How to choose your wedding rings.

An interview with Rob Goodman, bespoke jeweller.

Rob and I have known each other for 16 years and in that time I have certainly had my fair share of bespoke jewellery created by him, as my husband will testify! He may be a cheeky chap from North West London but he knows his diamonds inside and out, has a keen eye for detail and the experience to know what will work and what won’t. Above all he listens to his customers and will ultimately create a piece that you will adore forever. As I love his creations, I thought I’d ask him a few questions about the process of choosing your engagement ring, key tips and advice to be aware of.

Over to you Rob…

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Rob Goodman.  I make bespoke jewellery and specialise in engagement rings and wedding bands.

Hobbies/interests?

R: Growing up my hobbies were mainly sports related like football golf, BMX biking and rollerskating. As I got older I was very into modifying cars and socialising with friends on weekends.  

What is the last thing you bought on Amazon?

 R: A three-dimensional diamond shape ice cube maker. 

What is the last Netflix show you binged on?

R: Gangs of London. 

What is the last song you downloaded?

R: “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone,” by Bill Withers. 

Lockdown survival tip?

R: Don’t go out get everything delivered to you and stay safe. 

Lockdown guilty pleasure? (keep it clean ;-))

R: I love tipping point. 

How did you get into your industry and job?

R: I was brought up in Stanmore by both of my parents.  My father manufactured furniture and told me as I was growing up that one day furniture would not be manufactured in the UK and I was to find something  else to do, rather than join the family business.  I originally started working at Wembley market on a Sunday from the age of 12 and always had a passion for working hard and trying to learn new things.  After many jobs in hairdressing, shoe repairs, shirt makers in Jermyn Street and estate agents; I then found the jewellery business at the age of 21 and decided this is what I wanted to do.

A friend’s mother told me about the Jewellery industry as she thought it would be perfect for me, she knew my father was very artistic and good with his hands, so it may be of interest to me too.  So one day I woke up put a suit on, took my CV in a plastic sleeve and marched down to Hatton Garden to knock on doors. 

I began to walk through Hatton Garden and saw dozens and dozens of jewellery shops and doors in between that led to offices and workshops.  I started to scan through the company names on the buzzer’s of the doors, deciding on which buttons to press to find workshops that might be looking for an apprentice.  Despite receiving dozens of knock backs for being too old or there weren’t any vacancies, I kept going, until I found one building in particular that stood out to me.   It had many offices and when the door to the main building opened I managed to quickly walk in when someone walked out.  I started to knock on office doors instead of talking through intercoms.  One man answered, came out, looked me up and down and asked me if I’d come for the job interview.   I answered that I hadn’t actually come for the job interview but I would like a job interview.  He then looked me up and down again and said, “you see that door over there? Knock on it and ask for a guy called David and tell him you’ve come for the job interview.” I did just as he said, after half an hour of an interview I’d managed to secure myself a job.  The company created high-quality jewellery.  

I worked there for a couple of years, learning the basics of quality control, a little bit of diamond picking and how the industry worked.  Which set me up for life.

Why do you enjoy what you do?

R: I enjoy what I do because I get to speak to people create the most beautiful things and see the job from start to finish and also see the clients reaction after I finished producing the product.  

When you first meet a client what are the top 3 things YOU look for?

R: I try to work out what their style is by listening to what they want and also sometimes their appearance helps. For example they may wear a large gold watch which I might assume they are flamboyant or maybe they wear jewellery that is quite conservative which could mean they like the more simple things. They may also wear flamboyant clothes or quite plain clothes again this will contribute to their style and personality. This will help me to create designs that they may like. Apart from their clothes and style, ultimately it’s their personality that I can gauge what they like or don’t like.

What are the most common questions your clients ask in their consultation?

R: How long will it take to make, what will the price be and do I think it would look nice.  

When quoting your prices what do you take into consideration?

R: The cost of material and the cost of labour and that’s pretty much it. 

What else do you cover in your first consultation?

R: The first consultation would be over the phone and I will discuss a few things before we actually meet; the piece they wish to make, budget, type of occasions it’s for, i.e. wedding, anniversary or birthday and lastly, when they need it for. I’ll then know what type of ring the client is looking for. I would then meet the client, show them a selection of diamonds and designs to choose. This will give them an idea of what they want me to create for them. The most important thing is to have an understanding of what they want and of what they’re going to receive.  

Where do you buy your stones from?

