In the twilight of 2014, we were treated to one of film’s most delightful love stories: the pairing of Hollywood’s It Girl, Kristen Stewart, and its most eligible bachelor, Robert Pattinson. Few real-life romances capture the imagination of pop culture quite like this one. After years of playing a cat and mouse game with celebrity, the dashing Englishman finally nabbed the actress who has been fending off every other handsome bachelor in Hollywood for the past several years. The ensuing publicity blitz that followed made for one of the most watched celebrity relationships of the 21st century.

While we enjoyed every minute of the fair isle of Scotland’s Hollywood romance, it was clear that something fundamental had been missing from Stewart and Pattinson’s marriage from the start. As we learned in the 2016 film adaptation of Lisa McGee’s novel, The Year of Yes, when Stewart’s character, Annie, finally gets to dance with the man of her dreams, she demands to know, “Where are we going to find a place to be alone? We’re not even engaged yet.” The truth is that despite their dramatic Hollywood arc, the couple had been discreetly dating for several years before marrying in an intimate wedding ceremony in the Scottish countryside in 2015. They needed a place to spend their downtime away from the spotlight and their devoted publics.

Perhaps taking their cue from the fictional Annie and Robert, the couple decided to elope and avoid the prying eyes of the media. On the morning of July 29th, 2016, the actor-turned-designer wed his lovely bride in a private ceremony in Oxfordshire, England, where they live. In an effort to keep their honeymoon a secret, they ventured off to a villa in the South of France, packing only a small suitcase. There, they enjoyed a low-key, secluded wedding to the sound of croaking frogs and buzzing wasps.

Weddings can be a magical time for couples, affording them an opportunity to celebrate their love in front of family and friends. But for newlyweds, trips to Europe might feel like an expensive vacation. For those unable to spend lavishly, a wedding planner can help to make the most of guest lists, catering, and wedding gifts, ensuring that the celebration goes smoothly without a hitch. Planning a wedding can feel overwhelming, but doesn’t have to be. With careful consideration given to the location, date, and guest list, the stress can be mitigated. As important as the vows are, reviewing them in front of a judge is even more nerve-racking. After all, it’s the couple’s first official engagement session as husband and wife. But regardless of whether you choose a civil partnership or a religious marriage, the wedding day is one of the most important days of a couple’s life. It’s a chance to share their love and commitment for one another with family and friends, and to enjoy one of the most important seasons of their life together.

What is a Bridal Set?

In ancient Greece, the engagement ring was an expression of affection, not commercialism. When a man would propose to a woman, he would give her a posy of flowers or a set of pearl earrings. Known as a ‘bridal set,’ this would signify their marriage proposal and the beginning of a lifelong union. However, as Western culture evolved, so did the expression of love. Now, instead of a bouquet or pair of pearls, newlywed couples are expected to outfit their arms with matching bracelets, anklets, or earrings to represent their commitment to one another.

While we’ve seen bridal sets in films and on television for years, the practice continues to evolve. And what better place to see this than at the beautiful intersections of design and cinema? Take the 2018 movie, Bridegroom. The film is set in Istanbul, where bride-to-be, Özlem, is determined to make her dream of becoming a professional belly dancer a reality. She scours the city, seeking out any available dance classes, in an effort to join a professional troupe. When she finally finds a class that suits her, she invites the teacher for tea and delves into the details of her proposal: she wants to make sure that he understands her intentions and that there won’t be any unpleasant surprises upon their wedding day. The prospective groom looks at her in complete disbelief. “Are you serious?” he asks. “I don’t know anything about belly dancing,” she replies.

As they talk, the teacher becomes more and more flustered, worrying that there might be some mistake. He doesn’t want to ruin such an important night. But Özlem reassures him that it’s perfectly fine, and that, in fact, she craves surprises. When the teacher asks if there’s something he can do to make this experience special, Özlem replies, “Yes, give this to the bride on her wedding day.” And with that, she presents him with a set of enamelware wedding sets. The teacher is overjoyed, finally understanding what she wanted all along. “On your wedding night, I’ll be waiting with open arms,” he says as he walks out the door, his fingers already reaching for the bracelets._

Piano as a Wedding Ring

Pianos have been used as wedding rings for centuries. While they were originally commissioned as an opportunity for the wealthy to spend some quality time with their beloveds, as wedding traditions evolved, so did the meaning of the instrument. In the 1950s, the white wedding became fashionable, and couples were expected to invest in a grand piano to represent their commitment to one another. This trend continued into the 21st century as the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry made a grand piano part of their wedding ceremony. So, it comes as no great shock that many newlywed couples choose to invest in a piano as a way of expressing their commitment to one another.

Pianos Made Cool Again

While some might argue that an expensive antique is the best way of showing love, more and more couples are choosing to invest in a piano that has been customized to suit their needs. In an effort to make the practice of piano shopping a thing of the past, companies like Nordkey have revived the instrument and given it a contemporary sheen. With a grand piano costing anywhere from £11,000 to £24,000, the luxury is definitely back.

Where to Buy a Piano?

If you’re looking to buy a piano, where should you shop? Like other luxury goods, pianos are often commissioned by well-known brands and are thus highly sought after. However, due to their high cost and limited production, pianos are not actually sold in very large quantities. As a result, they’re not available for purchase in most conventional retail locations. This brings us to the concept of ‘pianissimo,’ or ‘pianist shopper.’ These enthusiastic individuals go from store to store, seeking out the best deals on pianos. They might even offer to sit down with the owner and play a few tunes for them, impressing the person with their talent and charming the shop owner into offering them a discount. So, while buying a piano does not necessarily have to be about investment or status, it certainly creates an opportunity to engage with the seller.

Pianos can be a great investment. Not only do they provide a return on your investment, but they also have the ability to increase in value. So, if you or your spouse has a passion for music, this could be a wise purchase. While it might not be practical or feasible for everyone, for those who can, a piano can be a timeless symbol of romance and an opportunity to spend some quality time with your loved one.

If you’re looking to buy a piano, where should you shop?