Monday, November 28, 2011

Best Bachelorette Party Spots For You & Your Girls!

It's not every day that you can have carte blanche when it comes to celebrating the final days of your single life with your best girlfriends by your side. Principles in Action, San Antonio-based wedding planner, can help you put together an exciting bachelorette bash with loads of fun. There are tons of party ideas that don't give girls a bad name, whether you and your BFFs want to enjoy a weekend on the beach or gather with the girls at a local spa, we've got you covered!

With so many destinations to explore, the only difficulty comes in deciding where to head. Here are a few ideas on where to gather the girls!

  • Everyone loves a beach vacation. Throw some bikinis in a bag and head for the nearest island getaway, or opt for a destination trip with your closest girls. Consider South Beach in Miami, Florida, where you and your newly bronzed ladies can saunter downtown and enjoy the nightlife elements--with the added appeal of beach time mixed in. The Catalina Hotel & Beach Club, a super hip and surprisingly affordable art deco hotel, touts a "Style the Last Mile" bachelorette party package, where special room rates include manis, pedis, and group massages for your entourage. Not to mention VIP club passes and nightly martini rounds during the hotel's happy hour!
  • Gather the girls at a local spa to catch up on some much-needed R&R. A day at the spa is the quintessential female way to gather and bond. Book some massages, pedicures, facials, and manicures and prepare for a day of old-fashioned gossip and giggling. If the spa is the party's main event, make it even more special by renting a limousine and toasting with mimoas. There are endless spas to choose from in the area, but here are some of our favorites: The Woodhouse Day Spa, Lake Austin Spa Resort, and Barton Creek Resort & Spa.
  • Harken back to the good ol' days and have a slumber party at the new JW Marriott here in San Antonio (where they have a spa with several different rooms) or The Westin La Conterra. Start off by enjoying a gourmet brunch, play games and open gifts in the afternoon, and cap it off by eating cookies and watching girly flicks in the evening.
  • Consider a girls fun day photo shoot and dinner, where you get together and pamper yourselves all day and then go out to a nice dinner with a photo shoot with a professional photographer. Nice restaurants for fun are Charma Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse and Maggiano's Little Italy to name a few! Nothing will put the bride in a better mood and make her forget about any pre-wedding jitters she might have than a night of laughter, food, female bonding, and photos she'll always have to remember the fun times!

With these tips, all of your planning is bound to result in a one-of-a-kind bachelorette party! Be sure to reach out to us if you'd like help planning the festivities!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tips for Planning a Smooth, Stress-Free Ceremony Rehearsal

Here at Principles in Action, we've planned a lot of San Antonio-based weddings and we've done many rehearsals along the way. For a smooth ceremony rehearsal, you need several things, so we've put together a list you'll need to help stay organized:
  • Don't forget your marriage license. Your officiant will likely want to take it from you at the rehearsal so you don't have to stress about it on your wedding day.
  • If you didn't pay the venue fees in advance, be sure to bring along what you owe so you can be paid in full prior to the wedding.
  • A list of bridesmaids and groomsmen and their order at the altar. This list will make it easier for the person conducting the rehearsal to organize everyone. Always confirm with the bride and groom that the lineup looks good, since sometimes there are family dynamics to consider.
  • A list of the grandparents, parents, bridesmaids and groomsmen in the order they will process down the aisle. If grandparents and mothers are being ushered, be sure to include the ushers' names next to the people they are ushering.
  • A list of song selections and acoustics for the wedding party noting when the music should change.
  • A copy of the ceremony readings, which readers tend to be notorious for not having at the rehearsal. Email a copy to yourself and have someone open it on their smartphone as a back-up plan.
  • Bring everything you need for the ceremony (guestbook, pen, ring bearer pillow, flower girl basket, unity candles), so you don't have to worry about it on your big day.
  • Typed directions to the rehearsal dinner so when the bridal party asks for instructions, you are fully prepared and no one gets lost.

The ceremony rehearsal should be taken seriously, however your wedding party will likely be more casual at the rehearsal than during the actual ceremony, so don't be too stressed if they don't stand perfectly. They'll do an amazing job with attention to detail on the wedding day. Even if the officiant can't make it, be sure to have a rehearsal at the venue anyway and get in touch with the officiant beforehand to see if they have any special instructions. Don't hesitate to practice a few times to get things right to ensure everyone is in place!

