Alternative Wedding Style: White Bridesmaids Dresses

Talk about traditional! While white bridesmaids dresses still fall outside the matrimonial mainstream, the notion of dressing bridesmaids in dresses similar to the bride’s isn’t at all new. Once upon a time, the bride’s attendants dressed exactly like her to trick the evil spirits that would inevitably be lurking around the wedding. Back in the day, apparently, evil spirits were always looking to thwart humans’ happiness.

Nowadays, we don’t have as many evil spirits skulking around waiting to mess with brides but we love the look of a bride and her attendants who are dressed all in white. We’re not suggesting the bridesmaids have to dress exactly like the bride – in fact, we love attendants in white bridesmaids dresses that are all mixed up, a la this spread for Thread:

Overall, the look is fresh, pretty, summery, and definitely romantic – plus it leaves the bride with an almost infinite number of opportunities to use her color palette in other ways!

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6 Tips for Brides: Asking Someone to Be Your Bridesmaid

For some brides-to-be, finding bridesmaid jewelry is actually easier than picking bridesmaids. And then once the on-paper picking is done, there’s still the matter of asking the chosen ones to actually be a part of the ceremony and reception. This can actually be kind of anxiety inducing – especially among brides-to-be who are unsure that their best friends will be able to (or want to) handle the commitment. But never fear! We’re here to help you over the hump of asking your girls to become your bridesmaids, and we’ve chosen six of our favorite ideas to inspire you. Can you just text ‘do u want 2 b my bm?’ to your favorite friends? Sure, but if you have a little time or some spare wedding cash, why not get creative!

1. Get Bookish: When you ask each potential ‘maid to join your bridal party, present her with a how to be a bridesmaid type book. Or let the book do the talking, and wrap it up like a present before popping the question.

2. Do It In Style: If you have the budget for it, think of something that each potential bridesmaid has been coveting for a while and buy it. Then use it as the vehicle to ask each gal pal to be in the bridal party. For example, a Coach purse (or maybe a wristlet) could hold a card reading ‘Will You Be My Bridesmaid?’

3. Make Bridesmaid Boxes: Painted cigar boxes (see above) become beautiful keepsakes and a way to share the relevant details of your ceremony and reception with potential attendants. You can stick to wedding ideas or use the opportunity to share precious memories from your relationships with each of your friends.

4. Label Them: It doesn’t get much clearer than handing over a tank that spells out ‘bridesmaid’ in sparkling letters. This method also does double duty since it gives your ‘maids something fun to wear on the night of your bachelorette party.

5. Propose, Literally: Can bridesmaid jewelry come before the bridesmaid? Why not! A beautiful box, the perfect moment, and a gorgeous bridesmaid jewelry set can make that moment when you pop the question feel special. And who doesn’t like getting jewelry?

6. Bridesmaid in Bulk: If all of your besties live close to one another, gather every one of your gal pals for a fancy lunch and invite them all into the wedding party at once. Presuming everyone says yes, that lunch has just become your first pre-wedding party!

Image: Bethany from Rinse. Repeat.

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Will You Have an Attendants’ Dance?

While you may be busy picking out dresses and buying wedding jewelry for your bridesmaids, trying to coordinate shoe colors, and decide how you’ll handle your attendants’ hair and makeup on the morning of the wedding, have you stopped to think about your reception? Specifically, whether or not you’ll have an attendants’ dance where the bridesmaids dance with the groomsmen. It’s not something you see at every wedding, but it’s a wedding tradition that a lot of couples fall in love with. After all, what could be better – especially from a photographic perspective – than seeing your best friends dancing together?

Of course your attendants’ dance doesn’t have to be the awkward slow dance of yesteryear. Take it from us… we’ve been bridesmaids forced to dance with groomsmen who didn’t exactly float our boats and it didn’t make for happy wedding memories. This picture from Ciro Photography shows one half of what we think is a great alternative: The fast and fun attendants’ dance! You’ve probably seen choreographed reception dances on YouTube but that’s so 2009. We suggest just letting your bridal party get down with their bad selves, solo or in pairs, to a song that’s clean enough not to offend granny but sexy enough to put everyone in a dancing mood.

Are you planning on having your attendants cut a public rug at your reception?

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FAQ: Wedding Jewelry and Your Bridesmaids

Brides-to-be sure are busy! In addition to choosing their own wedding dresses and wedding jewelry – along with venues and vendors – they’re typically responsible for dressing their bridesmaids. And that includes choosing accessories! Here are just some of the questions brides-to-be have asked us in the past as they checked items off their wedding planning to-do lists:

Must my bridesmaids’ jewelry match?

Some brides like the harmonious look of bridesmaids in matching dresses, wedding jewelry, and shoes, while others like to mix things up a little. Or a lot! Just like you can choose to dress your ‘maids alike or not, it’s just fine to mix and match their wedding jewelry and shoes. We really love wedding jewelry that’s all in one color family, but subtly different so every bridesmaid looks like an individual.

