Discover the Three Keys to Having the Wedding
You’ve Always Dreamed Of!
Many women spend their whole lives dreaming about their wedding. So how can you turn the wedding of your dreams into reality?
There are three key areas that must be focused on:
- The Dress
- The Ring
- The Location
In this article we are going to discuss all three and we are going to reveal why Puglia, Italy is the fairytale location for a true fairytale wedding.
But first, let’s look at the dress.
Key #1 – The Wedding Dress
Ah, the wedding dress. The little girl’s dream, some would say. More like a big girl’s nightmare, others would reply.
Picking out the dress can be either the most stressful, or the most enjoyable aspect of the planning. Sometimes it can even be both.
The most important thing one can do, in terms of reducing stress, is to start looking early. Gowns can take six months to be made (if custom ordered or done by an acquaintance), and you want plenty of time for alterations, even if the gown is being bought “off the rack.”
Thus, starting out nine months to a year before the wedding is usually advisable. This way you’ll (generally) have time to iron out any kinks in the process. And, in theory, you won’t get caught in a pinch days before your wedding.
Another stress-reducer is knowing what kind of dress you want, or at least having some familiarity with the options available, before you enter any shops, or meet with a designer. While some women know exactly what they want, and always have, many do not. Searching online and in bridal magazines can give you a good sense of the wide world of dress design.
Saving pictures of dresses you like in a folder (real, digital, or both) will help you build a mental picture of the design elements you prefer. This will help immensely when trying to describe the ideal dress to a salesperson or designer!
Budgets for dresses vary wildly. However, if you are at all budget-inclined, don’t hold your nose at the more affordable options, such as hunting through outlet stores, trunk shows, thrift stores, eBay, etc. Vintage wedding dresses have become very popular in the last few years. Besides, if you find the perfect dress, no one has to know what you paid for it (besides your chosen shopping companion)!
This brings us to our next issue. It’s always a good idea to bring a close friend (or your mom, if you can handle it) hunting with you. When faced with such a big, and often overwhelming, decision, it’s a huge help to have a second set of eyes. Very often your own judgment will be short-circuited by emotions, price, etc. — a clear-headed companion can be a lifesaver.
At the Bridal Shop
Wedding dresses are often smaller than similar-sized regular clothes. You’ll get a sense of this as you try them on, but it’s usually best to plan to wear a size or two bigger. Keeping your body shape consistent is also very important, as most brides know. Alterations can be made as the day draws nearer, but the limits are not infinite, and will sometimes take more time than you have, especially when dealing with a busy supplier, designer, or tailor.
Even if you’re fairly sure of what you want, it’s good to keep an open mind. Trying on styles that might not immediately appeal to you is a good way to surprise yourself, and enlarge your idea of what your dress could be. Sometimes the dress that you’re iffy or blasé about will look great on you, and be a big hit at the ceremony.
The secret of choosing a great wedding dress is to find the elements that flatter your body type (while remaining comfortable, of course).
The following are some common body types, and the design elements that show them off to full advantage.
(Large bust and hips, small waist)
- Open neckline
- Bodice detailing and adornments
- A-line dresses or soft gathered skirts
- Fitted waistline
- No high waistlines or necklines
(Tall, long, narrow body, little definition at waist or bust)
- Fitted waistline
- Full skirt with horizontal detailing
- No high or drop waists
- Detailed sleeves
- Open neckline, emphasize shoulders
(Lower body thicker/wider than upper body)
- Elongated waistline
- No bulky or straight skirts
- Full skirt and sleeves
- Detailed bodice and neckline
(Upper body thicker/wider than lower)
- Plain bodice and sleeves, without detailing
- Elongated waistlines or drop waists good
- Detailed skirt
- Pass on high necklines or narrow skirts
Key #2 – The Ring
Now let’s look at the second element of a wonderful wedding – the Ring
Ah, the wedding ring … such a sparkly thing, such a beautiful tradition. The ring, in one form or another, is a wedding element shared by a wide cross-section of cultures. In the West, the Romans are typically given credit for beginning the custom of exchanging rings, but with so many other people across the world engaging in some sort of jewelry ritual, it’s hard to be precise in that realm.
We do know the ideas behind the exchange of rings. The circle of the ring, in addition to making it easier to fit on the finger, represents unity. Marriages are often thought of as important events in the “circle (cycle) of life”– or even as the “closing” of the circle of life, joining it to itself.
In ancient cultures there was also a belief that some of the most important blood pathways ran between the heart and the fingers. Thus, the ring, by touching the blood vessel in question, kept the bond in contact with the heart.
Wedding rings and other such jewelry also used to have a monetary meaning that today has become largely symbolic. While the business-transaction aspects of the marriage have mostly fallen away in advanced democracies, the exchange of precious jewelry still represents commitment, devotion, a willingness to share material possessions. Not least, the ring signifies to any potential suitors or seductresses that the object of their gaze is taken. (Not that this deters some of the more…determined of their ranks.)
These days an engagement ring is often a diamond set in a gold or silver band. Many people design their own, or go less traditional routes when it comes to rings, but this is the old standard. When buying a diamond ring, there are a few basic precepts to which you should pay attention.
- Engagement rings can be purchased at any retail jewelry store, with the exception of some of the big-box department stores.
- The price range is fairly mind-blowing, ranging from a few hundred dollars to many thousands.
