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The History of Engagement Rings: From Romans to Diamonds in One Band of Gold

by | Jewellery Wisdom, Wisdom


Pascale of Style Rocks

classic elegance wedding079Image by Louisa Bailey via Karina and David’s Elegant Melbourne Wedding

Engagement rings are now as commonplace as weddings themselves – it’s hard to imagine a blushing bride making her way down the aisle without the glitter of a diamond engagement ring on her finger. But although we now take the practice of the groom giving his true love an engagement ring for granted, these gifts weren’t always the start of marital bliss.

Your engagement ring has a unique and special meaning to you, and may even have been a custom-created design. It is also part of a long and diverse tradition of giving engagement rings that has come and gone over the centuries, but whose message of eternal love is timeless.

Engagement Rings from Rome to the Renaissance
Although it is possible rings were given as part of marriage ceremonies and to mark engagements before the Roman civilization, the earliest records of engagement rings come from the Roman period. Brides were given rings attached to small keys signifying their husband’s ownership over them – more than a little distasteful in our more progressive era, but it meant less in the sense of owning goods and more in the romantic sense of spouses “belonging to each other.”

Craftsmanship of all sorts, including jewellery making waned in the centuries following Rome’s collapse, but in 1477 Archduke Maximilian of Austria had a diamond ring made for his soon-to-be bride Mary of Burgundy. This was perhaps the first custom-made diamond engagement ring ever created, and it sparked a trend amongst European nobility that has persisted to this day.

It would be several more centuries before any non-royals could afford engagement rings, and the tradition of giving lavish and often custom-made jewellery amongst royals themselves was not limited to rings, nor were diamonds the only gems used. Sapphires, rubies, emeralds and pearls were all commonly used in engagement and wedding jewelry, and as the merchant class grew during the Renaissance the tradition of engagement rings and engagement gifts grew too.

eco beach wedding0088Image by Lakshal Perera via Kara and Bart’s Eco Beach Wedding

Victorian Engagement Rings and the Rise of the Middle Class
As time wore on, the giving and wearing of engagement rings grew ever more popular among nobility, artisans and merchants alike. Engagement rings became not only a symbol of love, but a sign of success and having reached a certain station in life. By the Victorian Era, when Europe’s middle class was at the height of its riches, engagement rings were an expected part of almost every nuptial agreement.

Diamonds were the favored gemstone for those who could afford them, largely because they were the most rare and thus symbolized both the rarity of a couple’s love and the effort the groom was willing to go to in order to demonstrate that love. Their rarity also made diamonds a far too expensive choice for most engagement ring givers, and other gemstones were seen more frequently in engagement rings throughout the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

DeBeers, Diamonds and Today’s Engagement Rings
In the first few decades of the twentieth century, the DeBeers company found substantial diamond deposits in South Africa and made diamonds far more readily available to eager engagement ring recipients. The increased diamond supply coincided perfectly with the first Golden Age of cinema, and movie stars dripping with diamonds helped popularize the gemstone in engagement rings and other jewellery.

Today, diamond engagement rings are available in an endless variety of colours, cuts and settings. Custom-made diamond engagement rings are becoming increasingly popular thanks to the world wide communication power of the internet, which makes sourcing, ordering and shipping your custom engagement ring a breeze.

It may seem a far cry from their Roman origins, but when an engagement ring is slipped onto your finger you’re being connected with a long line of eternal love.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such an interesting and long history tracing the origins of our beloved engagement rings!

About Pascale: Pascale Helyar-Moray, Founder and Director of StyleRocks has fourteen years of financial services experience as a marketing and communications professional working with blue chip companies in Australia and the UK. Maternity leave forced her to re-examine her career options and in looking for a business she could run from home, she created StyleRocks in order to harness her lifelong passion for jewellery.

What Would They Know? Shelley Franklyn of Trufflepig Catering & Events

by | Food & Catering Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Shelley Franklyn of Trufflepig

Next to the ceremony, photographer and dress what do we hear about the most at a wedding? The food of course! And when you want delicious seasonal food prepared with enthusiasm for its quality, taste and presentation, then look no further than Trufflepig Catering & Events. Shelley and her team create inspiring food that is sourced locally as much as possible, free range and organic, and always with an eye to stunning flavour combinations – a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. And with their signature vintage caravan in tow, what more can we say but, “Yum – more please”!

How long has Trufflepig been in existence?

Trufflepig was established in the Northern Territory in 2011 as a bit of side project, holding pop-up restaurants and catering for the occasional wedding while trialing different food ideas and concepts ready for the eventual move back to Victoria. In 2013, we made the move back down south, and Trufflepig really came into its own…and has been going from strength to strength ever since!

