Buyers Guide to Engagement Rings: 100 Tips and Resources

If getting married is one of the biggest and most important things you will do in your life, then it’s safe to assume that picking out and purchasing the engagement ring falls in the top ten. But there’s no doubt that it can also be one of the most stressful and confounding experiences of your life – especially if you have no clue what constitutes a good diamond, cutting-edge ring design, or how all of these factors will affect your bottom line. But have no fear – a quick run through these resources and you’ll be a diamond-buying expert in no time.

Educational Articles

Before getting started, you need to educate yourself on the ins and outs associated with shopping for a diamond ring. Things you have never even heard of will invariably come up in your conversations with your diamond dealer, so you’ll want to be able to respond knowledgably. Here are some helpful articles that will get you prepared in no time. A great site to check out for more information is

  1. Engagement Ring Guru: The Engagement Ring Guru covers it all, leaving no stone unturned. Straight-from-the-heart advice on all subjects related to ring buying, including this “gem” – when shopping at a jewelry store, try to get help from a female salesperson. Statistics show women have a better understanding of how to help you.
  2. Love to Know: Love to Know’s website is the definitive novel about ring buying. The site contains hundreds of articles on diamond quality, the latest styles, and even how to buy a non-diamond engagement ring.
  3. The Knot: The Knot is like the Bible for all things wedding-related, and engagement rings are no exception. The site even has an online quiz to help you determine your bride’s ring style, which is a great idea for those men trying to surprise their sweetie with a ring. Also, use their online ring builder tool to design your own.
  4. Ultimate Engagement Ring Guide: A helpful resource that has daily updates, information on the latest trends, and also references on where and how to buy.
  5. A Diamond is Forever: You’ve seen the commercials, now check out the website. This informational website is sponsored by the Diamond Trading Company, the largest diamond sales company in the world. Realizing that most people go into the ring buying experience with little knowledge about what they’re looking for, the DTC set up this well-designed and helpful site, which even includes an article about how diamond prices are determined.
  6. This article, written by Gemologist Antoinette L. Matlins, is for those of you for whom price is one of the ultimate considerations. Matlins aims to help readers get the most diamond for their buck. Also, find some helpful links to continue your education.
  7. Pricescope: Pricescope is a technical, though easy to use, website that allows you to compare prices on your dream ring by simply entering the criteria you desire. But even if you’re not far along enough to know what you’re looking for, you can still take advantage of their online tutorials or join one of their forums.
  8. This is a website designed on the predication that ring buying inspires fear and anxiety in most men. A worthy hypothesis, aims to end the stress of ring buying through education. Dispel your myths here.
  9. The Diamond Buying Guide: Simple and straightforward, start your education here with the site’s glossary of terms and then move on to figuring out the difference between a “certificate” and an “appraisal.” The site even has a handy checklist that you can use to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
  10. Wedding Channel: The Wedding Channel is one of the foremost sites for information on wedding planning, wedding gowns, and wedding rings. Not only will this site teach you everything you need to know about selecting a diamond, but it also dispenses handy advice on how to propose. You can even search the site to find local, independent jewelers in your neighborhood.
  11. Diamond Review: Follow the easy four step process laid out at the Diamond Review and you’ll be pocketing a gleaming rock in no time. First start with a tutorial, and then move on to the message boards where you can quiz various diamond experts on all your questions, find a jeweler and research prices.
  12. About Buying Diamonds: This comprehensive guide doesn’t pull too many surprise punches, but it does have great information, including separate guides for buying both loose and wholesale diamonds.
  13. Diamond Chit Chat: If you are looking for a more interactive, educational experience, check out Diamond Chit Chat, which hosts message boards, forums, and articles on all topics related to picking out the perfect stone. Learn from the successes and mistakes of others on this great site.
  14. Jewelry Information Center: Whether you are buying a diamond or another type of rare stone, the Jewelry Information Center can help you navigate the ins and outs of the process. Take their Jewelry 101 course or learn about the hottest trends all in one spot.
  15. Costco: In addition to selling giant packages of paper towels and chewing gum, Costco is a great bargain diamond vendor. If you want to get all the information you need in the shortest time possible, download the store’s helpful one-pager, which will bring you up to speed in no time.
  16. Yahoo!: Yahoo!’s Diamond Buying Guide is a simple synopsis of diamond buying that features recommended articles on other sites. A great round-up of resources all in one spot.
  17. How to Buy a Diamond: If you really want to get down and dirty, a simple website resource may not be enough. Check out this book by author Fred Cuellar, the founder and president of Diamond Cutters International, who dishes all the inside secrets to help you get the best price on your ring.
  18. Diamond Education: Ever wonder how the diamond came to be the quintessential stone for engagement rings? Want to see some of the most famous diamonds to ever grace the earth? Diamond Education schools readers on the basics of purchasing this precious stone, while also giving a terrific history lesson.
  19. The Four C’s: Get a jump start on your diamond-quality knowledge with this brief primer on “The Four C’s” – the characteristics you look at to judge whether you’ve got a goof ring or not: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.
  20. Buying a Loose Diamond: If you are in the market for a loose diamond, then the ring shopping experience might be a little more stressful. With so much riding on the stone itself, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re looking for. This guide helps out you loose stone shoppers with articles dedicated to every possible facet of diamonds possible.
  21. Diamond Tutorials: Another comprehensive, in-depth site with more information then you probably need. But at least you won’t be left feeling unfulfilled. Read countless articles about diamonds, the diamond industry, and then search the directory for an appraiser or dealer in your neighborhood.

