Shannon and David: DIY Destination Wedding

Never discount the boy next door, he could be your EVERYTHING!

David and I met at a mutual friend’s birthday party 5 years ago and I completely dismissed hm. Not in a mean way, but seeing as how I thought it was a “Ladies Only” soirée,I basically utilized him as the token camera man for the night! Okay, yeah maybe that’s a bit rude. Funny thing was that we had the same circle of friends. However, I could never recall meeting him even though we had met several times. The thought of me not remembering him was so bad that even our friends would state “Shannon, you’ve met him like 7 times already!”

Needless to say, this phenomenon kept happening for a few months but then “IT” happened. He sent me a friend request on Facebook and my initial reaction was “WHO IS THIS?” Intrigued by the request, I strolled through his pictured to realize that it was David, the guy who all my friends knew and, from my church. YEP! He went to my church too. So, I added him and from there, we shared laughs via social media and when I would see him at church,  I actually remembered him. He became my very best friend a month later and now my husband! Man, God has a sense of humor.

IG Handle: @Ferventlychic


Venue: Cafe Julia, Honolulu, Hawaii

Wedding Coordinators: Natalie Christensen from Aloha Bridal Connection (@abcweddings)

Photographer: Michael McDermott (@vivirphotography)

Wedding Signage: Lisa Miller (@handwrittenaloha)

Makeup: Sarah (@Whikd_weddings)

Flowers: @Watanabe

Floral Arrangements: Shannon Crawford (@ferventlychic

Table Decor: Shannon Crawford (@ferventlychic)

Veil: Eartha Kelly

Alive Network

About Alive Network

The goosebumps when you hear that song and take to the aisle. The first dance that makes you both cry. Those ecstatic hands-in-the-air dancefloor moments. Your wedding day is about creating memories to cherish forever. Alive Network is the UK’s largest and best loved live entertainment agency, providing the finest range of artists, to enhance your day, so you can really make the most of every special moment.

Whether you’re looking for a roaming jazz band for your garden wedding, an ethereal harpist to set the scene in a breathtaking castle, an indie-folk band for your festival wedding, or an awesome dance DJ for your party under the stars, Alive Network offers every type of entertainment imaginable UK and world-wide, from magicians in Edinburgh to wedding bands in Surrey, and modern-jazz bands in Paris to premier party bands in the UAE. Alive Network is your go-to hub for online wedding entertainment inspiration.

Set up in 1999 by passionate music-lovers and professional artists, Alive Network attracts the brightest and best performers. Today, their professional service is loved and trusted by over 100,000 couples, with reviews from over 30,000 happy couples. The team Alive knows that the perfect music match for your wedding will create memories to last a lifetime.

What Makes the Halo Diamond Rings the Popular Engagement Rings?

There are quite a few engagement ring styles that we find in a jewelry store these days. Each and every ring design caters a specific set of people and are popular in their own way. Most of the articles or posts discuss the ways of choosing the perfect ring for a bride. However, in this article, we are going to focus on an engagement ring which has become a very popular choice among the brides for her grooms.

These are the halo diamond rings. Let us have a brief discussion about these type of rings and what makes them very popular.

Overview of the Halo Diamond Ring

The halo diamond ring style provides a variety of options to an individual for customizing and personalizing the engagement ring. There are quite a few options that can be used for creating the big diamond looks. A high-carat diamond that is used in a halo setting will look even more enormous. In a halo setting, a center gemstone is completely surrounded by the smaller accent diamonds that makes the ring dazzle. A few of the halo designs that feature the cushion shaped or the traditional round diamonds are very popular because of the romantic vintage inspired look.

It was during the 1920s when the halo engagement rings first came into existence. Due to their increasing popularity, the halo rings have become the second most favored engagement ring after the solitaire. The halo rings are in somewhat way similar to the solitaire with an added style.

Classic Halo Ring Designs

One of the most popular and evergreen halo ring design is one that has a big center stone which is supported by a clean and narrow band. Along with this, a round center diamond that is surrounded by the colorless stones on a platinum or gold ring also looks great.

The part of the shank, wrapping around the finger can be paved or even left bare. If the stones are used on the shank then their counts should be same on both the sides that will create a symmetry. However, it doesn’t matter if the ring is paved or not as the ring will give a classic halo look.

