Backup Bands: 3 Takes

If you live a life of leisure, no need to read on–go back to lounging and eating grapes. For the rest of us, losing or damaging a wedding ring is a real possibility given the threats of everyday life. Activities like dishwashing, commuting, fixing the shower drain, and even fun stuff, like travelling and gardening, can all take a toll on your fine jewelry. That’s why more and more couples are electing to buy “backup bands”–less expensive pieces to replace their wedding bands for day to day wear. Backup bands may be practical, but it can be tricky to find one that still feels special and significant. Here, some tips for picking out the perfect backup.

A Perfect Pair

Metal Wedding Bands and Matching Backup Bands


If your wedding band is a simple gold or platinum piece, it will be relatively easy to replicate. Gold plated silver or copper gives you that same look at a fraction of the price. For platinum, try a titanium ring– similar in color and texture, but generally less expensive. Silver and titanium are less durable than more expensive metals, but for the price, easy to replace when needed. White topaz and cubic zirconia both work as more cost effective options for diamonds and other gems.

Sisters, Not Twins

Wedding and Backup Bands


You don’t need to replicate your real wedding band. In fact, a backup band can offer you a chance to play with different styles! These versions are so inexpensive, you can afford to experiment a little. You will probably want at least some similarities between the bands to tie them together, such as the tone of the metal, cut of the stones, or overall shape.

Don’t Forget the Engagement Ring!

Engagement bands and Backup Versions


Last but not least, why not invest in backup version of your engagement band? Same rules apply for cutting costs–smaller stones, more common metals, topaz and other lower-cost gemstones.

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Sapphire: The September Birthstone

Ever get the feeling that you’re celebrating a birthday just about every week come September? Well, it’s not just you–September is the most popular month to be born in! Just check out this infographic to see how it stacks up to other months. If you’re still looking for some last minute gifts–or getting a head start on some holiday shopping–consider sapphire jewelry. Sapphire is the official September birthstone. Some fast facts:


Diamond and Trillion shaped Sapphire Earring 14k White Gold

Diamond and Trillion shaped Sapphire Earring 14k White Gold


Medieval Times, Modern Meaning

Sapphire really is a classic. It was prized in ancient Greece and Rome, where it was believed to have protective powers. The clergy wore sapphires in the Middle Ages as a symbol of heaven, which likely contributed to a common belief at the time that the stone attracted heavenly blessings. More recently, sapphire has been imbued with implications of royalty and nobility–just think of Princess Di’s iconic sapphire engagement ring.


14kt. Pink Sapphire & Diamond Ring White Gold

14kt. Pink Sapphire & Diamond Ring White Gold

Bigger Than Blue

Sapphires come in a range of shades and colors, although they have been associated since ancient times with the color blue. They are a member of the gem species corundum, which includes rubies; infact, rubies are just the red variety of sapphires.  Natural sapphires can be colorless, black, yellow, green, and gray. Reddish sapphires that are under a certain level of saturation are called pink sapphires.


Oval Sapphire and Diamond Halo Pendant in 10K White Gold

Oval Sapphire and Diamond Halo Pendant in 10K White Gold

Not Just a Pretty Face

Sapphires aren’t just for show–they actually have a variety of other applications. The gems are used in certain optical components, movement bearings, watches, and more. They have military uses, too–synthetic sapphire is used to create shatter resistant windows, body armor, and some sniper rifle scopes.

Check out the Szul sapphire collection for more fine sapphire jewelry that won’t break the bank!

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What The Cut Of Your Engagement Rings Says About Your Wedding Style

The cut of your engagement ring–or ideal engagement ring!–can say a lot about you. Here, some of the hottest cuts on the market, and what they suggest about the wearer’s style.


Cushion Cut: Glamour, But GroundedClassic Cushion Cut


Cushion cut rings are a timeless look, but still pack a punch–it’s not a cut designed for subtle stones. The cut suggests opulence and glamour still grounded in tradition.


Princess Cut: Chic and CoolPrincess Cut Wedding Style



Princess cuts may sound girly, but have a cool, alternative edge. Take the ring’s lead and mix things up with wedding style that’s different but not overly adorned–the streamlined style of cool.


Colorful: On Trend and UniqueColorful Engagement Ring Style



Colorful engagement rings are on trend, and definately suggest that your wedding style should be colorful, too! More and more brides have discovered fun ways to inject color into their wedding, from switching up bridesmaid dresses, to unusual floral arrangements, to interesting color themes.

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Daytime to Date Night: Fun Fall Date Nights and Outfits That’ll Take You There

As the laid-back days of summer draw to a close, it’s time to start considering how you and your partner can keep the romance alive in the season to come. Date night is a staple of many successful couples. Institute it now so that you can plan ahead. Make it work–no matter how crazy things get at the office–with these date ideas and tips for transitioning your look from worker bee to wow-za on the fly.


