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Engagement 101 MAGAZINE THE MAGAZINE TO READ BEFORE YOU GET ENGAGED

www.engagement101mag.com

2010 WEDDING TRENDS THE HOTTEST DRESSES FROM THE RUNWAY

1000s OF RINGS INSIDE

&ON

ENGAGEMENT101MAG.COM

FABULOUS E-PARTIES ON A BUDGET

Should you move in with him?

GUY’S GUIDE ON PAGE 111

ADVICE FROM THOSE WHO’VE FOUND THE ONE


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WHY SETTLE FOR LESS THAN PERFECTION The Hearts On Fire Diamond Engagement Ring set in platinum starting at $1,950 View our entire collection at heartsonfire.com

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{ Editor’s Letter } ENGAGEMENT 101 MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY GBP USA, INC.

GBP USA, INC. Publisher

GERARD BEDOUK

Executive Partner

SEVERINE FERRARI

ENGAGEMENT 101 MAGAZINE Editor-in-Chief & Associate Publisher Design and Editorial Director

SEVERINE FERRARI SATYA PICARD

STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS

Engagement 101 went viral this past year and has become a discussion topic in many forums and chat rooms.We’ve got lots of fans (thank you!!), yet some single girls and guys wonder why there is such a thing as a magazine on getting engaged. Since you have this copy in your hands, you know why—because your life is about to change in a big way. In a couple of years, maybe sooner, you will walk down an aisle with your soulmate. But you’re not there yet. You can feel a proposal is coming, so you are looking for your dream ring.You need help.You are not sure it is appropriate to tell your man what you like. As you will see in this issue, the answer is...it depends.We have worked closely with real people who went through the process of getting engaged: lots of men with their unique and endearing approach to relationships and romance, and some women, too. They found their soulmates after going through frogs who did not turn into princes or princesses, so their feedback is priceless. We have gathered all the stories your man should read in a special section plus in a limited release special issue in bookstores.And, if you are too intimidated to just give it to him, drop him a hint by leaving your copy on the coffee table. Then there is the hot topic of the ring.You’ll find tons of tips and an amazing selection of unique rings for every taste. From affordable options—diamond wedding bands, rings with smaller center stones, simpler settings and color gemstones— to investment pieces and rings with unique center cuts, 2-plus carats and creative settings. Classic, modern or different, you will find many rings you’ll like.Again, if you can be subtle, enlist a relative or friend’s help or go to engagement101mag.com to email a picture of the ring to your BF…but do everything to get the ring you want.You deserve it; after all, you will be the one wearing it. Have fun and keep on connecting with us online by following us on Twitter, becoming a fan on Facebook and receiving our newsletter.

News Editor

STEPHANIE TAYLOR

Copy Editor

KARON WARREN

Publisher’s Assistant

Fashion Photographer

Still Life Photographer Writers

TIFFANY WHITE JILL WACHTER

TANGO PHOTOGRAPHY GARNET GREENE JESSICA HOPPE

JOE PASTERNAK JENN PRESS

HEATHER E. SCHWARTZ DAVID SOLDINGER DAVID TCHAPPAT Special Contributors

LINDSAY A. TIGAR ANGELA BILLELA

ANNIE CHAMBLISS NALINI DACY

CHRIS MAYERNIK

THERESA PENDER MICHELLE REID

WEBSITE IT Director

ALAIN SEMERE

For subscriptions, see the last page of the magazine or subscribe online at engagement101mag.com.

PRINTED IN THE USA BY FRY COMMUNICATIONS, INC. ENGAGEMENT 101 MAGAZINE 117 West 58th Street Lower Level New York, NY 10019 Phone: 212.888.3935 Fax: 212.888.4630 www.engagement101mag.com Copyright 2010 by GBP USA, Inc.

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Photography by Jill Wachter Hair: Vivienne MacKinder. Makeup: Lucky @ Next Management. Styling: Emma Pritchard. Model: Kerry Morgan @ Next

Platinum Dreamstone necklace by Hearts on Fire. Platinum and diamond Bunz watch. Jacket and button-down shirt by Zara and Diesel jeans. Belt by Dolce & Gabbana.

The Ring by Natalie K (www.nataliek.com)

Photography by Jill Wachter Photo Interns: Maggi LaManna and Heidi Lewis. Hair: Francky L’Official. Makeup: Rosemary Redlin @ Illusions Management. Styling: Nalini Dacy. Model: Francky L’Official. Shoot Location: The Empire Hotel The Ring by Natalie K (www.nataliek.com)

Men are from Mars and women rule the world… Just kidding! We’ve got a double issue for couples in love with two different covers... one for you and one for him. Pick up the issue you like the best on the newsstands or get both! Looking for more rings or more proposal ideas to inspire you? Want to connect with other guys and girls about to make the big jump? Find more of everything engagementrelated on our website:

engagement101mag.com Engagement 101 Magazine | www.engagement101mag.com

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ARTICLES FOR YOU

14 Moving In Before Marriage Does living together make or break a relationship? Find out what you should think about before considering the move. 30 Saying Yes...or No Sometimes the answer to “Will you marry me?” is easy, but what do you do when it’s not? Here’s how to tell him your answer isn’t “Yes!” 98 Engaging Attire for You & Your Guy Whether you’re on a budget or lucky

enough to splurge, four runway-to-real-way looks will impress your engagement party guests.


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Clockwise from top left: Kati and Troy; Mark Schneider; Douglas Hannant; iStockphoto.com

JEWELRY

38 Marvelously Modest

Whether it’s your wallet or your personality that can’t stand a bulky diamond, these reserved rings don’t need a big stone to be divine.

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Sparkling Stunners Looking for a mega-watt engagement ring that won’t get overlooked? These beauties will leave people across the room blinded.

42 Double-duty Bands

Skip the solitaire, and get one ring that does it all. Choose a diamond eternity band with plenty of sparkle and a design that can stand alone.

62 70 Celebrity Rocks

A Girl’s Dream Every woman dreams of her engagement ring. See some stunners that will fulfill all your fantasies. This year’s hottest celebrity engagement ring trends: who is wearing what and where you can get the look.

PROPOSALS & PARTIES

24 90 A Fabulous Engagement Party...on a Budget Life’s greatest moments can occur despite a shaky economy. You deserve

Enchanting Proposals From the top of a mountain in Israel to the deserts of Dubai, get inspired by eight real-life engagements. to announce your happy news with flourish and style—even now.

WEDDING DRESS PREVIEW

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Dress Forecast From short minis to dramatic pleats, the hottest runway bridal dresses definitely aren’t your mother’s wedding gowns.


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THE GUY’S GUIDE

112 Taking the Plunge David Soldinger is as nervous about his nuptials as the next guy. The difference is, he blogs about it. 118 Get Her the Ring She Wants Check out these tips on how even the most clueless guy can find the perfect engagement ring for his favorite girl. 123 Buying Her Engagement Ring Get all the info you need to buy her a ring she’ll adore with our ultimate ring and diamond buying guide.

130 How to Plan the Perfect Proposal about planning a one-of-a-kind proposal.

Get her to say yes with four tips


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{ Advice }

Moving In

BEFORE MARRIAGE

our laundry basket has become the home of not only your clothes but also a collection of his T-shirts and boxers.You have a toothbrush, hairdryer, a half empty bottle of conditioner and a pair of jeans at his place.You can’t remember the last time you spent a night away from one another, and when you do, you roll over and wish he was lying next to you. The thought has crossed your mind time and time again, but you can never bring yourself to slip the words to him over dinner and drinks: Do you think we should move in together?

Y 14

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Dating is the foundation for marriage—teaching us what we want, what we don’t want, and what we hope for and envision in the future. It’s common to consider living with your boyfriend or girlfriend before you get hitched or even engaged—just to see if you really can put up with each other on a daily basis. However, before deciding to combine your unhealthy obsession with high heels and purses with his video games and color-coordinated ties, ask yourself these questions and think about the challenges you may, and most likely will, face.

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Does living together make or break a relationship? The age-old debate continues as writer Lindsay A. Tigar discusses what to think about before considering the move.


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Check us out online!

www.engagement101mag.com %

All the latest engagement and jewelry news

%

Watch exclusives on Engagement 101 TV

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Find the best jewelry retailers in your area

%

See highlights from our current issue


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{ Advice }

The process of two becoming one is not an easy task—regardless if it’s moving in together or just being in a relationship.The healthiest of relationships allows both partners to be themselves and have individual tastes, desires and activities.Your significant other must be confident in himself, just as much as you are in yourself, so the relationship can grow strong enough to support two individuals living and growing together. When Terryn and Andrew, a couple living in ParadiseValley,Ariz., decided to move in together, it was for convenience.Terryn wanted to live in a safer area, so she moved in with Andrew. But besides convenience, the couple also felt like they were ready for that next step. One important thing Terryn understood when moving in with Andrew was the importance of being your own person. “A big thing about moving in together is to not lose you,” she said. “Still do your own thing! Keep your individuality. It will make your relationship stronger when you’re secure in yourself.” While my boyfriend and I aren’t to the point in our relationship where we are ready to move in together, when I had 15 days between leases, he welcomed me to his pad with open arms. In the days we spent together, we both learned a lot about personal space and belongings. It drove me crazy not to have everything that I used on a daily basis within reach, and I missed having a place to unwind and be alone. Living together even for that short of a period taught us to give each other room to be individuals so when we’re together we value our togetherness. If you do decide your relationship and your self-confidence is up to the challenge, make sure you discuss the idea of space before you move in together. Each week, you should set aside a few hours for each of you to spend time alone. Even if your apartment or house is small, you each need to designate a space and place that caters to alone time. For you, it could be the bedroom or a relaxing bubble bath. For him, a few hours alone with the television or enjoying a hobby in the garage may give him the solo time he needs. If you aren’t confident enough in yourself and secure enough in your relationship to give one another space, you won’t function well in a livingtogether situation.

Am I ready to combine finances? The apartment may look picture perfect with your sassy dresses next to his suits and your face wash next to his razor, but keep in mind combining items also means combining incomes. 16

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Callison and Clayton, a couple from Morehead City, N.C., moved in together after Clayton proposed. Now that they are married and both continuing their education, they are thankful they crossed the “moving in together” hurdles before they became legally bound. “One of the only problems we ran into when we moved in together was splitting costs,” Callison said. “We were not combining our money yet, so we would split groceries and the bills. I paid most of the rent, and he paid for most of our spending money on food and going out.” Cohabitation is different than marriage because it allows more freedom.You aren’t legally bound to one another—you still have your independence and your last name—but it does require a lot of joint responsibilities. Before jumping on the

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Am I secure enough in myself?


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M AT T H E W

C H R I S T O P H E R

Wolsfelt’s Victorian Bridal Aurora, IL 630-896-7166 www.wolsfelts.com Pearl’s Place Metairie, LA 504-885-9213 www.pearlsplace.com Madeleine’s Daughter Portsmouth, NH 603-431-5454 www.madeleinesdaughter.com Mestad’s Rochester, MN 507-289-2444 www.mestads.com Bridal Sophisticate Media, PA 610- 891-7765 www.bridalsophisticate.com www.matthewchristopher.com


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{ Advice } bank account, your own spending money and paying your own debt is important,” she said.“Living together doesn’t mean doing things that married couples do.”

romantic-idealist bandwagon, take a few precautionary steps to keep your wallet and your credit score safe: • If you are moving into your apartment or his apartment and you are renting, make sure to contact the leasing company and add your name or his name to the lease. If anything fell apart in your relationship, you want to make sure you will have a leg to stand on financially if one of you has to move out. • Remember you don’t have to have a joint bank account just because you’re living together, but you do need to decide who will be responsible for what each week or each month. • If you decide not to have a joint account, make sure there is some account, piggy bank in the living room or fund that you both deposit money into each paycheck for unexpected expenses.A leaky faucet, a washer/dryer that called it quits or a toilet that needs replacing can cause some strain on your wallet and relationship if you don’t have funds to back it up. Terryn doesn’t suggest joint bank accounts unless you are engaged when moving in together. “I think having your own 18

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Most women have dreamed of the moment when the man they’ve been searching for walks into their life by chance and they fall head over in love heels. Even more than meeting this magical man, women often fantasize about the moment he drops to one knee, promising everlasting love and asking her to spend the rest of her life with him. Think about if your childhood imagination included moving in with your Prince Charming before saying “I do.” And even more, consider if you���re interested in moving in with your boyfriend to see if your relationship can handle it or to see if you can receive your Harry Winston earlier. For many couples who have moved in together, cohabitation wasn’t meant to test the relationship, but rather just the next logical step in a succeeding relationship. “I don’t think it is necessarily a way to ‘test’ your relationship,” Callison said.“If you are not in a healthy relationship ahead of time, moving in together won’t do anything. I think it is a good idea in a progressing relationship.” Other couples think moving in together is the best way to check the longevity ability of the relationship. Upcoming graduates of Appalachian State University, Keyes and Carly from Boone dated for more than five years, lived together for three and are now engaged. They are planning a wedding for next summer and think cohabitation was the best decision for their relationship. “I think moving in together before marriage is the only decision for a relationship,” Keyes said.“You are going to have to move in at some point, and my opinion is it is the biggest test of a relationship.You should definitely do it to pass the test before you become legally bound to somebody.” In some instances, two people decide to move in together, and one party believes the change will speed up an engagement. However, according to some experts, moving in together can delay the process and possibly even end the relationship. Cinthia W. Pratt, a family and marriage coach and sociology professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., does not suggest cohabitation for any relationship. “Research bears out that [cohabitation] causes greater stress on the couple, sets up unrealistic expectations and almost always leads to early habitation, apathy and the couple breaking up,” she said. Pratt always believes engagement is less likely when a couple moves in together.“Men get comfortable in the status quo and have no reason to change things or marry,” she said. However, Carly disagrees with Pratt.“I can’t see how moving in together could do anything to delay or end a relationship unless it just wasn’t meant to be or the relationship wasn’t that great to begin with,” Carly said.“Cohabitation is like the relationship you have, just more concentrated.”

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Am I moving in with him for the wrong reasons?


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“Simply Elegant”

For an authorized C. Gonshor retailer log on to www.cgonshor.com or call us at 1-800-543-3049


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Am I prepared to adjust to new changes? Like anything good and worth working for in life, relationships go through a series of changes. From the first months of bliss and nights of passion to the first real fight and initial discussion about the future, relationships must roll with the tides and be strong enough to stand firm after any storm. If your relationship is ready for the next big step and together you believe living together is the best decision, remember to keep in mind that your relationship will transform along with the appearance of the new apartment or home. Not only will your boyfriend now be your partner and your lover, but also your roommate. Like any other roommate you’ve had, there will be quirks or habits that drive each of you up the wall. Maybe he leaves the toilet seat up, or your long hairs clogging the drain annoy him more with every shower he takes.You’ll probably have to change some of your habits so that you’re both happy. Both of you also will have to make minor adjustments to your routines so you can create a welloiled schedule that works for your relationship. “I’m messy; he’s a neat freak—that’s the biggest problem,” Terryn said.“I’m working on picking up a bit more, and he is working on letting some things go.” At every stage in a relationship, compromise must be something that’s understood and practiced by both individuals. Now that you will be managing a home or apartment together, you will learn even more about who the person you 20

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love is and what they are like at the everyday level. Living together makes some couples feel better prepared for marriage and gives them a better idea of what to expect in the years they will share together. “I feel like [cohabitation] made us more comfortable with our marriage,” Callison said. “Marriage is scary enough alone, and it was nice to have gotten through the ‘living together’ hurdles ahead of time.” For some engaged couples, moving in together has made them even more secure in the idea of marriage. “Because we moved in together and we know each other even better, we know that we’re ready for marriage,” Carly said. Nevertheless, before deciding to move in together, weigh the pros and cons and consider the nature of your decision. For cohabitation to work, both you and your boyfriend must have realistic expectations of what living together means: responsibility, the joining of your lives and money, and the next stage and change in your relationship. You will have the mornings when you wake up side by side in the bedroom you share, looking at the clustering of your favorite painting with his favorite signed jersey and feel complete delight in your joint address. Other times, you will argue over his unwillingness to do the dishes and the aftermath of your 10-outfit change from yesterday morning. However if your relationship is strong enough and ready to tackle any challenge, you will be able to enjoy the good and the bad and still be completely in love afterward.

