Thursday, March 6, 2014

Is Chivalry Dead?

Overheard Ryan Seacrest on the radio the other day asking if chivalry was dead.  So many listeners called in to give their two cents and it was almost unanimous that most people believe chivalry is dead.  Is it really?  Is it fair to say that in today's world we can expect men to continue opening the doors, shower women with flowers and pick up the tab on dates?  If men started questioning if traditional women were dead that topic would most likely cause an uproar.  Why is it women can expect men to still open their doors for them, pick up the tab and treat them like the princesses they want to be treated but men can no longer expect women to stay at home, raise their kids and take care of the household?  And if we did we are sexist chauvinist pigs.

The irony of it all is rather comical and at times frustrating for men.  For the record chivalry is very much alive and well.  Just spend 5 minutes on YouTube and you can easily come up with a long list of pretty awesome videos of men proposing and committing to someone for the rest of their lives.  Chivalry is not dead ladies.  Love yourself enough to wait for that right guy.  In return, cut them some slack and show them some love at home.  After all the way to a man's heart is through is stomach!

This past Valentine's season we saw a large spike in engagement ring purchases at BelloMarc.com!  Our top sellers this season were:

http://www.bellomarc.com/tension-set-rings.html



Now there is a large influx of grooms looking for their wedding bands.  Keep in mind that your wedding band is best purchased 6-8 weeks before your wedding date.  It is never too early to start looking at possible styles.  If you are newly engaged checkout this pretty nifty Wedding Planning Timeline Checklist by Real Simple.  It really is, simple.




Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wedding Planning 101: Tasks for HIM



Wedding season is in full swing and very often grooms find themselves wondering what they need to tackle as they watch their brides stress over the final countdown.  Here are five tips that every groom can reference when planning their wedding:

1.  Plan the honeymoon!  Most guys find this very exciting – a lot more exciting than deciding what type of flowers belong to the centerpiece.  If you are not planning to go on a honeymoon, the wedding night can be spent in a romantic hotel room or a short weekend getaway.  Tips for getting the wedding night hotel room ready, have a trusted friend or family member check in the hotel for you and prep the room with some flower petals, chilled champagne (don’t forget the champagne flutes!), chocolate covered strawberries or a box of fine chocolates and if the room has a iPod dock station available, load up your iPod with a compilation of all your songs – be sure to add your first dance song in there as well!  If you are traveling someplace for a honeymoon, make it your responsibility to make sure that you plan the honeymoon from start to finish and include a checklist of items that are required for your trip, including checking passport expiration dates, if applicable, and of course ensuring the passports are on the list of things to pack.  If you book a cruise, check to make sure if passports are required for your destination ports and be sure that the passport expiration dates are within the valid requirements.

2.  Pick your own wedding ring.  Many brides find it endearing when their grooms take interest in selecting their wedding ring.  It shows the enthusiasm grooms have about the wedding which is typically the number one complaint by brides, that their fiancé do not appear very excited about their wedding.  When selecting your wedding ring, first consider the general style, color and band width.  Research the variety of metals that are available for men’s wedding band, including platinum, titanium, tungsten carbide or gold, just to name a few.  Many websites have information readily available on the different types of metals used to make wedding bands.  Be sure not to save this until the very last minute, having your ring ready to go no later than 4-6 weeks before your wedding date is a good timeline to abide by.  In the wedding ring industry most rings need to be ordered directly from the manufacturer which can take up to 8 weeks to be delivered.  So start shopping for your ring 6 months out to get some ideas, if you already know what ring you want then just be sure to order your ring about 2 months before the wedding.

