Sunday, October 30, 2016

So you are what?! Kicking off your engagement with top tips and tricks

The ring has been selected, the question has been popped, and now, there are a lot of important decisions involving other people to address. Announcements, parties, questions about the ring, the engagements, the plans, all of the wedding details, and new future in-laws to work with. In order to keep your sanity and to keep from any avoidable faux-pas, here are the top tips to consider in starting the sweetest time of your engagement!
Making The Announcement
Announcing your engagement is an exciting occasion for you and your partner, but it can get you into some hot water if you do not think to tell certain people first. In this age of social media, it's easy to get excited and post an announcement or photo the moment the big occasion happens! Please, consider taking some time to enjoy the moment and share it with those who matter most first.  Of course, if you have children, they need to be told personally about your engagement decision. Speak to them in private so that you can answer any questions they may have. Encourage them to talk to you honestly and openly about their feelings, and reassure them (depending on their ages) that they are always your number one priority. Otherwise, you should consider going to both sets of parents and sharing the exciting news in person if at all possible. It is not usually best for your mother or father to find out about your engagement on social media, especially if you are counting on them contributing to the wedding fund. Telling them can be a longer process if there are divorces involved, but be sure to tell all sets of parents at the same time as closely as possible. The rest of your family should follow closely behind your parents, especially those who might not be on social media, such as grandparents. Then you can spread the news to your extended family, best friends, and all of the people closest to you and your fiancé. Your public announcement via social media and/or newspaper should be the last way to announce your big day after those close to you have had the privilege of finding out first. There will be the possibility of someone purposely or accidently posting before you on social media and spoiling the surprise, so you can be upfront with your family about their special early news, but let it be known that you would like them to keep it under wraps until you choose to publicly announce. 
Important First Decisions
In order for all your planning to go smoothly, you will need to get some major details in order first; before you work on the smaller sidebar details. Usually, the first detail is your wedding date. While it is up to your and your partner to choose the date that suits you best, as a courtesy you should check with your immediate family to be sure the date does not conflict with other big events such as graduations. Along these same lines, something you will want to consider early is your location. Do you want to be closer to family or closer to your current living location if is not the same? Do you want to have a destination wedding or get married in your family’s home church? There are many location details that should be figured out rather quickly so the people you invite can make appropriate plans such as saving for vacation days or purchasing airfare. Venue will impact pretty much all the rest of the details, so pick early if you are wanting an outside or inside wedding, church or wedding venue, etc... Once you have your date, location, and venue, you should choose your bridal party. Close friends and family will want to be there to stand up for you and represent you on your big day. Next, you’ll need to decide on your theme, to go with your venue. You can choose from a casual wedding, a traditional formal wedding, a farm theme, or whatever you heart desires. This day should be about you, and you should have the theme picked out before you delve into attire, décor, or reception food. After you’ve chosen your theme, make sure you lock in your caterer, then start with your colors and go straight into your bridesmaids’ attire, groomsmen’s attire, and one of your biggest decisions: your dress! Details that can wait just a bit might include your cake, your DJ or band, and your honeymoon location.

Engagement Party
Once you have announced your big news to everyone, your friends might start to talk about an engagement party. The best time to have it is between eight weeks and four months after you’ve gotten engaged. This will give you time to start planning major details, that everyone at the party will ask you about and allow you to start a registry. Keep in mind that most engagement party guests will assume that they will be invited to the wedding, so check the invitation list beforehand. If you have chosen to have a smaller wedding, be sure to let your friends know this in advance. If your engagement party is your opportunity to have both your parents get to know each other, then a loud celebration with tons of friends may not be the best idea. People are starting to bring gifts for the happy couple to engagement parties, so it may be necessary to start registering for your smaller gift items before your engagement party. Wait to unwrap these gifts, in case some guests did not bring anything. Normally, the engagement party is not the time to open gifts, but the time to share the story of how you met and how you plan to start your life together. It is time to celebrate, but keep in mind that this isn’t your biggest affair to throw. Let your friends enjoying planning this day and sit back to enjoy, as you'll have bigger parties to throw coming your way soon. 
Introducing the In-Laws
If both sets of parents don’t already know each other, then the engagement party is a great time to have them meet. If that isn’t doable, or if you’d rather have a huge (loud) party now and then introduce them later, then you’ll need to have a special event just for the parents. A great idea for this is to have a meal together. Set up reservations at a great restaurant that isn’t loud, so that you can talk easily to get to know each other. If this isn’t an option, have a home-cooked meal together one Saturday afternoon so that you’ll have time to sit and chat afterward. Plan to really get to know your in-laws, and have your parents get to know them well, too. Talk about wedding plans, funny stories, desires for the big day, and plans for afterward as well. Use this time to start to flush out expectations and gently lay out your plans for the big day to avoid any other expectations being laid on you. 
Avoiding Oversharing 
Please remember that as much as your friends are happy for you and are excited for your big day to arrive, it is not their wedding, and they may not want to hear or talk about it nonstop for six months straight. It is OK to talk about your exciting plans, but don’t let them be the focus of every girls’ night out or every work lunch at work. As far as showing off your ring, it is customary to announce your engagement with a picture of your ring. Engagement shoots that feature the ring are also common and fun. However, discussing where it was purchased or the size and price should be avoided unless asked. When posting a picture of the ring (plus you and your partner,) be sure to thank every well-wisher on social media. Wedding details also should not be handled at work, taking calls from vendors and calling your mom with color ideas all day will not go over well with your co-workers, be sure to use lunch, breaks, or after work to do the heavy lifting of your planning. 

