What makes Natalie Portman’s engagement ring so special isn’t just who gave it to her, but also who designed it and how it was made. Jeweler designer Jamie Wolf (inset), whose creations have also adorned Jessica Biel, Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway, created the custom handmade ring with choreographer Benjamin Millepied, Portman’s now-fiancé. “Ben was exceptionally thoughtful and dedicated and patient to make sure we had everything right,” Wolf told InStyle, who as a former dancer for the New York City Ballet, has been friends with Millepied for over 15 years. (He even encouraged Wolf to audition as a company dancer for Black Swan, and she was cast film!) “We wanted everything about the ring to speak to things that are important to Natalie.” Therefore, in alignment with Portman’s ecofriendly and vegan ideals, the stone is an antique (round old mine cut diamond), the pave diamonds are certified as conflict-free, meaning no one was hurt or treated unfairly in the mining of the diamonds, and the platinum is recycled metal. “It was a lot of fun to work with him, he’s such a great guy and it’s such a great piece of jewelry,” Wolf said. “It speaks to my work and my taste on a personal level. I was really proud of how it turned out. It’s gorgeous.”
[tiImage width=”300″ height=”450″ url=”http://img2.timeinc.net/instyle/images/2011/wrn/012011-jennifer-400.jpg” credit=”Andrew H. Walker/Getty” align=”right” border=”1″ alt=”Jennifer Hudson”]ThoughJennifer Hudson and her fiancé David Otunga got engaged in 2008, there is reason to believe the couple’s wedding date could be looming. The giveaway? The Oscar-winning singer and new Weight Watchers spokesperson confirmed that she already picked out her dress, OK! reports. “I designed it myself,” she said. “It’s white. That’s the color, in keeping with tradition.” As for the rings, Hudson revealed that she and her husband-to-be chose wedding bands designed by Neil Lane. We can’t wait to see what she designed to wear down the aisle!
When we caught up with recently-engaged Eva Amurri, daughter of Susan Sarandon, at the InStyle/Warner Bros. Golden Globes after-party, the actress told us that her new marital status comes with its own set of challenges. Which is why she’s doing something about it. “I’m writing a book about how overwhelming being engaged is for a modern woman,” said Amurri (in Chris Benz), pictured here with her retired professional soccer player fiancé Kyle Martino. “I realized once I got engaged, that everyone is overwhelmed, but nobody talks about it. I’m going to try and write this book as a companion guide for women who are overwhelmed.” Though, that doesn’t mean she isn’t enjoying herself. “Tonight’s the first time I’m being photographed with my ring,” she said, showing off her round diamond solitaire, which is surrounded by diamonds and set on a pave diamond band (inset). “It’s a big deal.”
[tiImage width=”300″ height=”450″ url=”http://img2.timeinc.net/instyle/images/2011/wrn/010511-reese-400.jpg” credit=”Getty Images” align=”left” border=”1″ alt=”Reese Witherspoon’s engagement ring”]We scored a close-up glimpse of Reese Witherspoon’s engagement ring last night as she and fiancé Jim Toth cheered on the L.A. Lakers—and it’s stunning. The ring, a custom-design by the William Goldberg Diamond Corporation, features a 4-carat Ashoka cut diamond set on a pave diamond-and-platinum band, reports People. The rare cut also has 62 displayed facets and rounded corners to make it extra sparkly. Nice pick, Jim!
[tiImage width=”340″ height=”400″ url=”http://img2.timeinc.net/instyle/images/2011/wrn/0104110-weddings-400.jpg” credit=”Courtesy of Simone & Martin Photography; Courtesy Photo” align=”right” border=”0″ alt=”Carrie Underwood’s Monique Luhllier wedding dress”]For brides who dream of walking down the aisle in a designer gown—like Carrie Underwood‘s strapless Monique Lhuillier—but don’t want to pay full price, the Internet may hold your answer. Rent the Runway announced it would launch a bridesmaids’ dress rental service this month, and a new flash sale bridal site named The Aisle New York (like a Gilt.com and RueLaLa.com), just launched this week. Already the site offers gowns, veils, shoes and jewelry, including dresses by Lhuillier (dress shown is $2,899, down from $4,840) and Angel Sanchez, plus Oscar de la Renta accessories, and a percentage of each sale goes to charity. Sure you can’t try anything on (though you can make returns for a fee), but it’s definitely a new way to approach saying yes to a dress. Tell us: Would you rent or buy your wedding gown?
