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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Silver Wedding Jewelry or Gold Wedding Jewelry?

Planning a wedding means making big choices. Will you say your vows in a house of worship or somewhere secular? And for that matter, will you write your own? Buffet or sit-down dinner? Huge blowout bash or small intimate affair? Will you leave for the honeymoon right after the reception? Should you invite ::shudder:: Uncle Al? How far apart do divorced parents need to sit, anyway? There are so many decisions to be made, and that’s just the big stuff. Eventually, you figure that all out and it’s time to focus on the little stuff. Like heels or flats? A-line or princess silhouette? Silver wedding jewelry or gold wedding jewelry?

As you might imagine, we have a little bit to say about that last one! Here are three things to think about when deciding between silver wedding jewelry and gold wedding jewelry:

Consider Your Wedding’s Overall Look
If you’re planning a theme wedding, you may discover that the theme dictates your choice of gown and accessories. For example, if you’re having a vintage wedding and dressing the part, you’ve probably already noticed that silver and gold are popular in different eras. And even if your wedding theme is just, well, wedding, your color palette may help you decide between these two classic metals. Your wedding jewelry doesn’t have to harmonize with your theme or colors, but it can!

Let Your Dress Decide
Different shades of white pair coordinate better with either silver or gold – as do different colors, if you happen to be wearing a colored wedding dress. Gold wedding jewelry, for instance, pairs beautifully with richer ivory and champagne gowns, whereas starker white wedding dresses almost always look better when paired with silver accessories.

Which Is More ‘You’?
Presuming you wear jewelry in your day-to-day life – and metallic jewelry at that -you’ll probably feel most beautiful in the kind of jewelry you’re comfortable wearing. If you look stunning in silver, then we recommend silver wedding jewelry. Or if you are gorgeous in gold, then go with that. There’s no need to change your signature look on the big day. In fact, you’ll look more like you in your wedding photos if you keep it real.

What color is your wedding jewelry?

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Crystal Wedding Cake Toppers: A Sparkling Alternative

For brides-to-be in the market for a wedding cake topper that’s a little different, we usually recommend crystal wedding cake toppers.

The traditional bride and groom – or bride and bride or groom and groom – figurine toppers are still the gold standard of wedding cake toppers, but things are changing. Nowadays, couples are using just about everything as toppers. Like Matchbox cars, action figures, robots, birds, sock monkeys, and scaled down sports equipment. With all that variety, you might wonder why we’re so hot for crystal wedding cake toppers.

It just so happens that all of us here are serious glitz lovers!

And how glitzy are these? Crystal wedding cake toppers come in all kinds of scripts and sizes, with Swarovski crystals being just one of the options we love. This is definitely a decor accessory that works best at more glamorous wedding receptions… then again, a crystal wedding cake topper could be just the kind of thing that takes your reception from beautiful to OMG fabu.

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Wedding Tiara vs. Wedding Headband

Choosing a wedding dress is an epic undertaking, but it’s not the end of a bride-to-be’s journey. Once she has the gown of her dreams, she still has to choose the bridal accessories that will complete her wedding day look. Most brides are drawn to wedding tiaras and wedding headbands – two beautiful bridal accessory options that have so much in common but can be quite different.

A wedding tiara is the most traditional bridal accessory option and often seen as the most romantic. Wedding tiaras are also still the most popular bridal accessory. The wedding headband, on the other hand, has a lower profile and may be more subtle – but not necessarily. But a headband can be every bit as elaborate and opulent as a tiara, and both can be worn with a variety of bridal hairstyles.

Is one better or more beautiful than the other? You’ll never hear us say so! Every bride-to-be has to make her own decisions, after all. Whether she chooses a wedding tiara or a wedding headband could depend on the style of her gown, her hairstyle, her own tastes, the formality of her wedding, or many other factors. Some brides-to-be gravitate toward one or the other because their mothers or grandmothers have passed down an heirloom headpiece. Other brides just want the princess experience or they love the vintage look of asymmetrical wedding headbands.

In the end, whether you choose a wedding tiara or a wedding headband – or bridal hair pins or some other hair accessory – is entirely up to you. Don’t let what’s trendy sway you. Just pick the bridal accessories that will make you feel blissful and beautiful!

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Wedding Headband Styles for Every Style Bride

Bridal headbands are all alike, right? Nah! There is as much variation in the world of wedding headbands as there is among any other bridal accessory. While it wouldn’t be possible to categorize every wedding headband – we’d be writing this post forever if we tried – most bridal headbands fall into one of the following types:

Simple Wedding Headbands

The most basic bridal headbands are slim and feature a single strand of pearls, rhinestones, or metallic detailing like filigree. Because they tend not to be overly detailed, these headbands work beautifully in almost any bridal hairstyle.

Brooch Style Wedding Headbands

This style of bridal headband is the perfect alternative to a hair brooch for the short-haired bride or any bride who is concerned about combs and brooches staying put. A slim, simple band is accented at the top or on the side with a brooch style side ornament – usually featuring rhinestones, pearls, or feathers.

Double and Triple Strand Wedding Headbands

This versatile style of bridal headband features different profiles and is often adjustable. For example, a triple strand wedding headband could be worn with each row spaced widely apart for a lot of impact in a low key hairstyle or closer together for the perfect accent to a more dramatic updo or half-and-half style.

