Topping the list of 10 things to do when you get engaged is, of course, finding the perfect ring! But there’s so much to consider when finding THE ring: like antique, vintage or vintage inspired? white, yellow or rose gold? Or platinum instead? Solitaire, halo or trilogy? (I love the idea of a stone for your past, your present and your future!) Diamond, Emerald, Sapphire or something altogether different? And it’s so important you get it right, because this is a ring you should love and wear for the rest of your life. In the face of so much choice – and pressure – it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. But don’t worry because I am here to help with some inspiration, as well as just a few words of engagement ring wisdom, and 21 of the most swoonworthy sparklers you ever will see!
When it comes to choosing your engagement ring, my advice would be to follow your heart! Of course you should educate yourself a little first too. It’s oh so tempting, once the question has been popped, to head straight to the high street in excitement and buy the first ring you like. But there’s no rush! Take your time, shop around, familiarise yourself with the all important 4 cs (that’s carat, cut, clarity and color), learn the different properties of metals: for example, did you know white gold turns yellow after a year or two? And the only way to get that beautiful white back is to get the ring Rhodium plated? And whilst platinum may retain its color, it is a more brittle metal? Nope, me either – but I do now!
If all this has left your head spinning, and even less sure where to begin, I have a little inspiration for you. I have rounded up 21 seriously gorgeous engagement rings, so take a deep breath and swoon over these stunners…..
Diamond Engagement Rings
When it comes to timeless elegance, there is nothing quite like a diamond! And it is the most popular choice for an engagement ring for a reason, because whether you go solitaire, trilogy or halo, in a vintage, vintage inspired or modern setting, it is a stone that will outshine all the rest…..
If diamonds are a little too conventional for you, you might want to add a splash of colour. Whilst your choice used to be limited to sapphires, emeralds and the occasional ruby, today you will find these and SO much more! With tourmaline, aquamarine and alternatively colored sapphires and diamonds (yep, they both come in different colors) offering stones in a literal rainbow of sumptuous and stylish shades…..
And you will find that with a different choice of stone, the price decreases significantly! Meaning you can choose a sparkler with real wow, at a fraction of the price of a traditional diamond ring. Stones like Mossanite and Morganite are especially budget friendly, without sacrificing any of the sparkle or romance – and best of all, they’re conflict free!…..
Of course if it’s unconventional you’re after, whilst still wanting the classic diamond, there are some incredibly creative jewelers today. From their choice of stones, to their settings, their designs are little works of art that are sure to make a statement….. they are not the rings for you though if you’re wanting your engagement, wedding and eternity rings to nestle neatly together!
The most important thing of all though, when shopping for your engagement ring, is to enjoy the process! Choose one that you are confident you will always love, one that suits your style and personality, and you can’t go wrong. Oh and always choose timeless elegance over fashionable fads, because whilst rose gold is the biggest trend right now, how will you feel about it in 10 years time?
After looking at all of these beauties, the only question I have is, how is a girl supposed to choose?! I would be happy to see any one (or all!) of them sparkling away on my finger.
Hello lovelies and happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed a fabulous holiday season and are now feeling, as I am, refreshed, raring to go and eager to see what 2018 has in store! Whether you’re a regular follower of Chic Vintage Brides, friend, new visitor or fleeting passer by, it really is lovely to have your company as I start the new year.
If you are a new visitor, then an extra warm welcome to you! And if you have stumbled across these pages today as an excited, newly engaged bride-to-be wondering where to begin, a hearty congratulations – this first post of 2018 is especially for you! These are the top 10 to dos after getting engaged….. well, the top 10 after saying yes, shedding some tears, jumping up and down screaming, telling all of your loved ones, posting a ring selfie on Instagram and updating your Facebook status of course!…..
Of course it might be that your exciting first job on the wedding planning path will be picking your pretty sparkler! And if it is, I don’t mind admitting to being more than a little envious. For whilst Mr E did a rather fabulous job of picking the perfect ring for his proposal, not every groom-to-be is so brave, and that’s ok! Because what could be a better way to begin the new year than shopping for your engagement ring?
