Ice-ing on the Cake

Whether you are a Barbie wielding preteen or a nine time divorceé, chances are you find yourself googling "engagement ring" on occasion (or every day during your lunch break). Yet despite the convenience of internet searches, would you really entrust something as important and valuable as an engagement ring or wedding band purchase to the dangerous clutches of the wide world web?

While online diamond prices may seem appealling, there is, more often than not, a reason behind this. Without the ability to self inspect the stones, you are placing a great deal of trust in the online vendor. Return policies for online jewelry stores can be deceiving, and even though you think you may be getting a great deal, there is no way to know for sure- or is there? While you may be familiar with certain popular internet-only jewelry stores such as Blue Nile or Ice, you may not have heard of James Allen.

Unlike other sites, James Allen allows you to view the actual diamond you are considering in microscopic detail. You can glide over the diamond image with a magnified pointer and actually see the inclusions and color disparities. Also, the certificates of authenticity are available for viewing online, so you can see which diamond grader was used and how accurate the listed diamond details are. As some of you may know, IGI grading tends to be a little less stringent than GIA, and with this feature, you can see the accuracy of the grading yourself.

Perhaps even the best feature of James Allen is that it is near impossible to find a negative review of their service and quality. Customers rave about the company (and not just on their site's feedback section).

If you have yet to purchase those wedding bands or are thinking of proposing, check out this site. In terms of convenience, it doesn't get much easier than online jewelry shopping, and now you don't have to worry about the integrity of the product.

The Veiled Blogger


Is She Faking It?

There comes a day in every serious relationship where a girl has to decide whether or not to fake it. That day is her wedding day. Allergies, practicality, and the overwhelming cost of fresh floral arrangements are all reasons why an increasing number of brides-to-be are considering fake flowers. However, many are still on the fence due to the potential tackiness factor of silk blooms.

Whatever one's reasoning behind considering fake flowers, one thing to keep in mind is that depending upon your flower choice, fresh flowers might in fact be less expensive. For example, a modest bouquet of daisies, which tend to be on the cheaper side of the flower price scale, could run you around $30, but a bouquet of silk, realistic-looking daisies could cost upwards of $70 for the same bouquet size. However, for more expensive buds, Cost Plus World Market has a nice selection of silks with an authentic, natural feel. In particular, their orchids are quite impressive.

One route is to go for the obviously fake appearing flowers. Jilliann's Shop has a gorgeous collection of roses in vibrant hues made from tulle, satin, ribbon, and beads. She can fashion wedding party bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, and even brooches for the mother of the bride. If you don't see a color selection that works for you, she will work with you to produce a product that matches your color scheme. Also, since these have such a dramatic look, you don't have to have a bunch of them to make a big impression. Smaller bouquets will go a long way, and you can even put a couple of them in a vase and use them as your center pieces along with some votive candles. Best of all, your wedding flowers will last forever!

Fake flowers are a definite possibility for your wedding, as long as you make sure you stay cost effective and either focus on very lifelike blossoms or overtly artificial and artistic ones. The bottom line: While treading through the aisles of silk flowers, tread carefully.

The Veiled Blogger


The 21st Century RSVP

While you attempt to stay within your invitation budget and still snag those fancy letterpress invites, one thing you may want to consider is the online rsvp option. Reply cards and corresponding envelopes usually cost hundreds of dollars (unless you are taking a pair of scissors to construction paper yourself and praying for the best!) Besides the cost factor (some of these websites are actually free), the customization options are practically endless. Plus, you don't have to deal with back-and-forths of proofing with the printer...you can edit these babies without anyone else's help.

AnRsvp.com is especially user-friendly and allows your guests to not only fill out their meal preferences, but you can customize the "Notes" field to include anything you want. For example, you can change the title of this field to "Song Requests" and then have your DJ play the songs at the reception. The wonderful people behind AnRsvp.com are also super friendly and completely open to suggestions for new rsvp features you might have to improve their site. And did I mention that the website transfers all the guest responses into a single chart that you can export into Excel to keep track? Best of all, this site is completely free.

While subscribers to outdated etiquette standards may frown upon including a URL on your invitation, modern wedding planners are moving farther away from this mindset and even encourage brides-to-be to put their wedding website info on their invite. If you take this route, you can then direct your guests to the online RSVP provider of your choice straight from your wedding site. Really, how did brides function before the internet?

The Veiled Blogger