Can you get engaged without a ring?

We all know the classic scene of a marriage proposal where the love-struck guy gets on one knee holding a box and asks his lovely fiancée to be his wife, revealing a stunning diamond ring. The bigger and blingier the better.

But some ladies today aren’t into the whole “put a ring on it” idea. Whether it’s a rejection of the diamond’s crass commercial history, a discomfort with the way they’re mined (though “conflict-free” diamonds are an option), a desire to have something more unique or meaningful, or a belief that spending 3-months’ salary on a rock is ridiculous (read: keeper), your gal may wish to think outside the box when it comes to the engagement ring you’ll get her.

no ring proposal

Non-diamond wedding rings

Non-diamond rings are a great alternative. The options for engagement rings are endless when you think outside of the diamond solitaire box. Try a would-be heirloom with an ornate setting, or search for an unexpected stone like sapphire, emerald, or even watermelon tourmaline. For example, a dragon’s breath opal engagement ring is a gorgeous example of a stunning piece of jewelry. Dragon’s breath “opal” is a manmade stone created by fusing metal dust with molten glass. The stone has a red body, but flashes electric blue.

murano glass wedding ring

Even if your girlfriend is the non-traditional type in many matters, she may surprise you (and even herself) with her desire for a diamond. This is a ring she’ll be showing off to her friends after your proposal and likely wearing for the rest of her life, so you want her to be proud of it, and for it to elicit fond feelings, rather than disappointment, whenever she looks at her hand. However, picking the right engagement ring is a big decision and investment, putting a lot of pressure on the one proposing. They’re already feeling the stress of whether or not their heartfelt proposal will be jubilantly accepted. That is one of the reasons to keep picking an engagement ring for after the proposal, so you can do it together.

Do you need a ring to be engaged?

The most important thing to remember when there is no ring with the proposal is to focus on the question itself rather than the tangible symbol of that commitment. Some tips to keep in mind when proposing without a ring include:

  1. Do not draw attention to the fact that the ring is absent, but rather demonstrate that even without a piece of jewelry, it is important for the couple to be together with love and respect.
  2. Do not try to explain why the ring is missing. For a couple truly in love, that explanation is unnecessary and irrelevant.
  3. At the same time, do not belittle the proposal simply because the engagement ring will come later.

With or without a sparkling diamond, the question should be asked with sincerity, honesty, and love.

Glass Christmas Ornaments from Krebs Glass in Lauscha

Shiny glass baubles used to decorate Christmas trees in the holiday season originated in the German village of Lauscha, a center of glass-making since the 16th century. In the 19th century Laushca’s glass centers invented the first glass Christmas tree ornaments which became popular exports, particularly so when in 1846 glass ornaments were used to decorate Queen Victoria’s Christmas tree. In addition to baubles, silver tinsel also originated from the same German region. Original glass tree ornaments were blown in the shape of nuts and fruits, and featured lead or mercury inside to give a silvery look.

Christmas trees have a long history of bearing decorations, far preceding the invention of glass baubles. Original decorations were offerings to appease mythological gods and adapted to Christian religious symbolism in the 8th century. The earliest trees would be adorned with apples and flowers, and then this progressed to religious symbols such as stars, candles, wreaths and shepherd’s canes. With the advent of glass baubles as ornaments the symbolism continued in a more decorative form.

Today glass Christmas tree ornaments are still manufactured in Lauscha and the Krebs Glas Laushca factory outlet is open to visitors who can experience a tour with a glass ornament blower and a glass painter demonstrating original techniques. Over five thousand glass ornaments are displayed in the factory outlet. If a trip to Germany isn’t planned glass Christmas tree ornaments can be purchased from the Krebs Glas online store. Their vast range of decorated baubles includes red Christmas balls decorated with white snowflakes, snow white balls decorated with penguins, translucent gold balls with metallic starbursts, silver pearl balls with holly leaves, and emerald green balls decorated with reindeers.
Glass Christmas Ornaments from Krebs Glass in Lauscha
Hand blown glass baubles from Lauscha are treasured pieces to be carefully stored in tissue paper when the tree comes down and passed down as precious family heirlooms.

In addition to glass baubles to hang from the Christmas tree Krebs Glas also produces beautiful seasonal glass figurines and practical ornaments to add to the festive vibe.

