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

If you’re looking for an engagement ring, you’ve just made one of the most important decisions of your life — and you’re about to make another. The kind of engagement ring you present to your partner should reflect their personality and the type of life you want to begin together!

Whether you’re surprising your partner or bringing them along with you, there are a few things you should know about how to choose the perfect engagement ring.

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Choosing an Engagement Ring

Don’t make the mistake of beginning your engagement ring search with little-to-no knowledge. Knowing what you want and where to start can help you make an informed decision that will make your engagement ring special. Here’s everything you should consider before you start your engagement ring search.

Stick to Your Ring Budget

First things first, make room in your budget for your engagement ring purchase — and stick to it. It may seem unimportant now, but if things go right with the engagement, you’ll be facing wedding expenses which can really put a dent in your savings.

If you’re trying to make things work with a smaller budget, talk with a knowledgeable jeweler. They’ll know exactly how to help you get the most bang for your buck. For example, the experts at Great Heights — a lab-grown diamond company holding the industry to a higher standard, offers stunning lab-created diamonds that can be up to 40% less than the price of a mined stone. Plus, you’re receiving the peace of mind that your diamond was ethically sourced.

Consider the Materials of the Ring

You have choices that range from the metals in the band to the type of stone featured in the ring. While these customization options can be overwhelming, they certainly have a big impact. That said, do you know all of your options?

Did you know that there are some kinds of precious metals that are naturally hypoallergenic? Platinum and gold, for example.

What about stone choices? Do you want a lab-grown diamond for environmental reasons and budgeting purposes? Or would you prefer a unique stone such as onyx or aquamarine?

These are some of the questions you’ll have to ask yourself during your search. The sooner you nail down your preferred materials, the sooner you’ll be able to move forward with your purchase.

Choose the Right Stone Shape

The shape of the stone you select will influence every other aspect of the ring. It’s also an easy way to filter out the plethora of customizing options, so you can avoid being overwhelmed by details!

Don’t be afraid to discuss these options with your partner. Ask them if they would prefer a classic, timeless round-shaped gem or something a bit more daring like a princess or marquise cut.

Once you understand their preferences, you can look at rings that suit them. You’ll find that things will flow a lot more easily from there.

Research Engagement Ring Vendors

Be sure to stick with accredited jewelers. If you’re not buying from a large national chain, make sure that the store you’re working with is affiliated by the Jewelers of America, the International Gemological Institute, or similar high-ranking official governing bodies. This is important to ensure the quality of the ring you’re able to purchase as well as the security of your ring-buying experience.

Key Takeaways

When you’re choosing an engagement ring, there are several things that you’ll need to consider including shape, setting, style and more! Keeping your partner in mind as you navigate these decisions will help.

You’ll want to give yourself at least six weeks to allow the ring to be properly made or updated to your specifications and delivered safely to your home.

18_Wedding Dress

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Meghan and Dan chose to get married in Santa Barbara because it was the location of the first vacation they took as a couple. Santa Barbara Historical Museum provided the perfect backdrop for the floral-filled event designed and planned by Jane Alexandra EventsVelvet Blooms created colorful, floral bliss at—literally—every turn and the result is a cheerful, sunny celebration and it’s all captured on film in these stunning images by Rebecca Theresa Photography.

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What made the wedding day special and unique?

We chose to get married in Santa Barbara because it was the first vacation we took as a couple, for 4th of July in 2013, and we had spent many wonderful weekends there since that first trip. Meghan also grew up going to Santa Barbara for vacations with family. Meghan and Dan put a lot of thought into their guests’ experience and ultimately chose Santa Barbara Historical Museum as their venue because of its location in downtown Santa Barbara and the option to have the ceremony and reception at the same site. They wanted the venue to have a classic Santa Barbara feel because nearly all of their guests were from out of town and they wanted to share the beauty of the city with them. Meghan and Dan also had their very talented friend Krista Doersch design all of the invitations and paper goods, so they were completely custom and turned out better than the couple could have ever imagined. Krista even learned how to water color just for Meghan and Dan!

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

Meghan’s gown was Wtoo by Watters from Lili Bridals in Tarzana. Meghan tried on dozens of gowns over several occasions — she knew what she wanted, she just couldn’t find it. Luckily Lili Bridals hosted a Watters trunk show and Meghan was able to see a wide variety of gowns from the brand. She knew she had found “the” gown because she couldn’t stop thinking about it when she tried on a few more gowns afterward, and because she kept thinking about it as “my dress” when she went home that night. The gown was beautifully altered by Sonya of Lili Bridals. Meghan is glad that she didn’t give up on finding her perfect wedding gown!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

The couple wanted to honor Meghan’s mom and Dan’s dad, both of whom passed away. Meghan’s mom Mickey was an avid gardener and Meghan knew she wanted to honor her through the wedding flowers. Rachel Burch of Velvet Blooms created two planter boxes for the end of the aisle filled with flowers from Mickey’s garden and put a single iris, Mickey’s favorite flower, into the bridal bouquet. The couple chose to honor Dan’s dad Joe by having a Budweiser toast at the reception, Joe’s drink of choice. It was important to the couple that Mickey and Joe’s presence be felt on their wedding day and they were able to accomplish that with the help of their vendors.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

A bee got stuck in the bride’s gown right before the first dance. Luckily, Meghan had the world’s best bridesmaids, who along with their dates, helped get the bee out moments before the DJ cued the music. Meghan and Dan took dance lessons and practiced the dance over and over, but they just couldn’t have anticipated that happening!

