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You’ve decided to tie the knot, and now it’s time to loop in the wedding party. While you could simply ask your friends to be a part of your special day, it’s more fun to show them how much they mean to you. These are the people who will help make the occasion memorable, who will be there to smooth out the hiccups and take the stress off your shoulders. What better way to pop the question than with a grand gesture?
Presentation Is Everything
Whether you’re gathering everyone together or sending gifts to faraway destinations, what’s important is that the expression feels thoughtful. Find a creative way to ask—the possibilities are endless! Order sugary baked goods with the question written in icing, or make a custom puzzle your friends can put together to decipher the message. Chances are high that your soon-to-be bridesmaids and groomsmen are anticipating their roles in your wedding, but you can still maintain the element of surprise by planning a splashy reveal.
Curate a Proposal Box
You don’t have to bust your budget to find gifts that are worthy of your wedding party. A proposal box is a wonderful way to curate budget-friendly, personalized gifts that match the theme of your wedding. They can be sophisticated, playful, or both depending on what treats and trinkets you decide to include. Here are a few ideas:
- Mini champagne bottle – That way, even if your wedding party is spread out, you can all toast together.
- “Bridesmaid” bathrobes – They’re perfect for getting-ready pictures! · Charms – Charms and pendants are sweet and affordable gifts that can easily represent different personalities and interests. From music notes and sports symbols to religious iconography, the wide selection makes it fun to pick out the particular charm that you think each friend will like the most. Include a chain or let your friends decide how they want to wear them.
- Wedding day jewelry – You can also pick out a piece of jewelry for your bridesmaids to wear on the big day! @nataliennewman chose these beautiful KAY earrings for her bridesmaids. Every time they wear them, they’ll remember this special day.
- Baked goods – Macarons, sugar cookies, cupcakes . . . you really can’t go wrong!
- Seasonal goodies – Set the vibe by including items like cozy socks and beanies for a winter wedding or a monogrammed beach bag for a summer wedding.
- We love these curated boxes @crisprosperi put together for her bridesmaids!
Choose Jewelry They’ll Want to Wear Again
Bridesmaid dresses are notoriously hard to re-wear. Don’t let your bridesmaid gifts be the same way! Choose something that reflects each friend’s unique style. Feel free to incorporate gemstones that match your wedding colors, but resist the urge to inscribe your wedding date or spell out “bridesmaid.” If you make the gift all about the wedding, your friend won’t have any reason to wear it after the champagne glasses have been cleared from the reception hall. Remember, the big day may be about you and your fiancé, but this gesture is about showing genuine appreciation for your friendship.
Get Useful Gifts for the Groomsmen
If you’re not sure what to get a groomsman or man of honor who isn’t big on accessorizing, choose something functional.
Consider a stylish watch, a sterling silver money clip, a grooming kit, a weekend bag, or even a bottle of wine. These are sophisticated options that guarantee your entire wedding party will get good use out of their gifts.
It’s the Thought That Counts
While it’s a treat to spoil your friends, the key to a successful wedding party proposal is communicating how much they mean to you, however you decide to do it.
You’ve found the one. Now it’s time to find the ring! Finding the perfect ring can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
Check out our engagement ring quiz for everything to consider before making a purchase!
Find a set of rings that pair together as well as you and your love. If your priority is matching and convenience, a bridal set is the best option for you! By purchasing a set, you can take joy in knowing your engagement ring and wedding band were made for each other.
What is a bridal set?
A bridal set includes an engagement ring and the matching wedding band or bands for the bride. The groom’s wedding band isn’t a part of a bridal set but can easily be purchased separately.
Why choose a set?
First and foremost, it takes the guesswork out of decision-making! With a bridal set, having to match metal colors, stone sizes and band shape on your own are no longer concerns. Many of our collections, including Neil Lane Bridal®, offer sets that were made to be perfect pairs. Some engagement rings have a distinctive shape that can be difficult to match with a wedding band. Along with this, you want to make sure that the stones on each band are a similar size to showcase a balanced look.
If you don’t like the wedding band that comes with your partner’s engagement ring, or you want to experience the joy of picking out a wedding band together, there are many ways to find the right rings for you.
Creating a custom wedding band is another fantastic option if you decide a personal design speaks to you. Creating a custom design provides the option
s to create your very own jewelry just the way you and your partner desire. Book an appointment with a KAY consultant for more details. You can also play with different options online in the KAY Ring Customizer until you’ve found the perfect combination.
