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The Engagement Ring Shopping Cycle

New research just released by The Knot states that the average person takes almost 3 ½ months, shops at four different retailers, and spends more than $7,000 to find their perfect engagement ring. But what really makes up this emotional, time consuming, exciting (and expensive) time in your life?

 It All Starts with Research

The survey states that while taking several months and shopping around at different locations – a groom looks at more than 20 different ring styles in all. He spends hours (and weeks) researching brands, technical diamond information and designs online, and in the end, almost 20% will actually bring along their bride-to-be at some point during the shopping process in order to find out what she likes.

Sound daunting? Luckily for bride and grooms-to-be, most retailers and brands have great online websites and mobile capabilities that make it easy for you to research on the go (and in secret)!

Choosing Where to Buy It

While most research is conducted online, and many websites are equipped to handle e-commerce sales, a majority (more than 40%) of grooms are still buying the ring in actual brick and mortar stores. Why?

According to the study, 69% said they wanted to see the ring in person, 35% were concerned about customer service, and 33% wanted the special attention.

 But don’t let this discourage you from buying online if it is easier and more comfortable for you. Most brands today stand behind any online purchase 100%, and many can even provide personal shopping experiences (like our Perfection stylists). Plus, there are free shipping and return options if you end up getting something you would like to change out.

 But How Much to Spend?

Most brides end up with a ring between $5,000-$12,000, but there are always higher and lower options. In the end, you should spend what makes you comfortable and helps you to get the ring of your dream.

Choosing the Ring Style

If you refer back to my first point here, paying attention to hints from your bride-to-be or asking her what she wants can be the best way to ensure you make a good choice. Or, you can always ask her family or friends. But don’t fret if she wants something unique! Almost half of people who buy rings make custom changes to a ring they choose.

Need more advice on engagement ring shopping? Check out the whole study from The Knot here!

**note, all statistic in this post are from The Knot and JCK.

 HOF Girl

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Our Favorite Fall Wedding Ideas

Fall 2014 Wedding Inspiration

I absolutely love Fall weddings. I love everything about them – the weather, the colors, the themes. There are just so many options with planning a wedding during this beautiful time of the year.

 

But for some, the ideas can almost get overwhelming! You want to make your wedding perfect, you want to make it special – but how do you make it stand out from the crowd?

My sister is planning a Fall wedding this year, so I have been fully engrained in ideas for this time of year. So, here a few of my favorites:

Pumpkin centerpieces

 

Rustic, outdoor themes

 

Getting creative with the cake

 

Leaves … everywhere.

 

Sparklers!

 

Mini Pies for Dessert

Are you planning a Fall wedding? Get even more ideas on our Fall Wedding Inspiration Pinterest board!

HOF Girl

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Sneak Peek! New Cord Bracelets

I am so excited to announce a completely new design for Hearts On Fire that is coming this Fall. It’s a type of jewelry we have never introduced before. It’s a trend that is only growing in popularity with women all around the world.  They are corded diamond bracelets.

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Simple and fashionable, these bracelets are perfect to wear alone, layered with each other, or layered among your other favorites. I have been testing these bracelets for a few days now and can honestly admit they are just easy to wear with everything. I have worn them to work, for a nice evening, to a yoga class and on a long run…and I love them for every activity.

With six different charms, these new cord bracelets especially make wonderful gifts because each charm has a special meaning; and with three different cord colors- black, brown, and red- each bracelet can be customized to fit the personality of the individual. A bonus? These cord bracelets are so light and comfortable you can almost forget you even have it on!

The Lorelei Cord Bracelet - symbolizes infinity and eternity, with no beginning or end, representing everlasting love.

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The Illa Comet Cord Bracelet - symbolizes ambition and aspirations, inspiring you to dream big and reach for the stars.

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The Lorelei Interlocking Hearts Cord Bracelet - symbolizes love and friendship. Two hearts intertwined, representing the trust and love involved with sharing your heart.  