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Meghan was accepted into a summer program in Leuven, Belgium and the couple decided to travel in Europe together beforehand. They started their trip in London and spent their second afternoon in St. James Park. After a few hours, Meghan was ready to get going on the next activity, in part because she was so tired she fell asleep on a park bench! Meghan became grumpy when Dan insisted they spend just a little more time in the park and was especially cranky when Dan kept fiddling on his phone. She went to wait it out under a tree and a few minutes later, heard the sounds of a camera shutter as Dan walked over to join her. It turns out, Dan had been texting the professional photographer he had hired their exact location in order to capture the moment. Dan’s proposal was one of the happiest moments of Meghan’s life and encapsulates much of what makes Dan a great partner — his thoughtfulness, his generosity and of course, his patience!

Photography: Rebecca Theresa Photography // Planning and Design: Jane Alexandra Events // Florals: Velvet Blooms // Stationery & Signage: Krista Doersch (friend of the couple!) // Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum // Dress Designer: Wtoo by Watters // Dress Boutique: Lili Bridals // Beauty: Cheek to Cheek // Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo // Catering: Pure Joy Catering // DJ: VOX DJs // Live Music Jazz Trio: Jake Sucher Music // Tux: Mens Wearhouse // Ice Cream Bar: McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams // Rentals: Ventura Rental Party & Events and Bella Vista Designs Inc.


The mother of the bride dress is an important element of any wedding but buying a mother of the bride dress can be a difficult decision. There are many factors to consider, such as budget, style, colour—and more. The following are some essential dos and don’ts you need to keep in mind when buying the mother of the bride dresses.

Do: Buy online for the best deals

If you want the best deals for mother of the bride dresses, you should buy online. Online shops (such as https://www.mothersonly.com.au/ which focuses on providing mother of the bride dresses) have a wider ranges of styles, colours, and prices. Many physical retail shops will have marked up prices, so you’ll also get the best prices when you buy online.

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Don’t: Forget to complement the colour scheme of the wedding

It’s important not to forget that the mother of the bride dress needs to complement the colour scheme of the wedding. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they should match the bridesmaid’s dresses, but what colours are being used in the wedding should be considered. The only exception to this rule is if the bride and her mother make a mutual decision about a colour that is not otherwise used in the wedding scheme.

Do: Choose a style that is flattering

A mother of the bride dress should be, above all, flattering. No one wants to look frumpy at a wedding, especially your Mother! Before you pick a dress, you should make sure that the style is going to be flattering on your body. Thankfully, modern dresses for your Mum will come in plenty of styles so you can definitely find something that is flattering to your body type. If you are not sure which style is most flattering, try on similar styles in person to see which looks best.

Don’t: Feel limited to certain styles

Today, mother of the bride dresses come in an array of stunning and flattering styles. You shouldn’t feel limited to a standard straight line dress; you can find dresses in chic fit and flare styles and even stunning cocktail dress styles for something more elegant and formality. So, don’t feel limited to basic styles—if a cocktail gown would be appropriate for the occasion, feel free to pick one out for the wedding!

Do: Buy the dress early enough for alterations if necessary

One of the most important ‘dos’ you should know regarding buying mother of the bride dresses is that they need to be purchased early enough for alterations (just like the bride). In some cases, a gown needs to be taken in, let out—or otherwise altered so that it’s as flattering as possible. If you wait too long, there may not be enough time to have the dress altered to fit properly.

Glam undertones, pops of dusty blush and gorgeous light on the grounds of The Powel Crosley Estate are just a few details that make up Cara and James’s gorgeous Florida wedding day. Coordination was by Laura Snow with florals by Oneco and it’s all captured here by  Everence Photography.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

What makes our wedding unique is that we focused less on some of the traditions and instead focused on everyone having a great time. We left out the bouquet and garter toss, didn’t stop the music to have everyone stop and watch the cake cutting (just family and a few of the wedding party were present), and kept the music upbeat and entertaining. Food and music were important to us so we chose that very carefully. We had been to so many weddings where the food was mediocre and the music was always the same so we wanted ours to be different. We also wanted it to be very romantic, elegant, and dreamy and I think we accomplished that!

