Must Have Wedding Photos: The Enveloping Bridal Veil

Brides wearing wedding veils take note! This is one of my favorite romantic wedding photo ideas. All you need is you, your veil, and the love of your life. A little wind can turn a veil into something more like a personal shroud for two in two seconds flat, but before you extricate yourselves have your photog snap a few pics. The results? Gorgeous. See for yourself:

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Still shopping for the perfect bridal veil? Try one of ours – use the code veil15 at checkout until the end of the month for an unbelievable discount on an unbelievable veil:

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Choosing Jewelry for Your Bridesmaids

SO you’ve found a dress – or batch of bridesmaids’ dresses – that looks amazing on everyone from your best bestie to your big sister. Your ‘maids LOVE it. But if you think your work is done, think again. (Sorry, ladies.) Now it’s time to accessorize that perfect gown with some bridesmaid jewelry. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

Let the Dress Be Your Guide

You likely already know that necklaces should not hang down past necklines and bracelets seldom harmonize well with long sleeves, but the overall fanciness and style of your bridesmaids’ dresses can also help you choose jewelry and accessories. Very formal bridesmaids dresses demand bigger, bolder baubles.

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Think of the Photos

Very ornate bridesmaid jewelry may not photograph particularly well when worn by a flock of identically dressed ‘maids. Some jewelry will look better in low light or candlelight while other pieces shine brightest in natural daylight.

pearl wedding jewelry sets

Give Them a Little Freedom

Even if you don’t want to choose bridesmaid jewelry, you still have the final say when it comes to what your ladies will be wearing on your big day. You can dictate parameters. Crystal bridesmaid jewelry. A pearl wedding jewelry set. Colored bridesmaid jewelry. It’s your call, and having a few boundaries may actually make it easier for your bridesmaids to shop for their own accessories.

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Keep It Simple 

If you want to, that is. Bright dresses with something simple like a pair of understated stud earrings and a simple drop pendant necklace can make the bride, with her more ornate accessories, pop. Especially in the pictures. Bridesmaid jewelry can be barely there and still be impactful.

Or Go Big

Sometimes more is more, and your wedding day is not the day to stay small because you’re afraid of being too flashy. Flash away and let your bridesmaids do the same with big CZ sets or striking vintage look pieces that really stand out.

Make It a Gift

Your bridesmaids’ jewelry can be the gifts you give them to thank them for being a part of your big day, but in that case do your ladies a solid and choose something they can wear again (even if only for big events). They’ll appreciate not having yet another bridesmaids expense and you don’t have to worry about their jewelry. It’s win-win!

Are you letting your bridesmaids choose their own accessories or are you choosing for them?


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2014 Bridal Veil Trends

Bridal veils are THE classic wedding accessory but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear one and still be fashion forward. Veils have their trends like everything else related to wedding fashion – in 2014 the diversity of the bridal veil trends you need to know about mean that veils are in for every kind of bride. Here are our picks for the bridal veil trends for the 2014/2015 wedding season:

It’s All About the Drama

Long and flowing, Cathedral length or short and sweet birdcage veils – however you wear yours, take things to the extreme. Expect to see modern shapes with traditional embellishments or statement veils. Yes, we said statement veils.

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More Is More

Veils are bigger than ever with more volume in a nod to 80s fashion. Think billows and airiness and pouf! There is so much opportunity for expressing your personality with your veil – go big, or even bigger!

Bright Whites are Back

Forget ivory and cream, because starks and diamonds are where it’s at. This veil trend is probably the result of brides embracing pops of color yet again. Nothing highlights an accent color like bright white.

Lots of Lace

Lace is everywhere at weddings this year, including on the bride’s head. Lace edge veils are perfect for the bride who wants an ultra feminine, elegant wedding day look.

formal bridal veils - bridal veil trends weddingsUltra Formal

Casual weddings are a lot of fun, but more and more brides are planning sophisticated events with all the trimmings – and that includes ultra formal (and ultra romantic) bridal accessories like formal bridal veils.

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Loving Length

As majestic as it can be difficult to wear, the cathedral length veil does not actually require a cathedral to make an appearance at your nuptials. If you want to make a serious statement, feel free to go long, longer, or longest when it comes to your veil.

Or Go Boho

Romantic and fresh, the boho look is still hot – albeit in a modified, more sophisticated form. Embrace this look without looking like a hippie by choosing upscale embellishments and luxe fabrics.