Conflict Diamonds

Don’t ruin the most romantic moment of your life or taint the most expensive token of affection you’ll give your bride to be by presenting her with a diamond obtained from warfare and violence. Since the premier of the movie “Blood Diamond” the general public has become aware that the diamond industry is responsible for creating much violence in Africa. Thankfully, though, many diamond dealers and countries have pledged to make sure they are procuring and selling conflict-free diamonds. Here are a few articles that will help educate you on the issue, as well as assist you in purchasing a diamond that you can feel good about.

  1. United Nations: This helpful article from the United Nations explains what a conflict diamond is and how the competitive diamond industry is creating warfare and violence in many African countries. A great primer to understand the issues.
  2. Amnesty International: An informative video that walks the viewer through the situation diamonds have created in some African countries. It also gives people a chance to join the fight against conflict diamonds by writing their congressman.
  3. This is an excellent article about how to avoid purchasing a conflict diamond. Understanding where conflict diamonds come from and how they create havoc in Africa is the first step, but making sure your diamond is conflict-free is the ultimate goal. This article will help you reach it.
  4. Stop Blood This informative and comprehensive site is run by the Stop Blood Diamonds organization, which works with both legislators and diamond dealers to improve the conditions of the diamond mining industry. Find conflict-free dealers and read up on different international laws guiding the industry here.
  5. Kimberley Process: The Kimberley Process is an international initiative to stop the conflict diamond industry, which has 74 country members. By adopting the requirements set forth by the process, dealers and countries alike can help ensure that the world has an abundant supply of conflict-free stones and that violence in Africa related to the diamond trade is diminished.


The diamond and wedding industry is so big that it has spawned several professional bloggers who want to help make the process a little easier for those of you in the market for a bling-bling ring. These people want to be your resource – so let them!

