Top Five Tips for Announcing your Engagement Online

You said yes! Congratulations, you beautiful bride! Before you hit ‘upload’ and type out ‘He liked it so he put a ring…’, read our top five tips for e-nnouncing your engagement. Trust us- you don’t want to be that girl. We’ll help you keep the energy alive and the buzz going until you walk down the aisle.

Take Some ‘We’ Time

Before you start calling your girlfriends, parents, ex-boyfriends (kidding!), and anyone else, just stop and enjoy the moment. Treat it like a long romantic date- leave your phones at home and just take time to enjoy being with the person that wants to marry you. Don’t worry about not spreading the word the moment it happens- all those ‘likes’ will be there tomorrow!

Slowly Spread Word

When you’re ready to let other people know about the big news, pick who you tell first. Some people may be sensitive if they don’t hear from you first. As a general rule, you’ll want to tell your immediate family and anyone in your bridal party first. You wouldn’t want any of your future bridesmaids to find out that you got engaged by scrolling through their newsfeed. If you live close enough to your loved ones, it’s acceptable to show up and tell them the good news. You can also arrange for an impromptu brunch or drinks nearby to show off the ring. If your inner circle is a little farther away, a phone call will do- but try to at least skype! An engagement needs some imagery to it- which brings us to our next point.

Pics or it Didn’t Happen

Ready for the general public? Make sure you debut your new status in the best way possible! This is one of the chances you have to take as many selfies (or couplies!) as you can until they’re absolutely perfect. Make sure that the first picture of the new engaged you speaks to you and your fiance as a couple- if you’re silly, be silly! If you’re romantic and sweet, show it off in your selfie. There’s just one big rule- you HAVE to show off the ring.

Think Long Term

Before you throw in #RandomHashtags into your post, think about what you’re going to want to look back on. Saying something simple about the engagement is usually a safe bet- talk about how long you’ve been together or just how much you love each other. Skip “this ring is bae” and go for something that will give you butterflies in five years.

Mass Blast

Want to get the news out there to everyone? Link all the posts! Just use instagram and link your twitter and facebook- it’ll get your message out all at once so all your friends will have the opportunity to see it at the same time. This takes care of you going through to make sure no stone was left unturned and maximizes the visibility of your announcement.

Want some tips on where to go from here? Check out this previous post for tips on using social media throughout your engagement, wedding, and beyond into married life! Leave a comment below with your tips for sharing your special moment online.


Top Five Tips for the Perfect Engagement Selfie

You said yes- congratulations! After you’ve calmed down and called the most important people in your life, it’s time to release the news to the public. It may be tempting to spill the beans as soon as you are officially engaged, but waiting can sometimes be a good thing. Take some time before uploading a blurry ring picture to really perfect your engagement selfie and it’ll pay off tenfold in likes.

Check Your Nails

Yes, focus is going to be on your new favorite piece of jewelry but you’re going to want to make sure your fingers are looking good too. Do a quick swipe under your nails to pull out any dirt. If your nails are chipping, do a quick fix with a layer of darker polish over your existing polish. It doesn’t have to be a new full manicure, but it shouldn’t look sloppy. You’ll look back on this picture a lot, you want it to be awesome and beautiful.

Mattify Your Face

If you’re going to be smiling in the shot, mattify your T-zone so you don’t look oily or greasy. You want to remember your natural happy glow, not that you get oily when the weather changes. Do a quick light swipe of an HD powder or a spray of a mattifying face sealing spray.

Upgrade to a Couplie

It may be a little harder to wrangle and coordinate, but an engagement couplie is probably the most appropriate use of a couplie. We love the classic kiss shot with the ring featured- it’s a romantic way of telling the full story all in one picture. You can also get creative with how you both end up in the shot- make it fun, and make it you!

Filter Wisely

No one actually goes #NoFilter- especially not for such an important selfie! Pick something that is well saturated and doesn’t blur any edges. You want your ring to sparkle against your skin, so it’s important you flash a natural glow to contrast. Avoid anything that softens- you want to emphasize the sparkle! And don’t do black and white, it drowns out the whole picture.

