Category Archives: Talk To The Experts

Hear from our experts, our guest bloggers, get exclusive interviews with designers, and connect with our experienced sales associates!

Brides: The 27 Best Places to Register

Wedding registry can be stressful. Luckily, Brides Magazine has compiled a helpful list of the best places to register for everything you could possibly want on a wedding registry. Michael C. Fina made the list and we’re honored. Here’s the best part, there’s more to the Michael C. Fina registry experience and you’re going to want to hear all about it.

Michael C. Fina Wedding Registry

Wedding Registry at Michael C. Fina

First things first. Our consultants are the best in the business. When you make an appointment at Michael C. Fina to set up your wedding registry you can rest assured that you’ll leave with a registry full of beautiful pieces to complete your home with a sense of style that’s true to you. Our flagship store at 500 Park Avenue features the most comprehensive, curated selection of the finest tableware and home decor items on the entire East Coast. We feature designers you’ve known and loved for years as well as up and coming, quality designers, all selected carefully to create a cohesive registry to perfectly complement your style.

Convenience is key when it comes to managing your registry, and you’ve got full control no matter when it is. Whether you visit us on Park Avenue, give us a call, or send us an email, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Changed your mind about a pattern? We’re on it. Need more of a certain place setting? We’ve got you covered. We’ll make sure your registry is updated quickly and consistently when you need it to be.

You also retain full control after all is said and done. Our unique Hold Registry™ allows the registered couple to review all purchases made on their registry before any orders are placed and shipped. This process allows the couple to fine tune their final order and avoid the inconvenience of returns or exchanges. For more information on our registry processes, click here.

The icing on the cake, of course, is the ease of transitioning from selecting home decor items to choosing your wedding bands. Michael C. Fina has hundreds of styles from over 20 top designers so there is a perfect fit for any couple. Additionally, couples that register at Michael C. Fina receive 15% off their wedding band purchase.

Michael C. Fina wedding registry

To make an appointment or create a registry at Michael C. Fina, visit us online, give us a call at 1-800-289-3462, or email us at

Meet Erica Courtney



For 30 years, Erica Courtney has been designing feminine and elegant fine jewelry to suit every style and taste. After moving from Dallas to Los Angeles in 1989, Erica’s business blossomed and she continued to evolve, introducing fine gold and platinum gemstone jewelry to her collection. Each piece is designed personally by Erica to ensure that it fits flawlessly into her collection.


1.  What inspired you to begin designing?  What influences your designs?

Truthfully, boredom inspired my first piece. It was snowing in Dallas and I was stranded at home so I started gluing Swarovski crystals on a pair of sunglasses.

2.  What is the first piece you designed?

Sunglasses hand-designed with Swarovski crystals

3.  How would you describe the style of your collections?

My collection is very feminine, sophisticated and has an assortment of the most magnificent colors in the world of gemstones.

4.  What is your signature piece?

My signature piece of jewelry would have to be my cocktail rings. Most designers don’t spend as much time as I do on the details…..I design every single millimeter of each of my rings!

5.  What materials do you use and why?

Right now, I’m mostly utilizing gold and lush gemstones. My passion is using gorgeous and colorful collector gemstones. necklaceandearrings

6.  What is an outfit incomplete without?

A ring! We express ourselves and communicate in so many ways and our hands are definitely a common source. I like having something fabulous and sparkly on my “talkative” hands.

7.  Name one thing a person should splurge on:

A cocktail ring because even cheap wine tastes better when there’s a gorgeous ring to stare at while you’re sipping it.

8.  What is your favorite gift to give?

Sweet treats that I personally bake.

9.  What is your best style tip?

As long as you have a stylish purse, killer shoes, and a gorgeous piece of jewelry, then the rest can come from Target because no one will know the difference.

10. What is the most fun piece of jewelry to redesign?

I like the challenge of redesigning outdated pieces that my clients have no hope for. Presenting them with their newly designed treasures and watching them fall in love again with their updated pieces is priceless.

Care Tips: China

Caring for china can be stressful, especially when you don’t know where to begin. But by following just a few simple tips, you can ensure that your china will continue to look brand new, forever.