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The Lorelei Bow Cord Bracelet - symbolizes elegance, femininity, and charm, inspiring beauty and empowering the female spirit.

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The Illa Circle Cord Bracelet - symbolizes peace, inspiring unity, integrity and a harmonious lifestyle.

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One of the cord bracelets, The Inspiration Cord Bracelet, already exists in our current collection. This look symbolizes strength and confidence. Whether you wear it yourself or give it as a gift, this cord bracelet inspires and empowers tenacity in all aspects of your life. You can see this design here.

Excited to see more about these bracelets? Sign up for HOF emails and make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get even more sneak peeks and be the first to know when they are available!

 HOF Girl

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Trend Alert: Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

It’s no secret that for ages women have dreaded bridesmaid dresses. The process of picking the right dress is stressful for both the bride and the wedding party. The bride has the near-impossible task in trying to pick a dress that makes everyone happy (including herself) … and the bridal party faces the burden of having to pay for a dress that they will probably never wear again (and might hate).

However, for future (lucky) bridesmaids everywhere, there is a new trend that is taking the bridal world by storm and I have to admit I really love it! Gone are the days of matching frilly, chiffon dresses … as brides everywhere are instead opting for mismatched bridesmaid dresses.

While it sounds like something many people would not like (myself included), it actually has so many perks. Not only does this trend let bridesmaids choose a dress that fits their body type, but it can give your bridal party a fun and fashion forward look.  

However, if you do opt for mismatched dresses it is important to set guidelines, as you don’t want one bridesmaid wearing a long black dress and one wearing a short floral print. So here are some easy, fool proof ways to successfully mismatch bridesmaid dresses.

Same color, mismatched style - if you are not quite sure if mismatched dresses are for you, but you want to give your bridesmaids a little choice in their dress, this is a great option!

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Same style, different colors - this is a fun way to mix things up, let girls choose the shade that looks best on them, and is a great way to work in your wedding colors. If you choose to do this, pick colors in the same family, for example pastels or different shades of the same color.

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Pure mix up! - if you are someone who doesn’t enjoy uniformity, then this is the trend for you! Truly leaving the dress choice up to your bridesmaids, but similar to mixing colors, we suggest trying to keep a common trend amongst the dresses, such as having everyone wear lace, or the same color family.

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The only rule to this fun new trend is to keep the length of the dresses the same. When the hems are the same length it creates a cohesive look in pictures and will make all the difference … I promise you’ll thank us for this advice!  

 HOF Girl

Engagement Ring Help: Top Picks from our Perfection Stylists

Sometimes, you just know what you want. But sometimes, it’s hard to make a decision. These feelings can relate to anything in life, but when it comes to something as emotional and important as your diamond engagement ring, the feelings are even stronger. And the decision can be that much harder.

That’s why we have a team of experienced, online personal shopping assistants, our Perfection Stylists, who are available to help any customer at any time (on the phone, through online chat, or over email). I love chatting with our Perfection Stylist team every day (I’m lucky enough to sit near them in the office) – getting the inside scoop on trends they are seeing, questions they are hearing, asking generic diamond questions, and so much more. They really are some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry.

I know engagement season is rapidly approaching, so I recently asked our Perfection Stylist team to highlight some of their favorite engagement ring styles right now. Here are a few examples:

A unique halo – our PS team says, “The halo style ring is still popular, but many people want something that looks just a bit different than what is already out there. The Optima Halo Engagement Ring is a great choice!”

A new solitaire – our PS team says, “Solitaires will always be the most popular style engagement ring. But for a look that stands out a little, try a Dream® (square) cut diamond or even an offset look like this new style.”

A bold, fashionable (yet timeless) design – our PS team says, “Sometimes, she just wants big sparkle. A halo with a diamond, encrusted band gives off a bold look, and the illusion of a cushion cut center diamond in the Euphoria is both trendy and timeless.”

