I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Engagement rings are a big ticket item. For most people, engagement rings are one of the biggest purchases they’ll ever make. And it’s easy to see why people are ready to drop a lot of cash on their ring— after all, engagement rings are meant to symbolize everlasting love and people want the quality of their ring to reflect that. Plus, diamonds appreciate over time, so engagement rings are also an investment purchase that people want to get right. 

So, what exactly are people spending on engagement rings? Across the US, the average amount spent on an engagement ring is $6,351. Though, the amount spent per state ranges from $3,518 to $10,241, with the lowest average coming from Utah and the priciest coming from California. 

While it’s good to consider how much people are spending on their engagement rings, it’s also important to remember that your budget doesn’t have to hit that average number. Every person’s unique situation is different— the most important thing about your engagement ring budget is that it’s comfortable for you. No one wants to start a marriage with strained finances or debt. 

So, how do you buy the perfect engagement ring when you’re working within a budget? We partnered with Fancy Lab to answer that question! The first thing you should do is make sure you know exactly what your budget is. Some people have a range they look within and some people just set a hard upper limit. To figure out your budget, just take an honest look at your finances and think about what you’d be completely comfortable spending.

Once you know your budget, it’s time to start shopping around. If you’ve never bought an engagement ring before, you might not know that engagement ring settings are usually sold separately from the engagement ring’s center stone (which is, traditionally, a diamond). So, keep that in mind while you’re shopping. 

If you’re shopping online, most retailers have handy filters that will allow you to only look at settings or diamonds within certain price ranges. But one online retailer, the luxury jeweler RockHer has taken diamond “filtering” up a notch with their online diamond concierge, ROSI. 

ROSI, a combination of algorithm and AI (powered by IBM’s Watson!), was designed by the team at RockHer to help make what used to be a very difficult shopping decision very simple. Essentially, ROSI works by getting a few pieces of information from whoever’s using her, then sorting through thousands of diamonds and showing the user only the very best ones within their criteria. So, in a nutshell, ROSI helps you find the best diamond within your budget, taking all the confusion and work out of the diamond shopping process. Plus, she does it faster than even an expert gemologist could.

And RockHer is a full stop shop— you can use ROSI to find your ideal diamond and then pair that diamond with your ideal setting right away (or vice versa). They have every imaginable setting style, from intricate vintage settings to sleek modern rings. 

So, the answer to the question of “how to buy the perfect engagement ring without breaking the bank?” Figure out your budget then use ROSI, an AI advanced digital diamond gemologist, to help you sort through the rubble and find your perfect ring. 

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It’s almost Valentine’s Day, the most romantic day of the year. (Unless you’re also getting married this year, of course!) Valentine’s Day is a day when love is in the air. It’s the perfect day to spend special quality time with your partner, deepening your bond and falling even more in love. 

While spending time with your Valentine is a major part of this special day, there’s another big tradition to take into account: the gift exchange. Choosing just the right gift for your sweetheart can be tricky. You want to get them something truly special, something that shows them just how much they mean to you. That’s a big part of why so many people opt to give fine jewelry on Valentine’s Day. It’s beautiful, special, and timeless— just like your love for each other. 

If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day gift that’s as thoughtful as it is beautiful, you’re in the right spot. We partnered with Fancy Lab for a fab list of top Valentine’s Day fine jewelry gifts. Read on!

Love Ring 

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Why not spell out your devotion this year with this modern, beautiful rose gold and diamond “LOVE” ring? 

Ruby and Diamond Halo Studs

Rubies: they’re the stone of romance and passion. Give a timeless (and stunning) token of your love with these ruby and white diamond halo studs by Studio 247 Fine Jewelry

Diamond Chain Necklace 

Keep it simple and beautiful by giving this ultra-wearable (but still gorgeous!) 14k gold and white diamond cable chain necklace by Gnat Jewelers

Asscher Cut Diamond Earrings

These earrings have all the appeal of the classic diamond stud with a retro twist: their angular, art deco asscher cut. 

Diamond Infinity Bangle 

This adorable bangle is as beautiful as it is sentimental. The infinity emblem on this piece, shimmering with radiant white diamonds, is a symbol of your infinite love for the recipient. 

Diamond Halo Pendant

Is there a better gift than a classic diamond pendant? It’s wearable, gorgeous, and timeless. This stunning diamond staple is by Bay Diamond Importers

Bar and Chain Bracelet

This delicate bracelet is simple yet oh so beautiful. This on-trend, elegant piece is perfect worn on its own or as part of a fun bracelet stack. 

Tourmaline and Diamond Ring 

This romantic pink tourmaline and diamond cocktail ring is the perfect gift for the glamorous lady in your life. 