1A. Trufflepig Beet & Coconut Soup

Beet and Coconut Soup

Great business name – what made you decide on it?

Thanks! Choosing a business name was a long, tricky process! After mulling over many names, Trufflepig popped up and just felt right. Truffles are such a luxury ingredient, yet at the same time, they grow seasonally on farms in rustic settings, and we thought that represented us as caterers perfectly – we create delicious rustic yet elegant food with a focus on seasonal produce.

Where are you based and what area of the State do you cover?

We recently moved from inner city Melbourne to 20 acres in north central Victoria (Kilmore area) with the intention to grow our own produce for the business. We tend to service the Macedon and Daylesford regions, as well as Melbourne however our vintage-van-turned-commercial-kitchen allows us to travel to most areas in Victoria.

2A. Trufflepig Beef Carpaccio

Beef Carpaccio

How important are sustainable food practices and supporting ethical businesses to your business ethos? 

Before returning to hospitality, I worked as an environment scientist for 10 years managing business and government’s environmental footprints, so trying to reducing our own is a natural progression. This extends to sourcing seasonal, sustainable and ethically produced produce. We source as much of our produce locally as we can. Our pork is sourced from McIvor Estate, Tooborac (just down the road) and our other proteins sourced from Hagens Organic Butchers. We use local eggs, and grow our own herbs, with the future intention to expand to our own fruit and veg.

Free range, organic and local produce features in your menus. Does this also mean that you prefer to offer seasonal menus rather than offer ingredients/dishes that are out of season?

Yes, that’s right. Our menu is updated 2-3 times a year to reflect what’s available during that season. This means the flavours are bigger, bolder and more delicious!

Please describe some interesting venues you have catered at? 

We’ve catered at all sorts of venues both big and small…client’s houses and backyards, cute little country halls, inner city bowls clubs and suburban theatres. Earlier this year, we took the Trufflepig van and catered a picnic wedding on the Queenscliff foreshore which was such a gorgeous event! In 2016 we’ve got all sorts of weddings at different venues booked in, but in particular can’t wait to cater at the gorgeous Laurens Hall in North Melbourne and a private paddock in Moggs Creek!

We’re lucky with the Trufflepig van (our mobile commercial kitchen)…as long as there’s room to turn around (the van’s a big, old heavy vintage thing!), we can just about cater at any venue, anywhere!

4A. Trufflepig Deconstructed Banoffee Pie

Deconstructed Banoffee Pie

Your Summer menu looks delicious. Can you give us a ‘taste’ of some of your favourite dishes on offer?

Thank you! We love it too, but we are probably a little bias!

I’ve a few of favourite dishes… our bruschetta with fresh fig, grilled gorgonzola & thyme which is drizzled with honey is absolutely delicious. It’s only available for a short window when the figs are fruiting. When we can, we source green figs from our neighbour which to me, are the most perfect fruit – they just sing!

I love our beef carpaccio. We source our beef from Hagens Organic Butcher who uses beef from nearby Creightons Creek – local and organic. The beef is seared on the outside, sliced finely, topped with rocket and shavings of parmigiano reggiano cheese and then drizzled with rosemary oil and sea salt. So tasty, and a winner every time.

Last but not least, I love our roast beetroot soup shooter for a couple of reasons…firstly the flavours of beetroot, lemongrass, lime and coconut blend so well together, especially topped with lime juice, chives and natural yoghurt. But secondly the look on guests faces both when they see the vibrant pink colour of the shooter, and then the look of delight when they drink the soup!

Are bridal couples able to request any style of reception – from sit down dinner to shared platters, cocktail function etc?

Our focus at Trufflepig is on cocktail functions and sit down dinners with shared platters. We offer roving canapes and small bowls, or can set up a grazing table of delicious cheeses, smallgoods, breads, homemade terrines, etc. For entrees and mains, we offer shared platters. For dessert we provide roving small bowl desserts, or platters of small bites. We also offer palate cleansers and tea and coffee stations.

3A. Trufflepig Lamb & Pomy Pizza

Lamb & Pomy Pizza

What is most popular this season?

Grazing tables and shared platters are definitely the most popular this season, which we love! These options provide a more relaxed feel to the wedding and encourage guests to interact with each other.

On the wedding day, do you provide a chef, and wait and bar staff?

Yes, we provide all staff as required by the client.

Do you require a minimum or have a maximum number of guests you can cater for?

This really depends on the style of the event and the location, so we take it on an event-by-event basis.

