If you love traditional aspects of weddings you’re probably looking for a show-stopping wedding cake to serve as the centrepiece of your sweet table. Gather inspiration from these real wedding cakes. From whimsical to elegant, these tiered confections are all about personalizing tradition to fit your style.
Whether you’re choosing a ring yourself or leaving it to your groom, selecting an engagement ring is an exciting process. We talked to jewellery designer and goldsmith Leif Benner, and he clued us in on how to choose a ring to suit every style of bride. Which is your pick?
If you’re a trendy bride…
If you’re hoping to don the ring of the moment, consider a unique stone, like a sapphire. After the Duchess of Cambridge sported a dark blue sapphire, women everywhere fell in love with the timeless elegance of the stone. “Sapphires come in every colour of the rainbow, and with great durability and brilliance, they’re ideal for everyday wear,” says Benner. “Pair that with a custom ring designed with a vintage Art Deco or Edwardian flair, and now you’ve got something really special.”
If you’re a traditional bride…
Would you describe your style as classically beautiful? Maybe you should consider a ring that, just like your look, will never go out of style. “I love a six-claw setting of a centre stone with a single row of pavé-set (meaning the surface is paved with) diamonds down the band. It’s modern and contemporary, and pairs very well with many wedding bands,” says Benner.
If you’re a risk taker…
Benner absolutely loves when brides like to experiment with the style of their rings. Does this sound like you? Maybe you should think about rings with a unique setting. Benner suggests risk-taking brides ask about rings that are cushion set, asscher cut (a style that makes the diamond look like it has several mirrors within), radiant cut (square or rectangular rings with rounded corners that make the ring sparkle) or oval. With so many options, Benner says, “the design possibilities are endless.”
If you’re a socially conscious bride…
These days, responsibly sourced diamonds are more popular than ever. If you’re interested in selecting a diamond that’s environmentally and ethically accountable, Benner says you should first ask for a diamond that lists its country of origin as Canada. Next, ask for a gem lab certificate, preferably from the Gemological Institute of America. If you take these two precautions, the ring should stand up to your socially conscious standards.
And for every bride…
Regardless of your style, Benner has three tips that are universal to anyone shopping for an engagement ring. First, take the time to research and choose the right jeweller or craftsperson. Next, make sure you’re happy with the quality of materials they’re working with. (“Keep in mind that bigger does not always mean better when it comes to stones. A smaller, clearer, nicely cut stone is always going to have more sparkle than a large, poorly cut stone,” he reminds us.) And finally, pick a design that speaks to you, even if it doesn’t exist yet. “Not only is the custom design process a lot of fun, it’s also very rewarding,” says Benner. “From picking your own gem to brainstorming ideas, and then honing the design, you are sure to get something that is exactly right for you.”
Galien Johnston and Yukichi Hattori, July 24 2011, Calgary, Alberta.
Photography courtesy of Talia Unger, (takenbytalia.com).
Ceremony and reception location: The Ranche
Dress: Made by the bride’s sister
Hair and makeup: The bride and maid of honour
Groom’s tux: Armani suit from Holt Renfrew
Bridal party attire: Dress by Anthropologie
Cake: Made by the bride’s mother
Caterer: The Ranche
Favours: Matcha tea from Japan
Flowers: Provided by Safeway and assembled by the bride and family friend
Stationery: Paper Circle (assembled by bride and family friends)