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{ Advice }


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TWO RINGS – ONE LOVE For a retailer near you visit www.christianbauer.us 800-245-1079


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Available at:

Zadok Jewelers Houston, TX 713-960-8950 www.zadokjewelers.com

Sierra West Jewelers Orem, UT 801-226-6006 www.sierra-west.com


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{ Real Life }

Enchanting PROPOSALS From the top of a mountain in Israel to the deserts of Dubai, there are no boundaries when it comes to these proposals. Check out how these eight couples got engaged, and get inspired by their stories.

Shannon and Joey Q Dinner and Desert Joey surprised Shannon with what she thought was just a trip to visit friends in Dubai in the Middle East. After a camel ride in the middle of the desert, they were supposed to have dinner at a resort there, but Joey told Shannon they were staying elsewhere. Shannon had no idea what was coming.They pulled up in front of a beautiful private bungalow with its own pool.The inside was decked out with a hundred long-stem roses, and a cheese platter with all of Shannon’s favorite cheeses waited for her. They were served a 10-course meal in their room by the staff.The entire evening Joey pretended they were just having an elaborate date night, but finally, after dinner and dessert, he proposed to Shannon with a speech. He told Shannon that she was his best friend, his partner and his strength in life. It was a really wonderful experience and a memorable engagement for both of them.

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Kati and Troy Q A Day at the Beach Troy proposed to Kati on a catamaran that he rented for the two of them the day after their five-year anniversary.They took a sunset cruise in the Caribbean Sea right outside of Grenada, West Indies, that included a picnic and champagne. While it drizzled, they slow danced in the cabin.After Troy twirled Kati around, he got down on one knee, showed Kati her beautiful ring and asked her to be his wife. Of course, she started crying and said, “Yes!” They came out of the cabin after the rain stopped to admire the sunset and celebrate with more champagne. The catamaran then landed on Grand Anse Beach.They ended their day walking down the beach hand in hand under the stars—something the two surely will remember forever. In April 2009,Troy and Kati were married in the Caribbean Sea on the same catamaran where Troy had proposed.

Nikki and Gabi Q Working Together

Melissa and Calvin Q Wish Upon a Star Melissa and Calvin have been together since college. One day Calvin surprised her with a vacation. He wouldn’t tell her any of the details except the dates so that Melissa could take time off from work.When the day finally arrived, they took off for the airport, and Melissa learned they were traveling to DisneyWorld. On the second day of their vacation, Calvin took Melissa to the Magic Kingdom.They went on all of the rides, and even rode some two or three times. Calvin rode the Dumbo ride twice for her, and she went on Space Mountain for him despite her enormous fear of riding roller coasters in the dark. That evening they went to Cinderella’s castle to watch the fireworks.They found a semi-secluded area to sit down and watch the fireworks.After a few moments, the song “WhenYou Wish Upon a Star” started to play and the fireworks began. Calvin got down on one knee and told her all the reasons he loved her as well as all the things he saw for their future. He pulled out the most amazing ring, and, in front of Cinderella’s Castle under the fireworks, Calvin proposed.

Nikki and Gabi arrived for vacation in Cabo San Lucas two days before their friends were supposed to meet them. On their first night, Gabi surprised Nikki and made reservations for dinner at the most amazing restaurant in the Esperanza Resort. The restaurant was on a cliff overlooking the ocean.Their drinks were served, and they had just finished their appetizer when the waiter brought out what Nikki thought was the main course. But when the waiter presented the dish, a beautiful ring was sitting in the middle

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{ Real Life } of the dinner plate! Nikki and Gabi, who both work at Varna, make so many engagement rings for so many people; therefore, when Gabi designed Nikki’s ring, he had the whole office chip in and work on different elements of the ring.The whole thing was a surprise to Nikki. Everyone knew about it but her! The two plan to wed on April 17, 2010, at the Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Cathedral in Montebello, Calif., the same church where Nikki’s parents married.

Vanessa and Rob Q Text and the City Wedding photographers Rob and Vanessa knew they wanted to get engaged and started planning their wedding months before the actual proposal. For Christmas, Rob gaveVanessa a replica of the ring that he had in mind for her, which was a novelty ring of Galadriel’s Ring of Power from the Lord of the Rings.Vanessa loved it because it was different from the hundreds of engagement rings she photographed at weddings. Knowing the proposal was imminent,Vanessa started searching for wedding dresses. She told Rob she was going with her mom to Manhattan to shop for a dress. On the day Vanessa and her mom went to Manhattan, they were able to find a parking spot directly in front of the building. Because of the rarity of finding such a spot in NewYork City,Vanessa’s mom made her pose in front of the store to show off their parking space. While posing, a man suddenly bumped into her asVanessa’s mom was taking the pictures. Assuming it was some rude New Yorker, she turned around and was surprised to see Rob instead.“You didn’t think I’d let you go in here without an engagement ring, did you?” he said.The rest is history.

Rebecca and Dave Q Ain’t No Mountain High Enough Dave, who had been with Rebecca for some time, wanted to propose to her in Israel. He heard about a trip that was specifically tailored toward people who recently converted to Judaism, which Rebecca was in the process of doing.The downside was that the trip cost thousands of dollars. Although he had to work in secrecy to keep it all a surprise for Rebecca, Dave found a scholarship to finance her side of the trip.As for his portion, an anonymous wealthy friend of the trip organizer decided to generously pay his entire bill.To this day, Dave has never met him. He gave the trip to Rebecca as a three-year anniversary present. He told her he got a scholarship, but he never told her how or why. He got the ring, and it stayed buried in his video camera bag as they traveled through Israel. 26

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When they got the trip itinerary, he was disappointed to see that they would be visiting the mountain he wanted to propose on on the very last day of the trip. It also poured every day, and they both got full-blown bronchitis. Then, on the last day, they finally got to Mount Masada, which overlooks the Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan.The sun was blazing for the first time in days, and they were nearly over their bronchitis.They rode the cable car up to the top of the mountain, did some quick touring, and then Dave stood on a ledge with her and proposed. So just two weeks after Rebecca’s conversion, she was in Israel receiving a proposal as she stood on a very important mountain both in Jewish history and the history of their lives.


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she was young, meeting Scott was the first time she felt that hole in her heart close.

Stephanie and Bruno Q All in the Family

Jillian and Scott Q On That First Night... On the one-year anniversary of the day Scott and Jillian met, Scott re-created their first date. While having dinner at the same restaurant and wearing the same outfits they wore the night they met, they reminisced about the year that had passed and how lucky they were to have found each other. At the end of the meal and after a long-winded speech about how much he loved her and how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, Scott got down on one knee, pulled out a box and said the four words Jillian had dreamed of hearing: “Will you marry me?”The moment was absolutely perfect, and in between the “Oh my God’s!” she said yes. Even though they designed the ring together, she had no idea when he got the ring or how he would propose. She thought they were celebrating because it was their anniversary, but Scott managed to make her feel like it was the first time all over again. It was a full re-creation of the day they met, when their lives changed forever. Since her mother had passed away when

Stephanie and Bruno met at a bowling alley in Stockton, Calif., in 2006. Bruno worked at a carwash with Stephanie’s aunt. Her daughter was having a birthday party at a bowling alley, and she invited Bruno because there was someone that she wanted Bruno to meet.When he got there, he was officially introduced to Stephanie, and they hit it off from there. Stephanie and Bruno bought their rings from Samuels Jewelers, so she knew the proposal was coming, but she had no idea when Bruno was going to get on his knee. He picked Oct. 9 because it was his sister’s birthday, and he figured when he got old he would always know the date he proposed since it was the same date as his sister’s birthday. When they finished eating dinner, he took the ring out of his pocket, got on his knee and asked Stephanie to marry him. His sister started to cry and so did Stephanie. But for some weird reason, Bruno decided to propose two more times!The next day, while eating Hamburger Helper and watching Two and a Half Men, he proposed to Stephanie again with her folks present. And, as if that wasn’t enough, after dinner they swung by Bruno’s grandmother’s house, and he proposed again in front of his grandmother.

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{ Real Life }

HE SAID, she said They say there are two sides to every story. Here Levi and Lisa share how they got engaged.

Levi: At the time I met Lisa, I was happily and purposefully single. I had moved to Los Angeles from the Midwest having escaped a good relationship gone bad, and I was determined to focus on my career. Sure, I dated, but I was careful not to get involved in anything remotely serious. So what was I thinking when my friend invited me to dinner at El Compadre on Sunset Boulevard with her best friend from NewYork? I didn’t realize that my friend was an amateurYenta. Great margaritas, a chimichonga buried in 6 feet of cheddar cheese and good friends? It was a win/win.

Lisa: Wait, wait.You’re leaving out some of the best stuff so you can describe food. Let me tell my side of the story. My marriage was over. My ex and I had been together since high school, so I had never been on a date in my life, and I just wasn’t ready to start dating. I was gun-shy. “You have to go out on a date!” my best friend Debbie told me while I was visiting her in California.I refused.“Just come over here and look at his picture!”She nagged until I finally went to take a look at his picture.Staring up at me was the most angelic creature I had ever seen. His eyes gazed at me, into my soul...yeah, seriously. “Look, you’re my best friend, and he’s my best male friend; I know you will like each other.I have really good taste,”Debbie said. Finally I said, “Um, you could call him if you want. Like, now.” I was only there for a few more days, so why not just have dinner with a nice guy? We all met at El Compadre that night, and Debbie accompanied me. She kept kicking me under the table because I couldn’t look up—I was too shy. “Talk!” she whispered. “I can’t,” I replied. I remember looking across at him, so sweet and cute, but underneath there was a sarcastic streak that piqued my interest. Later,at a small cafe,is when the sparks really flew.Levi mentioned my favoriteTV program:ESPN’s TheWorld’s Strongest Man competition.If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching it,it is the most surreal, ridiculous event ever to be broadcast on TV. Imagine giant ruddy Norwegian and Samoan men with no necks hurling 100-pound kegs backward over giant walls, running as fast as they can with ship anchors and racing each other wearingVolkswagen Beetle frames as vests! So I can pinpoint the actual moment I fell in love.My heart pounded.Everyone else melted away. There was only the two of us. “Did you just say The World’s Strongest Man competition? I love that show! It’s nuts!” We were both so excited.“I have to leave soon, but do you wanna be my boyfriend for the rest of the week?” I asked bluntly. “OK,” he replied, and I grabbed his hand and we walked off into the night air, google-eyed. 28

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Five freakishly wonderful years later, it happened. I remember we were at my mom’s house. She came into the living room with a tray of jewelry.“Would any of these be of interest to you, Levi?” Dozens of rings sparkled up at us from the tray.We both burst into laughter. One ring caught our attention—a gold engagement ring with a very large diamond.“That can’t be real!” I exclaimed. It was so big and shiny.“Well, it is!” my mom replied. “Mom! When did you get this? I’ve never seen it before!” I squealed.“Well,you remember your great-uncle Robert,”she said. “He was a scientist at General Electric in the 1950s,and he helped invent man-made diamonds for all kinds of purposes. He gave all of the girls one, and I had mine mounted. See if it fits!” Levi and I looked at each other and“geeked out.”“How cool is it that this ring was made by my uncle Robert in a scientific experiment in the 1950s?” I said.“The diamonds are all real; they’re just forged by machines so they have no flaws, which probably makes them less valuable,but nevertheless,that is a real diamond!” my mom said. Levi took the ring and held it in his pocket for a later date.That night,after my parents had gone to bed,Levi came to me and with a shy smile held up the ring. “Will you marry me?” I’m starting to tear up. Levi, you’d better take over.

Levi: At the time,I wasn’t a big believer in marriage.But there was a point when I realized if we both truly love each other then we want to celebrate that love.And what is a wedding? It’s more than a legal document.It’s more than a vow before some institution.It’s a celebration of the love of two people with their closest friends and family. So, with that in mind, I asked Lisa for her hand in marriage. I wanted my friends and family to know how much I love her. I wanted to celebrate my love for her with them. And more than anything else, I wanted her to be my wife.


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{ Advice }

Saying Yes ...OR NO ersonally, my engagement only solidifies what I already knew:This is the man with whom I want to spend the rest of my life. While many people view marriage as a drastic adjustment, and it is certainly different from a legal standpoint, I think some of the best couples are ones that naturally transitioned into this next step and proceed as though the major changes are just a ring and a title. Relationships are not about what you see in the movies or read in some storybook romance with fancy dinners and lavish

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gifts. Because for real love, you don’t have to get dressed up. It’s about finding that, dare I say, soul mate, with whom you can be your ‘I better not run into anyone today looking like this’ self; the one you can bare your very soul to and still feel safe. It’s about the person who can make you laugh until tears fall, and who will wipe them away when they do. It’s about finding a true companion with whom you can live each day, through good, bad and compromise—the one person who holds the key to your heart.

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When the feeling is right, “Will you marry me?” can be the easiest question to answer. But if you’re unsure or need time, it can be infinitely more complicated than deciding whether to order a cosmo or martini at the next happy hour. BY JENN PRESS


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{ Advice } The best relationships are the ones without a rulebook, ulterior motives, games or plans.They exist upon the sheer purpose of living life to its fullest, appreciating the beauty in imperfection and spontaneity, and celebrating differences. It’s about two people who fit like pieces of a puzzle, and no matter where they are or how they find each other, they are the only two that can ever go together just right. Ultimately, it’s finding the one you want to rent movies with, take long walks with and sit beside for all the days of your life.

You’ve probably imagined this moment since you were a little girl playing dress-up in your mother’s heels.He gets down on one knee, looks into your eyes and tells you he can’t be without you—and if that isn’t enough, you get to sport a rock on your left hand for as long as you both shall live. However, a marriage is not a wedding. It’s not a diamond band on someone’s finger either. A marriage is a commitment far beyond the fantasy five-hour party filled with presents, music and delicious multi-tiered cake. So how do you know when you’re truly ready to settle down? For me, I pictured myself sitting at the head table of my wedding reception with my future husband by my side.Then I realized he was the person I was lucky enough to sit with at every table for the rest of my life, and I felt comforted and excited.If you’re experiencing the same feelings, then you’re on the right track. “If you have a soul connection with the person and can be the real you, then you are in the right place,” says Auriela McCarthy, relationship expert and author of The Power of the Possible. When you’re at a point when you can accept the person’s weaknesses (we all have them!) and are not going into a marriage with the mindset that either of you are going to change your ways, then you’re ready for the commitment. Just be sure you want to be with him for reasons beyond his performance in the sack or hefty paycheck! Be sure it’s “based on your feelings, thoughts and experiences with that person and that you know them well enough that trust is demonstrated,” McCarthy says.“You need to know how he reacts to different situations and make sure your man can stand on his own (that means no mama’s boys, ladies!) and that he is mature enough to be making this decision as well.” Although age can certainly make a difference in your readiness to take the leap, relationship expert Dr. Jenn Berman says a lot is based on how much you’ve learned about yourself and relationships thus far. If you’re fresh out of college and say “yes” to someone after one year of dating, that may lead to some problems down the line. However, if you’re in your 30s and have had a chance to figure out who you are and what you want in a partner, it can be great to say “yes” after only a short period of time. “A lot depends on your life experience and dating experience,” she says. 32

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Getting to know people not only will help you figure out what you want in a relationship, but also what you don’t want as well. If you’ve gotten to meet a variety of personalities and figured out what you’re looking for in a partner, you’ll be in a better position to know who’s right for you. In other words, you may have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your prince! Also, you should truly be able to trust your own feelings. If you’ve made positive decisions in the past and have a good track record for leading yourself in the right direction, then you can feel ready to make this choice. Otherwise, McCarthy advises to listen to the opinions of those you value—someone who has experienced a good relationship and a healthy lifestyle. Berman recommends couples date for at least one year before they get engaged.“The first three to 12 months tend to be the honeymoon period,” she says.“You’re so enchanted with the other person that it’s hard to see who they really are because everyone’s on their best behavior.” Remember not to confuse infatuation and attraction with true love and companionship. So wait until you’ve seen your man in everyday situations and not just for weekend getaways full of wining and dining before you agree to live happily ever after.

