12 June 2008

Money Saving Wedding Ideas

Save Thousands on Designer Wedding Jewelry at DesignBands.com

They say there are two things that will withstand the test of time, and love is one of them.

However, with gas prices flirting with $4 a gallon and lavish weddings chock full of frivolity, lovebirds are looking for the most cost effective ways to tie the knot.

And they aren't skimping on the details.


Summer may be known as the season for weddings, but according to Cathy Heim, seamstress at Nicole's Bridal Boutique in Seneca, brides-to-be are choosing simpler designs and more contemporary looks to satisfy both the warmer weather, as well as lighter wallets.

"You can pay just as much for a formal dress as can you for an informal," Heim said. "But for this area, people are buying a lot more conservative."

Heim, who is working on more than 20 weddings this month alone, said business is as steady as ever, adding that she has received a lot of requests to alter dresses bought from outside dealers. The four-year employee said many women are purchasing the perfect dress elsewhere, but sticking to local seamstresses for the modifications, saving a much needed tank of gas as well as some sanity.

Heim said the only major cutbacks so far include slightly less expensive bridesmaids' dresses - shortened from full-length to tea. She said she doesn't expect any bride's budget to favor a dress that is subpar to what they have always dreamed of.

"Every bride has a dream," Heim said. "And they will sacrifice to get that. Now whether that means a cheaper tuxedo or fewer flowers, I don't know. But the dress (the average is $650 at Nicole's) really isn't the biggest cutback."

And neither is the tuxedo, according to Rob Walter, an employee with F.L. Crooks and Co. on Main Street in Clarion.

The specialty clothing dealer, offering a range of prices on both lower-end designs and top name tuxedos, said the average cost for the groom comes in at around $100 for a complete rental with the most expensive falling somewhere near $160. And while the only shift Walter has seen is to cooler microfiber shirts, many men are still going for a quality fit and fabric to satisfy their wants as well.

"Everything's really just on par as it's always been," Walter said. "I haven't noticed any big difference."


Perhaps the most illustrious piece of wedding memorabilia is the smallest and oftentimes most expensive for the big day.

Niki Volmrich, owner of Feldman Jewelers in Franklin, said couples are shopping vigilantly, but 'going for the gold' when it comes to actually buying.

"I haven't seen where they're really cutting back," Volmrich said. "I mean, they're still buying, but they're just perhaps not spending as much."

A veteran in the jewelry industry, having owned her Liberty Street shop for 23 years, Volmrich said those looking to celebrate nuptials are keeping a keen eye out for more traditional pieces that will not only look good, but won't break the bank.

One way brides are saving money is by purchasing titanium or tungsten bands for the groom, rings that not only have the weight and look of more expensive metals, but cost much less. An average price equals out to a little more than $100. Volmrich said many of the aforementioned materials are a lot more durable than conventional models.

However, she noted, grooms are still perusing the shelves for diamonds set in gold and platinum for their brides, in addition to the pricey engagement rings bought prior to the actual day.

"(Rising prices) don't really affect wedding jewelry, other jewelry yes, but not this," Volmrich said.

She also said the store's registry has consistently done quite well, with brides requesting various decorative accessories and everyday dishware.

"The ring is something you will have forever. You're going to be looking at that for years and years...hopefully," Volmrich said with a laugh.

By: Nicholas Hess
from Derrick.com

11 June 2008

With This Ring, I Thee Wed…

More New Couples Seeking Matching Wedding Bands and Ring Set

Valuable jewelry has differing functions and symbolism across cultures. For many, the most important item of jewelry is, of course, the wedding ring.

That being the case, I have some advice concerning wedding rings as the warm summer days -- and along with them many, many weddings -- begin. Women have always been interested in jewelry. In the ancient Greek and Roman societies, jewelry was often worn as a form of protection from the evil eye. While women of those eras would wear many different types of jewelry, men were restricted to rings. These rings were strikingly different from those worn nowadays, and their stones were often also used as signets. This style of ring usage was continued by kings and aristocrats in the Middle Ages. During those times jewelry was sometimes a sign of wealth and at other times worn as protective amulets. Whether worn as a sign of status, for protection, or even just to accessorize, the most important kind of ring has perhaps always been the wedding band. The idea of wearing a ring to signify married status was started by ancient Egyptian princess Nefertiti. And though wedding rings have changed in color, stone, style, size and many other aspects over the years, the finger they are worn on has not. It is always the fourth finger of the left hand that is graced by a wedding band. Of course this is not just coincidental. Everyone knows just how advanced ancient Egyptian medicine was, and in fact medical research now shows us that this finger is the only one with a vein that heads straight for the heart. Choosing a wedding ring, this all-important piece of jewelry, is a meaningful act in that the jewelry is bought with the intention of wearing for the rest of one's life. Wedding rings are also one of the few kinds of jewelry that don't change too drastically along with changes in fashion. More than its actual appearance, the meaning carried by a wedding ring is what is important. The ring becomes almost like a part of the wearer's body, which is why there can be such great arguments between couples when one of them removes the ring. In any case, the wedding season is officially upon us, making it the perfect moment to take some time to talk about new styles and options in the wedding rings now available.

Traditional or modern: always timeless

When choosing a ring, the most important factors to keep in mind are the size and shape of you and your partner's fingers and hands. A thick band will make short fingers look even shorter. If you have bony hands, wedding bands with lots of stones of them are perfect for you. Square cut stones make fingers look a bit thicker, while rounder stones lengthen fingers' appearance. Last season, we saw an increase in wedding bands designed with not only precious metals, but also with precious stones. In particular, many couples decided on wedding rings decorated with diamonds -- classic.

There are many who don't want to pass up on the classic wedding ring, and for couples like this, there are new modern interpretations of the wedding ring available. Though wedding rings made from two different colors of gold were quite popular last season, this season we are seeing single-color gold wedding rings, mostly from red or white gold. Newer models of wedding rings are being designed for women who want to wear the same style of wedding ring as their future husbands. These are wedding rings that symbolize dynamism and a youthful attitude. It is of course also important that they don't go out of fashion. In a season when white gold is being chosen by so many couples for their wedding rings, platinum and steel are also favorites.
I'd also like to note that while we may see men wearing single-stone rings outside of Turkey, I very much doubt that this will find much of a place in Turkish culture. Wedding bands ought to be chosen according to characteristics that allow them to be used in every atmosphere. And if you can't find yourself anything you like from the shops, go to a company that specializes in individually designed wedding rings. You might be someone for whom designing and wearing your own wedding ring is much more meaningful.

A wedding ring that carries your spouse's name and wedding date on the inside of the band will no doubt become one of your most treasured possessions. So take particular care to choose a model that expresses something about your future spouse, not one that just makes a fashion statement. What adds true meaning to your wedding ring is not the stone or metal used in it, but the love felt when wearing it.

Original Article by: Wall Street Journal