Today we’re excited to talk about one of our favorite things – diamonds! We are in full engagement season swing, and we know you you are too – you’re probably wondering what more there is to these gems than the famous 4 C’s. That’s why we invited Arctic Ice Diamonds to help explain the difference between lab grown diamonds and naturally mined diamonds. This way, you and your significant other can make an informed decision as you shop for your sparkly bridal bling.
Fact 1: Regardless of how they’re grown, no two diamonds are the same. Each gem has its own unique recipe of cut, clarity, color and carat that are combined to create a stone with a brilliant, sparkly finish.
Fact 2: Lab grown diamonds have the same dazzling appearance as mined diamonds, and even expert gemologists cannot tell the difference when comparing them side by side.
Fact 3: The only difference between a lab grown diamond and a mined diamond is that one grows above the ground while the other grows below the ground.
Fact 4: Lab grown diamonds will cost 30-40% less than mined diamonds, though they still use the highest standards of diamond grading.
Fact 5: Lab grown diamonds are not synthetic like diamond simulants (think cubic zirconia or moissanite). Rather than being created to imitate a natural product, lab grown diamonds are 100% real diamonds.
The “New Diamond” has been gaining some major traction with environmentally-concious couples, and Arctic Ice Diamonds is the proof in the pudding that beauty never has to be sacrificed for a good cause. Their company began with a mission of protecting the earth while simultaneously providing wedding and engagement rings that have 100% of the characteristics of the naturally mined diamonds we’ve always known. We encourage all our soon-to-be brides to try a few of these gems on for size, and we can’t wait to see how your eyes gleam. Peruse our top 10 picks below!
This post is sponsored by Arctic Ice Diamonds. Thanks for supporting our sponsors!
Japanese origami is all about symbolism, and one of our favorite origami creations is the Lucky Star. Creating 1 star for your loved one signifies the only one, while 9 stars signifies love for a long time. If you want to go the extra mile, 1314 stars represent a whole eternity of love! Can you imagine a more special (and meaningful) touch to a Valentine’s gift? Fred Meyer Jewelers was the real mvp and put together a step-by-step DIY to teach you how to make your own:
If every quantity of Lucky Stars has a specific purpose, shouldn’t every detail of your ring too? Understanding the different meanings of rings is key to choosing the right one for you. We’re truly enamored by Fred Meyer Jeweler’s Destiny Diamond, which is embedded across 3 collections that provide a wedding ring and personality blueprint – each in their own way!
If you have a vibrant, extroverted soul (and let’s face it, you love to be the center of attention), the Strength Collection should definitely be a contender. Featuring a strong solitaire as it’s center stone, this striking piece is the kind that people won’t stop talking about. If you’re all about the glitz + glamour, and you tend to light up every room, you’re probably a Harmony gal. We’re talking diamonds on diamonds in a symphony of sparkle. But let’s say you’re more of a traditionalist, and your story together is a dynamic one. The Journey Collection is all about adventure, signifying your past, present and future in various three-stone, anniversary and wedding bands.
Don’t you just love love? Be sure to explore Fred Meyer Jeweler’s new catalog to find out which diamond is your best friend!
This post is sponsored by Fred Meyer Jewelers. Thanks for supporting our sponsors!
Who doesn’t love a good beach engagement session, especially when the site is Delaware’s Cape Henlopen State Park? The second we saw the beyond-beautiful images from Michael and Carina Photography, we were sold — and knew they would be great inspiration for couples planning their e-sessions now. Congratulations on your engagement, Rebekah and Derric!
From the photographers, Michael and Carina Photography: Thinking about Rebekah and Derric’s beach engagement session in Delaware really gives us goosebumps. Rebekah and Derric can hardly remember a life before being a couple. They grew up together and want to grow old together. Who doesn’t melt at the thought of young love? Although we had never met Rebekah face-to-face, by the time of their engagement session, we had become friends.
Rebekah and Derric live in Pennsylvania, several hours from where we are in Virginia, so we don’t get to see each other face-to-face. We’ve gotten to know them over the past months through Facebook and telephone, planning each detail of their upcoming wedding in Lancaster, PA. We could hardly wait to finally meet them both in person! They picked Cape Henlopen in Delaware for their engagement session. It was perfect. Huge sand dunes, hidden pathways and the lovely, summery smell of sea salt in the air… most of all Cape Henlopen is special to them. It is a place filled with memories. When we asked them about their favorite spot in the world for an engagement session location, where they would just spend the perfect day together, there wasn’t any hesitation. This is so them. Being outdoors, having fun together. Riding bikes, holding hands, kissing in the forest, running at the beach and whispering “I love you.” This is young love.
Dreamy, ethereal, fun and romantic. There are lots of words I could use to describe this incredible love sesh, but I’d have to get my thesaurus out to make sure I covered every synonym for gorgeous! Photographer Alissa Saylor teamed up with Elizabeth Ulrich of Stockroom Vintage to create this rock quarry engagement shoot, and I’m absolutely elated to share it with all of you!