As always, relax and enjoy the rehearsal and watch for a wonderful ceremony.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

{You're Making us Blush} Lots of Love from our Brides & Grooms

Here at Principles in Action we are privileged to have worked with many wonderful brides and grooms in the San Antonio area. We've collected these much-appreciated testimonials from some lovely couples from our previous weddings and thought you might want to see what they're saying!

"From one Groom to Another!

I wanted to take a second, although it may take days to describe how wonderful it was to work with Ansonya. I almost hate to call it work, because she treated us like we were family! We used to have a “full-time” wedding coordinator, but it almost seemed like we had to remind her to do her job, and ask for appointments confirmation etc, since my wife and I had a very busy schedule. With Ansonya, it was a total different story! She was meticulous, organized, had experience, and asked the right questions all the time. I remember coming to work in the morning with some quality emails from her to help progress things.

Ansonya was also really creative. She was able to use some things about us, to add a touch to the whole wedding theme. French is my first language and she used that to make the escort cards, and name tables. I also have a bit of a sweet tooth, and Ericka is also very practical, so those things about us were used by Ansonya to come up with the idea of a candy station, which the guests loved, and were able to take something home with them from the wedding that was useful, and enjoyable!

As the groom, she helped me scored some great points by communicating with me often to make sure I had all my action items taken care of. She helped with the exit idea, which were to use bubbles, and that was truly a success! Everyone was talking about it.

Not even an hour into the reception, we were already getting compliments from our guests about how well organized the wedding was, and how Ansonya’s team were doing an excellent job. My wife and I were able to have a relaxing day of the wedding, and were truly able to enjoy the whole experience with our guests!

Ansonya, you made this day a dream come true, and Ericka and I till this day, are having a tough time finding anything that went wrong with it, because it was PERFECT!


Jean-Philippe Kouassi, Groom"

"Dear Future PIA Brides,

I was so pleased with the work that Ansonya and the Principles in Action team did for my wedding on April 16th!.  My wedding was like a dream and I was able to enjoy every second of it. Before hiring Ansonya and her team with Principles In Action, to help us plan our wedding, I was in a terrible situation with another consultant who didn’t/couldn’t do the job at hand. I was feeling disconcerted and stressed about our special day instead of happy and excited.  I was wondering how I was going to steer my fiancé and I back on track. Luckily, after I was put in touch with Ansonya, I was more than excited to have her and her team working with us. I read her website and facebook page and all the brides she’s worked with, was so happy with her precision and attention to detail, and friendliness. She managed my 120 guests and 8 vendors without a hitch and as a result I was able to dance, chat and have fun on my wedding day! Things ran so smoothly and my husband and I were able to save so much money with the things she did for us.

We did not have any idea of what we were going to do for favors and Ansonya came up with an idea to have a Candy Station. It turned out beautifully! It fit our personality perfectly as we have a huge sweet tooth. She also made it our wedding colors which I thought was amazing. As our wedding had a sort of French theme because my husband speaks French, she even added the little details like the Eiffel Tower, and the writing on the candy bags in French just to stay in theme. It was great! The guests only had compliments and she even remembered to put some of my husband’s favorite candies on the side to make sure he had it to enjoy!

Ansonya made this process so easy for us and that put my mind at ease. I can easily be flustered and stressed and I couldn’t think of anyone more perfect to work with. She was in constant communication and she had the most attentive style which put my mind at ease. From her services, I received a 3D floor plan with floral design and tables and chairs for the venue. She was always calling regarding my vendors and was in close contact regarding wedding details and simply to check in to make sure we were ok. We were so comfortable with her she was like family! Any question or concern I had, no matter how random she had thought about and was always one step ahead of me. It was apparent to me that she takes the time to get to know her brides and just does something special for each of us.

My advice for those thinking of hiring Ansonya and her team is don’t hesitate and do it! It is one of the best decisions you will make… well after telling your man “yes!" lol.  My friends are still raving about how wonderful the wedding was, how vivid the colors were, how detailed, classy and romantic the setting was. Most of our guests commented that it was the most organized wedding they had been to, and they could tell that my husband and I were having a ball.

I can’t say enough about Ansonya and her team. She got all the logistics out of the way, and I can’t say enough that I enjoyed my whole wedding day! It was perfect! All I had to do was show up and that is a great feeling to have a team like PIA that you can trust like that on your wedding day!

