Tweet When I got engaged, I was shocked. It was October 31st, 2009, and yes, that is Halloween, but it also happened to be a Saturday night, on the terrace at our favorite restaurant in Boston, overlooking the water, and there were absolutely no costumes involved. The ring was perfect, a gorgeous round brilliant diamond with round sidestones and a platinum pave band. My dream ring, from the man of my dreams who was just the right amount of nervous and looking up at me from one bended knee. I was speechless, except for my repeated stutterings of "oh my god."
Diamond Dilemmas He and I were both a little taken back by inability to form words, especially since I had helped pick out the ring. Like many modern brides-to-be, I emailed pictures of ring styles and even accompanied him to the jeweler to help pick out the bling. Yet the exact timing of the proposal was a surprise. And I have to admit, for all my research and ring-trying, I was still a little clueless about how to care for the sparkler that now adorned my finger.
I stared at it all night, in awe that it was actually sitting on my finger after years of white wedding dreams. But as I got ready for bed that night and removed the rest of my jewelry, I hesitated. Did I sleep in this ring while resting my others in a jewelry box?
I kept flashing back to a friend who got engaged in college and said her jeweler has cautioned against wearing her ring to bed, for fear it would snag the sheets or scratch her in her sleep. I showed it off at work and a married friend admonished me to never, ever take it off. Never one to dress up for they gym, I wore it on the eliptical and thought how weird it felt to work out with a ring on my finger. I couldn't understand how the tiny prongs kept the stone so secure and for weeks expected all the diamonds to fall out.
Vodka, Dish soap or Toothpaste? Then came the day that I noticed the diamond had lost some of its sparkle. I was just as much in love as before, but the ring didn't glitter as it once had. Dan, my fiance, told me I should have it cleaned. Which led to a whole host of other clueless questions. Someone, somewhere, had sworn that vodka was the best cleaning agent. My mother prefers gentle dishwashing soap to keep her diamonds looking new.
Needless to say, I was at a loss. Despite being one of the hardest materials around, I still thought I might scratch my ring if I cleaned it wrong. So I just sort of polished it on my shirt and figured it was fine. But as days dragged on, I realized the ring had definitely lost its luster. So I turned to Twitter and BrideTide for help in finding the best way to clean my ring.
Turns out, toothpaste is the preferred at-home remedy. But beware, it needs to be a gel or really smooth paste; no grit! Really, you want the most basic of tooth cleaners without all the whitening and extra breath-freshening bursts bells and whistles. I used Colgate Cavity Protection in "regular" flavor--just your average, run-of-the-mill white toothpaste. I also bought a plain toothbrush with soft bristles to keep the scrubbing as gentle as possible.
Quick-Cleaning Your Engagement Ring At Home I think the bathroom is the easiest place to clean your ring at home. But make sure to close the drain before you begin! Crucial first step, as you need to take it off your finger to really get clean, and don’t want to risk it slipping down the sink.
Wet the toothbrush and apply toothpaste as if you are going to brush your teeth. Start by brushing in little circles around the center stone, then out to the sidestones and band. Rinse the ring in warm water, and reapply toothpaste if necessary. Then carefully brush through the prongs and setting that hold the diamond in places to get at any dirt trapped underneath the stone--these particles will be reflected through the diamond and make it appear dull no matter how much you scrub the top. Be gentle, but make sure to get some of the bristles all the way under the base. Rinse to remove any remaining toothpaste, then dry with a lint-free cloth (some websites recommend a hairdryer, but this sounds like kind of a pain to me and will heat the metal).
That's it! Your ring is squeaky clean in less than 5 minutes. I was skeptical when I first heard about using toothpaste to clean an engagement ring, but it really worked. Most jewelry experts suggest bringing your ring in for a professional cleaning once a year, but this is a great way to shine it up at home. The toothpaste and toothbrush were only 99 cents each, and will last for a long time. A bling bargain for any bride-to-be!
Alison Driscoll is an interactive copywriter and social media strategist who lives in Boston. She pens a blog about internet marketing at AlisonDriscoll.com and is busy planning a November wedding in Las Vegas.
Being a bold and audacious bride is definitely shaping the wedding industry for 2010. One area getting a lot of attention are wedding dresses. Fearless color combinations, pocket designs and vintage are paving the way for mainstream trend fashion. Take for instance this black wedding dress worn by Kelly Osbourne. Non-traditional brides....rejoice.
TweetThe BBC has just announced that The Houses of Parliament will now be available as a wedding venue to members of the public for the first time ever. Until now, only certain parliamentary officials and their families could be married in conventional weddings there. Click here to read the entire article
Tweet It has been announed that Google has just added over 20 wedding templates in Google Docs that will let planning brides and grooms access useful, pre-made documents for tracking your wedding budget, collecting addresses for invitations, comparing vendors and much more. Templates range from wedding photo albums, to music lists for the DJ and organizing seating charts
Google’s also partnered with wedding blog Style Me Pretty to add editorial tips from wedding experts to each template.
The ultimate "green" ring! Prove to her that your love for her is green and always growing with The Growing Ring.
Designed by Haffsteinn Juliusson, this unique piece of jewelry is complete with a slow-growing moss plant in place of where the jeweled stone would be. Regular spritzing of water will have your "plant" lasting up to six months. There is no information on whether the plant can be replaced with a new plant after it dies, but at $229.00 per ring, let's hope so.
Tweet We've got a feeling that pocket wedding dresses are going to huge over the 2010 bridal season, and leading into 2011. Dress designers are already taking note that adding practical uses to fashion can reap big rewards. Would you wear a wedding dress with pockets?
TweetOK all you newlywed and engaged peeps, here's your chance to ask all your matrimony and marriage questions to a couple of real seasoned relationship experts!
Herbert and Zelmyra — who have been married over 86 years, have invited the Twitterverse to peek into their amazing world of wedded bliss by allowing questions to be asked to them via twitter and then answered on Valentine's Day. Simply tweet your question to the pair, (@longestmarried) who will then select 14 questions that they will then answer on February 14.
Married in 1924, Herbert is 104 and Zelmyra is 102 years old respectively and stated that they each have their own bedroom — so Herbert can stay up late watching baseball. Want to know more? Follow @longestmarried on Twitter to learn a few pearls of wisdom from this amazing record-holding married couple!
Hey brides! David's Bridal is kicking off another great wedding contest by giving away your choice of either a free wedding gown or 5 bridesmaid dresses to one lucky bride! To enter, simply fill in the on-line registration form and submit your entry. Who knows, you just might win! Good luck!
TweetWhile browsing around the internet, we found this lovely little thing called a Mapenvelop that would make for a great wedding project for any DIY-inspired bride. It's basically a regular standard envelope that has the added benefit of a custom-detailed map contained within. This is a clever way to feature the location of your ceremony or reception venue.
Guests will surely appreciate the design and the relevant map information it provides. If anyone decides to take on this project, we'd love to see pics! Good luck!
TweetLooking for a non-traditional wedding ring for that unique groom? Maybe your guy is into all things geektastic? The Gear Ring is made from matte stainless steel and features six micro-precision gears that turn in unison when the outer rims are spun (as can be seen in the video).
We can't figure out if this ring is awesome or just plain stupid. Could you see a groom wearing this?