Rose Gold Tennis Bracelet 

The infinitely covetable tennis bracelet design gets a modern, on-trend update in this bracelet, which features a rose gold setting and a stunning star-shaped clasp by Stein Diamonds

Diamond Baguette Necklace 

Want to give a gift with a real “wow” factor? Choose this incredibly elegant, dazzlingly beautiful 18k white gold and diamond baguette necklace by Valla Jewelry. 

The inspiration for this gorgeous shoot came originally from the Anna Marguerite Couture headpieces which felt “Greek-esque” in their design. The team wanted to expand on the theme by bringing in a beautiful and majestic white horse, incorporating the Greek goddess Epona known as protector of horses. The collaboration of this team including the stunning florals by Holly Viles Design and planning by Olive & Nine, they bring just the right element to help create the romantic vibe to this shoot. And lucky for us Lauren Brandon Photography was there to skillfully capture every perfect moment.

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This shoot was inspired originally by the beautiful Anna Marguerite headpieces in a dainty entwined olive branch pattern. We felt like these looked a bit “greek-esque” and wanted to expand on this theme. Epona is the Greek goddess and protector of horses, renowned for her fertility and sensuality. She rides a white mare as Epona is known as the “Great Mare” and is adorned in crowns and roses. So we wanted to incorporate touches of Greek elements you can see in the blue ribbons, the stone vessel, the white horse, roses and olive branch headpieces. And we just went from there, with a beautiful garden elopement fit for a goddess.

The subtle themes of Greek culture are entwined with a beautiful mix of light and lux elements. The couple is a real couple and is so in love, it was difficult to get them to look away from each other between shots! They met and fell in love from opposite sides of the county and were inseparable immediately.

Lastly, the horse used in this shoot is from the sweetest older couple who are known for breeding beautiful Arabian horses here in Texas. This is their oldest mare, and their first baby on the farm. They were hoping that she would produce a line of horses with her beautiful white color, however, after 20 years, she never had a white foal, making her the one and only. The only white horse is actually the “Great Mare” that is Epona’s namesake.

Styled Shoot at The Grove from Brad & Monica on Vimeo.

Photographer: Lauren Brandon Photography// Planning: Olive & Nine // Florist: Holly Viles Design // Calligrapher: Pretty Post Calligraphy // Venue: The Grove // Videography: Brad & Monica Wedding Films // Bridal Dress Designer: Made With Love // Dress provided by A&be Bridal // Bridesmaid Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu // Hair & Make-Up: Adrienne Redman and Margot // Ring Designer: Majabond // Headpieces: Anna Marguerite Couture // Bakery: Butterfly Cake Factory // Popsicles: (cocktails) Steel City Pops // Rentals: Coral Lane // Tableware: Pretty Little Plates // Linens: ChrysQ // Film Development: The Goodman Film Lab

 

No matter how you feel about snow, we think you’ll agree that Alex and Parker’s Telluride nuptials will inspire winter wedding goals. Our own GLW Collective member Jenna Elliott with One Eleven Photography was there to capture every perfect moment of this GORGEOUS snowy wedding. From the outdoor deck where they said their vows, Gorrono Ranch provided an amazing view of white-capped mountains as a backdrop. The simple elegance of white florals and greenery designed by Garden Store is the perfect pairing with this rustic mountain location, and planner Wendy Jacobs Hampton helped to bring all the pretty details together.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

The location. My family has been vacationing in Telluride since my mom was a child. It’s a family tradition. Every year my entire family (cousins/aunt/grandmother) would rent a home there and spend a week skiing and just enjoying Telluride’s adventures and beauty. Parker started joining us on these trips several years into our relationship and loves it now too. It’s a truly magical place. We felt so blessed that we could get married there, and share such a meaningful and special place with the most important people in our  lives. Multiple guests already booked return trips for March of next year because they loved it so much!

  

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I’ve always loved Monique Lhuillier. I think all of her bridal designs are perfection. I tried on about six of her dresses in total, and narrowed it down to two. I had my mom with me the first time, and then had my dad, best friend, brother and aunt with me the second time to help me decide. I never thought I would pick such a princess dress, but the embroidered beaded lace bodice, coupled with the textured organza skirt just felt perfect against a snowy winter backdrop. I also thought, “when else am I ever going to get to be this glam!?”

