Category: how to

How To: Buying Engagement Ring on Etsy / Online

Are you thinking about buying an engagement ring online? Here’s what you need to know to do it right. Be sure to read the post below (and get on the list to stay in the loop).

Hi, loves! We’re curious: are you considering buying an engagement ring on Etsy, Big Cartel, Artfire, Amazon, or another retailer with an independent owner? Or, should you buy in-store because you are not sure that buying online is a good idea? Well, here’s the honest truth: buying an engagement ring online is just as good as in-store, as long as you take a few precautions. Since we’re The Handmade Wedding Blog, we’ve had the honor to work with handmade artisans on a regular basis, as well as couples on the search for handmade everything for their wedding — right down to the perfect engagement ring.

pear moissanite ring | via How To:  Buying Engagement Ring on Etsy / Online

by andrea bonelli

And along the way, we’ve learned how awesome it is to work with handmade artists. Plus, they offer so many custom options you’ll never find in-store (like band width, settings, diamond shape, size, pricing, style… just to name a few). You get to speak directly to the maker of the ring. And your ring is made, just for you (or your soon-to-be spouse). We think that’s pretty incredible.

So, if you’re looking for the perfect engagement ring online, don’t let fear get in the way. Instead, read these important tips so you can buy with confidence. Oh, and be sure to get the proposal on camera because we love when couples do that.

proposal on camera
photo: jaclyn l photography

Ready to get started? Here are the top tips, along with a few of our favorite handmade engagement rings. And we want to know… would you buy a ring from Etsy / online? Why or why not?

eco friendly handmade engagement ring via How To:  Buying Engagement Ring on Etsy / Online

by andrea bonelli

diamond ring | How To:  Buying Engagement Ring on Etsy / Online

by lily emme jewelry

Buying Engagement Ring on Etsy / Online

1. Read reviews.

When you are buying an engagement ring on Etsy or online, make sure you read PLENTY of reviews before you buy. An engagement ring is too important of a jewelry piece to leave to chance, so make sure others have dealt with the seller and have positive reviews.

2. Do your homework.

It’s great to see positive reviews, but make sure you look a little bit further. For instance, when you see five star reviews, read into it and see how many sales, how long the seller has been in business, and whether the reviews are legit. Some companies will have a 100% rating, but only three or less reviews in a short period of time (which leads us to believe the reviews could be fabricated). Look at the timestamps on the reviews, too. Many companies that are reputable won’t open a shop and have a ton of sales with 5-star reviews within days. You get the idea.

3. Check out their certifications.

A reputable jeweler will mention GIA certifications, what types of metals they use, gemstones, diamonds, etc. This is very important, since you’re most likely purchasing a diamond ring, since you don’t want to buy a faux diamond.

4. Get in touch with the seller first.

If you have any questions on particular pieces, custom designs, or need a rush order, make sure you get in touch with the seller directly. If you go to their ‘About’ page, or ‘Contact’ page, you can usually find an email address or phone number to speak with someone. Before you order anything, talk to the seller first.

5. Make sure you take accurate measurements.

Use a ring sizer to get an accurate size. (If you’re reading this and plan to propose as a surprise, use one of her rings with the ring sizer. It’s a sneaky way to get the right size without ruining the surprise.)

6. Find out about return policy / warranty.

Always read the fine print.

7. Save all of your paperwork and communication.

You may need to refer to warranty information, exchange information, or certification details in the future, so make sure you save those emails and statements.

Engagement Rings to Inspire You

Now that you know some tips to buying an engagement ring online, here are some beautiful options we’ve found!

sparkly round engagement ring

by jamie kates jewelry

custom handmade engagement ring

by andrea bonelli

white sapphire engagement

by alchemy house

petite engagement ring
by torchfire studio

rose cut diamond ring

by andrea bonelli

by andrea bonelli

rose gold princess cut
by jamie kates jewelry

by elizabeth scott botanical jewelry

diamond engagement ring rustic twig

by kristin coffin

P.S. See, when it comes to ordering custom rings, you’re not limited to traditional engagement rings alone. Since you can work one-on-one with the artist, you can custom create your perfect ring. It doesn’t even have to be a diamond, if you don’t want it to be. For instance, check out this topaz ring. It’s stunning, yes?

topaz ring

by andrea bonelli

xo
-E.

