right for You?

Most people say that one year is an ideal time-frame in which to plan a wedding, but for many couples itching to get hitched, a year is just too long. Still others may feel that twelve months simply isn’t enough time to make all the arrangements and secure the perfect venue. So how do you pick the ideal date once you’ve got the ring on your finger? There’s no simple answer. You’re going to have to take a lot of factors into consideration when you set the date for your nuptials. Here are a few that could make a difference.

1. Availability of bookings. If you’ve got your heart set on a popular venue during wedding season (i.e. the summer months), you could find that trying to book even a year ahead of time presents some difficulties. On the other hand, some flexibility with your choice of vendors could provide you with the dates you need to make your wedding day arrive a lot faster.

2. Availability of guests. The minimum time for guests to make travel arrangements is generally considered to be three months (although it’s standard to send a “save the date” six or more months out to make sure people are prepared). But keep in mind that families with children may not be able to attend if you plan your wedding during the school year, so if you really want your sister to stand in as your matron of honor, but she has three kids of school age, you might have to push out your date to accommodate her.

3. Time for planning. If you’re already weighed down with professional and personal obligations but you’re stuck planning the wedding by yourself (no extra funds for a wedding planner), you may want to make sure to give yourself extra time to get it all done, especially if it’s a destination wedding.

4. Ability to wait. If you’re keen to get married like, yesterday, and your partner is feeling the same way, there’s no reason to wait for a white dress and chapel bells. Head to Vegas and hire an Elvis to read the sermon. Heck, you can even hold the ceremony in a drive-through if you’re in a real hurry.

5. Potential for problems. If your family is not particularly thrilled about the engagement and you suspect they might try to ruin the wedding (based on the fact that they staged an intervention to try to break you up), then maybe you’d rather do the deed before they have a chance to plot against your soon-to-be spouse. It is for these situations that elopements were invented!