Crystals and Pearls: A Perfect Combo

Wedding trends come and go in waves. One year brides all seem to be wearing crystal wedding jewelry and the next they’re just crazy for pearls. Part of why we keep such a big stock in house is that we want to please not only the brides-to-be who follow the trends, but also the ones who follow their hearts. Crystals or pearls – to us it’s all gorgeous.

Last year, sparkle was in. Now we’re seeing more pearl wedding jewelry and accessories fly off the shelves… but not just pearls upon pearls upon pearls. These days, brides are choosing headpieces and jewelry sets that bring all that sparkle to the table with just a hint of shine. A little bit of pearl and a lot of crystal. The best of both worlds!

This combo is amazing for any bride-to-be who wants all the sophistication of pearls and the brilliance of crystals.

As for how to wear crystal and pearl wedding jewelry (or carry it if you’re going to be blinging up your bouquet), that’s up to you. My online guideline would be to let your gown be your guide if you’re wearing a wedding dress that has crystal and pearl embellishments. Are there more crystals than pearls worked into your embroidery – or vice versa? Then try to find jewelry and accessories with the same ratio of one to the other.

Here are three of the crystal and pearl pieces that are moving off our shelves like crazy right now:

This silver plated bridal bracelet has the perfect balance of gorgeous white pearls and crystals in a floral vine detailing that’s amazing on brides or bridesmaids.

This spectacular pearl wedding jewelry set is hand crafted with genuine Austrian crystals accented with delicate soft white faux pearls.

What’s not to love about this beautiful bridal hair comb embellished with sparkling rhinestones, Swarovski crystals and pearl accents?

Never think you have to choose between crystals or pearls… double up!


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Glam Up with a Floral Brooch

Remember the Carrie Bradshaw flower corsage? My homegirl could put a flower on anything and still look amazing. Observe:

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BUT just because she made a giant bloom seem femme and flirty – versus, oh, ridiculous – doesn’t mean I’d recommend pinning a mega bloom to your wedding dress. The spring 2014 wedding dresses hitting the runways took the flower corsage model and morphed it into something the rest of us can pull off, thank goodness. However, what happens when you adore the flora, but don’t actually get teary eyed when you look at the gown attached to it?

Here’s what happens… you find that perfect wedding dress that gives you goose bumps and then you buy the perfect glam crystal floral brooch to pin to your, well, whatever. Shoulder. Décolletage. Sash. If you have a willing helper, you can even pin a floral brooch to the point where your bodice meets your skirt to add visual interest to the part of your dress your guests will be looking at during the reception. AKA your back.

I know what you’re probably thinking. Floral brooches are for the springtime bride, right? Yes, they are, and also for the wintertime bride who wants to incorporate some warm-weather touches into her look. Maybe for the anytime bride. I would never suggest you not rock something floral just because a chill wind is blowing. After all, weather doesn’t stop brides and bridesmaids walking the aisle in December.

Just don’t forget to choose a bridal brooch that coordinates with your other wedding accessories!

 


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Five Ways to Rock That Something Blue

Stymied when it comes to your Something Blue? You’re not alone! While it’s perfectly fine to get married without the old and the new and the borrowed and yes, the blue, most brides-to-be find themselves scratching their heads when it comes to finding all four. Do you borrow your gram’s wedding jewelry? Does your wedding gown count? Is it all right to tell your MIL and your mom that, no, you’d rather not wear a bracelet on each wrist, but thanks anyway? That last one is up to you – we’re not touching it. But we do have five Something Blue ideas to help you in your search!

Blue wedding shoes are the darling of brides who want to add a little color without going crazy. And we love it because it’s so exciting to catch a glimpse of a splash of blue peeking out from under a lacey hem.

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Shoes still too much? A blue bridal garter will only make an appearance once during the reception – that is, if you plan to do the garter toss, which many modern brides specifically do not do. (True story: One of our bloggers didn’t toss, so went around giving everyone free peeks of her Something Blue.)

Some brides opt for blue earrings, which are noticeable but not overwhelming when they’re the only color in the wedding day ensemble. We love these, but what’s not to love? (Of course, there’s plenty of blue wedding jewelry to choose from!)

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A blue sapphire engagement ring may be trendy thanks in part to certain royals who shall go unnamed but there’s actually scads of tradition to support picking sapphires over diamonds. These gems have been linked with fidelity and engagements since the 1700s at least.

On the flip side, there is the blue wedding dress. Not an option chosen by most brides, we admit. But still, we’re kind of in love with the thought of a deep blue gown on the bride and bridesmaids all in white. Very quirky and fun.

What’s your Something Blue?