Halo Ring Customization Options

  • Color of the Pave

There are a number of gemstones that will enable you to give a custom look to your halo ring. These contrasting gemstones can be outrageous or subtle. Depending on your choice you can choose any of them. However, some of the attractive options for the pave include rubies and sapphires circling a colorless diamond. It can be the other way round also where the colorless diamonds surround a vivid center stone.

  • Number of the Halos

The classic single halo design has now become double and triple. In the triple halo design, there are three rows of paving stone that will circle the center stone. These pave circles will make the ring look bigger in size. It would be better to use the triple halo design if the center stone is very small.

  • Pave the Shank

Firstly. It all depends on an individual’s preference as to what type of design he likes. A Shank that has not been paved will lead to a much cleaner design, however, if you want to add a bling to the ring then paving the shank is the way to go. Just don’t circle the entire the entire shank as it would make it difficult to resize the ring. Also, a jeweler can also cut and open a metal at a later stage if it is needed to.

Halo Rings Complement the Different Shapes

Along with being a fashion trend, halo engagement rings perfectly complement the different designs. All the designs like the Oval, Princess, Asscher and Round Stones. A number of people who have become a fan of the Halo rings are because of their clean geometric shapes.

In The End

There are quite a few reasons that make the halo engagement rings so popular. The addition of the small paves that increase the overall shine of the diamond are among the top reasons that make halo rings the first choice over other wedding ring options. The cost of a halo ring is also less when compared with that of a solitaire. These rings also take up more space on the finger which is perfect for all those want their ring to stand out and gain attention. The halo diamond rings have become the first choice for a number of brides who are looking to buy an engagement ring for their future husband.


Author Bio – Evie Jones is a jewellery designer associated with an Melbourne based Diamond Company, an online store that offers a vast collection of cushion cut halo engagement rings at affordable cost. Evie has an experience of working with the renowned team of diamond craftsmen. In mean time, Evie loves to explore and share the latest diamond ring trends with others.

10 Best Places to Buy an Engagement Ring in Melbourne

Proposed your loved one? You might be in the need to buy an engagement ring to make this special moment beyond perfect. If you reside in Melbourne, then you’re in luck as Melbourne has some finest jewelers who will guide you in finding the perfect ring for your perfect partner.

Your love will define your choice in the ring. You just need a right place to search. In this post, I am going to provide you the list of ten best places to buy an engagement ring in Melbourne. Here, this list will guide you to provide some of the best engagement rings available in Melbourne.

How I rank them?

The best way to rank a place is to check their collection and their customer’s review. Online diamond consultancies are nowadays mostly preferred as the online shopping trend is at its peak. I have organized the list by the collection quality and then the customer reviews. This exclusive list will help you to make your life’s most important decision easily and also helps you to choose the best.

So, let’s get started,

1. Australian Diamond Company

The Australian Diamond Company was founded in 1982 and since then, it is providing some of the best engagement rings. ADC is famous ever since for its impeccable craftsmanship and matchless designs. Even after three decades, the company still pushes for new designs in traditional and non-traditional engagement rings.

Now, ADC is with an online presence are gaining, even more, fame than ever. It is now a well-established diamond company with its headquarter in Centrepoint Arcade, Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne. Give it a visit and choose the best ring for the best person of your life.

2. WindFall Jewellery

It is Melbourne based jewelry company which was created by Lani Williams. They have created a huge buzz in the jewelry market in a short span of just five years. They are very famous for their most of the unique diamonds and also semi precious stones.

Their craftsmen are famous for their unique and beautiful designed engagement rings. They are highly dedicated to creating something different. If you’re the one who is looking for funky non-traditional engagement rings. WindFall Jewellery can be the place just for you.

3. Klepner’s

Klepner’s are one of the oldest jewelry shops in Melbourne. It was founded by Samuel Klepner in 1889. Since then, even after 125 years back, they are ruling the market. Their Gemologists and craftsmen are the best in the market. Their Melbourne store is not just a jewelry shop, it is also a sort of antique and art deco as well.

They are famous for their diamond rings, antique rings, wedding bands, sapphire, emerald and ruby rings. They have a unique collection of every type of engagement ring whether they are the modern, traditional or Retro type. You will get almost every type of ring that can really help you to find the perfect one for your perfect partner.