3.  Take care of the boys, your groomsmen boys that is.  Be sure to thank your buddies and show them your appreciation for agreeing to be in your wedding.  While it is an honor to be asked to be a part of your special occasion, it is also a great responsibility, task and expense to be in the bridal party.  In addition to how extravagant your bachelor party can get being a groomsmen can cost on average of anywhere between $500-$1,000 or more!  When selecting a groomsmen gift think class and usefulness.  Sure the PIMP goblet may be funny and remind him of that one crazy night at your bachelor party but is it something where 10 years later will still be useful?  Don’t answer that.  J  If you want to purchase a gag gift, include it along with something useful.  Some grooms purchase the accessories to be worn the day of the wedding, whether its cufflinks, ties or tie clips, these mementos can hold a great deal of meaning and more importantly, be used often post-nuptial.

4.  Book a date night.  What does this have to do with the wedding plans you ask?  Absolutely nothing.  But in the hustle and bustle of wedding planning it would be nice to venture out to a nice romantic meal with your fiancée and reconnect.  Perhaps agreeing to spend the evening wedding-talk free would also be a nice way to clear your minds and regroup.  Wedding planning can be very stressful with so many decisions to make in addition to your daily lives.  Having a romantic date night can help ease the nerves of your fiancé and reduce the anxiety associated with wedding planning.  Wedding planning can be stressful that it brings out to "bridezilla" in some brides.   

5.  Support.  Asking your bride a simple basic question such as – “is there anything I can do?” is a tremendous help for many brides.  To show your bride that you care and want to partake in some of the decisions and stress she is under is the most basic need that your future spouse will need.  This piece of advice carries on far after your “I dos”.

 At the end of the day, wedding planning may be one of the most exhilarating and stressful event in a woman’s life.  As the other half, it may be overwhelming between the vast varieties of floral arrangements and the 100+ shades of “white” but just being there for your bride in the most simple and basic ways can help alleviate some of that stress.  After all, rule #1 of all marriage is to be supportive of one another, planning a wedding is the ultimate test of that rule!
 
 
 

 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Attention All Brides Looking To Save Some $$$


It may be hard to believe but wedding season is just around the corner for many couples.  Are you going to make 2013 your lucky 13?  Here are a few tips on how to trim the fat off your budget:

To own or not to own.  It may be hard to believe, but many brides are now opting to rent their gown or buy a pre-owned gown, or as the wedding industry terms it, “pre-loved” dress.  If we take a step back and look at the grand scheme of things, this is a dress that will be worn for one day, it needs to look good on the bride and for photographs, beyond that, it is really worth $1,000 - $5,000 of your budget?  Sites such as:  www.preownedweddingdresses.com or www.oncewed.com/used-wedding-dresses/ offer a wide price range and great variety of styles.  Some brides have said how happy they were to get their dream designer wedding dress for just a fraction of the cost.  Speak to 10 past brides who have been married for at least 2 years and ask what they have done with their purchased dresses, what they plan to do with it and if they would have purchased it the second time around.

 
To own and then disown.  Some brides have bit the bullet and purchased their dream wedding gown, then sold it after the wedding to recover some of the costs.  Sites like the ones listed above or Ebay are popular places to sell your “pre-loved” gowns.  The only pitfall to this is that there is no guarantees as to how much you can recover or if you would even be able to sell it at all.  But the pros are that you could get the dress of your dreams and avoid the costs of having to preserve the dress.  Tip: Consider a corset back closure gown, which could increase your chances of selling your dress later since it is more forgiving around the waist as far as having to alter the dress.  Some brides find it hard to sell their wedding dress soon after the wedding, for sentimental reasons, but give it 1-2 years and you may have a change of heart.  One bride was able to purchase a Maggie Sottero dress at $1,000, which normally retails at $1,600.  The dress was originally purchased by a bride who had had a change of heart on the dress style so she listed it on a "pre-loved" wedding gown site to sell.  You may be surprised that some of those dresses on there are in brand new condition or having been worn for just a few hours, are pretty much like new!  The bride who purchased the dress off the website for $1,000 was then able to sell it for $800 shortly after her wedding.