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Should You Shack Up Before you Settle Down? While the age-old theory,“Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” leads us to believe that living together diminishes all hopes of getting married, I personally found that moving in with my now fiancé was the ideal steppingstone on the path to marriage. Living with your significant other can be the perfect insight into the future and show how well you work together on important issues like paying bills on time, keeping a clean home and respecting one another’s space. Plus, it’s refreshing to know you’re never “doing nothing” on a quiet night because you’re always with your best friend. However, while it’s not necessary to become roomies with your guy just yet,“It’s important to live in the same city for at least 12 months,” says Berman.Although she admits it’s a catch22 because most women wouldn’t want to relocate without an engagement ring, many men will move closer to give the relationship a solid effort.“Anyone can be on good behavior long distance for a really long time,” she says.“It extends the honeymoon period.”

The Trouble with Saying Yes Too Quickly When it comes to accepting a marriage proposal, that’s certainly not the time to be impulsive.“Marriage is difficult on a good day, and you want to go into it feeling ready, connected, secure and confident that it’s the right person,” Berman says. “It’s for the 34

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long term.” This definitely isn’t as carefree as buying stilettos you can return if you change your mind a few days later. Marriage is meant to be for the long haul, and if you’re not ready, the commitment becomes monumentally more difficult. Berman says people who commit too soon often act out by partying too much, cheating, drinking and sabotaging the relationship by not treating the other person well. In the recent flick He’s Just NotThat IntoYou,Bradley Cooper’s character admitted he succumbed to the pressure of marriage and settled down before he was ready, which led him to have an affair. Sometimes people have the attitude that they will go into a marriage to “try it out” and then realize they aren’t happy. “It is much easier to end a relationship than it is to end a marriage,” McCarthy says.“It’s a very traumatic experience to go through divorce, especially when dealing with common properties and possibly children. It’s a huge loss everywhere.” In some situations, a woman may lose her sense of self if she takes such a big step before she is mentally and emotionally prepared to do so. For example, it might be the right guy, but wrong timing. Maybe you have a list of personal goals you want to achieve before walking down the aisle.The same goes for guys, too. My fiancé admitted he knew he was ready to propose long before he did, but wanted to establish a career first to be sure he could support a family in the future. However, some women are so worried about the outcome

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{ Advice }


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{ Advice } of saying “no” that they accept the proposal to spare their partner’s feelings.“They say ‘yes’ because they’re afraid of losing him and fear the relationship will be over,” Berman says. If you do accept and later regret it, Berman says it can lead to a broken engagement or more trouble down the line. Just as some couples in The CW’s Hitched or Ditched realize they have more than just cold feet a week before their nuptials, you don’t want to get to the altar and find yourself saying,“I don’t.”

First of all, I give a lot of credit to any guy who asks a woman to marry him without being absolutely sure she’ll say “yes.” However, while I’ve always thought a proposal occurred after a couple had previously decided they wanted to be together forever,this is not always the case. If it does come as a surprise and you’re unsure how to respond when he pops the question, the first thing you should ask yourself is what you’re doing in the relationship.If you realize it’s never going to happen, be up front about it. Don’t confuse the feeling of excitement in that moment with a feeling of insecurity. McCarthy says if your stomach is in knots and you realize it’s the person causing it and not fear, don’t talk yourself into it.“Trust your gut. If you have a sick feeling inside your body, you shouldn’t do it. Never, ever ignore that,” she says. Don’t give too many explanations. Be direct and say,“I’m sorry, I appreciate this, but I don’t feel the same way.” Tell him while he may be hurting, he doesn’t want you as much as he thinks he does because you aren’t the right one for him. Make a clean break.“You can’t have a double agenda that you want to keep him in your life and not marry him,” McCarthy says. “Hopefully you will be friends at some point, but he is going through a lot of pain so give him space.” If you are thrown off by the timing of the proposal and marriage isn’t something you’re interested in at that moment, tell him the question was unexpected and you need to get more comfortable with the idea. Berman says to tell him you really care about him, but you take marriage seriously and don’t want to jump into anything just yet.

How to Say No Without Ruining the Relationship There is certainly no romantic way to turn down a man who just asked to spend the rest of his life with you, but just as Katherine Heigl’s character needed a little more time to decide in Knocked Up, you, too, may not be ready right away. Before you reject him completely, decide whether or not this is someone you can see yourself marrying in the future. If it’s a person you do want to continue a relationship with, then tell him that. “If he loves you, he will wait,” McCarthy says.“If he’s mature, he will understand. Don’t be pressured into it.” She says 36

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honesty is always the way to go as long as you’re sensitive to his feelings. If you love him and see the possibility of marriage in the future, tell him you don’t want to hurt him, but are happy with how your relationship is going and would like to re-visit the topic after you’ve had a reasonable amount of time to figure out your goals. Berman suggests saying,“I feel you’re the right person, but I know I’m not ready right now.” Tell him how much better things will be when your relationship has had more time to grow and you’re both on the same level. Reassure him that you have the rest of your lives to be together if you so choose, and if he wants to be with you forever, waiting a few more months will feel like a blip on the screen. If you realize he’s not the one, it’s important to express that for both of your sakes.Tell him how much the relationship has meant to you and how difficult it is to break his heart, and explain you care too much to give him false hope for the future. “If it’s not the right person, you have to find a way to say ‘No, thank you’ as nicely as possible. Do your best to have open communication, and be sensitive to any hurt feelings that might be present,” Berman says. The bottom line is you should never accept a marriage proposal until you’re ready, and you should certainly never settle when it comes to settling down.

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{ Engagement 101 Picks }

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{ Engagement 101 Picks }

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{ Engagement 101 Picks }

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In Profile Special Platinum Advertising Section

Danhov This delicate handmade platinum engagement ring from the Meno Couture collection is accented with .44 carats of round brilliant-cut diamonds.

This beautiful handmade platinum engagement ring from the Meno Couture collection features a spiral of diamonds around the center stone and is accented with .46 carats of round brilliant-cut diamonds.

An engagement ring is one of the most important jewelry purchases we make that celebrates and unites a couple as one. What better way to express love other than with a name that has been synonymous with the best for many generations? Founded by designer Jack Hovsepian in 1984, DANHOV celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Our constantly evolving line includes many different collections for a wide range of tastes, from modern minimalist to baroque romantic. New designs are added to the DANHOV line monthly. If you can imagine it, we can create it for you. Every DANHOV creation is a perfect work of art, fashioned with the latest technology and inspired by the individuality of each of our customers.

This handmade platinum engagement ring from the Meno Couture collection has a twisted shank accented with .85 carats of round brilliant-cut diamonds.

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In Profile Special Platinum Advertising Section

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In Profile Special Platinum Advertising Section

GelinAbaci A platinum engagement ring (style TR-231) and matching band (style TR-B231) from the GelinAbaci Tension collection. This set is sure to take your breath away!

Beautifully crafted platinum engagement ring (style TR-232) from the GelinAbaci Tension collection. The perfect setting to show the beauty of the diamond!

Since its inception, GelinAbaci has made a name in the industry as the premier designer of Tension Jewelry in the United States. In keeping with the ever-changing desires of consumers, they continue to add more unique styles to their popular Tension Collection and Amore Wedding Band Collection. The Tension Setting allows the maximum amount of light to pass through the center stone; creating brilliance that is superior to all traditional settings (prong, bezel, channel, etc.). GelinAbaci takes great pride in offering designer wedding bands of the finest quality. Each GelinAbaci wedding band is crafted to show the intricate detail of each design.

Gents 7.5mm hammer finished wedding band (style B-220) from the GelinAbaci Amore Wedding Band collection.

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www.gelinabaci.com

A 1.50 carat round diamond is embraced and revealed in this GelinAbaci tension set mounting system. The matching band is accented with pave set diamonds. A resounding exclamation point on your vows.(New featured design TR-231). Designed and crafted in the USA

Available at these Authorized Dealers: Beckers Diamonds and Fine Jewelry West Hartford, CT 1-888-BECKERS • Bradley Gough Diamonds Ft. Wayne, IN 260-436-9300 Brent L. Miller Jewelers & Goldsmiths Lancaster, PA 717-569-5450 • Bijoux Luxury Jewelers Redlands, CA 909-798-2909 Fabri Fine Jewelry Bellevue, WA 425-453-0373 • Fishers Custom Design Albany, CA 510-524-0400 Hebert Jewelers Milford, CT 203-874-3164 • JewelBox Ithaca, NY 800-711-7279 • Protea Diamonds Arlington, VA 800-333-8339

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Novell Platinum classic channel ring set featuring 12 round diamonds in the engagement ring and 15 round diamonds in the matching wedding band for 1/2 carat total.

New from Novell—this stunning platinum engagement ring features a carat of round and princess cut diamonds. This design is shaped so that any ladies’ wedding band can rest comfortably next to it. All of the engagement rings on this page are sold as a semi mountings.

For over twenty years, American engagement and wedding band manufacturer Novell has prided itself on bringing spectacular innovation to the bridal jewelry industry. Novell’s sophisticated yet classic engagement ring designs can be crafted in a all precious metals, and almost all of our wedding bands can be customized to be wider, narrower, in different metals, with different finishes and much more. Our long standing philosophy that no customer should just have to settle for what in the jewelry store’s case holds true time after time. And all bridal jewelry products are literally created just for you on premise in New Jersey. So when you are looking for that engagement ring or wedding band that possesses a special hand-crafted touch— think of Novell. Why settle for ordinary when only the best will do? Novell—no boundaries and Made in America.

(top) Platinum ring featuring 57 micro-pavé set round diamonds for a ½ carat total weight. (bottom) Platinum 3-stone ring with 10 micro-pavé set and two prong set round diamonds for 1/3 carat total weight.

Novell www.novelldesignstudio.com (top) Men’s 8mm wide platinum diamond wedding band contains 6 round diamonds for approximately 3/8 carat total weight. (bottom) Men’s 8mm wide platinum wedding band has a frost finish.


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True love has no boundaries

Made just for you... In love, individuality strengthens relationships. Novell can customize our designs to your specifications, so that your rings will be one-of-a-kind. Exactly the way you want them. Wider. Narrower. In platinum, palladium, 5 kinds of gold, and more.

For an authorized retailer, please call 888.916.6835 or visit www.novelldesignstudio.com


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Peter Storm Peter Storm Naked Diamonds® platinum semi-mount with six brilliant princess-cut diamonds that highlight your forever diamond.

Peter Storm Naked Diamonds® platinum semi-mount engagement ring with two perfect princess-cut diamonds that enhance your forever diamond!

Upon perfecting his signature design element of setting princess-cut diamonds point-to-point, Peter Storm launched his signature collection, Naked Diamonds®. Being the son of a diamond importer, Peter studied diamond proportion from an early age. Having a clear understanding of this means that each and every diamond in a Peter Storm design is selected for its cut and brilliance. The true beauty of every Naked Diamonds® mounting, is that it allows this brilliance to show in its entirety as each individual diamond is its own part of the design. Platinum is always Peter Storm’s metal of choice. Platinum is pure, precious and compact, giving it a satisfying weight, durability and superior finish. Platinum is best for holding that finish, and allows for imaginative design use. The density of Platinum is ideal for holding diamonds securely year after year for lifetime of wear and enjoyment.

A romantic Peter Storm platinum mounting for your chosen round diamond center stone. What could be prettier than forty-four sparkling diamonds?

Peter Storm www.peterstormjewelry.com Peter Storm’s enchanting Estrato platinum semi-mount is made with two layers of brilliant diamonds and the perfect setting for your chosen forever diamond.


© PETER STORM 2008

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N A K E D

D I A M O N D S™

Long Jewelers 2965 Virginia Beach Blvd Virginia Beach, VA 23452 757-498-1186 Longjewelers.net


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Ritani This Anadaré engagement ring features a twisted platinum shank between two rows of the pavé-set diamonds. ($3475 with 1-carat round center stone)

The Anadaré collection represents the universal moment when two hearts meet and become intertwined as one. This collection features a unique helix twist design within diamond encrusted pave shanks. Each ring in this collection can be complimented with a PerfectMatch® wedding band. Part of the Anadaré collection, this diamond eternity band boasts an outer shell of platinum twists around an onyx band inserts.

RITANI, a world renowned designer of diamond engagement rings and other fine jewelry, engenders the expression of pure emotion derived solely when celebrating life’s most important moments. Whether you’ve found that special someone or you’re simply looking to reward yourself, RITANI bridal and fashion jewelry designs will bring pleasure and show everlasting devotion for a lifetime. Find the world of RITANI engagement rings, wedding bands and bridal & fashion jewelry throughout our web site and visit the finest jewelry stores nationwide to discover the RITANI piece perfectly suited for you.

Ritani www.ritani.com This delicate Anadaré engagement ring accommodates a round cut center stone set in a twisted shank between two rows of the finest set pave’ diamonds.


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Diamond Cutters of Western New York Buffalo, NY 716-856-6434 wnydiamonds.com | Judith Arnell Jewelers Portland, OR 503-227-3437 juditharnell.com | Kranich’s Jewelers Altoona, PA 814-944-5454 kranichs.com | Sandler’s Fine Jewelry Columbia, SC 803-788-1590 sandlerjewelry.com | Steve Padis Jewelry Plus San Francisco, CA 888-500-GEMS (4367) padisgems.com


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Simon G. This stunning irregular circle platinum pendant sparkles with 1.07 total carats of round white diamonds. ($3960)

This lovely six-prong platinum engagement ring will compliment the center stone of your choice. The ring and matching platinum wedding band has .65 total carats of rounds white diamonds. ($3300, center stone not included)

This simple and delicate platinum wedding set features .26 total carats of round white diamonds. ($2530, center stone not included)

Today Simon G. is one of the most successful and recognizable brands in the US. Each piece of his jewelry is lovingly made as if it were custom-made with one person in mind whose destiny will be to wear this piece. Simon’s hope is that his pieces will also become an heirlooms passed on in future generations. Every detail and angle is exquisite and unique. The fashion collection includes pendants, earrings, bangles and anything a girl would wish for. The best quality for the best price Simon G. jewelry also offers a full range of engagement rings with diamonds or and sapphires.

Simon G. www.simongjewelry.com This platinum engagement ring features a split band studded with .78 total carats of round white diamonds. ($3960, center stone not included)


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SARAH LEONARD FINE JEWELERS Los Angeles, CA (310) 208-3131 Toll Free: (888) 806-3131 www.sarahleonardjewelers.com

STEVE PADIS JEWELRY

San Francisco, CA (888) 500-4367 www.padisgems.com

GOLD & GEMS FINE JEWELRY Ashland, OR (877) 917-8477 www.goldandgems.com


Engagement 101 ISSUE: Trim Specs: 7.75 x 10.5 MATERIALS: PDF/X1A Engagement 101 Magazine Attn: Satya Picard 117 West 58th Street, Lower Level New York, NY 10019

I didn’t choose platinum. My husband did. He wanted everything about our rings to be perfect. Over the years I’ve realized how glad I am that he chose so well.

sIMOn g.

These rings have been through moves and kids and an art career. Time only makes them more lovely. To me, the character that platinum acquires is part of its attraction. Only things of true quality age that way.

He only wants the best for you. Help him choose it. Visit www.preciousplatinum.com/hints

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AGENCY: The Shand Group, Chris Weakley 805 969 1068 x113 ADVERTISER: PGI

11/5/09 11:59 AM

PRODUCTION CONTACT: Melissa Helvey 805 969 1068 x119 ISSUE: Engagement 101 Magazine


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Wedding Dresses

TM

FASHIONS FOR THE BRIDE AND HER PARTY

Pick up a copy on newsstands and visit us at www.weddingdresses.com


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WWW.LAZARO.COM


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Below A 3-carat pear-shaped center stone accented with 0.38 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds. Sylvie Collection (sylviecollection.com) Left A 1.04-carat yellow asscher-cut center stone accented with 1.56 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds set in an etched band. South African Diamonds (southafricandiamonds.com)

Above left Round channel-set diamonds highlight a princess-cut center stone. Bergio (bergio.com) Above middle A 2.5-carat oval center stone accented with 0.61 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds set in the band. Sylvie Collection (sylviecollection.com) Above right A 3.5-carat oval center stone accented with 0.49 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds set in the band. Sylvie Collection (sylviecollection.com)


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Top A bezel-set asscher-cut center stone accented with a line of asschercut stones surrounded by round diamonds (0.87 total carats, not including the center stone). Ritani (ritani.com) Bottom An asscher-cut center stone surrounded by two asscher-cut side stones and pavĂŠ-set round diamonds totalling 0.27 carats. Ritani (ritani.com)

A Girl’s Dream Every woman dreams of her engagement ring. Here are some stunners to fulfill all of your fantasies.