Uh-Oh… You Hate the Ring
There are a few things to consider in this situation. Some brides-to-be tell their significant others that they want to be surprised, so their intended has to pick out the ring on their own. If this is the case, then you will have to be prepared for receiving something that you wouldn’t have picked out yourself. The romantic idea of your partner picking the perfect ring, is very much subjective. There are a ton of factors to consider in picking a ring and if your partner is faced with this on their own, they will go with their best guess, which might not be your favorite. You will have to decide if you will like to keep the one your partner picked because it was their decision or if you will exchange it for one of your tastes. If you just can’t bring yourself to keep the ring, then there are a few things to do. First, with respect and tact, let them know how you feel about the ring and be sensitive to their feelings. Let them know that you don’t see yourself wearing that style, but really appreciate the thought and effort they put into picking it. Suggest that you both go together to pick another ring out. If you look at it as a partnership, maybe they will be more inclined to look for something that suits your tastes. Remind them that they spent a lot of money, and it would be a shame if it were on something that you didn’t care for. If you can’t bring yourself to say anything, then you can set your mind to appreciate the work they put into selecting the ring and try to see what they saw in it that made them think of you. Remember that you aren’t in it for the ring: You’re in it for the person and for the relationship that the ring represents. If the ring is a family heirloom, then it would be very difficult (and possibly insulting to their family) to complain about the ring. If you feel strongly about a ring style, then this would be a conversation that would be best to have prior to having the question popped. 
Etiquette with Questions
With social media, there are not many things that are kept private. Unfortunately, many people feel it is acceptable to ask questions that are downright rude. In this case, be prepared to respond to any impolite questions with a deflecting answer. If the amount of money spent comes up, be sure to come back with how cherished the ring is and how meaningful it is that this person asked you to be their partner. Always remember that it is the thought that truly counts.
Asking about being in your wedding party can also be an embarrassing situation. Honestly, it is always best for the bride to ask instead of someone eagerly asking her to be in her bridal party. This could risk making the relationship, and subsequent answer, awkward. The bride should clearly ask and communicate who she would like to be in her bridal party and her friends should wait to be asked and not bring up the topic unannounced. There are lots of situations where the bride might not have a lot of flexibility in how many or who she has in her bridal party and friends and family should respect her decision. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

5 BEST Fall Honeymoon Destinations...Plus 1 BONUS Idea!

If you and your spouse love to get decked out in comfortable sweaters, pants, and boots at the primary indication of fall. If you cherish the hues, the scents, the temperatures, and the pumpkin everything products. Then Fall is an excellent time of year for you to get hitched, and as a bonus it makes a fantastic honeymoon opportunity. You can go anyplace to do practically anything and appreciate the first married days with your new life partner.

Amusement Parks 

It is a dependable fact that mid-year is the season of the year when the amusement parks are stuffed to the brim. Fortunately, if you have the luxury of traveling without children then you are free from the summer rush and may have a more pleasant time with the reduced crowds. Stroll through the rides and events, enjoy quicker service, and quieter hotels. While there might some children, the crowds will be much less burdensome than the summer months The bigger amusement parks have a considerable incentive to offer the couple special deals on honeymoon suites, meals, and spa packages. On the off chance that you two like having a ton of fun and both of you are adrenaline junkies, this is an awesome choice for your special night. One final bonus is the cooler weather will make standing in line more tolerable and the evenings more romantic as you snuggle up together!

The Northeast 

Many people are deeply moved when encountering the panorama of a Northeast fall forest color palate. The most extraordinary place to see this magnificent show of Mother Nature is in the Northeast. Leaf-sighting tours, trail climbs, and crisp apple orchards offering fresh juice are only a couple of the easily planned details to anticipate when going by the Northeast. There are numerous little towns that have extraordinary shopping and romantic B&Bs, and additionally, there are some amazing bigger urban communities that contain incredible resorts, concerts, and exhibition halls. Numerous nearby homesteads offer pick-your-own farms or fresh maple syrup. The mountains and slopes offer some extraordinary open air climbs and touring vistas. Do not miss out on visiting this part of the USA that shines in the Fall and letting them romance you while you enjoy your honeymoon.