There are place card holders modelled on Christmas tree baubles
Glass Christmas Ornaments from Krebs Glass in Lauscha
and a glass chef holding a blackboard. There are wonderful Christmas tree ornamental glass toppers to provide a focal feature, such as this old fashioned gold double ball tree topper.

Glass Christmas Ornaments from Krebs Glass in Lauscha
Christmas tree ornamental glass topper.

The hand pained detail on these Christmas ornaments is amazing. There is a Russian Santa dressed in red robes with glitter gold embellishments, holding exquisitely painted Christmas parcels
Glass Christmas Ornaments from Krebs Glass in Lauscha
and a wonderful mouthblown owl with meticulously hand painted eye details.
Glass Christmas Ornaments from Krebs Glass in Lauscha
The company also specializes in fairy tale collections epitomizing the heritage of the region. The glass ornaments make beautiful Christmas presents with new pieces added to a collection each year.

If you are tempted to visit Lauscha, the birthplace of the glass Christmas tree bauble, then make it a Christmas visit so you can enjoy the town’s Kuglemarkt Christmas market featuring glass baubles. A trip to the town’s Museum of Glass Art with its glass-blowing workshop demonstrating traditional techniques is another must see spot.

Artisan Glassware from the Venetian Island of Murano

For centuries skilled artisans have honed the delicate craft of creating the finest glassware in the Venetian island of Murano, giving Murano a distinguished reputation as the center of traditional glass-blowing techniques. Glassmaking in Venice dates back to the eighth century, but it was in the early years of the thirteenth century when it became the leading purveyor of fine glass in Europe.

In 1291 Venetian glass production was moved exclusively to the isle of Murano to protect its trademark. Craftsmen were prohibited from leaving the island to protect the secrets of their trade, but were richly recompensed by being rewarded with an elevated social status. The innovative techniques developed led to Murano glassmakers being lauded as the finest producers of luxury glassware and the island gained a virtual monopoly on fine glassware production. The island’s influence waned over the years, but it experienced a revival during the twentieth century as modern glass artists returned to traditional Murano techniques, restoring Murano’s reputation as the center of glassware excellence.

Transparent Cristallo Veneziano glass.

The discovery of transparent cristallo Veneziano glass originated in Murano, along with esteemed glassmaking techniques such as lattimo, murrino and filigree. Over the years Murano famously produced stunning chandeliers, reflective mirrors, wine glasses and goblets, and figurines. Today specialist Venetian glassware is so coveted for its beauty it inspires imitations, thus original pieces from Murano bear the certification ‘Vetro Artistico ® Murano,’ recognizable by its red and blue markings. Only glassware created on the Venetian isle is certified with the Murano trademark, to protect it from mass produced imitations.

Murano is still synonymous with fine glassware and visitors to Venice should take a water taxi to the isle of Murano to shop for genuine items and to visit a glass factory to admire the glassblowing techniques still practiced. The Murano Glass Museum, established in 1861 in the Palazzo Giustinian, showcases impressive display of glassware through the years. The regular addition of contemporary pieces ensures the collection continually expands. The museum also hosts regular exhibitions. Glass making demonstrations can be appreciated at the Mazzega factory, the Colleoni glass factory and the Rialto glass factory. The famous glass ateliers of FerroMerano, Berengo, Pino Signoretto, Salviato and Venini can be explored. In addition to its reputation as a glass making center of excellence Murano is also famous for engraving artisans who work on completed glass pieces. Shoppers for fine pieces will be enticed by an amazing array of glassware ranging from glass earring and pendants, through to glass vases, perfume bottles, candlesticks, sculptures and mirrors.

Glass wall celebrate Venice Glass Week.

Perhaps the best time for those appreciative of beautiful Murano glassware to visit the island is during the Venice Glass Week, an annual international festival celebrating the artistic creation of glass. The festival focuses on Murano glassware. Amidst events such as workshops, screenings and themed evenings, it features exhibitions of stunning glassware. During the inaugural Venice Glass Week there was a ‘Light-Blowing’ exhibition and a ‘Five Glass Blowing Techniques’ exhibit, alongside exhibitions showcasing the work of individual glass artisans. The festival draws attention to the unique specialism of Murano glass and the historical importance of the Murano renaissance.