- The diamond quality in retail rings is usually not the highest. In general, the best diamonds are available from wholesalers. These are concentrated in large urban areas, in affluent suburban areas, and can also be dealt with over the Internet (of course, you must be very careful with the online option).
- If you buy a diamond wholesale, you’ll have to have it cut and then have a jeweler create a setting for it. This is usually no less expensive, and is often more expensive, than the retail route.
Diamonds are measured by “the four C’s:
- Carat: Weight. One carat is equivalent to about 200 milligrams. While the number of carats you can afford will depend on your bank account, you might apply the handy “two month’s salary” guideline. Pay attention to TCW when you see it. This stands for Total Carat Weight, and means the jeweler is adding all the diamonds on the ring together. Thus a two-carat ring might be four .5-carat stones. Don’t lose your mind over weight–a great big ugly diamond will be less appreciated than a modest-sized beauty.
- Cut: The cut of the diamond is very important. An otherwise great rock can be diminished by a bad cut. Among the many styles are the princess cut, the brilliant cut, the round cut, and the Asscher cut. Diamonds with an “ideal cut” are those that come very close to perfection. These may be hard to find in retail jewelry shops; a wholesaler is your best bet. GIA certificates (it’s a good idea to buy a diamond that has one of these) will give the ratios of the cut, and rate the polish and symmetry. The ideal ratios will differ depending on the cut. It’s best to first find your cut, and then do some homework on the ideal ratios.
- Color: Color is measured on a chart running from D-Z (or 0-10). The whiter (clearer) the diamond, the better. Diamonds toward the low end tend toward yellow. The best diamonds are in the DEF (0-1) category. Sadly, these colorless gems won’t be in reach of most young couples. The next-best tier is GHI (1.5-2.5), a nearly colorless diamond. Budget options are to be had in JKL (3-4), where a faint yellow color begins to show. M-Z (5-10) yellow diamonds probably won’t win you much respect from your beloved. Be careful with jeweler’s tricks like using a fluorescent light to turn the rock blue (diamond fluorescence is a drawback, generally) or showing a yellow diamond on a black background to make it look white. Ask to see the diamond on a white background, in order to gauge its true color.
- Clarity: Clarity measures how many flaws a diamond has. The more flaws, the less a diamond will sparkle. Generally, these flaws are invisible to the untrained eye, but they do affect quality a great deal — and price. The GIA scale runs, in part, as follows:
- Flawless: (0), very rare diamonds.
- Very Slightly Included: (VS1, or 1), still expensive.
- Slightly Included: (SI1, or 5), common.
- Included: (I2, or 8), visibly flawed.
The keys here are as follows: take a look at the rock through a jeweler’s device called a 10x loupe, which will reveal flaws; buy only GIA-certified diamonds, which have the rating printed on them; do your homework; and, finally, never buy “enhanced-quality” diamonds. There is no long-term fix for a diamond’s flaws.
Couples often chose wedding bands that match the engagement ring, though this is becoming rarer. Some may choose to exchange simple bands of gold, while others may go to a jeweler to have their bands designed. An even more adventurous group might have their rings tattooed on. And some people will eschew rings altogether, opting for another piece of jewelry.
The traditional band, however, is often made of yellow or white gold, or sometimes platinum. The rings may be engraved with initials, the wedding date, and/or inscriptions.
It’s important to consider durability when picking out wedding bands, as these will (hopefully) be worn for the duration of the bride and groom’s lifetimes. While purer gold (24k) is nice, it is also softer, and scratches easier than lower grades (14, 18k). Any gemstones to be inlaid should be chosen not only by their appearance, but also by their hardness and resistance to abrasion.
As far as metal goes, platinum is the hardest and purest, also a fashionable choice these days. However, it can be very expensive, and some people prefer the traditional warmth of gold.
The choice of rings, one of the first choices to be made, is entirely personal. The only requirement is that both partners be completely happy with them, finding pride and joy in the symbols of their bond.
Key #3 – The Location
Now let’s turn to the third key to having a wonderful wedding – the location.
In many ways this is the most important element of making a fairytale wedding coming to life. After all, many women may be willing to compromise on the dress and/or the ring but the wedding location itself is the one thing that can really take a wedding to a whole new level.
That’s why we recommend having a destination wedding in Puglia, Italy.
Located in southern Italy, basically in the country’s “boot heel,” Puglia is an area of unmatched beauty.
Weddings can be held in castles, luxury homes, areas surrounded by greenery, on the beach, in the lush countryside and many more places.
Princess Apulia is located in Puglia and specializes in staging weddings in “impossible places” that are rich in beauty.
So why should you choose Puglia in particular when there are so many beautiful areas in Italy?
Many areas – like Florence and Rome and Lake Como have become overrun with tourists. For one thing, that means it can be very difficult to find a place to hold a wedding – many couples have to settle for less than what they dreamed of.
The crowds and hectic pace can also make it difficult to create a fairytale wedding atmosphere.
But not so in Puglia – this is an area where the Italian spirit truly shines through.
You’ll see elderly “nonnas” speaking on the sidewalk and older men playing cards. Combine the area’s delicious food with its incredible beauty and the friendliness of its inhabitants and you have a setting that is perfect for a fairytale wedding.
To learn much more about Puglia and how it is the ideal place for a fairytale wedding, >>> Contact us.