Wineries and Vineyards 

For those who enjoy a great bottle of wine together, the best time for you to plan vineyard tours is actually in the fall. There are countless wine samplings and grape-stepping exercises this time of year. You and your spouse can enjoy strolling through wine country, sharing a bottle of top quality wine, and indulging in beautiful west coast valleys. You will learn in depth more about how the grapes are selected and grown, and furthermore, how wine is made. Specifically, Napa Valley is the pinnacle of wine country and offers excellent views and access to nearby gourmet culinary treats. There are incredible experiences on offer there, including hot-air balloon rides, vineyard visits, spa excursions and fine dining. This is a great option for two newlyweds to experience together, especially after the craziness of wedding planning and the wedding itself. Unwind and relax on the West Coast while still enjoying warmer weather and pleasantly cool evenings.

The Far Far North 

The last wilderness, Alaska, is an extraordinary place to plan to spend your honeymoon and fall offers a fantastic time of year to enjoy this far north state. An odd yet awesome action is to appreciate the Northern Lights. Going by the real urban communities, similar to Anchorage and Fairbanks, can be pleasant, yet to see characteristic marvels, look at Denali National Park. The temperatures have a tendency to be direct and as a rule remain in the 50s for a large portion of the day. Amid September, the days get shorter, so there is the expanding haziness to recall, however that just makes the evenings longer (wink, wink)! Most lodgings offer Northern Lights bundles and still have great housing, as well. Every city in the state offers some awesome exercises also, and the perspectives of the mountains aren't terrible, either.

Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao 

In the event that you and your partner are simply are not yet ready to embrace cooler weather and would like to extend your summer as long as possible, then consider visiting the "ABC" islands of the Caribbean for your sweet post-wedding trip. The weather is outstanding for being flawless all times of the year, including the fall. On the off chance that you want to get away or avoid from the cooler temps, this is the special honeymoon trip for you. Because these islands are excluded from the storm belt, you won't need to stress over hurricanes. These islands have wonderful clear waters, soft sandy shorelines, and extraordinary snorkeling on the coral reef. Enjoy the superb marine life, lively nightlife, and relaxing beach life on these island paradise retreats.

BONUS Europe 

Everybody cherishes Paris in the springtime, it is the stuff of songs, stories, and romances. So what can be superior to that? Paris in the fall! It is not as crowded and rather reasonable for the couple who desires to go abroad. The radiant sights, the historical centers, the patio nurseries, the streetside cafes, the way of life, the nourishment, the wine, and the beautiful language are incredible. Be that as it may, there are many other great places in Europe to visit on your honeymoon trip, including London, Ireland, Athens, Rome, Venice, or Barcelona. Fall may just be the perfect time of year for love birds to tour to their hearts content. You will avoid the closures that accompany Europe in August, the heat the southern countries experience, and the throngs of tourists. You and your partner will still enjoy temperate weather, romantic views, fun festivals, and affordable accommodations. Feel free to explore traveling across the Atlantic for your honeymoon and you will not regret it!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tungsten - One of the toughest metals - Why might it break?

One of the most frustrating things is to order something claiming to be the toughest metal on earth, and have the ring crack when you drop it on the kitchen tiles. Why does this happen? Is it a poor quality ring? Not necessarily. Tungsten rings can crack or break because the harder a material is, the more brittle it becomes. There is no give in the metal, no space for the metal to bend a little. Tungsten rings are made from one of the hardest metal known to man, it is true. They are nearly impossible to dent, scratch, or bend. However, Tungsten rings can shatter when enough force is applied to them because instead of bending like a softer metal like gold does, tungsten has to break.
Tungsten Rings have now become the metal of choice for many  grooms across America. One of the main reasons men choose tungsten carbide rings is because they are touted as the toughest metal in the world. They resist scratching much better than any other metal out in the marketplace. Many people take this to mean the rings are indestructible. So when a tungsten ring is dropped on a hard surface and it breaks or cracks, they are surprised.
Reputable jewelers who sell tungsten wedding bands will never tell you tungsten rings can’t break or are indestructible. There are similar examples, diamonds are the hardest material on Earth, even harder than tungsten. Nothing can scratch a diamond except another diamond. Many people think this means diamonds are indestructible, but that is not true. Diamonds cannot be scratched, but they can be broken. If you take a hammer to a diamond, it will chip or crack.
Gold is a softer metal and it will bend if dealt with force, not break. It can scratch easily and we can even bend it easily with tools. Some might call this its weakness, but it could be a benefit as well. There is no such thing as a perfect metal. You have to decide, based on your lifestyle, preferences, and budget, what is best for your situation. If you prefer a ring that will not scratch easily when you are working with your hands, then tungsten is a metal that will stand up to hard work. If you want a ring that has some flexibility and give to change in the situation, then gold is the way to go.
How can you protect yourself against accidentally breaking your tungsten ring? Make sure you purchase your tungsten ring from a reputable jeweler like Unique Tungsten Rings that offers a lifetime warranty, which will cover your ring against damage at no cost. Many jewelers know tungsten rings have the possibility of breaking in their lifetime, so we offer a lifetime warranty on all our rings. While we hate to see it happen, we know life throws challenges and sometimes rings will be exposed to situations that will cause them to crack. We will happily replace any ring for the duration of the owner's lifetime, at no charge.