A Buying Guide For Bridesmaid Jewelry

Bridesmaid jewelry is frequently given by brides to their ‘maids as a pre-wedding gift to invite them to share in her special day. It lets the bride coordinate her attendants’ looks and spares them the expense of having to buy jewelry to coordinate with their dresses. It’s considered almost mandatory at this point for brides who want their bridesmaids to match, to buy their gal pals’ jewelry sets.

There’s so much out there that some brides find it near impossible to choose. If you’ve been stressing out about your attendants’ jewelry, we have some pointers that will lower your wedding planning stress and beautifully complete your bridesmaids’ looks.  Here’s our guide for bridesmaid jewelry: 

Wedding Style:

Informal weddings call for less ornate jewelry, like single stone bridesmaid jewelry sets and delicate accessories. While larger, more formal affairs may warrant something more glamorous. It’s all about your preference, and what your girls will look best in!

USABride Bridesmaid Rhinestone Jewelry Set
(From left to right) USABride Jenna Rhinestone Jewelry Set,  CZ Pendant Jewelry Set)

Bridesmaid Dress Color:

Keep in mind that if you’ve fallen in love with a crystal jewelry set and the color isn’t an exact match, that’s okay! Ivory or champagne jewelry is neutral and works with almost all bridesmaid dress hues and is a little more exciting than colorless while still letting your wedding colors stand out.

USABride Champagne Blossom Bridesmaid Jewelry Set
(From left to right) USABride Champagne Blossom Jewelry Set, Carmen Pearl Jewelry Set

Time of Year:

Spring and summer weddings call for lighter colors and can be often inspired by nature. Our Pure Sparkle Jewelry Set would be a perfect set for spring or summer. Fall and winter weddings may call for slightly darker shades like chocolate, burgundy or even black. Our Jacqueline Jewelry Set with it’s darker hued crystals would be perfect for the colder seasons.

Bridesmaid Jewelry Sets
(From left to right) USABride Pure Sparkle Jewelry Set,  Jaqueline Jewelry Set

Do they have to wear all the same bridesmaid jewelry?

Perish the thought! Of course not! One trend we’ve seen and loved is each bridesmaid wearing different colors and styles of jewelry and shoes. Just try to make sure that the jewelry you choose features the same gem and overall style so there’s a unifying factor. What’s fun about mixing it up a little is that buying the bridesmaid gift is easy- everyone is technically getting the same thing- but you can choose colors and designs that reflect your bridesmaids’ personalities.

Bridesmaid Dresses and Jewelry

Here’s what we mean: Everyone has a friend who’s larger than life. She loves to have fun and is brilliantly boisterous. Think lots of sparkle to match her sparkly personality, like a rhinestone jewelry set thats big and bold or a chunky pearl choker that has edge. For the bridesmaid who is more reserved, think classic and traditional, like a single stone rhinestone necklace set or a traditional drop pearl set.

Good luck, and happy shopping!

Photo Sources: Pinterest/ USABride

Read more

Wedding Planning 101: When Opting Out Is A-OK

Every now and then, a planner working with an offbeat couple will suggest some alternative bridal accessory or wedding venue, and one or two (or more) well-meaning people will chime in to express the opinion that tradition ought to be kept in the traditional wedding for tradition’s sake. Or to ensure that no one is offended or confused. Or because that is simply how things are done.

When it comes to tradition for tradition’s sake, I would no more argue that there’s anything wrong with wanting a traditional wedding than I can argue that there’s anything wrong with untraditional weddings. And when it comes to “how things are done,” I can’t argue that, either.

alternative wedding ideas

What I can dispute is that straying from the traditional wedding format or wearing alternative bridal garb or serving a macrobiotic reception dinner a la Gwen P. is less than etiquette friendly because it will potentially offend or confuse someone, somewhere.

There’s a difference between what is truly offensive and what will simply offend certain people who are probably easily offended. Add to that the fact that what is offensive to some people/cultures/societies — e.g., anything from religious iconography to phallic statuary — will not always be offensive to all people/cultures/societies… and what you get is a lot of confused brides-to-be.