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Three Ways to Carry a Clutch on Your Wedding Day

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Let’s talk about the clutch purse. Now we know that utilibags – we’re talking handbags you could stash a small country in – are still all the rage, but brides just can’t be toting a massive sack around the reception. We’d love a white Valentino bag as much as the next group of fashion-obsessed girly girls, but context! When was the last time you saw a bride sporting a monster purse?

Enter the cute clutch, a petite place to stash an extra lippy, a hanky, and a couple of safety pins. Mid-reception touch ups and wardrobe malfunctions won’t bring a bride down when she’s carrying her trusty bridal clutch. Her maids? Also outfitted with bridesmaids clutch bags that coordinate with their (hopefully) re-wearable dresses. Be prepared is our wedding day motto and ought to be yours, too.

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Here are three ways to carry your clutch!

In your hand: When you’re simply transporting your bridal clutch from the reception venue doors to the sweetheart table, you can confidently use a hand carry. This gives you the freedom to quickly put it down on the nearest table when some random auntie wants a hug.

Under your arm: But not too close to the armpit lest your clutch bag end up looking like those dress shields your gram used to wear. Tip: Clutching your clutch under your upper left arm positions your arm in such a way as to show off your sweet engagement ring.

By the wrist strap: When you’re singing ‘Get Me to the Church On Time’ and you’re not being facetious, you need to have a strong grip on your clutch. Involving the wrist strap in your carry means never having to say “Oops, I dropped it!”

How do you like to carry your clutch?


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Color-Loving Brides, Choose Your Pearls!

Color has long been treated as symbolic, and it’s no different in the world of gemstones. The symbolism associated with pearls, in particular, is strongly associated with color. As I noted last week, pearls come in almost every color under the rainbow – and with every color of pearl you’ll find a different meaning. Here is just a tiny taste of pearl color meaning, along with recommendations from our carefully chosen inventory of pearl wedding jewelry.

White Pearls: Classic white pearls have been a symbol of purity for ages upon ages. Try our Pearl & Pave set!

Rose or Pink Pearls: These ultra feminine pearls are a traditional symbol of love. Your bridesmaids will love our Lauren set!

Golden Pearls: Unsurprisingly, gold pearls are a potent symbol of wealth. Keshi pearls can have a lovely golden hue!

Green and Green-Blue Pearls: Deep hues like those found in these pearls are a symbol of romance. An olive coil bracelet can add the perfect touch of color.

Sapphire Blue Pearls: Much like the vastness of the ocean itself, these pearls are symbols of eternity. We recommend our Navy set!

Black Pearls: Classically elegant, these eye-catching pearls are a symbol of dignity. Black is still the new black!

Are you going to wear colored pearls on your wedding day? Let’s hear about it!


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A Quick Look at the Rarest of Pink Pearls

Pink pearls are a relative rarity, even today. While saltwater varieties of pearl-producing oyster can whip up pink pearls naturally and freshwater pearls can be dyed, you probably won’t find these in pink pearl wedding jewelry. The pink pearl produced by the Queen Conch, the Caribbean pink pearl, could be called the rarest of the rare. The animal itself, from which astounding flaming pink pearls originate, is pretty finicky. Only one near-perfect will be found among every hundred thousand shells. On top of that, the Queen Conch is officially a threatened species, so there aren’t even that many pearl producers in existence!

Every attempt to produce a cultured Queen Conch pearl has failed and so the only pink pearls of this variety are found the old fashioned way. That means that only a few thousand new Caribbean pink pearls make it out of the sea every year, and then only 15% of those are of a high enough quality to be used in jewelry. You can imagine that the price tag for these pearls is pretty steep!

Of course, the pink pearls we offer are the most exquisite cultured freshwater pearls and colored glass pearls versus natural pink pearls – which means every bride can wear pink if she wants to!


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5 Amazing Facts About Pearls

This month, we’re paying tribute to pearls! The oldest known gem, pearls have been a favorite of brides past and present, and it’s not hard to see why pearl wedding jewelry is so lastingly fashionable. How lastingly? The oldest known pearl jewelry belonged to a Persian princess who died in 520 BC – a fragment was found in her sarcophagus – and the popularity of pearls peaked in Roman times when every classy lady just had to have them.

Pearls may be more accessible nowadays thanks to pearl farming, but they’re no less beautiful! Here are 5 cool facts about pearls for the bride who’s considering wearing this gem on the big day:

1. All mollusks can make pearls, but with varying degrees of skill. Oysters and mussels make the majority of saltwater and freshwater pearls, respectively. Conch can make pink pearls that look almost like quartz, and even clams can make pearls – though these are usually only half formed and misshapen when they occur naturally.

2. Pearls come in almost every color you can think of, though white and black are the two most common hues. Look hard enough (or have the money to spend), and you can find gold pearls, pearls in varying shades of green and blue, and silver pearls, too.