Grasp the power of the internet.  With tools such as Google or YellowPages.com at your fingertips, take advantage of the resources available out there.  Many major metropolitan areas have flower marts that offer wholesale pricing for purchasing flowers in bulk.  Some may also have vendors available that can provide you your wedding flowers for a fraction of the cost.  If you are crafty or have family/relatives that are consider purchasing the flowers and supplies at the wholesale flower mart to make your own centerpieces and floral arrangements.  Keep in mind that the arrangements need to be made in advance so a concern would be on where to store the completed arrangements before the Big Day.  Keep in mind that many wholesale shops open early (think crack of dawn) and close early, usually by noon.

A traditional wedding with non-traditional elements.  Had plans to shop traditional gold or platinum wedding bands?  Think outside of the box and consider alternative metals.  A growing trend for tungsten carbide wedding bands has become the choice for many grooms.  Tungsten carbide is available in its regular super light gray hue as well as white tungsten carbide, similar in tone as white gold or platinum and black tungsten carbide, the “cool, unique, trendsetting” version.  These bands can free up much of your budget for other areas such as the facility or catering, which are typically the majority of a wedding budget.  To learn more about alternative metal wedding bands, visit:  http://www.bellomarc.com/wedding.html.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Biker Stud, Biker Chick - Biker Chic


There’s something intriguing about a man on a bike.  Is it the power of the bike or him controlling that big badass machine?  With that said, there is something even more intriguing about a woman on a bike.  Hot, cool and super badass are a few adjectives that come to mind.

In recent years there has been a rise in woman riders and Harley Davidson has been catering to that demographic through their Harley Davidson gear, Women Riders Month every May and the Annual International Female Ride Day since 2006.  Millions of women have already grabbed life by the handlebars and they are doing it in style!

With the latest release of the new 2013’s Softail motorcycle, the Breakout, continues Harley-Davidson’s advocacy of women riders.  A different version of the Breakout was originally released in August 2012, known as the CVO Breakout.  Originally released only in its Custom Vehicle Operations which is known to include some of the most expensive Harley’s, the Breakout production version is being produced with similar traits, such as a long and low stance, but with less chrome.  The bike has a low seat height, making it popular amongst women riders.  The Breakout is currently available at Harley dealerships.

Between a variety of Harley-Davidson riding boots like the Kat or the Alexa, Harley-Davidson continues to design apparel geared specifically toward women, ensuring comfort and style before, during and after the ride.  The Harley-Davidson Women’s Rider Comfort System is a three-part system that is designed to put the female rider in total control of their climate and comfort, from head (helmet) to toe (boots) and everything in between (eyewear, gloves, jackets, pants and more).  Though most gear does not deviate far from the signature orange and black theme, Harley-Davidson has also introduced their Pink Label in which a portion of all proceeds is donated to Breast Cancer Advocacy and Support Organizations.

To finish the look while riding chic, add key signature pieces such as a statement bracelet or necklace.  Most men riders like jewelry and accessories that mimic their bikes, big, bulky pieces with a classy flair.  Classic pieces such as the Triton Black Stainless Steel Celtic Cross Bracelet are a popular selection amongst Harley riders.  Dog tags and chain necklaces are other staples.  Women riders tend to avoid earrings, unless they are just simple studs, since the helmet can be a cause for discomfort with large hoops or dangly ones.  Harley-Davidson does have a stylish selection of earrings which are often worn when not riding, ranging from tassels to hoops.  Instead, bracelets, necklaces and rings are what most women riders turn to, such as the Harley-Davidson Silver Large Eagle Ring and the Women’s Ride Bead Bracelet.  Being comfortable can also mean looking good with the right accessories.

So if you are an avid rider, male or female, while looking intriguing to all those you pass on the road you can now look good while doing it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2013 New Lamborghini Gallardo

Calling all racing enthusiast!  Many of us are looking forward to the release of the “newly” redesigned Lamborghini Gallardo, scheduled to be released in early 2013.  Developed in collaboration with Reiter Engineering, the first Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2s will be delivered to race teams as early as March this year where they will be raced in the Asian Le Mans Series as well as the Italian GT3 Championship. 

