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Getting Engaged? Thinking Of A Christmas Proposal? Top 10 Most Creative Christmas Engagement Ideas

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Tis the season – the most wonderful time of the year… Full of cheer, joy, love and mistletoes, Christmas is the perfect time to pop the question.

As shared on The Fun Times Guide.com, Christmas is not only one of the most popular times to get engaged, it’s also one of the best times of the year to become engaged.

Why? Well, it’s already a happy time of year (at least for most people). Plus, you don’t have to spend a fortune on decorations or setting a scene because hey, it’s Christmas. There are fun and beautiful holiday decorations as a backdrop practically everywhere you turn!

Here are some unique Christmas engagement ideas that should help you when planning your very own fun Christmas proposal…

 #1 Put the engagement ring in a Christmas ornament.

You could create your own Christmas ornament and put your engagement ring inside, or buy one that “opens” or has interior nooks & crannies. Wait until all the presents have been opened, and then mention there’s one more! You could give her the ornament and let her find the ring inside on her own. Or, you could encourage her find the ornament (with the ring inside) on the tree by giving her clues. Then again, you could always just hang the ring box by a ribbon on the tree as well.

ornament-engagement-ring

 #2 Make the engagement ring be the only ornament on the tree.

That’s right, don’t decorate your Christmas tree at all. Simply hang the engagement ring (or the box with the ring inside) on the tree and no other ornaments. Then after she’s done admiring your tree, take the engagement ring down and propose.

engagement-ring-on-christmas

#3 Give her a personalized t-shirt as a Christmas gift.

Have a t-shirt made that says, “Future Mrs.”  Then be on bended knee with the ring in hand immediately after she opens your gift with the shirt inside. You can search for pre-designed engagement t-shirts, or make your own.

 #4 Dress up like Santa Claus.

When you make your grand entrance as Santa Claus, have a bag with “toys” inside. Instead of giving her toys or a candy cane, reach inside and pull out her engagement ring. Santa on bended knee will make great photos!

#5 If you’re unable to be with her for Christmas…

If, for example, she will be traveling alone to visit family this Christmas, try this: put the engagement ring in a bigger box. Make sure you add some newspaper or something to keep it from rattling. Then send the gift with her to open in front of her family on Christmas day. Once she opens the box, she will see the engagement ring, along with a card asking her to marry you. You can either choose to let at least one member of the family in on the secret (so you’ll be sure to have good photos for a moment you were unable to be there for!) or keep everyone in the dark and propose quietly from afar.

 #6 Write your marriage proposal in Christmas lights.

First, you’ll have to break away long enough to spell out “Will You Marry Me” in Christmas lights on the lawn or on the roof. Then, once it’s dark and the time is right, have her plug the lights in. Waa-lah!

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#7 Plan a romantic evening out & about.

First, take her out to a nice dinner on Christmas Eve. Then, take a little drive somewhere in nature where there is a bit of snow. Finally, propose in a way that is special. The beautiful holiday atmosphere will be very appreciated.

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 #8 Stage a fun treasure hunt.

Start by placing “clues” all around the room, or all around the house. Each clue leads to another clue. Each clue could lead to a bunch small “gifts” that symbolize fun things you’ve done together, or plan to do together. The final gift will be the ring box that is hidden safely in your pocket! As she follows the clue and pulls it out of your pocket, drop to one knee and say, “Will you be my treasure forever? Will you marry me?”

#9 Wrap yourself up like a Christmas gift.

There are lots of fun ways you could do this. You could hide yourself inside a big box (with air holes) and then surprise the daylights out of her when she opens up the box! Or you could have fun with it and make it obvious that you’re a self-wrapped gift. Let her unwrap you, and when she gets most of the way through all the wrapping, surprise her with the ring.

 #10 Lead her to believe that Valentine’s Day will be your engagement day.

As long as your good at keeping secrets, this one is a no brainer. There will be no greater sense of satisfaction than the day you are able to officially surprise her like she’s never been surprised before! The hardest part will be convincing her (and her friends & family members) that you’re planning the engagement for Valentine’s Day, and then pulling it off yourself 2 months earlier for Christmas.