Catch an Improv Show

Improv shows are all about, well, improvisation. This means the experience you’ll have as audience members will be unique, making them way more exciting than stand-up acts. Best case scenario, you’ll laugh because it’s great; worst case scenario, you’ll laugh because it’s terrible.


Daytime to Date Night


Fun fact: comedy clubs were once all about formal wear. Jeans may be more common now, but there’s still room to sparkle. They’re a great place to play with “louder” and more fun looks–the kind that aren’t necessarily appropriate for the boardroom. Fortunately, gemstone jewelry, like these pink topaz pieces, is bright enough to pack a punch but light enough to pack in your purse. Begin the day in more conservative silver and sapphires, and when it’s time to clock out, trade out classic studs for statement earrings, switch out stackable rings, swipe on lipstick et voila!– you’re all set for a night on the town!


Indulge in Academia

Most college campuses regularly host lectures which are open to the public. Stimulate your minds, stroll campus, then go discuss over a nice wine–or beers at the local college dive, if you prefer.


Date Night Outfits


One way to work this is to to dress like a student. Trying to blend in can be refreshing and offers an opportunity to relive your college days. Or, you can simply relish in your successful careerist self. What you wear to work already looks smart and polished. Amp up the romance after dark by adding more sparkly accessories, or use subtle gemstone accents–like stackable rings or bracelets–to nod to your college colors.


Get Cultured–And Classy

Catch an opera, go to the ballet, listen to a classical music performance. It will give you something to talk about, and an excuse to get extra dolled up.


Date Night Outfit - Dressy


Opals can be demure or opulent, making them a great choice for days when you need to transition to more formal attire after hours. Simple studs or a ring are striking but professional for daytime attire, especially when paired with a cozy cardigan, flats, and neutral makeup. Add on more gold and more diamonds later in the evening, along with some heels, a dressier cover up, and a touch of opalescent luminizer for a look that’s timeless as the artistic endeavors you’ll be enjoying.

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Three Takes on Rustic Chic Wedding Dress Code

“Rustic chic” dress codes are common for outdoor weddings in late summer and fall. These ranches, vineyards, re-purposed barns, and other more bucolic venues invite a rusty chic aesthetic beyond the constraints of a more receptions. Try these tricks to find a look that’ll feel right at home.


Strategy #1: Western Darling


Rustic Wedding



Think cowgirl with class. This look has the potential to go from hip to Halloween, so make sure to balance signature western accessories with more sophisticated or neutral pieces. Fringe and boots pair stylishly with polished matching gemstone sets, like this collection of amethyst jewelry, which is easy enough to store and carry with you to dress up–or down–at the ceremony.


Strategy #2: Fun-Flowers


Rustic Chic



Fine jewelry in floral designs is a great way to get the best of both worlds. Harnessing the elegance of diamonds without the potential stuffiness is key to being rustic and chic. Florals in darker, more neutral, or monochrome patterns are a great way to look dressed up and grounded–exactly what you’re going for at this kind of wedding.


Strategy #3: Embroidered and Engraved





Embroidery is a late summer trend that can be dressed up or down. Pair embroidered pieces with vintage style jewelry featuring engraved or embossed designs. To keep the look from getting too folksy, stick to one peice, like a dress, shoes, cover-up, or clutch.

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Dreamy Destination Proposal Ideas

Need some romance in your life? Meet your latest addiction: It’s perhaps the most exhaustive–and “aw”-inspiringly sweet–collection of unforgettable proposal stories on the internet. Some of our personal favorites are the destination proposals–I mean, does it get much better than a beautiful getaway topped with a perfect ring? Write your own romance–and inspire a dream story of your own–with these ring and destination combos!


Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand


Glow Worm Caves



Picture it: a romantic boat ride on an underground river. Above, a bioluminescent glow like a second, secret night sky. And below, a ring sparkly enough to catch all that ethereal light.


New Zealand’s Waitomo Glowworm Caves are the perfect destination for a traveler who appreciates unique natural beauty and the finer things. The area boasts both a series of striking natural caves, some illuminated by an unusual species of insect, one home to a renowned concert venue featuring incredible acoustics in an other-worldly setting. Learn more here.


Moon Gates, Bermuda


Moon Gates, Bermuda



Good luck begins here, under a tropical moon gate, a structure designed to bring fortune to those who pass through. Bring a ring that echoes that elegant–and meaningful–shape for a proposal that can’t go wrong.