Caption Accordingly

Yes, the “He liked it, so he put a ring on it!” is cute, but it’s been done. A lot. Try a little harder and come up with a caption that more fits you as a couple. Mention how long you two have been together, maybe hint at how the proposal went, or do a cute play on word on your names (if applicable- don’t push it). Be creative, be fun, and make it personal. Those little steps go a long way.


Paddleboarding Laguna Beach Proposal

I love myself a good proposal story, and let me tell you, this one is a pretty good one! Better than good, its super romantic and has me tickled pink.  The first time I saw the images of this proposal, I could not imagine a more perfect proposal for these two love birds. I can go on and on about this incredible proposal, but I think its best if you view the beautiful images and read the story from the bride-to-be. I never thought that movie romances can happen in real life, but this one just did. It is even better than a romantic flick.  Enjoy!

1 - Rosepetals and Board

2 - Walking to the board

3 - Getting ready to paddle

14 - Paddle

4 - Smelling roses

7 - Into the water

8 - Paddling Out

6 - Matt waiting for me

9 - Proposal

10 -PostProposal1


Photographs by Ryan Working, Matt’s longtime friend.

Matt and Amanda’s Love Story told by the bride-t0-be…

Matt’s and my relationship has been a fairytale since it began one fateful day in the produce section of Sprouts Farmers Market. I went into the store to pick up a few produce items, and little did I know I would also pick up the man of my dreams. When I first spotted Matt, he was standing by the portabella mushrooms and I thought he was the most handsome man I had ever seen. After shopping around for a bit in the produce section, and after many smiles and glances his way, Matt struck up a cute conversation with me about his frustration with the produce plastic bags. “Don’t you hate these things?” he said, with a smile. I was instantly enamored. After chatting amongst the fruits and vegetables for a bit and connecting over shared interests of hiking and nature, Matt asked for my number and offered to take me on a hike. After our momentous meeting, I called my best friend Lauren from the car and said “I think I just met my husband!” On our first date, Matt took me to Las Brisas in Laguna Beach for coffee and desert on the beautiful patio. It was nothing short of a romantic movie – the sound of the crashing waves, the bright and shining half-moon in the sky, the blissful walk on the sand, and the goosebump-inducing first kiss under the stars. Matt and I both say that we each knew on that first date that we had met the person we were going to marry.


And now flash forward two years to that initial gut feeling and wish becoming a reality, as we now prepare for our marriage! Like our beautiful meeting, Matt’s and my proposal story is nothing but romance, wonder and a dream come true!


Matt and I have been avid paddle-boarders and beach lovers for our entire relationship, and so I should have guessed that he would incorporate our love for paddling into his proposal. But I can honestly say I have NO idea he would actually propose to me out on a paddle-board on the ocean! The weekend after our second anniversary, Matt invited me out to the beach one morning to join him for a surprise. I had thought he might have just had a fun day planned for us – little did I know, he was planning to propose. So I drove down to Diver’s Cove in Laguna Beach – not far from where we had our first date – parked my car and walked to the beach. When I arrived at the top of the stairs that lead down to the ocean, the first thing I noticed was my paddle-board down on the sand surrounded by a giant heart made of rose petals! My heart stopped at that moment, and a wave of shock and excitement washed over me. As I approached my board, I saw a brand new wooden paddle Matt had ordered from Hawaii; it was hand carved wood and it was engraved to say “For my one love Amanda.” As I tried to catch my breath, I finally looked out upon the water to notice Matt out there already on his paddle-board, waving and gesturing for me to join him. I will never forget the big, bright smile he had on his face as he waved to me. I quickly put my stuff down, grabbed my board and new paddle, and started running into the surf. The waves were big that day so I was laughing trying to get out there while being so nervous. It felt like I had never paddled before because I was so nervous I could barely stand! Matt said he had the same feeling that day – with wobbly legs and a fast beating heart, we both struggled to stand, despite our years of practice!


