Rev. Paul V. Scholl

Rev. Paul V. Scholl

Rev. Paul offers spiritual counseling, workshops, classes and recordings
as a part of his ministry to those in need.

Weddings of Joy

Tips For Picking The Perfect Engagement Ring

(NAPSI)-It could be one of the most memorable moments in your life. You pull an engagement ring out of your pocket and ask the love of your life to be your wife. You desperately want her to say yes and fall in love with her ring too, right? But how do you make sure that happens? Guys who successfully navigated this step in their relationship share some tips.

Use a Fake Ring

Mike Vietti, of Washington, D.C., wanted his fiancée's engagement ring to be a complete surprise but had no idea what she would like. So he decided to use a fake one for his proposal and take her shopping later.

"I thought it was brilliant," said Emily Vietti. "I love surprises, but I couldn't imagine wearing something for the rest of my life I didn't love. It was the perfect solution."

Consider Her Taste and Style

Make sure the ring fits her existing jewelry collection, said Kevin Saghy, of Chicago. "I realized all of my fiancée's jewelry is very clean and simple, like one large pearl on a string or a clean trail of diamonds on a necklace, so I chose a three-stone engagement ring that looks simple but impressive. It has gone over really well."

Get A Little Help From Her Friends

"My wife found a drawing of the kind of ring she would like and gave it to a friend to hold--under the condition that the friend would not tell her when she gave it to me," said Andrew Brown, of Detroit. "She was totally surprised the day the exact ring she wanted was given to her."

Shop Together

Randy Holmes, of Atlanta, was overwhelmed by the number of options he faced when he started to shop for his fiancée's ring, so he asked her to join him. "It was great to have Lauren involved," he said. "It was romantic and took a lot of pressure off."

Do Your Homework

Erik Mason, of Boston, did a "ton of research" on diamonds before he even set foot in a jewelry store. "I think most guys believe as long as they're familiar with the four Cs, they're all set," he said. "I was surprised to find that was only half the story you should be thinking about."

Mason spent almost five months learning about the four Cs--color, cut, clarity and carat weight--and how that translated to his budget and girlfriend's taste. He used online resources, visited retailers and flipped through fashion magazines to get a sense of what she liked. "I got a great learning experience and another connection to our marriage through a spectacular piece of symbolism I truly understand inside and out," he said.

The Gemological Institute of America, the world's foremost authority on gems and jewelry and the creator of the four Cs, provides independent assessment of diamond quality in its grading reports. It is also a helpful resource to learn more about diamonds. Visit or call (800) 421-7250.

More Grooms Commit To Wedding Planning

More men are taking an interest in planning their wedding.

(NAPSI)-They may not have grown up fantasizing about their "perfect wedding," but suddenly men are taking an uncharacteristic interest in everything matrimonial.

Just look at the explosion of Web sites in recent years catering exclusively to bridegrooms and you know something's afoot. "We men pride ourselves on never having to ask for directions," Michael Arnot, who started in 2007, has said. "But if there's one time to do it, this is it."

To those who think we're witnessing a seismic societal shift, however, please note: Yes, it may be heartening to see men reaching out for help on topics like how to pop the question and the art of gift registering. But the "directions" people like Arnot give grooms are very much from the male perspective.

Wedding toasts? "No jokes about ex-girlfriends," Groom Groove advises. Scheduling weddings around football season? "The majority of college and pro games take place during the day, so if you schedule an evening wedding you can probably watch the majority of the game," counsels

Though 1.2 million men get married every year, they seem to be especially uneducated about wedding jewelry-including the engagement ring, his-and-her wedding bands, and gift ideas like platinum cuff links and watches for their groomsmen.

The engagement ring decision would seem to be of most concern to these grooms, given that 32 percent of them don't consult their intendeds before buying, according to The Knot Market Intelligence Services.

So what's a man to do?

"Trust your first instinct," says jewelry and style expert Michael O'Connor. Because as it turns out, brides and grooms tend to prefer the same setting: platinum.

A high-quality diamond engagement ring set in platinum can cost as little as $1,650-platinum wedding bands can run as low as $800-at even a posh jeweler like De Beers. O'Connor says men are fans of bands from designers like Martin Flyer, Ritani and Jeff Cooper. "Platinum retains its volume over time," he explains. "Whereas gold will wear more rapidly, especially in pieces that are worn every day like your wedding band." But brides, he says, tend to take a more romantic view: "Platinum lasts forever, just like a couple's love."

Of course, truth be told, a lot of men's newfound interest in planning their big day seems financially motivated. Thirty percent of couples now pay for their own wedding, a marked change from the days when a bride's family traditionally footed the bill. And with the average wedding costing approximately $28,000, according to's 2009 American Wedding Study, that could also explain why urges men to embrace gift registries: "Every item you put on [them] instantly becomes free." And who doesn't like freebies?

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