What is Engagement and Wedding Ring Insurance?

wedding ring insurance

What is Engagement and Wedding Ring Insurance? wedding ring insurance

An Interview with Rita Elias from La Maison D’Or

by Anastasia Marie, Wedding and Lifestyle PR

No matter the price tag, wedding rings are priceless. A physical reminder of the love you share with your partner, your wedding ring seals the deal and its sparkle reflects all of the excitement, memories and happiness that brought you and your partner together.

Though wedding ring insurance may seem stiff and unromantic, purchasing a policy that protects your priceless purchase may be one of the most important things you can do to insure that your rings are with you for years to come.

I sat down with the lovely Rita Elias from Ottawa’s own La Maison D’Or Jewellers at Place D’Orleans Shopping Centre (who worked with my husband before he proposed to me) to get the scoop on wedding ring insurance and why every couple should invest in it.

AM: What is engagement/wedding ring insurance?

R: Engagement ring and wedding ring insurance is very similar to having insurance on your car or home. When you purchase engagement ring and wedding ring insurance you are protecting your valuable pieces against loss, theft or major damage.

AM: Why is engagement/wedding ring insurance important to have?

R: Jewellery insurance is important to have so you can wear your pieces stress-free. Your jewellery or family heirloom pieces are priceless so having that extra security is extremely important. With insurance, you can rest easy knowing that you can wear them daily, leave them at home, or at the gym in the locker etc. Insurance means protection.

AM: What does engagement /wedding ring insurance cover?

R: Jewellery insurance covers loss of diamonds or gemstones, chipped stones, mysterious disappearance, full loss or theft.

AM: Who needs engagement/wedding ring insurance?

R: Everyone who has family heirlooms or pieces over $2000.00 in value are worth insuring on a separate rider, which means that that specific item is covered.

AM: If I purchase a stone separately from my engagement/wedding ring setting, do I need to purchase insurance for the stone?

R: No. When the item is appraised, it will take into consideration the total value for both the center stone and the setting together.

AM: What is the average cost of engagement/wedding ring insurance?

R: The average yearly cost will vary depending on the value of your items. Average yearly costs begin at anywhere from $50.00 to $150.00 per year.

AM: Who do I talk to about getting my engagement/wedding ring insured?

R: When you are looking to purchase ring insurance, it is important to call your home and car insurance providers to see what they can offer you in terms of insurance rates. Don’t forget to shop around to get the best rate before you sign!

AM: What kinds of questions should I ask before choosing the engagement/wedding ring insurance that is right for me?

R: When you’re ready to speak to an insurance provider, some of the questions you should ask are:

            What is covered and what is not covered within your insurance policy?

            Is there a deductible?

            How often do I need to provide an updated appraisal of the jewellery?

            Do I need to provide a picture of the piece?

            Am I covered while I am on vacation?

Remember, always ask for a separate rider on each piece.

For more information about engagement and wedding rings, or to book an personalized consultation, contact Rita Elias at La Maison D’Or Jewellers. You’ll be glad you did!

How to Have Your Own Disney Fairytale Wedding!

Celebrate Your #disneyside: How to Have Your Own Disney Fairytale Wedding!

Disney Fairytale WeddingBy Anastasia Marie

I have a confession to make: I’m obsessed with everything Disney. From countless VHS tapes (I swear, they are worth keeping), to a bevy of Disney princess dolls, stuffed animals, and themed, well, everything, I was the kid who should have been born with Mickey Mouse ears.

Though I’ve since outgrown complete Disney fandom (I’ve created my own fairytale, after all), I still reserve a little space (okay, okay, a medium-sized space) in my heart for the most magical place on earth.

Today, it is only a little amusing that I now help couples bring their own fairytales to life. As their personal fairy godmother, I help design, plan and coordinate their personal happy endings. Interestingly, one of the most common questions I receive on my Pinterest page and Twitter feed is how to achieve the perfect Disney Fairytale Wedding. As a former (okay, okay, current) Disney kid, I’m happy to help. Below are some of the ways you can achieve your own Disney Fairytale Wedding and experience a happily ever after.

Rent a horse-drawn carriage.

