Planning > Engagement

Three Pre-Shopping Engagement Ring Tips

Intimidating, expensive and downright scary. Choosing an engagement ring to give to the bride-to-be can shake the core of even the most confident man. Keeping with tradition, a future fiancée should purchase the engagement ring alone and present it as a surprise gift and symbol of the upcoming marriage. Walking into a shiny, sparkling jewelry store with guards at the door and seasoned sales ladies behind the counter doesn’t have to make you sweat if you follow these three simple pre-shopping tips.

First; prepare yourself financially. Engagement rings are very expensive, especially diamond rings which are the norm.We are not talking imported beer expensive or nice groomsmen gifts expensive, but expensive as in a large monetary number requiring a comma to separate the digits! Standard protocol says that an engagement ring should cost three times your monthly salary. While this is a figure put out there by the diamond industry, using your own best judgment on affordability is the best choice. However, do realize that this is a ring that she will presumably be wearing for a lifetime.

Second; educate yourself on the lingo that jewelry stores use before sitting down to look at rings. This way you will not be sold a ring that you later find out you (or she) didn’t want. You will need to familiarize yourself with the “4 Cs” of diamonds – clarity, color, cut, and carat weight. Also, you will want to know the various metals used for the ring and setting such as gold, platinum and titanium and more. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to be versed in the setting types such as prong, channel, bezel and pave among others. Go to the library and check out a book on this if you feel overwhelmed!

Third; before shopping, do some covert investigative work to figure out what type of ring she might like. This is a gift for the bride, after all! Do you see her “oohing and ahhing” at her girlfriend’s rings or perhaps she has blatantly pointed out what she likes in a magazine. You can always invite a friend or family member who knows her well to come along and offer opinions.

Shopping for the engagement ring, like planning your engagement photos, is only the beginning of your pre-wedding planning and shopping rituals. Shopping for a tuxedo, gift for the bride and groomsmen gifts will also need to be accomplished in due time. Once you’ve got shopping for a hard-to-please bride down, searching for the groomsmen gifts and other wedding items will be a piece of cake. The great thing about giving groomsmen gifts (as opposed to an engagement ring) is that men usually like anything you give them! Plus, your bride will always be happy to accompany you and give her opinion about your groomsmen gifts.

Tips on Engagement Photos

Engagement sessions and weddings sessions aren't the same as they used to be.. the Brides to be...expect more out of a photographer now a days then they ever have, they want photographers to think outside the box and give unique ways to make their photo sessions a fun experience.... As it should be! Your session should never be boring... If you see one or two out of the ordinary photos on a photographers website while your researching.. instead of the standard artsy dramatic photos that repeat all other websites... wouldn't you want something unique in your wedding book? If you have ideas for a photo... any photographer would gladly try out a new pose.

When doing your engagement photos... most of you young couples have 4 legged children... why not include them... Some people may think your crazy and its inappropriate.... but they are your photos, your memories. Makes for an interesting Engagement photo for your guest book table.

When you get your photos back from your photographer, you should have many options with your photos. Such as black and whites, Sepia, as well as color enhanced black and white photos. One fun way to show off your wedding photos in your house, instead of having many picture frames all in a row and taking up so much wall space.. is to have your Photographer create you a collage. Think of the possibilities of how much less space a collage can take up, and how exciting it is to build it with your photographer when you, yourself choose the photos.

Story by Karen Valckx, Paparazzi Photography