Fake Wedding Cakes That Actually Look Real

Are you wondering if fake wedding cakes can really look the part? In this post, you’ll find out and see if a fake cake is the right choice for you. Subscribe so you don’t miss future cake-inspired posts like this one!

Are you a bride who loves cake, but you loathe the idea of spending hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on a wedding cake? Do you have a specific vision in mind, but you think it would be too complicated or too expensive? Or perhaps you’re planning a summer wedding and you don’t want to worry about your cake standing the humid, hotter-than-hot temps outdoors. If you said yes to any of these, one of these fake wedding cakes might be the right choice for you.

fake wedding cakes | via http://emmalinebride.com/reception/fake-wedding-cakes-look-real/

glam fete by bri

What are faux wedding cakes?

A fake wedding cake is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a display that is made entirely of Styrofoam and gumpaste, fabric, or fondant. It is designed to look like a real cake.

Can You Still Do a Cake Cutting?

Yes! Many fake wedding cakes are designed to have a ‘slice’ removed, so it looks more realistic. Or, we’ve seen some cakes that are three tiered, with the top being the only ‘real’ cake (the bottom two are dummies). You can have a small one-tiered cake made just for you and set it aside. It’s not exactly the same, but you get the idea.

Will Anyone Know the Difference?

Probably not. I mean, it’s not like anyone is going to actually go up and touch it. In fact, many guests totally miss the cake at the beginning of the reception anyway, and the cake cutting happens almost immediately (right before dinner). And many times, a couple will have a really gorgeous wedding cake, but it’s not big enough to feed everyone. That’s because there are sheet cakes in the kitchen, and your caterers will be serving cake to guests from the sheet cake anyway. So, who will know?

How Are They Used?

Fake wedding cakes (also known as faux cakes or dummy cakes) have been used for years in photo shoots, but couples are using them at their reception, too. These cakes will stand up through any weather, any amount of time, and you don’t have to worry about keeping it covered or away from bugs and direct sunlight.


Fake Wedding Cakes: 12 Realistic Examples

Now that you know more about what fake wedding cakes are, we can show you the pretties that we found! Now, not all fake wedding cakes are created equally, so if you’re going to pick one be careful. You’ll want to pick one that actually looks real so it wont look hokey or cheap. On our quest, we found some of the prettiest fake wedding cakes that ever existed! These look real… but they’re totally faux.


left, right: glam fete by bri

left: glam fete by bri | right: owlishnesses


left: glam fete by bri | right: sugar on top sugar art


left, right: sugar on top sugar art


left: glam fete by bri | right: sugar on top sugar art


left: sugar on top sugar art | right: glam fete by bri

Would you pick a fake wedding cake instead of a real one? Why or why not?

xo
-E.

7 Tips for Buying a Wedding Dress Online (PHOTOS)

Buying a wedding dress online? Don’t miss this post! We’re outlining seven of the most important tips to ensure you buy your dream dress safely. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss advice-packed posts like these!

bride wearing dress with boots
by joan shum, photo: kim hayes photography

Hi, gorgeous! Emma here and if you’re thinking about buying a wedding dress online, you’re not alone! I mean, you’re obviously part of the modern age and you just don’t have time to be running around from bridal store to bridal store. We get it. We really do. It’s amazing how easy it is to buy anything online. This is coming from the girl who orders this in bulk online (and I’m not even embarrassed to admit it because it is so convenient). I buy amazing socks like these that fit flats like whoa. I stock up on k-cups so I don’t ever have a coffee outage. I buy things online and then I’m excited when it comes to my door like it’s Christmas morning.