Mix it Up
Let’s say your partner has a rose gold engagement ring and wants to complement it with a white gold wedding band. This can be done! The engagement ring you pick doesn’t always have to match the wedding band. Actually, mixed metals are seeing a big upward trend and can look extremely chic.
Sometimes two is better than one! This trendy and unique stacked style of multiple bands is a way to easily achieve a captivating look. You can choose two wedding bands or find an enhancer ring that adds more sparkle to the engagement ring.
Comment below with which rings spoke to you, and come back to The Union to show off when you’ve found the one.
Take a break from choosing linens and stationery and get to the stuff that really sparkles: Your wedding band! With styles ranging from contemporary to classic, you’re sure to find a ring you’ll love wearing long after you’ve said, “I Do.” Here’s our guide to choosing a wedding band that uniquely symbolizes your forever.
1. Get Inspired
Social media has opened a whole new world of wedding planning inspiration. Pinterest and Instagram are excellent ways to explore different styles, whether you’re drawn to classic diamond-studded bands or something more contemporary, like an enhancer. Check out @kayjewelers on Instagram and Pinterest for jewelry inspo.
2. Plan Accordingly
Three to four months before the big day is a good time to start browsing for wedding bands. Often, couples like to look together. So, whether you opt to shop online or at your local KAY, make a date of it and have fun exploring styles together. We recommend purchasing your wedding bands at least three to four months before your wedding, so make sure to add this important to-do to your planning timeline.
3. Choose Your Style
Opt for a Bridal Set
Take the guesswork out of wedding band shopping with a bridal set. These sets typically include an engagement ring and wedding band from the same designer or collection and are made and sold as a pair.
Add Extra Sparkle with an Enhancer
An enhancer band is a more modern design that wraps around your engagement ring, encircling your ring with additional rows of diamonds. Enhancers are a great choice for solitaire engagement rings, showcasing the center diamond and adding extra sparkle for a bigger statement.
Complement What You Have
Most brides consider their engagement ring when shopping for wedding bands. Consider the band style and whether you want it to sit flush alongside your engagement ring or some space in between. Make it a perfect pair with matching metal colors and style elements, like complementary diamond shapes and detailing.
Stack for More Sparkle
Recently, more brides have opted to add to their ring finger stack with multiple stackable bands. Get creative with mixed metals, fancy diamond shapes, gemstones or chic eternity bands with our wide range of bands. This is a fun way to incorporate classic and modern styles in one stack. Additional bands also make great ideas for anniversary gifts down the road.
There’s something special about an always-classic wedding band. These designs are typically very simple, ranging from solid metal bands to bands lined with round-cut diamonds. You won’t have to worry about keeping up with a particular trend since these styles are sure to stand the test of time.
Create a Custom Band
With custom design services available online and in all KAY stores, designing a wedding band that perfectly complements your engagement ring is easier than ever. Make it uniquely yours with an engraving of your names, a sentimental phrase, or your wedding date. Book an appointment with a jewelry expert, bring in your ideas and watch your vision come to life.
Show us your dream band in the comments — and as always, find endless inspiration right here at The Union.
From your favorite color to your go-to coffee order, your future spouse knows you better than anyone. Planning a surprise for someone who knows you so well can be a challenge in and of itself. So where do you hide something as important as an engagement ring, when you want to maintain the element of surprise? Here are a few suggestions for keeping your proposal plan under wraps, so you can orchestrate the perfect moment.
ALWAYS KEEP IT IN A BOX
First and foremost, never take the ring out of its box. While it may be harder to hide a clunky velvet box than it is to hide a loose ring, removing the ring increases the chances of damage or loss. You do not want the lead-up to one of the happiest moments of your life to be filled with panic. So, if you need to hide the ring on your person, choose a flat and slim ring box that’s easy to slip into a pocket or purse.
AVOID THE OBVIOUS
Whether you’ve discussed marriage at length or only touched on the topic, your significant other may suspect that you’re ready to put a ring on it — even if they don’t let on. Innocent sleuthing, such as peeking in dresser drawers or digging through jacket pockets, isn’t unheard of. Get creative and choose a hiding spot that’s both secure (no burying it in the yard or tucking it inside a return air vent) and secluded. A false bottomed drawer, gym bag or out-of-season garment are typically safe options.
