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.

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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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Choosing Your Wedding Scent

You’ve got the ultimate dress (and the most luxurious undies for underneath). Your perfect crystal tiara is perched on your dressing table. You found the most beautiful wedding shoes. Now it’s time to think about perfume. Nowadays, many brides-to-be don’t have a signature scent they’ve been wearing for years and years because it’s fun to try different perfumes or switch scents with the season. If that sounds like you, why not think about picking a special perfume just for your wedding day?

Narrowing down your options is when it comes to your wedding scent shouldn’t be that different than choosing that crystal tiara.

First, consider what impression you want to make. Do you envision yourself dazzlingly happy? Stunningly beautiful? Enveloped by romance? Strikingly serene? How you imagine you’ll look and feel at the altar can help you as you search for a wedding day fragrance.

Next, think about the theme of your wedding. A wintertime wedding decked out in white and silver calls for a very different scent than a ceremony and reception on a tropical island! For the former, think in terms of warm, comforting perfumes. Maybe something heavier. For the beach, fruity florals are just right.

Finally, consider what you want your perfume to accomplish. Are you hoping to make your soon to be spouse swoon? Try something musky. Wearing your mother’s classic perfume, on the other hand, is a wonderful way to honor your mom without having to wear her out of date wedding gown.

So if you have a perfume you adore, wear it. And if you’re allergic, don’t think you need to smell like roses when you walk down the aisle. But if you were thinking about choosing a special wedding day scent, do it! It’s just one more way to customize your big day!


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Inspired By…

A big part of wedding planning is finding inspiration. Go on Pinterest and wedding inspiration boards abound. Brides-to-be are making their own inspiration boards, saving inspiration boards they find on blogs, and reading the magazines for even more inspiration.

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You might think with all that wedding inspiration, every bride-to-be can find the inspiration she needs when shopping for gowns, bridal accessories, shoes, vendors, flowers, and everything else she’ll need for her ceremony and reception.

But nope. Lots of brides-to-be are floundering. It’s like water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink. Too much inspiration. Too many options. You could drown in all that inspiration.

That’s why we sometimes tell the brides-to-be who come to us for help with their bridal accessories that they should find inspiration in things meaningful to them. Not in what’s trendy or what’s made it into the pages of the bridal magazines. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you love?
  • What makes your heart beat faster?
  • What are your passions?
  • What interests do you share with your spouse-to-be?
  • What colors are in your closet?

Your wedding should be about you and the things that make you excited, not the things wedding experts recommend. Who cares what colors are in this year – your favorite colors should be your guide. Throw out the magazines. Close your computer (after finishing this post, of course). And then look around you… what do you see?

There’s your inspiration!


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Brides and Bridesmaids, Lovely in Lace

When I was poring over the spring 2014 wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses, trend hunting my tush off, one thing I saw over and over was lace. Let me tell you, I love lace. But is lace a trend? Can a lace wedding dress be trendy? I’m not ready to go there. This flimsy fabric has been found on wedding dresses for so long that who knows when it first found its way onto a train or bodice.

What was surprising that I was seeing lace on bridesmaids. Wouldn’t you know it, what was once the sole territory of the bride herself has trickled down into bridesmaid fashion – and how!

What’s so exciting about the lace bridesmaid dress trend – yes, I said it – is that it gives brides-to-be and brides yet another option. Bridesmaids dresses have, not by design but sometimes by default, been rather dull. The same old A-line frocks in jewel tones that virtually guarantee said dress will never, ever, ever be worn again.

But a lace bridesmaid dress? This isn’t just femme, it’s femme fatale! I’m picturing a draped back panel. An illusion neckline. A lace overskirt in any color you can imagine.

Now are you excited?!


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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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Illusion Necklines: No Necklace Necessary

Shopping for a wedding jewelry set? Are you sure? Sometimes separates are de rigueur and sometimes they’re absolutely, positively necessary. I nearly keeled over delightfully dead when I saw all those illusion necklines walking down the most recent bridal runway models.

