Monday, 27 February 2012

Expressions of Devotion: Buying Engagement Rings, Wedding Rings, and Wedding Bands Online

Ritual symbolism abounds in everything we do; this is particularly the case when an individual commits their love and devotion to another and offers a promise of marriage. The custom of offering and exchanging engagement rings and wedding bands is a time honored tradition rich in symbolism and meaning that has been carried on for centuries.
As time has changed so have consumer traditions and buying patterns. The rich tradition of exchanging vows as a symbol of love and devotion is still a traditional time honored ritual practiced in many cultures. Certain aspects of engagement and marriage have changed with time however. Whereas in times of old a couple might take several outings together in search of the perfect engagement rings or wedding bands, in modern times more and more couples are buying engagement rings, wedding rings and wedding bands online.
Thanks to the internet and the resulting access to a global marketplace, couples are realizing they have more options available to them all from the comforts of their living room. Some couples are even going to the extreme, not only buying engagement rings, wedding rings and wedding bands online, but also purchasing wedding gowns, flowers and even participating in virtual marriages.
How have these changes come about? What can today's modern couple expect when planning a walk down the aisle?
The Engagement Ring
The practice of a groom offering his bride to be an engagement ring as a promise of love and affection began nearly 2 centuries ago in the United States; many associate the giving of engagement rings with a need to express implied commitment and understanding forever. The term "A Diamond is Forever" was in fact used as a means of reinforcing the notion that an engagement ring is a commitment from one fiancé to another to live a life together in marital harmony forever. The phrase is also a popular advertising catch phrase that reinforces the notion that love and devotion are part of everyday symbolisms that require an outlet for expression.
The use of engagement rings as a token of love and affection is a norm that instilled in the hearts and minds of most people, in part due to heavy marketing and advertising from diamond ring and other jewelry manufacturers, and in part based on the needs of mankind to project symbolism into everyday living.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Organising Your Wedding Stationery

Of all the things you need to do, buy and organize in preparation for your wedding, wedding stationery is something that must be planned ahead. After all, you need to let your guests know well in advance of your forthcoming big day. Your wedding invitation and accessories set the tone for your special day firmly establishing your style and taste. It is the first official message about your wedding that a guest will receive from you, so make it special. If wedding etiquette is important to you, then make a start with your wedding stationery.
The Use of the Internet
The Internet has opened up new avenues for anyone planning a wedding. All your research can literally be done online and this also applies to finding your stationery items. There are hundreds of online stationery and wedding related websites that display all types of wedding invitations and accessories for you to choose from. Today many brides do their wedding research online as you can become quickly informed of the latest trends and new products available. You can either buy your wedding stationery directly over the Internet, or collect ideas and samples and take these to your local stationery store to implement. Most online stores actually send you a sample in the post to let you look and feel the stationery items before you purchase them.
Custom Stationery
Every bride wants her wedding to be as unique as can be. A good place to start is with custom wedding stationery. The great advantage with custom stationery is that you can enter your own wording, select the typeface, text size and color. No matter what theme you have set for your wedding, you will surely be able to customize your stationery to compliment the tone. Wedding invitations and accessories can be bought in various styles such as classic, contemporary, floral, embossed, layered and religious.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

10 Secrets to a Successful Stress-Free Wedding

Your wedding is supposed to be the most important day in a your life, and yet for many, just getting there in one piece is harder than fitting stilettos on an elephant. Why is it so difficult? The biggest problem is stress and how the interplay of all the different participants at your wedding adds or subtract from that stress. Here are some wedding ideas to have a truly successful and happy wedding.
Scientists use the term HOMEOSTASIS (homeo = the same; stasis = standing) to define the physiological limits within which the body functions efficiently and comfortably. Stress disturbs homeostasis by creating a state of imbalance. The Lord knows how easily some people can cause us imbalance. Well, the secret of all of this is that, if we know how difficult it is to change ourselves, we must then take for granted that we are not going to be able to change others, especially between now and the wedding date. So what can we do to make or create STASISHOMEO "the ability to maintain the same mental condition we enjoy now on the day of your wedding" (LOL)?
The all time stress-o-meter gives the following scores to different stress events in our lives:
Event Stress Score
Death of spouse 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation 65
Jail term 63
Death of a close relative 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Marriage / partnership commitment 50
Loss of job 47
Retirement 45
Illness in family 44
Sexual problems 39
Childbirth 39
Change in finances 38
Death of a close friend 37
Change of job 36
Taking out a mortgage or loan 31
Mortgage foreclosure 30
Increased responsibilities 29
Offspring leaves home 29
Fight with in-laws 29
I don't know girls, but I think that a fight with the boss rates right up there with marriage.
The first thing we must do is to be able to recognize stress in others and ourselves. Stress management involves four main tasks:
ü Recognize and understand the signs of stress.
ü Identify and understand the sources of stress.
ü Learn to manage controllable sources of stress.
ü Learn to support yourself and cope with stress reactions to 
situations beyond your control.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Terrific Advice Concerning Destination Weddings As Shared By Two Gurus On The Topic