If you have your heart set on something a little different, like perhaps a beautiful vintage or antique ring, then start by taking a look at these Top Tips for buying a Vintage Engagement Ring from industry specialists and purveyors of pretty Trumpet & Horn….
For when it isn’t sparkling away on your finger, you will definitely be wanting somewhere pretty to keep it safe, so have a look around for something befittingly beautiful. I am firmly of the belief that ring boxes shouldn’t be boring (and most definitely not cheap plastic!), in fact they should be almost as lovely as the precious cargo they carry. And I think these velvet ring boxes inspired by eras past could be just the thing for your vintage engagement ring!
Long gone are the days when brides-to-be were limited to subscribing to expensive and sadly un-inspiring wedding magazines loaded with advertising. Today the world wide web is awash with beautifully unique (and largely free!) wedding blogs to fit every imaginable wedding style, size, theme, budget and location. So find and follow a few, choose those whose voice and aesthetic you love and just see how quickly the ideas start flowing.
Oh and its not just inspiration blogs can help you with! Find the right blog for you (one that suits your style, theme, budget and wedding location) and check to see if they have a directory, like CVB’s Little Book of Chic. These hand-selected lists of some of our favourite wedding vendors are guaranteed to help you find just the right people to bring your dream wedding to life.
4. Set a Date
After “Congratulations!” and “Ooooh, let me see your ring…” you will be asked “When’s the big day?” A LOT! So, set a date – even if it’s just narrowing down a year and season! And you can always start looking at Save the Dates if it is too soon for invites. But don’t rush into it, remember these are your guests first impression of your wedding, and we all know how important first impressions are!
For the next month or so everyone’s eyes will be on your ring finger, which makes getting engaged the perfect excuse for a spot of pampering. Take the opportunity to spend some time with the girls (because there will be p-l-e-n-t-y of time to spend with your new fiance over the coming months, or years, of wedding planning) and book in a manicure for you and your Mum, sister or/and besties.
If I could change one thing wedding planning journey, it would be to have made the time to organise an Engagement session before our big day! Your engagement is an event well worth celebrating and capturing, so with all the excitement of wedding planning and dress shopping don’t forget to record it. Plus, an engagement shoot is the perfect opportunity to get a little practice in front the camera with your photographer!
Oh and if (or when) you do decide to plan your engagement shoot, do pop back here as I will be sharing some great engagement shoot advice posts over the coming weeks; including ideas on what to wear, where to go, and some beautiful must have shots!
7. Say Hello to Pinterest
I wonder now how I ever managed to plan our wedding without it, so if you haven’t already, create an account and embrace Pinterest. It makes collating, bookmarking, organising and communicating all of your ideas so much simpler. To start with though don’t focus too much about the specifics, don’t worry about finding THE dress, perfect gifts for your bridesmaids, or your dream centrepieces; just let the inspiration wash over you and be prepared to get lost in all of the pretty! Pin everything wedding (or even non wedding) you love, anything at all that makes your heart skip a beat or your hands tremble and see if a pattern, theme, scheme or look emerges….. but be warned, it is seriously addictive.
Oh and after 3 years of me declaring my love for this particular Social Media platform, only to receive a disdainful look, Mr E finally discovered its merits over the holidays! Last week, out of nowhere, and to my utter amazement he announces “I love Pinterest!” So, involve your soon to be husband in the wedding planning process from the start by inviting him to pin to your secret Wedding Board.
8. Follow Chic Vintage Brides on Pinterest
With a board for every wedding detail as well as every theme, colour, decade and style of wedding (or if there isn’t, let me know and I will create one!) I promise you will find something you love, so pop across, peruse some of the 34,000 pins (I told you it was addictive!!) and join 4 million brides-to-be, brides, wedding professionals by following Chic Vintage Brides here…..
