Category: mistakes

7 Tips for Picking an Engagement Ring

Are you (or someone you know) popping the question soon and shopping for an engagement ring? Understandably, it may seem a bit overwhelming at first. After all, there’s so much time, energy, money, and thought that goes into picking the perfect engagement ring. What style does she like? How much should I spend? Where do I start looking? Should I look for custom handmade rings or buy from a large chain? Does she want a diamond or an alternative engagement ring? Today we’re sharing seven tips for picking an engagement ring to help you shop. Read on to find out more…

7 Tips for Picking an Engagement Ring

barbara michelle jacobs

7 Tips for Picking an Engagement Ring

1. Pay attention to the style and shape she likes best.

Besides knowing about the 4 C’s (cut, color, clarity, and carat), it is essential to know what shape stone she likes best. Some examples are pear, marquise, princess, emerald and round, just to name a few.

round engagement ring solitaire via 7 Tips for Picking an Engagement Ring

barbara michelle jacobs

2. Don’t guess on a size.

If you don’t know her ring size and want to find out (without ruining the surprise), use one of these to measure a ring she already loves to wear. Don’t assume the size; it won’t fit.

3. Do your research before you buy.

Avoid shady jewelry stores or pawn shops. Read about jewelry stores online and find out other shoppers’ comments before making a purchase. Find out about financing options, the return policy, and make sure you always get a certificate of authenticity when buying a diamond. Make sure the retailer is GIA-certified. And, make sure the ring comes with a warranty.

white gold engagement ring via 7 Tips for Picking an Engagement Ring

barbara michelle jacobs

4. Ask for her hand in marriage.

Ask her father for permission to marry his daughter. It means the world to her (and her family).

5. Don’t assume a custom ring always means more expensive (or difficult to do).

If she wants a custom ring (or you think a custom design suits her style best), don’t automatically assume it will cost too much. There are some fantastic custom rings in The Marketplace with artisans ready (and excited) to bring your design to fruition. For instance, if you have a family heirloom or vintage diamond you’d like to incorporate, a custom order is a great option. Barbara Michelle Jacobs Jewelry says they love to incorporate vintage diamonds in lieu of a brand new diamond (it’s more eco-friendly) for a custom order. (Find out more about vintage diamonds here.) Here’s an example of a vintage diamond set in a beautiful brand new setting:

vintage diamond in new ring setting via 7 Tips for Picking an Engagement Ring

barbara michelle jacobs

6. Buy what she wants.

It’s her ring and you want her to love it. She is, after all, going to be wearing it every day. Make sure you listen to what she wants and find a ring that suits her unique style and individuality.

7. Don’t become too obsessed with the size or cost.

What can you afford? Chances are you’ll have a certain budget in mind… stick to it. Don’t be pressured to get a certain size diamond or spend a certain amount of money. Love isn’t measured by the size of a diamond or the cost of it. Remember, the point of an engagement ring is the promise you make… and that is the most important part of all.

Now it’s your turn…

What engagement ring tips would you add to our list?

Tell us with a comment below!

Looking for engagement rings? Shop The Marketplace now!


-E.

7 First Dance Mistakes to Avoid

Today we’re talking about the first dance at your wedding, a topic not discussed very often. However, we feel it is an important part of your reception: it is, after all, your first official dance and the song you pick will be your song. So, today we’re sharing seven first dance mistakes to avoid to ensure yours goes off without a hitch. Also, tell us: what song have you picked for your first dance?

First Dance Mistakes to Avoid - cool aerial shot by tony gajate

photo: tony gajate via bridal guide

First Dance Mistakes to Avoid

MISTAKE #1: The Too-Long Song.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: when A & I originally picked our first dance song, it was EIGHT minutes long. Mind you, we were slightly kidding when we mentioned it to our DJ, but thankfully he was totally against it. He (gently) told us to, um, maybe scale back a bit. (Can you really imagine dancing for eight minutes straight?) Me & A’s first dance song was The Other Half of Me by Bobby Darin, one of our all-time favorites. Our Bobby Darin number came in at a sweet two minutes and twenty-nine seconds. And, come to think of it, it was the perfect amount of time. If your song is too long, guests will start to get bored; I mean, you’re really just twirling for minutes on end. They can really only watch for so long. Likewise, if your song is too short, you’ll feel cheated out of the moment. Pick something in-between and it will be just right.