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As you can see, there are plenty of creative, fun ways to propose during the Christmas holiday. In fact, in some ways it may even be easier to propose over Christmas because there are so many unique opportunities. With a little imagination, a Christmas engagement could be really easy to pull off.

5 Things Done Differently in Healthy Relationships

Source: ElephantJournal.com
Source: ElephantJournal.com

Laura Brown, a relationship specialist, on ElephantJournal.com provides a raw, honest perspective on her beliefs on the 5 things that make up a healthy relationship. What is your experience? Do these 5 philosophies ring true for you and your loved one?

One of the things I am quite frank about is the fact that I have had my share of screw ups in the romantic department.

If there was a mistake to make, I made it. If there was something I was told I shouldn’t/couldn’t do, I did it. And I suffered a great many heartaches because of it.

I began to correlate drama and dysfunction with love and romance and nothing could be further from the truth.

Part of why I consider being a relationship specialist my calling and why I am so dang good at it is because I have been there, done that and burned the t-shirt. This includes the hard work on my relationship with love to get to where I am today.

Where am I today? Married to the man of my dreams after a long road of off and on, long distance dating with two kids and another currently taking residence (and causing me to waddle rather ungracefully around the house) in my womb.

Here is what I have discovered those in healthy relationships do differently:

1. The past cannot be erased.

Many people will tell us that we must release the past or leave the past behind us. While that is a novel idea, it’s complete and utter B.S. We will never forget or release the past, and why should we? It brought us here.

Everything we have encountered, whether good or bad, was a learning experience designed to aid our evolution. People in healthy relationships haven’t suddenly forgotten or “released” their wounds, they have transformed them. They have learned to honor their past and all it entailed as necessary steps to take in the ladder to their personal evolution.

They bring with them the appreciation for each moment and respect for where they have come from and what they have gone through into their current relationship. It adds a richness and depth that would otherwise be lacking if we truly had an ability to push a button and drop our pasts down the chute.

2. It’s not always 50/50.

Sometimes it’s 80/20 and that is okay. What is not okay is if it stays in this place of imbalance. We all go through things that leave us gutted or otherwise unable to be fully present in a relationship.

Instead of complaining and throwing a tantrum, those in a healthy relationship understand that sometimes we need to give a bit more while our partner puts focus on other things. It could be a job or personal issues that requires their attention. If talked about openly and honestly, then it’s okay to give a bit more while our partner’s attention is diverted elsewhere.

What is not okay is if this imbalance becomes a part of our everyday existence. One person cannot be the backbone to the entire relationship; the very definition of partnership implies the participation of another for a common goal.

3. Honesty counts.

And, honestly, this has been the hardest part for me. As a rather independent woman who made her own money and did her own thing for so many years, it became difficult to imagine that suddenly I was supposed to share where every penny went or had to tell my partner where I was going.

My rebellious nature would kick in and “it’s none of your damn business where I’m going” flew from my mouth more than a few times. This, however, does not a healthy relationship make.

While I was playing secret squirrel, my husband was telling me about where the money he made went, into what savings, toward what household project. If he was leaving he would say where he was headed and approximately what time he would be home. It wasn’t done with the feeling that he needed to, but the feeling that it was the respectful thing to do. I took note.

When we are in a healthy partnership, it’s time to open up about these things. Whether it’s where we are headed on a Saturday afternoon or just how many new pairs of shoes we bought as we try to stuff the evidence in the closet.

It took me a long time to realize that I needn’t view it from an adolescent-like perspective and fear that someone was encroaching on my space. We can still be independent and open—those in healthy relationships get that.

4. Silence is deadly.

Still ignoring your partner when you are upset with them? Don’t! Please for the love of all that is holy do not keep up with this dangerous trend; it destroys more relationships than I can even number!

Those who are in healthy, long-term relationships understand that the key to anything ultimately boils down to communication.