ENTRUST IT WITH A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND
Sometimes it’s simply not realistic to hide a ring from your partner, especially if you live under the same roof. In this case, it may be wise to hand off the ring to a reliable and responsible family member or friend. Just make sure they can be trusted to not only protect the ring, but also to remain tight-lipped. Alternatively, you can keep the ring in a safe spot at work or rent a safety deposit box.
Velvet ring boxes are pretty recognizable, which is why you have to be clever about finding the perfect place to stash yours. But there are ways to successfully hide a ring box without picking a spot so obscure you’ll need a treasure map to find it later. Slide it inside a pair of socks in your drawer or tuck it inside a larger box at the top of your closet. If you want to get creative, cut out a square in the middle of a book no one’s picked up for a while and put it back on the shelf, or slip it into your travel bag for a trip. Make the ring look like something commonplace, so your partner has no reason to investigate.
Remember, while the act of surprising your significant other can add a special touch to the proposal, the most important thing is expressing your love in a way they’ll remember for a lifetime. Have an idea for a covert and creative way to hide the ring? Share in the comments and come back to The Union to tell us how you disguised the surprise!
Pop the cork and strike up the band — it’s the first anniversary of The Union by Kay Jewelers! To celebrate the occasion, we’re sharing ideas for making your first anniversary one to remember.
5 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR 1ST ANNIVERSARY UNFORGETTABLE
Recreate a Meaningful Moment
Create an anniversary tradition you’ll cherish for years to come. Drop to one knee and pop the question all over again or reenact your first dance. Recreating a defining moment in your love story is a meaningful way to celebrate each year.
Revisit a Significant Place
Book a room at the hotel where you spent your wedding night or have dinner at the restaurant where you first said, “I love you.” Revisiting a place that holds happy memories is a thoughtful anniversary surprise anyone would love.
Reunite with Your Wedding Party
Celebrate your first year of marriage with those who were by your side on day one. Host an intimate dinner and invite your wedding party to attend. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and you’ll love hearing their favorite memories from the big day.
Recite Your Vows
It’s nearly impossible to remember every moment of your wedding day — and your vows are something you never want to forget. Consider giving them an anniversary encore and reflecting on what they mean to you. Flip through your favorite wedding photos and savor every detail.
Record a Video Diary
Your first anniversary is a milestone to commemorate! Record each other sharing your favorite memories for a time capsule you’ll treasure forever. For a fun surprise on a future anniversary, record separately and wait to share with each other until your designated date.
Happy Anniversary to us — and for those celebrating, Happy Anniversary to you! Thank you for being a part of The Union and for letting us be a part of your unique love story. Here’s to many more years of celebrating all things engagement, wedding and love.
Do you know a marquise from cushion? Or a princess from a pear? Though diamond shape is frequently confused with cut, which refers to the arrangement of a stone’s facets, it actually refers to the outline or overall look of the diamond.
Diamonds come in a variety of shapes for every style — and like each couple’s love story — they’re all beautiful in their own way. Before you begin your search for an engagement ring, familiarize yourself with the most popular shapes and styles, so you can find the perfect one for you.
Round diamonds are a popular choice for solitaire engagement rings. In fact, roughly half of engagement ring center stones are round — chosen for their exceptional fire and brilliance. This shape is best for a classic look with brilliant shine.
Developed in the 1970s, the princess-shaped diamond’s sophisticated square shape creates the illusion of a larger stone. Like round diamonds, this shape works in almost any style of ring — but it really shines in a modern setting. Princess shapes should always be set with prongs that protect the stone's four corners and prevent chipping.
Stunning oval-shaped diamonds have long been a classic choice. (Fun fact: The Koh-I-Noor diamond resides in the Tower of London!) Today's oval became popular in the 1960s for its brilliance and ability to create the illusion of a longer finger. This shape is a lovely choice for someone who wants a timeless look with a twist.
Carat for carat, the marquise diamond has one of the largest surface areas of any diamond shape, making it a good choice for maximizing perceived size. Symmetry is especially important with this shape, as even the slightest difference can create an uneven look. Marquise is also known by the French name navette and is ideal for those who love a little drama.
A distinctive style that resembles a teardrop, pear diamonds combine round and marquise shapes with a tapered point on one end. (The traditional way to wear a pear-shaped diamond is to have the tip pointing out away from you.) Ideally, a pear-shaped diamond should have excellent symmetry with a point that lines up with its apex at the rounded end. This shape may hold more color than others, so pay close attention when choosing a stone.