1. While most china can be cared for the same way, be sure to check the manufacturer’s specific instructions for any exceptions.

2. Most fine china can washed in the dishwasher but to prevent chips and cracks, position each piece in a way that prevents them from knocking into one another.

3. If your china has hand-applied decorations, avoid putting it in the dishwasher, as the heat can damage gold or platinum bands.

4. Let your china air dry when putting it in the dishwasher. If your dishwasher does not have an air dry setting, simply stop it before the dry cycle begins and leave the door open.

5. Place liners or paper plates in between fine china when stacking them for storage to keep them looking pristine.


6. Instead of using scouring powders or steel wool on your china when you need to clean off dried-on food, soak each piece for several minutes. This will remove the food, while preventing scratches.

7. When hand washing your china, place a rubber mat or a towel at the bottom of the sink to avoid chips or cracks.

8. China can crack from temperature extremes, so avoid moving your pieces directly from the refrigerator to the oven.

China is special, and often something that you want to pass down from generation to generation. By following these simple care tips, you can ensure that your pieces will remain in perfect condition for years to come.

Locations: Engagement Sessions, Part II

Tips From Photomuse On Choosing Your Location


In the first part of this series,  I suggested choosing a location based upon your mutual activities or a location infused with meaning for you.  There are definitely plenty of times when in the absence of a location with meaning, I am asked for some assistance in thinking of a location.  When you first narrow down your season, it can help set the tone for the rest of the session.



Pros: Quite romantic if you can get snowfall.  Contrast of colors popping against white snow lends itself to graphic images. Playful, quiet – fewer people out and about if you are shy.  The wedding season is not as busy in the winter, so you’ll have more available dates to choose from.  You can also take advantage of a holiday theme (and use an image for a holiday card).

Cons: Cold, shorter amount of light in the day will mean a tighter frame of time to shoot.  Temperature might mean less time shooting. Clothing choices will be more restrictive.

Possible activities: sledding, making snowmen, snowball fights, quiet walks under a canopy of snow laden trees.

Photomuse Engagement Sessions - Winter



Pros: The abundance of blooming flowers and trees make for wonderful settings. Colors tend towards pastels and soft hues.  The temperature enables a wider selection of    wardrobe possibilities.  Cherry blossom season, wisteria, tulips to name a few.  Petals flying through the air.

Cons: You won’t be the only ones out and about enjoying the renewal of the season, so if you are shy, or if you are in a city area, you’ll be contending with others.  If you are   prone to allergies, you won’t be too comfortable.  The weather can be more unpredictable    with more possibilities of having a rainy day.

Possible activities: picnics, walking under a canopy of cherry blossom trees, laying in a bed of flowers together, riding bicycles.

Photomuse Engagement Photography Sessions - Spring



Pros: Warmer temperatures (this could lend itself to a con as well if it’s too warm).  Beaches become an option.  The day is longer, which will enable you to schedule a session for later in the day.  The weather is more predictable.  Sundresses and sandals become  possibilities.

Cons: If you live in NYC, you’ll be contending with many others who are also enjoying    what the summer has to bring.  Can sometimes be too hot which may affect your hair and makeup negatively.

Possible activities: water related activities like being on a boat or playing on the beach, walking along a boardwalk, carnivals and fairs.

Photomuse Engagement Photography Session - Summer



Pros: Fall foliage creates a stunning backdrop.  The temperature allows for a wider range   of clothing choices.  The colors reflecting off the autumn hues are warm and lush.  You can also take advantage of the fun activities at this time of the year.

Cons: Autumn is prime wedding season, so you might have a harder time scheduling your session (plan ahead!).  Weather could potentially work against you and the leaves might not be ready, or might even have all fallen.

Possible activities: hiking, playing in a leaf pile, Halloween themes, pumpkin and/or apple picking, hayrides.

Photomuse Engagement Session - Fall

To view more location images, be sure to follow Photomuse and Michael C. Fina on Pinterest!

