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The Five Characteristics of a Diamond


The Five Characteristics of a Diamond

She knows that you love her, but now you want the world to know you love her. You’ve heard the saying, "diamonds are a girl's best friend and a man’s worst enemy."  They don’t have to be your enemy any longer! Shopping for the ring - you know, THE ring - can be overwhelming. To make it a little easier, here are are the Five Characteristics of a Diamond you should know: Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat Weight and Certificate.

Cut is the Most Important

Ask a girl what kind of diamond she wants in her engagement ring, and she'll tell you the cut she likes. Princess, round, marquise, etc. Not only that, but it's the only characteristic of a diamond that is totally dependent on man. It refers to not only the shape and style, but its proportions, polish and symmetry. A diamond's cut is crucial to the stone's final beauty and value. The cut of a diamond also determines its brilliance. The better a diamond is cut, the more sparkle it will have. You know how much girls LOVE sparkle! While most important, cut is the most complex and technically difficult to analyze of the five characteristics.

One of the things diamonds are graded on, is the quality of the cut. Those grades are Excellent, Very Good and Good. You definitely want the most sparkle in the diamond, so choose the best cut grade that your budget can handle.

Then There's Color

The human eye detects sparkle first and the color second. The "color" characteristic of a diamond is actually used to describe the absence of color in the stone. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue and no color, similar to a drop of clean water. The color of a diamond is determined by comparing it to a registered set of master diamonds in a lab under controlled conditions. As a diamond's color grade improves, its price increases. Want to maximize your budget? Choose "near-colorless," because the naked eye will not see traces of color in this particular diamond.

Don't Forget About Clarity

Clarity refers to the presence or absence of inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds are formed by an immense amount of heat and pressure deep below the earth. This results in a variety of internal characteristics called inclusions and external characteristics called blemishes.  Diamonds with the least and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades. Clarity - sometimes called purity - is just another factor that determines the overall diamond quality and value. To get the most bang for your buck, choose a diamond that is “eye-clean.” This means it does not have any visible inclusions to the naked eye.

Carat, Not Carrot

Carat weight is the term most of us are familiar with and is the most misunderstood. Most of us think in terms of size, but the measurement of a diamond is weight-specific only. A diamond's cut can impact how much the carat weight will be. However, smaller carat weight diamonds will appear larger with higher cut grades. The price of a diamond increases with carat weight, because larger (and heavier) diamonds are scarce. That scarcity makes them more desirable. Two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (and, therefore, prices) depending on three other factors of the diamond. Color, Clarity and Cut.

The value of a diamond is not just determined by the carat weight, but by all characteristics. Consider choosing a diamond just below the full and half-carat weights. Prices tend to jump at the full and half-carat marks. Diamonds just below those weights cost much less and the small size difference is practically impossible to detect with the naked eye.

Certificate - It's the Blueprint of Your Diamond

There are only 4 true characteristics of a diamond - the ones I've discussed above. There is, however, a fifth category that needs to be considered. The certificate is a complete, accurate report that describes the specific characteristics of a diamond. It is issued by a recognized and independent diamond grading laboratory. A diamond certificate, known as the Diamond Grading Report, lists all the characteristics of a diamond. This determines its current appraisal and fair market value. A diamond certificate is not an appraisal and does not contain a monetary value but can be used as proof of the diamond's quality when obtaining an appraisal. It's a must-have, especially if you're going to add the ring to an insurance policy.

If you would like more information regarding any of the Five Characteristics of a Diamond, visit the Gemological Institute of America.

You will spend hours looking for the right diamond to define your love for her. This is only the first gift she will receive after she screams, “YES!”

There will be tears of joy and lots of "I love you's." I know you'll want to remember that moment forever. Contact Meto help you plan the perfect surprise proposal.

Special Thanks to Jewels By Simpson for the beautiful jewlery.


Regrets from the Mother of the Bride


Regrets from the Mother of the Bride

Regrets… Sigh!…We all have them…They are the “What If’s”…or the; “Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda.

