Romantic Engagement Gift Ideas for the Bride, From the Groom

Once the proposal has been made, and the bride-to-be has accepted, many grooms choose to commemorate the occasion with a special present for the bride. Since this is such a momentous occasion, choose something she’ll remember forever. Need some help? Try these romantic engagement gift ideas for the bride-to-be.

Bridal Jewelry for the Wedding

Choose bridal jewelry that matches the engagement ring as an engagement gift. The bride will appreciate a necklace, a bracelet or earrings that coordinate with both the base of the ring and the stone. For example, if the ring is white gold and the stone is a square-cut diamond, all accompanying jewelry should also be in white gold.

Ensure that the jewelry will also not interfere with the wedding dress. A high-necked wedding dress may not allow a necklace with a long chain, and pretty bracelets cannot be seen well when worn with long-sleeved bridal gowns.

Engagement Portraits

Bring the bride-to-be to a professional photographer to ensure that the engagement memories stay intact forever. Take her to her favorite beautician prior to the visit, so she can get her hair and makeup done for the photo shoot, and she will look even more beautiful in the pictures. Combine the makeover with a spa day, and she will be in a great mood for the photo shoot, and the engagement portrait will be a success.

Spa Day for the Bridal Party

Sending the bridal party, including the bride-to-be, her maid or matron of honor, and her bridesmaids to the spa is a great engagement gift. The bride typically has the most pressure during the wedding planning process, and starting with a relaxing spa day is a great way to ease the stress of planning a wedding.

For grooms who can’t afford an entire spa day, send the bride to a masseuse, nail salon or beauty salon for a mini-makeover. This option is less expensive, but still gives the bride-to-be time to relax and be pampered before worrying about caterers, florists and color schemes.

Flowers for the Bride-to-Be

Surround the bride-to-be with flowers, and show her how much she is loved. Order several bouquets of flowers, and have them delivered at periodic intervals throughout the day. Choose her favorite flowers, in her favorite colors, for personalized bouquets.

Include a loving and unique message with each bouquet, and she will appreciate the thoughtfulness of the gift. At the end of the day, hand-deliver a larger bouquet of the same flowers to the future bride, in a vase monogrammed with the engagement date and the wedding date, if it has been set.

Choosing Romantic Engagement Gifts for the Bride-to-Be

A long and happy life together starts with the engagement. A groom-to-be who spent months saving up for an engagement ring and weeks planning for the perfect proposal should not stop wooing his bride-to-be just because she agreed to marry him. By choosing a romantic engagement gift, you will show her that you will treat her with loving attention throughout your relationship.

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How to Choose The Right Bridal Shoes

Putting Your Best Foot Forward With Beautiful Wedding Shoes

Though bridal shoes are often worn but not seen, choosing the right pair to add style and comfort to any wedding ensemble.

Bridal shoes come in many styles and colors, making them an important part of a bride’s complete look. The right bridal shoes should not only pair nicely with the wedding dress, but they should also be comfortable, too. A bride should never have to remember how painful or unflattering her wedding shoes were on her big day. Using the style guidelines and suggestions below, she won’t have to.

Heel Height of the Bridal Shoe

Heel height is one of the most important considerations when choosing a bridal shoe. The height of the shoe can create a visual balance in pictures of the bride and groom and plays a key part in how comfortable the bride’s feet will be throughout the day. Some brides opt for two pairs of bridal shoes: a more elegant and height-appropriate pair for the wedding ceremony and a casual, more comfortable pair for the wedding reception.

In addition to comfort, the height of the shoe will affect how the wedding dress is altered. For this reason, a bride should have her wedding shoes purchased prior to the first wedding dress fitting.

Quality and Construction of Wedding Shoes

With all of the costs associated with a wedding, it is easy to seek out savings whenever possible. A quality shoe, however, is well worth the price. When choosing a pair of bridal shoes, the construction should be closely examined.

A good bridal shoe should have a sturdy sole, a comfortable insole, and should not have any embellishments that get in the way of overall fit. While lace shoes may look romantic, they should only be worn if their support and build are exceptional.

Different Bridal Shoe Styles

There are many shapes, colors, and styles of bridal shoes available from hundreds of designers. When looking for the perfect wedding, it is important to consider how that style compliments and enhances the wedding dress and the bride herself. For example, a bride with a larger foot should avoid shoes with an elongated toe. This makes her foot appear proportionately larger.