Unless you are Paris Hilton, my guess is that nothing at all in life is going to get solved by pouting in the corner with your arms folded around your chest. There will be times when we are upset with our partner. We will argue and disagree and sometimes we may even say hurtful crap to one another.

That’s the nature of the beast. It’s how we handle those tension filled moments that determines whether we continue on the road of a happy and healthy relationship or take a detour down break up avenue.

We have to be willing to talk about what is bothering us. Is it good to sometimes wait until we have cooled our jets? Sure, no one wants to have a finger in their face and most will check out if our voice is raised.

Talking calmly, however, about what is bothering us is essential for working through issues. Our partner cannot possibly know how we feel and what to do about it unless we create a space where we each can safely share our feelings.

So stop the silent sulking and talk!

5. Separate but together.

People who enjoy reasonable health and sanity in their relationships get that a relationship cannot be that which makes their lives full but rather an addition to their already full life. So many, and yes I am looking at my ladies here, find someone they are interested in and suddenly drop their friends like hotcakes and start to devote their every waking moment to their new paramour. Then when the relationship starts to die a slow death due to a lack of space, their entire world falls apart.

When we are in a functional and healthy relationship, there is an understanding that we each must have our own goals and passions. We should have time away for ourselves to explore our own interests. Nothing is sexier than a man or woman who is passionate and capable of holding their own.

Conversely, there is no greater turn off than the stench of clingy desperation. Make your life full and explore what you love—your relationship will be all the more rich for it.

Most importantly, those who are in healthy relationships understand that it all boils down to respect and love. Respect and love for the self, for their partner and for the relationship.

There is a desire to love their partner to such a degree that they feel the ultimate freedom that comes from security.

Healthy doesn’t mean problem-free by any stretch of the imagination; my husband and I clear the emotional pipes from time to time with a good ol’ spat. But, thankfully, we have learned a few healthy habits that allows us to do so in a fashion that doesn’t undermine the integrity of the relationship.

Written by: Laura Brown on ElephantJournal.com 

4 Scientifically Proven Ways to Improve Your Relationship

Happy Couples - Being in Love - 4 Ways to Improve Your Relationship
Photo Source: GoodThink.com

GoodThink.com shares 4 scientifically proven ways to improve your relationship with your partner. For those that need concrete data, rest assured, it is provided here! Michelle Gielan, founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research, outlines ways to use positive communication to improve your connection with your love!

#1: Write a gratitude letter to your partner letting them know the big and small things you’re thankful for about them. Give it to them or read it aloud (while they blush).

Why: Studies have shown that people who regularly practice gratitude are more satisfied with their relationships with friends and family. In a study by Martin Seligman at U Penn, people who wrote gratitude letters and read them aloud to the recipient reported immediate increases in happiness and decreases in depressive symptoms.

#2: Renew a Commitment: If you’re married or in a long-term relationship, verbally renew your commitment to being there for your partner. It can be as simple as telling them over dinner, “I just want to let you know I’m here for you.” Or, “these past 10 years have been really good, and I am looking forward to the next 10 with you.”

Why: Adults who see themselves as socially engaged and supported are in better mental and physical health than adults who are socially isolated. Commitment to a relationship also refers to your sense of belonging in your role as a partner or spouse, which increases positive self-identity.

#3: At dinner or before bed, ask your partner, “What was the best thing about your day?”If something great happened, practice “active-constructive feedback:” show enthusiasm, ask questions, or ask them to relive the event by telling you all the exciting details.

Why: Research shows that sharing something positive makes people feel even better about it—which is called “capitalizing.”  Shelley Taylor and her colleagues at UCLA have also found that how we respond to good news is even more important than how we respond to the bad stuff—practicing active-constructive feedback in response to your partner’s good news strengthens your relationship and gives everyone a happiness boost. 

#4: Have one conversation this week where you pay 100% attention to what your partner’s saying. (Read: Don’t check your phone, not even once!)

Why:  No surprise: Research on multitasking has shown that the human brain is insufficient when it comes to attending to simultaneous tasks. Studies have found that when we don’t give someone our full attention, we make more errors in communication and others tend to judge us more harshly. Giving someone your full attention lets the other person know that you care, and that they’re worth your time and attention. 