And then, in the most spectacular moment of my life, right as I started to approach him on my board, he dropped down on one knee! He said the most thoughtful, meaningful and loving words and asked me to marry him right there on the water. It was incredible. The sun was beating down upon us, waves around us…it was a dream. He had the ring around his neck, strung around lanyard with a floatie device attached to it! After I of course said “YES!” and Matt put the ring onto my finger, he told me to turn around and wave to his friend Ryan, who had been hiding on shore to capture photos of the whole proposal! From that point, Matt said “ok, let’s go paddle!” and so we set off into the ocean and paddled down the coast of Laguna for hours (and even had a visit by some dolphins!); just the two of us – beaming with joy and soaking up the moment!  It was the most incredible, dream come true proposal by the most amazing, romantic man!

A Quick Ring Buying Guide for Guys

Most guys out there don’t have the faintest clue when it comes to buying a ring. Whether you are buying an engagement ring, a wedding band, or upgrading her ring for a milestone anniversary, you should be familiar with the main concepts of how to buy a ring and what to look for. Consider this article a nice starter guide for buying a ring and be sure to make the ring buying experience something that is shared between future husband and wife!

Tip 1: Know Her Style

There are many different styles of rings out there, so be sure to either take her along when you go shopping (something I personally recommend guys!) or get a detailed breakdown on the style of ring she likes. Maybe she wants a multi-banded style ring, or maybe she wants something very slim with a huge diamond. Be sure to know her style first and that can be accomplished by visiting jewelers together. Some ladies will want perfect clarity, while others will want excellent color. Some will just want size, and others will go for style and a mix of the rest. Know what she wants!

Tip 2: Know Where to Shop

You might want to avoid the “big stores” like department stores at the mall as you are sure to get better deals in jewelry districts where dozens of vendors set up shop under one roof and compete against each other. In Southern California there are a few great places to go, with the “Jewelry District” in downtown Los Angeles being the premium spot to get an amazing ring at a great price. There’s also a Jewelry Mart in Fullerton (Orange County, CA) that I can personally recommend. You should shop around and try to get the best deal possible. Stretch those expectations for what you can buy through savvy shopping at reputable jewelers.

Tip 3: Clarity

Understanding clarity is extremely important. This refers to the imperfections, such as mineral deposits and fractures, that the stone will have.  The scale ranges as such:

F = Flawless
VVS1 / VVS 2 = Very, Very slight inclusions
VS1 / VS2 = Very slight inclusions
SI1 / SI2 = Slight Inclusions
I1 / I2 / I3 = Inclusions

Again, look at what she wants. Maybe it doesn’t have to be flawless, but it should perhaps be no worse than a VS1. Any reputable jeweler can explain more and even show you a chart.

Tip 4: Color

Try not think of the diamond from the movie Titanic when it comes to color. What you want to think about is “How ‘white’ is this diamond’ and you’ll see that the range starts from totally colorless and goes to yellow. The best diamonds will be scored D, E, or F in terms of color. The next tier is G, H, I, J which ranks as near-colorless to faint color, and then N through Z is obvious yellow color. The best tip here is to stay in the D through F range. Color is one of those things you do not want to skimp on because it’ll be obvious when the diamond has color and when it does, it will cheapen the look completely.

Tip 5: Cut

This element of the diamond is most affected by personal taste. Be absolutely 100% sure you know which cut of diamond your lady wants. Some want a round diamond, some want a Princess cut, others want an oval shape. Find out what she wants, and stick with that one as it will greatly alter the shape and size of the band.

Tip 6: Carat

Most people are familiar with this term as it refers to the weight of the diamond. Depending on your lady’s taste, how big her hand and fingers are, and how much else might be going on with the right will depend on the size of carat you will want to get. Some brides-to-be will want a flawless, colorless diamond, but will not want a huge rock, so a .50 to .75 rating will work just fine and look fantastic. Some simply want a huge rock, so going with an average color and clarity (or slightly below average) will work for her so long as the carat rating is 1.5 to 2. It depends, and understand that you will pay for each one of the “Four Cs” when shopping, not just for the weight of the diamond.

