Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How to Incorporate Swords into a Wedding

Swords are cool. What better way is there to liven up a wedding by introducing swords into the mix? Swords can be used as decorations, accessories, or for practical reasons. If you feel that your wedding is lacking medieval weaponry, then check out these great ways of incorporating swords.

For centuries, swords have stood as symbols of power, grace, and awesome-ness. This is why they have the potential of adding so much to a wedding. For instance, when was the last time you attended a wedding and thought to yourself, “This place could really use some sharp objects”? Swords can serve as decoration on a plaque or coat of arms, and show guests that you may be here to party, but you don’t mess around.

Military uniforms are often decorated with swords, like the one that Prince William wore to his wedding. If a groom, or male member of the wedding party, chooses to wear a military uniform to a church wedding, then he should check with the church beforehand since swords may not be allowed in certain religious settings. Even if weapons are allowed, ceremonial military swords should never be drawn in a place of worship[1].

As a sign of respect for the newly married couple, military men can create an arch with their swords for the newlyweds to walk under. Of course, based on the regulations about swords being drawn, the arch is usually placed outside. An arch of rifles can also replace the arch of sabers, if you’re looking for a little more firepower[2].

At the reception, swords can be used for food and beverage service. For my parents’ 25th anniversary, my dad used a saber to open bottles of champagne (which is just about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen). Not only is this an amazing piece of entertainment that guests really enjoy (I know I did!), but it is also a great way to keep the festivities going without the bride and groom needing to be present. An example: if you decide to have your wedding photos taken after the ceremony, then the father-of-the-bride or another member of the wedding party can do this trick during the cocktail hour to keep guests interested while they wait.

Image courtesy of David and Anina Nolen.
One of my favorite ways that I’ve seen couples incorporate swords into a wedding is by using a saber to cut the wedding cake. The act of cutting the cake with one’s new spouse is already momentous enough, but adding a sword? Absolutely unforgettable! This is a great photo op, and most importantly, a fantastic way to incorporate swords into a wedding.

Bottom Line: Although previously used to conquer armies and merge nations, swords can be used as cool decorations, military traditions, or for entertaining guests. It’s not surprising how easily swords can be incorporated in to a wedding since, as we all know, love is a battlefield. Iconic lyrics courtesy of Pat Benatar.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Engagement Ring

Cushion Cut
Before the engagement begins, the couple has a big (fun, glamorous, pricey) decision to make – choosing an engagement ring! The engagement ring represents not only the couple’s commitment to one another, but also can be symbolic of the couple’s relationship and personalities. Here are what the eight most common ring shapes say about the ladies who wear them…
  • Round: The round diamond ring is by far the most popular, and shows that the couple is classic and isn't worried about branding their relationship. The couple that chooses a round diamond is happy being who they are.
  • Oval: This cut came about in the 1960’s, so it not only carries a feel for the vintage but also for the mod – it’s a twist on the classic round cut, and shows the ring’s brilliance in a new way. The oval diamond shows that the couple wants to prove to themselves what marriage is, instead of taking others’ word for it.
  • Princess (or square): The name says it all… Due to the way a princess ring is cut, even smaller diamonds pick up the light in an incomparable way.  Princess cuts are great for ladies (like me) who love shiny things...
  • Emerald (or rectangle): Unlike the princess cut, the emerald cut will not pick up a great deal of light unless the cut is absolutely perfect. This is why wearing an emerald cut can represent the desire to own the highest-quality goods. The fiancĂ© who gives his bride an emerald cut diamond ring only wants the best for his wife.
  • Cushion: A mix of the princess and round cuts, the girl with a cushion cut is original and glamorous. The man who gives the ring loves her just the way she is.
  • Pear: A combination of a round and marquise diamond, this cut picks up the light with a unique shape. Girls who wear pear shapes dare to be different – they are naturally independent, but have bent their rules on committing for this one person.
  • Marquise: As one of the oldest cuts of ring, the marquise shows a feel of vintage and reinventing traditions. The wearer of a marquise diamond is confident in herself and her relationship.
  • Heart: Cheesy romantic, and not afraid of showing it off! This is the couple whose PDA makes others gag. If you wear a heart-shaped ring, just keep telling yourself what you always have: they’re just jealous (and they probably are).

Marquise - french for "little boat"
Bottom Line: Above all, the engagement ring symbolizes your love, support, and commitment. These sparklers say something different to every person, but they are defined by your relationship. To the ladies: if you have a strong preference (and you know that a big question is coming up), share it with the important ladies in yours and your boyfriend’s lives or (if it’s not a surprise) go ring shopping with him. To the guys: don’t be nervous that she won’t like the ring – she’s gonna love it before you even open the box.