  1. Team Sugar: Team Sugar is a girly blog where readers chat about all things girly – including engagement rings and wedding bands. Check out one or some of their many entries on the subject if you need some help figuring out what a girl wants.
  2. Our One Heart: This blog has several entries on shopping for an engagement ring. According to their experts, the shopping process should begin six months in advance.
  3. The Wedding Channel: The Wedding is one of the premier wedding planning websites out there today. And the administrators of this site run chat boards and blogs on every wedding detail you can imagine. Check out the section on rings – you’lll know it’s coming from a secure source.
  4. Wedded Bits: Wedded Bits, a blog run by, mixes up the content of their articles between celebrity wedding news and information on engagement rings and jewelry designers. Research some rings and find out whether Jamie Lynn Spears will actually tie the knot with her teenage beau all at the same time.
  5. My Diamond Buying Experiences: Pricescope is a great informational website for many reasons, but one is the blog they run, which chronicles a real-life experience of shopping for and buying a diamond engagement ring. Sometimes learning from others is the best way.
  6. Diamond Thoughts: James Allen is a huge online diamond dealer and the company even maintains its own blog, which is a fun compilation of diamond ring-related stories. Less resource than fun read, this blog will help you continue your research without the dry diamond-industry lingo.
  7. Precious Glow: A good blog run by Precious Glow, it’s a one-time-stop for some great articles about diamonds. But seeing as though it’s not updated too regularly, you probably shouldn’t feel obligated to check on it every day.
  8. The Diamond Blog: This blog posts about pretty much any diamond-related topic, and even accepts submissions from budding and established diamond writers.
  9. Glimmer Rocks: The bloggers at Glimmer Rocks love, love, love jewelry and while they like to write about how to best choose a ring, they also like to blog about their favorite new ring styles. Get education and inspiration all at once.
  10. Ring Envy: Despite a few glaring spelling errors, this is overall a great, informational blog that goes over topics like ring insurance, financing rings, and what shape rings look best on what size hands. Considering buying your ring on eBay? Check this blog first for some advice.
  11. Diamond Engagement Ring: This blog compiles resourceful articles from various websites all in one easy-to-find place.
  12. Keetsa: While not a blog dedicated to wedding rings, Keetsa does have one entry about eco-friendly, wooden wedding bands. For the environmentally conscious couple, choosing a wooden wedding band is both unique and in line with your principles.
  13. Just Ask Leslie: A blog affiliated with an online jewelry dealer, Just Ask Leslie is written by a blogger who really knows her stuff about jewelry. Get great advice not only on engagement rings, but other wedding jewelry, as well as gift ideas for your groomsmen and bridesmaids.
  14. Gilletts: This Australian jeweler’s now-defunct blog may not have up-to-the-minute news and advice about ring buying, but its past entries are no less useful. Learn the appropriate widths for men’s rings and rings made of newer materials like titanium and tungsten.
  15. Affordable Wedding Rings: A thorough and informative blog about finding an affordable wedding ring. This blog accepts submissions and has multiple authors.
  16. My Wedding Blog: This blog covers all topics related to weddings, but has a substantial number of entries dedicated solely to wedding jewelry and engagement rings.
  17. Groom Groove: This resourceful blog will help prospective grooms with many things aside from just getting the engagement ring. Many entries are devoted to this subject, including one that tackles whether or not spending two months of your salary on one ring is really necessary.

Where to Buy Online

Now it’s time for a little window shopping! Thankfully, many diamond dealers sell their wares online, displaying their impressive rings on their websites. Here are just a few popular and excellent online dealers to peruse.