What do you require in the way of facilities in order to cater the wedding? 

This also depends on the style of the event and the location. If it’s in a paddock, then we’ll bring along our Trufflepig van, but we may need to hire extra kitchen equipment based on guest numbers (i.e. oven, bbq, cool room). We’ll need access to power (i.e. generator) and space to move the van around. The menu also greatly influences what we’ll need in terms of extra kitchen equipment and space.

You have a cute 1950s vintage dentist-turned-kitchen-van. How do you normally use this at weddings? 

Our van can be used in all sorts of ways. Sometimes we use it as just the onsite kitchen either on show or not (it does add a talking point to an event!). Other times we use it to serve parts or all of the meal from. Generally our clients have a vision on how they’d like to incorporate the van, and we work with them to make it happen. At a recent wedding, we served roving canapes and then guests were invited to the van to order their ‘meal’ from the menu. A table was set up next to the van with breads, butter, cutlery and serviettes. We then followed mains with roving desserts.

Are bridal couples able to plan with you, their own ideas e.g. serving housemade icecream or donuts from your van for dessert or a midnight snack?

Yes! We love that! Although our menus are on our website, we like to work with our clients to make sure the menu is 100% perfect for them. We recently had a bride and groom from Oregon, USA, who requested some southern inspired dishes. After some menu testing, we added southern fried eggplant with a chili mayo (canapé) and a buttermilk fried chicken with apple slaw (small bowl) to their menu. They loved it and we had a ball creating it!

5A. Trufflepig Chorizo & Calamari Skewers

Chorizo and Calamari Skewers

What do you most love about your chosen career?

There are so many things to love! Catering provides me with a creative outlet while at the same time still requires me to work my brain from a logistics perspective (I’m a nerd…love spreadsheets!). I can apply sustainability principles to my work and I’m constantly meeting new people (clients, suppliers, etc.). 14 hour plus days are likely in the lead up to an event which is exhausting mentally and physically, but feeding 100 guests food you’ve made in a short window of time is absolutely exhilarating! And what an honour contributing to such a special day!

In your downtime, do you search out new food ideas, or do you have other interests you pursue?

If we’re not renovating our cute little 1850s farmhouse, I spend my downtime either in the gym training in Muay Thai kickboxing, playing with our pup or pottering in the garden.

Thank you Shelley for sharing your story. A gorgeous vintage caravan, delicious and imaginative food prepared with love and enthusiasm – all the ingredients for a super feast! To find out more about Trufflepig Catering & Events visit the website.

Headshot by Vanessa Norris Photographer.  All other images by Trufflepig Catering & Events.

The Benefits of A Wedding Day Coordinator

by | Wedding Planning Wisdom, Wisdom


Love 2 Love
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory

love-2-love-wedding-plannerImage via Love 2 Love

A beautiful setting, close family and friends, delicious food, exquisite styling and a glowing couple. All you need is for these things to seamlessly meld together to create a wonderful wedding. But how does anyone really know how your big day will go? That’s just it, as much as you plan, as much you think you’ve thought of every possible thing, unfortunately there is always something that doesn’t go the right way!

That’s where a wedding day coordinator comes in. You’ve heard of wedding planners before – the guys that work with you right from the start, creating and organising every element to bring your vision to life. At Love 2 Love, our wedding day coordinators focus on your big day itself, ensuring your brilliant planning all runs smoothly. Unfortunately, all too often couples learn about the possibility of hiring a wedding day coordinator too late!

With all of our background knowledge and insight, we look at how a wedding day coordinator can truly make the difference to your special day.


Your wedding day coordinator is completely committed to ensuring your wedding day plays out seamlessly; here’s what they take care of before your big day:

  • Consultations – usually six months before the big day and then one month out. Generally held at your chosen venue, requirements of the day will be discussed
  • Create a personalised comprehensive run sheet for your wedding day
  • Wedding rehearsal – your wedding day coordinator will attend to ensure they are completely across all elements of your wedding day, down to the last detail
  • Itinerary – create and then distribute to all vendors involved


The day you’ve spent hours, days and months planning is finally here. While you’re enjoying your morning, your wedding day coordinator is hard at work. Here’s just some of the many things they will be meticulously organising:

  • Liaising and confirming details with all vendors involved on the day (transport, florist, cake supplier, photographer)
  • Overseeing décor and styling at the venue, including tables, centrepieces and props
  • Ensuring the venue coordinator has everything in place for the big day – if there are any issues your wedding day coordinator is there to take care of them

O6A5853Tea-Ceremony-HR-550x825Image by Lost in Love Photography via Janice and Ban’s Garden Wonderland Wedding


