Summer Weddings & Events Preview
July, 2012 - Issue #93
Princess Di and, years later, her daughter-in-law Kate Middleton (ceylon sapphire). Sarah Ferguson (ruby). Jennifer Lopez (yellow diamond). Royalty - both real and of the "American Idol" variety - have long made colored-gem engagement rings a haute choice. Now, trendsetting brides across the globe are choosing their birthstone or signature color as the primary stone in their engagement setting.

Color by the Book
Pink diamonds are the most often requested colored gemstone for wedding sets. When that's too pricy a pick, pink sapphires serve as gorgeous stand ins (Few will notice the difference!). Tip: Pick your color, not your gem. There are no less than seven gemstone "blues" available, ranging in shade and depth from a translucent Atlantic-Ocean blue to the deepest September-birthstone sapphire. A blue diamond may be beyond budget, but when you're open to gem suggestions, you'll get the look you're after.

Except in the case of colored diamonds, prettily-shaded gems are generally less expensive than the traditional "girl's best friend." Bonus: You can spring for a bigger bauble!

Your love may be "forever," but if you are hoping to wear your ring every day, consider the wear and tear on your jewel. When going for the long haul, consider a ring that will last as long as your affection for each other. Diamonds of all colors, along with sapphires (they come in so many stunning shades!), rubies and chrysoberyl will hold up the best over the years. Other stones can be set specifically to protect them for the long run.

Make a "Wow" Statement
that doesn't Shock your Budget

No matter what your budget is, you want to get the most out of it. Brides and event planners with limited resources may be tempted to go the DIY route when it comes to their flowers. "It's tempting to go to the flower mart and try to do it yourself," says Charmaine Wojciechowski of Charmaine's Bouquet Canyon Florist. "But that usually doesn't go the way it's planned." Without access to proper refrigeration, flowers wilt - and those YouTube videos on floral-arrangement how-to's may not have been as helpful as originally believed. "Professional florists know how to make a tiny budget look impressive. We know what flowers are cheaper and when; we know how to make less-expensive blooms look gorgeous; we know how to arrange everything so that the 'wow' factor is there visually for your guests - without 'sticker shock' for you!," says Charmaine. "It's about balance. You can have the bouquet of your dreams, spending a little more on what really matters to you, by being smart about centerpieces. Tell us what you want to spend and you'll be surprised by what we can do!" 297-3100

Alice's "Wedding Day" Emergency Kit
"When a bride is not getting married at home - or someone else's home - she should have an emergency kit with all the essentials at the ready just in case she A) breaks a nail, B) steps on her dress, C) starts to faint... and the list goes on and on," says been-there/done-that professional wedding and event planner, Alice Goetschel. This is a list of just some of the things Alice carries with her to every wedding. "I want the bride to know that she can relax," says Alice, "because every unexpected surprise has already been considered and taken care of."

Scissors you may need to trim a loose thread

Smelling salts someone may get woozy

Safety pins of various sizes a seam may come loose; these work for everything!

Scotch tape for keeping signs posted - and dozens of other situations

Dress tape for keeping clothing secure when a safety pin won't do the job right

Lint roller picks off the lint - and pet hair

Breath mints you'll be up close and personal with lots of people

Tylenol or Advil all the excitement may bring on a headache

Tissues a few tears of joy may be shed on this emotional day

Band-Aids you might dance yourself right into a blister

Sewing kit in case a button falls off right before the ceremony

Dryer sheets they're great for dealing with static cling

Pen and small notepad to get a message to someone who's nearby when it may be inappropriate to speak

Bobby pins of various shades to keep everyone's hair looking flawless

Corsage pins work great to secure more than just flowers
Alice Goetschel is a profes sional wedding and event coordinator and a member of the Santa Clarita Wedding & Event Profes sionals. 270-9448

5 "To Do's" before You Say "I Do!"
1 Plan for the details. An itemized budget should be set before hiring any vendors. You need to budget properly for all expenses. There are lots of small expenses that can pop up. Don't let them take you by surprise.

2 Remember the wedding. It's easy to get lost in the fun of celebrating with your friends and family at the reception, but don't forget why everyone is there. Don't let the ceremony be the last thing that is planned.

3 Plan well, but be adaptable. Whether it's bad weather or several unexpected guests, you need to plan ahead as much as possible for any situation. Plan early and be prepared for some last-minute changes to come your way. If you really want to get married outdoors, it is essential to have a back-up plan in case the weather turns against you.

4 It takes a village. Don't try to do this alone. Trusted friends and advisors are critical to not only a beautiful event, but also for your sanity. Remember, the planning process should be fun! Enjoy the company!

5 It's just a day. Granted, it's a day you have been dreaming about forever, but still, it's no reason to lose sight of why you are having the party in the first place. Have fun and don't sweat the small stuff!
Learn more from the Santa Clarita Wedding & Event Profes sionals at their upcoming event, the Bridal & Event Seminar on Tuesday, July 24 at the Hyatt Regency Valencia at 7 p.m. The cost is $15 per attendee (includes one guest). RSVPs requested. 215-2585
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