The Most Engaging Time of The Year

Did you get engaged over Christmas? If so, you are not the only ones. In our latest infographic we look at the facts and figures behind engagements in Ireland.

Christmas is the most popular time to 'pop the question'

Christmas is the most popular time to ‘pop the question’

View our stunning range of engagement rings on our website or at our showroom on Fitzwilliam Street.

Tips For Buying An Engagement Ring

1. For any couple, buying an engagement is one of the biggest investments of your lives, so it is worth spending the time to do your research to get the ring that you want. The stone, usually a diamond, is the feature piece of any engagement ring. Familiarise yourself with the 4 C’s; these are the carat, colour, clarity and cut of the gemstone. You will need to balance the qualities of these factors to get the diamond that is right for you at an affordable price.

2. If you are working with a small budget, you should consider the 5th C; cubic zirconia. A cubic zirconia stone is indistinguishable from a real diamond except by an expert, but is a fraction of the cost. You could always plan on replacing the c.z. stone with a real diamond later in life when finances improve. Make sure that you receive your certificate with your diamond, the two go together.

3. Shop around. There are plenty of options available. High street stores are a good place to start as you will get a good idea of what styles are available and a good indication of price. If you are looking for vintage, there are plenty of shops in and around the Powerscourt Centre that stock a good range of upcycled rings. In recent years, a number of boutique diamond retailers have popped up off the high street. Certainly, they are worth meeting as they can offer value. However, don’t feel pressured to buy just because they have invested time in you.

4. Internet retailers, are very competitive on price, but just remember that the price you see is not necessarily the price you pay. Bank charges, duties and taxes, if the ring is being shipped into Ireland, can really add to the cost. Also, be aware that the image of the ring you are viewing is not necessarily the image of the ring you are buying. If you choose to buy online, remember you can always get all your money back if you decide to return the ring.

Handmade 18k Gold Irish Engagement Ring

5. Some couples choose to go to Antwerp or New York to purchase their ring. There are good deals to be got there, but just be aware that the guys you meet at the stores there are very good sales people who know that you are there for the weekend to buy and will price accordingly. Drive a hard bargain.

6. Don’t forget the most important factor for you to consider when purchasing your engagement ring is price. Decide on how much you are willing to spend and stick to your budget. Good Luck!

A to Z of Weddings

Our infographic below covers weddings from A-Z. There is so much involved in a wedding and this infographic has most of what you need to be mindful of when organising one. A wedding is a momentous occasion in a person’s life so it’s important that it runs smoothly. This infographic will help you be organised!

A-Z of Weddings

How to Clean Your Engagement Ring

Getting Engaged

The day a couple get engaged is of course a huge occasion. It is something that will live long in the memories of one’s mind and the engagement ring is a significant part of the experience. Sometimes one partner surprises the other, even choosing the ring themselves. Others choose to select a ring together once the proposal has happened, it depends on the couple – some people like less fuss than others.

Cleaning my engagement ring at home

Taking Care of the Engagement Ring

Showing off your engagement ring to family and friends is an exciting part of getting engaged and in the beginning your engagement ring is shiny, new and sparkles with the amazing diamonds that it holds. It is possible to keep this ‘sheen’ just by exercising some care with your jewellery. This will ensure that it always stands out and will help to make the piece stand the test of time.

 Tips for Taking Care of your Engagement Ring

Once  you get your engagement ring, you should immediately get into the habit of caring for it. Take it off and place it back into its cushioned box when you are cleaning it or at night, basically anytime when you are doing manual work etc. it should be removed to prevent damage and dirt build up.

Cleaning my engagement ring at home

Other Tips:

  • You should always pick up engagement rings by their band, not by the diamond. Natural oils and dirt from your fingers can move onto the diamonds.
  • Items such as cosmetics and creams, soap residue, shampoo, sunscreen, hairspray can cause a build up of residue that may result in clogging up the diamond or taking from the sparkle.
  • When cleaning or using any chemical products it is advisable to use gloves or to remove the ring altogether. Even hairspray is damaging to diamonds.
  • Soak your engagement ring in a small container of vodka to bring up its sparkle, rinse gently afterward with a mild detergent.
  • Soak the ring in a bowl that contains four parts warm water and one part household ammonia for no more than ten minutes.  Brush the ring very gently with a brush (e.g. a child’s or soft toothbrush). Move it around the solution once more, rinse well with water and leave to dry on a towel.