The good news is that the majority of the confusion I see (here, on forums, and in real life) involves relatively benign issues that at worst will cause temporary hurt feelings and at best won’t offend anyone at all. In fact, the answer to the question “What if I don’t follow this particular tradition/hire this type of vendor/wear this piece of clothing?” is often “Nothing at all!”

The most common opt-outs I see on wedding message boards are, in no particular order:

  • Not exchanging (or wearing) wedding rings
  • Saying no to being given away
  • Not having the parent-child dances
  • Not serving cake/alcohol/meat/etc. at the reception
  • Wearing anything other than a white or cream wedding gown
  • Choosing a non-religious ceremony
  • Spending less than the average for the locale
  • Forgoing best men, maids-of-honor, bridesmaids, and groomsmen
  • Not hiring a wedding band or wedding DJ
  • DIYing everything from arch to cake

What it comes down to is this: If your choices aren’t hurting anyone, aren’t in some way discourteous or overtly offensive, aren’t designed to purposefully exclude people, and aren’t dangerous or illegal, you’re probably okay. Furthermore, that which shocks is not automatically offensive (though that won’t excuse you from sideward glances) and confusion isn’t grounds for deeming something bad etiquette. Finally, context counts. A nude wedding at Burning Man? I’m going to guess pretty unoffensive. A nude wedding at grandma’s house? You risk putting the OH(NOSHEDIDN’T) in OHffensive.

In the end, be your own bride and your wedding will be beautiful.

Christa Terry is a wedding expert

Read more

Is the Garter Toss Passe?

And for that matter, is the bouquet toss now a tired tradition?

Here’s a fact: Brides are still carrying bouquets and wearing bridal garters, but more of those brides are holding onto their bouquets and keeping their bridal garters private. Personally, I spent so much time making my own bouquet – and a very good friend spent about five times as much time sewing my bridal garter – that I wasn’t about to toss either of them. That’s not the only reason that brides are electing not to include the bouquet toss and garter toss in their roster of wedding reception events, of course. Some brides and grooms are not comfortable with the subtext underlying the bouquet and bridal garter tosses, which implies that getting married is expected and necessary. Others don’t want to force single friends and relatives to out themselves. And still others just don’t want to be the center of attention in that way.

Who hasn’t attended at least one wedding were the groom removed the bridal garter with his teeth?

Of course, some brides and grooms love the bouquet toss and the garter toss, and we’re not going to criticize! It is harmless, when it comes right down to it, and for some people, it’s a lot of fun. However, we were curious to hear more about why brides-to-be are opting out so we scoured the web to find some answers. Here are some reasons brides are opting out of the garter toss:

“I don’t honestly know info behind the tradition of the garter, but there is no way in heck I’m going to let someone search up my skirt and remove something to toss into an audience of all of my family and friends, no matter how much I love him. Every time I see this at a wedding it seems so tacky, I cringe.”

“I hate the symbolism behind the garter toss! It started out as a way to prove to the bride’s family that the bride and groom were, er, consummating.”

“I am not doing a bouquet or garter toss. All of our friends are mostly married. We thought it would be better to skip this tradition then call out and embassy the small handful of single guests.”

“I’m not doing the garter because I dont really want my FH going up my dress in front of my parents…but we are keeeping the bouquet toss.”

“In the 1950’s when it first became common, the bride simply handed it to the groom when she returned to the reception hall after changing into her “going-away” dress. It wasn’t until the “liberated” seventies that people became jaded enough that they needed a little obscenity to add spice to a wedding. And you are quite right, that those little added “features” of the bump-and-grind; strip-hall music, and public exhibitionism are offensive in the extreme.”

“I am so not doing a bridal garter or bouquet toss. I think they are ridiculous, humiliating traditions. I am going to wear a garter, though. Just because I want to.”

Will your new spouse be tossing the bridal garter at the reception?

Read more

Outdoor Wedding Tips for the Fabulous Bride

Outdoor weddings are a recipe for chaos, right? Not necessarily! All it takes is a little wedding pre-planning on your part to make an outdoor wedding run every bit as smoothly as an indoor wedding. Here are a few tips that have helped those of us who decided to say “I do” and party down under the sky keep it together on the big day.

