15 Facts About Valentine’s Day

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1. The most popular theory behind the origins of Valentine’s Day dates back to Ancient Rome. Emperor Claudius II wouldn’t let men marry during wartime, so Bishop Valentine performed marriage ceremonies in secret. He was eventually executed for his actions.

2. Before his death, Valentine wrote one last note to his beloved and signed it, “from your Valentine.”

3. In the Middle Ages, many people were illiterate and couldn’t sign their name. If they needed to sign something, they would sign with an X and kiss it to show their goodwill. This is how the X’s in XOXO came to signify kisses.

4. February 14 was officially declared St. Valentine’s Day in 1537 by Henry VII.

5. Chocolate has been prescribed since the 1800s as a way to calm the love-lorn heart.

6. More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are bought each Valentine’s Day.

7. Between the heart-shaped boxes and other chocolates, over $1 billion are spent on chocolates for every Valentine’s Day.

8. Only 27 percent of flowers purchased for Valentine’s Day are bought by women. 73 percent are purchased by men (Way to go boys!)

9. However, women buy about 85 percent of Valentine’s Day gifts.

10. About 15 percent of women in the U.S. buy flowers for themselves.

11. You can thank Venus, the goddess of love, for the prominence of red roses for Valentine’s Day. It is said that the red rose was her favorite flower. The color red also symbolizes strong romantic feelings.

12. Each year, almost 190 million stems of red roses are sold for Valentine’s Day.

13. About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged every year.

14. Every year, the Italian city of Verona (the home of Romeo and Juliet) receives roughly 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet. These letters are typically from the heartbroken and those lost in the ways of love.

15. Almost a quarter of a million marriage proposals happen on Valentine’s Day every year!

Do you have any other fun little tidbits of info about the lovey-dovey holiday? What’s your favorite part of this time of year?

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Valentine’s Bridal Makeup Inspiration

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Valentine’s Day is just a few short days away and romantic hues are everywhere! Why not let these pretty roses and reds inspire your bridal look?! Subtle or strong, there is a red lip and a pink cheek for everyone!

To get the creative juices flowing, here are a few gorgeous examples of sweet and sexy pink and red makeup perfect for any special occasion, like maybe Valentine’s Day or your wedding day!

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A few tips:

1. When doing a red lip, make sure to line and fill your lips before applying lipstick. Also, go for a shade with blue undertones (they make your teeth look whiter).

2. Apply blush lightly to the apples of your cheeks and sweep upwards toward your temples. Be careful not to go overboard.

3. A smokey pink eye can be absolutely heavenly, and should not be underestimated. These tones are sure to bring out the best in any eye color!

 

Whether you go for a bold red lip or sweet, romantic petal pinks, these warm hues are versatile enough for anyone to play with and find what works. How will you be wearing pink and red this weekend?

Engagement Rings 101

As Valentine’s Day approaches, plenty of girls are hoping to see their man on one knee with a little box in hand. If you haven’t already started dropping hints about your favorite rings, here are a few of the basics things to know about engagement ring style!

The Most Common Cuts

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1. Round. This cut has the most facets, giving it the highest level of brilliance among the cuts.

2. Oval. An elegant, vintage-y take on the traditional round stone.

3. Princess. The square cut. This cut gives a modern and unique look to any ring.

4. Emerald. Elegant and classic. This ring has a bit less sparkle than other cuts due to a fewer number of facets, but it is one of the most classically beautiful cuts if you don’t want a round stone.

5. Cushion. Think of this as a hybrid of the round and princess cuts. This cut has come into serious popularity in the last few years.

6. Ascher. This is a sort of combination emerald and princess cut. The facets are more long and straight than angular.

7. Marquis. This is probably the most unique of the cuts. This long and brilliant stone is sure to make you stand out.

8. Pear. Very vintage and very pretty. This cut is so unique, but is becoming more and more popular.

Ring Settings

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1. Solitaire. The most classic of the ring settings. This ring will put your stone in the spotlight.

2. Three-Stone. Two complimenting stones set on either side of the main stone. The theory is this ring represents your past, present, and future together.

3. Halo. A center stone surrounded by smaller stones. This style is become increasingly popular over the past few years.

4. Vintage. Typically this style has intricate detailing on the sides of the setting and along the band. This style can take on several looks depending on what you prefer.