Channel your inner Cinderella and ride into the sunset with your very own horse-drawn carriage. For the couple that likes the outdoors, Ottawa’s Lone Star Ranch, lets couples celebrate their wedding in style while accessing the ranch’s personal horse and carriage. For the couple that doesn’t mind traveling outside of Ottawa, Bean Town Ranch also provides horse-drawn carriage services that doubles as a sleigh during the winter season. Just be home before midnight.

Create a Disney-inspired reception table décor.

There are many ways that your love of everything Disney can be channeled into a beautiful wedding centerpiece. Are you a lady that sees herself as Belle from “Beauty and the Beast”? Why not mimic the look of the Enchanted Rose by renting a glass cover to place atop a beautiful summer rose? Is Ariel your favourite princess? Little touches like aqua-coloured glass, tropical flowers and starfish-themed place cards may be the perfect “thingamabobs” to get you started!

Stick to a Disney colour theme.

Disney is well-known for its stunning works of animation art. In fact, many people can recognize popular Disney movies by their colours alone! For a subtle way of showing your Disney pride, choose a wedding colour theme that is in line with your favourite Disney film. To find the colour theme of your favourite Disney film, visit my Pinterest page to check out my “Disney Wedding Colour Theme” board!

Wear glass slippers.

Okay, perhaps real glass slippers are out of the question (can you imagine the blisters??). Luckily, recreating the look is as easy as bibbity bobbity boo! Christian Louboutin offers a pair of gorgeously designed, Cinderella-inspired wedding shoes that are adorned with crystal butterflies. For brides on a budget, Aldo offers glittery heels that are princess-inspired and are under seventy dollars.

Give out Disney-themed favours.

From chocolate “mouse ears” to an antique key to unlock exciting adventures, your guests will love a Disney-inspired wedding favour. Is “Snow White” your movie of choice? Candy apples are the perfect treat. Is Ariel your kindred spirit? An engraved dessert “dinglehopper” might be the ticket. Do you look to the couple in “Up” for relationship inspiration? A personalized balloon favour is a great way to honour your favourite film. Disney-themed wedding favours are a wonderful way of adding a little Disney magic to your day.

Play a Disney score.

Are you looking for a more subtle way to profess your love of Disney at your wedding? Why not play a Disney score during your dinner? Formal, grand and offering mass appeal, Disney scores are less obvious than well-known Disney theme songs and offer perfect background music. While your guests enjoy the ambiance, you will smile at the subtle reference to your childhood. Just download them yourself!

Serve a Disney dinner and treats.

Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes! Far beyond the obvious choice of a Disney-themed wedding cake, Disney-themed dinners are an easy way of incorporating your favourite movies into your wedding. For fans of “Beauty and the Beast”, The Disney Diner offers a delicious take on the famous “grey stuff” that is served at the Beauty and the Beast Castle at Disney, Orlando. For fans of Disney’s “Frozen”, a chocolate fountain would be the perfect touch. Eat up!

Wear a Disney Fairytale dress.

Want to feel like a princess on your wedding day? Famed wedding dress designer, Alfred Angelo, has created Disney princess-inspired wedding dresses for the little girl in all of us. Stunning and masterfully crafted, Alfred Angelo’s Disney Fairy Tale Wedding dresses are perfect for the sophisticated bride who is looking for just a touch of Disney magic. Simply visit the site and search for a local distributor.

Get married at a Disney Wedding destination.

Have you dreamed of getting married in a real Disney castle? Your dreams can come true when you book your wedding day with Disney Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons. With access to world-famous theme parks, award-winning resorts and luxury cruises, (and not to mention Cinderella’s castle!), a Disney destination wedding offers endless possibilities for a magical and memorable wedding day celebration.

Donate to your local Make-A-Wish Foundation.  

At the end of the day, what makes Disney so magical is the fact that it brings out the child in all of us. There is just something about Disney that hearkens back to a simpler time, a time when dreams and wishes weren’t so out of reach. The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern Ontario grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions in order to help them experience the hope, strength and joy that childhood is all about. By asking your guests to make a donation in lieu of wedding gifts, you are helping make a child’s wish come true. And what is more magical than that?