Bermuda’s moon gates were built to emulate an ancient Chinese design. Found throughout the island, many frame stunning views of the world-class beaches, bright blue sea, and lush tropic forests, making them perfect spots for proposals and even wedding ceremonies. Get more background here.


Santorini, Greece


Santorini, Greece


Crisp white and deep blue seas set the stage for an unforgettable Grecian getaway. Engagement rings featuring sapphires will serve not only as a reminder of love and commitment, but of the colors and memories of that special island vacation.  

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Classic With a Twist: Three Favorite Wedding Themes and The Gems to Match

Everyone wants a wedding theme that feels unique, but not alienating. These classic color schemes–and the perfect jewelry to accent them–feel fresh for the changing seasons yet timeless enough to keep the whole family happy. They’ll also make for wedding photos you’ll be happy to share for generations to come.


Masculine and Feminine


Navy Blue and Hot Pink



Navy blue and hot pink make for a striking combo. It’s old-school conservative meets sugary sweet for a look that’s got some kick without getting too out there. Pink topaz jewelry is a sweet, girly touch for bridesmaids, while sapphire and diamond earrings or bridal bands look elegant and sophisticated on brides.


Medieval Touches


Medieval Wedding Touches



You can get that medieval touch without going full Ren-fair. Sumptuous velvet, foil embossed stationery, and rich hues of wine give weddings a royal flair that feels timeless. Garnets are a great choice for brides who want that luxe, dramatic look without going into costume territory. Vintage touches, like the patterned setting of the earrings, are ornate without being overpowering, and pair well with classic cathedrals or stately fall forest weddings.  


Honey and Wheat


Honey and Wheat



Feel at home with this warm color theme. Yellow gold and soft citrine are sophisticated yet right at home in rustic settings, like farmhouses, wineries, or country churches. Keep things from getting too cozy with soft but edgy details, like these autumn-orange bridesmaid dresses or even a wheat-colored wedding gown–flattering for brides who feel washed out by paler shades.
What gem inspired color combos are you loving this season? Share in the comments!

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Dress Codes De-Coded: Wedding Guest Get-ups

September is one of the busiest months for weddings so a quick refresher on what to wear is definitely in order as those ceremonies approach. One universal truth? Jewelry is a great way to bridge the gap in any dress code. Elevate a more casual look, add a demure touch to an edgier outfit, match your style to the wedding theme or bring your style to a more themed look. Plus, it’s easy enough to pack for emergency upgrades if you aren’t sure how formal to go. Below, what to put on for any dress code.




Casual Wedding Attire



Sound simple? Think again–it can often be trickier picking out just the right ensemble for a casual wedding. Some general tips:


Gents: A button down (short sleeves or long) or polo shirt, dress pants or khakis, canvas shoes, boat shoes, or casual loafers. A smart accessory or two, like a bracelet or ring, helps make the look appear polished, not lazy.


Ladies: A nice blouse with a skirt or dress slacks, or a simple dress, like a sundress, shirt dress, or shift dress, that isn’t too short or clingy (just above the knee is about as high as you want to go). Use accessories as your secret weapon–have a few pieces that can be stored in your bag or taken out depending on the other guests. Flats are fine, just no rubber slippers, sneakers, or other casual styles.




Semi-Formal Wedding Attire


One step up from casual. Both of the outfits featured above could probably swing it in this setting, but it’s better to be on the safe side and dress up.


Gents: A suit and tie. You have a bit more freedom with color and texture in this dress code versus formal, but generally speaking stick to lighter shades earlier in the day and darker shades later. Good shoes are a must.


Ladies: A cocktail dress that’s not too short or too tight–anywhere from tea length to just above the knee is fine–or a more casual maxi. Heels are preferred, although you can pull off flats provided they are of exceptional quality. If you’re worried that your dress is perhaps too formal, stick with subtle, classic jewelry, like a tennis bracelet. If you’re worried it’s too casual, go for more sophisticated pieces. Options include a matching set of earrings and necklace, or pearls, which bring instant class to just about any outfit.


Formal/ Black Tie Optional


Formal Wedding Attire



Here’s where things get more serious, and you have to worry less about being overdressed and more about being underdressed.


Gents: A dark suit or a tuxedo, if possible. Shoes, tie, the works. Cuff links make it look like you know your way around formalwear, and other touches, like a ring, further coordinate the look.


Ladies: Long dresses are a go, though shorter styles can work in dressy fabrics and darker hues. Bring back some color–and personality–with gemstone jewelry.


Black Tie


Black Tie Wedding Attire



Break out the fancy stuff– this is the real deal!


Gents: Tux, bow tie, cumberbund, cufflinks, and some well-shined shoes.