I would be happy to talk to any bride that is considering hiring Ansonya and PIA team for their wedding.  Please contact Ansonya at  PIA for the information.

Happily Married,

Ericka Kouassi"

"WOW!  Great job you guys!  I am a groom that was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with Ansonya and her group at Principles In Action.  As my fiancé and I sat down with Ansonya over lunch to interview her I was shocked at what I heard!  She actually took the time to look at me address me and ask what it was that I wanted in the planning and actions of the big day.  This is rare!  By all means this day was to be a special day for my fiancé but there are two people in the ceremony and us guys can easily be over looked.  She took the time to get to know me and what my desires were for the day.  They were prepared for all things pertaining to wedding coordinating and planning.  She was available most anytime we needed her and was prompt and efficient in her correspondence to my fiancé and I.  Yes, she copy’d me on all decisions and discussions which was awesome to feel so involved.  I have looked at hiring Ansonya and her group for corporate events and as far as I am concerned there is NO OTHER I would like to work with.  Thank you Ansonya for your hard work and your friendship, my wife and I have gained a new friend through this whole endeavor which is only one of the cool perks we were fortunate enough to have been blessed with.

Brian Benke"

"A little note from one bride to another,

My name is Vanessa Benke, I recently had the privilege of planning my wedding and marrying my soul mate Brian. As an eager bride to be, immediately after he proposed I began pulling together ideas for the Big Day and wanted no little desires or wishes for our fantasy wedding to go unfulfilled.  At first, I swore we could pull this off on our own…I mean no big deal right? Ha! WRONG! Frankly speaking, as a bride you deserve help! I deserved help! My phone was blowing up with vendors, bridesmaids, groomsmen, the pastor, the church, the venue, the flowers, the photographer, the videographer, the cake guy, the caterer, the band, the quartet, blah, blah, blah, and that was when I realized that this time was supposed to be happy and exciting time, not stressful and overwhelming so…I faced reality and decided to look into hiring a wedding planner. Brian and I sat down and had consultations with a couple different wedding planners and walked away feeling like they wanted to take over our wedding day. They seemed strict and less open to our individual creativity for our desires and wishes about “our” big day (and I just won’t even mention the astronomical rates that were quoted!). Nervously we decided to consult with one more planners, Ansonya from Principles in Action. I knew after a few short minutes of chatting that she just seemed to understand us. She asked a few questions about our personalities so she would know the best way to communicate with us.

She asked what OUR vision was for our wedding day. She realized that the groom often gets overlooked throughout the planning and made him a priority as well! She was a breath of fresh air! We worked with her for several months. She ALWAYS answered my calls or called me back within minutes. I was NEVER left out of the loop on the conversations she had with our vendors. She was patient and sensitive to me during my moments of insanity. The team even constructed a computer generated 3D graphic mock up of my venue  with all my decorations included to help me get a vision of what everything would look like as it came together so I wouldn’t have any disappointing surprises! I loved this! I could rave all day about her and her team but you are a busy bride so I will cut to the chase…She managed my wedding day of 300 guests and 16 vendors with ease, managed uncomfortable and sticky situations with  difficult vendors with professionalism and grace, and allowed us to enjoy OUR evening without a SINGLE hiccup!

Many Blessings,

'The new' Mrs. Vanessa Benke"

"From a recent happy bride to a future happy bride:

If you want a flawless, magical wedding day, before you decide on the flowers and the cake and the linens and the vows (and all of the other things you didn’t realize you’d have to decide on), decide to hire Ansonya Burke and her team, Principles in Action, for all of your wedding coordination and consultation needs.  If you know of other brides stressed and busy in the middle of their own wedding planning, recommend Ansonya Burke and her team, Principles in Action, to calm their fears, relax their nerves, and take away all of the pressure and stress.  Her expertise, attention to detail, kind words and supportive meetings, careful thought process and knowledge of the wedding industry put her and her team steps above the rest of the coordinators in the business.  She is meticulous behind the scenes, manages vendors with the utmost of care and stops quandaries before they might begin with elegance and steadfastness. Ansonya Burke’s personal goal is to take your ultimate wedding vision and transform it in to real life magic.