From the photographer, Alissa: Our inspiration behind this love session came from a forgotten rock quarry hidden in a small town a few hours outside of Nashville, Tennessee. The way the amazing teal spring water reflected onto the walls of the cave created the perfect backdrop for the ethereal feel we envisioned for Haley and Eric’s love session. There is something so magical about this location. When Haley and Eric cuddled in the cave — and when they finally took a dip in that gorgeous water with the roses floating around them — it was absolutely dreamy.
The hard, rough edges of the cut limestone provided the perfect contrast to the softness of Haley’s look — a frothy tulle skirt and that luxe ruched swimsuit, also in tulle. We took a cue from the quarry itself when choosing her accessories. The bright green moss on the rocks and the untamed greenery were the inspiration for her handmade fern crown and the bouquet of ferns, and we couldn’t resist tossing in some stone-inspired jewelry in water hues for good measure.
We wanted the session to capture the beauty of the slow, sweltering sunsets we love during summertime. There is something magical about those warm nights—how they make you want to slow down and savor the last bit of summer. And there’s no better way to do that than to relax in a hammock or to find a secret spot for a swim with your love. We can’t imagine a more magical spot than this for a rendezvous!
Paper planes and a couple of cute pups set the tone for this travel themed engagement session photographed by The Bird & The Bear. Just a plane ride away, a little bit of distance couldn’t keep this future bride and groom away from each other for more than a week!
From the photographer, The Bird & The Bear: Kaitlin and Seth have always dated long distance. Seth flies in every weekend from Houston to San Marcos for their visits, so we created their engagement session around travel! Seth got blisters folding all the paper airplanes himself, but he says it was totally worth it!
Shoot Location: Texas / Photographer + Videographer: The Bird & The Bear
I am beyond excited to share something so fresh, beautiful, and eye-catching with you all: Melissa, Leigh Ann, and Corbin of Pow Wow and Photographer: Marilyn Nakazato joined together to create this Art Nouveau inspired engagement session. Everything here is so artfully done, from the incredible marquee moon backdrop right down to the scene where our groom-to-be proposes to his bride.
From the stylist, Melissa of Pow Wow: I knew right away I wanted to convey a New Years Eve proposal with a beautifully romantic storyline. The story is as follows: A girl receives an invitation from her boyfriend which is written on a perfume bottle label and the box in which it came. He invites her to join him for dinner and libations on New Years Eve. On NYE they meet for dinner, have drinks at the Absinthe bar, and then lounge in the parlor. Just before midnight he proposes to her with a cigarette case which holds the ring and an embroidered handkerchief with the words “Will you marry me?”. She says yes, and as the clock strikes midnight, they are surrounded by sparkling gold confetti. Voila, everlasting love is born.
Here at Pow Wow we began pulling from our inventory of furniture, brass vessels, fabric and decor. I built an 8’x16′ backdrop for the still life table scape, color washed it with sea foam green and then began applying the sequined clouds. Leigh Ann, Corbin and I stayed up till the wee hours of the morning hammering hundreds of gold sequins with tiny gold pins to the backdrop. If we had simply glued them they wouldn’t have looked half as cool! Then I constructed the marquee moon out of plywood, aluminum flashing and strings of lights. It was so exciting once it was all together and lit up! We also made the celestial chandelier out of Pow Wow‘s iron pot rack, various star ornaments, chain from Lowe’s, and a beautiful brass moon from Corbin’s kitchen.
I had worked with photographer Marilyn Nakazato on a “Water For Elephants” shoot, and had been dying for the opportunity to work with her again because she is such an amazing artist. Zack from Luce Loft graciously allowed me to set up shop for 24 hours which I can not thank him enough for. For wardrobe, hair and makeup I chose my dear friend Amanda because she simply kills it every time. My friend Sandra from Sandra Nicole Designs brought the coolest accessories for the models and I love working with her. Felicia at O Design Studio knew I wanted the invitation to be something other than paper so she came up with the idea of creating a label for the perfume bottle, and the embroidered proposal. Stevi from Hey There Cupcake created beautiful celestial desserts which went perfectly with our concept. Michael from Snake Oil Cocktail Co. made signature drinks and brought exotic fruit for the bar scene. Our girlfriend model, Monterey, did such an incredible job. I am privileged to have been able to work with her. The boyfriend model, Lee, did an equally incredible job and was so rad, he stayed to help disassemble the backdrop and load up the truck. Jill at Blue Spark Design Studio had the idea of creating silent movie signs for between each scene, which I LOVED.
I really wanted a short film to help tell the story, and thought I might have struck out because no one was available. Then I met Brandon, Sandra’s son from Sandra and Nicole Designs,and being a film student he graciously offered to film it. Chris from Bee and the Bobbin brought the perfect flowers for the still life table. Which is amazing given she only had a day to do it. My daughter Delilah fringed the heck out of Pow Wow’s Chevron Bar and helped with many of the DIYs. Corbin Winters and Leigh Ann Conate are both Interior Designers and have joined forces with me here at Pow Wow. We all work so well together and I can’t believe how awesome they were through out the process of this little art project. I could not have done it without them.
