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?

VB-5016-3T

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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Planning a Wedding You Want (Not a Trendy One)

You love the bridal magazines. You are addicted to Pinterest. You’re practically a wedding planning expert at this point. The only problem. You hate – I mean cannot stand – the latest wedding colors. Next year’s gowns make you yawn. The fun little touches that brides and grooms are just dying over leave you cold. And it’s killing you.

You want to like these things like everyone else planning a wedding in your age group or income bracket or city. But you can’t. What you can do, of course, is push your feelings down and plan what looks like a gorgeous wedding.

But you shouldn’t.

Do that and it won’t be YOUR wedding. 20 or 50 years from now you’re going to look back on your wedding photos and you will fall in love all over again if what you see in those images is you enjoying the things you like. Plan a trendy wedding that makes other people ooh and ahh doing everything right according to the wedding experts and you’re going to be looking at an event that looks like someone else planned it.

If you’re a quirky couple, then be quirky. You may get some flack for dressing up like characters from your favorite anime or saying your vows on horseback dressed like rodeo clowns, but so what? Own it – that’s who you are.

Brides, be yourself – even when you’re planning your wedding. Someday, you’re going to want to remember who you really were!

Images via: The Little Things We Do; tux & tales photography; Tulle & Chantilly Custom Wedding Gowns


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Wedding Planning Basics: The Groom’s Countdown

Here’s something you may not have encountered before… yes, the groom’s countdown. With – let’s be honest here – the bride handling so much of the wedding planning duties, it is relatively rare to come across a to-do list for grooms. Maybe the wedding experts out there just assume that the bride-to-be will fill her soon to be spouse in on what he ought to be doing and when? That being the case, no one will blame you if you’re feeling a little lost as to what the duties of a groom actually are.

grooms wedding planning duties - grooms countdown

Turns out that the list of what grooms are apparently responsible for is woefully short when compared to lists of the bride’s duties. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, of course, but I hope you’ll forgive me for saying that when it comes down to it I hope that you and your spouse-to-be find a wedding planning division of labor that works for you as a couple – and doesn’t leave you as a person exhausted and stressed out.

With that in mind, here is the generally accepted list of what grooms should be doing to help with the wedding planning:

12 to 18 Months Before

  • Meet with both sets of parents to discuss the budget and style of the wedding.
  • Go with your fiancée and book the reception site. Many sites fill up quickly so the earlier you pick a spot, the better!
  • Reserve your ceremony location.
  • Choose your groomsmen. Figure on one usher per 50 guests.

9 Months Before

  • Decide on an officiant.
  • Write out a preliminary guest list for “your side”. Be sure to get input from your parents.
  • Register at one or several locations along with your SO.
  • Accompany the bride-to-be at any tastings, meetings, and visits.

6 Months Before

  • Choose and order your attire and your groomsmen’s outfits.
  • Plan and book your honeymoon. Are you looking for fun, seclusion, fine dining? Contact a travel agent for help if necessary.

3 Months Before

  • Finalize the guest list.
  • Order your wedding bands and decide on inscriptions.
  • Check state requirements concerning marriage license eligibility.
  • Decide on living arrangements and order furnishings.

2 Months Before

  • Buy wedding gifts for your bride and groomsmen.
  • Pick up your wedding rings, make sure they fit properly and check the inscription for accuracy.

2 Weeks Before

  • Pick up your marriage license.
  • Give ushers instructions for seating the guests at the ceremony, especially if there are guests requiring special assistance.
  • Practice your toast to the bride’s family.
  • Pick up your rental attire and remind your groomsmen to do the same.
  • Arrange for someone to bring the gifts from the reception to your home.
  • Get a haircut.

1 Day Before

  • Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Give gifts to groomsmen.
  • Do something sweet for your bride (hint hint). A short love letter, a flower on her pillow…. she’s worked hard planning a wedding, so show her how much you appreciate her.

Of course, the groom’s duties can be anything. Maybe the groom-to-be is responsible for picking out and reserving the reception venue. Heck, maybe he’s responsible for picking out the bride’s wedding garter set – this is 2014, after all! The list above could be said to be the traditional list of groom’s to-dos, but we hope times are changing as more couples pay for their own weddings. We’re all for the guys taking on more!