Locations: Engagement Sessions, Part I

Tips from Photomuse on Choosing Your Location

On a warm July evening, Zack’s attention became captured by a girl who was chatting with her friend near the subway station.  Zack decided to make up an excuse to interrupt their conversation and ask the girl (he’d later come to find her name was Kim) for directions. After some playful banter, he made his way down to the subway platform wishfully thinking about the girl he had just met.  As fate would have it, a few minutes later while Kim was also excitedly pondering the guy whom had just surprisingly approached her, the two former strangers serendipitously reconnected on the subway platform and stepped into the same train car moments before the doors closed.

The entrance to that subway station became the setting for Zack’s proposal to Kim.  It also became the inspiration for where we would photograph their engagement session.

Typically when couples ask for advice on where to shoot their engagement session, my first suggestion is to think about a place with meaning or symbolism.  Make it personal.  Where was your first date, or perhaps your most memorable date?  Where did the proposal take place?

Perhaps it’s not a particular place, but instead where you both share a favorite activity.  Hiking?  Leisurely sipping a latte at an outdoor cafe?  Spending time at the beach?

Tips from Photomuse - Engagement Session Locations

I view the engagement session as an opportunity to take a break from the daily grind and simply relax together and have fun.  The more fun I can make this session means that taking photographs won’t potentially be seen as yet another thing to do prior to the wedding day.  Think about it as a fun date…with your very own paparazzi!


To view more location images, be sure to follow Photomuse and Michael C. Fina on Pinterest!

Engagement Sessions: Various Tips

Tips from Photomuse to Make Your Engagement Session a Winner

Congratulations!  If you are currently reading this while wearing a gorgeous engagement ring from Michael C. Fina, most likely you will be photographing an engagement session with your photographer soon!

I have a few tips that I would like to share with the Fina Family that will help you make the most of your session.  I will be breaking up engagement session information over a series of posts and I would LOVE to hear from you!  We welcome you to leave a comment below and be sure to check back regularly for the subsequent posts!­

  • Timing: Always be sure to arrange for your session well in advance.  Not only will you be sure to get a confirmed date with your photographer, you will have time to use your images for a Save The Date or have a personalized guest book created.  Additionally, the closer you get to the wedding, the busier you will be and the more inclined you may be to view your session as a chore instead of the fun time it really is.
  • Location: I’ll be talking more in depth about locations coming up, but you should first pick a season and then figure out a location that is best suited to your needs.  Personalize it!  Finding a way to bring some meaning into your location will be an addition to the experience you will have.
  • Communication: Be sure to communicate with your photographer about what you are hoping for.  This is also a good time to talk about anything about yourself that you don’t like in photographs.  Additionally, involve your photographer on the decision-making process such as wardrobe, time of the day, location and themes.  Discuss ahead of time your plan if it’s a rain date or if the weather is not good.
  • Light: The time of the day is crucial and your photographer will most likely guide you on this.  I always prefer shooting during the end of the day, just before the sun is going to set.  The light is warm and after it sets, it becomes a soft pastel color.  It’s the “secret sauce” to making your images spectacular.
  • Wardrobe: Another item of communication between you and your photographer.  It’s a matter of taste.  I do want my couples to be relaxed and enjoy themselves, but I find the images are much more grand when my couples dress up.
  • It’s The Little Things:
    • Watches: Don’t wear them (unless for a symbolic reason), as it can detract from the timelessness of the images.
    • Hair elastics: Often forgotten about and become distracting on the wrist.
    • Shoes: Bring a pair of flats to save your feet while walking between locations.
    • Purses: Leave your purse at home as it detracts from the spontaneous moments or becomes a potential theft liability.
  • Research: Looking at images on the blogs or Pinterest is totally fine, but be aware that there are so many factors that went into making that image what it is. Some of these things could be: it was 100% reflective of the couple, the lighting and weather was unique to that moment, the wardrobe was appropriate, the personality of the photographer taking the shot and the location was particular to that image.  Personally I like to photograph my couples as unique individuals and create images that are suited to THEM, not anyone else.
  • Be On Time: This is often so crucial because your photographer is setting up your session based upon the light.  Light can change quickly and every minute that you are late is a potential loss of exquisite light.
  • Have Fun!  Enjoy yourselves. See this as a date. Make plans to go out for dinner afterwards and just put this day aside as a special day without wedding planning, work or other obligations.


To view more images, be sure to follow Photomuse and Michael C. Fina on Pinterest!