  • The Classic Pump: An elegant, classic pump is always an appropriate pairing for a wedding dress. Even the more basic of pumps can be embellished to look more like a wedding slipper. Pumps typically have a thicker heel base for more balance and a slightly rounded toe. While heel height may still be a factor, a classic pump is suitable for almost any bride.
  • Bridal Sandals: For weddings in warmer weather or on a beach, sandals can provide an elegant alternative to a closed-toe bridal shoe. A beautiful sandal can add an element of romance to sheath dresses, or a fun appearance to more casual wear. Those who need a wide foot bridal shoe, however, may want to rule out sandals, which can be prone to pinching.
  • High Heel Slingbacks: Sexy and seductive, a high heel slingback is a great warm weather shoe option for brides who prefer a closed toe. The slingback is a great compromise for brides who want something more exciting than a basic pump, but not as revealing as a sandal.
  • Bridal Mule: Mules slide onto the feet, and their elegant shaping makes them ideal for bridal shoe decoration. But, it is important that the bride feel secure while wearing the shoe, as mules can easily slip and slide when worn. The mule would be ideal for a smaller ceremony and a reception that does not have dancing.

Beyond the style and shape of a shoe, a bride needs to pay special attention to the shoe size. All shoe stores have people who can properly measure afoot for the correct size and width that a bride should wear on her wedding day. Once the shoe has been purchased, wearing the shoe around the house for a few hours at a time will loosen the shoe and help break it in.

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Wedding Bouquet Styles for Wedding Day Flowers

Learn the different types of fresh bouquets available for your wedding and be better prepared for meeting with your wedding day florist.

Wedding decorations should not only reflect the formality, tone, and style of the event, they should represent the taste of the couple being wed. Flowers, often a part of a wedding from the bridal bouquet to the reception centerpieces, add romance and beauty to any atmosphere.

Many brides and grooms aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to choosing their floral design. Understanding the different types of flower arrangements helps the couple decide the style of flowers best suit their taste. Additionally, it can go a long way in helping the florist create wedding flowers that are sure to please.

Contemporary Wedding Flowers and Bridal Bouquets

Brides who prefer minimalism and a sleek, chic look may be interested in a contemporary wedding flower look. Sometimes referred to as an “architectural” flower style, this look is often comprised of flowers with a strong structure, such as calla lilies, tulips, and orchids.

In a wedding bouquet, a contemporary flower arrangement is usually paired with simple greens, such as bear grass or snake-grass, with the stem of the bouquet hand-tied. For decoration, architectural wedding arrangements should be kept simple, with no more than a few blooms of one type of flower in each vase.

When incorporating contemporary wedding flowers into the wedding budget, it is important to know that the cost of this wedding bouquet style is often higher than a traditional bouquet. Tall vases, square vases, and unusual shapes will cost more to buy or rent than standard vases, while sturdy-stemmed flowers, like calla lilies and orchids, can cost more than $5 per bloom.

Garden Wedding Bouquet Styles and Arrangements

Using flowers that are readily in season and prolific is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to create a fresh bouquet of wedding flowers. In garden style wedding flowers, florists use a variety of flowers to create a look that appears as though the flowers were just plucked from the soil earlier that morning.

Roses, poppies, hydrangeas, and daisies are popular in garden wedding bouquets. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, making a visually interesting and appealing arrangement. Wrapped in ribbon, or hand-tied with twine, garden-style wedding bouquets can be used in both formal and casual wedding events.

Romantic Wedding Flower Styles

While all flowers have a sense of romantic appeal, flowers that fit into the romantic wedding style category are generally more traditional flowers, such as roses. Pink, cream, white, and blush-colored flowers are the most often used color schemes in a romantic wedding bouquet.

When used in the wedding reception, romantic styles look best when placed in more dramatic vessels. Tall, silver urns or low glass bowls both make ideal containers for displaying romantic wedding flowers.

Beyond understanding which type of wedding flowers appeals to the bride and groom, it is also important to consider the overall look and feel of the wedding. Contemporary wedding arrangements, for example, will look out of sync at a casual backyard wedding. An experienced florist will help the couple find flowers that are not only beautiful but representative of their union.