This number will affect every decision and purchase you make, so before you start planning (or even looking – for there is nothing worse than falling in love with a wedding dress only to find it is way out of your price range!) set a budget and agree with your groom to stick to it!
But don’t be pressured into thinking a beautiful wedding will break the bank and cost the earth, just take a peek at this beautiful bride and her budget friendly DIY wedding!…… Or here for more budget friendly weddings and money saving ideas.
Most of all, if you are basking in the glow of a proposal popping New Year, bask a while longer. Yes, it’s true you have a lot of decisions to make in the next few months but, for now, take some time to enjoy being engaged. Book a weekend away with your fiance, throw a party, have a family meal; however you want to do it, before you start down the wedding planning path, just take a breath and with your nearest and dearest celebrate being engaged!
Click here to see all the photos from this speakeasy inspired shindig. Photography by Chris Spira
Oh and of course, do stay a while and familiarise yourself with these pages! You will find lots to love including beautiful real weddings, inspiring styled shoots, perfect colour palettes and inspiration boards, and more helpful hints and top tips to see you through your wedding planning journey.
It is fair to say that today’s wedding is a little bit special! Over the years I have seen many a beautiful celebration, but today’s completely took my breath away when it hit my inbox – and is just perfect to help us see in the New Year in style! With the Châteauesque mansion of Biltmore House as its backdrop it is a stately affair brimming with Gatsby inspired glamour…. seriously, if this doesn’t get you swooning then nothing will!
Gorgeous bride Samantha shared how the couple decided upon their lavish Art Deco theme…. “Kent and I are both old souls and we love doing things out of the ordinary. We also have this fascination with the 1920s era, to us it is a time that was very sophisticated, glamorous, and proper but edgy at the same time. So our design and style was Art Deco inspired, we wanted it to feel like a blast from the past.
While that was the main focus for design, I also wanted it to feel very romantic so that is where the light colored flowers, huge crystal chandeliers and high ceiling tent comes in. We wanted our guests to feel like they escaped their crazy, hectic lives and entered a magical night of love.”
Avoiding the conventional heavily beaded and drop waist Art Deco bridal gowns, Samantha instead chose a dramatic, curve hugging, lace design from Berta, that created a sultry silhouette and kept her look contemporary – but still oh so glamorous! Whilst Kent donned a tailed Tom Ford tux and was the epitome of dapper for his beautiful bride.
“The most important thing to us was to keep our love and our union at the center of everything. That being said, everything we chose from overall design down to the little details, had a direct connection to our relationship and our love for each other. It was super important that we kept this as our main focus during the planning process to avoid becoming crazy because at the end of the day it was all about our union as one and everything else were added bonuses.”
“The most memorable part of the day was definitely the moment I was walking down the aisle. Despite all the people there watching us, all I saw was Kent‘s huge smile as he was trying to hold back his tears. I will never forget the emotions I felt during that moment.”
“We decided to write our own vows. They ended up being very different from one another but they portrayed each of our personalities. For us it was a way to genuinely profess our love and commitment to one another in front of all our friends and family. By the end of our vows I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place.”
“Making any decisions, small or large, were really easy for me because I had a clear and precise vision of how I wanted to wedding day to look and feel. I suggest brides hone in on the vibe they want for their wedding before making any decisions. This will help with having any seconds thoughts or uncertainty as you go through the wedding planning process.”
Pearls of Wedding Wisdom from the Bride…
“I suggest that you check off as many items on your to-do list as soon as possible. Even if that means overloading yourself with a bunch of work because it will pay of in the end. You want to enter the week before your wedding as calm and relaxed as possible so you can focus on the most important thing…getting married!”
Tell us a little bit about your photographer…..
“It was such a breeze working with our photographer! While I love a good photo taken of myself, (who doesn’t?!) I get really awkward in front of the camera when I have to pose. Marylou of All Bliss Photography was able to capture so many great moments beautifully without me knowing she was even there! It was really important to me to have photos that were more artistic than your classic wedding photos and Marylou did just that! She was able to organically capture moments that portrayed all of the emotions that were felt on our big day.”