Should my bridesmaids’ jewelry match my own?

We don’t recommend putting your ‘maids in matching jewelry, but their accessories should certainly harmonize with your own. That means if you’re wearing gold tone and pearls, for example, they should be, too.

Can I give wedding jewelry as a gift to my bridesmaids?

At this point, presenting your ‘maids with the jewelry they’ll wear on your wedding day is practically tradition. But unless you’re choosing something they’ll definitely wear again, think about giving each of your ‘maids something more personal in additional to wedding jewelry.

If I’m giving my bridesmaids wedding jewelry as their bridesmaid gifts, when should I present it?

If you’re asking your ‘maids to wear matching wedding jewelry and you want to give them said jewelry as a bridesmaid gift, give it to them before they buy accessories on their own. Often, the bride-to-be will give her bridesmaids gifts at a bridesmaids’ luncheon or rehearsal dinner, but consider presenting your ‘maids’ jewelry earlier.

Should my maid of honor get something special?

It’s up to you to decide whether you’d like your maid of honor to stand out or to blend in with the rest of your bridal party. Some brides choose a slightly different bridesmaids dress for their MOH, but wedding jewelry that’s a little bigger or flashier than the rest of the ‘maids are wearing can accomplish the same thing.

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Something Fun for Friday

Unless your wedding is this weekend, you’re probably spending inordinate amounts of time browsing wedding gown designers’ websites, looking at wedding jewelry, weighing the pros and cons of this or that reception site, thinking about your vows, and generally trying to stay sane while going out of your mind. So to take your mind off of the wedding planning stress, here’s a generally awesome wedding photo taken by Adam LeSage Photography:

Why do a lot of brides, grooms, and attendants love the gag pics? Funny photos like this one can be a great way to ease some of the wedding day stress you might be feeling – and the pressure that your whole wedding party may be feeling, too! Letting the tension out makes the rest of the day a lot more fun and can set the tone for the reception. We totally get that not every bride and groom will want to get crazy with their photogs, but if you’re on the fence about having a lightsaber duel we say why not go for it? Even if you aren’t in love with the resultant pic, you’ll probably still have a great time getting it!

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Have You Got Your Bridesmaids Covered?

Don’t you just love this pic?

It’s pretty clear to us that the bride and her bridesmaids are fun loving people who actually get along. Not like some bridal parties, where certain ‘maids were chosen out of obligation… or Friend A doesn’t get along with Friend B and Friend C doesn’t know anyone else so feels uncomfortable and left out.

We’re wondering what you are doing to help your bridal party feel comfortable, happy, and financially secure. Is that your job? Well, not really, but considering the amount of strife that can come up among bridesmaids – and strife translates into stress for you – so it makes sense to take a few steps to keep everyone smiling. We recommend helping everyone get to know one another with a luncheon or girls’ night out well in advance of the big day. If there’s bad blood between bridesmaids, make sure the offenders aren’t assigned to the same wedding planning tasks. And of course, take the pressure off by making the whole wedding less of a wallet drain.

Why not hook your girls up with some bridesmaid jewelry that’s going to make them smile? Preferably bridesmaid jewelry they can wear again – as in, something that’s not just going to take up space in jewelry boxes for two or three years until it gets tossed in the donation pile.

P.S. Just wanted to add that we found this hilarious wedding pic on Pinterest, uncredited. And we can’t read the watermark. And a Tineye search didn’t bring up any results. So if you know who took this photo, we’d love to know!

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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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Presenting Wedding Jewelry to Your Bridesmaids

Buying wedding jewelry for your bridesmaids should be a no-brainer. Even if it’s not your actual bridesmaids’ gift, presenting your ladies with wedding jewelry is doubly awesome. First, it ensures that everyone is coordinated on the big day. And second, it takes some of the financial stress of your ‘maids. Being a bridesmaid is expensive! Not as expensive as planning a wedding, but there are lots of costs involved. When you buy wedding jewelry for your bridesmaids, that’s one less thing they have to pay for to be there for you when you say your vows.

Now, we know that the wedding jewelry a bride chooses for her bridesmaids might not be exactly what they’d choose for themselves on any given day. And whether or not they’ll wear it again is really up to their circumstances – not everyone attends events that call for crystals, after all! This is why we recommend making packaging part of the fun! It’s always more festive to package a gift beautifully, and gifts that are packaged beautifully always seem more meaningful. It’s just a matter of you having taken the time to make your bridesmaids gifts look truly lovely. And of course, we have some suggestions!

DIY Gift Boxes: There are so many tutorials online that will help you make homemade DIY gift boxes for wedding jewelry out of stuff you already have around your house. Trust us, it’s easy once you get the hang of it. We thought our yellow chandelier earrings would look particularly nice in a homemade yellow gift box.

Fabric Gift Bags: Speaking of easy, if you sew, fabric gift bags are so – pun intended – simple to make. You can also buy them. They’re versatile, too, since it’s just as easy to make big or teeny tiny fabric gift bags for wedding jewelry as it is to make a single size. And they look great displayed. We filled ours with pink drop earrings and a simple pink rhinestone bracelet.