Regrets…We all have them, but would you want to have them on your wedding day, an important day of your life. Whether you are a mother, sister, grandmother, or aunt you wouldn’t want that for your bride. You want the best for your family so why would you want them to go forth with a wedding without having the best plans possible. A wedding is a very planned and chaotic day. You want to help the bride and groom have the best day possible. A way to ensure this happens is reflecting on past lapses in judgment or ill-planned ideas. The day of the wedding day you get one chance to perfect the day. There are many days, weeks, months, and possibly even years to plan the day out, from the centerpieces to the pictures. When that day comes, you have all but lost your mind or least a good part of it. A way to ensure that your bride has the best day, you want to make sure every "I" is dotted and every "T" is crossed. We can look at past brides - now the mothers -  to decide what is the best way to proceed. Brides might not think there was anything wrong with their perfect day, but the people around them can make sure that the couples don’t have to worry about a thing. When trying to think of the best way to move forward with some great advice,  we need to look at the Mothers of the Brides. They must figure out the approach and a way to make their daughters have the best day of their life. Here are a few regrets from mothers I personally know that might help to ease your stressful day.

While recently photographing a wedding and visiting with the Mother of the Bride, she opened with how she wished she had done some things differently. You know we have all been there. I knew that if she was feeling that way, there were other mothers that shared the same view.

Communication is the key

For anything to run smoothly you need communication. That is ever more important in a large scale event such as a wedding. When you have so many moving parts like the bridal party, vendors and even family members, it's vital that you talk. With so many options from email, Skype, and Google Hangouts, there is no reason for a lack of communication. Darn, even a meeting over coffee will do the trick to get everyone back on track.  A group email to all the vendors is a great way to keep everyone informed of what each should expect and how the day will flow. A mother of the bride said, “I wished she had sent an email to all the family to hang around for pictures after the wedding”.  In all the chaos,  after the lucky couple skipping down the aisle, she forgot to mention that to a few close family members.  We missed them for the formals.

A Wedding Planner would have been helpful

The purpose of the wedding planner is to be a liaison between all the vendors and the bride/groom on their wedding day. Wedding planners can be hired for the duration of the engagement to help assist and plan along the way. They will have resources that the bride may not know about. If you have planned out your perfect wedding and don't want to stress on your big day and want to enjoy the fruits of your labor, a Day Coordinator is the perfect answer to help you enjoy your big day. A recent mother of the bride said, “A wedding planner would have been a good idea so I was not running from one place to another making sure the flower girl had her basket with flowers petals and chairs were where they needed to be". It comes down to, “You can pay with money or you can pay with time.” On the wedding day, your time is more valuable than money.

Make the time to enjoy the family

You have spent the better part of the last year or longer helping plan the wedding. Sometimes the time seems to drag along and you think the wedding day will never get here. The big day has arrived and before you know it, the reception is over and the bride & groom are leaving for their honeymoon. In a blink of an eye... its over! You had family flown in,  your little girl is gone, and you don’t remember a darn thing because you were making sure all the flowers were where they needed to be, the Unity candle and sand ceremony were all set up and ready to go. “I wished I had spent more time with family.” a mom told me. “I wished I had my hair and makeup done at the salon.” or “I wished I had hung around more while she was getting ready.”  They all have the same theme. Spent more time with family soaking in all the memories and visiting with family that had traveled across the miles for this special occasion.

Nobody likes regrets. The old adage “No Regrets” comes to mind. Do what you can to prevent them and learn from another’s mistakes. Get a strong line of communication going with all the vendors and let the family know to hang around for the formals after the wedding. Hire a professional wedding planner, even if it's just for the day. These will relieve some of your stress and help ensure you’re able to enjoy the wedding you have spent many hours helping plan and time with the family that grew with a simple "I Do."

If you would like to visit more don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to meet with you over a cup of coffee or a cupcake.



Dakota + Kendall Romancing the Softball December 2, 2016


Dakota + Kendall Romancing the Softball December 2, 2016

Dakota and Kendall met on the softball field. He was coaching and she was helping get the field ready for a game. His first thought was “dang there's a cute softball player!” She was impressive to watch play and dedicated as well. Her first thought was, “he’s tall, dark and handsome”. Their first date was a round of golf, even tho they played horrible which they both agreed but they had great conversations and learned so much about each other. By the 14th hole he knew there was something special about Kendall, on the 17th hole, she knew she wanted to be around him more. Neither of them wanted the day to end, he called her right away and they made plans for dinner and a movie, where they became best friends. One year later and 9,500 feet above sea level, Kendall said “Yes!”

I was honored to photograph their day in Yukon with abeautiful ceremony at the church which was an elegant winter wonderland with a touch of the tropics mixed in. They celebrated the night away at The Palace Event Center decorated with flowers from Yukon Flower & Gifts, a catered meal by Rococo and a beautiful cake by You Need a Cake.

Enjoy the wedding previews and be sure to wish the newlyweds well wishes and blessing.