While you and your wedding party are unveiling your true beauty with the help of hair, make-up and couture, your wedding day coordinator will be busy at work organising many things, including:

  • Arranging a last-minute seamstress to repair or alter any clothing if needed.
  • Stepping in as your photographer to capture your special moments getting ready if the photographer is running late
  • Coordinating the logistics of any missing items (hair accessories, jewellery etc.). Ensuring replacement items arrive ASAP
  • Managing deliveries to and from the preparation suite/destination


Now that your wedding party looks stunning, it’s time to make your way to the ceremony. Let’s hope that the wedding transport arrives on time and the traffic’s not too bad, but who will make sure this happens? Your wedding day coordinator of course. Here’s just some of the things they will do:

  • Liaise with the transport supplier earlier on in the day to ensure everything’s set to go. They will also have an update from the supplier closer to departure to get an ETA
  • Upon arrival of your transport, they will ensure vehicles are parked in the correct position and order
  • Once your wedding procession is on the road, they will be back on the phone to the venue coordinator and other suppliers, ensuring everything is running smoothly.

Cloud 9 Wedding CarsImage by Paul McMillan of Illustro Photography via Lizzie & Luke’s Classic Bathers Pavilion Wedding


While your wedding party makes their way to the ceremony, your wedding day coordinator will arrive ahead of the party to ensure everything goes to plan:

  • Checking all suppliers have made their deliveries and that everything is perfect
  • Ensuring all guests are comfortable and assembled in the right place
  • Liaising with the celebrant or Minister and any other key personnel to advise that your wedding party is about to arrive


Now that your wedding party has arrived, excitement is in the air. To ensure the ceremony gets underway smoothly, your wedding day coordinator will be calmly checking and organising many things, including:

  • Assembling and cueing the bridal party for the ceremony procession
  • Cueing the celebrant or Minister and ceremony music
  • Ensuring you are relaxed, looking immaculate with perfect hair and make-up


Heart-felt vows have been exchanged and matrimonial bliss is in the air. While you’re enjoying your beautiful moment, your wedding day coordinator will still be busy bringing your dream day to life, coordinating many elements, such as:

  • Ensuring guests are comfortable and if there’s any disturbances, they are minimised
  • Making sure guests leave the ceremony in an orderly fashion and at the right time.
  • Coordinating special elements of the ceremony such as releasing doves or balloons

stylish outdoor wedding0030Image by Nicolle Versteeg Photography via Liz and John’s Stylish Outdoor Wedding


The memories of your special day will last a lifetime, but to truly capture the beauty of the day, the emotion and meaning, it’s time for the official wedding photographs. During the shoot, your wedding day coordinator will be:

  • Advising friends and family when and where they need to be positioned
  • Locating anyone ‘missing’ from photos
  • Advising guests where to gather while the photo shoot is taking place


With the ceremony and photos completed, it’s now time for everyone to celebrate at the reception. Behind the scenes, your wedding day coordinator is organising a multitude of things, including:

  • Checking the décor still looks perfect – repairing any defects
  • Ensuring seating cards, favours and the guest book are in place and guests are being seated correctly
  • Ensuring the catering is running on time, there are no hiccups and if so, attending to them promptly, without fuss
  • Confirming the music/entertainment and speeches are all running on time – if the speeches go overtime, liaising with the band and caterers to ensure continuity
  • Ensuring the room/setting is working for the videographer/photographer – adjusting lighting if necessary

wedding reception at clovelly estateImage by Blue Robin Wedding Photography via Bree and Andrew’s Spring Garden Estate Wedding


Your big day is slowly winding down, still on hand, your wedding day coordinator is meticulously taking care of the final elements, including:

  • Ensuring your gifts are collected and transported from the venue
  • Collecting and handing leftover wedding cake to a guest to keep on your behalf
  • Coordination of pack down of décor and styling
  • Disbursement of all supplier gratuities and final payments

As you can see, coordinating the number of different elements on your big day truly can be overwhelming. It is simply not possible for everything to go smoothly without someone managing the day.

In the past, many couples have relied on guests to play the role of a wedding day coordinator, but this means that they are then often left feeling stressed and miss out on many great moments. The value you receive engaging a wedding day coordinator is truly extraordinary because ultimately they play many roles throughout the day – all to ensure your dream wedding plays out as you envisioned.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such a great idea – someone who allows you both to enjoy your dream day by taking the stress out of coordinating it all!

About Love 2 Love: We plan exceptional weddings and events, taking particular care to ensure that your wedding is the ‘perfect day’, the ‘perfect way’.

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