  1. Overstock: Think is just for furniture and lawn tools? Think again. This website, which sells surplus goods, has an excellent assortment of engagement rings. Shoppers in any price range can find something here.
  2. Engagement Rings Direct: This company, run and operated by a former employee of the Gemological Institute of America, has been a staple in the wholesale diamond industry for 30 years. Buy loose diamonds, design your own, or browse the many collections available. The site even has a customizable search engine where you can enter your preference on everything from size to price to diamond clarity.
  3. Blue Nile: Blue Nile bills itself as the largest online dealer of certified diamonds, and it’s been written about in “The New York Times,” “Forbes” and “Money.” It consistently ranks high among diamond dealers, and it’s a great place to start for someone who knows nothing about diamonds. The education section of the site is excellent, as is the company’s “conflict free” policy, which means buyers can feel good about their purchases.
  4. Mondera: Like Blue Nile, Mondera is big, diverse and helpful. Learn all about the art of buying the perfect diamond from their expert advice, design your own ring with Mondera’s simple 3-step form, and get free Fed Ex shipping (insured, of course) with your purchase. Also, view thousands of ideal diamonds available in all shapes, sizes and price points – you can even download a lab report for each.
  5. Novori: Love your country? Then check out Novori, a comprehensive and impressive website that sells only rings made in the USA. Novori, like many like sites, is rated by the Better Business Bureau and promises to cater to those on a budget with prices 30 to 50 percent lower than jewelry stores and many online outlets, as well.
  6. Union Diamond: Union Diamond has won many accolades from the press, including being named “Best of the Web” by Forbes Magazine and receiving praise from Yahoo! Finance. Speak live with a diamond consultant who will educate you on your purchase during the process. Union Diamond prides itself on the quality of its wares and promises a lifetime workmanship guarantee.
  7. James Allen: James Allen Diamonds sells an average of 2,000 rings every year, and like its competitors offers shoppers a comprehensive education in diamonds, complete with a glossary of terms to remember. Get a 3D view of your stone online, and stay abreast of all the latest gem and diamond industry news with the company’s news feed.
  8. Adiamor: Unlike many diamond dealers, Adiamor is a manufacturer, as well as a retailer, and can custom make any stone or product you desire. They have over 60,000 diamonds to choose from and if you still can’t find something you like their sales staff will email you photos of additional styles and stones they aren’t able to post online.
  9. Millennium Diamond: Does the expense of the engagement ring have you stumped in figuring out how to afford the accompanying wedding band you’ll exchange with your vows? Well, fret no more, because for every diamond you purchase, Millennium Diamonds will throw in a free 18k platinum or gold ring, freeing up some cash. Plus, Millennium boasts a huge selection of entirely conflict-free stones.
  10. One of the largest diamond dealers in the country, also offers some spectacular sales on their diamonds. Still having trouble footing the bill? Check out their monthly payment options and make this purchase a little easier on your checking account.
  11. Gem Nation: Gem Nation is a simple, no-frills diamond dealer website for the shopper who is really interested in the stone itself. Pick your top five favorites and then compare them easily with the online comparison tool. This company specializes in stones mainly, though, so you may have to go elsewhere to get the band.
  12. Precious Glow: This site is easy to use and has been praised by past customers for making their shopping process simpler and less stressful. Find lots of helpful articles about the ring buying process, as well as how to take care of your ring after it’s purchased.
  13. Harry Winston: Jeweler to the stars, Harry Winston jewelry is known around the world for being one of the most perfect and luxurious jewelers. You’ll pay for the quality, however, but even if you are on a budget, Winston’s website is worth checking out for inspiration. Since many dealers allow purchasers to design their own ring, you could easily mimic a HW design for less. Harry Winston does have a handful of brick-and-mortar shops, but unless you live in one of the more major urban areas, you’re better off looking online.
  14. DeBeers:One of the largest diamond companies in the world, if not the largest, DeBeers not only offers a wide selection of ready-made products, they also run their own diamond mines in several African countries. While they’ve come under scrutiny for selling conflict diamonds in the past, DeBeers adopted a strong anti-conflict policy in the late 1990s and are thought to be one of the highest-quality diamond companies in the world.
  15. Amazon: Believe it or not, you can buy rings of good quality at a great price on Amazon. Others who have done so report being very pleased with the deals and the rings they found. And while you’re shopping, you can pick up the latest John Grisham novel – kill two birds with one stone.
  16. An extremely popular site for engagement ring purchases, offers shoppers cues to what’s hot and trendy today. But the best part is that the site sells diamond rings for almost half what they’re worth, while still maintaining high quality. also allows customers to set up payment plans.
  17. Adylon: This online dealer, with one showroom in California, has a great selection and meets the same standards regarding free shipping and a 30-day return policy as most other online diamond merchants offer. But one unique thing about Adylon is their trade-up policy. If you’re dying to get your sweetie the ring she really loves, but can’t afford it now, Adylon will let you trade in your lesser ring for equal value for up to one year after your purchase.
  18. Brilliance: Brilliance claims to have the lowest prices on the web. While only you’ll be able to verify that through some savvy price comparisons, Brilliance is definitely worth checking out – it’s a site on-par with or better than many other online jewelry dealers.
  19. eBay: Like Amazon, you may not think wedding rings when thinking about eBay, but many a bride has been betrothed with a ring that was bought and bargained for on this auction site.
  20. Wedding Don’t forget that in addition to getting an engagement ring, your bride, and yourself, will need a wedding band to exchange on your wedding day. It might be a good idea to start thinking of what style wedding band you want before you get too far along in the engagement ring selection. Especially if you and your bride want your bands to match, you want to make sure the style you like fits with the engagement ring she desires.
  21., a price comparison shop, is akin to Overtock or Amazon in terms of having access to a gigantic selection of all kinds of goods. But this site is different because the company doesn’t actually have any goods to sell. You are able to compare rings and prices here from multiple merchants so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal.
  22. Szul: Szul has a great selection of all kinds of gems at terrific prices. That’s because they buy direct from the source, cutting out the middleman and the extra costs associated with that. You definitely won’t be disappointed with what is offered on their site.

