Wedding Trend Alert: LACE!

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?

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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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How to Prepare for an Engagement Session

Your engagement session may just be the first time you really feel like a bride. It might not be your wedding day, but it can still be a pretty romantic one! Relaxation is key because if you’re relaxed at your engagement session you can have fun, and if you’re having fun your photos are going to be amazing. Here are more tips for making your engagement session perfect.

Plan ahead: Don’t get a sunburn if it’s summertime. You should be wearing sunscreen every day anyway but if you haven’t been now is the time to start. Do a hair and makeup trial run, and then make sure you’ll have enough time to get ready before your engagement session. Don’t do anything drastic to change your appearance in the month before your session, either. You want to look like your best you.

Pick outfits that make you feel comfortable: Your photographer will be able to offer wardrobe tips based on the season and on the backdrop for your session, but no matter what wear something you can move in. Make sure you have a wardrobe backup plan in case your first choice doesn’t end up looking as nice as you thought it would.

Do something special with your accessories: This is a great time to wear your mother’s or your grandmother’s wedding jewelry if you’re not going to wear it on your wedding day. Or to see how your own wedding jewelry set will look in photos – wearing it now will give you a sneak peek at bride-hood.

Don’t be matchy-matchy: You and your sweetie should coordinate but not wear matching cat sweaters or anything else silly. Think harmony. Unless, that is, you are silly people and cat sweaters are your passion. In that case have fun with it!

Tell your photographer what you have in mind: Go to Pinterest, pin a ton of engagement session photography, and find your style. What do you like… the outdoors? Racing cars? Eating pizza? Make it part of your engagement session.

Bring props: Flowers are good. Balloons are fun and cute, too. Food, for the foodies. Lollipops and ice cream are both (pun intended) sweet. A basketball or hockey sticks for the sports enthusiasts. You get the idea.

Engagement photo sessions are kind of a trendy thing right now for brides and grooms but we think this is a trend that’s going to stick around for a long time. What could be better than a folder full of gorgeous photos of you and your sweetie before you became husband and wife (or wife and wife or husband and husband)?

Images via: Heather Kincaid Photography; Elevate Pictures; Hudson River Photographer; Kristeen Marie Photography


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5 Reasons Planning a Backyard Wedding Won’t Be as Simple as You Think

An at home wedding can sound like a dream come true for the bride-to-be who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of planning a big, fancy ceremony and reception. But sacrificing some of the glitz and glamour that a gorgeous venue can bring to a wedding doesn’t necessarily mean that wedding planning will get any simpler. Sometimes planning a backyard wedding can be more complicated – and even more expensive – than putting together a traditional wedding at an event venue. Here’s why:

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The necessary extras:  The nice thing about many wedding venues is that everything is included. The linens. The bridal chamber. The staff. Someone else is handling all the different rentals and professionals. Compare that to a backyard wedding which has to be planned from the ground up – it’s the bride-to-be’s responsibility to find servers, linens, trash receptacles, and more. If you’ve never planned a party for 100+ people you may be surprised at all the things you need to buy and rent.

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Bathrooms: If the backyard where you’re thinking of saying your vows and partying down is attached to a house with 4+ bathrooms then disregard this item. But while 75 guests and two bathrooms could work – and probably would work – do you want to take risks? Residential plumbing can get overwhelmed pretty easily, which means that to stay on the safe side you’re going to need to pay for extra accommodations. And then find some place out of the way to park them.

Rain or shine: Weather is unpredictable – you may live somewhere where it hardly ever rains and the random storm picks your wedding day to show up. It may be unseasonably sunny and warm or cold. Will all of your wedding guests fit in your home? Would you want them in there? Renting a tent, even a small one, and getting it set up can be pricey and complicated (depending on what your yard is like) but it’s a must.

planning a backyard wedding

Refreshments: Getting food and drink (and the cake) to your backyard wedding isn’t the issue. Prep is. Will there be enough space for the caterers, etc., to prep your food? Somewhere safe to store the cake? Somewhere to put the drinks? Be realistic about how much space you have for prep and adjust your choices and expectations accordingly.

The cleanup: This is a big one! At a hired venue, you don’t have to worry about any of the cleanup – your job is to have fun and leave before the last dance. At a backyard wedding, particularly when it’s in your own backyard, you (or your loved ones) will have to decide ahead of time who will do the cleaning up and with what – rented trash barrels? – and when.

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None of this means, of course, that you should stop planning a backyard wedding in favor of renting a venue. Brides and grooms just need to be aware that there’s more to planning a backyard wedding than deciding to host at home. There’s a lot to think about and a lot of things that will be on your plate so while we’d love it if we could say that it’s as simple and as easy as buying wedding jewelry we can’t. It can be pretty hard but for a lot of couples, also totally worth the extra trouble.