Tip 7: Haggle and Have Fun

If you go to a department store, you might not be able to haggle. But if you shop around between many jewelry stores or even go to a reputable jewelry district, it is certain you will get more bang for your buck. Maybe your budget stays the same, but what might happen is that you get a much better ring than you would have elsewhere. Make it fun and don’t try to find the perfect diamond in one visit.

Five Beauty Treatments to Skip Before Engagement Photos

Newly engaged? It’s time to show off a fresh face and document this epic time in your life! If you have a big photo op on the horizon, you’re going to want to do what you can to look your best. However, there are a few things that you should probably skip before taking lots of photos. Here’s our list of what to put on the back burner for now.

Skip the Facials

Even if you’re a regular at the spa, you may want to skip the facials. You don’t want to risk any bad reactions or irritated skin when you have a photo op on the horizon. If you feel like your skin does need a little love, try a clay or mud mask. Stick to organic and non-irritable (nothing acidic!) skin treatments so there’s no chance you’ll break out or get patchy.

Stick to Shaving

On that note, now is not the time to get waxed! If you’ll have some skin showing, it’s best to keep it looking as smooth as possible. In the same vein as skipping facials to avoid any unwanted reaction, you should also foreo waxing for a while. Even if you go to the same beautician every time, you don’t want to risk a bad experience. Your skin needs to be as flawless as possible, don’t take risks. 1Biotin.jpg.jpg

Serious New Supplements

Vitamins like fish oil, vitamin D, and Biotin can be a great addition to your diet, but skip starting them until all the pictures are done! Introducing a new vitamin into your routine can break you out- or even in some cases make you nauseous. Biotin and other hair and nail supplements have been known to break people out when they are first introduced into a sensitive system. It’s best to not make any drastic changes to your diet just yet- enjoy being engaged in your own skin for a while!


Trim Out the Trim

Skip getting any haircuts, even if you’re just planning on a tiny trim, until after the pictures are taken. It can be easy to get swept up in feeling creative while you’re in a stylist’s chair, but you may not want that look to be documented. Try to save any changes to your look until after engagement photos. That way, you’ll have time to perfect your new look before the big day or change it if you don’t love it.

Re-Schedule That Root Canal

Put off any dental work until after all photos are done. Treatments that numb your face can cause you to make funny faces, and not all in the cute way. Unless you’re just going in for a quick cleaning the day before, you really want to keep anything major until you’re free from the flashing lights. No one likes a puffy numb mouth, and being uncomfortable could distract you from looking adorable.

Valentine’s Day Inspired Picnic Styled Shoot

Honestly, this post does not need much of an introduction except for the fact that is so full of pretty details that it has me tickled pink.  With Valentine’s Day around the corner, this styled shoot has all the ingredients for a perfect Valentine’s Day date. Are you ready for some gorgeous Valentine’s Day inspiration? That’s exactly what we’re serving up this morning, and we have to warn you, it is a pretty good one! This super stunning Valentine’s Day inspired shoot is really amazing because Perfectly Made Weddings, together with a group of fabulous vendors  created a lovely romantic affair.  It has everything that any girl and guy would want for their special day!

What makes this gorgeous styled shoot extra special is the fact that this couple is a real couple.  These high school sweethearts were recently engaged, which made this styled shoot even more real. It is a true representation of sweet love shared between this  young couple who expresses their love in the most beautiful of ways. You can feel the love this couple shares with just one peek at the photographs below.  I think you will find that these two are the cutest couple! When on-site for this shoot, all I was saying was, “OMG, you guys are SO CUTE!”. I could not help it, they are that darn adorable. I think that is why this styled shoot was so seamless. When you have a couple like this one, and Manya Photography to capture all the cuteness, then you have yourself some breathtaking images. You will need to grab a cup of coffee, (or two), as you will want to view these photos over and over.








































From Perfectly Made Weddings

Idea and inspiration behind the shoot:

