A Baker Beach San Francisco Engagement

“We were going to New York for an extended weekend/mini vacation. I had visited a few times previously as some of my family lives there. However, my fiance had never been. I'm very organized so I put together an itinerary organizing each day by neighborhoods we wanted to visit. Within one of those neighborhoods we planned to see tourist sights, shopping and restaurants, etc. (Al likes to keep things "efficient" haha). We took a red-eye Thursday and arrived early Friday morning. There was actually a huge switch in weather and it was snowing so we were excited to see Central Park (the previous week was in the high 70s). When we arrived to the hotel to drop our bags off, I left my work computer with the concierge but Al refused to leave his worried it would be stolen. I laughed at him and told him he would look like an SF techy walking around all day with his laptop bag - little did I know it's because he was hiding some precious jewelry! We made our first stop to get some NYC bagels, and then spent the morning walking through Central Park in it's beauty of a complete white blanket of snow - seriously breathtaking! After a full day of roaming around NYC, we went back to our hotel room to get ready to grab some drinks and go out to dinner. While I was in the bathroom doing my hair/makeup, Al was practicing getting down on one knee (and I completely clueless having a moment about not liking my outfit haha!). Off to catch our Uber, we climb in the car and Al immediately detours our drive to a different happy hour spot - on the opposite side of the city where our dinner plans were. Al assures that we should see this rooftop bar before more snow comes in the next day as a blizzard was supposedly going to hit the city. So off we go to the rooftop bar.

When we arrive to the bar, there is a single elevator entrance to the bar from the main hotel lobby. Upon arrival, the bouncer advises me that he can't let me into the bar because I'm wearing ripped jeans - I scoffed and turned around. Al hurriedly stops me and asks me to take a seat while he goes and talks to the bouncer. Somehow, he works some magic and the bouncer let's us go up to the bar - once Al told him the plans he had arranged with the manager to propose (while I was sitting far away)... As we exit the elevator at the rooftop, another bouncer greets me and makes a snarky comment about my attire which I ignore and walk to the bar. Al and I take in the breathtaking 360 degree views of the city all lit up, and then head over to the bar to order some refreshments. Al quickly asks me to turn to him with my back facing the view so that he can snap a photo - with one of his college friends and photographer (whom I've never met) sitting in the background just watching us. We make our way to a couch and enjoy our refreshments and strike up some conversation about our plans for the rest of the weekend. Al then suggests we check out the balcony (although its <30 degrees outside) since the bar is typically known for being a hot summer spot. We make our way to a tiny section of the balcony that is open during the winter. As we're stunned by the view, Al embraces me and starts reflecting on our journey as a couple. As I turn to face him he immediately reaches into his pocket and pulls out the ring while getting down on one knee. I couldn't believe my eyes! Simultaneously the bar erupts in cheers and we're left crying, laughing and wiping tears away. It couldn't have been a more perfect moment.””

Photography: Breanna White | Venue: Tony's Pizza Napoletana | Venue: PIer 49 | Venue: Baker Beach | Floral: Pretty In Pink Events | Wedding Cake: Jen's Cakes | Rentals: Fine Linen Creations | Linens: Fine Linen Creations | Event Planning: Signature Events by Christina Romero | Event Design: Signature Events by Christina Romero | Catering: Toast Catering & Event Management | Invitations: Cards de Luxe | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid Dresses: Katie May | Submitted via: Matchology

Ethical Lab-Created Diamonds -- Heard of them?

Sponsored with love by Clean Origin

What’s the first thing you think about when you picture an engagement?

The ring. Of course there’s the future bride and groom, the tears and the happiness and the man on one knee but the center of every engagement is that ring — the ring that is a gift and commitment of a lifetime. That ring is everything.

Back in the day, it was tradition for the man proposing to spend three months of his salary on this gorgeous diamond and while I’m sure that happens all of the time still today, there are so many great alternatives where couples can actually save in the money department without skimping out on all of the beauty that that gorgeous engagement ring has to bring.

Have you ever heard of lab-grown diamonds?

Engagement Rings — The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog

Clean Origin is a 3rd generation jeweler that creates just that — lab-grown diamonds. The only thing that makes a lab-created diamond different from a mined diamoned is its origin. A lab-created diamond is “grown” inside a lab using cutting-edge technology that replicates the natural diamond growing process and as a result, the diamond is chemically, physically and optically the same as those grown beneath the Earth’s surface.

And what does that mean for you?

A gorgeous ethical diamond without breaking the bank. Yep, you heard that right.

Clean Origin has a 100-day money back guarantee on all products and they’ve got no brick and mortar — it’s all online, just the way we all love to shop these days. They’ve got 24/7 phone and email support, sell diamonds alone or in a setting, offer wedding bands, wedding sets, earring studs and hoops and bracelets. With over 100 ring styles available, free shipping, free resizing and a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, you just can’t go wrong here.

So even if you’ve already proposed or already said, “YES!”, don’t forget that you’ve got the wedding day (hint hint: wedding bands) and anniversaries (hint hint: jewelry) down the road!

The Benefits of Lab-Grown Diamonds:

Of course, that price tag is one of the big benefits as lab-create diamonds mean you can get a diamond that’s 20-30% larger for the exact same price (aka, they cost about 20-30% less than mined diamonds). The reason is because mined diamonds have a long supply chain so by cutting out the miners, lab created diamonds touch fewer hands, making them less expensive, not cheap! An ethical, inexpensive engagement ring? Yes please!

And in addition to that, they’re ethical diamonds.

The mined diamond industry has come under fire for exploiting miners and families through forced labor, funding violent rebel movements in countries throughout Africa and for having a negative effect on our environment whereas lab-created diamonds are environmentally friendly diamonds because they take considerably less energy.

So let me ask you this — Where are you going to shop for your next ethical engagement ring or anniversary jewelry,

Engagement Rings — The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog

"Clean Origin has excellent customer service with excellent products at the best prices! I highly recommend them for any jewelry needs." - Parker, N.

A Dreamy Italy Engagement Session

“Nick and I share a love and passion for traveling. We both get very excited about having adventures and seeing the world together so we decided to have our engagement session in one of the most romantic countries in the world - Italy. We started in romantic Florence with its cobble stone streets, iconic cathedral and light orange roofs. Then we drove the famous winding rounds of Tuscany to see and capture the beauty of its rolling hills. This was truly memorable for us because we drove off the beaten path, onto unmarked roads to explore places rarely seen. From there we traveled to Positano, the crown jewel of the beautiful Amalfi Coast. We had a blast riding the waves and eating delicious seafood between our photo sessions.”

Check out the most beautiful Italy engagement session we’ve ever seen!