R: I only buy my stones from reputable dealers in the industry and never from suppliers that aren’t trusted or known in the industry. Referrals and recommendations are very important. 

What are the 4C’s and can you explain what each mean and how it can affect the price?

R: The four c’s are cut, carat, clarity and colour.

The cut of a stone is very important for the light to travel through the stone to make the light reflect perfectly in order to give the best Luster . 

The carat is the weight of the diamond and there are 100 points in one carrot. Traditionally most clients would ask for one carat diamond or bigger. 

The clarity is important but it is not essential to have the best but to have what is known as Eye clean is a very important in my opinion. 

The colour grading starts at D and this is the best colour and is pure white and known as colourless. 

Apart from the stone(s) what else is important or useful to think about when choosing an engagement ring or wedding band?

R: It is always useful to decide whether you want the wedding ring to sit flush to your engagement ring before you make the engagement ring so there is no gap in between the two rings. It is also important to decide what metal you would like to use for your engagement ring as your wedding ring will have to be the same colour.  

What makes you different to other bespoke diamond jewellers?

R: I like to Think that I am a little bit different to a lot of other jewellers, as I source all the diamonds myself and cherry pick the best out of a bunch of the best, design it and create the piece of jewellery myself. Therefore there is no mistakes or instructions lost in translation between one person passing information to another person in creating the perfect ring for the client. 

What is the average lead-time to make an engagement ring or wedding band?

R: The average time to make an engagement ring is two to three weeks, however it can be quicker if it is urgent. 

Apart from creating wedding rings what else do you do?

R: I actually make every aspect of jewellery including tennis bracelets, diamond earrings, pendant, necklaces, keyrings, cufflinks, money clips, tie pins, anything you can think of made from precious metals and diamonds. 

I also provide our watch repairs and refurbishing. I also do valuations for insurance and probate. 

What do you offer to show the piece is the genuine article?

R: To show that the piece is genuine all my work is hallmarked and all large diamonds are certificated and all products come with an insurance valuations and my makers mark.  Watch repairs and watch services have one year warranty. 

Is there anything else you want to say that could be helpful to clients when choosing their engagement ring and wedding bands?

R: If I could give a little bit of advice on buying an engagement ring it would be to take your time in finding the right diamond and making sure that you are recommended by a friend to use the jeweller, rather than going on the internet and just finding one. When purchasing a diamond, make sure it is a diamond that talks to you and that you think is special. You may find that seeing a nice selection of diamonds will help as you can compare, as you may find one that talks to you more than others. Most importantly never be pressured into buying a diamond, always go with your gut instinct. Your jeweller should be patient with you, explain everything to you and be very transparent throughout the whole process. As my father would say, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” So when making your purchase, make it the right one and I will try and make it an amazing experience.

For all wedding ring and bespoke jewellery enquires please contact Robert Goodman: check out his instagram @RobertGoodman1

email: info@robertgoodmanjewellery.co.uk

 I hope you found this interview interesting and helpful.

For any more inspiration, tips and advice check out my Instagram @eventsbynatashaweddings or my Pinterest, click here.

Alternatively, if you would just like to have a chat you can email me anytime on: info@eventsbynatasha.co.uk or instagram

Natasha x

How to choose your Bride squad

All the funny movies and jokes about bridesmaids offer just enough truth to see what it’s actually like to have a Bridesquad.   You’ve heard the saying; “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride,” which describes someone who never quite fulfils his or her potential, a person who makes it to the finals but never wins the contest.  They are notoriously known as the second string, but the reality actually is they have such an important role to play in the wedding.

There are so many questions and decisions to make surrounding bridesmaids.  Who should I have?  How many?  What do they do?   What type of dress should I buy for them?  What gifts to buy for them?  I could go on and on.  We are going to hit on all the hot topics in this blog, but the questions that seems to get asked the most are:

Q 1: How do I choose who will be bridesmaids?

Bridesmaids are the ones who will stand next to you on your big day.  They are the ones who have been there for you on the hard days and the exciting days.  They have known you through your school days, your awkward teenage years, maybe even your rebellious phases… they were interesting.  Sometimes they are the ones who you have known since birth because they are your family.

You have a wide pool of people to choose from:

Family: It’s true when they say we can’t pick our family, but the loyalty we have to them because we hope they have our back runs deep.  Not all families are going to have a deep sense of relationship with each other, but it’s worth noting, if you don’t want to hurt your friends’ feelings you can keep your bridal party to just family.  Sisters, future sister-in-laws, nieces and cousins are in the running depending on the number of people you want in your bridal party.