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Top shelf An 8mm men’s wedding band from the True Men collection with 0.09 total carats of diamonds. True Knots (trueknots.com) Middle shelf A triple-band wedding ring with 0.43 carats of round brilliant-cut diamonds. South African Diamonds (southafricandiamonds.com) Bottom shelf (top) Overlapping circles wedding band with 0.91 carats of round brilliant-cut diamonds. South African Diamonds (southafricandiamonds.com) Bottom shelf (bottom) 1.15 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds sparkle from two rows that flank a middle row of larger stones. South African Diamonds (southafricandiamonds.com) On pedestal A double eternity band with 4.72 total carats of round brilliant-cut diamonds. C. Gonshor (cgonshor.com) Bottom left These three 3mm pavÊ-set 18kt gold stackable bands each feature 135 fine brilliant-cut diamonds. The left one is made of 18kt white gold. The middle one features natural canary yellow diamonds set in 18kt yellow gold, and the right one is made of 18kt rose gold. Etienne Perret (etienneperret.com) Bottom right A handcrafted engagement ring from the Carmella collection with a 2-carat pear-shaped center stone (not included) and 0.64 carats of accent diamonds. A wedding band from the Amelia collection with 0.49 carats of diamonds. Kirk Kara (kirkkara.com)


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Below left An engagement ring from the True Women collection with 0.18 total carats of diamonds and the matching wedding band with 0.28 total carats of diamonds. True Knots (trueknots.com) Below right ??A 3-carat pear-shaped center stone accented with 0.38 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds.?? Novell (novelldesignstudio.com)

Left A handcrafted engagement set from the Carmella collection with a 2-carat emerald-cut center stone (not included) and 0.67 carats of accent diamonds. Shown with matching wedding band crafted with 0.64 carats of diamonds. Kirk Kara (kirkkara.com) Above right A green gold band set with natural Australian yellow/green sapphires. A white gold single row pavĂŠ band set with Australian green/blue sapphires. Gumuchian (gumuchianfils.com)


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Top An oval center stone encircled by pavĂŠ-set round diamonds and accented with trillion side stones sits atop an etched band set with pavĂŠ-set diamonds. C. Gonshor (cgonshor.com) Bottom left Two rows of round diamonds on each side of the band draw the eye toward a princess-cut center stone flanked by two princess-cut side stones. Bergio (bergio.com) Bottom middle A bezel-set princess-cut center stone with a micropave surround and two rows of micropave on the band totalling 0.64 carats. Ritani (ritani.com) Bottom right A 1.7-carat radiant-cut bezel-set diamond center with 2.40 carats of round brilliant-cut accent stones. South African Diamonds (southafricandiamonds.com)

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Top shelf A yellow cushion-cut sapphire center stone is surrounded by round diamonds and set on a micropave band. Alishan (alishanonline.com) Middle shelf A 1.5-carat cushion-cut center stone sits atop a split shank band with 0.44 carats of diamonds. Sylvie Collection (sylviecollection.com) Bottom shelf The Cupola collection ring has yellow gold detailing that highlights the marquise-shaped center stone. Alishan (alishanonline.com) Bottom left The Olivia engagement ring is made of platinum and 18kt yellow gold and features a bezel-set 1.06-carat blue colored diamond center and 18 fine white brilliant-cut diamonds on the shoulders. Etienne Perret (etienneperret.com) Bottom right The Tina is a prong-set 18kt white gold engagement ring set with a 1.37-carat teal blue colored princess-cut diamond center and 10 fine white side diamonds. Etienne Perret (etienneperret.com)

Below A 3-carat cushion-cut center stone is accentuated by a diamond pavĂŠ surround and diamonds on the band totaling 0.36 carats. Sylvie Collection (sylviecollection.com)

Photography by Tango Photography Special thanks to Theresa Pender


W HEN T WO B ECOME O NE

FlyerFit.® Classically elegant rings uniquely designed to fit perfectly together on your finger.

FlyerFit®Simplicity. Handcrafted rings uniquely designed to fit perfectly together on your finger.

www.flyerfit.com

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W HEN T WO B ECOME O NE

FlyerFit.® Classically elegant rings uniquely designed to fit perfectly together on your finger.

FlyerFit®Simplicity. Handcrafted rings uniquely designed to fit perfectly together on your finger.

www.flyerfit.com

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{ Celebrity Trends }

classically chic

DAZZLING SPARKLER ericacourtney.com PINK ACCENT msimagines.com

 STUNNING SOLITAIRE

gumuchianfils.com

CLASSIC SET trueknots.com

BRILLIANT STARDUST diamondideals.com

 DETAILED BAND

rinalimor.com

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Gary Gershoff/WireImage.com

Looking for a ring that will withstand your changing wardrobe? A solitaire engagement ring, which features a single stone set on a band, is the classic choice of elegantly sophisticated women like actress Emily Blunt.


Quality, Artisanship, Elegance, Simplicity in Style

Fairfield Center Jewelers

Haydon & Co.

Kern Jewelers

1498 Post Road Fairfield, CT 06924 203 259- 5693

1803 Oberlin Road Raleigh, NC 27608 919 781-1293

214 Lorton Avenue Burlingame, CA 94010 650 348-7557

For the store nearest you call 800.221.4438


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{ Celebrity Trends }

rings,

naturally  FLORAL PAVE coastdiamond.com

WILDFLOWER debeers.com

 DELICATE ORCHID

 FANCY FLORA

lorinczi.com

markschneiderdesign.com

 GOLDEN FLOWER

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Elisabetta A. Villa/WireImage.com

If you have a quirky, off-beat sense of style like Kate Hudson, don’t pick a predictable and clichéd ring to symbolize your love. Choose a unique engagement ring, like these floral-inspired creations, that matches your tastes.


JEWELRY CREATIONS Dover NH, 603.749.3129 JewelryCreationInc.com l NATALIQUE New York NY, 212.221.9424 Natalique@email.com DIEHL’S JEWELERS Bernardsville NJ, 908.766.0509 DiehlsJewelers.com l FARNAN JEWELERS Wayne PA, 610.687.1323 FarnanJewelers.com WR CHANCE Annapolis MD, 410.263.2404 WRChance.com l GINO’S JEWELERS Cleveland OH, 216.831.5653 GinosJewelers.com DAVID FAIRCLOUGH FINE JEWELERS Toledo OH, 419.843.8887 DavidFairclough.com l C. KIRK ROOT DESIGNS Austin TX, 512.346.1780 KirkRootDesigns.com IMPRESSIONS FINE JEWELRY & GALLERY Lubbock TX, 806.794.8900 ImpressionsFineJewelry.com OCCASIONS FINE JEWELRY Midland TX, 432.684.0510 OccasionsFineJewelry.com l GEIS PERRY JEWELRY Atlantic IA, 712.243.5041 GeisPerry.com ERIK RUNYAN JEWELERS Vancouver WA, 360.699.1917 RunyansJewelers.com

WWW.MARKSCHNEIDERDESIGN.COM


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{ Celebrity Trends }

rock and

roll

Are you a little bit rock and roll like Carmen Electra? Then let your engagement ring reflect that. Choose a ring that makes a statement either through such stones as black or rough-cut diamonds or with a fierce design.

 BLACK & WHITE Denise Truscello/WireImage.com

toddreed.com ROCK STAR hstern.net

BLACK BEAUTY catherineangiel.com  EMBRACING BLUE

faverojewels.com

EBONY SURROUND krikawa.com

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ROUGH LOVE diamondintherough.com


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MASSEYS JEWELERS Sandy, UT 801-563-1700 www.masseysjewelers.com K-JON’S FINE JEWELERS Atascadero, CA 805-466-7248 www.kjons.com ERIC’S DIAMONDS & FINE JEWELRY Chippewa Falls,WI 715-723-0180 www.ericsdiamonds.com

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Available at:

JEFFREY E. CARTER JEWELERS Muncie, IN 765-289-3090 www.jeffcarterjewelers.com

SARTOR-HAMANN JEWELERS Lincoln, NE 402-476-8561 www.sartorhamann.com JOSEPH’S JEWELERS West Des Moines, IA 515-440-2991 www.josephsjewelers.com

WATERFALL JEWELERS Waterford, MI 248-623-9422 www.waterfalljewelers.com

STEVEN SINGER JEWELERS Philadelphia, PA 800-350-1104 www.ihatestevensinger.com

MEIEROTTO MIDWEST JEWELRY Kansas City, MO 816-453-1111 www.mjewelry.com

JENSEN JEWELERS Toledo, OH 419-471-1000

14 KARAT Omaha, NE 402-397-9550 www.14karatomaha.com

MOLENELLI’S JEWELERS Pocatello, ID 208-232-0972 www.pocatellojeweler.com J C’S JEWELRY & REPAIR Fairview Heights, IL 618-624-3900 www.jcthejeweler.com


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{ Celebrity Trends }

refined

rose

Rose gold is trés chic these days. If you’re on the cutting edge of fashion like Leighton Meester, then search out styles that incorporate this pinkish metal. Although it’s still relatively rare, you’ll find plenty of stunning options.

msimagines.com  SEEING RED

Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com

 ROSE AROUND

PINK CHOCOLATE levian.com

faverojewels.com

 DARING DESIGN

paradedesign.com

SIMPLY ROSE georgesawyer.com

 BLUSHING BEAUTY

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L’ ETERNITÀ E XCLUSIVELY BY PER A MORÉ

®

JOINED FOR ETERNITY Only per Amoré ® has discovered a means of joining 18 karat Red Gold and White Gold so that each metal retains its unique properties while being eternally bonded to the other. The result of our patented process is a creation so unique that no two of our L’Eternità marriage bands are exactly alike. To learn more about the per Amoré ® marriage bands featured here, or to find a per Amoré ® retailer near you, call (866) 384-6443 or visit us online.

www.per-amore.com/E101Fall ®


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Designer Special

Etienne Perret Special Advertising Section

Etienne Perret is truly a designer's designer.

Etienne Perret is known for introducing new designs and materials such as colored* diamonds to wedding and engagement rings. He has now taken on a new challenge of designing an innovative collection of zirconium ceramic wedding and engagement rings. This new gem ceramic offers a new jeweler's material that is both rich and durable bringing the colors black, white, brown, blue and even pink to your bridal rings. Ceramics were first introduced to the fashion world by Rado almost 20 years ago with its ground breaking watch. Since then both Chanel and Gucci have brought out their own ceramic watches. The same material used for many other applications where durability is essential including dental crowns, hip joints, and parts on the space shuttle. With a hardness that is virtually the same as sapphire your ring is going to maintain its lustrous polish for a lifetime. Considering that the price of gold and platinum has reached new heights, the Etienne Perret ceramic and diamond bridal collection is an affordable alternative to precious metals. * The colored diamonds Etienne Perret is known for started as white diamonds and have been permanently colored with the use of heat and pressure similar to that found deep inside the ground.

1 A 6mm black ceramic band with a spinning platinum band pavĂŠ-set with 55 round fine white diamonds 2 An 8mm black ceramic band set with 11 round colored diamonds in 18kt yellow gold bezel settings. 3 A platinum pavĂŠ-set band with a 1-carat bezel-set center diamond flanked by 4mm black ceramic bands. 4 An 8mm white ceramic ring set with 11 round colored diamonds in 18kt yellow gold bezel settings.

ret

1

2

3

Etienne Perret T: 877-ETIENNE www.EtiennePerret.com

Etienne Per

4


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CALVIN’S FINE JEWELRY Austin,TX (866) 794-1911 www.calvinsjewelry.com

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LEO FASSEAS JEWELERS

Livingston, NJ (973) 533-1114 www.fasseasjewelers.com

TINY JEWEL BOX

Washington, DC (202) 393-2747 www.tinyjewelbox.com


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Designer Special Special Advertising Section

SES Creations

SES Creations offers the best in value and style

Shlomo Eli

as

SES Creations is one the country’s leading designers and manufacturers of bridal, diamond and precious stone jewelry. Found in 1990, SES Creations is named for Shlomo Elias and his wife Sarit. The company is well-known for their tradition of developing classic designs using the highest quality materials with the highest standards of craftsmanship and offering great values while proudly manufacturing all of their jewelry in the USA. The company carries a vast selection of merchandise in all categories—from diamond engagement rings to colored stone bracelets and earrings. Everything is manufactured in the United States, most right at SES headquarters in Manhattan’s diamond and jewelry district. That means special orders, which are never turned down, can be filled in days, not weeks. “Jewelry is my passion. I love making beautiful pieces,” says Shlomo, who is constantly thinking up new ideas and new concepts, often inspired by a specific request from one of his customers. One of the newest lines from SES Creations is the Perfect Twogether™ collection of engagement rings and wedding bands, unveiled in February. The new and exciting collection features classic engagement ring sets in various styles and sizes. “This is the most exciting collection in the bridal category in the history of SES Creations Inc.,” says Shlomo. The sets come with a variety of matching bands. The concept was inspired by the demands of sophisticated and educated couples who want their engagement ring and wedding band to match perfectly together. The collection, with its classic designs and great value, has captured the attention of soon-to-be fiancés and fiancées everywhere. Shlomo once filled a special order for a customer who wanted beautiful studs but didn’t have a large budget. The result eventually blossomed into a whole new design concept called The Aura Collection by SES, featuring a center stone surrounded by a ring of smaller diamonds. Like all offerings from SES, the collection offers the excellent quality and value. So, what’s next for SES Creations? Whatever it is, Shlomo promises it will be exciting. “I love my work, and I love working with my customers,” he says. “It is fun to go on a ride with me. It may be bumpy at times, but we will get to our destination together. That is all part 1 of the fun, and it is all part of life.” To learn more, call SES Creations at (800) 272-8737, or visit the company online at www.sescreations.com. 1 Perfect Twogether™, SES Creations’ new and exciting collection featuring classic engagement ring sets in various styles and sizes. Emerald-cut diamond 3-stone ring set with square cuts and shown with matching square cut band—fits Perfect Twogether™. 2 Round diamond 3-stone ring set with round pave and shown with matching round pave band—fits Perfect Twogether™. 3 Princess cut diamond 3-stone ring set with princess cuts and shown with matching princess cut band—fits Perfect Twogether™.

SES Creations www.sescreations.com

2

3


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Designer Special Special Advertising Section

A Private Collection

Like love, legends live on...Southern African Diamonds

To some the word safari conjures images of a romantic adventure on a distant tree-dotted savanna with campfire dinners under the stars. To others it may represent the slower pace of a bygone era. To us it means a return to a time of old-fashioned handcrafted quality. From the vintage to the contemporary, this collection is the very embodiment of these principles as every piece is handmade by experts in their field. Each features a magnificent diamond, a signed original from our Private Collection of Southern African Diamonds, a handcrafted tradition of excellence for over a century (all rings are also available without centers). With these magnificent diamonds as their inspiration, the master cutter and designer have united to create jewelry that can truly be called art. Join us for a fascinating adventure spanning generations and continents.

1 1 Henley, style PLC64 This contemporary, classic style features a fancy shape diamond with a custom frame of round brilliant-cut diamonds. This style can feature an emerald, cushion or oval center diamond as well. Available in 14K or 18K gold, or platinum. 2 Nina, style SAZ77 This open design ring features 0.29 carats of round brilliant-cut diamonds to accent the center diamond. This graceful style is available in 14K or 18K gold, or platinum. 3 Melissa, style R478 This classic ring is enhanced with round brilliant-cut diamonds accented by hand engraving to add beauty from every angle. Available in 14K gold. 4 Wellington, style PLC106 This classic style ring featuring Asscher-cut diamonds is accented with round brilliant-cut diamonds. It can be enhanced with hand engraving or have a modern bright finish. Available in 18K gold or platinum.

2

3

A Private Collection southafricandiamonds.com

4


Like Love, Legends Live On

Style shown: R636 Marianne For a limited time we are pleased to offer our Bridal customers a 3 day Isle of Capri, luxury Italian honeymoon. Minimum purchase required. Travel must take place in September 2010. Other terms & conditions apply, call for details.

For a fine jeweler near you please call: 1.800.344.6605 Or visit www.sthdmd.com

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Designer Special

The Sylvie Collection Special Advertising Section

Enduring Style, Exquisite Craftsmanship, Endless Options….