Huge congratulations to our oh-so-glamorous couple Samantha & Kent! A big thankyou to them and of course to the lovely Marylou of All Bliss Photography who captured every gorgeous moment and detail so perfectly. If you love her rich photography as much as I do, and would like to see more of her work head over to her website allblissphotography.com and don’t forget to follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
As a New Year bride myself, I can confidently say (from experience) that there is no better time of year to exchange your vows! The season of celebration is guaranteed to have your guests in the party mood, making for an evening to remember! But for those of you who still need convincing, there’s just enough time, before we welcome 2018, to share this exquisite example of a New Years wedding inspiration board…..
Again this year (it’s become a bit of a tradition to share one each year, so in case you missed them, you can see the last 6 years here) I wanted to avoid the cliched ideas for a New Year wedding, and instead showcase a contemporary mix of glamour and elegance. This gorgeous set of hues, with its black, ivory and gold base, alongside splashes of a nude pink and deep red, is sure to create a stylish celebration worthy of such an auspicious date!
Guests attending a New Years eve wedding will be expecting something special! So make it a formal affair – think black tie for the men and full length gowns for the ladies; keep the champagne flowing (a champagne tower would be a lavish touch to add!) and finish the night with fireworks or a sparkler exit. Formal doesn’t have to mean traditional though! Showcase your individuality, personalities and style with a few unconventional twists – I for one love the idea of a black wedding cake!
Well, I think it’s time to turn off my laptop for a few days and spend some time with my nearest and dearest. All that is left for me to say is happy New Year! And, whether you’re an avid follower, a regular reader, CVB partner, sponsor, photographer, wedding industry pro, fellow blogger or passer by; I would like to say a big heartfelt thankyou for being a part of Chic Vintage Brides throughout 2017, and I look forward to seeing you next year!
Today’s inspiration shoot abounds with seasonal charm and a relaxed sophistication. Against a wintery white backdrop a visual feast was created in a cosy palette of neutrals that is just perfect for a chic Winter wedding. With all the elegance of a vintage celebration, it manages to remain still utterly contemporary thanks to the greenery filled florals and our oh-so-stylish couple…..
Here’s photographer Lissa Ryan sharing a few words about the inspiration behind it…. “The concept behind this editorial was to provide couples with inspiration for wintery weddings in a unique way. While the winter is typically a slower season in our region’s wedding industry, there are ways to have a really beautiful winter wedding without it looking too much like the holidays.
Claire of Claire Duran Weddings & Events styled this editorial beautifully with a simple but elegant tabletop with lots of gorgeous greenery and highlights of neutral florals, touches of fur to give the feeling of cozy warmth despite the snowy setting, and adding just the right pop of color through our bride’s bright red lip. Catherine of Catherine George Cakes designed the incredible cake modeled after actual tree bark that was absolutely perfect for the theme.”
What a magical backdrop snow makes! Don’t you just love it?? A huge thankyou to every member of the creative team (listed below) behind this dreamy editorial, but especially to Lissa Ryan Photography who captured it all so exquisitely. If you would like to see more of Lissa’s beautiful photography do pop and take a peek at her website www.lissaryanphotography.com, and of course be sure to find and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest for daily doses of gorgeousness!
Now if this has you dreaming of a Winter wonderland wedding of your own, you might want to take a look at this mountain wedding inspiration in a stunning blue and gold color palette, and this rustic Winter love story (with a barn reception and a horse drawn carriage!)
Well lovelies, we’ve come to the end of our Christmas countdown (this will be the last post before we break for the holidays) and we’re wrapping it up with a traditional take on festive that is guaranteed to get you into the Christmas spirit. Set in the pine woods at South Coast Botanic Garden and featuring plaid details, pine cones and berries, it is an absolute yuletide delight!
