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An Elegant Barn Wedding On a Gorgeous Day

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

Since we all have summer on the brain over here I was so jazzed when photographer Kayce Howard of Purple Opal Photography contacted me to share some photos of an outdoor barn wedding she shot recently. It was a simple affair – casual, even – but still sophisticated. Some things stood right out. The couple? Looked comfortable in their clothes. We can get behind wedding fashion for brides and grooms that feels as good as it looks! And the setting? Was to die for. Check it out:



Is that look not adorable? Check out this bride’s natural curly ‘do below. It’s super inspiring for all the curly-haired brides-to-be dreaming of keeping things au naturel. You can do it, ladies!


How about these colors? These are bridesmaids dresses you could really and truly actually wear again. My guess is that the bridesmaids themselves had a hand in picking them.



They are too cute.



How can you not love a bride and groom who look like they’re having an amazing time?




This natural wedding arch is the kind of wedding decor you can’t replicate. It has to be Mother Nature or nothing.




Like I said, it was simple. Simply beautiful, when it comes down to it. Wedding tables don’t need to be fussy to make guests happen. Very few people will remember your centerpieces or the color of your linens, anyway.



Every couple needs a shot like this.




Are you a wedding photographer who’d like to share your work on our blog? If you have a set of wedding photos you love, email christa d terry at gmail (no spaces) to find out how to have them featured. Brides, we’d love to feature your favorite wedding photos, too!

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All the Alternative Wedding Cakes You Could Ever Want

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

Hate cake? I can’t say I’m right there with you but I totally respect your choice NOT to have wedding cake at your reception. Some people will hem and haw on and on about how you can’t have a wedding without c-a-k-e but that’s a big fat lie. Aside from the vows that make the wedding official (notice I didn’t say legal because it takes all kinds) you can have a wedding without nearly anything. No dress? No problem. No bridesmaids? Same. No wedding accessories, wedding favors, bridal heels, or open bar? You’ll be just as married. Heck, you don’t even need guests. But if you don’t have wedding guests, who will eat all these goodies? Because today I wanted to share some of my favorite wedding cake alternatives for the bride-to-be who would rather not have her cake and eat it, too.


Who doesn’t like doughnuts? Whether you’re a diehard Dunkin Donuts fan or you say Krispy Kreme for life or you’re all about the gourmet indie doughnuts, a stack of wedding doughnuts can go a long way toward satisfying your guests’ sweet teeth.

cheese as wedding cake

Sweets for the sweet? Hardly when you sub out the traditional wedding cake for a more cosmopolitan last course of cheese. This isn’t wedding cheesecake but wedding cheese… as cake, tiers and all.

crepes as wedding cake

Wedding crepes as cake lets you have all the icing you could want in a “cake” that’s a step up from sponge. It’s even more striking when you use dark chocolate ganache between the layers.

ice cream as wedding cake

I scream, you scream, we all scream for wedding ice cream. Help guests beat the heat at summer weddings with this kid-friendly dessert option. Afraid of the mess? Opt for a sundae bar.

macaron wedding cake

For an epically colored wedding dessert can’t can’t beat French macarons as a cake alternative.

wedding cake alternativesBut wait, there’s more! Naked wedding cakes are still cake but with a twist for those couples who can’t stand frosting. Then there are wedding parfaits and the three-tiered wedding Rice Krispies treat.


But save your fork because there’s gonna be pie.

Are you going to be serving wedding cake at your reception – or one of these awesome wedding cake alternatives?

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We’re Loving: 1950s Wedding Dresses (and Accessories, too!)

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

Everything old is new again. Again. I think when summer rolls around brides-to-be (and the rest of us) can get a little nostalgic for times past – whether or not we lived them ourselves! 1950s wedding fashion is always a good bet if you’re a lover of all things vintage. It’s cute. It’s femme. And there’s nothing dowdy about it. For once I’m going to say that choosing wedding accessories is easy since there are plenty retro-inspired jewelry sets and headpieces to choose from. Here are some looks to inspire you and a few of my choices for cute must-haves for the 1950s wannabe.


The 1950s bridal style is playful, for sure. A big hat… a winter hat. Lace gloves or even fingerless bridal gloves! Have fun with your look and you’ll look amazing.

50s wedding dress

Or keep it super simple with a wedding jewelry set that gives your look just a little bit of sparkle but lets your 1950s wedding dress take center stage.

1950s style wedding dresses

Tea length or ballet length – it’s all gorgeous.

1950s-wedding-dressesA simple bridal headband, a sash (with a flower if you’re a nature lover), a pair of CZ bridal earrings and you are all set.


This is a great look to pair with the new lace trend that has been setting the bridal runways on fire! Opt for a little lace or a lot like the bride in the picture above.