Floral Wedding Headbands

If you’ve toyed with the idea of wearing a flower in your hair on your wedding day but don’t want to deal with wilt, a floral headband might be the perfect compromise. Similar to brooch style headbands, floral wedding headbands feature delicate or striking flower embellishments – usually situated to the side.

Ribbon Wedding Headbands

Ribbon wedding headbands differ from other bridal headbands in that they feature embellishments on a delicate ribbon rather than a metal loop. Other than that, ribbon headbands can be thick or thin and may be similar to brooch or crown style headbands.

Reverse Wedding Headbands

Most bridal headbands are meant to be worn like the headbands you might wear on any given day, but reverse headbands are worn around the back of the head – typically over a low placed veil or as part of the bride’s hairstyle.

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Have You Heard About Keshi Pearls?

Pearls have long been a favorite of brides. It’s a fantastic fit, if you think about it. White wedding gowns… that bridal glow… brides and pearls have a lot in common! We love pearls on everything from wedding dresses to bridal earrings to pearl wedding headbands and even in bouquets. We’ve seen beautiful wedding cakes with edible pearl embellishments and vintage style wedding invitations decorated with pearl brooches. Pearls on bridal shoes? You better believe it! Pearls are everywhere!

But did you know there are different kinds of pearls? We’re all familiar with the perfectly round cultured pearls and the oval, slightly textured freshwater pearls, but there are other forms of pearl. In particular, Keshi pearls – a unique and lustrous pearl that forms accidentally as a byproduct of the pearl culturing process. These pearls are formed when the oyster spits out the ‘seed’ of a pearl or is otherwise damaged and a pearl is formed in the resulting pearl sac.

What makes Keshi pearls particularly exceptional is that unlike most pearls, which have an inner nucleus made of something like sanded mussel shells, Keshi pearls are solid nacre. That makes them quite brilliant, which more than makes up for their irregular shapes and sizes. These variations actually make them wonderful for use in Keshi pearl jewelry, since there are so many ways you can use a flattened oval where a sphere wouldn’t quite work.

Interestingly, where Keshi pearls used to be very common and thus less expensive, new pearl culturing techniques have made them more much rare and so prices have gone up. Not everywhere, though! The Keshi pearl jewelry we carry for brides is still priced right – so if these sound like the pearls for you, enjoy!

Shown: Our Keshi pearl headband; rum pink bridal headband; and Florencia pearl wedding headband

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Wedding Headbands for Bridesmaids? Why Not!

If you think wedding headbands are just for brides, prepare to be wowed. It turns out that this latest ‘it’ accessory is just as beautiful on bridesmaids as it is on brides, and a great way to unify a bridal party. Mismatched bridesmaids? Make sure they all stand out by give them all sparkly, stunning wedding headbands for the ceremony and reception.

This modern alternative to tiaras is actually quite traditional, with headbands having been an element of updos for hundreds of years. What differentiates a wedding headband from a tiara? Just the peak! A tiara comes up from the hair while a wedding headband sits flat on the head. Wedding headbands for bridesmaids are versatile – they look great on hair that’s long and loose, in short hairstyles, as part of the half up, half down styles that are so popular at the moment, and incorporated into updos.

In fact, that’s what makes wedding headbands such a great option for bridesmaids, who may all have different hairstyles on your wedding day. We mentioned bridal party unification, and if your ladies will all be sporting different dos, headbands are definitely the way to go. Functional? You bet! Wedding headbands, like any headband, can be used to ensure that you and your bridesmaids don’t spend the whole of the reception flicking hair out of your eyes.

Your style options, as always, are just about endless, but we recommend that brides buy their bridesmaids wedding headbands that are one step down on the glitz scale from their own. Maybe you’re wearing a striking Swarovski crystal headband while your ‘maids wear color coordinating wedding headbands that match their gowns or harmonize with your wedding colors.

How are you accessorizing your bridesmaids?

Shown: The Ella rhinestone wedding headband; the Ella wedding headband in black; the pink vine wedding headband

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Totally Doable: Pairing Wedding Headbands with Updos

You’ve seen this look on the Red Carpet on Hollywood sweethearts like Sandra Bullock and Sarah Jessica Parker, but maybe you haven’t considered it for your own bridal hairstyle. After all, common wisdom says that wedding headbands are for loose bridal hairstyles or half up, half down dos. But classic updos actually pair beautifully with wedding headbands, and there’s a long tradition of doing just that.

Wedding headbands come in all shapes and sizes, like the Tia pearl wedding headband shown in the lower right. It’s subtle enough to work with almost any updo you can think of. The Lucia filigree wedding headband, on the upper right, makes a bolder bridal statement with a classic vintage look featuring brilliant sparkling rhinestones. And for the boldest brides? We recommend the stunning Fiona crystal wedding headband with three bands and genuine hand-cut Swarovski crystals.

Three brides… wedding headbands three ways. Which look is your fave? This is an accessory that will take you from the aisle to the dance floor, whether you go for a full-on elegant updo or a glam retro ponytail. What’s particularly nice about headbands versus some other bridal hairpieces is that a wedding headband can actually give your updo some support. Hair that falls flat between the ceremony and reception? No way – not with a headband! So take a little inspiration from the celeb world and accentuate your wedding day hairstyle with a gorgeous wedding headband.

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