Before hiring Ansonya and her team, Principles in Action, to plan our wedding, my fiancé and I were in a terrible situation with another consultant. We were not getting the attention we deserved as bride and groom. The consultant was not listening to our wedding desires and wishes to make our special day as magical as possible. We felt that the consultants were ready to take over our wedding day!! With exactly one month until our wedding, we were without a wedding consultant and felt the pressure mounting by the minute with calls from the florist, the photographer, the bakery, and all of the other vendors we had been working with!  I received a recommendation to contact Ansonya Burke and her team, Principles in Action.  I emailed her and within 20 minutes had an email response and a follow up phone call to chat about my wedding details. Very impressive and far from my experience with my previous wedding coordinator!!  Read on, it gets better…

Ansonya and I were able to chat on the phone later that same afternoon and she seemed so involved and so inquisitive about our feelings around the wedding and what we wanted as a vision for our wedding; not where she believed we should go with our vision.  Ansonya was easy to talk to, gave me information about herself and her background and then focused all of the attention on Clayton and I.  What an amazing thought – to focus the attention on the bride and groom of their own wedding!!  How refreshing!  I was so excited, I called Clayton immediately to tell him that I had found a perfect wedding planner and he said to go with it, so, I asked Ansonya to work with us in the final days before our wedding.

We met shortly after our conversation, I handed over my “wedding bibl,” a binder that included vendor names, phone numbers, contracts, design ideas and all of the essentials to complete the vision of our wedding and we were off to the races.  Within 24 hours, she had contacted and touched base with all of our vendors.  She gave constant feedback, had superb communication and was always in close contact with myself, Clayton and the vendors regarding all wedding details.  When she contacted vendors, I was always made aware of modifications and felt very informed.  She was very professional and attentive to my crazy wedding ideas and last minute changes.  She was understanding and patient with me when I felt overwhelmed and took charge when it was necessary.  I also received a venue mock up 3D floor plan from her design consultant with the floral arrangements and all of the decorations on the tables and chairs set up at our wedding reception venue to preview prior to the day of the wedding.  After seeing that 3D mock up, I was able to suppress my anxiety and fears of not knowing how the reception venue would look the night of the wedding.  This was also a great surprise to see everything finally coming together in the last days!!

On November 20, 2010, I married my high school sweetheart and the love of my life in a romantic church ceremony and amazing sunset reception at one of the highest points in San Antonio.  This could have only been done with the professionalism and extreme care taken by Ansonya Burke and her team, Principles in Action.  Ansonya managed my wedding day of 170 guests and 18 vendors with such ease and grace; she was on top of every vendor, and managed heated and difficult situations without anyone ever knowing.  She allowed Clayton and I to enjoy our celebration fully.

I highly recommend Ansonya Burke and her team, Principles in Action.  Her willingness to help, her attention to fine detail and her execution of perfection will make her one of the best and most sought after wedding coordinators not only in San Antonio, but in Texas and the United States.

God Bless,

Clayton and Kelly Sponhaltz"


We are writing you to thank you and your staff for outstanding work and service making our wedding a success. We decided a week before our wedding that we were going to need a wedding consultant. We needed someone to understand our vision, keep us organized, keep us on a timeline, remind us of all the little details that need to be managed, and to direct a successful execution of our wedding. Not only did we want to have the wedding of our dreams but we also wanted to be able to enjoy this special weekend with each other and our friends and family.

We appreciate you contacting a photographer and a Psalmstrist with a few days notice that worked out perfectly. We were very impressed with your attention to detail and level of organization. You listened intently to our ideas, concerns, needs, and wishes in order to understand our unique vision and circumstances. I think that it is essential for a planner to align with a customer in this way in order to be effective and successful. You obviously understand this! The ceremony was exactly what we had envisioned and hoped for!

We are most thankful and impressed with your outstanding level of service and eagerness to please. You were always very responsive and made us feel that we were your only customers. You exceeded our expectations! We appreciated your willingness to help us in every way possible.

We are confident that you will have tremendous success as a wedding consultant. Please feel free to use us as a reference. We would be happy to give you our recommendation.

Chery & Herbert McCook, Bride & Groom"

"Dear Ansonya,

When I first started planning my wedding I didn’t budget for a wedding coordinator. As the day grew closer I started becoming stressed about the small details and loose ends that I probably wouldn’t have thought of on my own. That is when I started looking into hiring a coordinator. I met with several coordinators before finally choosing Ansonya with Principles in Action. Prior to meeting with Ansonya, I sent her various emails and called her several times. She was very prompt in responding to my emails and returning my phone calls.

