Katherine. Wedding Rings. September 27th , 2017.
Remember: You`re going to wear this band every day, so the goal is to choose something that seamlessly becomes a part of your life. If you play sports or an instrument, a slimmer ring with rounded edges (appropriately called the `comfort fit`) may make the most sense. If you work with your hands, you may want to search for a simple, solid metal ring and avoid gemstones that can come loose or carvings, which can trap dirt. If you`re super active, go for platinum, which is extra durable (when scratched, the metal is merely displaced and doesn`t actually wear away). Try Something Different. You may love the idea of a braided rose gold ring or a diamond eternity band, but once you get to the store, try some rings that aren`t on your inspiration board. Chat with the jeweler, then let them make suggestions based on what you like and don`t rule anything out. Just like with wedding dresses, you may end up loving something you never thought you would. Wear it around the store for a few minutes and while you have it on, try writing and texting as a comfort test. Think Long Term. While you shouldn`t be afraid of being trendy, make sure the style you choose is something you`ll want to wear for, say, the next 40 years. Just don`t stress too much: You`re not married to the ring and can always make changes to it (add diamonds or go from white gold to platinum) later on to mark a special anniversary. Consider the Maintenance. To keep a wedding band with stones clean and sparkling, you`ll need to wash and soak it in warm sudsy water, then gently brush it with a soft toothbrush or eyebrow brush (too much pressure can loosen the stones from their setting), rinse it and pat it dry with a soft lint-free cloth. Sound like too much upkeep? You may want to opt for a fuss-free gold or platinum ring—simply rub it with a soft, lint-free cloth (chamois works well) and you`re good to go. Size It Right. Most people rarely take off their wedding bands; they wear them through summers, winters, exercise, pregnancies—all times when your fingers swell and contract from heat, cold, water retention or weight gain. To find the right size that will best weather all of those changes, schedule your final ring fitting at a time when you`re calm and your body temperature is normal. That means you should never finalize first thing in the morning (you retain water from the night before), right after you`ve exercised (fingers swell) or when you`re extremely hot or cold (which can cause your hands to expand and shrink). Check for Quality. Quality control applies to all rings, not just your wedding bands. Make sure the ring has two marks inside the band: the manufacturer`s trademark (this proves they stand behind their work) and the quality mark, 24K or PLAT, for example (this proves the metal quality is what the retailer says it is).
Why It`s Hidden: Most hotels don`t factor in a welcome bag delivery fee when you block rooms. And they may fail to mention the rate unless you ask—and they`ll just add it to your final bill. They may even charge you a fee for holding the welcome bags if you drop them off before the guests arrive, so make sure to ask. The Cost: Up to $7 per bag. How to Avoid it: During the booking process, ask about the hotel`s policy on receiving and delivering welcome bags to guests` rooms. It may be free or cheaper if they hand the bags out at the counter as guests check in. Rental Transport. Why It`s Hidden: You`d assume the rental companies would include these extra fees in the per-item costs (do they honestly think you`re going to fit 150 Chiavari chars in your car?), but surprisingly they don`t. The Cost: From $50 up to more than $500. How to Avoid It: Ask the rental company what their shipping and packaging fees are up front—if the cost is too high for your budget, shop around a bit. You might actually save some money by renting items from a more expensive company that includes delivery costs at no extra charge. Taxes and Gratuities. Why It`s Hidden: Even though these aren`t exactly hidden—we all know there are taxes on almost everything and gratuities are expected for almost any service—most couples don`t think about how much they`ll end up owing during the planning process. The Cost: This will depend on the total amount of money you`re spending as well as the location of the event (taxes vary by state). How to Avoid It: There`s no getting around paying taxes, but paying the entire bill in one lump sum can help lower the overall price. A safe bet: Tack on an extra third of your total costs to your budget for tips and taxes. Cake Cutting and Corkage Fees.
If you don`t think they`d mesh with your crew, leave them off the list. Set honest expectations. What sort of a role do you want your wedding party to play? Is it important to you that they help to address wedding invites, shop for your day-of attire with you and attend all of the prewedding parties? Or will it be enough for them to wear what you choose and show up on your wedding day? If you want a very involved wedding party, it may not be the best idea to ask friends or family who live far away or have extremely hectic schedules. You may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Tip for the taking: For friends who can`t commit for whatever reason (they live out of town or are busy at work), let them in on just a few wedding prep activities, like an invitation stuffing party complete with wine and pizza. Include your brothers and sisters. Not to sound like your mom, but think about it: Even if you`re not particularly close to his sister or her brother, siblings are going to be around well past your 10-year anniversary, and chances are, you`ll become closer over the years. If you come from a big family and you can`t possibly include everyone, draw the line at teenagers. Instead, make them a part of the ceremony by asking them to pass out programs or seat guests. Tip for the taking: Traditionally, it`s ladies on one side and guys on the other, but feel free to break that rule and have them stand on either side of the aisle. Consider the size of your wedding. You can have as many (or few) bridesmaids and groomsmen as you like. The average wedding party size is four on either side. Use that as a guide when you decide. Depending on formality, go larger or smaller.
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