Mixing metals – the hottest wedding ring trend of 2014

The number one rule when choosing your wedding ring is simple – there are no rules.

When picking out a wedding ring brides traditionally sought a band that would ‘match’ the accompanying engagement ring, these days however the mixed metal look is the hottest trend.

Pairing a white gold or platinum engagement ring with a yellow or rose gold wedding band is an emerging style choice amongst trendsetters. Mixed metal sets allow brides to express their own sense of style and fashion.

Just because you and your fiancé are a perfect match, doesn’t mean your wedding set should be!

Kate Middleton

When it comes to setting trends there is nobody more prolific than the Duchess of Cambridge. While on official Royal Tour to Australia last week, Kate stepped out in a printed Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress which sold out in eight minutes after being spotted on the glamorous royal.

When William and Kate became engaged in 2010 he proposed with his mother’s stunning diamond and sapphire engagement ring set in 18ct white gold but when they tied the knot Kate went with Royal tradition choosing a simple, yellow gold wedding band fashioned from a nugget of Welsh gold.

Keira Knightley

When Keira Knightley married British rocker James Righton last summer she turned heads with her unusual choice of bridal gown and her beautiful wedding ring set. The starlet walked down in aisle in a recycled Chanel dress she had worn to an event five years previously, and the following week she stepped out in London sporting a stunning mixed metal wedding ring set.

The Pride and Prejudice star’s engagement ring features a two-carat solitaire diamond set on a platinum band, while her wedding ring is a simple yellow gold wedding band. Keira, as the face of Chanel, is no stranger to what is in-vogue, and her choice of mismatched metals for her wedding ring set is right on trend.

Kaley Cuoco

Kaley Cuoco

Photo credit: TLC Bride Day

She’s the star of the most popular comedy show on American TV, and this year Kaley Cuoco married tennis pro Ryan Sweeting after a whirlwind romance. Her athlete husband proposed with a $65,000 ring featuring a huge square-cut diamond in a reported platinum halo setting.

When the two tied the knot on New Year’s Eve the bride opted for not one, but two, yellow gold wedding rings. Not only did the Big Bang star choose the rising mixed metal trend, she also opted for the emerging ‘ring guard’ trend.

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana

Photo credit: TLC Bride Day

Sci-fi star Zoe Saldana wed in secret this summer, and when the star finally announced that she and artist Marco Perego were married she wowed us with her gorgeous mismatched wedding ring set.

Zoe is following in the footsteps of other trendsetting celebrities by choosing a coloured gemstone in her engagement ring. Her stunning pear-shaped emerald and diamond ring set in platinum is contrasted by a simple yellow gold wedding band.

Two tone wedding bands

Mixing metals - the hottest wedding ring trend of 2014

A simple and elegant way to try the mixed metal look is to combine metals in your wedding ring itself. If your engagement ring is set in rose gold, why not try a wedding ring with a rose gold accent and another precious metal? Our range of two tone rings features a number of different metals and styles to help you achieve the mixed metal look.

Choosing a wedding ring is an important part of planning your wedding, but it is crucial you choose the ring that suits your style and your personality.

With so many options out there don’t let yourself be limited – be true to you and be on trend.

Checklist when choosing your wedding venue

Excitement abounds when an engagement is announced. It is traditional reaction to what is widely seen as good news. Family and friends share in the joy that occurs when two people decide to formalise their relationship.

As the dust settles on the engagement celebrations, it becomes apparent to the couple that they may have a wedding to organise. This in itself can cause some stress. There is a huge amount of organisation required in weddings and unfortunately they are not staged easily. To avoid stress, the couple needs to be well organised in advance.

The couple should enlist the help, assistance and advice of close family and friends but should still be independent enough to make their own decisions. A wedding day should be all about the couple and they should communicate thoroughly with one another to ensure that both are happy with any wedding decisions.