Gift Envelopes: With a sewing machine, making gift envelopes out of fabric or even craft paper is a snap. No pattern required! This option is naturally best when your wedding jewelry is somewhat, well, flat. We put our floral blue jewelry set in one and it was perfect.

Makeup Bags: When buying sounds like a better option than making, makeup bags do double duty. First, they hold wedding jewelry – like a black rhinestone bracelet, a wedding brooch, and black chandelier earrings – and then they hold your bridesmaids’ makeup on the big day and forever after. Any gift bag option is reusable, but this is one that will actually get used and we like that.

What are you giving your bridesmaids for all their help and support?

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Short vs. Long: How Does Your Wedding Day Look Stack Up?

Today we’re waging a battle of short versus long, and all kinds of wedding accessories – and a few dresses – are taking a stand. Speaking of stands, where do you stand in the battle of short against long? Yes, sometimes it depends on the dress, but personal preference can play a big part in the kind of bridal jewelry and accessories you choose. It may even influence how you dress your bridesmaids!

Whether you go short or long with your crystal bridal jewelry (or pearl set) may have less to do with preference and more to do with decolletage. A higher neckline necessitates a shorter necklace, and vice versa. Essentially, you don’t want to leave an expanse of real estate unadorned. Here, we pit our rhinestone floral choker against our stunning crystal drop jewelry set.

Short versus long in the earring world is often a matter of hairstyle. Updos almost cry for longer bridal earrings (like our Maria Theresa earrings) because they help draw attention to your graceful neckline. Shorter earrings, like the brushed gold dangle earrings, work amazingly well with half up/half down dos.

The old rule that the bridesmaids’ hem should match the bride’s is no longer an actual rule. It’s more like a guideline, and one meant to be broken. How do you like this Alfred Sung bridesmaid dress best? We like the abbreviated version, in case you were wondering!

Cage veil versus fingertip veil? Here’s where the bride’s preference matters more than anything. Yes, there are experts who will tell you that your dress and your ceremony venue *must* determine your veil length, but can we not-so-respectfully disagree? Wear the bridal veil that YOU like best, short or long!

Bridal gloves are an unusual choice these days, but still a classic and elegant look for the women who choose to wear them! Long bridal gloves – aka opera length bridal gloves – are more popular than their short cousins, but who knows! Maybe a short bridal glove is just what you’ve been searching for to go with your ballet length dress.

So where do you stand on the short versus long issue? How will your wedding day look stack up?

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Gifts for Bridesmaids: Give Your Girls the Gift of Bling

We’ll admit it… buying the perfect attendants gifts is hard. On top of everything else the bride-to-be has to do to plan an amazing wedding, suddenly she has to think about buying gifts for her best girls. We used to say, back when we were planning our weddings, that the practice of having to buy gifts for bridesmaids should be outlawed for the bride-to-be’s sanity. Then we realized we had the perfect solution at our fingertips! Goodbye, attendants gift stress. Hello, crystal bridesmaid jewelry!

After all, your favorite ladies in the whole wide world are already buying the bridesmaid dresses and the shoes. The least a bestie bride can do is pick up the tab for some sweet, perfectly coordinated wedding day bling for her girls.

Why are we such fans of crystal bridesmaid jewelry in particular? It’s all about the sparkle! And nothing says sparkle like genuine Swarovski crystals and Austrian rhinestones. With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite crystal bridesmaid jewelry sets and pieces that will get your gals smiling:

The Passion Crystal Jewelry Set makes a great gift for bridesmaids who are wearing anything that coordinates with red, blue, or soft lavender. This set, with it’s eye-catching drop and dazzling sparkle quotient is hand-crafted with a mixture of crystal beading and Swarovski crystals. The flower detail is subtle, but striking and the whole set catches the light in a most beautiful way. There’s even a matching tiara for those brides who want their bridesmaids to feel like princesses on the big day!

Turquoise is still hot everywhere we look, and we’re still in love with these delicate Swarovski Crystal Turquoise Drop Earrings. Three clusters of brilliant turquoise and topaz rhinestones are paired with a large Swarovski crystal that will catch the light whenever your bridesmaids move. You may be tempted to pair these earrings with white or turquoise bridesmaid dresses, but consider being daring and matching them with yellow bridesmaids dresses or even dresses in this year’s hot color, tangerine tango.

Remember the other day when we mentioned floral wedding jewelry? Here’s a prime example, in shades of classic topaz and gold. In this bridesmaid jewelry set, it’s not only the crystals that shine. Here, design plays a leading role alongside gems that give the whole look a lot of sparkle. Get this set for your bridesmaids gifts and your attendants will be rocking two trends at once!

Are you buying crystal bridesmaid jewelry as gifts for your bridesmaids or will you be letting your bridesmaids choose their own accessories for your wedding day?

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