When I met with Ansonya I knew she was the one. She sincerely seemed interested in my wedding and my ideas. She was nice yet stern, which made me feel confident that she would keep my other vendors on task. I did most of the planning myself but there were aspects of the wedding that she helped with such as getting price estimates on menu cards and a candy buffet. A few weeks prior to the wedding she and her team met with my matron of honor and myself at the reception venue to discuss layout options and logistics. She and her decorator helped me select the best setup for the gift table, sign in table, head table, DJ booth, guest tables, etc. Promptly after this meeting she provided me with a 3D layout of the venue setup. She made sure that her team was on board with my plans. It was effortless to communicate with Ansonya, which relieved a lot of the stresses that comes with planning a wedding. If I had a change of plans or added a vendor or had questions that needed to be discussed with other vendors I would simply send her an email and Ansonya would acknowledge and address it promptly. Ansonya successfully managed my wedding of 180 guests and 8 vendors. There were a few glitches that were out of Ansonya’s control on my wedding day, but Ansonya was on top of them and those issues were resolved quickly.

Family and friends commented on how accommodating Ansonya and her team were. I would definitely recommend Ansonya with Principles in Action to any of my friends or family members that would like to be stress free the weeks prior to and on their wedding day.


Mrs. Jacqueline Esqueda"

Friday, November 18, 2011

{Luxury Proposals in Paris} Ask Her in Style

Let our San Antonio wedding planning team Principles in Action help plan a destination engagement which will be a trip to remember. If you are hoping to propose in Paris for a truly unique experience, you need to set the scene and completely immerse your future Mrs. in the sights, sounds, and sentiments of Paris. While the Eiffel Tower is amazing and breathtaking, wading through the lines of tourists might not be the best route. With this in mind, we've taken the liberty to compile a list of some of the most romantic spots to propose in Paris.
Ponts des Arts: A lovely place for a romantic engagement, with a pedestrian bridge that crosses the river Seine, with a walkway between the Institute de France and the Musee du Louvre. Consider asking the question under the stars with the view of the river and breathtaking Catedrale Notre Dame de Paris lighting up behind you.
Arc de Triomphe: As one of the most well-known spots in Paris, you'll find an impressive view of the City of Lights twinkling in every direction after dark. Take your time to admire the view and get on one knee. She'll be sure to swoon!
Musee du Louvre: If she's an art lover, the Musee du Louvre can be the perfect place to propose since it is one of the greatest museums around the world. Ask the question in a quiet gallery setting our outside next to the glass pyramid.
Jardin du Luxembourg: Paris is a city of grand green spaces, with no finer example than the Jardin du Luxembourg. Why not take your sweetheart for a stroll there? Pull out a couple of garden chairs and sit for a while. Afterwards, find the Medici Fountain and ask her to be your wife.
Le Petit Prince de Paris: Located in the historic "Latin Quarter," close to the Pantheon, this restaurant has unexpected harmony created by a mixture of charming elements. Book in advance and win your main squeeze over with this culinary treat.
Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris: Situated in one of the most romantic areas in Paris (the Island of the City), the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris is one of the most unique views around the world. It is illuminated at night and a very romantic place for a marriage proposal.
Let us plan an exciting trip filled with suspense, happiness and of course, the grand surprise. Whether you're romantically strolling down the streets of Montmarte or taking a helicopter ride over a castle, we will help you select the right proposal for your Mrs-to-be to give her one of the most memorable moments of her life.

Monday, November 14, 2011

{Bon Voyage} Luxurious Honeymoon and Engagement Destinations

Having just pulled off the biggest party of your life, is there a better time to get out of town? In the past, the honeymoon was a chance for a newly married couple to get to know each other better. Nowadays, it's a chance to recuperate. Or, if you want to celebrate a recent engagement, take a trip to relax before diving into wedding research!
But, you still want it to be romantic, and it's not easy gathering the energy needed to do more planning after you just spent what seemed like a year running from vendor to vendor. Let our San Antonio Wedding Planning team Principles in Action, here in San Antonio, help give you a lovely grace period before returning to reality. For many couples, this might mean somewhere the two of you can be alone together, but not so alone that you can't pick up the phone and ring for room service (or another bottle of champagne).
Whether you opt for a private ocean view or a balcony overlooking your favorite city, don't hold back when it comes to your honeymoon, since it only happens once! Check out some of our favorite, luxurious honeymoon and engagement destinations!