Event designer JenEvents shares… “We wanted to capture the snowy winter season, but also the warmth that comes with it. So we incorporated cozy plaid & flannel accents, along with rich colors in the bouquet and on the tablescape!”
Pirouette Paper created a simple, but sweet invitation suite that included a berry red envelope and a monogrammed wreath. The bride’s ruffled Justin Alexander gown came from Adina’s Bridal and was topped with a chic feather bolero. She carried a lush seasonal bouquet with red coffee berries, white peonies, burgundy poinsettias, frosted grevillea, pine, and red roses, all tied together with plaid.
The rustic farm table and benches from Party Pieces by Perry fit perfectly in the woodsy setting, whilst the tablescape was set with gold-rimmed china plates, vintage candlesticks from France and ornate gold flatware from Cherished Rentals that lent it an air of elegance. The coloured glassware in seasonal shades also lifted the celebration. And it was all finished off with a hot chocolate and a slice of cake from LoveCakes!
Now, if that hasn’t got you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will! A big thankyou as always to all of the wonderful wedding professionals and creatives who worked behind the scenes to bring us this fabulously festive shoot, and especially to the super lovely Christine Skari Photography for capturing every detail so perfectly. If you love this shoot and would like to see more of her work, do pop and take a peek at his website over at christine-skari-photography.com, and be sure to follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
For a truly timeless affair, nothing says Christmas quite like this trio of colors, which makes it perfect for a festive season Wedding. Best of all, this is a colour scheme that would work in almost any venue! Whilst I had a Christmas tree farm in mind (after this beautiful editorial) it would look just as perfect in a church, historical country estate house, barn or backyard! Whatever your chosen venue, I love the idea of sipping Christmas cocktails (or perhaps mulled wine) in front of a roaring fire, before dancing the night away to a live band under twinkling lights with the scent of pine filling the air.
When it comes to decor think rustic but rich seasonal centrepieces of fir, pine cones and berries, which will not only look lovely but infuse your venue with an unmistakably seasonal scent. Add some warmth to proceedings with splashes of gold with gilded flatware and candlesticks (or candelabras) on the table. And don’t forget a little something to keep your guests snug, a cosy plaid blanket draped over the back of their chair would be perfect.
When a florist gets married you know it’s going to be something pretty special – and Matt & Kelly’s greenery filled affair is surely that! But add a snow-covered Wisconsin landscape, a candlelit evening ceremony and the most excited looking fur baby you have ever seen….and it becomes something completely magical!
For Matt & Kelly, owners of Jane Kelly Floral, Winter has a special place in their hearts being not only the season in which they had their first date – during a large ice storm in fact (after meeting online, only to discover they lived just two blocks apart!) – but also the season in which they got engaged! Kelly explains “Matt and I love Christmas and he decided to propose to me while we were decorating our Christmas tree with hiding the ring box in the ornament box for me to discover while decorating the tree to then turn around to see him down on one knee.” Awww, isn’t that just the perfect proposal??
So when it came to planning their perfect day, of course it had to be Winter wedding, and cozy romance was at the heart of their vision. They decorated their venue, the Chandelier Ballroom, with fire pits, candles and lanterns; exchanged their vows in front of a beautiful brick fireplace with a candlelit aisle, and continued their celebrations under a canopy of greenery and hanging candles, before finishing the night roasting s’mores under the starlit sky – creating such a magical experience for their lucky guests. Adding to that experience was the dusting of snow that fell just days before, and it meant so much to bride Kelly! “It was a very minimal snowy winter leading up the wedding day and two days before it snowed and it covered all of the trees and it was stunning. I like to think my dad up in heaven played a part in that as a lovely wedding gift.”
“Matthew and I own a wedding floral business so we designed our own wedding flowers. My bouquet was structured with subtle organic accents of greenery. The blooms were roses, anemones, gardenias, rice flower, and rannanculus. The colors I wanted were very neutral with pops of blushes and burgundy.”