But anyway, this isn’t about me. This is about you. And shopping online for your wedding has never been easier, what with our Marketplace filled to the brim with handmade finds and with shops on Etsy with emerging new wedding dress designers. Plus, every designer offers galleries of their newest gowns, so you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your yoga pants and favorite couch cushion to find your dream dress.

gibson bespoke

silk charmeuse wedding dress bohemian | via http://emmalinebride.com/bride/buying-wedding-dress-online/

gibson bespoke

Before you say yes to the dress, we want to give you a few pointers to keep in mind. Here’s what you need to know about buying a wedding dress online so you stay safe AND you get exactly what you want. Feel free to ask questions at the end of this post, too — we have a Facebook comment form built-in so you don’t even have to log in (we know you’re already logged in to Facebook at work, you sneaky little bride, you. We won’t tell.) We’re also sharing some fantastic wedding gowns we know you’ll obsess over as much as we do. Who knows? Maybe one of these will be The Dress. Enjoy!

If you’re reading this on the homepage, click ‘continue reading’ below to see the full article.

by pure magnolia couture

by jillian fellers, photo, left: hooton images

wedding dress handmade long ivory sleeveless
by apilat creative atelie

Buying Wedding Dress Online? Read These 7 Tips First

1. Read reviews.

Read reviews first! It’s always helpful to do your homework. Places like Etsy offer reviews right inside a designer’s shop, so you can see first-hand what real brides have to say. You can also see reviews on Weddingwire, Ebay, Amazon, etc. Also, if you see a negative review out of many positives, don’t let it necessarily deter you: read the review and consider whether there was a simple communication error or perhaps a misunderstanding. If a majority of the reviews are glowing, it’s probably a safe place to buy.

bohemian wedding dress with bow on back | via http://emmalinebride.com/bride/buying-wedding-dress-online/

gibson bespoke

leanimal

solitary pearl

left to right
1 – pure magnolia couture
2 – claire lafaye
3 – pure magnolia couture
4 – joan shum

2. Don’t cut corners.

One of the biggest mistakes brides make when buying a wedding dress online is trying to save money by cutting corners. Don’t cut corners, especially when it comes to your wedding dress. For instance, if you find a gorgeous gown out of your budget, don’t seek a vendor who will copy the style and make it for you. It’s not just because we think that’s wrong, but also because the result is almost NEVER what you expect. Plus, the designer who made the dress you love is an expert. You can’t just copy expertise. We’ve heard some horror stories and you know what? Many brides end up spending more money in the process (you know, like having to spend more money to scramble and find a new dress weeks before the wedding because theirs never arrived or was completely wrong? Yes, that’s (unfortunately) a true story from a bride.)

If the dress you found is completely out of your budget (as in, totally unattainable), do this instead: figure out what makes it the dream dress to you. Is it the flowy chiffon fabric? The sweetheart neckline? The way the back has lace appliques? Once you identify what about the dress makes it a dream come true, you’ll be able to search for other dresses that have a similar feature that might be more within your reach.

lace bohemian wedding gown | photo: kirsty-lyn jameson | via http://emmalinebride.com/bride/buying-wedding-dress-online/

gibson bespoke, photos: kirsty-lyn jameson

vneck wedding dress with black sash | via http://emmalinebride.com/bride/buying-wedding-dress-online/

by barzelai

3. Don’t buy the first wedding dress you see.

It’s tempting, I know! You’ve found the perfect dress and it’s only a quick click away. Instead, sleep on it. You might wake up tomorrow and think, what was I thinking? Or, you might wake up and decide to go ahead, at which case, congrats — that sure was fast!

4. Order well in advance.

If you’re ordering a handmade wedding dress, make sure you check the designer’s schedule to make sure you’ll have your wedding dress at least three months before the big day. This will ensure your dress will be ready for your big day, even if shipping takes forever or your dress isn’t completed on time. You’ll need to have it professionally fitted, too, and seamstresses have busy schedules, too. You will also enjoy the extra time to try on veils with your dress (to pick the perfect style), as well as any accessories (i.e. a sash, wrap, your jewelry, or shoes).

leanimal