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Parker and I love our French Bulldog, Frankie, like a human child. We flew her with us and made her our flower girl. She walked down the aisle with a beautiful floral wreath around her neck. Everyone stood for her and ooh’d and ahhh’d like she was the bride! Another surprise for guests was the transportation they had to take to get to our venue. Gorrono Ranch  is located in the middle of a ski run on the mountain. It required guests to get into snowcats (fully tracked trucks with a sleigh attached designed to move on snow) to take them up to the venue. It was quite a sight! We had large faux fur throw blankets on the sleigh, and the ride was about ten minutes total through ski runs and lush tree area. On the way back at the end of the night people rode the snowcats down to giant stars and the town lit up in the distance. It was pretty unique.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Everything about it was memorable! But there are two parts about the day that still stand out to me. The first one was that Parker and his groomsmen skied/snowboarded into the wedding in their tuxes. It was such a shock to all of our guests and the coolest experience. The second still makes me tear up when I think about it. It was the most incredible feeling in the world to have all of our friends and family in the same room with us celebrating our love. I don’t know if there will ever be another occasion in life that brings the people most important to us together again all in one room like our wedding. I’ll cherish the love we felt and received from everyone else on that day forever.

   

 

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We’re high school sweethearts! We started dating junior year of high school and have been together ever since. Our engagement story is awesome. I love cats, and Parker is highly allergic to them. My running joke was always, “I’m going to have to pick you or my love for cats.” One Saturday I came home and opened our front door and saw a litter box sitting in our hallway. I instantly freaked out and starting screaming out of excitement, “oh my god is there a cat in this house!?” Parker came around the corner with a kitten (Theo) in his arms. I burst into tears. He handed me Theo, got down and one knee, and told me that he loved me and wanted to make me happy in life, so if that meant having severe allergies everyday so that I could have a cat he would do it. It was the kindest gesture, and talk about true love. He had the engagement ring on Theo’s collar. Poor Parker is still currently getting allergy shots on a weekly basis. Hopefully in another six months he’ll have built up an immunity and won’t need to do that anymore!

Parker & Alex – Highlight Film from Amor In Motion on Vimeo.

Photographer: Jenna Elliott One Eleven Photography // Wedding Planner: Wendy Jacobs Hampton // Florals: Garden Store // Stationery: Bella Figura // Venue & Rentals: Gorrono Ranch // Videographer: Amore In Motion // Dress and Shoe Designer: Monique Lhuillier (Beverly Hills) // Bride’s Makeup: Steven Mora // Bride’s Hair: YX Salon // Escort Cards and Paper Goods: The Pampered Paper // Cake: The Butcher & The Baker // Officiant: Jayne Atkinson // Bridemaids’ Gowns: Reformation / Joanna August / Azazie // Bridesmaids’ Faux Fur Shawl: Milanoo // Veil & Shoes: Monique Lhuillier // Jewelry: L J Marks Jeweler // Groom’s Attire: Custom Tux Brandon Williams // Groom’s Shoes: Del Toro, Barneys // Groomsmen Tuxes: Menguin // Engagement Ring: Custom by Philip Press // Wedding Bands: Both Custom XIV Karats LTD // String Quartet Ceremony Music: Telluride String Trio // Reception Music: DJ Soul Atomic // Catering: Allred’s // Lighting: Lighting Design and Production Telluride // Transportation: Telluride Express

With a rustic barn and sweeping waterfront views of Thousand Acre Farm as a backdrop, and many personal touches including watercolors of their cherished pups, Jamie and Matt were able to realize their dreams of an intimate wedding surrounded by their close friends and family. Blush floral garlands galore adorned the space, and A Styled Fete nailed the couple’s vision and love of whimsy in all the fun and gorgeous details. Stacy Hart was there to capture every element of this lovely wedding.

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 Jamie and Matt were wed at the beautiful waterside Thousand Acre Farm surrounded by their closest friends and family. Every detail of the day was carefully curated by A Styled Fete (a premier event & wedding design company based in Chadds Ford, PA) to truly capture the easy-going, fun-loving nature of the couple.

 

  

From the moment guests arrived they were greeted by personal touches that referenced the couple’s love of all things whimsical. The seating chart was adorned with stunning blooms and featured water-color portraits of their beloved pups accompanied by the directions “Please Fetch Your Seat”.

  

The waterside ceremony space was decorated with a beautiful array of floral garlands that set the scene for touching, hand-written vows. The mint and blush color palette flowed perfectly through the ceremony space into the bride’s bouquet and other details. Her invitation suite was simple and was accented with floral envelopes. Succulents were placed in floral designs and around the venue to bring in beautiful blue-green tones as well. The entire space was transformed by their choice of decor and made the location perfect for their big day!

  

Photographer:  Stacy Hart Photography // Event Designer & Florals: A Styled Fete // Invitations: Design by Pipkin Paper Company // Event Venue: Thousand Acre Farm // Dress Designer: Modern Trousseau // Dress Store: Jennifer’s Bridal // Hair Stylist: Trilogy Salon and Day Spa