Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The History of the Diamond Engagement Ring

Why did the diamond become so popular as the gem for an engagement ring? For centuries, people have considered a diamond as the symbol of eternal love and commitment. This is mainly because diamonds are not only beautiful, but they are strong and long-lasting, as married couples believe a marriage should be.

In 1477 Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy. This started a widespread trend among others who were wealthy and famous. It wasn't until 1870 when several diamond mines were discovered in South Africa that the general public was able to afford to give a diamond engagement ring. As the supply of diamonds increased, the cost went down.

While experiencing the effects of the Great Depression, Americans still maintained that diamonds last forever and continued to purchase diamond engagement rings, even though in Europe diamond-giving reached an all-time low.

One of the youngest females to receive a diamond engagement ring was Princess Mary, daugther of Henry VIII. The engagement took place in 1518 when Princess Mary was two years old. She was bethrothed to the heir of France, Dauphin of France. It was, also, the smallest engagement ring ever recorded.

Diamond clusters that were shaped like a long, pointed oval became popular during the rule of Louis XVI, 1754-1793. These clusters remained popular for the next 150 years. The solitaire diamond engagement ring, as we know it, didn't become popular until the late 19th century.

Plantinum diamond rings were the most popular in the 20th century because plantinum was considered the most durable and best strength of ring metals. But, during World War II, the military restricted the use of plantinum for their use only. It was at this time that white and yellow gold became popular.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When Did the Engagement Ring Begin

Did you ever wonder when the tradition of giving an engagement ring started? History says that in the Medieval Era in 1215, Pope Innocent III mandated that couples wait a period of time from the engagement to marriage. For over a century after the mandate only the wealthy could afford engagement rings with precious stones. Most engagement rings were simple metal bands. Even in a lot of today's cultures, such as Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, both men and women still wear these simple metal bands for their engagement rings.

When a great number of people could afford rings of precious stones, the engagement ring became highly symbolic. Some of the rings featured birth stones of the engaged couple and their parents. Others included Lapis Lazuli, Opal, Vermarine, and Emerald, which spelled out the word "LOVE." Some engagement rings even had a hidden compartment that contained a lock of the betrothed's hair.

The tradition of wearing the engagement ring on the fourth finger of the left hand began during the Classical Era. It was believed that the "ring finger" had a vein that led directly to the heart.

How did the history of the Diamond Engagement ring begin? Log on to our BLOG tomorrow for this answer.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Love Is in The Air

Eric and I always enjoy participating in bridal shows. It is so neat to be a part of the excitement and romance in the air. The smiles seem larger and the laugher louder. It, also, feels so great to reassure couples that are totally overwhelmed with planning a wedding that it is going to be all right--their day will be perfect and to just take one day at a time. Even though Eric and I have been married for over 20 years, we still remember the extreme happiness of planning our special day, as well as being a little bit nervous with every decision we had to make.

We always tell couples that planning a wedding is just like producing a movie. You have your financial backers, your location(s), your cast, your costumes, the bride and the groom are the directors and stars, your makeup and hair specialist (and the similiarities go on and on). The only difference is that you have only one take. For this reason each of the decisions, including choosing your photographer, shouldn't to be taken lightly. After all the photography will be what you have left for many, many years to come.

For all those couples, who came to our booth yesterday, we say thank you so much for sharing your plans and excitement with us. We look forward to talking to you more!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

How Did Valentine's Day Get Started?

Why do all of us give candy, flowers, and gifts on February 14 each year? Also, why is this date so very popular for asking that special person to marry you. Who is St. Valentine?

There are actually two legends of how Valentine's Day began and both of them started in ancient Rome. The first legend involved "Claudius the Cruel," a name given to Emperior Claudius II. He was known for many bloody and horrific military campaigns. They were so bad that many men refused to sign up for the military saying that they couldn't leave their loved ones behind, because to be a part of Claudius' military meant certain death. Claudius soon made a law that there could be no engagements and he cancelled all marriages.

There was a priest at this time named St. Valentine, who, along with his friend, secretly continued to perform marriage ceremonies. When Claudius found out about this, he sentenced St. Valentine to be clubbed to death and beheaded.

While St. Valentine was in prison awaiting execution, he fell in love with a young girl, who may have been the prison guard's daughter. On St. Valentine's execution date of February 14, he wrote a letter to his love and signed it, "From your Valentine." Two hundred years later, a priest set aside February 14 as a date to honor St. Valentine.

The second legend was that February 14 was a date to honor Juno, the Queen of Roman Gods and Goddesses. She was, also, the goddess of marriage and love. On February 15 a feast called Lupercalia began.

In ancient Rome young boys and girls were strictly forbidden to see each other and had to stay separate. The only time that they could connect was through the Feast of Lupercalia. Every young girl's name was written on a slip of paper and placed into jars. The young boys were allowed to draw a name from the jars. The young boy and the girl he chose from the jar were allowed to partner each other during the festival. Sometimes the pairing would last over a year and many times the young couple would fall in love and marry.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Richmond, Virginia Bridal Show

Planning a wedding can be so exciting, as well as a lot of work. Where do you find your vendors when there are so many to choose from? How do you find the time to see everyone you need to see?

One way is to attend a bridal show, where couples can plan their whole wedding without getting into their car and driving from place to place. A bridal show gives couples the opportunity to talk one-on-one with vendors, look at or taste their products, and get some sort of idea of costs.

One great bridal show for couples in the Richmond and surrounding areas to attend is the Richmond Wedding Expo on January 24, 2010, at the Downtown Richmond Marriott. Doors will open at noon. This is one of the most elegant and well-organized show in the area.

Couples can pre-register at to save time upon entering the show, as well as download a coupon for $2.00 off admission.

We look forward to seeing you there! Stop by our booth and say, "Hi."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Richmond, VA Bridal Portrait

How many of you, when you were young, loved to look at your mom's bridal portrait? Will your children have a portrait of you in your wedding gown?

So many brides-to-be today are choosing not to have a bridal portrait done. "I'll just get something on the wedding day," is what we hear a lot. We keep our bridal portrait package separate from our wedding album packages for this very reason--not wanting to pressure anyone into getting something they don't want.

We have found, though, that the wedding day can bring unexpected complications; such as, the hair dresser doesn't finish with your hair on time, your makeup takes longer to apply, wedding party members get waylaid and don't get you dressed in time, and the weather doesn't cooperate for any outside wedding day portraits, and the list goes on. We always tell our brides if you truly want a portrait of yourself in the gown you took forever to find, take the time to have the portrait done prior to the ceremony when the time is "just about you."

Many of our brides, who did get their portraits done prior to the wedding day, said they were glad for other reasons. They found out if they liked the hair style, if their alterations were done right (especially for strapless gowns), if they could stand long periods of time in their shoes, if they liked their jewelry, if their makeup was right, and many more things. Usually, if you don't have a bridal portrait, you don't see yourself all made up until your wedding day.

I was one of those brides who did not want a portrait. I thank my mom and grandmother for pressuring me and practically dragging me out for my bridal portrait prior to the wedding day. Our wedding day was full of little things that took time away from having the time to do a good portrait of just me and my wedding gown. Also, it is so nice to show our children that their mom was really thin at one time!!! My children and I truly cherish my bridal portrait.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Winter Wedding Photography

After shoveling out of a rare 14 inches of snow in the Ashland, VA area on December 19, we made it to our wedding at The Henry Clay Inn. The cold weather outside didn't stop the warmth and romance inside as Emily and T.J. said their "I do's." The winter wonderland outside gave the couple a special story that will be told for many years. Visit for other wedding photography.