Looking for more wedding inspiration? Visit www.anastasiamarie.ca and follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Happy planning!

Disney Fairytale Wedding

9 Sneaky Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Day

9 Sneaky Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Day

By: Anastasia Marie, CEO and Creative Director of Anastasia Marie Wedding and Lifestyle PR

I know the feeling. You’ve found the partner of your dreams and you’re all set to walk down the aisle. You can hear your band playing, smell the sweet scent of your custom floral arrangements and can taste the sweet icing of your wedding cake. You’re all set to book your wedding vendors!

Then, at your first appointment, just as you’re ready to sign on the dotted line – CHA CHING! – you see the price. It’s true that planning a wedding, and all that goes with it, is an expensive venture. Here are some tips to plan to perfect day, without breaking the bank.

Save Money on Your Wedding Day

9 Sneaky Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Day

 

1. For high quality floral arrangements at a reasonable price, visit your local grocery store.

Grocery stores aren’t the first place people think of when then think of wedding floral arrangements. Surprisingly, many big name grocery stores offer custom floral arranging services for large events such as weddings. The bonus? Flowers purchased at big box grocery stores are purchased at cost, which makes the price of arrangements much cheaper than those purchased at traditional florists. Ask your grocery store retailer for their floral “book”. Grocery stores almost always carry a book that includes floral arrangement examples with their accompanying prices. Choose flowers that are in season and save!

2. Print your own invitations.

If you’re a couple looking to save money, you will want to avoid paper studio costs. With specialized printing services such as embossing, raised ink and meticulous details such as lace, jewels and studding, paper studios can be very expensive, especially if you are inviting a large number of guests.

If you’re interested in professional looking, custom invitations that rate high on design, consider purchasing ready-made invitations that you can print yourself. For example, Anastasia Marie offers custom wedding invitations that can be printed at Vista Print or a local print shop of your choosing. You get all of the design features you’re looking for without having to pay the heavy printing fees of traditional paper shops. Money saved.

3. Buy an “off the rack” wedding dress.

If you’re lucky enough to be a standard wedding size, purchasing a wedding dress off the rack is your best bet to save money. Quite often, bridal stores will purge their off-season or last year wedding dress models in order to prepare for a new wedding season. This means steep discounts on old models and even steeper discounts on wedding dresses that have been previously tried on. I know of one bride who purchased her wedding dress for two hundred dollars this way! One word of caution: if you choose to purchase an off the rack dress, be sure to look closely for flaws including wear and tear that may have accumulated as a result of being taken on and off so many times. Find a flaw? Ask the store manager for an additional discount; a seamstress can easily fix many small tears after purchase.

4. Purchase a “regular dress” and use it as a bridesmaid dress.

Bridesmaid dresses are expensive! Save your maids some money by purchasing their dresses at a regular clothing store or online. Many bridesmaid dresses are overpriced simply due to the fact that they are featured in a specialty store. Copy the classic looks available in traditional bridal stores by looking for simple lines and colours. Modcloth is an especially good choice for finding dresses that can easily be passed off as bridesmaid dresses – and are priced at a fraction of the cost.

5. Get married on an “off day”.

Saturday’s are traditionally the most popular day to get married. This is because friends and family are more likely to be available on this day. However, if you’re friends and family are like those of many couples, they will show up no matter what day your wedding falls on.

Due to the fact that Saturday’s are the first days to book up at venues, venues often clamor to get bookings on alternate days. This means that you can save a lot of money if you book your wedding on a Friday or Sunday (or any other day). In addition, as a thank you for booking on an “off day”, many venues will throw in extra discounts in the form of hotel rooms, tent bookings etc. I know brides that have saved a couple of thousand dollars this way!

5. Book a DJ or play your own music.

While bands are beautiful, they are often more expensive than booking a DJ. Plus, when it comes down to it, your guests are going to remember the fun they had at your wedding, not who played your music! If you’re looking to nix the cost of playing music all together, consider using your iPod. Ask a friend to monitor the music and create a custom wedding playlist.