“We decided to have the day all in one location at the Chandelier Ballroom which has sentimental reasons to my late father who worked there during his battle with cancer. I felt a part of him was there with me that day.”
“We had Matt’s dad marry us and my mom did a reading. My two sisters walked me down the aisle. It was all about family. My sister gave me a pin to pin into the inside of my dress that was family pins/charms that were my something old, borrowed and blue.”
“There was a large presence of greenery throughout the ballroom and an enormous amount of candles to set the romantic tone. We also wanted to bring the scale of the large ballroom down to a more intimate feeling and built structures over the main family table where Matthew and I had dinner with our immediate family and several other structures over guest tables.”
“We wanted a foodie experience for all guests so we planned divine food stations, and a dessert bar to select a variety of treats to enjoy.”
“Matthew’s mom and dad baked our layered chocolate cutting cake and we added a “K” initial and fresh florals at the top.”
Words of wedding wisdom from the bride…..
“Stay true to what you both want for your wedding day.”
Tell us a little bit about your photographers…..
“Being in the wedding industry we know a lot of vendors but there was something about TJ and Shannon Uttke that I wanted them to be part of our day. They are wonderful people, super chill, professional and uber talented behind the camera. I love their moody technique to their photos and that paired perfectly with the vision we had for our day. They are the type of people that make your heart feel full of all kinds of happiness. “
Such a beautiful day, I am completely smitten with every detail – especially their gorgeous pup, Lucy’s floral collar! And is it just me, or did all those desserts set your stomach rumbling? Huge congratulations to the happy couple, Kelly & Matthew, and a heartfelt thankyou to their photographers TJ and Shannon of Uttke Photography & Design for capturing their day so perfectly! If you would like to see more of their work, do pop across to their website over at www.tjuttke.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
When it comes to planning your wedding it’s all in the details, and to make your day perfect no detail can be deemed too small! One detail that is all too often overlooked (I know I did!), is something beautiful on which to hang your wedding gown. Because after that long search to find your dream dress, you don’t want your photographer capturing it on the standard plastic hanger do you?
So, for that all important picture of your bridal gown elegantly held aloft somewhere, before you slip it on to walk down the aisle, here are 10 of the most beautiful – and truly photo-worthy – wedding dress hangers…..
We’re continuing our countdown to Christmas today with some more seriously gorgeous Festive wedding inspiration! Schilling’s Christmas Tree Farm provides a charming backdrop to this surprisingly elegant affair, with the rustic setting contrasting perfectly with the glamour and opulence the beautiful palette of garnet and copper lends it.
The bride wears a beautiful long sleeve wedding dress by Calla Blanche from Inverness Bridal, just perfect for the cooler temperatures. The corded lace adds a hint of vintage to an otherwise contemporary look, with loose hair in soft romantic waves, and smokey makeup. An organic bouquet of rich blooms and greenery from Tanarah Luxe Floral, tied with silk ribbons in matching hues completes her look. Whilst the groom looks dapper in a hunter green suit, over a tweed vest with a velvet bow tie the finishing touch.
The inviting sweetheart table pairs wood with copper and plush chairs to create an elegant floral-filled space in which to continue the celebrations. At every place a warming marshmallow-topped, cocoa in a copper mug, the perfect accompaniment to a slice of yuletide stollen! Calligraphed name cards tied with ribbon around copper flatware, welcome the happy couple and hint at timeless elegance. Before the celebration concludes with the most delicious looking chocolate drizzle cake from Patticakes Bakery, topped with more beautiful fresh blooms.
Isn’t it gorgeous?? Who would have thought a Christmas tree farm could make such a romantic wedding venue! Such a huge thankyou to all of the wonderful wedding professionals and creatives who lent their talents to this fabulous shoot, and especially to BJ of B. Matthews Photo for capturing every detail so perfectly. If you love this shoot and would like to see more of his work, do pop and take a peek at his website over at bmatthewsphotos.com, and be sure to follow him on Instagram and Facebook.