4. Helen Badge Jewellery

Helen Badge was established in 1983. And since then they are well known for their hand made rings. They started with their store in Little Collins Street, Melbourne. Now, Helen Badge has grown from Melbourne to Sydney, London and many places in Europe. This gives them a unique nick of art and craft as they are one of the favorites when we talk about engagement rings.

5. SH Jewellery

The SH Jewellery store is located in Springvale, Melbourne. This store is feasible from every metro station in Melbourne. They are also very famous for their individual and exquisite engagement ring. The diamonds crafted by them are of very high quality and quite rare as well. You can also purchase the ring from their online store as well. Even more, you can fix a meeting with them before making the decision as they will help you to make the best decision of your life.

6. Tiffany & Co

Tiffany and Co are one of the finest when it comes to Global jewelry market. They are also very well known for their global disability function. They proudly represent responsible mining and other environment kinds of stuff. Their engagement rings are also of very high quality. The designs are pretty much unique and adorable. It can be the perfect ring for your loved one.

7. Egetal

If you’re looking for exquisite personal experience, then Egetal is the place just for you. They quote a wonderful line even on their website which says, “Jewellery can define our identity in a fragmented world, it can anchor us with reassuring traditions.”

They follow these lines and hence they provide some of the best engagement rings available in Melbourne. If you’re in a dire need of fancy engagement rings then, believe me, egetal is the place where you will get suffice.

8. Janai

Janai is located in Collins Street, Melbourne. It was established in 1981. Since then it has been serving people some of the finest and unique engagement rings that cater everybody’s need. They are actually famous for their custom unique designs. They also have the secure delivery system all over the Australia. So, even if you’re not from Melbourne, even then you can opt for this shop and they can provide you assistance with your engagement ring.

9. Keshett

Keshett is a Melbourne based diamond company. They have special expertise in all sort of rings, earrings, wedding bands, pendants, Men’s jewelry, timepieces, and brooches. It is also located in Little Collins Street, Melbourne.

Their rings are authentic and unique. Some of their famous art are Victorian, Art Deco, Retro and Edwardian. As you can see there are so many choices. So, get along if it suits your need.

10. Kalfin Jewellery

Kalfin Jewellery is also located in the hearts of Collins Street with over 35 years of experience. After being in the supply chain for 28 years, Kalfin is open direct for public and they had been quite popular in 7 years of short time span.

They are highly recommended by many small scale jewelers. They also deliver the rings safely throughout the Australia. For your loved one you might want to try this shop. It is worth it.

Wrapping up.

So, these are the shops which will give you the perfect ring for your perfect one. So, go grab one. Just in case I am reminding you the shops, take a note,

  • Australian Diamond Company.
  • WindFall Jewellery.
  • Klepner’s.
  • Helen Badge Jewellery.
  • SH Jewellery.
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Egetal
  • Janai
  • Keshett
  • Kalfin Jewellery

I hope this list will help you to find the perfect ring for your companion. All the best for your future mate.

Wedding Vendor Communication Problem

This question came in from a potential client.. check it out.

I’m not personally having this problem, since I’m not at this stage of planning right now, but what do you do if a vendor doesn’t get back to you? You get in contact with them, set things up and everything is going well, but then when you need to be updated, they won’t answer you? Has anyone had this problem before? If so, what did you do about it? I like to ask in advance in case something like this happens.

You got engaged. Yay! Then you start with wedding planning. Vendors picked and contracts signed. Everything is running smoothly on the first few weeks but all of sudden, updates just stopped coming.

Wait! What? Oh no no no, don’t panic! Breathe. Count 1 to 10. Get yourself composed. Read below.

  1. Review your contract. Go over the prefered mode of communication. If via email, send an email. If via phone call, give them a call. If still no reply, proceed to #2.
  2. Keep planning and moving on while waiting for a reply. Give them at least 3 days to get back at you. However, while doing so, make sure you are still working on the other details. If after the waiting period, there still is no reply, don’t lose hope, you can do #3.
  3. Give them an ultimatum to reply within the next day. You should emphasize the urgency of the reply from them. When this time lapses and nothing came through, it’s about time to do #4.
  4. Visit their office or shop. Sit down with them.Be nice to ask what improvements they can do in regards updating you. Make sure you’ve agreed at everything.