On one hand, there’s nothing like finding the perfect bridal necklace to chase the pre-wedding blues away. On the other, I adore how a single flirty piece of sheer fabric can take a wedding gown from ordinary to extraordinary. I mean very few gown details can make the kind of impact that a barely there neckline can – whether it’s spectacularly embellished or simply sheer.

High drama, in either variation.

Now of course, choosing a gown with an illusion neckline does make for some interesting wedding jewelry shopping. Obviously, I hope, no necklace is necessary. If it isn’t obviously a no-no in your book, then let me just say that you should never, ever layer a necklace over an illusion neckline. If you’re desperate for the look of a bridal necklace, there are scads of illusion necklines with necklace-like adornments that are to die for.

As for the wedding jewelry you ought to be shopping for, your neckline will be your guide. Illusion necklines with gorgeous beadwork or floral embroidery should be treated as focal points in and of themselves. The same rules apply as with any style of wedding dress… your accessories should be in harmony with your gown’s embellishments.

I recommend thinking in terms of opposition. A plain illusion neckline calls for very striking wedding jewelry, while an opulent neckline is like jewelry unto itself. Stick with simple pieces in that case and let your neckline (or your bridesmaids’ necklines) do the talking.

How much do you love these gowns?


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Famous Brides Who Wore Pearls

Back in ancient Greece, people believed that when a bride wore pearl wedding jewelry that she would be guaranteed a happy marriage with very few tears. Correct or not, the tradition of brides wearing pearls as they say their vows dates back at least to this period in history! If you decide to pair your wedding dress with pearl bridal jewelry, let me just say you’ll be in good company. Here are some famous brides who picked pearls for their spotlight weddings:

When Queen Elizabeth II tied the knot with Prince Phillip, she wore a gown embellished with 10,000 miniature pearls imported from the US and a strand of classic pearls (a gift from her parents).

Jacqueline Kennedy’s stylish wedding ensemble featured a demure pearl choker that was surprisingly sedate considering she’s known for the triple strand necklace she made famous later.

1,500 pearls embellished the gorgeous Helen Rose wedding gown worn by Grace Kelly when she married Prince Rainier III. Her prayer book, carried in lieu of a bouquet, was also encrusted with pearls.

Gloria Vanderbilt married agent Pasquale DiCicco at only 17 years old! She naturally wore some of the pearls her notable family was famous for, including a girlish but practically perfect single strand of white pearls.

See? Like we said last week, if you’re wearing pearl wedding jewelry when you say your vows, you’re in very good (and very royal) company!


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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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The Champagne Reception

Saving money is on many a bride’s mind in these times of job insecurity and recession mania. Budget weddings are a huge trending topic, seemingly year after year. But cutting corners… DIY weddings… prioritizing. It can all sound a bit like deprivation. We think it doesn’t have to be quite that depressing, though.

So what if you don’t have a Hiltonesque bundle of cash to spend on your gown and bridal jewelry and especially the reception, which is usually the biggest wedding expense? With all things vintage still being on trend, we have a suggestion for all those brides-to-be who feel a little put out that a mega-bash is not in the cards. Namely, the champagne reception.

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Once upon a time, the champagne reception was de riguer among the stylish, who frowned upon the sort of nuptial excesses we’re all subject to today because we can’t peel our eyes away from those godawful wedding-themed reality shows.

It was a simple and elegant mid- or late-afternoon affair featuring champagne, cocktails, and lovely non-alcoholic drinks; light hors d’oeuvres and nibbles; and of course, wedding cake. There was music and mingling, but likely no dancing because the kind of venues one chooses for hosting a champagne reception are meant to inspire conversation rather than carousing.

The champagne reception is a real money saver because no sit-down meal is served, the music should be ambient not in-your-face, and the event itself will often be shorter in duration than what is today a more traditional wedding reception. And yet no one need know that you’ve chosen a champagne reception so as to be able to spend your bridal budget elsewhere – hello, bridal jewelry and bubbly upgrade! -because it’s such an elegant choice. More elegant, in some ways, than a reception that includes neon glow sticks on the dance floor and meatballs on toothpicks.

We love this old fashioned wedding reception option for brides and grooms who want a classier affair. Possibly also a more intimate one. Feelings of deprivation? You won’t find them here!

 


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