Capri Palace Hotel & Spa

Situated in Anacapri, arguably the most sought after and exclusive part of the island of Capri, the Capri Palace & Spa offers its guests spectacular views across the waters and the chance to gaze over such veritable masterpieces of nature as the Bay of Naples and islands of Ischia and Procida. A selection of traditional crafts shops, high fashion boutiques, and a number of the island's most important tourist distractions are within easy reach of the hotel. The Palace has 79 rooms, including 11 suites luxuriously furnished and equipped. Celebrities who have chosen the Capri Palace include Harrison Ford, Whitney Houston, Julia Roberts, Keanu Reeves, and Mariah Carey.
The Michelin Star "L'Olivo" Restaurant is a veritable gastronomic haven for the most discerning of palates. The hotel's talented chefs prepare exquisite Mediterranean dishes, served in the stylish dining room. In addition to the poolside terrace, a number of intimate areas exist within the restaurant, including fireplaces and bookcases. The Capri Palace wine cellar has recently been inaugurated and boasts more than 12,000 bottles of the finest wines. The hotel's "Capri Beauty Farm" is no longer the well kept secret of a few celebrities, and has now become the declared favorite of many of the best known names in the world of art and show business. A Baia 50 motor boat and spectacular 65ft sailing boat are available for individual transfers, tours around the island, and longer excursions.
The Lough Eske Castle, A Solis Hotel & Spa
Tucked within the woodlands of Northwest Ireland, the Solis Lough Eske Castle offers a luxurious accommodation in a meticulously restored 17th century castle. This 5 star hotel features 96 guest rooms, two bars, and a restaurant, conference, and a luxuriant spa. Despite an imposing glass and stone facade, an easygoing blend of casual, country-side comfort, and modern luxury awaits inside. Offering a fresh perspective on castle living, the accommodations range from the contemporary stylishness of their garden suites to the country charm of their converted stables to the more traditional elegance of their Presidential castle suites.
Lough Eske Castle traces its roots all the way back to the late 1400's and the famous O'Donnell family that founded the nearby town of Donegal. The original castle was built around 1474. A date stone of 1621 remains on the property to this day. The current Lough Eske Castle was constructed in the 1860s on the site of an old Brooke mansion, but destroyed by fire in 1939. The newly renovated castle stands as a continuing testament to the region's rich history.
Guests at the Solis Lough Eske Castle enjoy easy, close access to golf, fishing, lakeside strolls, horseback riding on the beach, and the slower paced charms of Irish village life. Guests are also invited to the stunning and spacious indoor swimming pool, with its glass atrium. The spa features eight treatment rooms, including two couple suites, a manicure/pedicure room, and a thermal suite with hot and cold benches, steam sauna, luxury showers, and more. The relaxation area is even equipped with iPod docking stations and six designer beds which face into the courtyard. Looking for a more active vacation? The area has a beautiful coast with some of the best surfing in Ireland.
Want some more ideas for delightful destinations for your honeymoon or engagement celebration? Check out Five Star Alliance's compilation of the world's best honeymoon resorts! We promise you won't be disappointed!
Our team is here to fulfill your honeymoon fantasies, so feel free to comment below with your ideal honeymoon. We'll have you saying "bon voyage!" before you know it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Make a Memorable Proposal With Chocolate Diamond Engagement Rings

Girls love two things most in this world--chocolate and diamonds, so there's no better way to make the best proposal ever than with a chocolate diamond ring. If you love chocolate as much as we do here at San Antonio Wedding Planner Principles in Action, consider commemorating your love with one of these chocolate diamond engagement rings or eternity bands. Although clear or white diamonds remain a classic choice, diamonds naturally occur in a wide range of colors. Brown diamonds are the most common and cost the least but the earth tones of these warm-hued diamonds meet the demand for attractive colored gems. To us brown diamond aficionados, chocolate diamond jewelry looks as appealing as it sounds.
The term "chocolate diamond" has no official designation; people may refer to brown diamonds with a host of appetizing descriptions, including champagne and cognac. Chocolate diamonds, however, have the most robust brown hues. They give a new and fresh look to any diamond engagement ring and symbolize luxury and practical indulgence. Chocolate diamond rings also look elegant when set in gold, which makes it a good option for those who love gold rings.
The name, "chocolate diamonds" came from the brown color of the stone and was coined by gem trader Le Vian. Although the diamond sports a variety of shades, any of them can be set in the same way clear diamonds are set and placed in any type of ring without worrying if they will complement the color of metal (whether silver, gold, or platinum).
For a more luxurious look, one can opt to pair clear white diamonds with chocolate diamonds, which will cost less compared to rings made purely from clear stones, but still looks elegant and expensive. With the increasing popularity of the chocolate diamond ring, one has a less expensive option for a classy engagement ring. Unlike ordinary diamonds, the chocolate diamond is less common and each stone and cut are unique. Not only do the diamonds look lavish, they also offer a durability that lasts a lifetime!