Where to Buy in Person

If you’re more hands-on or perhaps someone who feels strange about dropping thousands of dollars on something you’ve never seen or touched before, then check out one of these nationwide jewelry shops for some personal attention.

  1. Tiffany’s: What woman wouldn’t love a diamond engagement ring from Tiffany’s, one of America’s premier jewelers? If you have it in your budget, Tiffany’s offers exquisite styles and high quality. And don’t fear – if you don’t have a branch of the store in your town, their website is also extremely useful.
  2. Crown Jewelers: Crown Jewelers, which also has many brick-and-mortar shops in malls across the country, has a great website with loads of selection. But perhaps one of the company’s shining features is the fact that it allows customers to purchase diamonds with no money down and on credit lines people can open with the store.
  3. Zales: Like Crown, Zales has many store front shops that shoppers can browse if they prefer to speak with their dealers in person. And because of their wide, national reach, Zales offers very competitive prices and an excellent assortment.
  4. Helzberg: Helzberg is another big-time chain store of diamonds who boasts some of their own signature trademarked diamond collections. Quality is the name of the game at Helzberg and they’ve even made a commitment to being environmentally sustainable through their mining policies and use of recycled papers and boxes.
  5. Find My Jeweler: If you consider yourself a person who likes to support local businesses, check out, a site that allows you to easily find local jewelry shops by entering just a few pieces of information. This is a great resource that might help you stumble on some hidden treasures in your hometown.
  6. Kay Jewelers: Last but not least, most every mall in America has a branch of Kay Jewelers, with ready-to-help salespeople. While they may not sing you the television jingle (“Every kiss begins with Kay”), they can direct you toward some fabulous pieces and some great sales.

Antique Wedding Rings

Do you have a funky bride with an appreciation for the way things used to be? Then you may just be after an antique ring. While some of the dealers mentioned above definitely offer antique options and designs, there are some diamond and jewelry merchants who specialize solely in this arena.

  1. Antique Engagement Rings: Again, if you are in the market for a unique engagement ring, check out this site. Or if you live in New York, head on down to their shop in the heart of the Diamond District. They carry a host of antique bands and stones that will make you nostalgic for days of yore in no time.
  2. Antique and Estate: Looking for a unique ring that will stand out in a crowd? Check out this solid website that features antique and vintage jewelry in excellent condition. The proprietors of this company won’t accept just anything. They hand inspect every piece they sell and guarantee authenticity. If your bride treasures individuality this is the place to shop.
  3. Antique Jewelry Mall: Want an antique look without the actual antiqueness? Antique Jewelry Mall will recreate vintage looks with modern materials, so you don’t have to worry about quality for a second.
  4. M. KhourdipourJewelry: This business has an exquisite selection of vintage engagement rings that would make any woman instantly feel like she was dining on the Titanic – in a good way.
  5. Topazery: This jewelry store located in Atlanta has a spectacular selection of antique engagement rings dating all the way back to the 1800s. You can feel good about dealing with a jewelry company who appreciates the timelessness of vintage jewelry. And you can shop online easily.