Images: Sarah Kate, Photographer; The Sweetest Occasion; http://weddingplannerncdotcom.wordpress.com; Mywedding.com


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Amazing Wedding Guest Book Alternatives

Wedding guest books? Love ’em. But you have to admit that the whole big book of signatures thing has gotten kind of stale – especially when you consider that some wedding guest books are so long that even if you have 200 guests and each leaves at least a sig you’re still going to have oodles of blank pages. Wedding guest book alternatives are now appearing on more reception tables and there are some amazing trends we want to report for brides-to-be who are looking for a wedding guest book alternative that will wow their family and friends. Here are just some of our favorites:

Love from around the world: Get a globe that has only the outlines of countries and continents but not too many other details and invite guests to write their best marriage tips and well wishes in Sharpie near their home locale. It’ll make a wonderful display piece so you actually, you know, enjoy your guests’ congratulations.

The advice tree: Pretty gift tags with strings hung on painted (or plain) branches set in a vase look beautiful at your wedding reception. Ask guests to share their best marriage advice or well wishes and hang them on the “tree”.

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Wedding guest book as art: Have your relatives and friends sign pre-painted watercolor circles on specialty paper – or use acrylics on canvas. This can be a fun pre-wedding DIY project for you and your bridesmaids. Or just go the easy route and have something special painted.

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A dictionary or copy of your favorite book: While it might seem a bit weird to let guests write on the pages of an already wordy tome, this is one guest book alternative that you’ll actually flip through more than a few times. Plus, no blank pages. Imagine looking up a word and finding a special note from your favorite cousin or best friend – sweet, right?

The origami paper vase: Have guests choose sheets from a selection of pretty, coordinating origami (or craft) paper and write their notes on the white side. Ask guests to fold their notes into squares and place them in a clear glass vase that can be used to display white painted branches or just put somewhere special as is.

wedding guest book alternatives - heart art guestbook

3D wedding hearts: This is easy on your wedding day and a post-wedding craft you and your sweetie can do together once you’re home from the honeymoon. Glue gently creased paper hearts with advice and well wishes from your loved ones onto a piece of matting paper and then have it framed in a shadow box frame.

silhouette-balloon-fingerprint- wedding guest book alternatives

A canvas of fingerprint balloons: Have guests leave their fingerprints using colored ink at the end of pre-drawn strings – you can ask them to write their names on their fingerprints for even more personalization. It will look beautiful framed and hung somewhere in your home.

Why use one of these guest book alternatives? We say if you’re looking for the perfect gown, unique wedding jewelry, a to-die-for venue, and want everything else to be just right, it just makes sense that you’d want your guests to leave their congrats in something original.


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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.

bridal comb usabride pearl wedding accessories

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 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:

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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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Your Bridal Style: Dressed Up or Dressed Down?

You’re planning a wedding, focusing on your guests’ experience and creating an event that is a reflection of your and your spouse’s two hearts. It is, we know, a lot of work! There’s so much to think about… the venue, how you want people to remember the day, cake flavors, wedding favors, and more. But maybe you’re forgetting something.

Maybe you’re forgetting your own bridal style.

We’d wager you have a personal style, but maybe you want to rock something a little different on one of the most important days of your life. Could be that in the day to day you’re a dressed down tomboy and you want to glam up – hello CZ wedding jewelry – for your ceremony and reception. How do you want people to see you? Flirty and fun… or sophisticated and elegant? Dressed up or dressed down?

dressed up bridal style

The wonderful thing about planning a wedding is that when it comes to your bridal style, the sky is the limit. Be yourself, or be someone else. Your wedding is the ultimate excuse to play dress up. You can be princess for the day if you really want to – just imagine yourself as royalty! Or not, if you balk at the notion of stepping out of your favorite pair of jeans. Not that we’re suggesting you get married in them (though there’s nothing wrong with that) but we do think it’s fine to consider the real you when you’re envisioning your bridal style. Carefree and comfortable is a wonderful look to pursue.

dressed down bridal style

There are no right or wrong answers. Though do consider where you’ll be spending the bulk of your wedding… indoors or outdoors, in the heat or frosty cold, on grass or parquet floors. This is your time to shine and we recommend creating your own light instead of mimicking someone else’s. Dress up or dress down, it’s all wonderful. Create your own bridal style – one that’s relaxed, happy, confident, and beautiful.


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Wedding Planning Luxe: Live Event Painting

If it wasn’t enough that brides-to-be had to choose between a DJ and live band, now there’s wedding photography versus live event painting. Okay, maybe not, but live event painting is definitely a trending wedding add-on! If you love art, hiring a painting to capture the emotion of your ceremony or reception might just be for you.