The idea and inspiration came from the designer’s love for romantic, rustic and vintage details. Since Valentine’ Day was coming up, we wanted to create a  romantic picnic style setting for a couple celebrating their love with each other. Simple, but full of love.  Valentine’s Day seems to always be about going out to a fancy restaurant and sharing a nice dinner with a whole lot of other couples. Often, couples find going out is crowded and not as private and romantic. So instead,  the idea was that we wanted to create a very intimate setting with a lovely picnic, surrounded by nature’s pretty details. This was to bring about a feeling of romance, while celebrating their love with just the two of them there. The setting? Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park. It was the perfect location to set up a picnic.  We wanted to make the couple feel like they were the only ones in the middle of a gorgeous outdoor setting.  The concept of the picnic was simple.  We really did not want to over decorate and take away from the couple’s love for each other. We added a few items to compliment the couple’s true love. Simple does not allow for any interruptions or frills, just a romantic day with the one you love.

Color palette:

The main color palette for the shoot consists of neutral colors, soft blushes and ivories, and pairing them with gold.

Fashion: We wanted to stay with a Valentine’s Day theme while keeping it simple with soft fabrics and romantic details.

















 Vendor Information:

Event Styling and Design: Perfectly Made Weddings

Photographer: Manya Photography

Wardrobe Styling: Hope Stanley

Hair & Make-up: Sharon Han with Joyce Luck Style 

Floral Design: Floral Riot

Floral Headpiece: Something Treasured

Location: Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park 

Models: Jaquelynn and Josh (Real Couple)


Five Magical Disneyland Spots to Propose

What is more magical, than an actual magic kingdom? What is more memorable than the moment one proposes to their significant other? Now ask yourself, what happens when you combine those two questions? Yes, your mind might actually explode thinking about the possibilities, but the folks here at Bridal Hot List have some amazing suggestions for you. In this article we are going to combine the magic of Disneyland along with the amazing moment where one proposes to their true love. Read on to hear our top five magical Disneyland spots to propose!

Cinderella’s Castle

Cinderella’s Castle is the iconic castle seen in almost every picture, commercial, and piece of Disney material in the world. This gorgeous structure sits smack dab in the middle of the Disneyland theme park and is often crowded by tourists looking to get a perfect picture. What is great for park visitors is that Disney often has professional photographers ready and willing to take a photo of you using their camera and yours so that you can save that magical moment forever. Well, imagine if they just happened to capture the moment where you got on one knee and proposed? That would be as magical a moment as they come.

Chief Editor Niloufar Gibson is a huge Disneyland fan! Here she is taking a photo in front of Cinderella's Castle, an amazing spot to propose!

Chief Editor Niloufar Gibson is a huge Disneyland fan! Here she is taking a photo in front of Cinderella’s Castle, an amazing spot to propose!

King Arthur Carousel

The carousel at Disneyland is directly behind Cinderella’s Castle and is another iconic piece of history. Did you know that it was featured in a telecast celebrating Disneyland’s opening back in 1955? Since then it has been refurbished and kept in pristine condition, while maintaining a nostalgic old-world feel. What a wonderful memory it would be for one person standing next to someone riding a horse while the carousel went around to pull out a ring and propose? It would be magical, and a moment to relive every single time you came back to Disneyland.

It’s A Small World – Holiday Season

Have you ever seen the Holiday Season of the ride “It’s a Small World” at Disneyland? It is amazing! Not only is this the cutest ride of all time, it also happens to be a great spot to propose, especially if you let the folks know ahead of time your big plans and get your own boat. You could even do it outside, while at night, to enjoy the amazing light show. It’s gorgeous, cute, and sure to make a lasting impression to stay with you forever.

Did you know about the Holiday Season for It's a Small World? It's gorgeous!

Did you know about the Holiday Season for It’s a Small World? It’s gorgeous!

Outside New Orleans Square Next to Rivers of America at 9pm

Okay, we know that is a VERY specific place to be at a very specific time. What you will want to do is head over near where Pirates of the Caribbean is at in New Orleans Square and head over towards where you would go for Tom Sawyer’s Island. You will notice a LOT of people over there starting at 8pm, because Disneyland has an amazing fireworks show at 9pm EVERY NIGHT! Just imagine being at Disneyland, under the stars, listening to amazing music, with fireworks going over your heads and proposing? That would be a moment that all other couples would be jealous of!

