Like the Parisians…

I just returned from a week in Paris with my family. We had a getaway and saw (and ate) everything. It was an incredible experience. It was my third time there but I was much younger so I saw it through new eyes.

I really connected to the fashion and the way that it laid the foundation of a beautiful and historic city. I stood next to the Yves Saint Laurent red wedding dress and was told about a 1.5 million euro wedding dress that resembled a waterfall. In Paris, people take fashion seriously, and it continues to blaze the trail for style around the world.

When it comes to your engagement and wedding season, there are a few opportunities that you will have to wear an outfit and I encourage you to put some thought into these purchases. You will have (at least) five key items that you will need to wear for your bachelorette, bridal shower, rehearsal, and then the actual big day from getting ready to walking down the aisle. It seems overwhelming but take your time to decide what to wear. Here’s what I recommend:

Once you get engaged, start keeping an eye out for these key outfits. You will likely start to daydream about your wedding and if you make these decisions earlier, you will have more space in your mind to make other key decisions closer to the big day.

And don’t feel like you have to fit into a particular style-box shared in wedding magazines or on tv shows. Whatever you decide to wear, it should feel: special and like an elevated version of yourself. It shouldn’t be something that you would wear any other day because these outfits can make you feel like this is a once in a lifetime event, and I think that’s important.

If you’re able to purchase an outfit for a special event, like a bridal shower, it’s great if you can wear it again. All of your outfits don’t need to be this way but if you can wear a white dress from a shower to a date night with your husband in the future, that can bring back your wedding day butterflies.

Take your style seriously, like the Parisians do, because it’s all much more than just a garment. Not only will these photos last a lifetime, but more importantly, your memories will.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Another Year Has Come to an End

It’s been another great year for me over at Girl with a Diamond Ring. This is truly a passion project for me and it’s such a fun hobby to take my mind off of ‘real life’!

I have now been married 3.5 years and am so thankful that I have my best friend by my side to endure the ups and downs of life. He always makes me laugh, with his silly dance moves and sarcastic sense of humor. He takes care of me and asks me “How can I support you?” when I’m struggling. I have had great marriage mentors, too. I have been incredibly inspired by my parents who celebrated 33 years this summer before my dad lost a quick and tragic battle to kidney cancer.

If I have learned anything through this recent season that my family has endured, it would be to hold your loved ones close and pick your battles (especially in marriage). At the end of the day, much of the stress and ‘small’ day to day things that we freak out over are not worth it. Stay present, give thanks, and let your spouse know that your life is better with them by your side.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my other social channels for GWADR, check out my regrams on Instagram from some of my favorite wedding photographers and real bride moments, and hop on over to Pinterest for my wedding theme boards and style inspiration. To catch up on my blogs, just scroll down this page!

Happy New Year: don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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5 Reasons to Have a Spring Wedding

Spring officially begins on March 20th—-that’s right around the corner! As the snow begins to melt and the sun starts to shine, that means that spring weddings are here.

1 According to “BrideBox”, January, March, April and November are the cheapest months to throw a wedding celebration. Try a weekday or Sunday if you really want to save your money, too.

2 The weather is likely going to be perfect. Not too cold, and not too hot; a great time of year for an outdoor soiree. Do check the weather though and have a backup plan for spring showers.

3 Most people aren’t going to be traveling at this time (other than the peak spring break weeks) which means guests should be not have as many conflicts. Winter and summer can be spotty with availability, so this is right in the middle.

4 You can leverage unique themes like a brunch themed wedding, garden tea party, or spring pastels and it will feel right on trend.

5 Go overboard with flowers, and it won’t even be noticeable (in a negative way.) Whether it be a floral invitation, a bridal flower crown, or floral print bridesmaid dresses, flowers can be such a special addition to elevate the magic of your big day.

If you’re a bride-to-be planning a spring wedding, I’d love to hear why you chose this time of year! Here are some additional resources for you:

How to Have a Spring Wedding by The Knot

11 Expert Tips for Planning a Spring Wedding by Martha Stewart Weddings

100 Ideas for Spring Weddings by Bridal Guide

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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A Newlywed Tradition

My husband and I recently celebrated our wedding anniversary. Recognizing another year is really special because it allows us to see how far we have come, both as individuals and a couple.