Everything can be resolved with an honest to goodness conversation. However, if none of the above worked, then it is a sign for you to find new vendors. 

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Why Jewelry is the Ultimate Gift for Your Bridesmaids

Trisha Okubo, Designer at Maison Miru

Your wedding day may be your big day, but let’s be real: it takes a village to make your dreams a reality. And more likely than not, your bridesmaids did more than their fair share to make it happen. Your bridesmaids planned your bridal shower (hello, all of the finger sandwiches and little cakes you can eat). They tried on armloads of potentially unflattering dresses under equally unflattering fluorescent dressing room lighting – all without a whiff of complaint. And they signed up to stand by you and attend to your every need on your big day (including, perhaps, holding your dress as you went to the bathroom). How do you thank your best girls for everything they do for you? Give them the gift of jewelry: something that they’ll be able to treasure long after you say “I Do.”

When I was searching for the perfect gift for my bridesmaids, I considered just about everything that I thought they’d love. A luxury spa day? Relaxing and certainly a treat, but it’d have been a repeat of one of our pre-wedding activities, and it’s only ephemerally enjoyable. Dinner at a fancy restaurant? Likewise, it’s fun in the moment, but it’d only last a single evening. A box of chocolate truffles? Delicious, but ultimately not long lasting. A luxurious robe? This fit the bill as a treat that they probably wouldn’t splurge on for themselves, but it’s so hard to get sizing right, and any wearable gift is wrought with potential figure flattery issues. Nobody wants to be the girl who accidentally bought her friend a robe a size too big. Tickets to an event? It’d need to be customized by bridesmaid to match her interests, and it’d be difficult to keep the gift equitable price-wise between bridesmaids. Way too complicated.

But when I hit upon jewelry, I knew I had a winner. Jewelry is the perfect accessory, as it works for everybody without worries about offending people with the wrong size! Jewelry never met a body type it didn’t like, and it doesn’t discriminate. Plus, it’s timeless. Clothing fades and goes in and out of style, but a beautiful piece of jewelry can be treasured for years to come.

Most importantly, jewelry carries the weight of meaning. Jewelry can say things for you that you may find hard to say. Hearts say “I love you,” an eye symbolizes protection, and a moon symbol recalls intuition and clarity. The gift of jewelry is a tangible symbol of your friendship, a piece of love that you can hold in your hand. When you wear it, you’re reminded of all of the things you’ve been through together: staying up until dawn talking about life, that road trip you took right after college with more than a few mishaps (and manhaps!), and how you were lucky enough to share your big day with your best girls in the world.

I got married before I became a jeweler myself, and I ended up commissioning a designer friend to make bespoke friendship necklaces for each of my best girls, as I couldn’t find anything out there that was just right. After I became a jeweler, I set out to design a series of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings imbued with meaning, so that you could choose the right symbol and message for each of your friends. At Maison Miru, I wanted to create a luxurious, adult version of the friendship jewelry that we all exchanged on the playground with our friends – those lanyard style bracelets that we tied on each other, promising each other that we’d always be there for each other. I wanted to create jewelry that could truly be Love Made Visible.

When shopping for your bridesmaids, your budget will help dictate the kind of jewelry you can afford to buy. When looking at jewelry, you’ll want to be aware of metal composition. Be aware of metal allergies – many ladies have allergies to nickel, so you’ll want to look for jewelry that doesn’t contain any nickel. Solid gold (or sterling silver) is the most long lasting, but also by far the most expensive. For brides on a tighter budget, look for gold plated pieces with a thick plating that will extend the life of the jewelry. My goal at Maison Miru was to keep the pieces affordable (weddings can be SO expensive!) – so our series of bridal jewelry features a thick plating of 14k gold over solid brass, all nickel-free. But if you can afford to spend a little more, gold filled pieces (which are similarly gold over a base metal, but must be at least 5% gold) can be a good compromise as well.

If you choose a piece of jewelry that has shared meaning for you and your friend, something that makes you both smile, it’s hard to go wrong. And if you’re very very lucky (as you were, when you found your husband-to-be), you’ll pick a piece that she’ll treasure forever.