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What it is: Live event painting is just what it sounds like. An artist comes to your ceremony or reception and, over the course of the event, creates a one-of-a-kind, romantic painting that you can hang proudly in your home.

How much it costs: Every artist is different, and painters will have their own styles, favorite medium, and price tags. But expect to pay anywhere from $500 to more than $5,000.

What to consider: Does your wedding venue allow painters? Be sure your ceremony or reception venue is okay with having an artist in attendance using materials like paints and solvents.

Now as much as this is modish at this moment, live event painting is nothing new and is actually rooted in centuries of tradition. On top of becoming a treasured keepsake, your finished painting may appreciate in value over time and will certainly be a family heirloom that outlives you. We love the idea of having the finished work scanned and printed onto thank you cards so guests get to see the result of the artist’s work.

What’s also very cool about having a live event painter at your wedding is that watching the artist at work can be yet another diversion for guests. When your loved ones aren’t actually gathered around the painter doing his or her thing, they’ll probably be talking about your choice to have a real live art pro in situ. That’s why we recommend choosing an artist who won’t be bothered by a little friendly chitchat or questions from your wedding guests. That way, he or she won’t mind the interruption and your guests can learn more about this luxe trend.

Image via http://timree.com/site/fine-art/


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Should You Have an Unplugged Wedding?

The newest trend in weddings is not some sparkling bridal accessory or the color of the moment, but rather the unplugged wedding.

In this, the age of ubiquitous iPhone, it’s not unusual to have your view of the bride and groom blocked by some taller guest taking hundreds of snapshots with a tablet. Most of us have gotten used to the fact that at least one guest per wedding will be live-tweeting the ceremony and reception. But a growing number of couples are now asking guests to disconnect for a few hours – and the hope is that everyone will have a more meaningful, more enjoyable time in the process.

Wedding photographers in particular are advocating for the unplugged wedding. While a majority of wedding guests fancy themselves photogs, snapping away during the ceremony kiss and the first dance, there’s the question of whether they (or the couple) will ever even look at those Instagram pics. The professional photographer who is at the wedding to work, on the other hand, has a vested interest in getting the best shots – and isn’t there to enjoy himself or herself. Wedding guests, the notion goes, should put their gadgets away and just enjoy the wedding. They can always check out the “real” photog’s online gallery later.

unplugged weddings - discount wedding veils

Other arguments for the unplugged wedding: Turning off phones means no chance of a ringtone interrupting the ‘I do’s. No chance of someone with their head down in a pew texting instead of listening to the couple’s original wedding vows. If guests aren’t taking pics, there’s no chance of unflattering cake smashing shots ending up on Facebook or Tumblr. The bride won’t have to deal with guests lining the aisle with iPhones held high.

But is it etiquette-appropriate to request that your wedding guests turn off (or even turn over) their digital devices for the duration of the event? I’ve heard stories of guests being asked to leave for violating no phone rules, but I’ve never actually been to a wedding where the couple requested that phones stay in pockets.

I don’t think I’d be particularly offended to see a politely worded request on the ceremony program, a la “The Bride and Groom request that guests turn off their phones for the duration of the ceremony and reception. The photographer will be posting photos online. Please just enjoy yourself.” But I also recognize I might be alone in that opinion!

Have you been to an unplugged wedding? Or are you planning one yourself?


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Remember, Wedding Trends Change Slowly

Sometimes fashion conscious brides-to-be come to us for a free style consultation worried that the wedding is not for a year. How can they possibly choose a wedding dress or buy wedding jewelry when who knows what’ll be in style in 12 months?

It sounds like a tough question to answer, but it turns out it’s not. The answer is that what’s on trend now in wedding fashion is likely to still be hot in six months to a year. Because the hope is that once a bride walks down the aisle she’s done shopping for wedding dresses and wedding jewelry forever, trends don’t change as quickly as they do in high fashion.

Consider how long strapless wedding gowns were the it dress – a pretty long time, right? And even now that straps are back in style, plenty of brides are still saying their vows sans straps. Eventually, we predict that the strapless neckline will go the way of leg of mutton sleeves, but not for a while yet!

And by then, who knows… maybe leg of mutton sleeves will be back on the racks.

wedding fashion changes quickly - bridal accessories

The point is that when you’re buying wedding accessories and your gown, don’t worry too much about trends or timelessness. Thirty years from now, your wedding photos are going to look dated no matter what you pick because thirty years will have gone by. If your dress and wedding jewlery has come back into vogue, chances are your best man’s suit or mother’s dress will seem like a relic.

Instead of worrying about style, think about what YOU like. Maybe the dresses you really love and the wedding jewlery you are lusting after isn’t in all the bridal mags. Or maybe it is. But that shouldn’t matter. What should matter most is whether they make you feel beautiful and special on what will be one of the best days of your life.

After all, wedding trends change slowly!


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