Today Norm Goldman, Editor of & is pleased to have as a guest, Denise and Alan Fields, authors of BRIDAL BARGAINS and the BRIDAL PASSPORT WEDDING PLANNER. Both are in bookstores nationwide or you can order online at WINDSORPEAK.COM.
The Fields have been featured on the TODAY SHOW, OPRAH and DATELINE NBC.
Thanks Denise and Alan for accepting our invitation to be interviewed.
Please tell our readers how you started writing about weddings and why did you want to write about this subject matter?
Denise and Alan:
We began writing in 1989 as we were planning our own wedding; yep, we are still married today. As two starving college students in Austin, Texas, we quickly realized planning a wedding was a darn expensive endeavour. We wanted to know how to save money but still have a nice wedding without getting ripped off. We heard the horror stories from our friends and decided the world needed a consumer's guide to tying the knot. Bridal Bargains, our first wedding book, was the result of that effort it was first published in 1990 and now is in its 7th edition, with 500,000 copies sold. Our latest book, the Bridal Passport wedding planner (the Dollars & Sense Guide to Planning a Wedding) was published in December 2004.
What in your opinion makes for a wonderful and unique wedding experience, where everyone would be left with fond memories? As a follow up, do you have to spend a great deal of money to have such a memorable experience?
Denise and Alan:
Think about the best weddings you have ever attended and what made them so memorable? Chances are it was a FUN event first and foremost. That might have been a combination of several factors, a unique setting, a great band, and so on. Focus on those factors when planning your own wedding. Conversely, realize there are many parts of a wedding that are expensive, but contribute little to the fun aspect of a wedding flowers, for example.
No, you don't have to go bankrupt to plan a memorable wedding! Yes, you may have to make a series of trade-offs to pull it off, but you can save and still have a fantastic wedding. Example: instead of a fancy downtown hotel, you can rent a historic home*that lets you bring in your own caterer. That enables you to hold the total cost down, way under what the hotel would charge. The key: you save money in ways your guests don't see. A bottle of house wine from a hotel might be $50; that same bottle from a wholesale club like Sam's or Costco would run $10. Do you guests know the difference? No.
A destination wedding is another great way to save and you have a special setting for your wedding, without all the cost of a domestic affair.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Planning a Wedding That Doesn't Kill Your Budget or Your Relationship

If you're planning a wedding and you're concerned about your wedding budget, there are several ways to save. The keys to successfully planning a budget-conscious wedding are having the abilities to be creative, flexible, and opportunistic.
Think of this scenario: You wake up in the middle of the night with a craving for ice cream. All grocery stores are closed, so you run through the options in your head. You can go to the all-night convenience store or coffee shop and pay a premium price for this craving or you can settle for the granola bar in the back of your pantry. Then the thought occurs that you could have planned ahead while grocery shopping earlier that week and had your ice cream at a fair price. The same shopping options exist for every part of your wedding. Do you pay premium prices? Do you plan ahead? Or do you simply do without? There are no wrong answers, but planning ahead can almost always offer the most bang for the bucks.
The key trick in saving money for your wedding is flexibility. Think about your wedding date. It's probably a mild Saturday evening in late Spring or early Fall. I'm no Nostradamus, it's just a fact that the vast majority of couples choose the same dates for their weddings. You can slash your overall wedding costs significantly by changing your wedding date away from Saturday evenings in May, June, September, or October. Go crazy and avoid Saturdays altogether and have a raging Friday night wedding or a relaxing Sunday afternoon wedding. You might not think these date/time adjustments matter, but vendors' schedules are much less likely to be full on a Sunday afternoon in August or a Friday night in March. This availability can translate into staggering deals if you shop around. I've seen $10,000-$15,000 weddings (combined vendor cost) reduced to $2,000-$3,000 with every component of the wedding staying exactly the same, including the venue. The difference? An 11am ceremony time on a Saturday in June versus a 5pm wedding the EXACT SAME DAY. An unexpected perk to avoiding Saturday evenings goes to your guests who can now plan a weekend after your Friday night bash or before the Sunday nuptials. That Saturday night wedding breaks everyone's weekend in half. Having schedule flexibility is huge for all vendors, but specific savings can also be found for each part of your big day.
Wedding venues: The venue is usually the costliest of the wedding investments, but that only means it is also the biggest opportunity to save money. If you want elegance, maybe avoid the country clubs and golf courses and find a shady park or beach and spend a fraction of your budget on elegant tables, string lighting, and candle-lit centerpieces. If you're quirky and fun, bypass a regular venue and rent an old theater or local art gallery. Think outside the box. Depending on the size of your guest list, you can find venues that aren't considered traditional, but will more than fit your needs. Private residences and local restaurants might fit your needs perfectly. With any non-traditional venue, be sure to get all the details. Some places may require additional insurance or have restrictions on attendance, food/drink, etc, so be sure to be thorough in your interviews. If you are looking for a traditional venue, many times finding a location that can host both the wedding and reception is ideal. For both convenience and cost, this option almost always is preferable to separate locations. If you opt for a church wedding, keep in mind th`t some churches offer weddings a low or even no cost. Call around and you might find a great deal