Ladies: An evening gown or fancy cocktail dress in dark colors–and plenty of sparkle! Careful  not to compete with the bride, but this is when your sparkliest, most opulent baubles get to come out and play.


White Tie


White Tie Wedding Attire



Congratulations–you’ve been invited to the most formal of all events!


Gents: A tux, tails, white vest, tie–the works. You can even wear gloves, if you’d like.


Ladies: Floor length gown in brown, black, or a very dark neutral color. This is the most formal thing you can possibly go to, so don’t hold back with the jewelry!


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Beach Wedding Basics: What To Wear

Summer may be on the way out, but there’s still time for a couple more weddings–not to mention, destination wedding season is on the way! Dressing for the beach can be tricky–try these tips to look good and feel comfy!


Beach Formal


Beach Formal Wedding Attire



Beach formal dress code means something elegant but appropriate for the weather.


Gents: A summer suit jacket, linen shirt, khakis or linen pants, sandals or classy canvas shoes.You don’t need a tie, but little touches, like a stainless steel bracelet or coordinating ring, help insure the look is up to par.


Ladies: A sundress, knee length or just below the knee, with dressy flats– jeweled sandals are a great option. Hair and makeup can still be relatively light and natural. Quality accessories are especially important with this look, as the line between sundress and formal sundress can be tricky. Coordinating pieces, like a tennis bracelet and matching studs, or drop necklace with matching rings, are a good way to pull together a look that can be too undone.  If you do go the embellished sandal route, match your metals to the sandal.


Beach Casual


Casual Beach Wedding Attire


Annnd then there’s beach casual, which can actually be more confounding. Just a notch below formalwear, but still classy. Don’t wear swimwear, but you might want to keep a bathing suit handy!


Gents: Something nice with a collar, i.e. a button down or polo shirt (short sleeves are fine), khakis or light dress pants, nice sandals or casual loafers. Again, a simple, smart accessory helps you look polished and intentional.


Ladies: A nice top and skirt or dress pants, or a sundress– doesn’t have to be below the knee, but nothing too short or clingy– plus sandals, but not rubber flip-flops or anything garishly plastic. Hair and makeup should be natural. Accessories really help make more casual outfits look wedding ready, although you don’t want to over-do it if the wedding invite explicitly requests casual garb. Simple, coordinated pieces look polished and don’t scream formal. Plus, they are great for matching other accessories, so you can always bring additional, travel friendly pieces and slip them on or off once you see the rest of the guests’ ensembles.

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Five Things to Ask Before You Buy Your Wedding Bands

The perfect engagement ring may be a bit of a guessing game, but shopping for wedding bands is an exciting chance to shop together to find that perfect emblem of your bond as a couple. Picking out wedding bands should be fun–not stressful! Try using these questions to prep for a happier shopping experience.





Wedding Bands


Okay, this may sound obvious. But people have strong opinions! Plus, the sheer volume of options out there can be overwhelming, so it’s nice to go in with some filters to narrow the search. There’s white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, platinum, even mixed bands. Feel free to consult this image for an idea of what these all look like.



Your ring–or rings!–should work for your lifestyle. If one or both of you plan on doing a lot of hands-on, outdoor activities, consider your options. Maybe you’d like to invest in a super sturdy set of bands in platinum. Or perhaps it would make more sense to buy a set of less expensive rings in addition to more traditional bands, so that you have a set you feel comfortable wearing wherever. Or, maybe you’d like to purchase a small chain to hand your band on. The possibilities are endless–but it’s a conversation you need to have, as when to wear a band can be an emotionally loaded decision.



Alright, you may have heard of the one month or three month salary rule for engagement rings. But with wedding bands, there’s a bit more leeway. Maybe. No one wants to leave their significant other feeling cheated, or like a great deal on a ring somehow cheapens the whole thing. On the other hand, with the wedding day on the horizon, you may decide that you’d rather put the extra cash into an extra special venue, decorations, etc. Vendors like Szul cut costs by operating without a brick and mortar store and eliminating some of the middlemen typical to the business, which allows customers to get the same quality pieces at significantly lower pricing– check out their selection and sort by price to see some of their current specials.



A classic ring can be customized with diamonds or other stones and engraving. These options will cost extra, but do add a little something special. With engraving, costs will vary based on whether you would like the ring engraved by hand or by machine.


The Engagement Band

Decide on whether you’d like the wedding band to match the engagement band. If so, go for a piece with the same metals or a shadow band designed to fit with the engagement ring. Some brides prefer to wear only their wedding band on a day-to-day basis, but make sure to discuss this with first to avoid any hurt feelings.


Ready to get started shopping from the comfort of your home? Cuddle up and head over to the bridal boutique to browse the latest in wedding bands!


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