Diamond Quality

The one thing you’re going to need to pay the most attention to, of course, is the quality of the diamond you are buying. You not only want to make sure you get a pure stone, you want to make sure what you’re buying is going to be an investment – something that will hold its value for years to come. While many of the websites we’ve already listed can help you determine a diamond’s potential, here are a few extras for those who want to go above and beyond in their education.

  1. Diamond Helpers: This jewelry dealer also has a great article on its site about the “4 Cs” – Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight. These are the four characteristics of diamonds that are measured and evaluated when determining quality, so you need to get used to discussing these attributes now.
  2. Jewel Basket: Jewel Basket, also a diamond vendor, offers this helpful guide to understand diamond quality complete with a colored scale highlighting the different levels of clarity.
  3. American Gem Society: One of the most respected organizations to evaluate and rate rare and beautiful gems, the American Gem Society’s website has a wealth of knowledge on every gem possible. Their site even has a searchable list of jewelers across the nation that offer their trademarked Diamond Quality Certificate.
  4. AGS Quality Report: When you buy a diamond, typically you will get a Diamond Quality Report from the American Gemological Society. This can be a somewhat confusing document, unless you know how to read it. This handy article will explain what every number and line means so you can understand firsthand how great your ring is.
  5. Diamond Color: Diamonds come in five colors, ranging from colorless to light yellow. While completely colorless stones are considered the most perfect, stones with a yellow hue have come into popularity in recent times and no shade is considered taboo. Find out here how color will affect your choice and your price.
  6. Diamond Cut: Diamond cuts have been designed over years and years to best accentuate the overall appearance of a particular stone. When buying a diamond, its cut is one of the most important things you must consider. While the cut represents a certain style, it must also fit the stone, highlighting its perfections and downplaying its faults.
  7. Diamond Clarity: The measure of a diamond’s clarity takes into account all of its internal and external blemishes. The better a stone’s clarity, the better the shine. Clarity is one of the most important factors that will influence the price of the ring.
  8. Diamond Carat Weight: Another important factor influencing a stone’s price is its carat weight, which can also be related to size, but isn’t always. Figuring out the density of your stone is a very important step in the buyer’s process.
  9. Color Chart: This helpful chart will help you judge a stone’s color and fineness easily.
  10. Diamond Grading Chart Simplify: Decode the grade your diamond gets with this explanatory summary. It also includes some other characteristics that will affect your diamond’s quality beyond the 4 Cs, such as finish and proportion.


OK – now you’ve got the ring and the knowledge and all you have left to do is ask her to marry you! Nervous? Read up on some of these tips and resources to ensure that the moment is as perfect as it can be.