First Dance Mistakes to Avoid (photo: Emily Clack, cute couple first #wedding dance)

photo: emily clack photography | see the real wedding

MISTAKE #2: The Timing.

The first dance is usually held immediately after dinner and ‘kicks off’ the dancing portion of the evening. Don’t wait too long after dinner or guests will be eager to dance and will have to wait.

MISTAKE #3: The Awkwardly Slow Song.

If you and your spouse-to-be aren’t slow dancers, don’t pick a slow song. Instead, pick a song that you feel comfortable dancing to. Also, super-slow songs can be really hard to dance to anyway. Make a list of at least three songs and give them a try before the big day.

MISTAKE #4: Forgetting to practice.

As mentioned in #3, you’ll want to practice your first dance before the big day. It doesn’t have to be a big to-do… just play some music in your living room and dance along to it. You’ll know right away if the song is too fast, too slow, or just right. If you can’t dance, be sure to take dance lessons before the big day.

MISTAKE #5: Forgetting to test the shoes.

And, while you’re at it, be sure to practice in the shoes you’ll be wearing at your wedding. It makes all the difference. If you’re nervous about wearing heels and being able to dance, bring along a pair of flats.

7 First Dance Mistakes to Avoid (photo: debi parker)

photo: debi parker | see the real wedding

MISTAKE #6: Not reading over the lyrics.

Before you finalize your song, read over the lyrics carefully. There are so many songs I’ve heard that people think are perfect for a first dance, but once you really read the lyrics it turns out the song isn’t romantic at all! Do your homework first just in case.

MISTAKE #7: Trying too hard.

Don’t try so hard! Just relax, focus on your spouse, and enjoy the moment in the spotlight.

– – –

Don’t Forget to Commemorate It

Once your first dance song becomes ‘your song’, you should commemorate it. A piece of art for your home is one such idea. For instance, you can have one of your favorite wedding photos turned into a canvas with the song lyrics in the background. We love these! (By Geezees).

First Dance Lyrics on Canvas (by Geezees)First Dance Lyrics on Canvas (by Geezees)

geezees

So, tell us: what’s your first dance song?

xo,
-E.

Do you have any first dance mistakes to add to the list?

7 Wedding Shoe Mistakes to Avoid

There are plenty of to-do’s on your wedding list, but your wedding shoes can make or break your day. If you pick a pair of wedding shoes that’s uncomfortable, unflattering, or downright painful, you’ll be sorry you did. But, if you take a few of these wedding shoe tips to heart you’ll keep you feet happy, accentuate your style, and you’ll be able to dance the night away. Read on to find out which seven wedding shoe mistakes you should avoid PLUS find out which three must-have shoe accessories you’ll want need for your wedding. But first… here are the wedding shoes I wore for Me & A’s wedding. They have a little bit of a vintage feel and I loved how simple yet elegant they were. I love the knotted detail and these were insanely comfortable. Plus, they don’t have too high of a heel (I was so nervous about tripping down the aisle). They do sit in a shoe box in my closet because I can’t bare to wear them and ruin them, but I think I’ll make an exception for our anniversary this year. :)

Anatomy of My Wedding Shoe via EmmalineBride.com - 7 Wedding Shoe Mistakes to Avoid

Sadly, though, all of my web searches of this shoe resulted in ‘out of stock’. Sad face. Ah, well… onto the list!

Wedding Shoe Mistakes to Avoid

Wedding Shoe Mistakes: #1 – Forgetting to break in your shoes before the wedding.

The last thing you want is to wobble down the aisle or deal with blisters on the best day of your life. Once you buy your wedding shoes, break ‘em in. Shoes feel a little tight? Try this and wear your shoes under your desk at work to break them in before the big day.

Wedding Shoe Mistakes: #2 – Wearing the wrong wedding shoes for you.

White wedding shoes are not a requirement. Bright pops of color are in – and I give them bonus points for being re-wearable after the wedding day. Also, heels aren’t your only option. If you don’t like heels or never wear them, skip em: first, you don’t want to trip in them. Second, you won’t feel comfortable in them if you’re not used to the added height. And, third, you should stay true to your own personal style. A certain style of shoe isn’t set in stone: it’s more important to be yourself and feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. Would you rather wear sandals, cowboy boots, sneakers, or go barefoot? Do it!

Wedding Shoe Tips: Aqua Wedding Flats (photo by feuza reis)

aqua flats. why not?! | photo by feuza reis | see the real wedding

Wedding Shoe Mistakes: #3 – Not having these three key shoe accessories.