Wedgewood, Wang and Wedding Glassware

Iconic wedding dress designer Vera Wang is renowned for her individual, innovative and elegant style. Having established her name designing beautiful bridal gowns she moved into fragrance and jewelry lines, creating a brand that is coveted by style aficionados.

Vera Wang’s collaboration with esteemed tableware and glassware company Wedgwood dates back to 2002. Impressed with their fine craftsmanship and sophisticated style, Wang began designing contemporary pieces that are luxuriant and timeless. One result of the collaboration between these two celebrated names is fine and distinctive glassware that is iconic and cherished. Individual pieces can be acquired over time to build an enviable collection, with Vera Wang crystal glassware a perfect wedding gift to be treasured.

Vera Wang for Wedgwood Collection

For glassware gifts with a contemporary edge the Vera Wang for Wedgwood collection comprises a stunning selection of crystal classics including wine goblets and glasses, champagne saucers and flutes, iced beverage, highball, tumblers, old fashioned glasses and wine decanters. Tradition meets luxury in Vera Wang contemporary collections bearing wedding themed inspired names: collections such as orient, classic, fidelity, love noir, peplum, sequin, love bouquet and Duchesse resonate with both romance and high-end style. The Vera Wang Metropolitan and Bande stemware collections are the latest addition in the Wang-Wedgwood collaboration; sleek, simple and refreshingly modern.

Each collection calls out to be displayed in pride of place in the home. Individual pieces gifted for engagements, bridal showers and weddings can grow into full collections over time, as additional crystal pieces are gifted to mark anniversaries and other notable events. The timeless appeal of Vera Wang crystal ware adds finesse to any occasion, from intimate dinner parties and cocktail evenings, to lavish parties.

Vera Wang Bande Collection

Vera Wang Bande wine glasses.

The flawlessly modern profile of the Vera Wang Bande collection is simple yet inherently sophisticated. Each piece in the collection can be personalized to add a special touch, making a gift especially memorable. The Bande line includes toasting flutes, tumblers, and wine and beverage glasses. Additionally the collection includes a wine decanter, a spirit decanter, crystal vases and bowls.

Vera Wang Metropolitan Collection

Vera Wang Metropolitan Tumblers.

Elegant, sleek and cutting edge, the Vera Wang Metropolitan Collection comprises two-piece sets of goblets, flutes, wine glasses and tumblers. This distinctive line is designed to grace a contemporary styled home and has a timeless appeal. The thin stems are very in vogue, reflecting the current fashion ethos of glassware. As with the Bande collection, pieces from the Metropolitan collection can be personalized.

Vera Wang Toasting Flutes

Champagne flutes from Vera Wang Metropolitan collection.

The most popular wedding gift glassware is toasting flutes and Vera Wang designs are exquisite. Champagne tastes even better when sipped from a Vera Wang flute and there are many different styles to tempt the palette, ranging from the Infinity toasting flute and the Love toasting flute, to the Grosgrain and Sequin toasting flutes. Exquisite love knots decorate the base of the glass atop either gold or silver stems in the Vera Wang long stemmed Love Knot toasting flutes. In contrast the shorter stemmed Vera Wang Band toasting flutes are distinguished by indented lines at the base of the glass, elegantly reflecting light.

Coupes or Flutes for the Champagne Toast

There are so many fine details involved in bringing the picture perfect image of your wedding day to life. Whilst most of your attention may be focused on finding a wedding dress to fall in love with and beautiful dresses your bridesmaids can all agree on, there are many other creative elements that play their part in the visual presentation and feature at memorable moments.

The bridal bouquet is first introduced as the bride walks down the aisle and is showcased again in the bouquet toss. Champagne toasts to the bride and groom are made throughout the celebrations and again at the cake cutting. Not only do you need to decide on the particular champagne to serve but it is also important to consider the choice of coupes or flutes for toasting.

Champagne is lauded as the celebratory drink of choice for important occasions. This effervescent wine has such a prominent place in festivities it naturally has its own champagne glassware, notably the champagne flute and the champagne coupe, otherwise known as the champagne saucer. Both styles of champagne glass are universally distinctive.

Coupes or Flutes for the Champagne Toast
Lunar Oceans champagne flutes.

