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Why Diamonds?

new zealand diamond rings the diamond shop

I have always been one to ask “Why?”
It used to be my Dad and my Uncle who were the recipients of my endless questions, and now I’m directing my inquisition towards the wedding industry, and the way we plan our special days. Namely, when it comes to wedding planning, why we do what we do?
In every step of wedding planning, there’s an element of tradition and custom, and part of that is perpetuated by the wedding industry to keep us spending plenty of money on our weddings. Before we can each choose what is (and what is not) important to us, it helps to understand the why behind each decision. First up, the ring that begins ‘this whole thing‘ that is – the diamond in your new bling. I asked Nicola Baker, Store Manager of The Diamond Shop, to help me out with the ‘Why’. Why do we buy diamonds?
Where do diamonds come from?
Born of molten rock and immense pressure, diamonds formed over three billion years ago, deep within the earth’s mantle. They are truly a product of the earth and a gift of nature. Natural diamonds are extremely old and take around a billion years to form in the Earth’s molten interior. Stones used in engagement rings can be anywhere from 900 million years old to an astounding 3.2 billion years old.
When did we start wearing diamonds?
Humans have admired diamonds for more than 4,000 years, prizing them for their intense light, perfect shape and beauty. These distinctive properties prompted many to believe they had mystical, supernatural powers. Once we discovered how to use precision cutting and polishing, and it wasn’t long before they were being turned into beautiful jewellery.
Why do they say ‘Diamonds are Forever’?
The diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas,” meaning invincible or indestructible. The lasting nature of diamonds is a result of their incredible hardness, low reactivity to chemicals, resistance to radioactivity and high melting point. Nothing can scratch a diamond — except another diamond.

Diamonds are Forever

The phrase became popular due to Sean Connery’s as James Bond but was coined by De Beers in 1947 to kickstart diamond sales after a lull caused by the Great Depression and World War II.
Diamonds are also unique. Like snowflakes and fingerprints, no two diamonds are alike. Each rough stone from which a diamond is polished has unique characteristics — its own fingerprint — so no two diamonds are identical.
When did diamonds become the gem ‘du jour’ for engagement rings?
Diamonds have long been associated with love – the Romans believed that the tips of Cupid’s arrows were made from the precious stones.
The first diamond engagement ring in recorded history was presented by the Emperor Maximilian I of Austria to his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy, in 1477. The ring was set with diamonds in the shape of the letter ‘M’.
Diamonds have the best sparkle, are the most durable stone in the world, and their lack of ‘colour’ means they are the most versatile for wearing, which makes them a very popular choice. Of course, you can also opt for alternative engagement rings that feature various coloured gemstones, we recommend sapphires and rubies as the best option as they are also very hard and durable. Other stones such as opals and pearls are too soft to be durable enough for wearing every day.
While some suggest that buying diamonds is merely a product of marketing, their history as the most pure and romantic stone goes back much further than modern marketing. Diamonds are finite and getting rarer — the last significant discovery was made nearly 20 years ago, which makes them pretty special in a world where everything else is commercially mass-produced.
Why are diamonds expensive?
This is largely owing to their rarity, and relative scarcity in the world. However, the process of mining, cutting and polishing, and certifying diamonds, also adds to their expense. We only sell diamonds that have been certified by G.I.A. the Gemological Institute of America, set up in 1931 as a nonprofit that protects the gem and jewelry buying public, it’s completely independent from the jewellery industry.
While diamonds are expensive, at The Diamond Shop, we are really proud to guarantee the best price and quality of any diamond in New Zealand. That means that if you are quoted for a particular diamond, we will always find you a better quality diamond for the same price, or a similar quality diamond for a better price.

Drop your loved one a hint at which engagement ring trends you love!

Make one of these photos your screensaver, pin them to your Pinterest, or just send your loved one this article and let them know where he should steady his gaze!
If you think an engagement ring might be on the cards soon, why not subscribe now and be in the know when the time comes!
Main illustration Courtesy of Rox Diamonds & Thrills

Chic Autumn Markovina Vineyard Wedding | Kumeu

Today’s gorgeous couple planned their chic Auckland vineyard wedding from the U.K, and while this proved challenging, the brides advice is spot on!…

“If it all seems too much take a moment and remind yourself that ultimately it is about you and the love of your life celebrating your commitment to each other with all your family and friends and nothing could be more beautiful or special than that.”

