Choosing Our Wedding Bands

I've never gone jewelry shopping. Well, I've never really gone shopping for REAL jewelry. The good stuff. So when this last weekend Kyle and I went shopping for our wedding bands, I was really nervous. I finally got a little glimpse into how nervous he must have felt when he picked out my engagement ring. The poor guy!

There were only two places I wanted to go. First was the wonderful jeweler Kyle bought my engagement ring from. They have been amazing from the day Kyle met them, and anytime since that I have been in their shop. It's called Johann Paul Jewelers in San Anselmo, and it's owned by two Kiwis (New Zealanders, not fruit). Since I spent a semester abroad in New Zealand, we hit it off right away. I love those guys, especially Paul. We hadn't been in the store in over a year, but Paul remembered us and knew all these sweet little life details that I forgot we had told him.

By the way, here's a tip: get your ring cleaned every damn day if you can! I hadn't had mine cleaned for over a year, so when I walked in that's the first thing they insisted. Holy crap?! It was like 10 times more sparkley! Kyle and I were both shocked! Apparently I put my hands in dirty places too often. Needless to say, I've been enjoying the particularly special shine this week :)

We talked to him about what I wanted, which, truth be told, I wasn't sure about. I wasn't sure if I wanted a straight ring or a curved ring to fit snugly with my engagement ring. What if I wanted to wear the band by itself one day? Or if I wanted something simple for traveling and outdoorsy things? I tried on a beautiful straight ring that looked gorgeous with my engagement ring.

Then I tried on a curved ring, and knew that's what I wanted. I mean, it was just instantly WAY better, and it looked like a beautiful, cohesive (anyone else think of Project Runway when you hear that word?) piece of jewelry. So we talked to him about having the designer of my engagement ring (eco-friendly, local, and awesome designer Yael) make a custom band to fit together with my engagement ring. Yay! Easy!

Then we talked to him about bands for Kyle, and Kyle knew even less about what he wanted. I always thought he'd look great with something a little modern, a little rustic, but definitely unique and handmade. Since Kyle works with his hands a lot, the one thing we knew was that his ring had to be tough. Basically it needed to be able to be smashed with a hammer and not break in two or smoosh around Kyle's finger. That meant gold was out because it was too soft, and tungsten was no good either because it's too hard, you can't get it off a swollen finger.

He tried on some titanium bands that had rings of wood or carbon fiber by local designer Jerry Spaulding. He felt so awkward about wearing a ring. He was so quick to pull them off. He kept exclaiming how weird it was to wear a ring. Poor guy, it'll take some getting used to. He ended up loving a matte titanium ring with a thin offset carbon fiber band in it. But we still had one more store I wanted to check out.

Solid TitaniumSolid TitaniumSolid Titanium

Naturally we drove the Triumph convertible into the city to check out Manika Jewelry, which specializes in jewelry handmade by local artists. They had more limited options as far as wedding bands, but I loved the idea of something that had a really organic feel to it, so I wanted to check this place out. He tried on a few beautiful rings by Redstart, and especially liked one called "Stream" that had a hand carved line cut through the band, resembling a stream.

Mens Stream Collection                 Mens Stream Collection

After a beer at City Beer Store, Kyle decided he liked the ring by Jerry Spaulding best. A beer well spent, I say!

So there we are, we have our wedding bands picked out. I can hardly wait for him to slip it on my finger!!

How was your wedding band shopping experience? Was it easy? Stressful? Was your hubby equally as awkward about trying on rings? Do tell!

bust a move {reception music}

One thing I love about Brides magazine (thank u Shana for the subscription), is that in every issue they have a page dedicated to the timeline. Of course this is a suggested timeline, no need to add unneeded stress, however I'm one who could use some structure. I'm approx 10 months away from my big day. I have accomplished 3 of the most daunting tasks, gloriously: The dress? CHECK! The venue? CHECK! My bridal party? CHECK! So, I opened my monthly issue to get some ideas about where I should be in my planning process, and of course, what to blog about :)

Brides Magazine's "countdown" says: 10 months-
  • select your officiant (future post about this coming soon)
  • choose your attendants
  • compile the guest list
  • hire a wedding planner (if needed)
  • Scout for a caterer, florist, DJ or band, and photographer
Since I've already done a post about photography and the guest list (thank you to you lovely ladies who read those and commented. I adore you), it looks like this week's post will be about music. Allison, the fabulous bloggolista, and creator/editor of E&I, did a post recently about wedding songs, and it totally inspired me to write. BTW the title of my blog post is dedicated to an amazing wedding song "Bust a Move," by Young MC. And YES, I know every single word by heart. These folks below seem to be feeling the tunes.

For those of you who know me personally, you know I LOVE music!!!! I have been infatuated with memorizing the words to songs since I was a little girl simply because I love the story a song can tell. Great songs take you on a journey of what the composer was feeling when they wrote it. Great songs bring back memories of wonderful time spent with the ones you love. And great songs can be a true escape into another world that's happy and carefree. For me, that's what music does.
So...... when it comes to my big day, you best believe that the music is gonna rock. Now you might be asking yourself, "how can she tell that the music totally rocked?" Well, my answer is: when people dance, and smile, and laugh, and make memories at the reception.
The challenge for me is not what song to play, but who should play it! Nothing gets a crowd going like a live band that's playing covers of your favorite hits, and nothing can KILL a crowd faster than a cheesey DJ (in my opinion). Please note: I am more fearful of the cheesey annoying DJ, than a band butchering a classic hit. If the band sucks, then my iPod is plugging in. If the DJ sucks, that's awkward. Vinnie only wants to hire a DJ if he or she refuses to talk! (LOL!) I have to agree with him on this one. In an ideal world I will hire a band, and incorporate our list of favorite songs to play in between sets and after the band leaves. But if we have to hire a DJ because of our tight budget, then I am going to want to have someone who talks only when necessary, i.e. introducing the bridal party, "hey everyone, it's time for cake," and "hit the dancefloor because it's the last song of the night." Other than that, Vinnie and I would like them to play our list of favorite songs (in no particular order), have the DJ  feel out the crowd and know when to play them. Is that too much to ask?

TIP FROM TAYA: start making a list of your favorite songs now! Even if you're not that into music, start making a casual list of your favorites.Maybe keep a notepad in your car so when a good one comes on the radio you can jot it down. Vinnie and I started a shared google doc and add songs/artists to it every time we are inspired. I even added a column for when I think the song would be appropriate, like "first dance, cake cutting, get the crowd jump'n".... you get the idea ;-) And to make sure your guests have some input too, you could add a song suggestion box to your website or on the RSVP. It's a great way to make your guests feel included in the planning process.
Oh, and if you live in LA and know of an affordable band please leave a comment!!!!!!! thanks in advance :)