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

I purchased my Lazaro gown at the White Magnolia (style 3814). I wanted something different and I had my eyes on this gown for a while! I tried on several dresses that I liked, but nothing that was giving me that spark. After trying on a few, I decided to just cut to the chase and try on the one I had been eyeing (even thought I was saving it for last!). From the moment I tried it on I just knew. The sparkle it gave and the way it flowed felt so magical. It was everything I wanted in a dress. It was perfect!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

James and I wrote notes to each other and exchanged gifts the morning of. We then had our first look which I highly recommend! It made the day less stressful and allowed us to enjoy the day even more. It allowed us a few moments to enjoy by ourselves. Our dogs were also included which made our day even more memorable. We wrote each other our own vows in personalized vow books for our ceremony. It meant a lot to me that we did that for each other. It just made it that much more meaningful and special.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Sharing our vows with each other during our ceremony and feeling the love that we share for one another. I think I sped walked down the aisle because I had dreamed of that moment for so long and was so excited. Hearing the speeches during dinner was entertaining and meant a lot to us as well. Having everyone celebrating our love was so appreciated. Our DJ was also amazing. I don’t think we stopped dancing! The weather was also perfect! I remember because the week before the forecast was rain and EVERYTHING was outdoors. I was stressed about it until a few days before the chance of rain went down to 0! It was warm, but not too warm, sunny and breezy. It was a dream come true.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

James and I originally met working together in high school at Hollister. We were just friends back then. One year while I was in pharmacy school I came home for the summer. Mutual friends of ours threw a beach party for cinco de Mayo. We ran into each other and chatted for a bit. A couple weeks after I reached out to him and we started messaging back and forth. It took about 6 months to actually plan a date! But once we had that first date the rest was history. We dated for over 7 years before he proposed to me on New Year’s Eve during a picnic on the water at the University of Tampa. He told me earlier that day that he had a surprise for me later. When we got there he took out a new blanket and said look what I got! I asked if that was his surprise. He laughed and said yes. He then stood me up and proposed right there. That was the real surprise!

Photography: Everence Photography // Coordinator: Laura Snow // Florist: Oneco // Stationery: Minted // Venue: The Powel Crosley Estate // Videographer: Bonnie Newman // Hair & Makeup: Destiny and Light // Dress: Lazaro style 3814 // Bridal Boutique: The White Magnolia // Veil: Haute Bride (purchased from Malindy Elene) // Cake: Sugarpaste by Stephanie // Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Earrings: Sara Gabriel // Robes (for getting ready): LeRose // Bridesmaid dresses: Jasmine B2 (purchased at CC’s bridal boutique) // Tuxes: The Black Tux // Ties: The Tie Bar // James’ Shoes: Aldo // Bride’s rings: Mavilo // Catering: Milan Catering // DJ: Cory Barron // Lighting: Affairs in the Air // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box


You guys—THE LlAMAS!!! Set on Island Alpaca, in Martha’s Vineyard this shoot is filled with boho inspo and—of course—llamas stealing the show. The editorial was planned by Susan La Reau Events with florals by Nectar and Root, paper and calligraphy by Meilifuous, bridal gown and accessories by Laure de Sagazan and a cake by Sugar Lane Cake Shop. Check out all the details in these images captured by Kylie Mones.

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from the planner:  timeless yet eccentric design is perfect for the bride who is looking for a hint of romance, and farm to table vibes. This shoot was set in the Vineyard’s alpaca fields, and nestled into the dunes of the island. It was subtly ornamented with an autumn motif, and its muted color scheme mixed in pop of pink hydrangea and garden roses. A fall floral runner lined the table and a low hanging installation arched overhead. Florals had a palette of chartreuse, viburnum berry, white poppies, a balance of neutral earth tones and grasses along with a touch of mauve and merlot.

This team of New England vendors made sure to incorporate the land and sea in subtle ways. The bride carried a raw arrangement of loose long stemmed florals and Leo the alpaca was adorned in jewel tones. The calligraphy suite was hand torn and accented with a copper wax seal, featuring a custom portrait of Leo as the envelope liner. Details also included Belvoir Elderflower and Rose Presse welcome drinks, and an organic wedding cake of buttercream, a cake full of sugar berries, flowers and birds! All the pieces were woven together, each of them featuring the vendors vision and craft – a delicate interpretation of a timeless quiet beauty full of personality and gleaming with a genuine love from our real couple who volunteered for this styled shoot.

The bride wore a Laure de Sagazan dress, veil and hairpiece — that the cake artist used inspiration from. Shoes were Ellen Tracy and the ring a touch of something old, in an amonie ring case. We hope you love this; it’s all fields and dunes.

Photography: Kylie Mones // Planner: Susan La Reau Events // Florals: Nectar and Root // Paper and Calligraphy: Meilifuous  // Venue: Island Alpaca, Martha’s Vineyard // Dress, veil and hairpiece: Laure de Sagazan // Hair + Makeup: Jenny Luu // Cake: Sugar Lane Cake Shop // Rentals: Party Rental LTD // Our couple: Sam Ringer and Brett Nagle