1950s wedding clutch 2

Don’t forget the accessories! I love this CZ necklace and earring set and an adorable satin clutch for their old fashioned charm and, in the case of the clutch, usefulness. It never hurts to have somewhere to stash your lippy!

vintage wedding shoes 1950s bridal

Are you going to rock the 1950s style at your wedding?

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Dare to Bare: Galia Lahav Collections 2015 Wedding Dresses

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

Can you say gorgeous? I know you can! Galia Lahav’s 2015 bridal collection combines just about everything I like – and even some things I don’t like but we know some of our brides like (so everyone wins). There’s drama, grace, and a whole lot of well-placed lace, which is the upcoming season’s darling detail.

galia lahav bridal

Called La Dolce Vita, the 2015 collection was inspired by the open sky, sea, and sand but don’t expect to see these wedding dresses at the next beach wedding you attend. Galia Lahav gowns are evening ready and very, very grown up. See what I mean?

galia-lahav-spring-2015-wedding-dresses-Alora B_1


galia lahav wedding dresses 2015 - detail 2

galia lahav wedding dresses 2015 - 6

galia lahav wedding dresses 2015 - 4

galia lahav wedding dresses 2015 - 1

galia lahav bridal gowns

For those brides-to-be wondering what you wear with one of these gorgeous Galia Lahav gowns, my answer would be not much! Keep your bridal accessories ultra simple and let your wedding dress take the spotlight. Think plain but luxe earrings like our Allure cz wedding earrings or a Swarovski crystal headband.

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All That Glitters: Silver Wedding Inspiration

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

silver wedding backdrop

All that glitters ISN’T gold. Consider silver – who you might think of as gold’s second cousin. Great for winter weddings? Sure. But also just plain stunning in every season for its shine. It pairs with almost anything whether you’re talking about silver wedding dresses or silver shoes for a wedding or bridal accessories or the cake! It’s not the metallic, after all; it’s how you use it. Consider the following:


There are flowers – pink roses, I think – in there somewhere but I can’t stop looking at that silver bouquet wrap! The brooches in the blooms are one thing but that wrap could be used on almost any style of bridal bouquet featuring a thick stem arrangement. You could get the same effect with a thinner wrap, too, so maybe sky’s the limit! Grab this one at LXdesigns on Etsy!

silver brooch bouquet - silver wedding color

Of course, you could go whole hog (in the best way possible, of course) with a big, bold, and beautiful brooch bouquet that pairs silver settings with big luscious gems. The concept may not be making headlines anymore but I guarantee that it’ll be a showstopper in person. Buy it or one like it at Lilybuds Bouquets on Etsy!

silver boutonniere grooms wedding

In which case, skip the flowers for the groom and go straight for something a little less dazzling but no less eye-catching. This silver boutonniere swaps out feathers for flora making it perfect for guys with allergies and at weddings where the effects of high heat on flowers is a concern. Plus, this is a great way to do silver without getting too fussy.

silver bridal earrings - silver wedding inspiration

These CZ earrings. Seriously. Put them on the bride or the bridesmaids and they’re equally amazing. Yes, they’re delicate but at 2.5″ long they have a presence that more than makes up for said delicacy.

silver bridesmaids - wedding colors

Silver on bridesmaids? Again, there’s no reason to wait until wintertime to surround your besties in silver. Depending on the dress, they might even (gasp) wear it again. For example, check out this Alfred Sung dress:

silver bridesmaids dressesIt’s just cute enough for a wedding but no one would look at this Dupioni silk frock and think it’s seen a wedding or two in its time.

silver wedding headband - flower headpiece

But back to the bride! On her, silver really shines. Especially on brides with dark hair, accessories like this floral styled bridal headband. I love all things delicate but there’s just something about a stand-out silver headpiece that knocks my socks off.

silver wedding shoes - silver wedding colors

Silver from head to toe? Maybe not, but how about head to toe? If you love all things silver and simply must have it as part of your wedding day look but coordination is making that tough look no further than your feet for the solution. There are thousands of amazing silver bridal shoes out there for you to love!

silver ties groom - wedding inspiration

Grooms get back in on the action with two shades of silver in one perfect tie. What’s not to love?

silver wedding decor inspiration

Now on to the silver wedding decor! You can give your wedding some serious sparkle with special touches like these letters from HollywoodRose on Etsy. Put them on the sweetheart table, the cake table, or anywhere, and then after you say “I do” put them on your mantle forevermore!

silver wedding inspiration

How about DIY silver wedding table decor? I see a jam jar, a juice bottle, a Coke bottle, and a few other easy to find and basically free things that some crafty bride-to-be probably hit with simple spray paint. You have to love that! A couple of succulents, greens, simple roses, and baby’s breath, and you have yourself a centerpiece!

silver wedding cake inspiration

And finally, the cake. Silver is not something you see on most wedding cakes but a primo wedding cake designer will have decorating options that go beyond those little balls. Silver sugar and even silver cake wraps can turn an ordinary white wedding cake into something extraordinary!

silver wedding cake

Are you loving all things silver right now? Share your favorite silver wedding finds here!