Do you have a colored diamond ring? Share your stories with us below, we love hearing back from readers!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Unique Wedding Themes to Match Your Personality

It's no exaggeration that every bride has dreamed of her wedding day for years, probably since she was a little girl. Let our San Antonio Wedding Planner team Principles in Action help turn your fantasy into a reality. When planning your wedding, we'll help you achieve the day that best represents your personality and style. Most importantly, you'll be able to enjoy the process of planning the wedding with us, as well as the special day itself.
To create such a successful wedding, your guests should be enticed from the moment they receive the invitation to the last dance. From the cocktails and stationary down to the last bite of wedding cake, we'll make sure every detail suits your personality. Whether you wish to enjoy an exotic event or a black tie gala, we'll help you create the wedding of your lifetime, one that allows you to become a guest at your own wedding. We'll make sure you and your entire family will be able to cherish these moments for the rest of your lives.
Our specialty is creating one-of-a-kind events that truly represent the look and style of our clients. A wedding is more than just a party, it's an event that truly tells a complete story.
Here are some dream wedding themes that have been on our radar as of late, but rest assured, we'll help your dream wedding become a reality, no matter what the theme!
  • Princess
  • Peacock
  • Sports
  • Hollywood
  • Royal Wedding
  • Beach
  • Rustic Country
  • Victorian Vintage

What are some of your favorite unique wedding theme ideas? If you're already married, feel free to share your theme with us below!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wedding Woes Be Gone: Think Outside the (Gift)Box!

Brides and grooms often have a picture-perfect idea of what their wedding will be. While each couple's vision is unique, they all share the same burden--the ever-rising cost of weddings. Thankfully, here at Principles in Action, we're helping couples in San Antonio and all over to take creative steps to ensure they can still have the wedding and honeymoon of their dreams without breaking the bank to do so.
Unlike couples of yesteryear, today's couples often live together before walking down the aisle. This has made traditional wedding registries somewhat obsolete, as couples often already have everything they need--from kitchen gadgets and towels to bedsheets.
If gravy boats and candlesticks aren't your thing (or you already have them!), visit sites like and, where you can register for everything from croquet sets to BMW roadsters. Outfit the kitchen of your dreams or express your personal style with swanky sites like Newly Wish, a collection of wonderful shops with the finest brands for your registry, wedding party gifts, favors, and more. Another increasingly popular choice is to register for art--something the couple will likely have forever. Most galleries are happy to take contributions toward large pieces for families who all want to chip in and get the couple a meaningful piece that will remind them of family.

Couples can get some relief by directing family and friends to gift registries like HatchMyHouse or, where guests can contribute to a down payment for the couple's first home, pay for parts of the couple's honeymoon, or contribute to a general savings fund that can be used for home renovations, furnishings, or anything the couple needs. Guests often love knowing how their financial contribution is being spent, be it for a home down payment, home improvement projects, or other savings.
Wedding gift givers flock to cash registries because they are hassle-free and provide an opportunity to give something truly unique. How many times have you gone to a couple's registry online and realized the only thing left to buy them are corn on the cob holders and mismatched tea towels? Not exactly personal to the couple, whereas a honeymoon experience or contribution toward the couple's home, however, are memories that can last a lifetime.
If a couple has lived together before or simply has all of the belongings they feel they need, they could consider registering for gifts to their favorite charity. The I Do Foundation allows couples to set up an online registry with no fee, and then check on who has donated for thank-you notes. Making charity a part of your big day has never been easier!
Building your registry is more about scanning gifts at department stores, it's about what you really want and need as a couple. Whether you want to opt for alternative online registries, give the gift of generosity or put savings toward a down payment on a new home together, consider these etiquette-friendly options for your wedding registry.

Are you creating an alternative registry? What are you including on it?

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