Life-long friends: These are the friends that you may not have seen in a while, but if you showed up at their front door it would be as if no time had passed at all.  They are the ones who will most likely stand the test of time when life’s roads get rocky.

Your everyday besties: These are the friends you hang out with day to day; they might be your current crew, but they might not be the ones who will stand by you your entire life.  Work and going out friends are fun to hang out with, but can you see them in your life when you have children, your marriage is difficult or you need a shoulder to cry on? Maybe they will be life long friends, maybe not, but thinking about the future of your friendship with help narrow down the list if you need to.

  

What to remember when choosing your Bridesquad;

  • Family is going to be at every holiday party until you die.
  • Choose friends who will stick by you when life is difficult.
  • Women with helpful personalities make great bridesmaids.
  • Being a bridesmaid can be costly, so make sure you outline expectations and costs before you get your answer. You don’t want to have details planned out and then have someone back out last minute.
  • Don’t be offended if someone says, “no.”
  • If you are a social butterfly and have SO many friends you can’t choose, it’s completely acceptable to just have the family as your Bridesquad.

Q 2: How many is too many?

You know the criteria now.  Don’t worry about how many, but choose the women that are supposed to stand up with you. If it’s a large crew, then that’s just how you roll.  If it’s just one best friend or sister, that is special too.  Don’t get caught up in what other people think the perfect number is. Know who you are and who you want at your side.  Everyone loves the intimacy of just a bridesmaid or two, but there is something special about the bride who has a large squad at her side on her special day too. Your personality will shine through is so many details of the day. The kind and quantity of friends you have by your side on your special day will be another sweet addition. You do you!

Q 3: How much should I budget for, for my Bridesquad?

This answer really depends on your wedding budget. Generally in a Jewish wedding the Bride will take care of the cost of the dresses, shoes, make-up, hair.  However if budget is maybe a little tight it’s worth exploring less expensive options and maybe contribute to their shoes instead of paying for the whole cost.

A sentimental, thank you gift is always nice to receive from the bride.  It shows your gratitude for not just being a sounding board or taking over the hen do planning but mainly being a friend on your special day.  Check out my gifting blog for your bridal party here.  Remember, these women will be there forever, and your wedding day is just one day out of your entire life so its a great way to show how much you appreciate them.

Here are my personal top 5 which can be personalised or left in original state.

  • Weekender bag: They will use it forever and always think of you.
  • Crystal Stud earrings: You could even ask them all to wear them for the ceremony if you are a continuity sort of bride.
  • Glassware: You have boozy crew, wine freeze cooling cups, shot glass, flasks or champagne flutes are always a fun way to make sure they are thinking for you while at home in their kitchen long after you have said, “I do.”
  • A bangle: Personalised bangles that can go with most outfits or even ones with elegantly tied wire knots because you are tying the knot!
  • Fujifilm Instax Mini: This is the gift that keeps instantly giving and when I saw a bride give her crew these, I practically swooned! 

Q 4: How do I know which type of dress to give them?:

Traditionally the bride chooses a dress and hopes that the same dress, in the same style will suit all her bridesmaids, oh and all in the same size.  This can be disastrous.  It’s not a great look to watch the fuller figure, busty beauties squeeze into a dress clearly designed for someone with a long and lengthy figure, and watching those that cannot seem to fill out a dress made for a woman who is more curvaceous and shorter figure can be a bit uncomfortable too.

Thankfully years ago, a trend started where brides picked a shop, a colour to match their theme and then let the bridesmaids pick their own style depending on their body type.  This is a smart move for brides because your gorgeous bride squad can pick a dress that flatters their figure and are happy.  They won’t feel totally self conscious in their own skin and bearly able to look at their own reflection.  BUT if you know your crew and you know they can get crazy or all have very different styles, and you know that would drive you, crazy than you can set parameters.  Nothing strapless or only short or long or other criteria.  Your bridesmaids will all be beautiful and will compliment you greatly on your special day.  Just be sure to remember to ask yourself a few key questions:

  1. What will look best on everyone?
  2. Do you want them all matching?
  3. Will their hair be the same.?
  4. Do you want them to all have matching accessories?

Q 5: What exactly am I allowed to ask my bridesmaids to do?

It’s your wedding, you can do what you want, but there is a some etiquette you might want to, at least, consider before you start hounding your besties to be your go to’s.

