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your mother’s classic perfume, on the other hand, is a wonderful way to honor your mom without having to wear her out of date wedding gown.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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Four Wedding Jewelry Trends for Summer 2013

We seriously can’t believe that we’re already halfway into the first month of 2013! But we are, so forward we go! And we decided the first thing we’re duty bound to do is make a few predictions about the year’s jewelry trends. This summer we expect you’ll be seeing a lot of wedding jewelry that could be described as fresh… striking… unique… and exciting. This is going to be a pretty amazing year!

Specifically, we bet you’ll be seeing more:

Floral Bridal Headbands – Pretty and feminine, floral bridal headbands are showing up on brides of all ages. Pair this look with a simpler wedding gown, lest you end up looking sickly sweet instead of just sweet.

Statement Colors – Crystal bridal jewelry will never go out of style, but 2013’s brides are going to be a lot braver when it comes to color than brides of years past. Look for bold, saturated colors on brides – think deep blues, royal purples, and brilliant black and silver.

Artisan Inspired Pieces – Whether that means the continuing popularity of all things vintage or jewelry that looks like it was created by your bestie who took that class that time, it’s all about that personalized, handmade look. Be original!

Chandelier Earrings: Big bridal earrings can give you that wow factor when you’re wearing a relatively plain wedding gown like a sheath. Just remember that these will always coordinate better with an updo than a half-and-half or long, flowing style.

What 2013 wedding jewelry trends are you excited about??


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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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