6. Donate to a cause instead of purchasing wedding favours.

Wedding favours can be expensive. Luckily, there are ways to say thank you to your guests without having to purchase gifts. One way is to choose a charity and make a donation on behalf of your guests. Find a charity that speaks to the values of you and your partner. Then, print out a card for each table explaining why you chose that charity and that, in lieu of favours, a portion of money has been donated on behalf of each guest in attendance. This way, you can monitor just how much money you donate. You save money while staying classy.

7. Book a destination wedding.

It may seem counter intuitive, but going away to get married can be a lot cheaper than getting married in your home town. First, by going away to get married, you automatically pair down your wedding guest list for the simple reason that not everyone will be able to make the financial or time commitment to attend.

Second, many resorts offer wedding packages that include a venue, flowers, catering, décor and an attractive honeymoon bonus that you will not be able to find at home. Check with your local travel planner to see which destinations are the most cost effective when it comes to destination weddings.

8. Spend where it counts.

There are just some wedding costs that you will not be able to get away from. By writing out a list of wedding priorities with your partner before you start planning, you can allocate funds to wedding vendors that you deem to be the most important. Are wedding memories important to you? You may want to dish out more cash to a photographer or videographer. Is wedding stress getting you down? You may see hiring a wedding planner as an important investment in your sanity. Know that allergies are going to be a problem? Hiring a quality caterer may be first and foremost on you list. By knowing exactly what your needs are before you start signing away your heard-earned cash, you will be better able to spend wisely without sacrificing quality.

The Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner

The Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner (And Why She is Basically Your New Best Friend)

By Anastasia Marie, CEO and Creative Director of Anastasia Marie Wedding and Lifestyle PR

Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner

Think that wedding planners are reserved for the privilege few? WRONG! For today’s modern couples set to tie the knot, wedding planners have become a vital part of the wedding planning process. Full-time jobs, school, children and the overall hectic pace of our lives today has made wedding planning a stressful venture for many couples who  simply do not have the time to invest in full-time planning.

Today, wedding planners are seen as an investment in wedding planning sanity. Here are a few reasons why wedding planners have become a “go-to” vendor, and why your wedding planner will basically become your new best friend!

1.     She wants you to have the perfect day

Let’s be honest, there are only so many times that you can bring up your love of marsala with your best friend, before she starts to question your sanity. Luckily, your wedding planner totally gets your obsession, and even encourages it! A wedding planner put your needs first. After all, it’s her full-time job to make your dreams a reality. With a wedding planner, every last wedding detail is taken care of. From finding a ceremony and reception venue, to signing your wedding vendors and finding the perfect shade of crimson lipstick, your wedding planner has your back like no other. A wedding planner is only happy if you’re happy. Your perfect day is her perfect day.

2.     She is tough when it comes to staying on budget

Weddings can be expensive. Unfortunately, with so many beautiful wedding options out there, it’s all too easy to say “bye-bye” to a budget, no matter how strict you are with your finances. A wedding planner makes budgeting a breeze. Contractually obligated to stay under a certain price point that you have set out in advance, your wedding planner will have a much easier time saying “no way” to that pair of Louboutins than you will. What’s more, your wedding planner’s knowledge of the wedding industry and its vendors will allow her to have more negotiating power when it comes to wedding vendor price lists, and who doesn’t like a deal?

3.     She is great at settling family drama

No wedding is complete without a little bit of family drama. All families are different, and whether it’s your crazy uncle or your sister-in-law who is bound to be late, your wedding planner has the ability to deal with interruptions, rowdy guests and late-comers so that you can concentrate on getting married. Your wedding planner’s ability to create a smooth, seamless and stress-free family occasion is paramount in making sure that your wedding memories are positive ones.

4.     She takes the stress out of wedding planning

Wedding planning is a stressful venture. Financial pressure, guest lists, vendor negotiations, and all of the nuptial celebrations in between, can have a negative impact on couples. Hiring a wedding planner allows you to keep stress to a minimum. No matter what stage of the wedding planning process you are in, a wedding planner has the ability to take on some, or all, of the wedding coordination and planning so that you can concentrate on what matters most, the love you have for your partner.