5. Swirl. This romantic setting showcases the center stone as the band seems to swirl around it.

Stone Settings

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1. Prong-set. Prongs are placed around the stone, clamping the stone into place.

2. Channel-set. A row of stones are set into the setting, creating a channel of sparkle within the ring.

3. Bezel-set. The stone is encircled in a band of metal, completely surrounding it.

Metals

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1. Yellow Gold. Yellow Gold is strong and classic. Because of its wide availability, Yellow Gold tends to be a bit less expensive than other engagement ring metals.

2. White Gold. White Gold is a classic and simple alternative to Yellow Gold. It can also be a less expensive option if you love the look of Platinum. Be aware, though, White Gold is Yellow Gold with a coating, so after some time the coating my wear off and the yellow tones may come back out.

3. Rose Gold. Copper alloys added to the metals give Rose Gold its pinkish hue. This metal is mostly found in vintage styles and can give a vintage or unique look to any modern ring.

4. Platinum. The most pure (and rare) natural metal, Platinum is durable and perfect for sensitive skin. It’s pure white tone also lets the true colors of your stone sparkle.

Let’s Talk Trends: Two-Piece Bridal Style

Two-piece bridal gowns are one of the biggest trends being seen throughout collections this year. Designers are splitting the traditional gown into eclectic combinations of chic tops and flowing skirts. You could rock a crop top or simply find a complementing corset and skirt set. The endless options really allows every bride to create her perfect bridal look without having to create a pricey custom gown. Whatever combination she chooses, with a two-piece bridal look, each bride can be sure she will look exactly as she dreamed, with a stylish modern twist.

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Hayley Paige

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Tara LaTour

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Watters

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Reem Acra

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Who would have imagined wearing two pieces would pack as much punch as one stunning gown?! Which way would you wear two pieces on your wedding day?

Let’s Hear it for the Boys

This one’s for the boys! The groomsmen are an important part of the wedding, and likely a very important part of your groom’s life. You want to make sure they know how valued and appreciated their presence is, so why not get them a gift as awesome as they are? Shopping for men is actually pretty easy. My dad used to always say that a gift was good if he “needed it, wanted it or could use it.” While I agree, I think an easier set of trends can be applied to shopping for men: Utility. Men love practical things! They aren’t as taken by pretty things as women and would prefer a gift with a purpose besides just looking good. Think a personalized knife or some type of tool or utility card–they’ll love showing it off whenever they use it!

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Alcohol. Men like their alcohol. My fiancé and his friends are whiskey men, my dad likes tequila and my best friend’s man is a gin fan. Point: lots of options! Try to stick with the drink you know they’ll like and you get bonus points if you know their favorite brands. If you don’t know a specific brand they like but you know the type of drink they like, find one you think they’ll like! Maybe they’ll like trying something new! If you really don’t even know which drink to start with, try a monogramed flask for a no-fail gift!

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Hobbies. If you know they guys love doing something together, why not get them something special for their hobbies? If they’re all huge baseball fans or played little league together, get them personalized commemorative bats. My fiancé and his friends love golf, so I think new head covers or a commemorative ball marker would be a fun favor idea for them.

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Do you have any other ideas when it comes to awesome groomsmen gifts?

Shades of Sea Glass

Destination or beach weddings can be fabulous and fun and exotic, but sometimes the beach venues are a little out of reach. For those of us who would love to have ocean waves crashing behind us as we say our vows but unfortunately can’t, the feel of the ocean and the beach can easily be captured through the details and touches throughout the wedding. One of the easiest ways to achieve the tranquility and beauty of the beach at your wedding is to incorporate sea glass into your decor. You can use the real stuff or simply use it as inspiration for your colors or cake. Those serene blues and greens convey the look and feel of the beach better than almost any colors out there. Add some touches of sand and maybe some shells and it’ll almost be like you’re there!

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Hello Yellow!

With the warmer, sunnier weather we’ve been having down in Texas (after seemingly endless weeks of gloom), I am all about things that remind me of that warmth and happiness. And is there a happier color than yellow? I don’t think you can see something in the bright shiny color and not be instantly a little bit happier. And what a perfect color for your wedding, the happiest day of your life!

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Yellow Gingham Wedding Favors

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Yellow Tablescape Wedding

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Yellow Bridal Party

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Yellow Rose Cake

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Yellow Converse Groomsmen

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Yellow Fade Cake

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Yellow Bride and Groom

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Are there any other colors that make you happy?