First and foremost the couple will need to decide on a date. That way they can call prospective wedding venues and see if they are available. Next the couple should draft a guest list; this can be a rough estimate on numbers but at least it will give them an indication of how many people they will need to cater for. Following on from this the couple can decide whether they wish to go for a hotel venue for their celebrations or choose to hire a private venue such as a restaurant and host the event there.

Other important considerations at this stage include whether or not the couple want to get married in a religious location. This will also affect their choice of venue as they may want to have the ceremony in the same location as their wedding reception and not all venues can accommodate that.

This info-graphic provides important information in order to assist couples to make the right decisions in a timely manner. In terms of a wedding venue, this info-graphic can be used as a checklist in order to ensure a well selected wedding venue.

Wedding Venue Checklist

How Do I Choose a Ring to Suit my Finger?

It is a huge and memorable occasion when you get engaged or married. People will always want to mark it with something beautiful which will highlight its significance. Jewellery is traditionally that outlet and so when people make that purchase, they should aim to make it one which suits their hand and as a result stands out for all the right reasons.buying a ring

When you want to find the most flattering ring for your hand, take a look at your finger shape as well as your hand size. You could also decide to get the help of an expert at your selected wedding ring or engagement ring specialist. Different hand shapes look best with varying shapes and sizes of stones. There are some guidelines below but they are just that; guidelines.

It is important to note that a person with large hands and short fingers is likely to look best in different ring styles in comparison to a short-fingered person with small hands. Similarly, finger width can affect the look of a ring, even nail shape and length can make a difference too. When choosing rings, think of the proportion of the fit as well as the ring style you love. You will only really find out what suits you by trying on some rings so before you decide, try on your friends, family and colleagues rings to get some idea.

Long fingers: Round rings are often the most flattering ring here. Marquise shapes often make long fingers look even longer which you may not want. The marquise is a stretched out, oblong shape with pointed ends. This is similar to pear or oval stones which may also not be very flattering. Most flattering: Round rings.

Short fingers: Round stones can make short fingers appear even shorter. Big rectangular rings can overwhelm and are probably the least flattering. Most flattering: The marquise shape can help add the illusion of length, and pear or teardrop shapes are usually flattering.

Wide fingers: The key is to pick a ring that is not thickset in style. Most flattering: Cluster-styles, round stones or wider marquise styles may flatter short, wide fingers.

Narrow fingers: Heart-shaped or round stones are not the most flattering on narrow fingers. Most flattering: Rings with small stones may help give the illusion of wider fingers.

buying a ring

Large hands: Rings with smaller stones will inevitably look a little lost on larger hands. Most flattering: Go for ornate styles, perhaps coloured stones.

Small hands: Keep the proportion of the ring small in keeping with the daintiness of the hand. Most flattering: Small heart-shaped, oval, round, or square stones. Thin bands and fine settings

Does a wedding ring have to match a bride’s engagement ring?

If a bride plans to wear both rings on the same finger, then the norm is to match the jewellery so they look like good together. If down the line you choose to add an eternity ring or band this can add to the overall look again. An experienced jeweller will be able to advise you further.

All About Weddings in Ireland

Weddings are a mainstay in Irish society and culture. Weddings in Ireland are often quite traditional in nature; with a church wedding and then onto a hotel usually close by. However, trends have changed dramatically in the last 5 to 10 years with a lot of changes being seen in couple’s choices of venues, dress, jewellery, wedding rings etc.

A wedding day is a huge day in every couple’s lives. It is the day when their family, friends and loved ones come together to celebrate their joining as a lifelong couple. It is a momentous and emotional occasion.

There is often a lot of costs involved in hosting a wedding day in Ireland with the largest cost often being the price of the venue. This cost includes feeding your guests which can rack up your bill. Traditionally Irish weddings are a large affair and sometimes people feel the need to invite all their neighbours and extended family. This needs to be avoided if budget is an issue. Sometimes a smaller wedding can end up being a more entertaining and imaginative affair.

Wedding jewellery has changed a lot also however some couple do still like to stay with the traditional and have beautiful wedding day jewellery such as Claddagh rings. These are a fantastic symbol of love and Irish culture and will remain timeless.

Europe continues to be the destination of choice when it comes to honeymoons. It is accessible easily for Irish couples and can often be very affordable.

Hope you enjoy our infographic on all things weddings!

Ireland Weddings