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Wedding Trend Alert: LACE!

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

When it comes to bridal accessories one of the easiest mantras to remember is ‘pair like with like.’ And since strapless gowns are giving way to Grace Kelly inspired wedding dresses constructed with lace, lace, and more lace (ed. note: it’s about time) you had better believe that accessory designers are following suit. Lace and delicate bead and crystal patterns that mimic lace can be found on more than just veils – everything from bridal headbands to wedding invitation sets to wedding cake can now justly be described as lacey. Curious? Here are just some of the ways brides are wearing and using lace:
Think rustic means no lace? No way! Check out these amazing burlap and lace pew bows sold by Etsy seller PinkSlipInspiration:

rustic lace bow - ceremony decor wedding

The same goes for wedding invitations, like this one that pairs plain unbleached cardstock and pretty lace from Etsy seller TheWeddingInvitation:

lace wedding invitation

Lace or the look of it can also be found in bridal headpieces like our very own Lacey Couture Pearl Headband:

bridal trends lace - bridal headbands

Don’t forget – there are different kinds of lace! Our Angelic Lace Veil features gorgeous Venice lace:

lace wedding veil

It’s a heavy damask lace that usually features floral and leaf patterns – don’t you just love it?


Would you believe you can even find lace on brides’ feet? These are some of the most beautiful bridal shoes we’ve ever seen:

lace wedding shoes

Not more gorgeous than this lace and jewel encrusted wedding gown, though:

lace wedding dresses

Now about those wedding cakes we mentioned! Lace made out of icing? Yes, please:

lace wedding cake

Of course, you’ll need to find an amazing baker to make a lace wedding cake like this:

lace wedding inspiration

This lace bunting from Etsy seller The GlitteredBarn is simple and lovely and the kind of decor that makes a wonderful keepsake:

lace wedding bunting

The same goes for this lace backdrop for your ceremony and pics:

lace wedding backdrop

Finally, check out this UH-mazing lace bridal bouquet wrap:

lace bridal bouquet wrap

Tell us how you’re using lace in your wedding here!

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Summer’s Here! And So are Our Favorite Beachy Must-Haves and Wedding Accessories!

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

Summer is finally here at USABride headquarters – finally! And we are looking forward to three months of amazing beach weddings that’ll have us gushing over bridal accessories, dresses, and everything else at ceremonies and receptions on the shore. Naturally I have my own pretty strong opinions about what is hot or not for beach weddings but I thought let’s keep it simple. Your tastes are yours, mine are mine, but there’s definitely going to be things we agree on. Like these beach wedding must-haves:

1. a gorgeous beach wedding hairstyle:

beach wedding hairstyles

2. and a beautiful bridal hair flower to put in it:


3. a wedding dress that’s light, airy, and easy to wear in the sand:

beach wedding dress - destination wedding gown

4. something like this because heels are a no no:

beach wedding shoes - sandals

5. bridal flip-flops – make them fun:

beach wedding flip flops

6. comfy semi-formalwear for the groom:

beach wedding groom

7. and maybe some beach wedding accessories just for the guys:

beach wedding groom boutenniere

8. something fun for bridesmaids:


9. what you need to beat the heat:

bridal parasol - wedding umbrellas

10. an antidote to the sun’s glare:



11. a beachy bridal bouquet (should be loose and light, not heavy):

beach wedding bouquet

12. keepsakes to help guests keep cool:

wedding fans - beach wedding fans

13. And something pretty for your favorite ladies, of course:

starfish earrings - destination wedding - beach brideAre you getting married on the sand? Share your pics here!


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No More Bitty Bouquets: Brides with Big Paper Flowers

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

Go big or go home is not usually something you hear people say about wedding flowers but so what? Brides who want to go big with their bridal bouquets shouldn’t let convention – of all things – hold them back. Alternative bridal bouquets are one idea but the problem for some brides is that these options are not so alternative anymore. The wire bouquet. The prayer book. The lantern. The brooch bouquet. You get the idea. Of course, just because something is no longer making headlines in bridal magazines doesn’t mean it should be off the table. Love wire bouquets and want a big one? Go for it! Just like if what’s trending doesn’t appeal, kick it to the curb.