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Contact Lens Facts. Do’s and Don’ts.

While planning your wedding, don’t forget the health of your eyes. Being in a rush and overwhelmed with all the preparations you have to take care of your contact lenses.


The cornea is living tissue and as such requires oxygen for its respiration and life cycle.

Oxygen is obtained:

  • Directly from the atmosphere by diffusion through the contact lens material (approx 80% of oxygen demand)
  • From the tear solution (approx 10% of oxygen demand)
  • From the blood supply of the eye (approx 10% of oxygen demand)

If oxygen supply is restricted then the cornea becomes hypoxic (it gets strangled of oxygen). Your contact lenses may become uncomfortable to wear, your eyes may become hot and burny, and your vision may become cloudy. (Smokey room sensation)

These are symptoms of overwear. These symptoms are very uncommon with the advent of silicone hydrogel lenses, which allow a fully adequate amount of oxygen to pass through the lens material, to keep your eyes healthy.

The cornea has the potential to become infected. There are a lot of micro-organisms in the environment (bugs) that can harm the health of your eyes. Bugs can live very happily in your contact lens case, and some like acanthamoeba has the potential to do serious damage to your eyes. Acanthamoeba is a very ubiquitous organism, it’s everywhere, even in the tap water! So don’t go soaking your lenses in tap water!

Make sure you are sterilizing your lenses! Make sure you are replacing the multi-purpose solution in your case regularly!


  • Wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.
  • During the initial adaptation of wearing color contact lens, consider increasing your wearing time by a maximum of 4 hours per day.
  • Develop a habit of always cleaning and sterilizing your lenses daily, preferably at night upon removal.
  • Clean your contact lens case regularly with a toothbrush, boil the case and allow it to air dry.
  • Replace your contact lens case frequently. You usually get a new case with your multi-purpose solution, so discard your old case then.
  • Check the cleanliness of your contact lenses daily by holding them up to the light and examining the surface.
  • Discontinue wear or reduce wearing time if you are getting symptoms of over-wear. It will only get worse otherwise.
  • Read the signs your eyes are giving you.

If you have a problem that you cannot resolve simply, then discontinue wear and consult your optometrist.


  • Never travel overseas without a backup spectacle correction. You may have to discontinue contact lens wear for one reason or another.
  • Don’t ever rinse or store lenses in tap water (especially overseas) or use unsterilized or homemade saline
  • Don’t mix and match with contact lens solutions. They may not be compatible. Try and stay with the lens care system your optometrist recommended.
  • Don’t wear old, ripped, nicked. Torn or dirty lenses. Replace them.
  • Don’t go longer than a year without having your optometrist check your cornea and your lenses.
  • Don’t get complacent with lens care and maintenance.

Don’t wear your lenses off into the never-never knowing you have a problem and ignoring it!

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How to Talk to Your Fiancé About Finances – The Priceless Value of Discussing Money Issues

If you and your fiancé are like many couples, you probably didn’t spend much time discussing money before you were engaged. And that’s understandable: While you’re on a date, saying, “Let’s not order wine; it’s too expensive,” doesn’t necessarily set the tone for romance.

Once you become engaged, though, you need to start laying the groundwork for healthy communication about finances. You are probably well aware that money talk can quickly become emotionally fraught—the two of you may have very different money styles (for example, you’re a saver; he’s a spender).

Experts say that habits like these usually begin in childhood when we learn our attitudes about spending and saving from our parents.

Wedding day finances need to be discussedThere may be other points where your attitudes about money diverge. Say you both want financial independence, but he strives to attain it by earning a large salary while you prefer to stash government bonds. Or perhaps you desire altogether different things: Maybe you crave the security of a home, and he wants to spend money on travel. Your priorities need to be discussed now because they could create conflict later on.