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Choosing the Perfect Bridal Headpiece

Here is the best advice we can offer when it comes to choosing a bridal headpiece or hair accessory!

1. Pick out your wedding gown first
2. Decide on your hairstyle second
3. Choose the headpiece and veil third

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In my career as a bridal style adviser I have actually tore apart a headpiece on the bride’s wedding day and redesigned it because it did not go with the hairstyle she wanted. The best way of course is to have a couple of trial run appointments at the hair salon prior to the big day. This way an exchange can be made for a different style headpiece if that is what is necessary to create the look a bride wants.

Don’t feel pressured into purchasing a bridal headpiece because it “matches your dress”. Instead look for a detail from the gown you would like to enhance and find a headpiece that complements. It may be pearls, a flower detail, or the trim. Or maybe you want a hair accessory that will match the flowers in your bouquet.

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Petite? If you are finding that the headpieces seem to big, look at what is offered for first communion headpieces and ask the bridal salon to add a longer veil.

Second marriage? Having a veil is fine if you want one, but you may want to skip the blusher. A beautiful tiara is perfect or ornament your hairstyle. Try a hat, they are coming back!

And here’s a new trend you can be a part of: ornament your hairstyle! There are also many beautiful decorative bridal hair pins, barrettes and bobby pins to add to your hairstyle! Simply attach a comb with netting to cascade down the back of the hairstyle – best part is you can remove it easily at the reception!


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Wedding Garters: Steeped in Tradition

bridal garters - wedding garters

Bridal garters might seem like a somewhat outdated and far-from-essential wedding accessory, but this is one wedding tradition that actually boasts roots in truly ancient customs. Brides and grooms in more cultures than one would toss items of clothing at rowdy guests to avoid being ransacked by revelers as they made their exit. Whoever snagged pieces of the newlywed’s clothing would be blessed with good luck!

Today, it’s slightly less common to see the groom tossing the wedding garter over his shoulder at the reception, but the tradition isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The right time to buy your wedding garter — if you plan to wear one — is any time after you’ve chosen your wedding gown and your wedding colors. That way, if you want to coordinate fabrics or colors, you can.

Tips for Choosing Your Bridal Garter

Though bridal garters come in every possible color, pattern, and material, many brides opt to have their garters be their “something blue.” If you’re planning to do just that, don’t limit yourself to common hues like baby or Tiffany blue. Consider a wedding garter made of deep navy, cornflower, or Majorelle blue fabric.

Wedding garters are commonly made of beautiful feminine materials like satin, organza, lace, Swarovski crystals, pearls, and delicate ribbon, but why not think outside the box? These days, brides can choose garters featuring everything from sports teams logos to animal prints to vintage charms.

Finally, if your new husband is going to toss the garter at the reception and your garter is just too pretty (or meaningful) to give away, don’t forget to buy a tossing garter. These are wedding garters that are as pretty as, but usually less expensive than, your main garter. Sometimes garter sets will include a matching tosser.

But that said, consider that a lot of singletons are committed these days and don’t necessarily have plans to marry. The reason the toss is falling out of favor is because it turns out a lot of people just don’t like being paraded in front of a crowd of wedding guests! So our advice? Wear a gorgeous garter under your even more gorgeous gown, and let your new husband remove it in private 😉


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Wedding Planning Questions: Can I wear a sleeveless gown for my fall or winter wedding?

We get SO many brides-to-be asking if they can wear sleeveless or strapless gowns for winter weddings or fall weddings. The weather, after all, doesn’t lend itself to baring arms unless you live somewhere down south. But that’s why bridal caps, bridal stoles, and bridal jackets were created! Sleeveless wedding dresses and strapless wedding dresses are still the norm, even with all manner of beautiful sleeved wedding gown options out there.

So, what’s the short answer to the question of sleeveless in cold weather?

Absolutely! Today’s most popular wedding gown styles include strapless and sleeveless gowns that you can wear year round if you bundle up.