5.     She knows which wedding vendors to trust – and which ones to avoid

Not all wedding vendors are created equal. While most have the best intentions, some are just bad eggs. A good wedding planner works closely with local vendors and is well acquainted with those that are professional, courteous and fair. Plus, when it comes down to signing, your wedding planner knows the ropes. She can help you make sure that you are getting the best bang for your dollar, that you are receiving quality products, and aren’t being swindled.

6.     She understands the time crunch

Wedding planners, by nature, are hyper-organized. Detail-oriented and fiercely loyal to their clients, good wedding planners make you a priority and understand that all weddings operate on a timeline. Wedding planners know that, in “wedding time”, one year of planning flies by. Your wedding planner makes sure that you have accounted for all of your vendors, that your vendors are signed in a timely fashion and that they are paid on time. In addition, you wedding planner understands how to orchestrate a wedding from start to finish. Not interested in having your ceremony time run into cocktail hour? Your wedding planner help you avoid scheduling errors that can make your wedding fall off the rails.

7.     She understands your vision, and can make it a reality

Every love story is different and it is the little touches, those little hints of who you are as a couple, that make your wedding unique and special. Almost everyone has an idea of what they want their wedding to look like. Unfortunately, not everyone has the artistic flair or creative design skills to make it a reality. Many good wedding planners have a background in design and have the ability to articulate your dreams and ideas. Are you looking to have a vintage chic wedding but don’t know where to start? Maybe you love riding horses and want there to be a riding theme to the celebration. Whatever the look you are going for, wedding planners can set a mood through event design that is sure to make your day memorable and unique.

8.     She can make your destination wedding manageable

Thinking of going down south to say “I do”? Though unquestionably beautiful, destination weddings carry their own unique set of challenges including weather forecasting, travel arrangements and hotel accommodations in addition to the regular wedding planning process. A good wedding planner has connections to travel planners and, together, both of these professionals can help you navigate the world of destination weddings in stride while making sure that, once you arrive at your destination, your wedding is exactly how you planned it.

9.     She is a great friend

When hiring a wedding planner, it is essential that you find someone who you get along with. More than just a wedding coordinator, a good wedding planner understands that her job doesn’t stop at organizing. For the duration of your wedding planning process, your wedding planner will be your friend and confidant. She will be there to celebrate with you and will be there to lean on. The best wedding planners understand that it is a privilege to be involved in what often amounts to be one of the most important occasions in their client’s lives. At the end of the day, your wedding planner finds happiness and fulfillment in seeing your dreams come true with the one you love, and who could ask for a better friend then that?

Anastasia Marie is the CEO and Creative Director of Anastasia Marie Wedding and Lifestyle PR, a full-service wedding planning firm in the Ottawa area. Anastasia is obsessed with all things wedding related and is proud to be a “best friend for hire”!

I’m Engaged, Now What? 8 Simple Steps to Start Your Wedding Journey

I’m Engaged, Now What? 8 Simple Steps to Start Your Wedding Journey

By: Anastasia Marie of Anastasia Marie Wedding and Lifestyle PR

Congratulations, you’re beginning a journey with your best friend! You’ve told your family and friends, have taken a bunch of celebratory selfies and have shamelessly admired your sparkler in the mirror more times than you can count. But now what? When the engagement rush is over, here are the first 8 steps in planning for the perfect wedding day.

wedding planning

Step One: Plan a Date With Your Partner

You may have talked about getting married before, but it’s likely that you didn’t spend time getting into all of the details surrounding the big day. Do you know what your partner likes and doesn’t like when it comes to the number of guests, location, colours and themes of your wedding? Sitting down with your partner will help you both come to terms with what it is you both want from your special day. Remember to write everything down; you will need this information throughout your wedding planning journey.

Step Two: Set A Date (But Be Flexible)

The next step in realizing your wedding dream is settling on a date. Perhaps it’s your anniversary date, or the birthday of a cherished loved one. Then again, perhaps it’s the only date you have off of work. Whatever your circumstances are, deciding on a date is crucial. Not only is this step a reminder that your wedding is actually going to happen (yay!), but it will also allow you to determine what kind of wedding you will have. Do you want your wedding to be outdoors in the sunshine? Better not book your wedding for April when showers are possible. Do you want your wedding to fall on a long weekend so that your family and friends can make a getaway of it? Perhaps you want to choose a date when a tropical destination flight is at its cheapest.  Choosing your date will help you determine all of the little details.