Try a few out, and let us know how it works for you and your partner… We would love to hear from you! 

Pink Diamond Sells for $17.7 million

Source: CNBC.com
Source: CNBC.com

It is no lie that diamonds are truly dazzling – especially when they weigh in at 8.41 carats and boast a stunning vivid purple-pink hue! Sotheby’s recently sold this stunning 8.14 carat purple pink diamond for $17.77 million at an auction in Hong Kong – no big deal right?!

As shared on CNBC.com, the price for this flawless, fancy vivid purple-pink diamond was far higher than the $15.5 million top estimate and works out to $2.11 million per carat—among the highest paid per-carat for a diamond, experts say.

The highest price ever paid for a gemstone was the $83 million paid for “Pink Star,” a 59.6 carat flawless pink diamond sold by Sotheby’s last year. On a per-carat basis, a 14.82 carat fancy vivid orange diamond was sold by Christie’s last year for $35.5 million, or $2.4 million per carat.

Where do your preferences land on the diamond colour spectrum?

Are you a fan of vivid distinct coloured diamonds? Or do you prefer the dance of all the colours of the rainbow of near colourless to colourless diamonds?

Visit our Diamond Education page to learn more about a diamond’s colour and the 4Cs of diamonds.

Kelly and Derek’s Happily Ever After

Vancouver Spence clients, Kelly & Derek share their love for the coast in their beachy-chic wedding at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club on a sunny, September afternoon. We take great pride in the small role we play in our client’s happily ever afters. We are honoured to share that Kelly’s engagement ring & wedding band are from Spence Diamonds.

When making an important decision such as where to buy your engagement ring, it can help to hear from others – and better yet, see pictures from happy Spence clients. To see more pictures of happy Spence couples’ happily ever afters, click here.

Photo Source: VanessVothBlog.com
Photo Source: VanessaVothBlog.com
Photo Source: VanessaVothBlog.com
Photo Source: VanessaVothBlog.com
Photo Source: VanessaVothBlog.com
Photo Source: VanessaVothBlog.com
Photo Source: VanessaVothBlog.com
Photo Source: VanessaVothBlog.com

 

Top 10 Creative Wedding Gift Ideas

Wedding Gifts
Photo Source: engagedandinspired.com

“Gift giving” – always easier said than done… As many can relate, purchasing a thoughtful, unique and meaningful gift for the newlyweds can be a daunting task. Even with the wonderful world of “gift registries” – finding that perfect gift can prove to be a challenging process.

With wedding season in full swing, below is a list of the top 10 wedding gift ideas that we feel are fun, unique and personal. As convenient as cash, a package of bed linens or set of cooking pots are, we hope these ideas inspire you to get creative with your next wedding gift!