10 Tips on How to Find Affordable Wedding Vendors

Not all of us can afford the luxury of spending a ridiculous amount of money on our wedding or even if you can sometimes it just does not make sense to. You can turn your destination wedding from an extravagant cost to a money saving deal.

The goal is to plan your wedding so that everything goes smoothly and you can relax and enjoy the day. This will largely depend on the wedding vendors that you choose. So, let’s go through some tips on how to choose the perfect wedding vendors with affordable prices.

1. A wedding planner

When you start to search for the perfect wedding vendors first question that comes to mind is whether or not you should hire a wedding planner. If you are someone who loves organizing events even if they are just parties at home, you won`t freak out if something goes wrong (e.g. the flowers don`t match tablecloths) and you are not short on time why not take the responsibility on yourself. Otherwise, hire a planner and that will save you a lot of stress. Also, your wedding planner in The Dominican Republic can help you find other great vendors like photographers and florists etc. because they know everybody and can offer special deals and packages to meet your budget needs.

2. A Photographer

You might be able to save on a wedding planner, flowers and invites, but saving on a photographer is not recommended. Everybody will forget about the flowers, flaws in organization and someone’s drunk antics, but the photos will capture your precious memories for generations to come. Hire a local photographer in the Dominican Republic to save on travel expenses and be confident that they know magical hidden places for spectacular photo shoots. An experienced photographer will know many wedding vendors and you won`t puzzle over the question of where to find them?

3. Hair and make up

If you know your way around a make-up brush you can probably save on a make-up artist. Apply natural make up, add some highlights and the sun will make you shine. Similar to the make-up a natural approach can be taken with your hair. Use the Dominican Republic`s laid-back atmosphere to your favor, curl your hair into nice waves and fix them in place with a spray. These tips are all that you need to look gorgeous at the seaside.

4. Venue

One option is to find an all-inclusive hotel that offers reasonably priced wedding packages. Fortunately, this is a common practice in The Dominican Republic. The other option is to be creative and get married in an unexpected place – like a deserted beach or natural park etc. In order to save on catering, find a local family restaurant and ask them to prepare a cocktail party for you.

5. Invites

Go green and use digital invites – it will save you money and trees. The same tactic can be applied to the maps and thank you notes.

Bonus: You will give your guests the chance to write back to you. Also, you can make the invites more personal and original by attaching a nice video of yourselves.

6. Flowers

If you were at home you could ask your relatives and friends to help you decorate the venue with flowers, however it may not be so easy at a destination wedding. You can always find ways to save money – choose bigger tables which means fewer center pieces. Remember that less is more. With the lavish nature of the island you don’t need a lot of decoration.

7. Promote your vendors

Every business needs more clients. Negotiate reduced rates with the vendors in exchange for promoting them. You can leave their card at every table or send their contact by email to every guest.

8. The wedding Cake

Who needs a huge cake at a beach wedding when you can offer fresh fruit to your guests? Choose local fruits in season and you will not only make your guests happy, but will save a great deal.

There are many small sweets shops on the island where you can purchase local sweets and give them to your guests as presents. This is a nice traditional Dominican wedding touch that will cost you close to nothing.

9. Music

If one of your guests (friends, colleagues) sings or plays an instrument don’t be shy about asking them to help out. They may even feel flattered. Otherwise, there is a delightful Dominican ¨Cantada ceremony¨. Instead of background music or a band guests sing throughout the wedding. It is an easy way to make your wedding more intimate and fun.

10. Follow up on your leads

Do your homework, select the vendors that you want to hire and start following them on social media and sign up for their newsletters. In short, don’t let them fall off your radar. Whenever they offer deals and discounts you will be ready to take advantage of them.

Planning a wonderful wedding on budget is all about compromise. Define your priorities and be ready to let go of less important elements. A wonderful wedding also involves a lot of research – if you put in a bit more effort it will pay off.

DIY: Wedding Decorations

Guest Post: Keti P. 

Sure, everyone is excited when it comes to their wedding day. It’s that special day in your life when you’re celebrating the love between you and the person you’re about to marry. Of course, you want everything to be perfect so it will be a wonderful memory to recall for many years to come. A marriage ceremony means gathering your good friends, family and loved ones and sharing wonderful moments with them accompanied with snazzy tunes, tasty treats and an enchanting atmosphere.

