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4 Steps to Finding the Perfect Engagement Ring

There are a few big purchases in life that you really don’t want to mess up — a first house, a health care plan, a new car, and especially, the engagement ring for your loved one.

According to The Knot, a popular wedding inspiration magazine and planning website, the decision is so important it takes consumers more than three months to find the perfect ring, and the average cost is $5,000.

If you’re starting to sweat under the pressure, here’s a step-by-step guide to make your decision easier: Continue reading

Pre-Wedding Beauty Tips for the Bride


edit_075You want everything to be picture perfect for your wedding, including your smile. But like everything else about your big day, that perfect smile could require some work ahead of time. In fact, experts suggest starting your entire beauty regimen six months before the wedding.

Here’s a complete pre-wedding beauty checklist.

* Lips: Get soft, kissable lips by brushing away flakes of dry skin with an infant toothbrush soaked in baking soda and water. Apply healing ointment, and in no time, your lips will be ready for that “kiss the bride” kiss.

* Teeth: A cosmetic dentist can often correct an imperfect smile with veneers. But if spending painful hours in the dentist’s chair getting your teeth ground down sounds like it would put a damper on all the joyful planning, here’s good news: Lumineers (www.lumineers.com) are now used by thousands of dentists nationwide and can be applied in two short, pain-free appointments. Continue reading

Romance and relaxation, in an idyllic setting, await honeymooners at The Villa Group Resorts.


Picture1So, you are engaged and ready to choose that romantic spot for your first getaway as husband and wife. But where should you go?

A lot of couples have difficulty finding the honeymoon destination that is “just right” for them. There are so many things to consider, like the season, accommodations, and types of leisure activities available. But actually, making a decision can be simple once you know what you are looking for. The Villa Group – experts in matching clients with their ideal holiday destination – advise couples to consider the following, before they make their choice: Continue reading

Budget-Conscious Brides Trim Bill With Destination Weddings

(NewsUSA) –

UP11WebPhoto24Though it may seem counterintuitive, destination weddings can be a cheaper alternative.

Tying the knot isn’t what it used to be. The wedding industry is as profitable as primetime football, celebrities compete for the shortest, most gimmicky marriages (72 days or less?) and the exotic appeal of a romantic getaway has led to the widespread popularity of destination weddings.

One in every 10 weddings features an exotic locale, or at least a location neither the bride nor groom calls home. While there’s no absolute explanation as to why destination weddings have started a bridal takeover, the hefty price of typical weddings is reason enough for many — especially if Daddy isn’t footing the bill. Continue reading

The Man’s Guide to Selecting Wedding Bands

(NewsUSA) –

full_0412_f1_3Congratulations to all you soon-to-be grooms. Now that your wedding is only months away, your jewelry collection — just a watch, huh? — is about to increase by as much as 50 percent.

Meaning, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of wedding band you want for yourself.

Wedding bands have become the norm for men in recent years

— 97 percent of grooms in The Knot Market Intelligence’s “2011 Engagement & Jewelry Study” opted for one — so even if you have any doubts, your bride will probably set you straight. That means your only real decision is what kind of band best suits you.

To hear CNNMoney.com tell it, there are basically two camps: those who “don’t want to compromise” when it comes to quality (platinum bands), and those who feel they cannot afford the best and therefore need to settle (bands made from alternative metals). But, as jewelry expert Michael O’Connor points out, that doesn’t really give the whole picture.

“It’s true that platinum is so rare — 30 times more so than gold — that if all the world’s supply were melted and poured into an Olympic-size pool, it would barely reach your ankles,” O’Connor says. “But men’s platinum bands start at $500.” Continue reading

8 Wedding Etiquette Rules You Can’t Break—Period

Reader’s Digest

Fiona Tapp


It’s alarming how many guests simply don’t return an RSVP card. Couples base the entire day on their guest count so it really is unacceptable to turn up without notice. ‘Send your RSVP in as soon as possible,’ advises Larissa Banting, wedding specialist and creator of The Lazy Bride Blog. ‘Nothing is more frustrating to a couple than having a number of guests MIA. Once you commit, you have to show up, short of being on death’s door. And don’t forget to write your name on the RSVP card! It’s amazing how many blank cards couples receive and they have no idea who just RSVP’d!’ Ivy Jacobson, planning editor from The Knot warns, ‘Don’t be one of the five percent of guests that sends in their RSVP one week or less before the big day.’ (Find out the etiquette rules every bridesmaid should follow.)

DRESS CODE Continue reading

What You Need to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring Online


Jen Glantz

We buy almost everything online, nowadays, from clothes to accessories, even groceries and electronics. That’s why some people are even browsing diamond rings online in hopes of finding the perfect engagement ring, at the perfect price.

So if you’re committed to ditching store hopping for online browsing, here are 6 things to know before you press the buy now button on an engagement ring you found online. Continue reading

5 Tips for Perfect Wedding Photos

Robin1(NewsUSA) – Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion — something to be celebrated and cherished. Planning it, on the other hand, can feel as if you’re preparing for war — between ensuring that Uncle Sal isn’t sitting next to his brother, who owes him money, to budgeting for everything you want and need. The one thing you don’t want to skimp on is the memories.

Which is why choosing your photographer is one of the biggest decisions you will make. To help ensure that you get the most romantic photos of your fairytale day, Professional Photographers of America, a 29,000-plus-member association, offers these suggestions: Continue reading

Wedding Gifts for Grooms: A Tradition Brides Shouldn’t Ignore


The answer is: Yes, it’s expected.

But it’s also a chance for all you brides out there to truly show you know that not everything is about you on your wedding day. That there really is another person involved (that would be the groom) who deserves a bit of recognition, too.

We’re talking wedding presents — specifically, yours to your husband-to-be.

Tradition does, indeed, hold that both you and he exchange gifts. And while it’s true that some guys are initially shocked to learn your engagement ring doesn’t also count as a “present,” that’s no excuse for you to waver.

“Giving him something that’s just for him will make him feel really special,” advises BrideBox.com. Continue reading

Honeymooners Are Opting for the Romance, Adventure of Cruises

44104NewsUSA) – There are 2.5 million weddings in the United States each year, and the weddings business is a $40 billion annual industry, including the ceremony, reception, bachelor(-ette) parties and honeymoon.

Increasingly, newlyweds are opting for a cruise for a cost-effective and carefree honeymoon. About 5,000 weddings and vow renewals happen on cruises every year, and cruises now account for 15 percent of all honeymoons.

The inclusive nature of a cruise is a leading factor in the decision. A cruise provides a week of great food, pampering and entertainment for about $2,500 or less per person. Continue reading