What wedding planning duties has your groom-to-be taken on?


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How Much Can One Bride Really DIY?

Excited to DIY your wedding? And why not! DIY can save money and is a fun way to personalize your wedding. Well, sometimes. We are all for DIYing some or even all of your wedding ceremony and reception details provided you have the time, the experience necessary, and yes, the cash. Because DIY is actually not always the least expensive option. And DIY can be hard.

easy wedding decor DIY - burlap bunting

There’s a reason that wedding cake bakers and seamstresses who specialize in alterations on wedding dresses and professional photographers get paid so much for what can seem like so little work to an outsider’s eyes.

But let’s say you’re determined to tackle one or more DIY projects. Okay. There’s no one answer to how much a bride-to-be can reasonably DIY for her wedding. But it’s not that hard to gauge how much you personally can take on.

easy wedding DIY - book themed wedding

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a job? How stressful is your job?
  • Will you have help from bridesmaids or your intended?
  • Have you ever: arranged flowers, baked a tiered cake, brewed beer, etc.?
  • How much time do you have before the wedding?
  • Is DIY realistic given your circumstances and experience?
  • No, be honest, is it really realistic?

If you don’t want wedding planning to turn into a giant cluster you-know-what of stress and tears then you have to be absolutely truthful with yourself about your skill level and how much time you have at your disposal.

easy wedding decor DIY

If your dream is to DIY your wedding cake, do you have enough time to make two or three practice cakes – as in, full size, fully decorated cakes? If it’s DIY wedding invitations you’re after, do you have design experience? Want to make your own wedding jewelry? Sew your own gown? Handcraft your bridal veil? That all sounds wonderful and we support your efforts, but don’t kill yourself trying to do things you don’t even know if you’re good at.

After all, there’s not much worse than having to run to David’s Bridal the day before your wedding to grab something from off the rack and hope to God it fits! And there’s nothing wrong with working with professionals to ensure things are as close to perfect as they can possibly be.

In other words: Be confident when you DIY but for goodness sakes, know your limits!


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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

bridal tiara usabride crystal wedding accessories

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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Brides, Look Your Best in Front of the Camera

Some brides-to-be are excited about the prospect of being the center of attention for an entire day – and the primary subject of the photographer’s lens on top of that. But some, especially the shy brides or the brides who never like how they look in pics, can get pretty worried knowing they’ll be photographed hundreds of times in just a few hours. We get that. It can be a little unnerving to have a pro photographer buzzing around. The best wedding photographers are extra good at being unobtrusive… some, not so much.

wedding planning wedding jewelry

But you can up your chances of getting great wedding photos even if you usually can’t stand how you look in pictures. Seriously. Even if you’re kind of nervous in front of the camera. Use these tips, relax, and smile on your big day and we guarantee you’ll look beautiful!

Enhance Your Look:

When it comes to doing your make-up, don’t fall victim to the saying “more is better”. Use the same shades of make-up that you normally wear and don’t make any radical changes to your looks. Remember, you want to enhance your looks with make-up… not cover them up! You’ll look your best when you look like YOU.

Use a Professional:

Consider using a professional make-up artist. They are trained to understand camera lighting and angles, and how to accentuate your BEST features and minimize others. Make sure, though, that the makeup pro you choose understands the look you’re going for.

Do a Test Run:

Do a bridal makeup test run with hair and make-up just the way you are going to wear it on your wedding day. Put on your bridal jewelry set and have someone take several pictures from different angles and with different facial expressions. Then, look at the pictures. Do you like what you see? Too much make-up or not enough? How about the hair style? Too much height or not enough? If something doesn’t look right ­ start again and do another test run until everything looks just right.

It is important to actually TAKE pictures of yourself because it can give you a different perspective rather than just looking in the mirror.

Freshen Up:

Make sure that you bring along a small make-up bag to “Freshen Up” during the day. All you need is some translucent or pressed powder to absorb any shine and some lipstick. If you’re outside taking pictures, bring along some blotting paper which works great to absorb moisture without rubbing off your make-up.

Type of Photos:

When discussing the type of pictures to take with your photographer, keep in mind that full length photographs capture all the beauty and magnificence of the wedding dress, wedding attire and beautiful scenery or backdrops. Close-up or half length (above the waist) photographs better capture facial expressions and reveal more emotions. So, it’s a good idea to get a mix of both types of shots.