Planning a wedding, however, also involves endless details, deadlines, stressful situations and not to mention the expenses. But is it possible to plan a wedding party that will create memories for a lifetime without robbing a bank? 🙂 No need to worry, the answer is yes. There are plenty creative ways to save money and organize the perfect wedding on a budget. And here are a few tips on how to succeed in that endeavour.

Firstly, instead of renting a building or hall for the ceremony, you might consider organizing the wedding party in your house, or the house of a parent. It will surely save you a lot of money. You just need to decorate the place and voila, you’ve resolved number one on your wedding planning list.

As for decorations and all the small details which seem to be cheap, but actually cost a small fortune, here is Labeley, a free online label creator, that will help you save a lot of time and money.

Use Labeley to Create:

House Decorations

An important part of every party is decorating the house or any other place where the wedding will take place. Labeley can come in handy for creating various types of labels that can be used for creating wedding banners. Just create a few designs, attach labels to a string and hang the banner above the doorway or loop it around a bannister.
Instead of spending a lot of money on flowers, you can just pick a few flowers from a garden and and place them around the house. You can also create some labels with love notes and decorate the flowers with them.


With a home printer and Labeley, you can create stylish invitations without any expenses. The tool offers so many different forms, backgrounds, colors, fonts, graphics etc. Just play a little and create the best design for your wedding invitation.

Food and Beverage Decorations

Food and drinks are also important for a good celebration. You can, of course, decide to order catering from a restaurant, but you can also ask for help from your family. They can prepare the food and you can decorate it. Again, Labeley is here to help. Create some fun notes and use them to decorate the dishes. As for the drinks, imagine how thrilled the guests will be when they see drinks labeled with beautiful wedding-themed labels.

Escort/ Place/ Table cards

Once you figured out who is seating where, you’ll need cards to help your guests find their spots. Labeley can help you create a set of escort, place and table cards with the same style. Place fun escort cards at the entrance of the reception room, colorful table cards that identify the tables and place cards at specific seats so guests know where to seat.

“Advertising cards” in exchange for reduced rates

A wedding is not a wedding without music or photographers, which can be very expensive, of course. What if you try to make a deal with them for a discount and offer to advertise them in exchange? Labeley can help you create small cards with all the service information and put it at every person’s sitting place. Businesses will gladly take this opportunity and you’ll save a few more dollars.

Decorating gifts

Although giving gifts to bridesmaids and groomsmen is considered a custom, writing them special “Thank you” notes can be even more sentimental. Think of what the notes might look like and create them with Labeley. The guests will appreciate your effort to create something unique for them.

Hopefully, these tips will help you plan your wedding with pleasure and without stressful situations. The tool offers many elements for custom label designs, such as wide range of shapes, variety of free borders, ribbons, graphics and fonts and an option to fully personalize the label by uploading any photo from your computer. Just visit and start designing the wedding from your dreams.

Menguin Tuxedo + Your Dream Wedding= PERFECT FIT

Menguin is the perfect place for grooms and brides to choose a tuxedo style that works for them (they can match any wedding palette!). With tuxes starting at just $89, and at the highest quality, they offer an incredible deal. Menguin ship their tuxkits 10-12 days in advance of the event, to each groomsman’s door.

They have thousands of colors for you to choose from in their inventory. They know that finding the perfect hue is a necessity when it comes to weddings. That’s why you can order up to 5 free swatches. Even more, Menguin offer a Tux Trial program, allowing you to try out the entire Menguin process, from start to finish, well before the event.

Their most popular styles are Zurich, Roma, Brooklyn and Madrid (in order below):


The Zurich is a Super 130’s Venetian wool suit with notch lapels by Michael Kors.
The midnight navy suit has two buttons, a side-vented back and slim-fit styling for the ultimate in sophisticated casual.


This cool slate gray tuxedo is a one button, single breasted style with a non-vented back and peak lapels
It is tailored in a soft, super fine wool blend with contrasting black satin peak lapels


This wool medium gray suit is a two button suit, single breasted, with a stylish side-vented back
The Brooklyn features a slimmer notch lapel, double-besom pockets and bone buttons



The Madrid is a black, two button, single breasted style tuxedo with a non vented back
This tux features a slim satin notch lapel and satin covered buttons

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