Originally, the emerald shape was designed to highlight the qualities of emeralds — but the shape works beautifully for diamonds, too! With the step cuts of its pavilion and its large, open table, emerald-shaped diamonds produce a unique hall-of-mirrors effect, with captivating interplay between light and dark planes. Because the facets make it difficult to conceal imperfections, clarity is key with this shape. (More on the 4Cs here.)
Also known as “the old mine cut diamond,” cushion cuts are designed to retain as much diamond weight as possible. The square cut with rounded corners resembles a pillow — hence the name. One of the oldest styles and celebrity favorite, this shape is great for vintage flair and maximum sparkle.
Radiant shapes have a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern on both the crown and pavilion, which creates a vibrant and lively diamond. The design requires more diamond mass in order to achieve brilliance, so you’ll want to choose a stone of high quality.
What’s not to love about this stunning symbol of love and romance? Because of its sharp and distinct cleft and rounded wings, only very skilled cutters can create heart shapes and they’re typically only found in larger sizes.
Now, you know your shapes! Choosing the one for you is purely a style choice — no one shape is better than another. Share which shape speaks to you and come back to The Union to show off your ring, when you’ve found the one.
Whether you’re newly engaged or anticipating the big moment, chances are you’ve thought of how you’ll tell family and friends. While news this big is best shared in person, a social media reveal is practically a modern-day rite of passage. Getting the perfect ’gram shot of your sparkly new addition isn’t as easy as it sounds. But by following a few simple rules, even the least technically inclined can get the perfect snap to share!
DO A LITTLE PREP WORK
We know you can’t wait to post about your proposal, but you’ll thank yourself later for doing a little prep work before you snap your ring selfie for all the world to see. If your nails could use a little TLC, treat yourself to a fresh manicure. Decide on a backdrop for your photo. Think Insta-worthy backgrounds like your city skyline, a cute coffee cup or even a patterned bedspread or pillow. Search social media for inspiration and don’t be afraid to get creative!
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Practice really does make perfect! Once you’ve decided on a background, get your lighting just right and experiment with different angles and crops. Natural light is always flattering. If you’re outside, it’s best to take your photos during the “golden hour” right before sunset or right after sunrise, when the sun is lower in the sky. If you’re photo session is taking place indoors, try capturing your photo near a window that gets natural sunlight. It’s best to avoid dimly lit rooms and fluorescent or yellow bulbs, which can lead to blurry photos and harsh shadows that detract from the beauty of your ring.
STRIKE A POSE
Once you’re happy with your backdrop and lighting scheme, take some practice shots, paying close attention to your hands. While some are naturally photogenic, others tense up the minute a camera is nearby. Take a deep breath and relax your ringers. Adding a prop can be helpful, such as that coffee cup we mentioned or even your new fiancé’s arm. Consider holding hands with your fiancé or even doing a fist pump. Whatever you do, watch out for shots that highlight every pore on your hand. Usually, a slight tilt of the camera is all you need.
You know your ring better than anyone and you know which features you want to show off. So, experiment with different angles until you find one that captures the qualities of your ring that you love the most. Love the unique shape of your stone? Try an overhead shot. Can’t get over the detail of your setting? Shoot from the side. You get the idea!
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Let the photoshoot commence. Assume the position and then click away, giving yourself plenty of options to choose from. Photos taken on a cellphone won’t be professional quality, but with a few tricks they can get close. Resist the urge to zoom in too closely and keep your hand steady for crisp, clear photos. If you’re using an iPhone, frame your shot and tap the screen to focus the lens. To ensure all eyes go straight to your beautiful engagement ring, try portrait mode. Tap your ring on the screen to ensure it stays in focus and your camera will slightly blur the area around it, replicating the effect of a professional portrait.
STAR YOUR FAVORITES
Time to unleash your inner photo editor. Go through your photos and star your favorites. Narrow down your selections until you’re left with two or three that you absolutely love. Hopefully, the photos are perfect as is! But if you’d like to do a bit of tweaking, consider a photo editing app that allows you to experiment with cropping, contrast, sharpness and more. If all else fails, you can always use a filter.
POST & SHARE
Ready to share your photos and watch the likes roll in? Write a thoughtful caption, expressing your excitement and sharing something about your unique proposal story. Get creative with emojis, and whatever you do, don’t forget to tag your partner! It’s their big moment, too. Bonus points for posting a photo from the proposal or a throwback from when you and your partner first met.
Don’t forget to tag @KayJewelers and use #EveryKiss. Then, come back to The Union to show off your ring selfies!