To make things easier for the two of you, we’ve put together a guide to good money talk. Here are six points to touch on in your discussions:

  1. Your financial facts and figures. Both of you should gather your papers and share information about what you’re bringing to the marriage. This includes annual income, assets, debts, and obligations. Discuss how much life insurance each of you has and who your beneficiaries are, where you bank, how much you’ve stashed away in retirement accounts and who your financial advisers are.
  2. Your home. Discuss whether you’re both ready to buy a home or feel the need to wait awhile. Some two-income couples decide that together they can afford to live in a more expensive rental than each partner does now. Others want to spend less for the time being and put the savings into a specially designated house fund for later. There’s no right or wrong way to do this; the important thing is that you’re both comfortable with your mutual decision.
  3. Your banking. You’ll probably want to establish a joint account to pay household bills. But will you also retain individual accounts? If you opt for this “his, hers, and ours” system (popular with many couples), will you each contribute a percentage or a specific amount of your income to the joint account? What will each of you pay for out of your personal account?Fight at the reception
  4. Your insurance. If both of you work, it’s likely that one of you has significantly better health-care benefits than the other. Discuss the possibility of your both getting on the better plan and dropping the less-comprehensive coverage once you’re married. Also, take a look at your car insurance. The premium for two cars registered at one address is usually less than the premiums on two cars insured in different households.
  5. Your investments. “Finding out how your fiancé chooses his 401K investments speaks volumes about him,” says Michelle Smith, of Smith Financial Strategies Group in New York. “If he says he follows a pal’s advice, you know he’s casual about it. But if he pores over Morningstar data, you know this is important to him.” Whatever his—and your—actual level of interest may be, the two of you need to decide whether to merge your investments or maintain separate portfolios. Look over your statements together with the goal of creating a package. At the same time, discuss how you’ll make investment decisions. Will one of you be the investment guru and keep the other in the loop? Or will you decide matters jointly? Will you use a financial adviser or make decisions on your own?
  6. Your money chores. When you were single, you no doubt had your money-management system. Maybe you’ve always matched up your credit card bill with all your saved receipts and paid your bills electronically once a month. Perhaps he writes out checks twice a month and never reconciles a bank statement. Rather than get into a fight about who’s “right,” negotiate a plan. Perhaps one of you will handle the financial chores in exchange for the other doing the grocery shopping. Remember: As you learn to negotiate your differences, you’re building trust—and that’s something money can’t buy.
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Starting the Wedding Planning Process

Wedding planning may seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Begin the planning process early.

Before you start the actual planning process, it is essential to determine your budget.

How to Budget

First, it is important to figure out who is paying for what. Are the bride’s parents going to pay for everything? Will the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner? It is better to know what to expect ahead of time so you can plan accordingly.

When planning your budget, pretend as you can only afford 15% less than what you can really afford, and do your best to stick to that. For example, if you can honestly spend $10,000 on your special day, act as if you can only spend $8,500.

This may sound strange at first. Practically speaking, however, there are sure to be hidden costs and fees that you may forget to account for. Most of us don’t have the luxury of an unlimited budget, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. When such charges come up, you won’t have to worry about where the money to pay for them will come from.

Beginning the Planning Process

First, set the date. Coordinate with your religious leader to see when he or she is available, and reserve the date that works best for you. If you are planning a summer wedding, it is especially important to get started early, as summer is the most popular season for weddings.

Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner

Though exciting, planning a wedding is hard work. There are a myriad of details to remember and planning can be a time-consuming process. This can be a lot for one bride to handle. Many brides opt to hire a wedding planner.

When hiring a wedding planner, it is important to discuss with them what you’re expecting from them. Do you want them to be there to help you make decisions every step of the way? Do you want to have just a few meetings with them to make sure you’re on the right track to creating your dream wedding? Or do you just need someone to be there for you on the big day? Depending on what your expectations are, pricing may vary.

Many women prefer to plan their own wedding. This can help you save money, as well as give you complete control over every minute detail. Just remember, it’s ok to ask for help. And you can always hire a planner later on if it turns out to be harder than you expected.

Create the Vision of the Wedding

Close your eyes and imagine your wedding day. What do you see? This theme can consist of anything, from a colour scheme to red carpet glam. Do you want to incorporate your culture or heritage into the theme? What about your favourite fairytale from when you were little? Are you going to make your wedding eco-friendly?

Once you have a theme in mind, you have the foundation for how to go about planning the big day. It is vital to create a theme for a wedding before you start purchasing things. Everything will depend on the theme you choose. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to wear a huge ball gown to a simple backyard wedding.

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Simple and Elegant Wedding Tent Decoration Ideas for Your Outdoor Wedding

Wedding Tent Decoration Ideas

An outdoor wedding on a beautiful day can be a glorious thing, but a tent is a much needed accessory. Just about everyone wants to have perfect weather on their wedding day, but sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. Not to worry, there are many ways to decorate your tent to create a magical experience for all your guests.