Your date will also determine the availability of your vendors. After all, you may want your favourite cupcakes to be featured at your wedding, but the store may be booked on your big day. Settling on a date makes booking your vendors a lot easier, especially when it comes time to book them. But be wary, however, of setting the date in stone. As a rule, have two dates in mind, that way, should a vendor be unavailable or a venue go bankrupt, you won’t have to worry about your own availability.

Step Three: Set a Timeline

A year is tons of time, right? Wrong! When I got married, I budgeted a year and a half to planning. I figured, since I was still in school, I would need the extra time to get everything organized. What a mistake! After seeing a wedding venue go bankrupt and having a DJ and a photographer fall by the wayside, I learned my lesson: a year and a half, in wedding time, is not much time. In fact, a year of planning for a wedding flies by much faster than you can ever imagine.

With parties, vendor appointments and meetings, your year will be booked solid. That’s why it is so important to decide on a timeline as soon as possible. Decide what types of wedding related business you need to accomplish each month and stick to it. There are lots of books with built-in timelines available at your local bookstore that can help you with this. Then, solicit help, because let’s face it, you’re going to need it!

Step Four: Set a Budget

Weddings are expensive and are full of hidden costs. It’s important to settle on a budget with your partner right away in order to make sure that your finances are manageable and financial stress is kept to a minimum. My rule of thumb? Decide on a budget that is comfortable for you and then add $5000. This extra cash will allow you to budget for any surprise costs that you may not have considered before.  When you find out that the dress you ordered no longer fits and you have to make a last-minute trip to the seamstress, you will be happy that you budgeted for emergencies.

Step Five: Decide Upon Your Wedding Party

Wedding parties come in all shapes and sizes but one thing remains true to all of them: they all consist of the closest family and friends of the bride and groom. Choosing your wedding party is pretty simple. When you are deciding who will be in your wedding party, make sure that you choose individuals who are important to you and whom you know will be in your life for years to come. After you have chosen your party, it’s time to ask them. Make sure they are available and willing.  Chances are, they will be jumping at the chance to be featured in your wedding.

Step Six: Choose Your Guest List

Let’s get real here, weddings are about families. Often this means that your parents have already thought of exactly who they want to invite to your wedding (and they may or may not want to budge on this decision). First, decide on the number of guests you would like to invite. Then make a date with your parents to discuss VIPs and those that can be cut from the list. Stick to your guns and be ruthless. You may love your fourth cousin whom you haven’t seen in fifteen years, but does he really warrant a $150 plate?

Step Seven: Choose a Wedding Planner

No matter how small, weddings can be a huge orchestration. From booking venues to booking vendors, while dealing with financial and family stress, weddings can take a toll on the best of us. That’s why hiring a wedding planner is essential. Reputable wedding planners will provide a myriad of options to suit your budget and to best reflect where you are in the planning process. So, whether you are looking for a wedding planner to orchestrate your wedding from beginning to end, or if you are just looking for “day-of” management, you will be able to find a planner who suites your unique needs.

More than just a wedding organizer, a wedding planner can help you choose a wedding theme, settle on the best vendors to suit your unique style and be a shoulder to cry on when things get stressful. When selecting a wedding planner, make sure to choose someone whose personality you enjoy. You will be working very closely with this person until the big day.

Step Eight: Chill Out!

No matter how you slice it, weddings are stressful. With so many decisions to make, financial stress and the crunch of tight timelines, weddings can take their toll on relationships. In fact,  it can be difficult to remember why you decided to get married in the first place.

Take some time to chill out. Read a book. Go for a run. Watch a good movie. Talk to your partner. Take a step back and see your wedding planning as the amazing journey that it is. Because no matter how beautiful or how neatly planned your wedding day is, it is just the first day of a lifetime filled with happy days spent with the one you love. Happy planning!