  1. Stock the Liquor Cabinet: Pull in a group of friends and pool your cash to buy the new couple the base ingredients for a “well stocked” liquor cabinet. Head to Home Sense to purchase a nice basket to place all the liquor bottles in, stock up on the couples’ favs at your local liquor store and then wrap it all up with some clear plastic wrap & ribbon – and viola! You have a gift that will surely be appreciated by the new couple, and will hopefully be a “gift” to yourself down the road too!
  2. Dinners on Us: Snag a few gift cards from local restaurant spots that the couple frequently dines. Post wedding bank account balances for newlyweds tend to not be the healthiest… So a few dinners pre-paid for will be welcomed with open arms.
  3. Personalized Chopstick Set: Who doesn’t love sushi?! A personalized chopstick and sushi set reminding the couple of their “big day” just makes date night take-out sushi that much more delicious!
  4. Frame It: Aiming for a gift idea that won’t break the bank? Frame the couple’s wedding invitation or a really fabulous photo of the couple. Given the lovely world of Facebook, snagging a great photo of the couple to print and frame shouldn’t be too hard of a task.
  5. Bubbly: Typically saved for celebrating life’s sweetest moments, a good bottle of champagne is always appropriate.
  6. Brain Food: A gift that keeps giving – think a year-long subscription to the couples favourite magazine (i.e. National Geographic, Men’s & Women’s Health, Canadian Living) to keep their brains busy to avoid the post-wedding excitement blues.
  7. Engraved Champagne Flutes: Always a classy gift that the new couple will keep for years. Personalizing or engraving the flutes is definitely the way to go to make this gift a homerun!
  8. The Digital Age of the iBook: If the soon-to-be-couple are close friends or family members, and you share years of memories and photos, the brilliant Apple machine has made creating a photo iBook as easy as 1-2-3.
  9. Giving Back to the Community: If the couple has a shared passion for volunteering or supporting a charitable cause, like your local animal shelter, breast cancer research or your local children’s hospital, making a donation on behalf of the couple could be received as a very thoughtful gesture.
  10. Life as a Married Couple: A unique gift that is gaining popularity for all the right reasons are “newlywed couple experiences”. Surf lessons in Tofino, a winery tour in Niagara, kayaking lessons in Vancouver, a Columbia ice field tour in Jasper, or wall climbing in Edmonton – the options are endless! Majority of these companies that host these types of tours and events have gift card/gift certificate options. How fun would it be to bungee jump to celebrate your new life together as a married couple?! The newlyweds will be sure to remember this gift for many years to come!

Any other creative wedding gift ideas that you would like to share?

Wedding Gift Givin
Source: Bridezilla.com

What Guys Need to Know About Spence

 

Well, we’re definitely not your typical jewellery store. In fact, we’re pretty certain Spence Diamonds is like no other jewellery store you’ve ever been in.

Here are a few of the unique benefits you receive when you do your engagement ring shopping with us:

  1. You’re in control from the word ‘go’. Our 2500+ designer ring prototypes are in wide-open, self-serve showcases so you can browse as many as you want without feeling pressured by a salesperson.
  2. Her ring is made especially for her after you’ve chosen her diamond and ring combination. Rings generally take between 7-14 days from the order date.
  3. Almost any ring can be made to fit any budget. You decide on the size and quality of your diamond, and the karat of gold or platinum for your ring, and we build the ring to those specifications.
  4. You’re not paying any hidden ‘middleman’ costs. Spence keeps all diamond buying, importing and manufacturing services in-house. We have a buying office in Antwerp, Belgium and a design studio in Vancouver, B.C.
  5. You never have to wonder about price. Each designer ring prototype is marked with an ‘average price’. From there, any increase or decrease is the result of your diamond and ring choices.
  6. We don’t try to ‘sell you’ anything. You choose the ring and price you’re comfortable with. We’re just there to be your trusted advisor and help you find the best diamond for your money.
  7. You get to see exactly what you’re paying for. Spence uses Binocular microscopes, GIA Facetware Cut Estimate software and other specialty tools to show you the true cut, colour and clarity of your diamond.
  8. Your purchase is protected by our diamond guarantees. You can buy with confidence knowing we’ve got your back.
  9. There’s no chance of buying a conflict diamond. Spence diamonds are purchased only from legitimate sources in compliance with United Nations resolutions. Our diamonds represent love, not war.

Are you ready to set up an appointment at a Spence Diamonds near you?

Engagement Rings Why guys love shopping at Spence

 

The 4Cs Spotlight – Colour

 

Coloured Diamond Engagement Rings - Diamond Color
Photo Source: Forbes.com

 

Blue, green, yellow, orange, purple, brown, pink, grey and violet – colours of the rainbow? Yes – and also the many possible colours of diamonds!

Many are surprised to hear this, as the majority of diamonds sought after in today’s market, range from near colourless to light yellow. The same unique factors that create most of a diamond’s beauty – being chemistry and structure – also create this wide range of diamond colours.

The natural creation of a diamond by Mother Nature not only results in each diamond having unique clarity characteristics, it is also contributes to the unique natural colour of each diamond.

