Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Why Are Men's Black Wedding Rings Popular?

Black wedding bands are being heralded as a new fashion trend in men’s jewelry, but the truth is they’ve been around quite some time. Greek artisans carved rings from black onyx and Romans made their famous “ring seals” from the same deep black colored stone. Today’s black wedding bands are usually crafted from tungsten carbide or from black titanium, both known to be high quality alloys that hold up well over time.  Some other black rings are made from ceramic or stainless steel.

Why the sudden surge in interest and demand for black wedding bands?  Here are a few ideas about what make the idea of black bands compelling beyond their sleek, sophisticated good looks:

They’re strong. Not only does the color itself signify strength, black titanium bands and those made from tungsten carbide are quite strong and hold up well over the years.  Difficult to scratch or mar, these eye-catching rings look newer, longer.

They’re different.  Let’s face it, black rings are not as common as plain gold bands—or even as silver or white gold. Wearers are infatuated with the uncommon look of black wedding bands and enjoy that the character of the bands seems to be a good match for the unique qualities of their relationships. They can be created in a range of shades, and men especially seem to like the bands for their masculine personality and deep, dark looks.

They’re easy to care for. Tungsten carbide bands are easily cleaned with mild soap, warm water, and a soft cloth by hand. The same method is used to wash a titanium ring, although some manufacturers advise using a glass cleaner after washing with soap and water.  Dry either type of ring with a soft, dry cloth, and it’s ready to be worn again.

They’re durable.  Titanium rings will acquire blemishes and scratches as they are worn, adding to the personality and vintage look of these handsome bands, that are also super lightweight and make for easy wearing.  Tungsten carbide rings are heavier and denser and a lot more difficult to scratch—making them shine long after your vows are said.  Choose which black ring you’ll wear based on the feel and eventual look the finish is certain to have.

They’re hypoallergenic. Black Ceramic and cobalt free tungsten rings removes this problem so that those with sensitive skin can continue to wear their rings in comfort for years.

They’re affordable.  Black rings made from titanium and from tungsten, as well as stainless steel and ceramic rings can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of gold or silver bands, making them a great choice for young couples and those who are budget conscience.  

No matter why you choose a black wedding band—whether it be for its uncommon aesthetic appeal, the low cost, or it’s ability to stand the test of time, you’ll be certain to turn some heads with a handsome dark design of your choice and will love all of the benefits men and women have loved it for since the early days of written history.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How To Handle It If You Accept To Be The Best Man

If you’ve been chosen to be the best man at a wedding, you should be honored.  Beyond the love and respect the groom obviously has for you to ask you to stand up for him on his wedding day, you should realize there are certain very important responsibilities associated with being someone’s best man. You know how to plan a bachelor party, but if you’re not sure where to start with everything else, here are a few musts for any best-man-to-be:

It’s all about wardrobe. As a best man, you will be expected to help the groom choose his tuxedo, along with those of the other groomsmen.  In addition, it’s your responsibility to make sure every man in the wedding party goes to get the tuxedo fitted and picks it up in time for the big event. You will also want to have boutonnieres ready for the groomsmen on the day of the wedding.

Take care of the groomsmen.  Help arrange for accommodations for any man in the wedding party who will have to stay overnight to attend the event, contact the groomsmen to help plan a gift for the groom, and keep a list of names and phone numbers to keep all the other groomsmen on time and on schedule. You are the hub of communication during this event.  Keep your phone on at all times.

Make him look great.  He’s nervous and his mind is anywhere but in the dressing room.  Make sure his tuxedo is on, properly secured, and fits perfectly.  Don’t forget his boutonnière and dust off his shoulders before he makes a grand entrance on his big day.

Take care of the small stuff.  In addition to holding the rings until the ceremony, collect payments from the groom to vendors, the band, the minister, etc. so that you can distribute them appropriately after the event. You may also want to hold onto the marriage license which you will later sign as a witness.