If you are committed to going big in all things related to your wedding, have we got the idea for you! Big… no, make that HUGE paper flowers carried in lieu of traditional bouquets are gaining speed as an alt bouquet and we love them.

giant paper flower

Here’s the idea: they’re like an awesome alternative nod to traditional wedding flowers and the bridal bouquet itself. After all, brides have been carrying single blossoms for, like, ever. Hello, calla lilies! This is just a new, fresh, and kind of rebellious take made from paper or silk – not an attempt to reinvent the wheel. Which is good if you’re basically a fan of all things traditional but want to incorporate something a little sassy into your ceremony.

giant paper flower
Brides carrying huge flowers ARE sassy – and you have probably already discovered how hard it is to inject the sass into the ceremony half of your big day. After all, saying “I do” is a pretty momentous event. Some even go so far as to call it somber. We say be as playful as you want to be with your bridal accessories and otherwise.


Remember, it’s okay to be a rule breaker. Who cares how big a bridal bouquet should be? If you’re satisfying the basic requirements of etiquette as they pertain to taking care of your guests, you are golden. Giant flower. Colored wedding gown. Tart instead of cake. Whatever.

giant bridal flower

Will there be comments? Girrrrrrl, there are ALWAYS comments. Good, bad, and strangely insensitive, there will be comments. People can’t help opening their mouths to breathe their unwanted opinions on brides-to-be and the brides they become. Such is life. For whatever reason, our culture considers engaged women and brides to be public property.

giant single flower bouquet

Carry what you want. Do what you love. You’re going to look beautiful no matter what!

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Quick Tips for Bringing Your Stylist to Your Destination Wedding

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

If you’re getting married close to home, you may already have a stylist you’re addicted to – in which case you’re all set. But if you’re having a destination wedding, getting married somewhere you know no one and no one knows your particular beauty peccadilloes. Your choices are this: you can find a wedding stylist near your ceremony locale using online reviews or recommendations from your venue, or you can take your own stylist with you. Shocked at the idea? It might be less expensive than you think if the extra airfare and a hotel stay are in your budget. Maybe a per diem, too.

Let’s say that sounds great! No worrying about working with a stylist who doesn’t know you and your colors. No worrying that a stylist you’ve never met is going to leave you hanging high and dry. Overall, very little worrying. But not NO worrying whatsoever. Here’s what you DO need to worry about when you’re bringing your favorite stylist to your destination wedding:

1. Make sure your venue will have a place set up for your stylist to work. You don’t need grand accommodations – a table and chair in a well-lit area will do just fine.

2. Don’t assume the stylist can do extra people last minute – or at all. Make sure that your stylist knows whether s/he will be doing just your hair and makeup or the hair and makeup of your entire bridal party plus moms, too.

3. Do talk to your stylist before you fly to your destination so they have what they need on hand. All of the pre-wedding stuff you usually do with a stylist should still be on your wedding planning to-do list. First meeting to discuss options. The trial run. Etc.

4. That means you need to have your wedding hair accessories before that trial run. Your wedding planning timeline may be a bit different than most but it’s still up to you to be prepared.

5. Be sweet and invite your stylist to the wedding – I mean give him or her full wedding guest status instead of treating them like a vendor. They’re traveling for you and possibly also changing their schedule for you. Make sure your stylist is comfortable from start to finish.

6. Last but not least, make sure that you have a backup plan. Travel can be unpredictable. What if your stylist’s flight gets canceled or s/he has a family emergency? Call around at your destination to see how you can beautify if the worst happens.

Are you bringing your own stylist to your destination wedding?

Images via: leahandmark.com; wedding-populars.com

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Planning a Wedding You Want (Not a Trendy One)

Posted by: Dareth Colburn

You love the bridal magazines. You are addicted to Pinterest. You’re practically a wedding planning expert at this point. The only problem. You hate – I mean cannot stand – the latest wedding colors. Next year’s gowns make you yawn. The fun little touches that brides and grooms are just dying over leave you cold. And it’s killing you.

You want to like these things like everyone else planning a wedding in your age group or income bracket or city. But you can’t. What you can do, of course, is push your feelings down and plan what looks like a gorgeous wedding.

But you shouldn’t.

Do that and it won’t be YOUR wedding. 20 or 50 years from now you’re going to look back on your wedding photos and you will fall in love all over again if what you see in those images is you enjoying the things you like. Plan a trendy wedding that makes other people ooh and ahh doing everything right according to the wedding experts and you’re going to be looking at an event that looks like someone else planned it.

If you’re a quirky couple, then be quirky. You may get some flack for dressing up like characters from your favorite anime or saying your vows on horseback dressed like rodeo clowns, but so what? Own it – that’s who you are.

Brides, be yourself – even when you’re planning your wedding. Someday, you’re going to want to remember who you really were!

Images via: The Little Things We Do; tux & tales photography; Tulle & Chantilly Custom Wedding Gowns

USABride is your complete source of wedding jewelry and wedding accessories. Save 10% off your order of $50 or more at www.usabride.com.
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