3. Unless you’re looking at vintage pearls, almost every pearl you encounter will be cultured because finding natural pearls is a time-consuming and sometimes dangerous endeavor. That means the pearls in your pearl wedding jewelry were created after a person seeded an oyster or mussel with a small piece of grit.

4. Pearl farming is known as periculture. The secret of seeding pearls was discovered independently by Kokichi Mikimoto, Tokichi Nishikawa, and Tatsuhei Mise. Prior to the introduction of culturing, pearls were quite rare and very expensive.

5. Two of the most famous and pearls in the world are known as La Peregrina and La Pelegrina. They aren’t the largest pearls in the world, but the former’s history spans a whopping 500 years, and the latter is more than 350 years old. Both have been owned and worn by royalty and the modern elite.

So when you wear pearl wedding jewelry (like our sweet freshwater pearl hair pins), you can bet you’re in good company!


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A Little Sparkle to Ring in the New Year

Your wedding accessories don’t have to be the only thing that sparkles at your reception. As brilliantly as crystal wedding jewelry can catch candlelight, there’s nothing quite like letting guests fire up specialty sparklers at your after-dark affair.

And there’s more than one way to have fun with wedding sparklers.

Forget rice or birdseed… give guests sparklers tied up with ribbons or monogrammed paper packaging and let them see you off in striking style. Your exit photos will be amazing! Or skip the usual wedding cake topper in favor of sparklers surrounding something like this. Your cake cutting ceremony will be an unforgettable event all its own. Or plan ahead with your wedding photographer to use wedding sparklers to create a brilliant message in one or more of your pics.

Of course, you could just give out packets of signature sparklers as your wedding favor and let guests do what they will. Especially if you’re having your reception outdoors and there will be lots of older kids in attendance.

But no matter what you do with your wedding sparklers play it safe! Before you commit to wedding sparklers, make sure your venue allows them and doesn’t require any extra prep on your part. And only use sparklers in spaces where stray sparks won’t ignite anything flammable. Finally, designate someone like a bridesmaid or groomsmen to keep an eye on who is using sparklers and how they’re using them. We’ll go ahead and assume that everyone at your wedding will act responsibly, but you never know.

Happy New Year from all of us at USABride!


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To the Lady Who Caught My Bouquet

Plain bridal bouquets? Way five minutes ago. Kidding, kidding – we love simple bridal bouquets as much as we love fancy-pants bridal bouquets glammed up with bouquet jewelry, picture charms, and other embellishments. You could say we’re equal opportunity bouquet lovers. So when we were poking around Pinterest and found this picture of a differently decorated bouquet, we swooned.

If you can’t read the pretty note tied to the bouquet in the picture, it says:

To the lady who caught my bouquet, I wish you extraordinary happiness when your day comes to shine as a bride. May all your hopes and dreams become reality, just as mine have today. If there are any words of wisdom to give to you, it would be to “always love more”. Be patient, for your day will come – however long it takes, it’s worth waiting for. Thank you for being a part of my very dream come true.

We know that the bridal bouquet toss is a contentious issue among modern brides. No one wants to single out their single friends, but at the same time, the toss itself can be so much fun. One modification of the bouquet toss that we’ve seen at a few weddings invites all of the women at the wedding to play catch – with the catcher winning not the privilege of being the next in line to say “I do,” but rather good luck, happiness, and good wishes.

If you weren’t planning on having a bouquet toss at your reception because you’re worried about embarrassing the singletons or making their dates feel awkward (but you really want to throw that mutha), do a modified toss and edit the note in the photo above accordingly! Just be sure you take your bridal bouquet jewelry out first so your floral missile doesn’t take out any eyes.


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Have You Seen Our Swarovski Collection?

Have you had a chance to check out our Swarovski Jewelry Collections yet? Though our fixed catalog of accessories for brides includes Swarovski crystal wedding jewelry, we now have a new dynamic, specially curated collection of Swarovski accessories designed for brides, bridesmaids, prom-goers, and party lovers, along with the Dareth Colburn Collection of more luxurious Swarovski crystal earrings and necklaces.

So what makes this particular Swarovski jewelry so exquisite? First, these pieces are handcrafted in the US to our exact specifications to ensure superior excellence and quality. Second, Swarovski crystals are incredibly brilliant, being precision cut using a proprietary process from a special type of mineral glass known for its superior luster. Third, we have paired Swarovski crystals with things like gorgeous freshwater pearls and the highest quality glass pearls. Finally, we consulted both brides and bridal stylists before choosing what to include in our new specialty collections to be sure we could toe the line between trendy and timeless.

We are so excited to introduce these new collections, which include necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and full wedding jewelry sets for a wide variety of budgets so all our customers have the opportunity to deck themselves out in luxurious Swarovski crystals!


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