  • Think comfort, whether you’re choosing bridal shoes or guest amenities. Will there be easy access to bathrooms? How about shade if the weather will be on the hot side? Portable heaters can keep guests comfy in the fall. And don’t make guests wait around outside between the ceremony and reception unless you’re planning to have a well-stocked cocktail hour.
  • Have a backup plan. Rain happens, even in areas that are usually bone dry. Make sure there will be an alternate indoor location available or a tent at the ready in case of showers – or threatening grey skies.
  • Think in terms of unfussy style when you’re choosing a wedding dress and wedding jewelry. An elaborate pearl bridal comb paired with a simple sheath dress can look every bit as elegant as a wedding day look with more embellishment, but you’ll feel more comfortable out of doors.
  • As beautiful as Mother Nature’s creation is, most outdoor wedding venues can use a little sprucing up. Check sites like Pinterest for amazing wedding decor inspiration that will help you improve on nature. We love outdoor chandeliers, arches, and bunting, but there are literally thousands of ways to decorate outside.
  • Are the right permits in place? If you’re planning to say your vows in a park or on the beach, you may need to apply for permission from your city and play a small fee. Even if you feel sure that you won’t need a permit, we suggest taking a minute to call City Hall for complete instructions on how to have a legal wedding in a public space.
  • Make a list and check it twice. While couples like to think of outdoor weddings as casual and easy, they can also mean having to coordinate more of the details yourself. Like trashcans. Tables and chairs. A dance floor rental. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before deciding to get hitched outdoors, then double check to make sure you understand exactly what you need.

Are you planning an outdoor wedding?

Read more

The USABride Guide to Honeymoon Style, Part I

Honeymoon style? How can you think about honeymoon style when you’re planning a wedding? We totally get it. You’re busy. Your bridesmaids are busy. That lace bridal veil isn’t going to choose itself. There are reservations to be made, shoes to be broken in. Being a bride-to-be is a lot of work! But hear us out… your honeymoon may be the first real vacation you ever take with your sweetie. If not, it will be the first you take as spouses! When you’re on your honeymoon, everyone around you is going to know it. (Which you want because, hello, freebies.) Don’t you want to look the part?

Consider yourself lucky that dressing for your honeymoon is largely guided by climate and not convention. Brides sometimes freeze their shoulders off. Honeymooners? Dress for the weather. Ultimately the temperature of your honeymoon destination is going to determine what you wear, clothing-wise. As for your post-bridal accessories and post-bridal jewelry? That’s all up in the air and, even better, all up to you! Casual is cool, formal can be fun – there’s nothing and no one to tell you how to dress on a honeymoon.

Which doesn’t mean we don’t want to make at least a few recommendations for your honeymoon style, especially where jewelry and accessories are concerned!

First, putting a flower in your hair like the Andalusian girls used to do is the ultimate in honeymoon style. If you’re going tropical, that is. The classic hair flower doesn’t work quite as well if you’re hitting the slopes post-wedding. In that case? Buy and wear a flowered snowboard helmet – better chic and safe than sorry.

We know that right now you’re experiencing one of the most joyful – and stressful – periods in your life. You’ll probably never plan another party on this scale again… don’t you deserve a little something pretty that’s just for you? Like maybe a gold bracelet that will go with everything in your honeymoon suitcase? We think you do, and hey, we’re experts!

Next, it’s time to think about a night on the town. It’s your honeymoon! It’s time to celebrate! Soon enough, the doldrums of real life will be knocking at your door. For just a little while at least, you should be wearing chiffon dresses and carrying a tiny red satin clutch and walking tall in rouge satin shoes (these are from Nina).

Finally, maybe you’re not going anywhere warm for your honeymoon, but we do hope you’ll be going somewhere with an indoor swimming pool at the very least. In which case, a white tankini can be accessorized like crazy. We paired it with black crystal drop earrings and an amazing statement ring that will have people staring at your hands and wondering just where you got it.

Happy honeymooning!

Read more

Lela Rose Bridesmaid Dresses: Shining Star for 2011

Lela Rose Bridesmaid Dresses were certainly some of the hottest styles for 2011. I think brides really liked the soft, romantic look with her signature "rose" detailing. Lela Rose Bridesmaid Dresses combine elements from her signature fashion collection such as layered crinkle chiffon and pleated cotton faille.