The Sylvie Collection is a bridal line designed to celebrate love. It personifies Sylvie’s love for diamonds, fine jewelry, romance and culture. Born in Antwerp Belgium, the heart of the world diamond business, and fluent in five languages, Sylvie brings two decades of her own experience in the diamond and jewelry business as well as a background of over five decades of experience in the family business. Joining her love of diamonds with her love of fine jewelry, Sylvie has created this collection with a blend of old world charm, classic styles and timeless elegance. Sylvie’s bridal line reflects the values of smart styling, exquisite craftsmanship, affordable pricing and unparalleled service. These elements have made this line the choice of many fine retailers. With each style, special attention is paid to enhance the center diamond to showcase the brilliance of the center stone and to convey distinctive femininity. Today the line comprises of more than 800 exquisite styles which can incorporate any combination of center stone sizes and shapes to fit your request or budget. “The breadth and flexibility are what makes this line so incredible, we have used the same ring to make a 3-carat center stone or a half carat center and the detail of the two finished rings are identical within scale,” adds Sylvie. The line is available in 18K and platinum and every style comes with a matching wedding band. We invite you to view our full collection and see for yourself what we mean by: Enduring Style, Exquisite Craftsmanship, Endless Options.... 1 This 18K ring features a 2-carat round brilliant center diamond. This ring has a total of 0.33 carats of round diamonds surrounding the center diamond and flowing down this uniquely designed twisted shank setting. 2 This 18K split shank ring features a 1-carat round brilliant diamond accentuated by round diamonds surrounding it weighing 0.06 carats, with a rope design down the shank. 3 This 18K ring features a 2-carat round brilliant center diamond and features a total of 0.55 carats of round diamonds going down the shank. 4 This 18K ring features a 1.50-carat cushion-cut center diamond and has a total of 0.53 carats of round diamonds flowing down the sides and inner sides of the shank.

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*All Sylvie Collection rings are available for any size or shape center, in 18K or platinum, with a flush fit matching wedding band.

The Sylvie Collection

T: 800-992-3426 www.sylviecollection.com

Sylvie Levin

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Enduring style, Exquisite Craftmanship, Endless options Cronier’s Fine Jewelry, Montgomery, Al 334.272.4995 • Diamonds Direct Usa Of Alabama LLC, Birmingham, Al 205. 201.7072 Leslie’s Jewelers, Searcy, AR 501-268-2340 • Hamra Jewelers, Scottsdale, AZ 480.607.0789 • Kieu Hanh Jewelry, Westminster, CA 714.891.0205 • Rogers Jewelry Co., CA 916.927.0583 Mallove’s Jewelers, Waterford, CT 860.442.4391 • Rumanoff’s Fine Jewelry And Design, Hamden, CT 203.230.1199 | Suchy, Peter, Jewelers, Stamford, CT 203.327.0024 Maharaja’s Fine Jewelry, Panama City, FL 850.763.4224 • Reynolds, David, Saint Petersburg, FL 727.327.2646 • Brown& Co. Jewelers, Roswell, GA 770.993.1080 | Atlanta, GA 404.814.9800 Crawford’s Jewelers, Waycross, GA 912.285.7093 • Windsor Jewelers, Augusta, GA 706.738.7778 • Thorpe & Company, Sioux City, IA 712.258.7501 Oak Park Jewelers, Oak Park, IL 708-383-9695 • Distinctive Diamonds, Indianapolis, IN 317.575.8555 • Douglas Kent Jewelers, Hammond, LA 985.542.9282 Elgin’s Jewelry, Baton Rouge, LA 225.928.3000 • Potts Sid, Shreveport, LA 318.797.2929 • Descenza Diamonds, Framingham, MA 617.542.7975 • E.B. Horn Company, Boston, MA 617.542.3902 Security Jewelers, Duluth, MN 218.722.6633 • Signature Jewelers, East Grand Forks, MN 218.773.0711 • Betz, L.C. Associates, Jewelers, Columbia, MO 573.449.1070 Diamonds Direct USA, Raleigh, NC 919.571.2881 | Charlotte, NC 704.532.9041 • Rhudy’s Jewelry Showcase, Fayetteville, NC 910.488.2971 • Wimmer’s West, Fargo, ND 701.282.2606 Corinne Jewelers, Toms River, NJ 732.244.4664 • Rogers Jewelry Co, Reno, NV 559.244.9445 • Dennis Jewelry Company, San Antonio, TX 210.499.1212 Shapiro Diamonds, Dallas, TX 972.239.2122 • Susan Robinson, Tyler, TX 903.581.5530 • Needham S.E. Jewelers, Logan, UT 435.752.7149 • C. W. Smith Jewelers, Fond-du-lac, WI 920.922.6259

For a retailer near you call 800.992.3426 or visit www.sylviecollection.com


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Your Engagement 101... the community for soon-to-be engaged couples • Connect

with other couples in love • Read tips and advice on purchasing the ring • Get inspired by true love stories and proposals • Find help to make your relationship stronger • Get all the latest engagement-related news

WIN A PLATINUM TACORI ENGAGEMENT RING! Enter to win a platinum engagement ring from TACORI (style no. 2620PRSMP). Dazzling, pave-set diamonds enhance the 1.00-carat princess-cut center stone, held securely by precious platinum. The total carat weight of the ring is 1.25 carats, valued at $6,400. To enter visit engagement101mag.com starting January 23. (No purchase necessary to enter or win.) Discover more platinum rings on page 43.

Love. Propose. Be Happy

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{ The Party }


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A Fabulous Engagement Party ...ON A

BUDGET

When you get engaged in times like these, celebrating can feel, well, tricky. Who has money to spare in this economy? An engagement party might even seem a bit frivolous. You know you can’t burden family and friends, and you don’t want to add to your own debt either. On the other hand, thankfully, life’s greatest moments can occur despite a shaky economy. And doesn’t a newly engaged couple deserve to announce their happy news with flourish and style—even now? BY HEATHER E. SCHWARTZ he answer, of course, is yes.With a little creativity, you can throw an engagement party without breaking your or anyone else’s bank. Here’s how:

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Step 1: Keep the guest list small. Obviously, smaller engagement parties cost less than huge bashes. But there’s no need to feel cheap while limiting the number of invitations you send out. It’s actually part of the engagement party tradition. Engagement parties originally were meant to give the couple’s closest family and friends a chance to meet before the wedding. A more intimate affair allows everyone to really talk and get to know one another. True, limiting a guest list is never easy. But there are some methods you can use to get started. First, make sure everyone you want to invite to the engagement party will definitely be invited to the wedding. Next, consider drawing some easily defined boundaries:You could decide to invite only family or even limit to immediate family of the bride- and groom-to-be. Friends can’t complain if they know it’s “family only.” Another option is to invite only friends and family who live locally. Don’t be too rigid about your rules, though. The parents of the bride- and groom-to-be should be invited no matter how far away they live.

Step 2: Be creative with invites. Printed invitations can cost a bundle—and that’s even before you consider the price of postage. For an engagement party, they’re also completely unnecessary. If you followed Step 1, you already have a small guest list. So why not handwrite the invitations and envelopes yourself?You can purchase festive fill-inthe-blanks-style invitations at a party store, or visit a craft store for blank cards you can decorate at home. Use photos showing the bride- and groom-to-be together to dress up the front. You even could make photos into postcards you can mail at a reduced rate compared to regular letters. Peel-and-stick backings can be purchased online, or you can just write on the back of a photo in postcard format. (Don’t forget the stamp!) To really cut costs and simplify the process, consider email invitations. Evite.com offers free invitations, allows guests to reply online and let’s you track who’ll be attending the event. Remember to follow up with late responders (it’s always possible you’ve got someone’s incorrect e-mail address).And, of course, you’ll want to send a written invitation to any guests who aren’t online.

Step 3: Host at home. Using space that’s already at your disposal is a lot less expensive Engagement 101 Magazine | www.engagement101mag.com

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{ The Party } than renting a hall or paying for restaurant service. An engagement party can take place at the home of the guests of honor. A close family member or friend also might be willing to lend the space—provided they’re invited to the party, of course. During colder seasons, a cozy living room will do nicely (especially if it comes with a fireplace!). When the weather’s warm, a backyard can be a great setting for an outdoor party. “My fiancé and I are huge University of Michigan fans, so we are having a tailgate-themed party in my parents’ backyard,” said bride-to-be Elizabeth Robbins of Detroit. “We are renting a tent, tables and chairs and will grill food and have family bring side dishes. So far, it has been pretty inexpensive.” For another take on the house party idea, consider hosting a casual event in a public space. Many beautiful parks and nature centers have picnic tables and grills that are available for public use.You’ll need to rent a pavilion, which adds an element of privacy and also protects guests in case of rain.While there is usually a fee to reserve pavilions, you can still cut costs by making food for the party yourself. Clean-up will be minimal, and the scenery is free!

Step 4: Do not consider this a mini-wedding!

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Step 5: Skip the gifts. When you’re sticking to a budget, it’s only fair to pass the savings on to your guests, especially in this economy. Include these lines on the invitations:“Your presence is the only present requested. Please, no gifts.”An engagement party isn’t a wedding shower, where the bride should be showered with gifts.And it’s not the wedding either, where gifts symbolize congratulations once the couple is married. The engagement party is simply about bringing people together and celebrating good news. If you’re worried your crowd is the type to bring gifts anyway, you can still plan ahead to keep their costs down. First, don’t include registry information in the invitation (that’s a “don’t” under any circumstances!). Next, think creatively. One bridesmaid recalls being asked to bring a specific item to an engagement party. “The mother of the bride threw the party and gave the couple a wine rack as their gift,” said Sandy Goldberg of San Francisco. “Every guest was instructed to bring a bottle of wine to put in the rack with instructions on when to open it—things like ‘your first snowfall as a married couple,’ ‘first anniversary,’ etc.The guests bought wine that was within

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Traditional weddings often include every detail imaginable: a once-in-a-lifetime gown, stretch limos, elaborate centerpieces, a DJ or band, favors for guests, etc. An engagement party, on the other hand, should not be a miniature version of the larger celebration to come. Keeping that in mind, you easily can opt to skip things like limos, centerpieces and favors. An engagement party is a party, however, so you will want to make it festive. One way to set the mood: Use simple DIY flower arrangements. Colleen Mullaney, a lifestyle expert and author of Faux Florals and Candles (Creative Publishing International, 2009), recommends using fresh flowers from the garden or purchasing them from the grocery store. You can cut and arrange them in small vases yourself, and place them around the room. You’ll need other decorations, too, like pretty tablecloths, candles, paper lanterns and anything else you can find to dress your space. Sounds costly, but it doesn’t have to be.Visit your local dollar store rather than a big box.You’ll save a fortune, and if you keep the secret to yourself, no one will ever know where you shopped. While music is another must at an engagement party, it doesn’t have to mean hiring a band or DJ.Think outside the box: Does the couple have a talented friend who’d be willing to strum his guitar during the party? Would the guests enjoy a karaoke contest (machine rentals are less expensive than a band or DJ)? You even could simply make your own music mix— including plenty of romantic songs, of course.


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Step 6: Stick to the theme. Remember how engagement parties are traditionally planned so those closest to the bride- and groom-to-be can get to know each other? Use this theme as a launching point for storytelling during the event. Everyone will want to know how the couple met. Make sure they’re prepared to tell their tale. Guests also might be interested in telling their own stories— about the bride- and groom-to-be as children, college friends, or coworkers.You even could ask them to bring along photos featuring the couple to share with the group. Games can get conversations started, too.And they can be great icebreakers when guests don’t know one another. In a version of the Newlywed Game, guests ask the bride- and groom-to-be questions about each other, such as favorite movie, first car and most embarrassing moment. (If you want to keep it clean, have guests write questions on index cards and collect them before the game begins.)

Step 7: Plan a simple menu. Provided you time the party right (either after lunchtime and not too close to dinner or well after dinner), you don’t have to serve a full meal. Instead, you can scale down on food and bev94

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erages, cutting costs considerably. If you think in pairs, it’s easy to come up with a simple menu: wine and sweets; coffee and cookies; or champagne and hors d’oeuvres. Plan ahead so you can make the food yourself, and you’ll slash your budget even more. A word about beverages: Cocktails are costly, but you can easily avoid serving them. Mullaney recommends serving punch instead. Punch is making a comeback at parties, and it’s budgetfriendly when you’re serving a crowd. Plus, a pretty punch bowl will add a cute, retro decorative touch to your engagement event.

Step 8: Consider a BYOB or potluck meal. If you want to serve a full meal at the party, there is a way to do it without taking on all of the responsibility (and cost) yourself. In Step 5, you let guests off the hook for pricey gifts.That gives you license to ask them to bring wine or beer, non-alcoholic beverages, or a dish to share instead. Specifically request the items you need, whether it’s a main dish, side dish, salad or dessert.You might even want to plan a theme for the food, such as Italian, Mexican or American-style picnic. There’s no need to be shy about asking. Allowing guests to contribute to the party makes them a part of things.Think of it this way:You’re inviting them into the inner, intimate circle of people sharing in your happy news.You’re proving your party isn’t about extravagance—it’s about the relationships that mean so much to you. And that should definitely set the tone for a fun celebration!

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their price range, and then the couple got a great selection of wine for their first home. It made it easy for the guests to shop, and I thought it was a great idea.”


Bohland Jewelers, Ashland, OH | 419.289.9265 • Bridal Rings Company, Los Angeles, CA | 800.5.BRIDAL (274325) Bumatay Jewelers, Lompoc, CA | 805.736.4850 • Camille’s Original Jewelry, Corpus Christi, TX | 361.991.0831 Copeland Jewelers, Austin, TX | 512.330.0303 • Steven DiFranco, Willoughby, OH | 440.943.2700

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{ Couple Style }

Engaging ATTIRE FOR YOU & YOUR GUY Wedding dress shopping is performed strictly without the groom, so why not take your love for a fun engagement party shopping trip? Whether you’re a bride on a budget or one lucky enough to splurge, these four runway-to-real-way looks surely will impress your guests. Well, that and your ring! BY KATERINE HOPPE n order to avoid hiccups, I recommend a pre-trip for you. Take a girlfriend, sister or your mother, and narrow down your top three looks. Have the shop hold them, and, once you arrive, let him be your final opinion.This will make it simple and fun. He gets to watch you model beautiful clothes

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without waiting for hours. No one is frustrated, and you then can focus on him. Once you have your look, find the inspiration for his; however, try to avoid the bridal urge to match. Pick an element from your outfit—such as a key color, embellishment or fabric—and work one of these into his look.


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{ Couple Style } DONNA KARAN donnakaran.com

The Drama King & Queen Splurge on a luxurious shopping experience, which is sure to whet your appetite for much more to come as you prepare for your wedding. Only this time, you can enjoy the pampering together at a high-end department store.

For you A key trend on the runway for fall is draping and maxi dresses, and no one showed better examples of both than Donna Karan. Don’t be afraid to wear a full-length dress to your party so long as the fabric is less formal, say a knit jersey.This style is classic, sophisticated and could be worn again. Charcoal gray is a perfect color to work back into menswear, the light jersey fabric gives it a casual feel and the dramatic styling guarantees you’ll be noticed. After all, everyone will be there to see you, so command the room. Add a bib necklace for some sparkle 98

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JOHN VARVATOS johnvarvatos.com

along with a classic black shoe you most likely already have in your closet.

For your guy Start with the basics such as a sharp navy suit. Chances are your fiancé already has a great suit in his closet; just be sure to inspect the tailoring. Suits are all about the fit. Make sure the hem is just right, and the jacket is fitted.This will ensure your man is showing off all the right lines. If he is in need of a suit, there is no better designer than John Varvatos. In order to complement such a dynamite dress, he’s going to need a bit of detail.Try layering with a cardigan.This look is chic and can be worn with anything from a suit to denim. In order for it to reflect your look, try the cardigan in charcoal as seen here. For an extra matching touch, add a pocket square in the same jewel tone as the gorgeous bib necklace you’ll be wearing.


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RAG & BONE rag-bone.com

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ robertrodriguezcollection.com

The Trendsetters If you and your partner are looking to get noticed and are a bit more fashionably daring, contemporary specialty stores are the best option. They often carry lesser-known avant-garde designers and styles big retailers don’t have.With plenty of options for the fashion risk-takers, you will be guaranteed to find something no one else will have!

driguez. The bold shoulder is highlighted with a delicate sprinkle of sequins, and the rouching throughout the body will complement any body shape.This standout style is not for the faint of heart and should be accessorized with understated items. Balance the sex appeal with an androgynous bootie and simple jewelry.