Be upfront with what you need from your bride squad. When expectations are laid out up front to your lovely ladies it makes for a much smoother process.  These are some of the main aspects of the bridesmaid’s role, which are, like the rest of your wedding, customisable!

  • To wear the dress you buy for her.
  • Help plan your hen.
  • Go to you hen party.
  • Help plan the festivities
  • Collect any wedding items you may need to be delivered to the Synagogue and venue and delivered back.
  • Be encouraging

Q 6: What about the Maid of Honour?  How is she different than the rest of my bride squad?

Your maid of honour is like the manager of the details.  She doesn’t necessarily do everything herself, but she delegates, manages the bridesmaids and keeps you in check throughout the day, making sure you are always ok.  Hopefully, she is organised and loves you to death. You want her to have a good relationship with your bridesquad and to have  the willingness to ask when she needs help from them.  Apart from initially setting up the Whatsapp group or the group email to coordinate the bridesquad and organising your hen, attending your dress fittings and maybe even helping you select your bride squad, her duties on the wedding day include; helping you get dressed, making sure your make up is on point and your hair is immaculate throughout the day, all the while smiling through her own pain she is suffering from her extremely high heels she HAD to have!

The maid of honour should also carry around an emergency kit just for you, which can safely live in her handbag for the day and evening.  This should include, tissues, your eye liner, lipstick/gloss, pressed powder, cotton buds, small packet of hand wipes or chalk(!)  Apparently it’s a miracle worker for wedding dress stains, the variety selection of Compeed and maybe a small snack/mint if you can squeeze that all in her bag, you know you have chosen wisely!  She will also stand next to you on the big day and hold your bouquet.

As a woman who has been a Maid of Honour, it’s by far the strangest part holding 2 bouquets of flowers with no way to scratch your nose or move those wispy strands of hair out of your lipglossed lips, so be extra nice to your Maid of Honour!

Having your bride squad is a wonderful tradition.. With a little thoughtfulness, those closest to you can not only enjoy the events that lead up to your wedding, they can be a pivotal role in you all enjoying a memory you will share for a lifetime.

For more tips, advice and inspiration check out my Instagram @eventsbynatashaweddings or my Pinterest, click here.

Alternatively, if you would just like to have a chat you can email me info@eventsbynatasha.co.uk

Natasha x

Buy it, wrap it!

I know, it’s relentless, not as if you don’t have enough to organise, YOU have to THINK of presents to give others! What a bother!  By ‘others’ I mean your wedding party, no, not ALL your wedding guests, those that have listened for hours on end and attempted to express an opinion on the extremely impossible decision of pink orchids or white for your bouquet and if you should have white table linen or black, you know, your bridesmaids and ushers, that lovely lot, who you are basically dressing from head to toe and grooming to look the part.  In addition, you have to shower them with goodies?!  Great excuse to go shopping though – no harm in buying one for yourself too..you know, just so you all match.

So, what is a suitable gift and how much should one spend?  Personally I think it’s nice to give something that your bridesmaids and ushers can keep as a reminder of your wedding.  Jewellery, personalised, budget permitting, is a winner and goes down very well.

For Ushers,  I’m loving the stunning Valere Primus range and lucky for us, apparently minimalistic watches are very ‘on trend’ at the moment..  So not only will you be giving your Ushers a very generous gift, they will be the envy of their friends as well.

IMG_3043IMG_3044Primus Silver with Mesh strapEvents by Natasha_wedding_gifts

Gold with mesh strap      Gold with Brown leather strap         Silver with Mesh strap           Silver with suede blue strap

Deck your Ushers out in the latest trends at Velere Watches; use my voucher code NATASHA20 to receive 20% off.

If, however you’d like to go for something a bit different, more personal and sentimental, check out, Create gift love – the name says it all.  The personalised Bridesmaid’s hamper comes with a photo block, divine scented candle and champers…hard to resist.  For the Ushers, the personalised best man hamper comes with Cufflinks, bottle opener and a very delicious chocolate bar.    Enjoy spoiling your friends and family and to make it even more tempting I’ve added a discount code, BRIDE20, on these items and anything else that takes your fancy on till the end of August.

EVENTSBYNATASHA_Personalised-Bridesmaid-Gift-Hamper             EVENTSBYNATASHA_Personalised-Best-Man-and-Usher-Gift-Hamper

Whatever you buy though, don’t forget your extra large bouquet of flowers for the Grandmas!