Three things I’d recommend for your shoes on the wedding day: 1) these for the back of your foot, 2) these to keep your heels from slipping, and 3) these to keep you from slipping. You may also want to pick up a pair of these (they fold and fit in your purse!) for the ride home.

Wedding Shoe Tips: Purple Heels (photo by rachael schirano)

purple wedding heels? bring it on. | photo by rachael schirano | see the full real wedding

Wedding Shoe Mistakes: #4 – Not shopping around.

Wedding shoes can be downright expensive! Besides, if your dress is so long that it hides your feet anyway, don’t spend a fortune on something hardly anyone will even see. When you do find the perfect pair, shop around to get the best price. If ordering online, make sure the company has a great return policy (I’ve ordered from Zappos and they have a wonderful return policy in case they don’t fit). And, be on the lookout for coupon codes you can apply to your online order (try RetailMeNot.com as one resource). If shopping in person, bring a coupon (DSW sometimes sends them if you’re on their mailing list) so you can save a little extra money. And, bring those shoes to your dress fitting! (See more on this in #7.)

Wedding Shoe Mistakes: #5 – Forgetting a spare pair.

Stuff happens: heels break, your shoes can make your feet hurt, or you may want heels for photos but sandals for dancing. In any case, bring a spare pair of shoes just in case.

Wedding Shoe Mistakes: #6 – Skipping the pedicure.

Whether you go to a spa or DIY at home, get a pedicure! I think a pedicure is not only a luxury you deserve for your wedding day, but a must if you’re going barefoot, wearing sandals, wearing peep-toe heels, or even if you’re wearing closed-toe (you’ll still want your feet to look nice for the beach on your honeymoon).

Wedding Shoe Ideas: Sandals with Blue Brooch (photo by izzy hudgins)

add something blue with a brooch clip! smart + snazzy. | photo by izzy hudgins photography | see the real wedding

Wedding Shoe Mistakes: #7 – Wearing the wrong wedding shoes for your dress.

It is best to buy your wedding shoes before your dress fittings. The shoes you choose will play a large part in your overall look. If you want to wear flip flops or go barefoot, you’ll want your dress to be long enough to cover your feet. If you want to wear heels, you’ll want to make sure your dress is lengthened to allow for the extra height so it’s not too short; and, the same goes for wearing flats. You don’t want your dress to drag on the floor.

Wedding Shoes: Red Heels (photo by BG Productions)

red? don’t mind it i do! | photo by bg productions | see the real wedding

Go Handmade!

If you want a pair of wedding shoes that are custom-detailed just for you, check out Walkin’ On Air. They have an awesome collection (and plenty of something blue!)

Blue Wedding Shoe (by Walkin on Air)

shoes by walkin on air

White Wedding Shoe (by Walkin on Air)

shoes by walkin on air

Wedding Shoe with Lace (by Walkin on Air)

shoes by walkin on air

Another great shop is Paris XOX with custom embellishments added to heels – shoes can even be hand-dyed in a variety of colors in their studio.

Wedding Shoe Tips: handmade heels by Paris XOX

shoes by paris xox

Wedding Shoe Tips: Peacock Heels by Paris XOX

shoes by paris xox

Wedding Shoe Clips by Paris XOX

shoes by paris xox

And, last but not least, check out these handmade (vegan!) wedding flats by Hydra Heart. They look oh-so-comfortable.

Wedding Shoe Ideas: White Ballet Flats by Hydra Heart

shoes by hydraheart

So, to recap the most important points: wear the wedding shoes that are best for you, be true to your style, be comfortable, and have a few emergency shoe accessories just in case!

Happy Planning!


-E.


What would you add to the list? What kind of wedding shoes will you (or did you) wear? Share the link to your favorite pair or describe them below!

7 Wedding Favor Mistakes to Avoid

True or false: the best wedding favors are those that are planned in advance. True! Favors have become customary to give at weddings for good reason: guests celebrate + support you on the biggest day of your life. So, it’s only appropriate to give a token of your appreciation on the day of your wedding. But did you know that some couples make simple favor mistakes that can cause these charming gifts to be missed or left at tables altogether? Today, we’re sharing a few wedding favor mistakes to avoid to ensure your favors rock your wedding. Read on to find out what we’ve uncovered…

wedding favor mistakes

by poppy & pearl co.