Like your typical New Year’s resolution, the Gallardo is looking to shed some weight for the New Year.  It is now 55 lbs lighter and the new version comes with a redesigned front bumper embellished with its signature triangular shapes giving it a more expansive, vigorous and dynamic appearance.  The same triangular shape is seen in the rear of the vehicle with its new engine vent.  In addition the model has restyled its 19-inch alloy wheels.  Available in three colors:  Matte black with orange accents, matte white with orange accents, and orange with matte black accents.

2013 marks the 50th birthday celebration for Lamborghini.  For its golden birthday, the redesigned GT3 FL2 comes equipped with 24-hour brakes, an improved engine cooling system for better fuel efficiency and a proficient aero kit for outstanding racing performance.  The new Gallardo boasts of a new front splitter and rear carbon diffuser, both based on the one developed for the Super Trofeo. 

Available in two- or all- wheel drive, the Gallardo is well-built, exceptionally fast, magnificent and extremely opulent!  At Euro 350,000 (approximately a little over $471,000) it may be cheaper to move to Italy and join their police force in order to get behind the wheel of a Gallardo!  Or at the very least sport some Lamborghini jewelry that is designed to mimic the signature clean lines and color variations while watching it race.  Lamborghini recently announced that 2013 will be the last year for its Gallardo.  All the more reason to invest in a piece of jewelry inspired by the sweet ride.  Are you looking forward to seeing it on the tracks?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Valentine's Day Jewelry Gift Guide For Him



It’s that time of the year again.  Most of us are still recovering from the Holidays and whether we like it or not, there is only a little over three weeks left to plan, decide and figure out what we are going to present to our Valentine this year.

Although men may object, women are easy to shop for with last minute flowers, restaurant reservations, box of chocolates or a little pink bag from Victoria’s Secret, although the latter may be more of a gift for him.  What about shopping for him?  What do you buy a guy for Valentine’s Day, a holiday that seems to be predominantly geared towards women?  One often overlooked gift is jewelry for men.  Jewelry is often noted as a gift for women but here’s some insight on what jewelry gift-giving can be for men.



For the man who wears a watch:  If your man wears a watch then he’s used to wearing something around his wrist and a bracelet could be a perfect option as a gift.  Tungsten Carbide is an alternative metal in the jewelry industry that is scratch resistant which consistently looks new and polished throughout time.  Many men prefer tungsten carbide wedding bands for its masculine traits.  A popular tungsten carbide bracelet for him incorporates carbon fiber, often used in motorsports and car racing circles.  Another popular bracelet style is the chain bracelet, which is easily paired with casual or formal attire.  An up and coming style in bracelet jewelry for men is the cable bracelet.  Masculine, stylish and available in a variety of cable thickness, this bracelet is bound to make its presence in the years to come.

For the man who is a baller:  The money clip.  What better way to display his wad of $100s than in a money clip as he pulls it out to pay the bartender?  First patented in 1901, money clips have come a long way in functionality, design and style.  Men who find keeping a wallet in their pockets uncomfortable prefer a money clip to hold just the basic necessities of a few bills and ID.

For the man that is a class act:  Cufflinks go a long way in giving a dress shirt that polished finish.  It can be dressed down and kept casual with jeans or dressed up for a formal event with a full suit and dress shoes.  Cufflinks are versatile, classic and timeless – a gift that will last a lifetime and gives off an air of nostalgia every time they are worn.

For the professional:  If he is required to wear a tie every day, adding a little spiff to the attire can be accomplished with the use of a tie clip, aka tie bar.  If you’re the type of lady to pick out your man’s tie every morning, adding a tie clip to his ensemble creates a refined look, keeping in motto with dress for success!