Tomorrowland: A Star Wars Engagement

Okay, this one is reserved only for the geekiest couples out there, obviously! But just imagine two huge Star Wars fans hanging out with iconic characters such as Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Chewbacca, or even CP3O and R2-D2, and proposing in front of them and all the Star Wars fans? That dream can actually come true because actors dress up as characters from the Star Wars universe and visit people at Star Tours, or more likely, will appear for pictures and autographs at the Jedi Academy area, which is also where you can pick up a good slice of pizza.  Sure, this is not conventional by any means, but where else in the galaxy are you going to have Darth Vader appear in your engagement session photos?

For Star Wars geeks, being able to include Sith Lord Darth Vader at your engagement would be a story that nobody would forget!

For Star Wars geeks, being able to include Sith Lord Darth Vader at your engagement would be a story that nobody would forget!

Five Tips For Throwing and Engagement Party

Engagement parties are a fun way to celebrate and share the news with all of your family and friends.  Whether the party is extravagant or small and intimate, here are a few tips to steer you in the right direction.


There are lots of fun places to have the party.  Decide whether you want a large or intimate event before you pick the location.  A backyard or yacht is a great place for an intimate gathering. You can go big in a ballroom or estate. Either way, first consider the size and grandeur of your wedding.  The engagement party shouldn’t upstage the wedding, but instead should compliment it.

Who to Invite

According to ancient engagement party etiquette, you are only supposed to invite guests who are also invited to your wedding.  However, if you are having a small wedding you might want to invite more friends to the engagement party who won’t be attending the wedding.  This is also an opportunity for your parents to invite friends they may want to share in the celebration.

When to Have It

Engagement parties generally happen within three months of the proposal.  They are generally thrown by the bride’s family but a friend or member of the bridal party may throw one as well.  If you are planning a long engagement then plan your party no less than nine months before the wedding.

What to Serve

Don’t feel as though you have to serve an extravagant meal at your engagement party.  The food you serve is a great opportunity to showcase who you are as a couple. Choose the food that reflects both of your favorite foods for the appetizers and desserts.  This is a fun way to give an overview of the couple and what similarities or differences attract you to each other.


Gifts are not usually expected at an engagement party,  however if there are people coming who know they will not be able to make the wedding, then gifts are a definite possibility.  You can create a registry just in case someone asks your parents what to get you.  It doesn’t have to be the large wedding registry but just something small for the gifts you may receive.

Engagement Announcement

Five Ways to Share An Engagement

You’re engaged!  Congratulations and now it’s time to share the news with family and friends.  Instead of the traditional phone call, why not take this opportunity to be creative and have a little fun.  That’s what we’re here for!  Check out these five fun ways to announce your engagement.

Engagement Announcement

Family First.   This one is for the guys.  If family is of the utmost importance to you as a couple,  then why not include them in the engagement process?   Invite them to join in the moment when you ask the woman you love to become your wife.  It’s a great opportunity to surprise and show her how much you love her.

Create a Page.  The new thing for modern couples is to create your own wedding website.  There are various sites that allow you to create a couple profile and keep your guests informed on important dates.  This way your friends can track  your journey to “I do”.

A Trip to the Movies.  For you movie buffs, now is your opportunity to recreate your favorite movie poster.  Photoshop is a wonderful thing.  You can even take it a step further and recreate your favorite romantic scene from a movie to play for a group of friends.

Game Night. Get your family together for a game night.  Choose something like Pictionary or Charades that will keep your friends guessing as you act out “We’re Engaged”.  Prepare for screaming, cheering, crying and a whole lot of love.

A Personal Touch.  Announcing to the world may not be quite your style and we have the perfect solution! Take the person or people you want to tell out for Starbucks, offer to buy the drinks why he/she saves a table.  Ask the barista to write “I’m Engaged” or “I said Yes” on the cup instead of a name.  This is how I was asked to be my friend’s maid of honor, and what a surprise it was!

No matter the way you reveal your engagement it will be a time of celebration and love.  Take advantage of this special time to share the love you’ve found with family and friends in ways you will remember for years to come.

Engagement Announcement