For your guy For you Every woman should have a go-to little black dress in her closet. Celebrating your engagement is the perfect reason to invest in another, but this time grab one with a “wow” factor. The trend of the season is a strong shoulder. Everyone from Lanvin to Balmain showed dresses, tops, blazers and jackets with a sharp shoulder. Incorporate this trend for evening with an architectural piece such as this number from Robert Ro-

Offer your fashionably adept fiancé the opportunity to experiment with his look by introducing leather as an evening jacket. The perfect complement to your dress is leather, and the rock-chic style, shown here, is the way to wear it. Instead of the classic suit, try an edgy leather jacket, such as this flak jacket by Rag & Bone, with a sheen trouser. If you really want to push the limits, try a trouser in a unique color such as the pop purple shown on the runway. Engagement 101 Magazine | www.engagement101mag.com

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{ Couple Style } H&M hm.com

RORY BECA rorybeca.com

The Thrifty Couple The budget-conscious couple doesn’t need to skimp on style! Don’t go high budget on accessories unless you are buying investment pieces. Dressing for evening should be fun with a bit of fantasy. Find a costume jewelry store or diffusion retailer such as Zara or H&M and splurge! Purchase glitzy accessories such as chandelier earrings, a cocktail ring, satin gloves, a flower for your hair, and for him, a posh scarf or a dapper hat.These looks are all about layers, so don’t be afraid to keep adding.

For you Forget the weather outside, and dress the way you feel: utterly romantic! A romantic dress woven in layered chiffon a la Chanel is just the thing.Work with warm colors such as nude, 100

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mauve and gray, and add depth with a bold third piece. Choose a rosette bomber, such as the one pictured here by Rory Beca, or a cocktail blazer in glitzy sequins. In order to keep the look modern, offset the hyper femininity with a bold back gladiator heel.

For your guy Spice up an ordinary suit with an unexpected hue, such as all gray.There are so many options in great suiting, particularly in a textured or sheen fabric, that will add dimension to this monochromatic look. Since you will be styling your chic silhouette with metallic details, add some shine to his look as well. Finish the suit with a skinny tie or a scarf and a patent leather shoe.


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ROGUE (available at) saksfifthavenue.com

Men’s look picture by Guy Aroch

THREAD SOCIAL social.threaddesign.com

The Sophisticates Instead of searching for the perfect dress, opt for standout separates.Your look can be built into a stylish outfit for the evening and broken down in many different ways to wear after your event.This method is perfect when you have a fiancé who hates to get dressed up! Search for key pieces he won’t mind wearing, such as a straight leg chino and a utilitarian boot, which is all the rage in menswear.

For you This season Chloé and Balenciaga showed dozens of ladylike blouses in lace, chiffon and silk, tied with an oversized bow for that illusive French chic. Channel Gigi or Coco for the evening with a billowy bow blouse and high-waisted organza skirt as

shown here by Thread Social. According to the French, less is always more, so focus on dewy makeup and impeccably undone hair.

For your guy Find a look that really suits him without it having to be a suit. On the contrary, the go-to blazer over graphic tee with designer denim look is completely unacceptable as well. So find sporty yet chic separates that, when put together, have a rugged yet polished look. Find a jacket in a moto or trench style in leather, suede or canvas. Instead of denim, opt for an elegant chino sans wrinkles in a sheen fabrication as seen here by Rouge. Layer a cardigan in a great pop color, as found on your skirt, and you’re perfectly complementary and contemporary. Engagement 101 Magazine | www.engagement101mag.com

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Alita Graham for

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{ Wedding Dresses }

Dress Forecast Check out these hot off-the-runway bridal trends. You are still waiting for the ring, but you are already dreaming about your wedding dress. So here’s a peek at six of Spring 2010’s hottest trends. The most recent New York Bridal Week was full of unconventional dresses. From short minis to dramatic pleats, these definitely aren’t your mother’s wedding gowns. The styles on the runway, which will hit stores and boutiques throughout the world this spring, predict another year of amazing bridal fashion.

Oscar de la Renta

Jewel by Priscilla of Boston

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{ Wedding Dresses }

Bigger is Better

These ginormous gowns are perfect for those with a flair for the dramatic.

Badgley Mischka Bride

Douglas Hannant

Speranza by Katerina Bocci

Vera Wang

Amsale

Ines Di Santo

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A Bow on Top

Cute, stylish and guaranteed not to make you look like a Christmas present. Elizabeth Fillmore

Claire Pettibone Monique Lhuillier

Lazaro

Platinum

Pnina Tornai

Vera Wang

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{ Wedding Dresses }

Smell the Roses

“As pretty as a flower� has never been more appropriate for these dresses.

Alvina Valenta

Christos

Rivini

St. Pucchi

Lela Rose

Claire Pettibone

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Gorgeous Gems

These sparkling gowns will make any bride look as glamorous as a movie star. Alfred Angelo Private

Badgley Mischka Bride Priscilla of Boston

Farah Angsana Bridal

Ines Di Santo

Monique Lhuillier

St. Pucchi

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{ Wedding Dresses }

Vineyard Collection

Cut Short

Show off your legs and daring style in these cute minis.

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Blush by JLM

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Piccione

Anne Barge

Melissa Sweet

Platinum


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Girl, Pleats!

These delicately structured gowns are stylish, unique and ultra-feminine. Christos

Jim Hjelm Farah Angsana Bridal

Kenneth Pool

Oscar de la Renta

Pnina Tornai

Tara Keely

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for

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[ GUY’S GUIDE ]

TAKING THE

by David Soldinger

PLUNGE As the creator of a wedding blog for men, Temple of Groom (templeof groom.com), you’d probably assume that David Soldinger has been waiting his entire life for marriage. In reality, he’s just a 27-year-old living in Los Angeles who’s as nervous about his nuptials as the next guy.

I’m a fairly decisive person, and I’ve certainly always had a solid grasp of what I want out of life at any given moment. To find a perfect example of my decisionmaking abilities, look no further than a Sunday morning during football season. On my drive to the sports bar, I know I’ll order the eggs combo with a Bloody Mary for breakfast. Before I break into my first yolk, I’ve planned to order hot wings and beer for lunch. During the first half of the game, I like to sit on a nice plush couch and relax. The second half, I prefer to stand and pace while I drink pints of Guinness. My rituals, albeit diet-busting, are about as far from spontaneous as they can get. They’re all part of my incredibly decisive decision-making skills. They, however, probe me to ask the question: 112

If decisions come relatively easy to me, why did it take me 53 weeks to call a girl I love my girlfriend? I realize that choosing between a breakfast burrito or an egg combo is far less involved than decisions involving relationships, although, perhaps that really depends on the quality of the breakfast burrito. I digress. In the past I’ve been able to make general commitment decisions quite easily. I’ve committed myself to school and jobs. For the last 13 years of my life, I’ve been 100 percent committed to the Baltimore Ravens football team. My love for them came easy. All they had to do was exist, and I was immediately devoted to them. Why has it taken me so long to commit to a girl? Why do relationship commitment decisions have to be so

Engagement 101 Magazine | www.engagement101mag.com

difficult? Is it truly a guy thing? Too often I think women tag men with having a “fear of commitment.” In reality, I’d venture to say that most men aren’t fearful to commit; we just don’t know what we’re looking for the majority of the time. I can honestly say I wasn’t afraid to call Rebecca my girlfriend. It was a mixture of fooling myself into believing I didn’t want a serious relationship, and pure complacency of the relationship at the dating stage. Once I finally realized that I was, in fact, exclusively dating a girl for more than a year, and it was a relationship, commitment was a pretty easy decision to make. It was done. I turned my best friend into my girlfriend. Life was great. We were a boyfriend and a girlfriend who

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The difference is, he blogs about it.


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[ GUY’S GUIDE ] laughed, loved and genuinely enjoyed one another’s company every minute we were together. While we didn’t have a bicycle built for two, it sure felt like we should have. After that hurdle, it was smooth sailing. Upon the horizon, though, in the back of my head I knew this ship would be smacked with the decision to turn my girlfriend into my fiancée, then my wife. Marriage. The enormity of the concept made me type it on its very own line. Was I ready to “take the plunge?” Why does it have to be called the “plunge?” Why can’t it be “take the frolic?” Right, because it’s a hard decision, and it’s forever. Although intimidated, I would never categorize myself as being fearful of marriage. A decision that I have to make that spans

of all those excuses sprinkled with one more justification: Patricia Heaton from “Everybody Loves Raymond.” She is the defining reason why it took me a while to finally decide to ask Rebecca to marry me. Whenever I thought about marriage, Patricia’s character (Ray Romano’s wife) charged through my head like a bull through a china shop, then an antique vase shop and finally back through the china shop just in case there was one plate that survived the first trampling. Her incessant nagging, barrage of blaming and the never-ending yelling she would bestow upon Ray made me think that’s what marriage would potentially come to for me. The loveable girl I was head over heels for would soon turn against me once I say “I do.” In the world of sitcoms,

told that girls mature faster than boys. So it’s no surprise that this reigns true in our relationships as well. My friend, and fellow blogger (thesportspad.blogspot.com), Paul Dawson put it wisely: “I think men can exist in a relationship without the need or desire to question, ‘Where is this [relationship] going?’ If we’re happy, we’re happy. We don’t need to delve into the deeper meaning of things. The other part of it is the lack of maturity. Not to say that married men are more mature, but guys who remain bachelors late in life enjoy a certain lack of accountability to anyone other than themselves.” The truth is we may not be ready to consider someone other than ourselves. Though it may not be a common issue for most, religion does affect rela-

I’d venture to say that most men aren’t fearful to commit; we just don’t know what we’re looking for the majority of the time.” my entire lifetime is going to be daunting no matter what it is. Women don’t give us enough credit when we take our time before proposing. If we had to make a decision that limited us to eat one food for the rest of our lives, you better believe we’d weigh our options for a while. A steak would never call me fearful of commitment if I were taking my time before picking it. So I polled the only male marriage experts I knew: my friends. It seems I’ve hit that magical age where all of my friends are either married, engaged or contemplating whether or not to pop the question. I wanted to know why they hesitate, or hesitated, before getting engaged. The same completely valid reasons were a constant among them all: financial security obligations, lack of maturity levels and religion. For me, it was a combination 114

there’s always that flashback episode where the couple is happier before marriage. Would that be me? Financially, getting engaged is scary. Before you can even think of fun ways to propose, the fact that you may not be able to afford a ring looms over you like the storm cloud that follows Charlie Brown. The old industry standard suggests you spend two months’ salary on a ring. My bank account suggests I reconsider. Unfortunately after getting engaged, things don’t get any easier financially. Planning a wedding isn’t cheap, and neither is starting a family. Financially you have to have your “stuff” together. Right now, more people are experiencing financial hardship than ever. Some of us guys would just like to get through the tough economic times, and then we’ll think about engagement. Ever since elementary school we’re

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tionships and engagements. When an issue involves your family and her family, it can get messy. The choice to convert to a religion can be met with great opposition from various outside sources. So sometimes we just choose to shelve the entire idea of proposing because we just don’t want to deal with this topic. It’s overwhelming. A recently married friend of mine, Harry Madigan, a financial analyst and Midwestern transplant to Los Angeles, told me, “Life’s too short not to be with the one you love.” For each excuse for my hesitation not to get engaged, I quickly realized that there were 100 reasons to get engaged. The reasons for my apprehension seemed easily surmountable. It was like getting to the final summit of Everest and stopping because my ingrown toenail is kind of bothering me.


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BISANAR JEWELERS

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KRANICH’S JEWELERS

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WHITE & IVORY

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Soon I figured that the suggested amount of money one should spend on an engagement ring was just a suggestion. Sure you should put money aside to pay for the ring, but what you can afford, you get. Your girlfriend will love whatever you get because ultimately you picked it out for her. Even if you can’t afford the $4 million pink diamond Kobe Bryant gave his wife, she’ll know that you gave her what you could afford. You can’t go wrong when you’re buying a girl a diamond because, at the end of the day, it’s a diamond. While I realize that getting married and starting a family is financially draining, it shouldn’t be an excuse to hesitate on engagement. You’re always going to be faced with finances; that’s part of growing up. There are countless ways to cut costs of weddings. Don’t be afraid of the wedding. It’s something you and your fiancée will tackle when the time comes. Additionally, nobody said you have to start a family right away. There will be time to save up for that together. At some point we all mature. Another friend of mine, Joe Boothe, an accountant who is one month married, said, “Everything in marriage is magnified. Your decisions, their implications, their consequences. When you’re single, all of your decisions are about you and usually pretty 116

reversible. Once married, you aren’t just thinking about yourself, but your spouse and your future.” When I asked him what excites him about marriage he replied, “Everything I just listed, for the exact same reasons.” Actually, it may not be maturation, but rather an understanding that the only thing that matters is being with someone you love. Rebecca recently converted to Judaism. I lucked out because she was interested in the religion before she met me. This made the “whether or not to convert” discussion fairly easy. At some point, you either have to put your religious beliefs behind you or find a good compromise that works for you. It does get sticky, but take it from me, someone who has been through this, don’t let it deter you from a proposal. It’s delicate, but you will come out a stronger couple if you come to an agreement. So what should you do if you’re still on the fence? What if you haven’t quite matured, made those extra dollars or realized that sitcom wives aren’t real? What happens when your girlfriend is ready for engagement, and you’re not? It’s fourth and goal on the 8-yard line, you want to take the field goal, but she’s pressuring you to go for it. Call a time out and talk about this. As a guy, the thought of

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having a “talk” makes me cringe. You need to figure out what your intentions are and what’s preventing you from asking her to marry you. There’s a good chance that your girlfriend is pressuring you because she doesn’t know your intentions. If you can’t see yourself marrying the girl, maybe it’s time to re-assess the relationship. However, if you see a future together, tell her. Let her know what’s holding you back. If she knows it’s going to happen at some point, she won’t pressure you—I promise. Out of all the guys I spoke to about engagement, the only ones that felt any pressure from their girlfriends are the ones who didn’t see a future with them. I know what it’s like to straddle that fence. I ran through every excuse in the book to buy myself time before I was committed. One night while I was out with Rebecca, she made me laugh. I’m not even sure what the joke was, and I’m sure she’s told funnier ones before, but that’s what convinced me she was the one. I realized that I genuinely like to be around her. That’s when I hopped off the fence. It’s true, I was complacent and comfortable being her boyfriend, but as a guy, I had to ask myself seriously, how comfortable is it to straddle a fence anyway?

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GET HER THE

by David Tchappat

RING SHE WANTS Buying an engagement ring can be kind of like buying a car. Stressful! But before walking down this challenging path, check out these tips on how even the most clueless guys can find the perfect engagement ring for their favorite girl.

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s

So you found Miss Right and are ready to pop the question—well, almost ready. After the nerves settle from being strung out through the initial thought of proposing, there is the issue of that solitary object that will represent you in front of her girlfriends and office mates, handing out jealousy with every twinkle—the engagement ring. Making her girlfriends jealous her male office mates think that she has a catch, and satisfying her individual preferences is no easy task. Lucky for you, I failed so you wouldn’t have to. I crashed and burned with my first engagement ring purchase; carnal was the wreckage. Then I started over and did research on how to pick out the perfect engagement ring, snuck around my wife’s back to replace it, and am now here to help you. Not only are rings dainty, which renders them totally incomprehensible to the average man, but this is one item that is no longer considered a thoughtful purchase simply due to it costing two to three month’s salary. The whole “money talks” M.O. is fading fast in this economy, and has been long gone in the engagement ring search. If you’re old school and still are determined to spend three-plus months’ salary salary on an engagement ring, that’s fine. Just know that doing so is seen now more as an investment (not a very good one) and not necessarily as you meeting some universal requirement, which always has been and always will be a wholly shallow and totally unimpressive standard in my opinion. I’m sure most women would concur with my contempt.