The champagne flute is a delicate long stemmed glass with a narrow flute-like appearance. Its design pre-dates that of the champagne coupe which became popular later. The flute is acknowledged as the perfect design for sipping champagne and many flutes have a roughened bead incorporated into the base of the glass where the champagne bubbles converge.

Coupes or Flutes for the Champagne Toast
Barwell Cut Crystal Champagne Coupe

The champagne coupe, designed in 1663, stylistically looks like a shallow saucer with a slender stem. It is a carefree and fun design, associated with lavish parties and champagne fountains. The flute is considered the more serious champagne vessel of the two as its design is considered superior in retaining the effervescent fizz of the champagne bubbles and in concentrating the aroma. The bubbles tend to lose their fizz more quickly in a champagne coupe due to the wider surface area. The wine also retains its chill for longer in a flute and is less inclined to spill. Over the years both styles of champagne glasses have their fans and detractors, with the flute winning the approval of connoisseurs due to the way it allows the bubbles to rise, and the coupe a clear winner for lavish events typified by opulent champagne fountains.

If you plan to impress your guests with a champagne fountain as a centrepiece at your wedding then champagne coupes will be your choice of vessel. Champagne saucers are skilfully arranged into a tower and the champagne is poured into the top ones and spills artfully over through the layers.

Champagne flutes and saucers are very popular gifts for weddings, particularly personalized ones with the date of the wedding etched into the glasses as an inscription. If your wedding list includes glassware you can list your personal preference for flutes or coupes, reflecting your individual approach to champagne. If you are an occasional champagne drinker and only plan to pop the bubbly at parties you may prefer champagne coupes, but if you prefer to mark intimate moments with a glass of vintage champagne you may prefer to pay homage to the wine with a flute.

Choose Milano Glassware for Superb Craftsmanship

If you appreciate the finer things in life and like to surround yourself with beautiful objects, then sophisticated glassware will be on your radar. The finest glassware is of course not only remarkable for its delicacy of design, but for its practicality. Wine goblets can not only be admired for their graceful appearance but can be used to savor your favorite wines in elegant style. European glassware, whether from Murano or Romania, is appreciated by collectors who admire the unique craftsmanship that goes into such visually aesthetic pieces and add a luxuriant air to the home when they are displayed.

Acclaimed for its resemblance to stained glass windows, Milano glassware has earned a reputation amongst collectors of fine pieces who appreciate its distinctive beauty. Milano glassware is crafted by Romanian artisans, using time-honored traditional methods. Each piece of unique 100 percent lead-free crystal glassware is individually mouth-blown before being painted by hand. As no two pieces are identical it is coveted by glassware connoisseurs who are proud to add to their collections, yet remains accessible to anyone who appreciates beautiful glassware.

Milano glassware has a particular method of production. First the piece of glassware is hand blown and then swirled in molten cobalt blue before being polished and then hand painted with colors and 24 carat gold, creating threads. A final firing of the glass preserves the distinctive Milano colors on the crystal ware. The stained glass effect refracts light in an incomparable way, making each Milano piece a treasured and coveted item. Traditionally cobalt blue was used in Milano glassware but molten black and molten platinum have been introduced respectively in the Milano Noir and the Milano Special Edition collections.

In addition to stocking ones bar shelves with Milano glassware such as brandy snifters and wine goblets, one can also opt for larger pieces such as bowls and vases, or decorative ornaments and lamps. Milano glasses make perfect wedding gifts, representing European elegance to display in the home. Over time a collection can be built to include champagne flutes, champagne coupes, cocktail glasses, old fashioned glasses, beer glasses and shot glasses. There are separate designs for red and wine glasses, alongside balloon goblets.
To compliment any Milano glassware collection the range includes whiskey decanters, pitchers and ice buckets. For ornamentation the Milano collection features candle holders, oil lamps and Christmas tree baubles.

As each piece of Milano glassware is individually crafted and painted, and imported from Romania, it tends to cost a little more than domestic glassware. However it has a timeless beauty that will grace any home with style and could appreciate in value as collectors’ items. The sophistication of each piece will become a talking point, whether it is kept in a pristine display cabinet or used for drinks at a dinner party. Each piece is durable and with care can be preserved over time by keeping out of direct sunlight and by hand washing. The colors will retain their sharp clarity over time and the crystal is designed to always refract light.