Beautifully captured by Justin Aitken, and featuring always incredible florals by P+L Superstar Rose Tinted Flowers, this love story is filled with sweet inspiration for a simple yet stunning Autumn wedding! Enjoy xox

Who Jess + James Penman
Where Markovina Vineyard Estate, Kumeu, Auckland
Number of Guests 97

Our love story began…

James and I originally met through mutual friends when I was in high school. James messaged me a few years later and asked me out. We drank wine together and then spent hours talking and laughing down by the beach. We have been adventuring, learning and growing together ever since.

I said yes…

James proposed in Paris beneath the Eiffel tower on Christmas Eve, 2015. We had spent a few days before in Germany exploring the beautiful Christmas markets. James hid the ring box in one of his spare shoes the whole time so I wouldn’t find it! While we were walking under the Eiffel tower he asked if we could sit down but I was too busy trying to get a good selfie and said no! I finally gave in and when we sat down he got down on one knee and proposed. I of course said yes and after a few tears we went for a beautiful cruise down the River Seine and drank Champagne in the city of love.

Our wedding style inspiration was…

We wanted our wedding to be really aesthetically simple with an organic vibe. Being an autumn wedding I knew there would be so many beautiful colours from the trees and that crisp, clear feeling of a beautiful autumn’s day.  I would say that we didn’t really have a specific style but we did incorporate a few rustic and modern chic elements. Our venue had endless amounts of natural beauty with stunning greenery and beautiful white drapes in both the ceremony and reception areas so we matched our colour pallet to this using white, green, and gold for the florals, decorations, cake etc.

We saved by…

We wanted to incorporate as much input and help from our friends and family as possible not only to save money but also to make it a really special and unique day. One of my maid of honour’s (I had 2) designed our invites and all the stationary for the wedding. My mum and I created all the wedding favours and she made James a pocket square to match his bowtie by buying the same tie again, deconstructing it and remaking it into a square.

My step mum created the welcome board, an old friend created the stunning greenery wreath that hung behind us during our ceremony and my bridesmaids and I made petal confetti by plucking and bagging 100’s of rose heads the night before. One of my bridesmaids Bex did the girls makeup and we drove to the wedding in her Dad’s gorgeous blush pink Chevrolet. We also had an old friend of James’ as our celebrant and our videographer was a family friend.

We splurged on…

Our biggest cost apart from our Venue would have been our Photographer Justin but he was absolutely amazing and worth every cent. My dress was also slightly more than I had budgeted for. I actually had my heart set on a different dress by Grace Loves Lace but while I was at their concierge event in London my bridesmaid who I was with asked if I would try on the dress that the girl next to me had on and once I did we both knew it was the one.

Our advice to engaged couples…

Enjoy every moment of being engaged as it fly’s by so quickly and is such a special and exciting time in your lives. Also try not to stress! This is a hard one and something I struggled to do while organising our Wedding from England but it is so important and allows you to enjoy the whole process. Everything always comes together on the day and all those little details you spent months stressing about are all forgotten. If it all seems too much take a moment and remind yourself that ultimately it is about you and the love of your life celebrating your commitment to each other with all your family and friends and nothing could be more beautiful or special than that.

CREDITS

Photographer Justin Aitken 
Videographer Courtney Rodgers
Flowers Rose Tinted Flowers
Bridal party getting ready venue Lichfields Cottage
Wedding
 venue + catering Markovina Vineyard Estate
Stationery Maid of honour
Welcome sign Step Mum
Hair Boutique Bride
Brides makeup Kate Solley Makeup Artist
Cake Amy’s Secret Kitchen
Celebrant Shane Coote
Brides dress Grace Loves Lace
Bridesmaid dresses Esther Boutique
Bridesmaid robes Le Rose
Grooms suit Barkers 
Groomsmen Suit Source
Rings Bride by Robins & Moore (UK), Grooms is Great Grandfathers ring
Transport Bridesmaid’s Dad’s Chevrolet
Music Beat Works

