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Archive for April, 2012

When two lovers get engaged, it is typical practice for the man to purchase a beautiful diamond ring and place it on the left finger of his beloved – why? Well, this tradition can actually be linked back to the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. They believed that the circular shape of the ring symbolized eternity; however, wearing a ring in recognition of marriage did not become prominent until Roman times. Their rings were usually made of iron, but gold bands became more popular, and later were combined with beautiful jewels that symbolized things like the heart (ruby) and the heavens (sapphire). Because of its hard substance, the most coveted and meaningful of all precious gems was the diamond, symbolizing “the unconquerable.” The Greeks also believed diamonds to be fragments of fallen stars sent down from the Heavens, granting unearthly protection to the wearer.  The birthplace of diamonds was in India, where they were thought to be a shield against the forces of evil. Since their discovery, the world has always been enthralled with the seemingly mystical powers that diamonds behold, making it the perfectly timeless betrothal gift.
The wearing of the rings on the left hand “ring finger” began with the Egyptians who believed that the vena amoris, or vein of love, went directly from the heart all the way to the tip of this digit. Men started wearing wedding bands in the early 1300s, when the concept was introduced by the Greek Orthodox church. However, the tradition did not take off in the United States until the early 1900s during World War II. When they were unsure whether or not they would be able to return to their lover, the men would be able to look at this symbol of everlasting love and know that no matter how far away they were, their brides were thinking of them.

Photo Courtesy Of: Wedding Bee Blog

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It’s a tough economy, and you just got engaged – first off, congratulations! If you saw dollar signs instead of stars when it finally hit you that you have a wedding to plan, this article is for you. There are tons of things that you can do to help yourself save money on your wedding – we’ve got you covered. For example, the most fabulous centerpieces are the eye-catchers of the table. You may be asking yourself, “how do you create striking centerpieces for cheap?” Well, honey, here are a few helpful suggestions:


  1. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. Centerpieces may be the star of the linens, but they shouldn’t steal all the spotlight. Make sure that they tie in with the theme of the table, not overpower it.
  2. Guests enjoy edible arrangements. Place a colorful candle or table number in the middle of a bowl of fruit, silver Hershey’s kisses, or nuts. Not only will your centerpieces get the attention that they deserve, they will keep your guests from complaining while waiting for dinner to be served.
  3. Sentiment sells. Photos of you and your someone-to-be make excellent talking and laughing points as well as interesting centerpieces of the table. Take photos of you and your loved one holding up cut outs of numbers to let guests know what table they are sitting at. This is an extremely cute and relatively inexpensive idea.
  4. Match your theme with simplicity. For example, if you’re having a beach-themed wedding, place some sand, seashells, and a few candles in the middle of the table – the only thing you actually have to purchase are the candles. Collection of the sand and seashells is also a great project for the flower girls, ring bearers, and junior bridesmaids!
  5. Grow your own. Rustic, outdoorsy, eco-friendly/green, and bohemian are “in” right now – theme your wedding in such a fashion. Take the opportunity to develop your “love fern” with some actual planting. Flower seeds are cheap! Plant your own flowers in the months prior to the wedding and clip them before the ceremony. Put them in vases and voila! You’ve got beautiful, fresh flowers compliments of Mother Nature.

Photo Courtesy Of: WeddingChannel.com

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Have you ever been to a restaurant and used the dinner fork to eat your salad? Although this might not seem like a huge deal, proper dining etiquette is important to know if you plan on attending nice restaurants, business dinners, and especially nice weddings. Below is a relatively simple and universal diagram for proper dining etiquette:


Tips to Remember:

  • Bread on the Left, Drink on the Right: make a little “B” with your left hand and little “D” with your right to help you remember which is which.
  • Napkins Belong in Your Lap: Keep your napkin in your lap, unless you are excusing yourself from the table. If you must leave the table at any point during dinner, place your napkin to the left or right of your plate, or hang it over the back of your chair.
  • Passing Items: Always pass items from left to right, like you are reading the table.  If you are asked for the salt or pepper, both should be passed together.
  • The Do-NOTs of Formal Dining:
    • Do not wait for anyone to begin eating; eat when it is hot!
    • Do not slurp your soup.
    • Do not blow on your soup; let it cool before eating it.
    • Do not chew on your ice.
    • Do not smoke at dinner or excuse yourself for a smoking break.
    • Do not take leftovers (unless it is an informal dining experience).
    • Do not use your fingers to scoop your food onto your fork/spoon. Use your other utensils or piece of bread.
    • Do not put your elbows on the table.
    • Do not blow your nose at the table. If you need to, excuse yourself.
    • Do not cough into your hand or open air; use your napkin to cover your mouth.
    • Do not double dip; scoop a serving of the dip or salsa onto your plate.

Photos Courtesy Of: Classy & Fabulous Blog

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On Tuesday, the Catrina Maria Designs team had the opportunity to visit the beautiful city of San Francisco to see an “Over the Top” presentation by the world-renowned designer, Preston Bailey.

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His story was truly inspiring to listen to, and the designs that he shared with us were jaw-droppingly intricate. We had so much fun! For more information about Preston Bailey’s background and amazing designs, visit his website at http://www.prestonbailey.com/.

Before we headed to the cocktail hour at the Julia Morgan Ballroom, we visited My Boudoir SF to talk to the amazing and very knowledgeable lingerie stylist, Miriam Hernandez, for a some girly fun! For questions about your own undergarments, visit her website at http://www.thelingeriestylist.com/. 

At the Preston Bailey NACE event, we had the chance to interact with some very exciting vendors! Some of our favorites were:

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A big thank you to San Francisco NACE for hosting this event! The Catrina Maria Designs team had a blast!

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