Try to Relax:

Particularly if you are taking pictures before the ceremony, remember to relax in front of the camera. If you’re feeling nervous or anxious, this can show in the camera by your facial expression, your posture and smile.

Change it Up:

On your wedding day, you’re going to be in front of the camera and you’re going to be smiling! Take a break every so often and change your expression and move/exercise the muscles around your mouth. If you don’t, your facial expressions in your photographs may look “strained”.

Simple Background:

When taking your wedding portraits, sometimes it’s better to choose a “Simple ” background (with nice, soft lighting) rather than an elaborate one. A “busy looking” backdrop or sometimes a floral garden landscape can take away from the picture and distract from the focal point – which is the bride and groom. The location you select should also have plenty of open shade. Bright sunny areas will cause you and your family to squint!

Candid Photos:

When your photographer is taking candid pictures during the reception, DON’T look at the camera! The beauty of a candid shot is capturing the magic and emotion of a particular moment when people in the photograph are interacting with each other.

Happy posing!


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Don’t Let Facebook Ruin Your Big Day

You’ll never hear us say you’re obligated to invite any one person to your wedding, but it’s just a fact that not being an invitee can hurt certain people’s feelings. Once upon a time, that was less than a big deal. You might hear about it at a few social events or around the office but the wedding you weren’t invited to was not in your face the way it can be today in the age of social media. You log onto Facebook and you’re seeing pics of bridesmaids dresses, pre-wedding parties, and getting a real time play by play of who has RSVP’ed in the positive. It’s enough to give even the hardest-hearted non-invitee a glum moment or two.

facebook wedding

And as I’m sure you know by now, if you hurt people’s feelings you’re gonna have a bad time. So post responsibly! Be a grownup even if you don’t feel like one and consider how your endless wedding posts affect the people around you who won’t be receiving or didn’t receive your gorgeous letterpress invite in the mail.

Here are our tips for keeping social media from souring your big day:

1. Tell your close friends and family they’re invited before you go sharing your wedding deets on Facebook and elsewhere. Ditto for your engagement if that ship hasn’t already sailed. It would be so sad if your favorite aunt assumed she hasn’t been invited because she’s seeing your Pinterest pins feeding into your Facebook feed and you haven’t even called.

2. Once your upcoming nuptials are pretty much common knowledge, don’t overwhelm your friends’ feeds with wedding wedding wedding all things wedding all the time. First off, unless you’re inviting everyone on your friend list you could be inadvertently causing hurt feelings even though you’re just sharing because you’re excited. And second, some people just don’t care that much about centerpiece styles and seasonal flowers.

3.  If you want to use Facebook as your venue for sharing all the details your guests will need, create a group and add all your invitees. They’ll be able to get the skinny on your ceremony and reception plans along with anything else they’ll need to know without bugging the non-invitees. The other benefit is that confirmed guests can talk to each other about travel plans.

4. Don’t complain. So your spouse to be isn’t picking up the slack where wedding planning is concerned? Twitter is not the place to address that. Vent about your wedding woes in public and you’ll earn your bridezilla badge so fast your veil’s gonna fly off. Seriously, people don’t take kindly to first world problems.

5. Finally, remember that your big day is not the most important thing going on in anyone’s life but your own. If you ever find yourself feeling offended because so-and-so didn’t ‘like’ your post or retweet your tweet, breath and back off. That is not a good reason to accuse anyone of not supporting you – most likely, they were just too busy living life to follow along with all your wedding planning revelations.

And that’s as it should be. Balance is the key to using social media in a mannerly way when you’re engaged!


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Choosing Wedding Invitations: Requesting the Honour of Their Presence at Every Price Point

(Ed. note: Today’s post is an excerpt from iDo: Planning Your Wedding with Nothing But Net by Christa Terry. Check it out!)