Wedding Favor Mistakes

Avoid these common wedding favor mistakes:

Wedding Favor Mistakes #1: The Throwaway Favor

Favors can be pricey, particularly when you have a large guest list. However, don’t fall victim of buying a cheap favor for the sake of having something. A cheap favor that guests will never use, keep, or remember isn’t worth a penny. Instead, make something at home that’s inexpensive – yet heartfelt – like a batch of sugar cookies. Place one cookie in a brown paper bag and a decorative stamp. Easy? Yes. Better and cheaper than store-bought? You betcha.

Wedding Favor Mistakes #2: Lack of Meaning

Even the simplest favor can mean something. Use your wedding favor to tell guests something about your unique story. For instance, say you met at a coffee shop in college and bonded over your favorite mocha blend. A wedding favor you may wish to give would be a small favor bag filled with whole coffee beans. This favor is not simply a bag of coffee: it’s a sweet sentiment and ode to your story.

wedding coffee favors

by apropos roasters

Wedding Favor Mistakes #3: Poorly Packaged

The simplest favor can be wedding-ready in no time with proper packaging. Similarly, a more elaborate favor can lose its luster with poor wrapping or none altogether. If you’re giving a favor that’s store-bought, put your own personalized spin on it by adding a little handmade charm. Rip off that individual plastic wrapping, tear away the generic ‘thank you’ tag, and add your own ribbon, wedding tag, or label to make it your own. As an example, consider a handmade tag like these by Dondalee’s which can include a fun stamp that ties into your decor…

wedding favor tags
wedding favor tags

… or add a cute chalkboard label by Design Circus

wedding chalkboard labels

… or even a personalized stamp, like this one by Paper Sushi…”

personalized wedding stamp

by paper sushi

Wedding Favor Mistakes #4: The Complicated DIY Favor

Okay, Pinterest addicts: you, like me, ooh and aah over the clever DIY ideas and trendy gifts you’re determined to make as wedding favors, right? But, there truth is that unless one has a DIY-driven team of dedicated ribbon-tiers, pie-bakers, or blue mason jar acquirers crafting 100+ favors around the clock, you may want to keep the favor DIY to a minimum. Find one that is easy-to-complete well ahead of time, is affordable, the supplies are easy to acquire, and the project won’t drive you batty before the big day. Stress = no fun for anyone, especially the bride. I’ve heard horror stories of brides losing steam before the big day and stayed up tying bows or baking pies in jars right before the wedding because it sounded like a good idea at the time. Keep your sanity and select your DIY wisely./p>

Wedding Favor Mistakes #5: The Confusing Favor

This is one of my favorites because it can happen easily without you even realizing it… don’t make guests guess what the favor is. For instance, if giving a jar filled with cookie mix as a favor, include a label with the ingredients (particularly for allergies) along with the directions on how to make the cookies. Make sure the jar is well sealed and preserved and store in a cool, dry place until the wedding day. Similarly, if you’re giving a gift that’s edible, include a label and a utensil. You’d be surprised how many guests look at tiny treats with a puzzled look because they’re not sure what’s in it, they aren’t sure when to eat it (before? after? take to-go?), and they have no utensils to use. Make it simple for guests and spell it out.

wedding favor bag

by clementine weddings

Wedding Favor Mistakes #6: The Limited Supply Favor

Sometimes, a guest may show up unexpectedly, when he or she never sent in an RSVP. Or, Great Aunt Martha wants to take home an extra favor to show to her friends at Bingo. With your favors being pre-planned and totally kick-you-know-what, expect that a few guests may want to steal borrow a few extra favors just in case. So, have a few added into the rotation (and don’t forget about one for you and your groom – you’d be surprised how many couples skip themselves or forget to grab one as a keepsake).

wedding favor jam

by sweet caroline jams

Wedding Favor Mistakes #7: The Forgotten Favor

One awesome idea is to give away favors that can be used during your wedding by guests and taken home as a favor. One example is a mason jar drinking glass, which the guest can write his or her name on (with a simple tag + marker or chalkboard paint + chalk, pre-made) and use to fill up with drinks throughout the night. The caveat: make sure guests know to take them home as favors. Otherwise, you’ll have 100+ mason jars left over after the party to pack up and find a place to store AND guests will totally miss that you even offered a favor. One way to combat this is with a sign placed clearly at the drink table with instructions for guests.

* * *

Join the discussion:

Fill in the blank: “I’m giving away ___________ as my wedding favor!” (Share below)


-E.