With the help of some easy to wear bridal accessories, you can stay warm for your outdoor travels, events, or photo ops without sacrificing that traditional wedding day look. You can add a satin or faux fur wrap, bolero jacket, or glamorous long gloves. We love this amazing silk bridal jacket from Amada Wakeley:

winter wedding accessories - winter wedding coat - bridal coat

The best part? Cold weather bridal accessories can add additional drama to your wedding photos. First, it’s jacket on and then jacket off… or jacket blowing in a chilly wind. Or think of a gorgeous fur or faux fur stole dripping from your bare shoulders. Sounds beautiful, no? And warm, too! We don’t want our brides to freeze their buns off no matter what the weather.

 


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What Style of Bridal Headpiece is Best for Me?

When you’re trying to choose the bridal headpiece that will top off your entire wedding day look, sometimes getting started is the hardest part. But it doesn’t have to be! When selecting a tiara, bridal comb, headband, or hair pins, just make sure:

1. You’ve picked out and really settled on a wedding dress
2. You have a general idea of how you want to wear your hair on the big day

From there, you’re ready to really do the work of choosing between the numerous bridal headpieces out there!

bridal headpieces - wedding headbands

There are so many styles of bridal headpiece – the trick is to identify your bridal style and use that as your guide! Here we’ve put together a little bit about each kind of headpiece and what makes them special to help you pick the perfect one:

Wedding Tiaras

Tiaras offer the most dramatic look. They are a gorgeous accent to any style gown, from simple and contemporary to ball gown traditional. Tiaras can be worn with or without a veil and are usually accented with Austrian crystals, rhinestones, Swarovski crystals, AB crystals, fresh ater pearls, and faux pearls. Tiaras compliment up-dos and pretty much any other bridal hairstyle.

Bridal Headband

Headbands are now one of the most popular wedding day looks. For brides who want to wear their hair down, a headband can be used to keep  hair away from the face. They also can be worn to accent upswept hairstyles and looks fantastic with shorter hairstyles. In fact, this is one of the best bridal hair accessories for the short haired bride!

Bridal Comb

A comb is a simple piece that can be worn in almost any hairstyle. Brooch style combs offer the striking look of a headband or tiara, but smaller. Depending on the style, a bridal comb can sometimes provide a less formal look, and the best part is they can be worn on different parts of the head. Crystal bridal combs are still the most popular options, but flower combs and feather combs are tres trendy.

Hair Pins

Wedding hair pins are also very versatile. They are a great option for any hairstyle, whether formal or tussled, but especially up-dos with body or layers. They have become very popular for the beach bride because they’re less formal than a tiara or headband but have just as much sparkle.

Happy shopping!


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Halloween Wedding Inspiration

Happy Halloween! If you’re not off partying or gorging yourself with candy (or both) today you might just be planning a wedding. Halloween weddings are NOT the norm around here or really anywhere but some enthusiasts of the day do choose to get spooky when it comes to saying their vows. And why not? It’s not the wedding I’d pick but it’s not up to me to pick the themes for other people’s weddings – thank goodness! Variety is the spice of life and I, for one, am glad it is. If you’re having a Halloween wedding, kudos to you, enjoy, and invite me because I love candy.

Fact: Nothing about your wedding has to scream Halloween.

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This wedding has a fright night feel but there’s nary a pumpkin, at least at the beachy ceremony.

Fact: Your wardrobe and wedding accessories options are WAY open.

halloween wedding gown

Though we don’t recommend a Native American headpiece for reasons of sensitivity and also comfort. A birdcage veil is much comfier.

Fact: Orange and black are not the only colors open to you.

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Though black will probably almost definitely be a part of your color scheme.

Fact: A Halloween wedding doesn’t have to be kitschy.

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Unless, of course, you want it to and then by all means have at it!

Would you ever have a Halloween wedding – or did you have one? Tell us about it!

 


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8 Things NOT to Do Before Your Wedding

Wedding planning guides like mine spend a lot of time telling brides-to-be what they SHOULD be doing. I thought it might be fun to share some wedding planning DON’Ts for once! Here are :

1. It’s your day, yes, but please do not justify being a brat by telling everyone that it’s your day. It’s also your SO’s day and your family’s day and even to some extent your guests’ day since after getting hitched the secondary objective of a wedding should be showing people a good time.

2. Do not leave buying bridal accessories until the very last minute. Once you have your wedding gown, give yourself some time to try out different wedding jewelry, shoes, and headpieces. Many stores have amazing return policies – but it only works if you have enough time to place an order, wait for shipping, try it on, and send it back before doing it all again if necessary.

