Archive for January, 2008

While the new couple are flying high and simply giddy, integrate a few stress-busters into your daily life. Then they’ll already be part of your routine once the really tough stuff starts.

Pick your favorite exercise, and stick with it. Whether it’s yoga, kick-boxing, or spinning, give this activity a few hours each week.

If you both have something that calms your nerves — be it reading, painting, or collecting rocks along the shore — don’t always put wedding plans ahead of this activity. You’ll stay calmer, make sounder decisions, and enjoy the entire planning process more if you stay relaxed.

Learn to ask for help. Delegating makes everyone feel better: It makes both or your Moms feel as if she has a vital role, and it puts less on your to-do list.

Don’t forget one of the most important reasons you are getting married to each other — because you love spending time together. Once a week go on a date, and ban any talk about the Big Day.

In decades past, the man got down on one knee, ring in hand, and proposed. Today, many couples jointly decide to become husband and wife. Likewise, they choose the rings together. It pays to know a few things first:

Find a jeweler you can trust. Use recommendations or family connections to find a jeweler you know to be honest and fair.

Select a style. There are many rings out there, with styles from heirloom to contemporary. Choose a style that reflects your personal tastes.

Set a price range. Have some sense of what you can afford before you even visit any jewelers. Most experts agree that the ring budget should total no more than the bride and groom’s combined salaries for two months.

Know your diamond basics. There are four
categories by which a jeweler assesses the worth of a diamond: cut, clarity, color, and carat (see below for more details).

Be sure to keep a good record of where the rings were purchased, how much they cost, the four C’s of the diamond, etc. This will come in handy for insurance purposes and if you find something wrong with the rings after bringing them home.

Also, you both just spent potentially thousands of dollars with a jeweler, so take advantage of your new status as a valued customer and consider using the same jeweler to purchase the bride’s attendants’ gifts. Don’t be timid about asking for a quantity price break.

The four C’S for diamonds

There are four qualities, or Four C’s, that jewelers use to evaluate a diamond.

Color: The closer a diamond is to colorless, the greater its monetary value.

Clarity: This term refers to the number of interior and exterior flaws that can be seen when the stone is magnified ten times.

Cut: A diamond should be proportioned and faceted to bring out the stone’s shine and clarity.

Carat: This refers to the size of the actual stone. Per carat value is determined by color, cut, and clarity. A small stone with flawless color, cut, and clarity can actually have a higher value than a large stone with many imperfections.