Tent Size and Color

The color of choice for a wedding tent is typically white, but you can choose any color you’d like. Another essential decision you’ll need to make is what size you’d like the tent to be. The size will depend on how many guests you expect, but it will also depend on how much of the reception you would like for guests to spend under its cover. You can choose a smaller tent just for the cocktail hour or one just for dining, but if you are concerned about the elements, you should plan to use the tent for the entire night. You can always make a quick change if the sun comes out.


You should decorate your tent as you would expect a reception hall to be decorated. If you are using a specific flower throughout the event, such as a daisy or calla lily, you should also use this flower to decorate the tent. This flower can be added to garland and twisted around the tent poles, or it can be arranged with other flowers in large vases to be placed at the tent entrance. For a natural vibe, choose an outdoor location that is close to a garden; this way, guests can marvel at the beauty of the natural botanicals and you won’t have to use as many cut flowers.


If your event is in the evening, you will want to add some functional and decorative lighting. For a fun and inviting vibe, try wrapping strings of small white lights around the poles of your tent. You can also hang paper lanterns from the ceiling, just out of reach of the guests. This type of decorative lighting will cast a warm glow on your reception, creating a subtle yet romantic ambiance.

The most important thing to keep in mind about decorating the tent for your wedding is that it should coordinate with your other décor, but it shouldn’t stand out. Keep the hues subtle and the lighting dim, so you can be the star of the day – not the tent.

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3 Essential Tips for Planning your Dream Wedding

Your wedding day is inarguably one of the most important events in your life. You will be celebrating the undying commitment between you and the love of your life, so you want only the best experience for everyone.

Every bride-to-be wants to make their big day perfect. There’s the pressure to make it stand out and extra memorable so those in attendance will gush about it for years to come. This can make the whole planning process overwhelming and leave you feeling stressed, especially if you really have no idea where to start.

To help you make the most out of this life-changing experience, here are three essential tips that will help you get started with planning your dream wedding and actually do it right.

Wedding Planning Tips

Have a tentative guest list

Creating a guest list is one of the most challenging aspects of the wedding planning process. You cannot do this alone so even if you are doing most of the planning, you and your partner should work together in putting together your preliminary guest list.

The first thing to consider is your budget. Yes, it would be great to have everyone celebrate your big day with you but you need to stick to your budget to avoid stress and drama later on. And even if you have an unlimited budget, you still need to be realistic with your guest list count due to venue size and other factors. Remember, more guests means more stress and effort on your part.

Furthermore, be prepared to pare down your tentative guest list. This is the part where you might ruffle a few feathers but you’re not expected to please everyone. So go ahead and formulate your own cutting rules.

You decide on the people you want to be there with you on your wedding day. Think of your guests as must-haves and nice-to-haves. Your must-haves can be your immediate family members, close relatives, and your best buds – people you can’t imagine not by your side on this very special occasion. While those in your nice-to-have list might include co-workers, distant relatives, and other people you’d still want to be there. If there are people in your list that do not fit in these categories, don’t invite them. And please, don’t invite people
just because you feel really bad for leaving them off.

Choose a location

Where do you plan to hold your wedding? Will it be in the city or town where you or your partner currently lives? Or is there a wedding destination you’ve been eyeing for years?

When choosing a location for your wedding, you need to think ahead if it’s doable and if it will make it easier for you to execute your wedding plans. You would also want a location that’s accessible for your guests because if you choose to hold your wedding somewhere, that’s too far away, many of your guests might not make it due to time and budget constraints.

Pick your wedding date

One of the most important decisions you have to make when planning your wedding is picking the wedding date. The moment you announce your plans to get married, you will be asked the ultimate question: ‘When’s the big day?”

There are factors to consider when choosing a wedding date. You need to think of the season, the availability of your chosen venue, and the preferred length of your engagement, among other things. If you’re planning a wedding on a modest budget, you might choose to get married during the low season so you can negotiate for better deals and deep discounts with all your vendors. An off-season wedding is also advised for those who want a shorter engagement because there aren’t as many competition, so it’s very likely that your favorite vendors will be available on the date you picked.

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