A true original – our PS team says, “One of our new favorites is the Aerial Cluster engagement ring – it is classic like a solitaire, but has a cluster look for big sparkle. And its feminine, snowflake inspired shape is incredibly romantic, especially for Fall/Winter proposals.”

There are even more recommendations from our Perfection Stylists - you can see them all here.

Do you have a favorite engagement ring you just found?

HOF Girl

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Hello Newlyweds: What Comes After the Wedding?

June is the most popular month of the year to get married, and all of the weddings that were happening around me have made me truly nostalgic recently. I loved every minute of wedding planning and getting married, and I was (am) jealous of all of the people who were enjoying that wedding bliss feeling for themselves now.

But then I also remembered the feeling that comes next – the “so, what now?” feeling. Getting engaged is a truly amazing experience…and then wedding planning consumes your life…and then you have this amazing celebration. And then, it’s just all over, in what seems like the blink of an eye.

That’s why so many women have almost a post-wedding depression. Of course, you have so many amazing moments to come later in life, but for some people these might be farther in the distance and they need something to look forward to, or enjoy, right now. So what should you do to keep your amazing wedding memories fresh, and your romance alive as newlyweds?

Remember and Re-Live Your Wedding

And I don’t mean just for the first month or so, or when it’s an official anniversary. Take time to look through your wedding album or other items you have saved. Dance to your first dance song. Re-create your wedding meal or your wedding cake (much smaller obviously!) for a special occasion. Maybe even visit the site of your wedding. These experiences will bring back amazing feelings when they aren’t expected.

Make Your Anniversaries Truly Special

For the first few months after you get married, ease your “post-wedding pain” by celebrating often. It can be something small like a picture, card or flowers, or as big as a getaway or special night out. And as the years tick by, don’t forget about this special occasion. Your anniversary is a true celebration every year and you should make it feel that way.

Enjoy Others’ Weddings

My husband and I were some of the first of our friends to get married, and when we started attending other weddings I realized that instead of being jealous of their special day, that it was the perfect time for us to make it our own special night. Weddings in general are so romantic and enjoyable, and we always take the time to truly enjoy each other and have fun during these special nights.

Make Date Nights a MUST

This is my number one rule for newlyweds. Once you are out of the honeymoon phase, it is easy to fall into a routine, especially if you have children fairly quick. No matter what your situation is, make date nights with your partner a priority, and make them consistent.

What is one way you keep the romance and fun alive in your relationship?

HOF Girl

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Summer Wedding Inspiration

Summer is one of the most popular times of the year to get married – and with good reason. To start, there are endless choices for places to hold your wedding – indoor or outdoor, beachfront or mountaintop, waterfront in a big city, or anywhere in between.

I love summer weddings for so many reasons - mostly because of how much fun you can have while planning. No matter whether  you choose a beachy, nautical theme, an elegant, garden wedding, or even a rustic feel (not just for Fall!) here are some of my favorites ideas for ways to spice up  your wedding:

Food and Drink

Fruit infused water – a fun twist to keep your guests hydrated in style

 

Thinking of a signature drink? What about a signature alcohol-infused Popsicle for the cocktail hour?

We all love candy bars at weddings…but in the warm weather, think about trying an ice cream bar for dessert!

 

Centerpieces and Flowers

With it’s bold look and understated elegance, sunflowers are perfect as a bouquet, and can also give the table a rustic vibe with mason jars and burlap accents

 

Feeling tropical? Go with a brightly colored bouquet

 

For a classic, nautical feel – try centerpieces with seashells, coral or rope wrappings

 

Other Fun Ideas!

If you are having an outdoor ceremony, help guests beat the heat with programs that double as fans

No one like waiting for their escort card – make the experience enjoyable with a refreshing drink

 

If the reception is outside, give the space an elegant, whimsical touch with oversized balloons or strands of lights

 

For those who want even more great ideas – check out the Hearts On Fire Pinterest board for Summer Wedding Style…full of amazing inspiration

What is a summer wedding tip you would love to share?