 
For the man who can appreciate accessories:  A basic chain necklace has proved timeless over the years.  Chain necklaces can be worn short and close to the neck or hang longer as it is typically available in a variety of lengths depending on his personal preference.  A necklace can be worn discreetly or openly which makes it a perfect gift even for the guy who doesn’t wear jewelry. 


 For the man you want to drop the ring hint to: Why not buy the ring for him first?!  Far-fetched but a comical way if anything to drop some hints to your man that it’s time for a ring.  Rings can get as testosterone filled as this flame inspired knot patterned piece by Benivie.  Wide in bandwidth for that masculine feel and composed of black and gray titanium which makes more of a statement piece than a wedding band.  When purchasing a ring keep in mind that wider bands may require a different size than your typical standard ring size.  Here’s a great guide on how to measure your ring size. 

Whatever the gift allow yourself plenty of time to browse, shop and buy.  When purchasing online, take the ship time into consideration as well.  Last minute gifts can be sensed from a mile away.  Gifts that exude thought and time are the most meaningful gifts of all!  Happy Valentine’s day lovers!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How To Measure Your Ring Size


measure_ring_size_online_buy

When shopping for rings made of non-traditional metals such as titanium, tungsten carbide or cobalt chrome you lose the ability to take the ring in to a local jeweler to get it cut and resized as you would with gold, silver or platinum.  So before deciding on what size to purchase there are several factors to take into consideration when selecting a ring size regardless of ring material:
  • Climate.  If you live in an environment with varying temperature, keep in mind that fingers in cold climates will shrink and vice versa; fingers will swell in warm climates.  Some people may want to purchase a ring that feels very snug but when the weather warms up, they find it uncomfortable and difficult to remove.  Those who prefer to wear their band on the loose side, discover that when the cold weather arrives the ring becomes too loose and if gloves are worn, the ring can easily come off as well as slipping off in the shower with soapy hands. 
  • Reality Check.  If purchasing your a ring online, get your ring sized by a local jewelry store, go to 2 or 3 just to see if it’s consistent, jewelers may use different tools to measure which may cause slight variations from one place to another. 
    thin_thick_ring
  • Narrow or Wide.  Keep in mind that the ring band width can play a role in ring size as well.  A wide band ring has more ring surface sitting on a finger.  A size 10.0 ring that has a wide band will feel smaller and tighter than a ring that has a smaller width in the same size 
  • Comfort or Standard.  In recent years many ring Manufacturers have been making their rings using the Comfort fit interior design, which rounds the interior of the band so that it feels more comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time.  The Standard fit rings are the traditional rings in which the interior of the band lays flat.  Many have noticed that with the comfort fit, it could feel a ¼ size larger, so if you are between a size 10.0 and 10.5 then you would want to go with the smaller size (10.0) if the band is a Comfort fit.
  • At-Home Measuring Tools.  Some online sites offer instructions on how to estimate your ring size with at home supplies such as the string method or a thin strip of paperAlthough these are a good starting point, nothing is as accurate as getting your ring measured.  These are just a good starting point for people to get a general idea of their ring size.
  • Reputable Brands and Sites.  Purchasing reputable brands will put your mind at ease because most Manufacturers offer a lifetime ring sizing program in the event you do need your ring resized.  These Manufacturers will provide you a size exchange for just a minimal fee as opposed to having purchase another ring in a different size.  In addition, reputable sites ought to offer some sort of exchange or return program that enables you to receive the actual ring in your size to try on and provide you the option to exchange it for another size if necessary or a return if the ring does suit you.
Although ring size is universal and pretty standard it may not be 100% consistent from Manufacturer to Manufacturer, but since ring size is so minute the difference may be unnoticeable.  Another useful fact to keep in mind is that ring size is the same for men and women, so unlike shoes, a size 10.0 for a woman would be the same fit as a size 10.0 for a man.  Most online shoppers decide on their style through a store or a catalogue before jumping online to find the best deals.  Remember to allow some time if purchasing your ring for an important event, such as a wedding, to ensure that you get the correct ring size for the big day!