[tiImage width=”300″ height=”400″ url=”http://img2.timeinc.net/instyle/images/2010/wrn/122910-reese-witherspoon-300.jpg” credit=”Flynet” align=”right” border=”1″ alt=””]Congrats are in order for Reese Witherspoon, who announced her engagement to Hollywood agent Jim Toth today. Toth, her boyfriend of one year, proposed with a 4-carat diamond ring, People reports. The pair join a growing group of celebrities to become engaged this fall, so there’s bound to be quite a few beautiful brides come 2011! Click through the gallery to see more recently engaged star couples. Plus: Tell us who you’re most excited to see walk down the aisle in the comments.
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Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s engagement is rolling along quite smoothly. The couple went out this weekend, for the first time since their engagement announcement, to attend the Thursford Christmas Spectacular charity event in Fakenham, England. Continuing her white dress streak, Middleton wore a version by Temperley London ($425 at StyleFind.com) with a black geometric embellished neckline, which she paired with a black blazer, clutch, pumps and sheer tights. Also, the Royal Collection just released its official commemorative china for the Prince’s upcoming nuptials, which includes a plate, cup and pillbox ($39 to $62, RoyalCollectionShop.co.uk). Each item is decorated with the couple’s initials woven together in gold and silver, the Prince’s coronet and the wedding date. And since these are official, William and Kate had to approve the design before they could ever be sold, the BBC reports, which is just one of the reasons why these are a lot different and more, er, Royal than the ones being sold with their faces plastered all over them. You know what weekends like these are called? Productive.
[tiImage width=”300″ height=”400″ url=”http://img2.timeinc.net/instyle/images/2010/wrn/121610-lauren-bush-300.jpg” credit=”Will Ragozzino/PatrickMcMullan.com/Sipa (2)” align=”right” border=”1″ alt=”Lauren Bush and David Lauren”]
Lauren Bush and David Lauren are engaged! This fashionable couple—Bush is the niece of George W. Bush and founder of the charitable FEED bags, while Lauren is Ralph Lauren‘s son—announced their good news over the weekend. (Lauren proposed at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, where they had originally met six years ago.) Bush showed off her new engagement ring, a round solitaire, at a party this week, and we caught up with InStyle‘s fine jewelry and watches contributor Marion Fasel to find out the details. “The round brilliant cut diamond engagement ring is an all American classic,” Fasel explained, estimating that the size is upwards of three carats. “The size David chose adds a splash of glamour to the iconic design.” Yes, glamorous indeed! Now we’re just left wondering if Ralph Lauren will design her wedding gown…?
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Nicole Richie‘s dream wedding to Joel Madden last Saturday in Beverly Hills involved everything from elephants to Reverend Run as the officiant. But what was truly spectacular were the three different Marchesadresses she wore for the occasion. “Marchesa was both honored and thrilled to create the gowns for Nicole’s special day,” the label’s designers and InStyle contributors Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig (inset) said. “She has such incredible style and we worked with her closely to develop the different looks. Each design is a reflection of her vision and taste as well as Marchesa’s signature aesthetic.” The ivory lace and crystal long-sleeve gown she wore for the ceremony, which Richie said was inspired by Grace Kelly, was made with 100 yards of hand-draped silk organza and tulle petals and included embroidery of the couple’s names on her sleeve.
[tiImage width=”340″ height=”450″ url=”http://img2.timeinc.net/instyle/images/2010/wrn/121510-kate-chefs-340.jpg” credit=”Getty images (3); Rex” align=”left” border=”0″ alt=””]We’ve asked fashion designers to sketch Kate Middleton’s potential wedding dress, so we figured why stop there? Next up: the royal wedding feast. When we attended the Barneys New York “Have a Foodie Holiday” window unveiling last month, we asked some of the most well-known chefs in the culinary world what foods they’d serve on Royal Wedding Day. Cake-maker-to-the-stars Sylvia Weinstock “would love” to make their buttercream masterpiece. Click here to see what Food Network regulars like Paula Deen, Rocco DiSpirito and more would whip together for Kate Middleton and Prince William’s upcoming nuptials.