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Women want to know, and want everyone else to know for that matter, that their partner knows them. By being pretty, by not being cheap (relative to your income), and by matching her style and personality, an engagement ring will say that you put a lot of thought into the purchase, that you parted with a significant amount of money, and that you pay attention to her respectively—she will interpret this ring as how “in tune” you are with her. After all, that’s what you want right? You want to show your bride-to-be that you love her and can meet every one of her needs. Not to mention, if you do this right, you’ve got a good six months of her secretly giving you the benefit of the doubt pre-argument, guaranteed. So what makes an engagement ring pretty? First you have to realize that we are not only talking about the ring itself, but also how it will look on her hand. If your girlfriend has big hands, you don’t want to buy her a ring that is too small to draw attention to itself. And if your girlfriend has very small hands, you don’t want to buy her a huge hand anchor. For the second engagement ring hunt I was on (the successful one), I snagged a few rings from my girlfriend’s jewelry box and took them to the stores with me. This allowed me to match the size of the new

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ring to the average sizes of rings she already owned. It was a huge help. But when she started missing her jewelry, I had to place them randomly around the house and wait for her find them or act like I stumbled across them. If you don’t like that idea, you’re not dead in the water. In search of wiser advice, I took to the malls of Phoenix and spoke with a few married men to gather some other reconnaissance tips. “There are always women working at these jewelry stores,” says Nathan, 29, of Phoenix. “Usually there will be one that has a comparable hand size to your girlfriend. I would ask them to put the ring on in order to see how it would look. In one store, there were no women working at the time, so I actually asked a female shopper whose hands were a near perfect match to my girlfriend’s. But trust me, don’t ever tell your wife that you did that. Apparently they don’t want to know you had some strange woman try on their ring before them.” Another characteristic that most people agree is the difference between beautiful and not as beautiful is the clarity of the stone. To admirers the clarity can translate to its sparkle. The worse the clarity of the diamond, the less successfully will it transmit light. I think most people would agree that a stone that sparkles is prettier than a

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stone that is dull. Better clarity is going to cost you a bit more, but if you can spare the cash, go for it—the more sparkly, the better. Now the money. How much is too little, and how much is too much? Basically, too much is only too much if you’ll break your bank account buying the ring, or, in my opinion, expect to take a loan out to cover the cost. I had a friend who took out a $10,000 loan to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring. It was an absolutely gorgeous platinum-banded diamond ring. Within one month, his new fiancée had bumped the ring around somehow, and the diamond fell out never to be found. Needless to say, he was a little salty. On the other end, too little would be not being able to satisfy my ring beauty tips: I personally wouldn’t compromise on the size or the sparkle. That doesn’t mean the stone has to blind you, but it should have an effortless sparkle about it, and the size should absolutely be appropriate for her hand. The next is the most difficult and probably most important consideration when buying an engagement ring: whether or not it matches her personal style. You want the ring to match her personality, her preferences for jewelry and sometimes even her lifestyle. The first thing you need to do is listen and probe.


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While you are watching TV or just out on the town, listen to her comments or ask her questions about what other women are wearing or how they are wearing it. Go shopping with her a couple of times to help her pick out some clothes. This is the perfect time to ask questions. Almost every apparel store in the mall sells earrings and necklaces. Begin suggesting some to her. Listen as she tells you what type of jewelry she likes and dislikes and why. This information is priceless. In particular, one thing you want to know is what type of metal she likes. This also may be apparent by the jewelry she already owns. If she wears silver-colored rings, buy white gold or platinum. If she wears yellow gold, then buy yellow gold. You also can speak with one of her close friends or maybe even her mother, and ask them questions. Chances are they have shared jewelry opinions and maybe even engagement ring preferences. Another suggestion on how to scrape for ring style clues from your unsuspecting bride-to-be comes from Andrew, 32. “I took my girlfriend to the mall and into a jewelry store to help me pick out a watch,” he says. “We looked at the watches for a while, and then she started making her way over to the ring section. It’s like a 122

natural attraction or something. So I used that situation to ask a few questions about what she liked, but lightly so I didn’t seem eager. I found out exactly the type of stone, the type of metal and type of cut she liked. It was then I found out that she was allergic to any gold less than 24k. It didn’t matter, though, because I ended up buying platinum. Anyways, she was totally surprised two weeks later when I proposed. The ring was perfect, and it was exactly what she wanted.” The last characteristic to consider is durability. You have to buy a ring that is not only going to match her work environment, but also her activities. If your girlfriend works in an office environment and is pretty much a home body, then any ring choice will work. But if your dame is more active, perhaps a hiker or a Pilates girl, you may need a setting that keeps the rock a bit more secure. In this case, the bezel setting may be a good pick. This setting places the stone flush with its encasing rather than propped up and pronged. Though, if you must have the in-your-face solitaire style, go with as many prongs as they will let you get away with. And don’t be afraid to work with the jeweler. If you explain to the jeweler that you need the diamond to be secure, he will be able to

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suggest an appropriate setting. In the end, if you simply cannot wrap your head around this task and choose a decent ring, you can follow the path of many men and go naked. Don’t propose naked, man. I’m not suggesting that at all. Maybe Daniel, 36, can explain it better. “I constantly had like three to four rings that I couldn’t choose from,” he says. “Every store I went to I would choose a handful, and then I couldn’t narrow it down. I tried the friend thing and I read articles, but in the end it was just easier, and kind of cool, to let her choose. So I bought the diamond itself. I just bought the stone alone, and they gave me a case for it. When you open it, it’s just this gleaming diamond on a black background. It looked pretty impressive. After I proposed, we went together and she picked out her own ring and setting. It was such a load off of my shoulders, and she loved it.” All in all, the process of buying a ring can be a pain in the neck, but it also can be fun sneaking around for clues to figure out what she wants. And it’s ultimately worth it because you end up with a happy fiancée. Whether you go large or small, gold or platinum, or set or naked, just be creative and nail the basics in this article, and I promise you won’t be sorry.


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by Garnet Greene

BUYING HER ENGAGEMENT RING: A GUIDE FOR GUYS

Jewelry expert and celebrity stylist Michael O’Connor has great sympathy for men shopping for engagement rings. In his vast experience, the majority of men have no experience buying jewelry let alone the expensive kind. To find their beloved an engagement ring, they’re faced with exploring a “totally new world.” If they were shopping for a car, O’Connor says, “They’d know exactly what to do—look it up in the Blue Book, assess its listed features and find out its MSRP.” With diamonds they simply do not know how to proceed. Take heart, young lovers, we have your backs. The following guide will help you find a great ring for your girl.

Learn to Appreciate Diamonds Diamonds are associated with feminine desires and romantic daydreams. It may be difficult for a guy to develop a passion for them. However, the truth is they are as macho as an object can be: They are the strongest natural substance on earth. The carbon they’re made of may have come from outer space. They’re forged under unimaginable pressures deep in the Earth’s interior. They only surface when they explode out of a volcano. They are typically found in very hostile environments, including deep under arctic ice, in desert streambeds and in untamed jungles. • Their history and exploration is teeming with intrigue and adventure. ©iStockphoto

• • • • •

In short, there’s no reason diamonds shouldn’t be a guy’s best friend! When you look for one, feel free to feel the bro-mance of it all.

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[ GUY’S GUIDE ] BASICS YOU NEED TO KNOW: PRECIOUS METALS The preferred metals for engagement ring settings include gold, platinum and palladium. Silver and other soft metals are not strong enough to survive years of wear. Rings often have two points of weakness: Their bands can thin and split, and their prongs that secure gemstones can become loose or break off. To avoid losing a diamond or your ring, have your engagement ring checked by your jeweler once a year.

Gold

Platinum

Palladium

Gold is an extraordinary metal, which in its pure form never tarnishes. Pure gold, however, is too soft to secure a diamond. For engagement rings, choose 18- or 14karat gold. Yellow gold is mixed with white alloys and plated with rhodium to create white gold. White gold yellows with time and needs to be replated.

Platinum is stronger than gold and is less likely to split or lose a prong with normal wear. Platinum is the jeweler’s metal of choice. It is 30 times rarer than gold and 95-percent pure.

Palladium is a naturally occurring silver-colored metal. Palladium is not a new discovery, but it’s relatively new to the engagement ring market.

KNOW YOUR RING JARGON Engagement rings with stones already set in the band are readily available. You also can purchase the stone and the setting separately. Settings, mounts or blanks, as they are sometimes called in the trade, are designed without center stones, though they may already be decorated with side stones or small stones on their bands. • A solitaire setting has space for a single featured stone in a plain band. • A multi-stone setting has space for two or more featured stones in each mounting. • A semi-mount is a ring already decorated with diamonds or colored stones, with space for a central featured stone. • A pavé setting is a popular semimount featuring tiny stones set so close together that very little metal shows through. The name comes from the French for pavement—it’s “paved” with precious stones.

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CERTIFICATES + APPRAISALS When purchasing a diamond, ask to see its certificate, which rates a stone based on the four Cs. A certificate should be issued by a respected lab. The most recognized labs are the Gemological Institute of America, the European Gemological Laboratory, the American Gem Society and the International Gemological Institute. O’Connor and other jewelry experts warn that you should not base your decision solely on a certificate. You are strongly encouraged to see the diamond in person. A certificate is not the same as an appraisal. An appraisal rates the market value of the stone for insurance purposes. This value is based on the anticipated cost to replace the stone, but is not a guarantee of its value. Most jewelers can issue an appraisal in addition to providing the certification. If you aren’t completely confident in your jeweler or retailer, have the stone independently appraised after your purchase. Always buy your stone from a jeweler with a clear return policy.


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[ GUY’S GUIDE ] THE BASICS YOU NEED TO KNOW: The 4 C’s Diamonds are rated based on four standards: cut, clarity, carat and color. These standards allow a buyer to assess the quality of a diamond. However, while carat weight is an objective measure, all of the other standards are subjective and dependent on the expertise of the person rating them. Any one diamond’s ratings may vary if assessed by several different people.

CUT/SHAPE A diamond typically is found in nature as an octahedron-shaped crystal (imagine two four-sided pyramids with their bases connected). As a result of a diamond’s hardness, it’s very difficult to change its shape. Quality cutting is critical to a diamond’s value. A well-cut diamond captures and returns light through carefully designed, angled planes called facets. Cutting quality is rated on certificates as excellent, very good, good, fair or poor. Diamonds come in a variety of shapes. The most common is the round brilliant, which features 58 facets and is generally regarded as the cut that displays a diamond to best effect. Other popular cuts include the princess and the emerald. The princess has a square face that tapers down to a triangular shape. The emerald is a rectangular shape. Other shapes include the oval, cushion, heart, trillion, marquise and a variety of specialized designer cuts. When a gem cutter looks at a rough diamond, he will decide the best shape to highlight the diamond’s assets or hide its flaws. The more facets a cut has, the better suited it is to hide flaws.

CLARITY

COLOR A colorless diamond reflects light back in a pure rainbow without adding any other colors to dilute this effect. The GIA rates the colors of diamonds from D to Z. Diamonds rated D to G are considered essentially colorless. Diamonds rated H and I are considered near colorless. Diamonds rated J to Z have increasing yellow tones.

CARAT WEIGHT One carat equals 0.007054 ounce. A onecarat diamond cut in a round shape would be approximately 6.5mm in diameter, or one-fourth of an inch.

The Bottom Line As a general guide, look for a diamond that is at least one-third of a carat, has a clarity rating of SI or better, is in the colorless or near colorless range (D to I), and has a cut rating of good or better.

MORE ON CLARITY The Gemological Institute of America, considered the accepted authority on gems in the United States, created the accepted standard definitions for levels of clarity. The GIA Clarity Scale • Flawless (FL) No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification. • Internally Flawless (IF) No inclusions and only minor blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification. • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification. • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) Inclusions are clearly visible under 10× magnification but can be characterized as minor. • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10× magnification. • Imperfect (I1, I2, and I3) Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance.

©iStockphoto

Gemstones were once graded based on their “water,” or apparent transparency. With modern equipment, stones can be closely examined under bright lights and high magnifications. Stones with great clarity have two major benefits: They are more attractive due to their unobstructed ability to capture light, and they are structurally sound. Flaws in diamonds are

called inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external). For instance, a diamond could be internally flawless having no inclusions, but it may have a blemish in the form of a scratch, chip or tiny pit on its surface. Or it could have a fabulous cut and polish that help to hide a small inclusion. Inclusions can be bubbles, tiny bits of coal or small fractures. Like all natural gemstones, diamonds are not created under controlled laboratory conditions. Some see their tiny flaws as proof of their organic nature and a part of their charm. The Gemological Institute of America, considered the accepted authority on gems in the United States, created the accepted standard definitions for levels of clarity.

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DESIGNER SETTINGS + STONES Search for Clues Bridal ring designers like Ritani have a very specific look and design aesthetic. They use special methods and materials to achieve their unique looks. Though another ring may look like a Ritani, it may not have the same quality or craftsmanship. If your intended bride likes a particular ring designer, it’s a good idea to see one of its rings in person. Later, if you see an un-branded ring in a similar style, you can decide if it’s of equal or lesser quality. Many jewelers also have patented unique proprietary diamond cuts. These cuts may be beautiful, but make sure they have been shown to return light as well, or better, than a standard round brilliant cut. Also, inquire about the durability of the cut. Cuts with any points or sharp edges will not be as durable as those with rounded edges or corners.

Research shows that a woman in a serious relationship will drop a lot of hints, so pay attention to what she says. Has she commented about anyone else’s ring? Shown you anything in a magazine? Pointed out something in a store window? If not, why not steer her toward a window or two and see what she admires? If you are not aware of any hints, you can still figure out some of her style preferences. Look at her clothing and home decorating choices. If they are streamlined and fresh, alternative, or fashion-forward, she’s a modern girl. Does she choose classic pieces and love retailers like Ann Taylor and Pottery Barn? If so, she’s a traditional girl. Is she inclined to wear feminine clothing and fill her home with frilly ruffles and lace? You can bet she’s a romantic. The modern girl may be attracted to a design that’s fresh or features an unusual cut, metal or design. A classic OK, MEN, LET’S GET MOVING! solitaire’s a fit for a traditional girl. The girly Now that you have the facts, it’s time to girl will probably swoon over an ornate pavé, apply them to your search. First, find a Edwardian or Victorian setting. O’Connor good jeweler or retailer to work with. wants men to understand that a wedding is Engagement ring purchases are the bread a woman’s one chance to be part of a fairy and butter of a jeweler’s business. No matter how high-end or snooty an establish- tale. If your girl is a romantic, give her an elaborate ring that’s right for a fairy princess. ment may appear, it depends upon your If you look at her other jewelry, you also business. Keep that in mind when you walk through the doors. Happily, some stores are should be able to determine if she favors white metals or yellow gold. If she doesn’t wear any designed to make you feel at ease. Guys in Baltimore have it made. Stop by jewelry, go with a subtle white metal. Still confused about style? Choose a Samuelson’s Diamonds, and you don’t even classic round brilliant solitaire in a plain have to miss a moment of the big game—if setting. If the diamond is of good quality, the Ravens are playing, rest assured the game will be on. Owner Ron Samuelson is a the ring will be beautiful and unlikely to third-generation jeweler running his family’s be a disappointment to any bride. She business, first established in 1922. With the can always place her diamond in another business in his blood and decades of experi- setting down the line. You’ll also need to discover her ring ence, he knows that guys don’t need any size. The simplest solution is to borrow one additional pressure making their purchase of her rings and take it with you to a jewdecision. Samuelson believes that a buyer eler. You also can trace the interior of one should “deal with real people they’re confiof her rings onto a piece of paper. Another dent in” and “buy from an established jeweler.” If for some reason you need to buy method is to put one of her rings on your finger and note how it fits. If all else fails, online, he suggests that you “buy from an go with the industry standard—a size 7— outlet that also has a brick-and-mortar and make sure the ring can be sized. presence. Work with a company that will still be around in five years.” If you’re nowhere near Baltimore, Samuelson can What Should You Spend? help you remotely; visit his website to conTraditionally, jewelers suggest that you tact him: www.samuelsonsdiamonds.com. spend the equivalent of one to three 128

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months’ salary on your ring purchase. Not to take the romance out of the situation, but if she says yes to your proposal, there will be additional expenses to consider, including a wedding and honeymoon. Will your families (traditionally hers) be able to help you pay for the wedding? If not, think about what your collective priorities will be. The average wedding costs approximately $20,000. Will your love prefer a fancy ring, a designer dress, a huge family wedding or several stamps in her passport?