What Wedding Guests Actually Care About

What wedding Guests Like
It’s a tricky balance to achieve, a wedding to suit the wants and whims (and financial sustainability) of the Bride and Groom, and one that their guests will talk about for years.
This isn’t the first time I’ve spoken about this, and while I haven’t changed my tune (sorry girls, wedding guests love an open bar), I’ve decided to expand and continue, think ‘New and Improved’.
First, WHY? Why do you want to know what guests like at a wedding? Isn’t this ‘MY BIG DAY’! 
Well, sort of. Yes, YOU are the centre of attention.  Yes, you can (mostly) tell everyone what to do, and they’ll probably do it.  However, these particular wedding guests are your favourite people, you’ve asked them to be there to celebrate there with you, so why not make it fun?  I don’t understand the logic by it being all about you, these people are not the extras in ‘Your Big Wedding’ – they’re your friends and guests, and it’s easy to get caught up in the details of the dress, the flowers and the favours, and not focus on the celebration of love that it is.  So make it a fun celebration (for everyone)! That’s what it is to me.  And this is my blog ;).
So what does little-old-me think…?  I think that (while constrained by your budget) you should make your guests’ comfort and enjoyment one of the main priorities.  Everyone has different priorities, and different levels of guest comfort v budget and preference, but these are my opinions.  I personally think that it’s tacky to spend a fortune on yourself and then skimp on your guests’ comfort.  If I had to choose between buying enough bubbles for my guests to enjoy for toasting, and having my hair and make-up done, I’d choose the Champers.
What does that mean? 
– Delicious and plentiful food over glitzy centrepieces:  Whether you can afford a backyard bash or to hire out an Island, don’t skimp on the food.  That’s after-ceremony canapés, a filling dinner, and something to eat between dances, if possible!  It doesn’t have to be fancy filet mignon.
Wine & Beer over monogrammed napkins:
It’s the ‘Open bar’ issue again.  No, it’s not a must.  However, if you can cut out the monogrammed napkins, expensive menus and useless favours, do so if it means you can treat your guests to some bubbles for toasting, and drinks with dinner.  To make my point…. here’s wedding pro
David Tutera ‘Open Bar vs Cash Bar’ and an article by The Knot which states “a cash bar is never a good choice.  When you have a wedding, you’re inviting people to a party, and they shouldn’t have to pay for anything while they’re there.  Yes, it’s true that when you have a bash in your apartment and invite all your pals, you say “BYOB” but it’s not quite the same at a formal event.” (P.S. – from me, it’s certainly not the same when you’re asking them to spend a lot of money on the alcohol!)
– Somewhere affordable to stay:  If it’s a destination wedding, don’t make the only option the Sofitel, weddings are an expensive exercise even for guests, and if they can’t afford to come, you might miss out on having your best friends there.  If it’s not too far from home.
It’s not all about money… 
– Good music: Carefully curated iTunes list; DJ or band, keep the mood upbeat with some great music that starts shortly after dinner and continues into the small hours!  Make it a night to remember with your favourite songs, and don’t cut out the feel-good anthems that everyone knows.
– Thoughtful seating:  Of course, all your guests are lovely, but why not seat like with like, and give some thought to who best your guests will enjoy being seated with.  That’s no ex-boyfriends, no single-ladies dumped on the kids’ (or oldies’) table, and no quarrelling relatives in close-quarters, please.
– Short speeches: Yes, you were cute growing up; No, your guests don’t want to hear your entire life story just because it’s your wedding.  Perhaps have the opportunity for others to speak at an evening meal the night before, rather than making the wedding an open-mic night (especially if people are waiting patiently for food).
– Minimal ceremony to reception time: While you’re getting your photos done, give a thought to what the guests are doing post wedding ceremony.  Provide food, drinks, seating and entertainment (games, music, etc) if you’re going to take 2 hours + before arriving.
Spend some time with your wedding guests: This is a simple, but also difficult one, but your guests will truly appreciate if you take the time to come to their table and say thank you for their attendance, plus you’re sure to enjoy compliments at the same time!
 Check out Bathroom Baskets for a great guest-friendly idea sure to be appreciated.
Head to the wedding planning page for an index of our content, and if you haven’t already seen our wedding organiser and diary, take a little look at the little white book.

Garden Wedding Fowey Lodge

Today’s garden wedding is an elegant, romantic fairy tale, and if getting married in the clouds was possible, I reckon it would look a little something like this! From the spectacular floral ceremony backdrop to the heavenly reception setup in the couples own backyard, I have no doubt you will all be taking notes on some steal worthy wedding ideas for your own big day! Thank you to the talented Nardia Buist Photography for sharing this unique wedding with us. Enjoy xox

Who Kirsti & Jacob
Where Fowey Lodge & Couples Home
Guests 110

Our love story began four years ago on a blind date at the Windsor in Parnell, we travelled through Europe together for two months and on our three year anniversary I said yes on the top Jungfrau mountain in Switzerland at the highest point in Europe.

Our wedding style inspiration was an elegant garden theme with lots of flowers and hints of rose gold and blush tones.