Shoot Location: San Diego, CA / Event Design, Styling, and Coordination: Melissa, Leigh Ann, and Corbin of Pow Wow / Photographer: Marilyn Nakazato / Shoot Venue: Luce Loft / Design Assistance: Jill of Blue Spark Studio / Flowers: Chris of The Bee and the Bobbin / Wardrobe, Hair, and Makeup: Amanda of Thorne Artistry / Female Wardrobe: Dahlia Bridal / Male Wardrobe: Crow Thief / Accessory Stylist: Sandra Nicole Designs / Desserts: Stevi of Hey There, Cupcake! / Cocktails: Michael of Snake Oil Cocktail Company / Paper Goods: Felicia of O Design Studio / Videographer: Brandon Buczek / Models: Monterey Salka and Lee Gill / Special Thanks: Delilah and Jeff Strukel, Munehiro Nakazato, Jake Harrod, Amanda’s intern, Caleb Ackley
Longtime Ruffled readers may remember Cath and TJ’s engagement session and wedding in Mornington, Australia shot by Adrian Tuazon. Now Cath’s sister, Ali, is getting married to her beau, Jake. It’s only natural that she recruited the incredible Adrian to photograph their cuteness as they strolled along the beach.
We typically don’t share many engagements, but the combo of gorgeous photos and our obsession with mid century design lead us to this pretty set at the Herman Miller Design Center. The engaged couple also happens to be Justine, who writes Urban Scarlet and her fiance Brendon. Thank you both and Nick Radford for the images!
See more on Nick Radford‘s blog!
A few links around the web:
Last opportunity to enter Bella Figura’s Do Good in March Promotion, for the chance to win free letterpress invitations!
In case you missed any of this week’s features…
Wedding inspiration pulled from The Great Gatsby
A handmade backyard wedding with TOMS
Our Florida Wedding Vendor Guide
A handmade Cuban-American fusion wedding
Spring wedding ideas with pops of gold and mint green
A chic feminine backyard Malibu wedding
Strawberries and Gingham wedding bouquet inspiration
This romantic backyard Perth wedding
An English garden bridal shower at Chateau Marianne
A bright and cheery whimsical Illinois wedding
Winter Wedding Inspiration at Historic Cedarwood
This fun shoot styled by Mr. & Mrs. Weddings and Events, and shot by Josh Gull Wedding Photography, is sweeter than honey indeed. With a “Be my honey Bee” concept, a bit of Betty Draper thrown in, gorgeous paper goods by Nico and Lala, and flowers by Amanda Jerkins Design, this fun bridal shower or engagement party theme is perfect for those couples who are inseparable! The black and white striped tablecloth, the metallic gold touches and hexagon cards make me weak in the knees. The hive mini cakes by Sweetface Cakes? Designed to perfection.
From the stylist: When photographer Josh Gull first approached me with the idea of a honey themed shoot based on Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee” my immediate thought, of course, was of twine, burlap and mason jars. As the original inspiration came from a country music hit why not make the shoot very “Nashville” with lots of rustic country charm? I didn’t want the design to be so expected so we decided to go the opposite direction with lots of dramatic color, black and white stripes and glitzy gold accents for a contemporary country vibe.
Being honey bee themed we still wanted to give it an open, fresh outdoor feel so I chose Carnton Plantation in Franklin, TN as the location for the shoot. Carnton is a gorgeous property and venue that was once the site of the Battle of Franklin. The area is steeped in history and is the focal point in the novel, The Widow of the South. The breathtaking garden area was the perfect backdrop for the shoot.
We set the shoot up as a mock engagement inspired by the lyrics, “you be my honeysuckle / I’ll be your honey bee,” and most of the signs in the shoot are lyrics from the song. The food and beverages were honey themed with different types of local honey. We decided to pour the honey on floral plates to show the different colors/types of honey we were featuring. We also included a Tennessee signature with the Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey whiskey and a bottle of wine from everyone’s favorite local Nashville-area winery, Arrington Vineyards.
The florist used beautiful gold and brass containers for the centerpieces and small glass vases that mimicked beehives. She did a great job bringing in tons of bold colors and a dramatic flair with the floral design. The baker created the gorgeous beehive cakes and the pretty yellow cupcakes were vanilla with orange blossom honey buttercream – scrumptious!
Wedding Vendors and Venue (Franklin, TN):
Venue: Carnton Plantation / Photographer: Josh Gull Wedding Photography / Stylist: Mr. & Mrs. Weddings and Events / Florist: Amanda Jerkins Design / Cake and Cupcakes: Sweetface Cakes / Paper Products and Design: Nico and Lala / Makeup and Hair: Lisa Ensminger / Jewelry: Kim with Stella and Dot / Rentals: Music City Tents and Events / Linens: BBJ Linen / Models: Philip Lucia and Colby Dee Coskery