Is There Another Option? There is! Ask your friends and family if anyone has a ring or diamond they might be willing to donate. It’s possible that several of the women in your life have a ring they never wear or a diamond from an ex that they would be happy to give you. Your mom, aunt or grandmother might be delighted to be included in your engagement plans. If you are lucky enough to be given a ring, be sure to have it cleaned and sized if needed. If the ring isn’t your love’s style, ask the giver if you can change it or remove the diamonds from the setting. Remember the romance— don’t say something like, “Aunt Hilda dated this jerk and he gave her this ring.” Say, “Aunt Hilda loves you and wanted you to have something from the family.”

Stay Flexible An engagement ring is the symbol of what O’Connor calls “the greatest promise you will make in your life.” In his experience, girls will almost always love your ring choice—even if it’s not their style. When she says yes, a loving thing to do would be to let her know that you want to marry her, but you’re not married to the ring you bought; if she would like to exchange it, that’s just fine with you. Your seriousness about purchasing the right ring for your future bride, and your flexibility about your purchase, will demonstrate your commitment, maturity and readiness to become a great husband. We hope this guide has been helpful to you. If you would like to find out more about all things engagement-related, visit us online at engagement101mag.com. Good luck!


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HOW TO PLAN THE

PERFECT

by Joe Pasternak

PROPOSAL Get her to say yes with these four tips about planning a one-of-a-kind proposal.

A

Ask any married woman what some of the most memorable moments in her life have been, and the day she got engaged is sure to feature in her answer. The bad news is that more times than not, it rests entirely on poor, unfortunate males to ensure that they get it right and it’s remembered for all the right reasons. Does the thought of it make you sweat buckets? Does it make you have nightmares about styles of rings and romantic-but-not-too-cheesy-that-shecringes speeches? If so, then it’s time you took some advice from a guy who has been there, done that, had the nightmares, bought the ring and lived to tell the tale. When it comes to proposals as a guy, your first instinct might be to try and one-up the competition and come up with a brilliant proposal that you think will sweep your girl off her feet. My advice is, unless you know for sure your girl absolutely prefers the “big deal” proposal, to just keep the proposal simple. Pick a nice spot to propose, get her a ring you know she will like and keep any speech you might have planned to a short and meaningful amount of words. Also, while it’s not entirely mandatory for all proposals, getting her parents’ blessing before the proposal is something that you might want to consider. Some girls and parents might find that as a nice gesture, and it might put a few extra romantic points in your corner. At the end of the day, your girl will (or should!) value the fact that you proposed at all and did something that most guys have trouble doing (dare I say “commit”).

Karen Davenport, a 21-year-old optical dispenser from Adelaide, South Australia, has been with her fiancé for five and a half years and has been engaged for a year and a half. Her fiancé surprised her with a simple but special proposal in their upstairs room that featured a favorite song of Karen’s playing on the radio. “Try to make it a bit special no matter where or when you’re doing it,” Karen says. “Handing over the ring alone isn’t enough. Either have the right words, setting or both.” 130

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1. Keep it simple, stupid.


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As a 23-year-old engaged guy myself, I did something similar to what Karen’s fiancé did for their proposal. The only difference was that I proposed on Christmas morning. I waited for my fiancée to go upstairs because I wanted to propose to her in private. After all, proposing in front of an audience (especially a girlfriend’s family) can feel like playing Russian roulette with the amount of risk and pressure involved. I went into her room and handed her a card, which said something to the effect of “I look forward to being your fiancé. Merry Christmas.” I could tell she was confused because we weren’t technically engaged yet. With my heart thumping in my chest in anxiousness, I followed the card up with a ring, got on one knee and proposed. She happily said yes, and we went downstairs to share the good news with her family. After being with her for a little more than a year and a half, we were now a full-fledged engaged couple. The proposal was a Christmas gift that we’ll never forget. Yes, it might have been a cliché day to pop the question, but I knew for sure she would remember it even more because of the significance of the day. However, not every proposal has to happen on a big day. You can easily turn an ordinary day into something memorable with just the proposal itself, so keep that in mind when making your plan. Karen’s advice for guys wanting to propose to their girlfriends is simply to do it only when you’re both ready and have the right moment. Quite frankly, I couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing more stressful than trying to put something as important as a proposal together when you or your partner are simply not ready to handle it. It might feel forced or not come off as sincere and genuine as you would want it to be. Also, pressing the proposal topic too early in a relationship is more likely to send up red flags and possibly lead to distancing, which can be a relationship killer, so waiting for the appropriate moment is key.

2. Speak from the heart. For some guys, finding the right words to say when proposing can be difficult, but it’s really not as hard as it seems. It really is just as simple as taking a deep breath, getting down 132

on one knee and staring into her eyes while saying those magic words. The more you try to relax, the less chance you will have of saying ILOVEYOUWILLYOUMARRYMEPLEASE in one incomprehensible breath. That’s why, according to 21-year-old Josh Reid of Tampa, Fla., the words used in a speech should be short, sweet and straight from the heart. Josh has been with his fiancée for three years and has been engaged for nearly one year. He began his proposal with a brief speech that expressed his affection for his then-girlfriend and followed it up with a ring. Like Josh, I also had a bit of a speech prepared for my proposal. I personally think the “short but sweet” approach to a proposal speech is the best way to go. You don’t have to get Shakespearean with your speech or dazzle her with your impressive vocabulary to win her over. Even if you’re not the most eloquent of speakers, giving some kind of speech at least shows your girl that you took the time to give it some thought and to put into words your thoughts and emotions for her and the proposal. After all, most guys aren’t typically known for being so vocal with those kinds of things, so saying something heartfelt and simple really will make the

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moment special for her. Girls like that kind of thing, so take advantage of it.

3. Keep the element of surprise. Josh says he was definitely nervous going into the day of the proposal. Many guys, myself included, can relate to the issue of being nervous. One way I recommend to fight the nervous feeling and set up the element of surprise is to distract yourselves with a typical routine or other activity prior to the proposal. Doing this has a greater chance of getting your girl’s mind focused on the fun at hand and is more likely to leave her surprised afterward. Josh took his fiancée to an amusement park and eventually proposed on a skyline ride, a ride that takes its riders up over the park and gives them a view of the entire park. I have to admit, Josh had a really creative idea for his proposal. I’m quite happy for him—and relieved. I mean, God forbid he dropped the ring when trying to take it out from such a height. That could have been disastrous, and there’s no telling where the ring would have landed. So I congratulate Josh not only on his firm grasp of what makes the perfect proposal, but also his ability to have a firm grasp on the ring


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As far as ring prices go, I didn’t buy the most expensive engagement ring because of financial issues, but that still doesn’t mean the ring can’t be upgraded later if desired. There’s absolutely no shame in wanting to get something as important as the ring preference right, and if it means directly asking your girlfriend, then do it! She will be happier that you got it right in the end rather than taking a gamble on a ring that she might not even like. Discussing engagement and marriage ahead of time can eliminate the guesswork and worry of an awkward situation presenting itself—like a rejection. Solveig Saether, a 41-year-old marketing and administration worker and resident of Southern California, 4. Plan it together. had a planned proposal with her now-husIt is quite common for couples to go ring shopping together and even more so for long- band of eight and a half years. She says her proposal still provided the same feelings of term couples to discuss engagement and excitement and happiness without such an eventually marriage. Along with shopping around locally with your girlfriend, the Inter- extreme element of surprise. “I just feel lucky to have found love,” net is a good place for guys to look for rings because it provides more options. I was fairly Solveig says. “Gratitude doesn’t really do much to nurture disappointment.” clueless as to what type of ring to get my One of the benefits of planning a profiancée, so I simply asked her straight up posal together is that both people know what what kind of ring she preferred. I then puris desired to make the moment as special as chased a ring online that closely resembled possible. In my opinion, that’s an absolutely what she wanted. She was happy with the great way to go. If you know exactly what she ring I bought her, and I was happy knowing wants, then you can do no wrong. Besides, that I got it right. itself and avoid said disaster. Josh says the most important proposal preparation is maintaining the element of surprise. Luckily for you guys, this doesn’t mean being 100 percent secretive about your plan to a point where you write it down on paper, stick the paper into a bottle and throw it into the ocean to keep the surprise factor alive. If you’re in a serious relationship with a girl for a long time, chances are she might expect a proposal to happen at some point. “It makes the whole experience more memorable,” Josh says. “Pick out a ring you know she will like, and think of a proposal idea that is meaningful to both of you.”

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just because you know what she wants doesn’t mean she will know when exactly you plan to propose. When it came to my proposal, I carried the ring on me for a few days leading up to Christmas morning because, even though I knew exactly what my fiancée wanted, I still didn’t know where or when would be the right time to propose. Believe me, when you finally figure out the right time and spot to propose, you’ll be relieved that everything else you have in place will already be something your girl desires. It takes quite a bit of pressure off you. A common sentiment expressed by many people is that whatever proposal plan you come up with, make sure that it’s something you absolutely know your girl will appreciate and remember forever. As was the case with my proposal, it doesn’t always have to be an elaborate plan that sweeps your girl off her feet and gets the ring on her finger; with some thought and romantics thrown in, you can get the job done. So, guys, there’s no more need to sweat it out; you can sleep easier now that you know what to do for the perfect proposal. Go give your girl a proposal that will give her a reason to brag when asked about one of the most memorable moments in her life that you helped create!


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Start Shopping Now! Find a retailer near you in our regional directory. For more info go to engagement101mag.com


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{ Jewelry Retailers Coast to Coast } ALABAMA

visit engagement101mag.com for more retailers FLORIDA

Cronier’s Fine Jewelry

Ackerman Jewelers

Opened in 1984 by Jerry and Rene Cronier, Cronier’s Fine Jewelry grew from a small business store to now one of the leading jewelry stores in the area. They specialize in individual service and have an extensive collection of unique pieces of jewelry.

Ackerman Jewelers has been a part of the Tampa Bay community for over 25 years. Besides offering customers the finest quality jewelry, we stand behind the workmanship of each piece through our customer service while offering the best possible price.

Montgomery, AL 334.272.4995 www.croniers.com

Tampa, FL 813.961.7321 www.ackermanjewelers.com

Morgan’s Jewelers, Inc.

Montica Jewelry Corp

Celebrating over 63 years of business, this family owned store has a reputation for providing life’s most valued luxury and service. They are unmatched for selection and uniqueness. Their main objective are customers’ continued happiness.

At Montica Jewelry, they recognize the importance of an engagement ring. They even offer grooms-to-be with a booklet of more than 30 proposal ideas. Their selection is vast and not without thought, providing some of the finest bridal lines available to date.

Torrance, CA 310.375.4471 www.morgansjewlers.com

Coral Gables, FL 305.446.2957 www.montica.com

CALIFORNIA

ILLINOIS

Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers

M.J. Miller At M.J. Miller they understand jewelry and professionalism. Professionalism is more than just a piece of paper or a sign on a door. At M.J. Miller, professionalism means delivering performance, service and results that far exceed the expectations of their guests.

Would you undergo surgery by someone without an M.D.? Then why buy a diamond from someone without the proper credentials? At Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers, we guarantee expert advice and the attention your search for the perfect ring deserves.

Barrington, IL 847.381.7900 www.mjmillerjewelers.com

Los Angeles, CA 310.208.3131  888.806.3131 www.sarahleonardjewelers.com

MICHIGAN

Greis Jewelers

Vardy’s Jewelers Vardy’s Jewelers of Cupertino offers fine gemstones and customcrafted jewelry of heirloom quality. Discover the distinctive difference of family-owned Vardy’s Jewelers. Cupertino, CA 408.446.2900 www.vardysjewelers.com

Throughout the year the Greis family scours Europe to bring back the finest names, designs in jewelry. As a result, they have an impressive international collection and have earned their place as one of the premier jewelry stores in the metropolitan Detroit area. Farmington Hills, MI 248.855.1730 www.greis.com


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Special Advertising Section NEW YORK

Pearlman’s Jewelers

DeNatale

Known as the world’s largest luxury designer jewelry source, they showcase more than 40 fine jewelry designers. Whether you’re looking for the perfect diamond engagement ring or wedding band, they are sure you will find it in one of their collections.

The DeNatale brothers (Peter, Robert, John and Jim) are third generation jewelers specializing in classic jewelry styles with a modern flair. Their designs and craftsmanship rival jewelers such as Tiffany’s and David Yurman, with prices at a fraction of their costs.

Battle Creek, MI 888.811.1529 www.pearlmansjewelers.com

New York, NY 212.317.2955 www.denatale.com

NEBRASKA

Borsheims

Firenze Jewels

Recognized as one of America’s largest jewelry stores, Borsheims provides an extensive selection for its customers. Can’t make a trip to their 45,000 square foot store? Check out their website, which extends their service worldwide.

Located in the heart of the New York City Diamond District, this store has been family owned and operated since 1937. They have a proud tradition of serving discerning clientele, including celebrities and members of the art world.

Omaha, NE 402.391.0400 www.borsheims.com

New York, NY 800.790.6980 www.firenzejewels.com

NEVADA

T-Bird Jewelers

Good Old Gold

Family-owned and operated since 1962, T-Bird Jewels carries a diverse inventory that offers its clientele quality designs and outstanding craftsmanship. Come visit and experience a grand tradition of quality, value and service.

Since 1980 this family run jewelry store has been serving Long Islanders with their jewelry needs. They have recently been awarded an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and Best of Long Island. Massapequa Park, NY 516.798.5151 www.goodoldgold.com

Las Vegas, NV 702.256.3900 www.tbirdjewels.com

NORTH CAROLINA

OKLAHOMA

Bisanar Jewelers

Brockhaus Jewelry

The Bisanar Company has been a name synonymous with quality in fine jewelry. Dr. George Bisanar first opened the doors for business over 100 years ago. Toda y, that same commitment holds true; fine quality and exemplary customer service is their first priority.

Brockhaus Jewelry’s tradition in excellence began in 1952. Tom Brockhaus created a hallmark in customer service and jewelry quality. That tradition of excellence continues today with the same family ownership, and fine jewelry lines like Hearts on Fire.

Hickory, NC 828.322.5090 www.bisanar.com

Norman, OK 405.321.4228 www.brockhausjewelry.com


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{ Jewelry Retailers Coast to Coast } OREGON

visit engagement101mag.com for more retailers TEXAS

Judith Arnell Jewelers Judith Arnell has been active in the diamond and jewelry business for over 30 years. Judith believes that each piece of jewelry should embody creative genius and masterful craftsmanship. She creates unique handmade designs and features the finest designers. Portland, OR 503.227.3437 www.juditharnell.com

Zadok Jewelers This family owned business is best known as Houston’s most distinctive couture jewelry, watch and diamond gallery. They strive to make their customers feel like they are visiting an extension of the Zadok home. Houston, TX 713.960.8950 www.zadokjewelers.com

VIRGINIA

Gold & Gems Fine Jewelry

White and Ivory

Always ahead of the curve, this store (who has been in operation for 25 years) provides an easy online shopping experience at Goldandgems.com. Featuring Simon G, they also provide aggressive purchase incentives.

Compared to the average jeweler, White and Ivory has up to three times the selection of engagement rings on display. Some of their special services and programs include trade-ins (for certified diamonds), a referral program, and free gift-wrapping.

Ashland, OR 877-917-8477 www.goldandgems.com

Leesburg, VA 703.669.1100 www.whiteivorystore.com

Kranich’s Jewelers

Long Jewelers

Family owned and operated since 1903, Kranich’s is a leading source for engagement rings. At Kranich’s you will find top designer lines such as Simon G, Ritani and Verragio. Find over 150,000 diamonds available for every style and every budget.

The largest jewelry store between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, this store has a state-of-the-art showroom that features a men’s waiting area and a children’s play area. They were also voted “Best of the Beach.” Why shop anywhere else?

PENNSYLVANIA

Virginia Beach, VA 757.498.1186 www.longjewelers.net

Altoona, PA 888.944.4575 www.kranichs.com

SOUTH CAROLINA

WISCONSIN

Sandler’s Fine Jewelry

Koehn & Koehn Jewelers

Sandler’s offers customers a high level of service, including an on-site master bench jeweler who has more than 30 years experience in custom design and repair. Every diamond is assured the highest quality, beauty and affordability.

We’ve been around forever, but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped growing or learning. Go ahead and find out about the 4 C’s, then come to us to discover what really matters.You’ll leave feeling confident, and you might want to come back just to hang out.

Columbia, SC 803.788.1590 www.sandlerjewelry.com

West Bend, WI 262.338.1600 www.koehnjewelry.com


Š Bergio 2008

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NATALIEK


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