HOF Girl

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Celebrate with Stars and Stripes

Maybe it’s the extra long, extremely cold winters we have in New England, but there’s nothing that makes me quite as happy as Summer. The long sunny days, vacations at the beach, and, my favorite part, new fashion trends all take center stage.

I think for most people in the U.S., the July 4th holiday really kicks off summer. So I couldn’t be more exited to celebrate this holiday next week!

And while at first I bet most people don’t think of July 4th as a fashion-focused holiday, it definitely is! Red, white and blue colors come to life…coupled with star and stripe motifs for a look that just screams “Summer is here.”

So what should your July 4th outfit look like? There are definitely a few options…

Heading to the beach or a casual BBQ with friends? Think tank tops with flags, cutoff shorts and red, white and/or blue bikinis.

Heading to a more upscale event? It’s the perfect time to break out your white pants with a blue or red striped top, or maybe a cute little July 4th inspired sundress.

And what about accessories? Luckily, the perfect solution is something you can wear all year long – star inspired jewelry. Both timeless and fashionable, the diamond earrings and necklaces in our star themed Illa Collection are the perfect, sparkling additions to your July 4th outfit.

What is your favorite Summer or July 4th outfit?

HOF Girl

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The Brilliance of Butterflies

Think about the last time you saw a butterfly. It’s hard not to be immediately amazed by these beautiful creatures. They are powerful, yet delicate…charming, yet mysterious.

And as a result, jewelry designers everywhere have long been captivated by these beautiful creatures, including our own Ilaria Lanzoni. Maybe that is why when it comes to fashion I am currently seeing butterflies everywhere!

In one of my recent blog posts, I mentioned that our new Aerial Collection (launching next week on heartsonfire.com!) includes a multitude of new shapes, unique designs and nature inspired motifs. And butterflies are one of the ones that I am most excited about.

Here are a few of my favorite styles that feature butterfly motifs…

Aerial Double Finger Ring

 

Aerial Diamond Pendant

 

Aerial Diamond Earrings

 

Aerial Line Bracelet

Do you love the look of butterflies?

 HOF Girl

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Show HIM Some Love: Perfect Father’s Day Gifts

As women, we tend to be the ones who get spoiled more in the relationship – and while I enjoy it just as much as the next woman, our men do need some love too.  That’s why Father’s Day has a special place in my heart…as the perfect chance to really pamper the special men in our lives.

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Father’s have a tough job, and it comes in many forms. So, no matter if you are celebrating your father, grandfather, husband, brother or other man this Father’s Day, remember that he deserves something truly special.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few thoughts to get you started…

For Sports Lovers

Does his favorite team have a game coming up? Or does he love to play golf and not always get as much time as he might want? Do some quick research and find him tickets to a game, or plan a whole day at the course for him and his friends – he will love the time to enjoy his favorite pastimes.

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For Adventure Seekers/Outdoorsmen

With warmer weather finally here, we have so many more options for gifts that take us out into nature.  Do you live in an area where you could plan a camping trip or a day of hiking? Or maybe he would love to enjoy a day of rock climbing, or head out on a boat.

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For the Romantic

If romance is your thing – and let’s be honest, with kids it can be hard to get enough of it – this is a great time for you to take the lead and plan a special day or night out. Maybe it’s a couples massage at the spa, or a dinner at your favorite restaurant…whatever you choose make sure to take the time to enjoy just being together.

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For a Special Celebration

Maybe this year marks a special occasion – a big anniversary, the birth of a new child, or something else. If so, maybe it’s the perfect time to gift him with a piece of jewelry (yes, jewelry works for men too!) that commemorates the occasion – watches, simple bracelets and even diamond bands for men make the perfect ideas.

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Whatever you do, don’t forget to get him a card, give him a hug and truly let him know how much he means to you.

How do you plan on celebrating the special men in your life this Father’s Day?

HOF Girl

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