Once upon a time, wedding invitations included an outer envelope, an inner envelope, a folded invitation card, a response card with its own envelope, a reception card, and a bunch of little squares of tissue paper that kept runny ink from getting all over everything. Really elegant invitations were made of oversized heavy ecru cardstock engraved with richly colored inks. You can still get invites of this sort, but be prepared to pay a premium for them. There is an art to packing a multi-component invitation, and the whole process is thoroughly outlined at Rexcraft.com/Custom/Rexcraft/Rexcraft_Etiquette.cfm. To make a long story short, response cards, RSVP envelopes, and reception cards take up different positions depending on how the invitations itself is folded and where the text appears. The thing is, it’s unlikely that any of your invitees will be particularly familiar with this paper folding etiquette, so don’t sweat the small stuff.

via Woodland Papercuts

The big players in the nuptial paper world are the invitations, which come in hundreds of sizes, shapes, colors, and configurations. That said, be prepared to see the same paper and printing options again and again and again if you’re planning on buying mass-produced invites. An affiliate program launched by Carlson Craft has, to some extent, dominated the online invitation world with their cceasy program. You’re going to see a lot of online invitation shops that look just like the sample site at Free.cceasy.com—the prices appear to be set by Carlson Craft so you’re not going to find a better deal unless you can find a store that isn’t a part of the cceasy program that carries the same merchandise. Good luck with that.

You can stick it to the mainstream by looking at the many, many alternative options out there. The plainest of modern invitations typically consist of one envelope, a single invitation card, a response card with an envelope, and a reception card, but there’s no reason to settle for unadorned vellum. The inner envelopes and tissue squares of yesteryear have been replaced by ornate ribbons and charms, brightly colored wraps, and complicated systems of overlays. The more intricate invitations are usually the most visually interesting, but they can also leave recipients feeling a little confused. If you suspect your loved ones won’t be able to navigate the complex scheme of knots and bows on highly embellished invites, opt for something simpler.

Some invitations will always be more impressive than others. Oslopress.com crafts dramatic invitations made of laser-engraved birch, cherry, oak, maple, and walnut woods. At Bluemagpieinvitations.com, you can order custom designed invites in beautiful fabric enclosures. Would you prefer that each of your invitations be hand painted by an artist? Stop by Momentaldesigns.com to get a feel for the cost of originality. It’s not at all difficult to find invitations in bottles, scrolled invitations, seeded invitations that can be planted, and cards that come wrapped in silk envelopes.

Be aware, however, that impressiveness is almost always pricey.

(Image via Woodland Papercuts, which you should also check out!)


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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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10 Wedding Hair Dos and Don’ts

In our continuing March series of dos and don’ts for brides-to-be, we naturally had to tackle hair!

While we don’t deal directly in hairstyles, your wedding day do will influence the kind of wedding jewelry and accessories you wear… not to mention your wedding veil, and vice versa. Here are our favorite tips:

  • DO make time for the hair trial. As much as you love your stylist, there’s no way to know whether her vision of the world’s greatest wedding hairstyle will match your own. And if you’re using someone new, you need to know they can do what you want.
  • DON’T assume your regular stylist is the best choice when it comes to your wedding day. Loyalty is important, but this is your wedding we’re talking about!
  • DO bring pictures, which really can speak a thousand words apiece. It’s a lot easier to point at a picture and say “This!” than to explain how big of a bun you want or what loose means to you.
  • DON’T hesitate to explain exactly what you want. Your stylist won’t know that you really hate fussy updos unless you actually tell her. She’s not a mind reader. Speak up!
  • DO bring your wedding headpiece to every meeting you have with your stylist, including your first chat before the hair trial. Seeing your tiara or comb will give her an idea of how to incorporate it into your style.
  • DON’T be afraid to ask for suggestions. Your stylist is a pro and might have some amazing ideas!
  • DO let your stylist show you some alternate styles. You may love long, loose looks, but your dress may be screaming for a half-up/half-down do. Remember, you can always veto styles you don’t like so there’s no reason not to experiment.
  • DON’T assume you’ll remember every style you see at your trial. Taking pictures of all the options will help you make your final decision.
  • DO make sure you’ll have plenty of time with your stylist on your wedding day. How many hairstyles will she be handling? Ask how much time she thinks she’ll need and then pad that, just in case. More time to get ready means less stress for everyone.
  • DON’T forget that button down shirt! Wearing a t-shirt could mean having to cut that t-shirt off to get out of it and into your gown.

P.S. – We are running a sweet promo this month for 20% off all veils, so if you’re going for the traditional bridal look check out our selection!


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