Escort the Maid of Honor.  You’ll walk down the aisle with the bride’s best friend, sister, or roommate. Be a gentleman and enjoy the stroll. Remember, this woman is taking of as many responsibilities as you are for this occasion and she is likely somewhat stressed herself.

Make time to toast.  Plan a speech for the wedding reception that focuses on the groom and his future happiness and keep it tasteful. (Note, traditionally, the best man’s toast takes place after the groom’s father’s toast.) Set the order of and introduce others who attend and would like to make a toast during the reception.
Plan the departure.  Arrange for transportation away from the reception venue for the newlyweds. Now is not the time to exercise your sense of humor. The bridge and groom will appreciate a limousine or another elegant getaway car much more than the groom’s beater decorated with tin cans and shaving cream. Make sure all honeymoon items are packed and ready to go so the couple can make a strategic exit when it’s time.

Of course, it goes without saying that being a best man is a lot of fun and can even be pretty rewarding, so enjoy the ride and know that you’re playing an important roll in a milestone moment for your friend who is about to take center stage.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Knowing What To Say When You're Asked To Be The Best Man

What to say when you’re asked to be his right hand man and you can’t imagine this marriage actually going down…

Whether you’ve known him for years, or he’s a roommate you’ve known not quite a semester, when another guy asks you to be his best man, you need to know what to say—and how to say it… especially if you just can’t say, “Sure, Man, I’d love to.”

There are some points of reluctance for most men.  Remember, the best man usually has to give a speech and is traditionally in charge of the bachelor party—duties you might or might not feel comfortable handling, and while these are surmountable, they are legitimate worries.

Then there’s the possibility that you aren’t behind the marriage from the beginning, a worst possible scenario being that you know it’s not going to last, and the reasons for that could be anything from the bride’s immaturity to your buddy’s philandering ways.  Remember, a wedding is a life-changing event and not an inexpensive one. A marriage ended, however quickly, leaves hard feelings and worse collateral damage in its wake almost every single time.  As much as people talk about amicable divorce, if there is such a thing it’s incredibly rare and no one ever escapes in quite the way they went in.

If you’re faced with having to say, “No,” here are a few pointers:

Be sure this is what you want to say. Declining the invitation to be someone’s best man can have its own consequences, sometimes even leading your friend to wonder about the status of your relationship as bros. If you aren’t sure, take some time to find out why he’s decided to pop the question and further, get to know more about the bride to be from people who aren’t the groom and can give an objective opinion.

Do it now.  Once you’ve made a firm decision, tell him immediately.  He is your friend and deserves time to ask someone else who might be appropriate for the job.  Don’t lead him to believe you’ll be the best man if you’ll end up breaking that promise later.  It’s better to pull off the band-aid quickly and move on.

Tell him why. Your friend has asked you to hold a position of great importance, and while your reasoning may be perfectly solid, he deserves an explanation as to why you’re turning him down.  Explain why you feel the way you feel, that you care about him and want the best, and that no matter what, you will respect his decision and be there for him in the future.  You never know-- giving him specifics now might just save a lot of hurt and heartache in the long run.

Appreciate that doing something that goes against your grain isn’t good for anyone.
Don’t beat yourself up over the decision to say no.  Standing up next to your friend and making a speech to tell the world you support a decision that you don’t isn’t fair to you, to him, or to his bride to be.  Be honest—both with the couple and with yourself—and understand that saying no isn’t the end of anyone’s world.  There will be someone else who is willing to take on the task and you won’t feel as though you’ve supported a relationship you shouldn’t have.

Be there for your buddy, even if you can’t stand up beside him. Tell your friend what he means to you, even if you can’t be the best man.  A good friend will understand your reluctance based on your reasons even if he doesn’t agree with them.

In the end, remember, even if you can’t be the best man, you can be a better man by being honest and open and respectful, as difficult as that will certainly be. Stand your ground, be a good friend, and welcome the new bride for the benefit of your buddy if the marriage does indeed come to fruition. Everyone involved will come out on the other side better for it.