  1. Proposing and Becoming Engaged: Keeping it simple and having fun is the best way to approach your proposal, according to this chock-full-of-information article about getting engaged.
  2. The Perfect Proposal: This article from has lots of ideas about unique and memorable ways to propose, including proposing by billboard.
  3. Top 10 Mistakes: An article covering some of the common mistakes men make when proposing. Try to avoid these if possible.
  4. Dos and Don’ts: Another article covering both good and bad things to do when proposing. Basics like speaking with her father before you propose are mentioned, as well as a warning against hiding the ring in her food.
  5. Top 10 Places to Propose: has put together this handy list of the most romantic places in the world to propose. Depending on your travel budget, some suggestions may br more feasible than others.
  6. Zagat: If you are thinking about popping the question over a romantic dinner, consider consulting the Zagat guide for some recommendations on food and ambiance. Or choose a place that has a special meaning to you both.
  7. Creative Proposals: Another great article from about a few men and women who actually won a competition with their creative proposals. Get inspiration from the pros!
  8. Leap Year: A fun article from the Sydney Morning Herald about the fact that in Scotland it is traditionally alright for a woman to propose to a man on February 29. If you’re a brave and liberal woman, following this tradition would be a fun and unique way to get engaged.
  9. How I Got Engaged: Share your proposal story and read about what others have done on this website, meant to be a forum for the newly engaged.
  10. Romantic Ideas: Another article listing some romantic ideas for how to pop the question.
  11. Sidestep: Want to propose to your sweetie out of town? If you are planning a romantic getaway for your engagement get a great price on your flight by using Sidestep.
  12. Once you have a cheap flight booked, you’ll need a romantic place to stay. will help you find one without breaking the bank.
  13. Romantic Music: This list of some great romantic songs will really come in handy when you start to set the mood. Infusing some soft music through the room where you plan to propose is a great way to
  14. If your romance skills need a little help, check out, a website dedicated to love and the art of romance. They have quotes, poems, and real-life stories to help give you the boost you need to sweep your loved one off of her feet.
  15. eFree Web Directory

DIY Hanging Jars



hanging jars

I was looking through the Wedding Bee archives when I found this super cute DIY project. Hanging Jars are very popular right now and are a wonderful addition to any outdoor wedding. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I found this little project! I think these would be perfect to hang flowers or candles from. You could even make an isle at an outdoor wedding or hang them from the ceiling. The possibilities are endless! I LOVE it!



Small Glass Jars


Shepard’s Hooks


Measure raffia to desired length (about 12 inches for long ones). It is better to go longer at first because, you can always tie a knot in the top of the handle at the end if you would like them shorter. Wrap the raffia around the mouth of the jar and knot the handle. Fill jar with candles or flowers and hang from the Shepard’s hooks.






DIY Wedding Cake Toppers

cake toppers

I was browsing the Design Sponge web site when I found this adorible cake topper idea. This idea came from two readers named Luke and Brian who were married last October. Luke and Brian were on the search for a unique topper that would look wonderful on a stand of cupcakes. So, they created these little birds that were built to resemble the happy couple. If you ask me, they couldn’t have come up with anything more adorible! If you like these funky little birds, check out the DIY instructions below!

DIY wedding cake toppers

 What you’ll need:

 -paper and pencil to sketch
-white styrofoam
-knife or carving tool to carve the foam
-sand paper
-craft glue
-white tissue
-glitter, beads, pins and decorative details like buttons, fabric covered wire and pipe cleaners

 1. First we sketched out our ideas based on a photo of us, then decided (by making a mock up of the cake) what size we wanted the final piece to be.

 2. We then carved the body and head shapes out of white styrofoam, sanded them smooth with sandpaper and applied a layer of craft glue to harden and gloss.

 3. Then we added a few thin layers of white tissue and craft glue to give a hard smooth surface on which to work.

 [From here on out the decorative details are up to you…]

 4. The bodies were then covered in fine glitter to look like sugar and eyes (made of beads with flathead pins attached) were pinned into the foam forms.

 5. The wings and tails were made of tweed fabric (with a layer of clear glue to shape them and keep from fraying).

 6. The beaks and legs are toothpicks dipped in glue and and glitter.

 7. Brian’s eyeglasses are made of fabric covered wire and Luke’s hat is made from the top of an acorn!

DIY Strawberry Cream Tarts



TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling




* 2 packages (6 count each) individual graham cracker tart shells
* 2 egg whites, beaten
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 3 cups milk
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, cubed
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 12 medium strawberries, sliced
* 12 blueberries
* 6 tablespoons strawberry jelly, melted



Brush insides of tart shells with egg whites. Place on two baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and flour; gradually stir in milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot milk mixture into eggs; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in butter and lemon juice. Refrigerate until chilled.