We splurged on having both a photographer and videographer as we wanted to capture all the little details, preserve the big moments and have somthing to have for years to come and somthing to show our children.

Our advice to engaged couples would be enjoy every moment of the planning phase, dont sweat the small stuff and take some time for yourselves on the big 

VENDORS

Photographer Nardia Buist Photography
Cinematographer Shaun Paul Creative
Planner, Stylist + Flowers Bride
Venue Fowey Lodge
Catering Fernz Catering
Hire Company Pretty Little Things & Raj Tent Club
Stationery + Signage WIX + save the dates were DIY’d
Hair + Makeup Hayley Maree’s Beauty
Cake Family Friend
Celebrant Suzanne Teague
Brides Dress Bridal Brilliance
Brides Shoes Shoes of Prey
Bridesmaid Dresses ASOS
Grooms Suit + Accessories 3 Wise Men
Rings Family Jeweler

Industrial Chic Hopetoun Alpha Auckland Wedding

Today’s inner city wedding captured by Wonder Ferris is a beautiful blend of industrial chic with a sweet touch of vintage! Including two very cool and creative Auckland wedding venues By George and Hopetoun Alpha, this wedding might just convince you to trade in your rustic barn wedding for a fun colourful party in the heart of the city! Enjoy xox

Who Charlotte + Mike Church
Where By George, an industrial space in Kingsland (ceremony) + Hopetoun Alpha, where I had dreamed having my wedding since I first went inside years ago (reception)
Number of Guests 160

Budget We set out with the ambition of spending not a cent over 20K. I would say we’d have to add at least 10K to that.

Our love story began… about 5 years ago. I don’t think either of us particularly saw it coming, but friends of friends and all that, we ended up together. Our friendship and love has grown over sport, travel, food and our faith.

I said yes… at one of our favourite spots at Piha. Mike had planned the whole thing with fish and chips on the beach (except the takeaway shop was shut and we ended up with pizza). He’d bought the bubbles along and everything.

Our wedding style was… a bit of everything. We like the industrial feel, hence the warehouse space, but we love greenery, and flowers were always going to be a big part of the day. Food trucks and a caravan bar were how we included our love of food and drink.

We saved on…

Booze was always going to be a big expense given our guest list and we didn’t want to scrimp. We queued up for hours at the Wine Society Warehouse sale, where we took a punt. Luckily it worked out.

The boy (and some friends) also helped out with some of the decorations including a beautiful copper archway and a ply backdrop behind the bridal table at the reception. Both amazing backdrops and I loved his handiwork.

The thought of sending out 160 invites and collating the replies was a bit daunting, Paperless Post was our friend.

We splurged on…

Flowers, although we got a decent hand up with those too given a close friend is also an awesome florist. She made us a beautiful decorated archway, gorgeous table decorations and the most stunning bouquets I could have asked for.

Our guest list wasn’t small as we both have large families and wanted to share our day with all our friends.

The Honeymoon. Mike and I spent 3 and a half months in Asia straight after the wedding. The best decision ever.

Our advice to engaged couples is… stress less and keep things simple. Wedding planning can be overwhelming so make sure you’re also planning a wicked honeymoon too!

CREDITS

Photographer
 Wonder Ferris “Actually awesome. Adam and Kirsty not only got us out of a pickle after our original photographer cancelled a month out, but we know that it was meant to be because they were truly awesome.”
Flowers Chloe Melles
Venues By George and Hopetoun Alpha
Bar Alfie the Caravan Bar
Afternoon Tea Euro Snacks Food Truck
Hire Company
 Insphire
Stationery + Signage Paperless Post and a bit of DIY designing
Hair
 + Makeup Ali’s Makeup Station

Brides Dress Kelly Lin Couture
Brides Accessories + Shoes
 Miss KG from ASOS
Ceremony Music The Worship Project
Bridesmaid Dresses
 Esther Boutique
Grooms Suit + Accessories Barkers
Rings Partridge Jewellers

4 Gorgeous Couture Gowns from Central Otago’s Novia Brides

Novia Brides is Central Otago’s couture wedding dress haven, and exclusive NZ stockists of internationally acclaimed designers, Yolan Cris (AH-MAZING!). Located in the peaceful and beautiful rural setting of Hawea Flat, just 15 minutes drive from spectacular Wanaka (and 90 minutes from Queenstown airport for out of town brides!), their couture gowns are drop dead gorgeous and well worth the visit. See more and make an appointment to view all gowns at www.noviabrides.co.nz