3. Do not tan. By now you surely know how unhealthy tanning can be, and fake tans are getting better and better anyway. Especially do not go tanning, outside or at a salon, a few days before or the day before your wedding. There is always the chance you’ll bake just a touch too long and end up resembling a cooked lobster. Not a good bridal look!

4. Do not go on a bender – intentional or not – the night before your wedding. A few glasses of wine with dinner is totally okay, but too many brides have a little too much after eating far too little because of nerves or a last ditch diet. Trust me when I say you do not want to be even a little hungover when you say your vows. And there’s this, too:

drunkgirl

5. Speaking of bridal diets, do not diet yourself into exhaustion in the weeks leading up to your wedding. Your gown will be a certain size and then altered to fit your body perfectly. Lose too much weight and you’ll be swimming in what would have been an amazing dress tailored just for you.

6. Do not, if at all possible, hold the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. Typically these turn into family and friend reunions, and so can go late and get crazy. Ideally you want to get a good night’s sleep the evening before your wedding day and having a party the night before is not the way to do that.

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7. Do not assume you have all the time in the world to make reservations or confirm with vendors. Wedding planning timelines exist for a good reason: planning what is essentially a giant party complete with themed décor and multiple courses of refreshments and (sometimes) a full bar isn’t easy. That’s why for some it really is a full-time job.

8. Do not lose sight of what really matters. It’s easy to get so completely wrapped up in planning a wedding that you forget to spend time with your SO. Sometimes one half of a couple is excited about the prep – and sometimes it falls on just one person’s shoulders. Either way, be sure to make time for each other… time that does not include looking at fabric swatches and asking vendors for estimates.


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The Skinny on CZ, Rhinestones, and Swarovski Crystals

Shopping for wedding jewelry and bridal accessories and gowns and shoes can be just a little confusing. There are sometimes so many options in front of brides-to-be that it’s easier just to step away from the computer and think about something else. We get it. We really do. But we also spend so much time curating our inventory of wedding jewelry that we tend to forget how overwhelming it is.

Looking through a page of 50 wedding jewlery sets is fun – bump that up to 150 sets and suddenly it’s more than a little tedious. There’s nothing wrong with options, sure, but how do you even start narrowing it down? By color? By style? Or how about by gem? Even that can be tres confusing because again, there are so many options.

That’s why we want to help you narrow down what you want. We can’t choose your wedding jewelry for you, but we can give you the knowledge you need to make an amazing choice yourself! So let’s talk about stones. Specifically, cubic zirconia, crystals, and rhinestones – how they’re the same, how they’re different, and when you should wear which!

Rhinestones

The Rhine is a river than runs through Germany, and rhinestones are so named because the original sparkling diamond lookalikes were cut from the rock crystals gathered along the river. Now most rhinestones are made of hardened glass that is hand cut like diamonds and coated at the base with a mirror-like finish that enhances the sparkle of the individual facets. Aurora Borealis rhinestones were first created by Swarovski are coated with a metallic glaze that turns ordinary rhinestones into iridescent jewels.

swarovski crystal tiara

Glass Crystal

These gems are created from a mixture of glass and lead – without the lead, glass crystals wouldn’t have the same ability to catch the light. Clear or colored, a crystal’s radiance will be determined by the lead content, the quality of the glass, the ability of the cutter, and the placement of the individual facets. Glass crystal can be cut into beads or like gems, and then used like rhinestones.

Swarovski Crystals

Swarovski crystals are precision cut glass beads made with a top secret recipe of natural minerals, metals, and quartz. They were first created in 1892 in Austria when Daniel Swarovski invented a new kind of crystal cutting machine that allowed cutters to create quality cuts like never before. Because of their unique composition, Swarovski crystals are incredibly brilliant and are uniformly clear all the way through. Fun fact: The facets on Swarovski crystal always meet at a single point.

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CZ

These are true simulated diamonds that possess a clarity and brilliance close to that of the gems they imitate. Cubic zirconia is a man-made gem produced by applying huge amounts of pressure to carbon and other elements – essentially copying a process that takes nature eons to complete. Dyes can be added to the mix to give CZ gems color, but whether clear or colored, cubic zirconia is most beautiful when cut by an expert and mounted in an open-backed setting.

Are you leaning toward CZ wedding jewelry that will mimic the look of true diamonds or a more playful crystal wedding jewlery set?


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