Just before serving, spoon custard into shells; top with strawberries and blueberries. Spoon jelly over fruit. Yield: 12 servings.


Yummy Secret Messages



A secret message hidden beneath coconut-and-cashew truffles is revealed as the chocolates are devoured. The packaging seems fancy, but this is just a standard box trimmed with scalloping scissors; the tabs are usually tucked in, but we left them out, punched holes, and threaded ribbon through for a unique form.


Tools and Materials
Small lidded folding box (ours was 2 3/4 inches square by 1 3/4 inches high)
Colored card stock
3/8-inch-wide ribbon, cut 23 inches long
Scalloping shears, small hole punch, bone folder, and utility knife


Scalloped Favor Box How-To


box 2

Choose a small, square lidded box, just big enough to hold four chocolates.
1. Fold the box into shape. Use scalloping shears to cut decorative edges on the side and front flaps of the box. Punch a hole in the center of each side flap.


2. Cut colored paper for the liner; it should be as wide as the box’s interior and long enough to cover the bottom, one side, and the lid. Use a bone folder to score the paper where it will bend; then fold, and crease with the bone folder. Write one word in each of the four corners of the bottom.


3. For the dividers, cut two more pieces of colored paper to be as wide as the box and twice as high.


4. Score the dividers lengthwise down the center, and fold. Use a utility knife to cut a slit in the center of each divider so they’ll interlock; one should go from the bottom up to the middle, and the other should go from the top down to the middle. Slide the dividers together at the slits.


5. Place paper liner and the interlocked dividers in the box. Wrap the ribbon around the box, and slip the ends through the holes in the flaps.


6. Fill the box with chocolates. Fold the paper liner down and then the lid down to close. Fold the side flaps in over the top. Tie the ribbon snugly over the box.

DIY Place Card Tree

If you are looking for a unique way to display place cards, then look no further! This idea comes from the great minds at Style me Pretty. Enjoy!


How to make the Placecard Tree…

For the placecards:
I used Stardream metallic cover stock in quartz that I purchased from I designed a simple layout on MS Word, and used the font Murray Hill to write each person’s name on the placecard. I then printed them on a Dell Laser printer (printing on Stardream cover stock can be tricky!). I made them so they would fold over, so we could glue the fringe and ribbon inside without it looking ugly on the back.
I used a bone folder to fold my printed placecards in half, so I could cut two slits in the top folded area, to slip my ribbon through and glued it to the inside of the card. I used beaded fringe for the dangling crystals, it was easier to work with than individual crystals and you couldn’t tell once you glued it inside. It looked
like this but I purchased it at Home Fabrics in Downtown Los Angeles. I cut the fringe so it had 5 crystals and then glued it to the inside bottom and then pressed the folded placecard shut to hold the fringe in place.

For the actual trees:
We bought manzanita branches at a place called Wasabi Green in downtown LA, but I know you can order them online at:

We created some bases out of wood, in a trapezoid shape, which we then covered with the light shantung fabric, adding the fabric was a little hard, we started off by using fabric glue and then also cutting and sewing parts of it, so that the ends would sit taut on the trapezoidal base. We the glued on a 1 1/2 inch brown satin ribbon and the rhinestone buckle. We secured the branches in the tree with expanding foam and anchored them with some heavier rocks, so they wouldn’t topple over. We then covered the top of all that mess with some moss so it would look pretty on top.


DIY Centerpiece

DIY centerpiece

This centerpiece is an easy and elegant idea for a wedding. The total cost of everything is about $5. Therefore, it is also very affordable. Even if you are not a DIY bride, this centerpiece is an easy and cost effective option. To achieve this look you will need the following:


3 Small Floating Candles
1 Rose
Lilly Bowl


Fill lily bowl up with water. Take rose and cut off the bloom leaving as little stem as possible. Place bloom in the middle of the lily bowl. Next place a small floating candle on all three sides of the bloom. That’s it! Simple, easy, and elegant. What more could you ask for?