When we were first married, a friend of mine recommended that my hubby and I start a tradition: to watch our wedding video every anniversary.

While I initially brought up the idea to my husband, he wasn’t a huge fan of the idea, but over time I think he’s come to enjoy the sentiment behind the memories. The full length video is about 30 minutes and it shares the entire ceremony and highlights from the reception like the first dance.

It’s been fun to watch the video again and be reminded of things like the way my wedding dress flowed behind me as I walked and the cute jokes from the MOH speech. Now that we’ve seen it a few times, we’ve even recognized some of the talking parts!

The best part of the video is to listen to our vows again. It’s so nice to be reminded of the words that we based the foundation of our marriage upon and it helps us get recentered and focused on what matters once a year. We chose vows that weren’t completed traditional but that had special meaning to us, and they become more true in our lives every day that passes:

“I take you to be my best friend, my faithful partner, and my one true love.  I promise to encourage you and inspire you, and to love your truly through good times and bad.  I will forever be there to laugh with you, to lift you up when you are down and to love you unconditionally through all of our adventures in life together.”

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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Wedding Tips from a Newlywed: Q&A with Bride, Amanda

Amanda Fox (previously Margedant) is a newlywed. Her wedding photos are still being framed, thank you cards are being addressed, and the couple just hosted the first party in their new home! As with all brides, she has some really special memories, along with a few things that she might have done differently, so I wanted to sit down with her to learn more.

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What’s the biggest piece of advice you have for the newly engaged woman?

Everyone will ask you, “when is the big day?” It’s ok to not have a date yet. You can simply reply, my husband-to-be and I are still deciding when it’s right for us.

How did you create your wedding planning timeline?

Many of the vendors that I hired had a typical timeline document and I was able to get a copy from 2 of our vendors and merge/edit to our liking. The event coordinator at the venue was the best person to run the timeline as she knew the venue’s in’s and out’s.

Was there something that surprised you about the wedding planning process?

I was surprised how easy but time-consuming the entire process was.

For the most part I was calm throughout the entire process. On the day of, my bridesmaid helped keep my nerves down by keeping me distracted and occupied.

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What role did your now-Husband Jay play in the planning process?

Jay was super planner fiancé, each night we would try to get 2-3 things done in the last 3 months of our engagement. Some nights we would divide and conquer and other nights we would work together on projects. A few of the details I found he didn’t think were necessary, these I took care of behind the scenes (ribbon color, fonts on the invites, etc.). This worked well as he was very engaged in things like the music and food.

What was the most stressful part for you?

Bridesmaid dress shopping….trying to get five girls to agree on one dress was by far the biggest challenge of the wedding planning process.

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How did your wedding vision end up coming together?

I chose a venue that had gardens, waterfalls and a victorian house. By having the gardens and waterfall on site, I was able to stress less by not having to arrange decorations. This option fit my timeline best!

The location was one of the biggest parts of our wedding (or any event) running smoothly. While Jay and I were off taking photos or talking to people we knew that the staff was taking care of our guests. It’s good to look at a venue from a functional view as well, does it have accessible bathrooms, capacity, food on site, beverages on site, staffed appropriately, suite for bridesmaids/groomsmen, parking, etc.

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Is there anything you would have done differently in the planning process?

It’s super easy to go over your budget, I wish I would have made sub categories for my budget. Here is how much I have for cake, here is how much I have for a DJ.

What is your best memory from your wedding day?

My best memory from our wedding day was when the DJ gave my husband Jay the mic and he thanked all of our family and friends for coming. I remember standing next to him in front of everyone, thinking, “Wow, I just married that man” and feeling all of the moments of happiness that led up to this day hit me at all at once.

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What’s the best part of being a newlywed?!

Getting a shorter last name, doubling the size of my family, traveling together and having Jay as my ‘forever date’ !

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Wedding Vendor Love

Venue and Catering: Grand Tradition Estate

Photography: Jason Berry Photography

Hair: Beni Brambila

Wedding dress: Mia Bella Couture

Shoes: Designer Shoes Warehouse (DSW)

Photobooth: Pixter Photobooth

*Amanda, I am so happy for you. Thanks for taking this time to share your thoughts with my readers! I know that you and Jay will have a long and happy life together.*

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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