It is not yet fully understood what exactly causes a diamond’s unique colour; however, it is agreed that various combinations of trace elements and crystal distortion create a wide spectrum of colours.

Given a diamond is composed of mostly pure carbon, when the arrangement of atoms is close to perfectly symmetrical (the chemical composition and crystal structure are close to pure – aka. perfect) a diamond will be completely colourless.

Diamonds are typically graded on the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Colour Grade Scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow). The GIA Colour Grade Scale consists of 23 letter grades. It is interesting to see that the GIA Colour Grade Scale does not indicate one specific colour grade – it is uses closely defined ranges to determine a diamond’s colour. Like a rainbow, diamond colours form a continuous colour spectrum.

Keep in mind, coloured diamonds are not graded on the GIA Grade Scale from D to Z, as they are considered fancy colours.

What does this all mean? Generally speaking, the whiter the diamond, the more valuable it is. A premium is paid at both ends of the colour scale because of the rarity, not necessarily because of the beauty of the diamond. This is similar to the two other C’s – clarity & carat weight. Colour’s impact on value is linked to rarity.

Here at Spence, we use a certified GIA DiamondLite to show you your diamond’s true colour. Under proper lighting conditions and compared to master stones, we are committed to helping you find your special diamond in the exact colour you desire.

 

Diamond Color - GIA Diamond Color Scale

 

Interpreting the Gemological Institute of America Colour Grade Scale above:

  • D grade is absolutely colourless.
  • E & F grades are essentially colourless. The differences between D, E & F are minute.
  • G,H,I & J grades are considered near colourless.
  • K,L & M grades are considered faintly tinted.
  • Grades N through Z the light tint colouring becomes more visible.
  • Diamonds darker than Z or coloured diamonds are considered fancy colours, and are not graded on the GIA Colour Grade Scale above.

A few photos of “Diamond Divas” flaunting coloured rocks:

Coloured Diamond Engagement Rings - Diamond Color

Coloured Diamond Engagement Rings - Diamond Color

Coloured Diamond Engagement Rings - Diamond Color

Coloured Diamond Engagement Rings - Diamond Color

 

#RealLove – Cailey and Mike Tie the Knot in a Simple, Elegant Outdoor Ceremony

High-school sweethearts Cailey & Mike tied the knot in a simple, elegant outdoor ceremony in Langley, BC, last September. We here at Spence are absolutely honoured to play a very small role in their happily ever after!

Our Langley Spence team was thrilled to help Mike & Cailey create Cailey’s stunning diamond engagement ring, and their wedding bands. On the big day, Cailey also wore a beautiful diamond pendant from Spence. After all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend!

Featured on RealWeddings.ca, Cailey & Mike share how they chose to design their celebration of love. Writing their own vows, skipping lengthy speeches at the reception, and having a family friend officiate their wedding ceremony were a few of their personal, special touches that created their perfect day.

Click here to read the complete story and see more photos from their wedding at RealWeddings.ca.

Spence Diamonds Langley Engagement Ring
Cailey’s beautiful engagement ring is Spence Diamonds ring style #7492. Photo Source: RealWeddings.ca – Matt Kennedy Photography
Spence Diamonds Langley - Diamond Pendant
Spence Diamonds Eternity Diamond Pendant. Photo Source: RealWeddings.ca – Matt Kennedy Photography
Spence Diamonds Langley - Diamond Necklace
Spence Diamonds Eternity Diamond Pendant. Photo Source: RealWeddings.ca – Matt Kennedy Photography

Top 5 “Classic” Romantic Flicks

 

Calling all Gen Yers: As we enter into the weekend and TGIF TV nights are a fond memory of the past, here are our top 5 “classic” romantic movie recommendations to cuddle up with your sweetheart and indulge in over the weekend. These sappy, classic movies about love and romance will simply never get old…

1. The Notebook – Taking the number one spot… Admit it guys, we all know you love this movie too…Spence Diamonds 2. The Proposal

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3. PS I Love You

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4. Love Actually

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5. Love & Basketball

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*Honourable Mention: 500 Days of Summer

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