SO you’ve found a dress – or batch of bridesmaids’ dresses – that looks amazing on everyone from your best bestie to your big sister. Your ‘maids LOVE it. But if you think your work is done, think again. (Sorry, ladies.) Now it’s time to accessorize that perfect gown with some bridesmaid jewelry. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
Let the Dress Be Your Guide
You likely already know that necklaces should not hang down past necklines and bracelets seldom harmonize well with long sleeves, but the overall fanciness and style of your bridesmaids’ dresses can also help you choose jewelry and accessories. Very formal bridesmaids dresses demand bigger, bolder baubles.
Think of the Photos
Very ornate bridesmaid jewelry may not photograph particularly well when worn by a flock of identically dressed ‘maids. Some jewelry will look better in low light or candlelight while other pieces shine brightest in natural daylight.
Give Them a Little Freedom
Even if you don’t want to choose bridesmaid jewelry, you still have the final say when it comes to what your ladies will be wearing on your big day. You can dictate parameters. Crystal bridesmaid jewelry. A pearl wedding jewelry set. Colored bridesmaid jewelry. It’s your call, and having a few boundaries may actually make it easier for your bridesmaids to shop for their own accessories.
Keep It Simple
If you want to, that is. Bright dresses with something simple like a pair of understated stud earrings and a simple drop pendant necklace can make the bride, with her more ornate accessories, pop. Especially in the pictures. Bridesmaid jewelry can be barely there and still be impactful.
Or Go Big
Sometimes more is more, and your wedding day is not the day to stay small because you’re afraid of being too flashy. Flash away and let your bridesmaids do the same with big CZ sets or striking vintage look pieces that really stand out.
Make It a Gift
Your bridesmaids’ jewelry can be the gifts you give them to thank them for being a part of your big day, but in that case do your ladies a solid and choose something they can wear again (even if only for big events). They’ll appreciate not having yet another bridesmaids expense and you don’t have to worry about their jewelry. It’s win-win!
Are you letting your bridesmaids choose their own accessories or are you choosing for them?
You’ve got the perfect dress and an amazing pair of bridal shoes and one-of-a-kind wedding jewelry
for your big day. The venue is booked and your photog is saving the date. You’ve even chosen cake flavors. Your big day is approaching fast and you feel ready. But are you? Could you be forgetting something like, I don’t know, the legal stuff?
Putting a ring on it is all well and good but if your goal is to make legal you need to do the legwork. The requirements vary somewhat by state and the easiest way to find out what you need to do to take getting married all the way is by calling city hall. Since I’m not covering all 50 states’ rules, I can only give you the basics as outlined here. When you need to know more CALL CITY HALL. Seriously, they will give you the on the ground local skinny.
The General Requirements
You need to bring ID. In most states, that means an up-to-date driver’s license. Or your passport. You’ll probably also need to know your social security number but won’t be required to show your card.
You won’t run up against residency requirements when you’re applying for a marriage license anywhere in the US. Except… In some counties or states, non-residents cannot obtain a marriage license if the marriage would be void in their home state. If you’re one half of a gay couple, keep this in mind.
No Blood Tests
While the pre-marital blood test still shows up in some movies, very few states actually require couples planning to get hitched to also get pricked. No US state requires a physical.
The Waiting Game
Don’t wait too long to go to city hall and grab a license if you’re getting married anywhere that’s not close to home! In some states, there is a waiting period so you’ll have to apply this or that many days before the ceremony.
There are a handful of states that require couples to include specific wording in their wedding vows. But don’t worry, none of them include “…and obey.”
There are some states where you can get around the waiting period or get a discount on the cost of the license by having taken a pre-marital counseling course. This usually applies only to local couples, though.
‘I do’ and Done
Your officiant, not you, will be responsible for submitting the completed marriage license to the county where you applied. A copy of your marriage certificate may be sent to you or you may have to order it once it has been processed.
Most marriage licenses are only valid for 30-60 days after you file your application. Wait to long and it could turn out that your vows aren’t actually binding, yikes!
Your Age, Please
Every state has its own rules about how old you need to be to get hitched. In many the minimum age is probably a lot younger than you’d think, so I doubt you’ll have any issues here. Your license or passport will serve as proof of age.
You’ll need to prove it when you apply. Forget this vital step and your marriage could be null and void!
And Bring Your Checkbook
The fee to file a marriage license application will vary considerably from place to place. Many county registrar offices do not accept credit cards so to be safe, bring your checkbook or cash.
Wedding planning guides like mine spend a lot of time telling brides-to-be what they SHOULD be doing. I thought it might be fun to share some wedding planning DON’Ts for once! Here are :
1. It’s your day, yes, but please do not justify being a brat by telling everyone that it’s your day. It’s also your SO’s day and your family’s day and even to some extent your guests’ day since after getting hitched the secondary objective of a wedding should be showing people a good time.
2. Do not leave buying bridal accessories until the very last minute. Once you have your wedding gown, give yourself some time to try out different wedding jewelry, shoes, and headpieces. Many stores have amazing return policies – but it only works if you have enough time to place an order, wait for shipping, try it on, and send it back before doing it all again if necessary.
3. Do not tan. By now you surely know how unhealthy tanning can be, and fake tans are getting better and better anyway. Especially do not go tanning, outside or at a salon, a few days before or the day before your wedding. There is always the chance you’ll bake just a touch too long and end up resembling a cooked lobster. Not a good bridal look!
4. Do not go on a bender – intentional or not – the night before your wedding. A few glasses of wine with dinner is totally okay, but too many brides have a little too much after eating far too little because of nerves or a last ditch diet. Trust me when I say you do not want to be even a little hungover when you say your vows. And there’s this, too:
5. Speaking of bridal diets, do not diet yourself into exhaustion in the weeks leading up to your wedding. Your gown will be a certain size and then altered to fit your body perfectly. Lose too much weight and you’ll be swimming in what would have been an amazing dress tailored just for you.
6. Do not, if at all possible, hold the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. Typically these turn into family and friend reunions, and so can go late and get crazy. Ideally you want to get a good night’s sleep the evening before your wedding day and having a party the night before is not the way to do that.
7. Do not assume you have all the time in the world to make reservations or confirm with vendors. Wedding planning timelines exist for a good reason: planning what is essentially a giant party complete with themed décor and multiple courses of refreshments and (sometimes) a full bar isn’t easy. That’s why for some it really is a full-time job.
8. Do not lose sight of what really matters. It’s easy to get so completely wrapped up in planning a wedding that you forget to spend time with your SO. Sometimes one half of a couple is excited about the prep – and sometimes it falls on just one person’s shoulders. Either way, be sure to make time for each other… time that does not include looking at fabric swatches and asking vendors for estimates.
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?
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.
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.
Orange-loving brides-to-be, rejoice! Whether or not your favorite shade of this color is trendy at any given time, your attraction to orange says a lot about you – and just about everything it says is good.
For instance, brides who lean toward shades of orange when choosing either a wedding color palette or wedding jewelry tend to be vibrant, spontaneous, energetic, and bold. There’s no denying that this is a happy color, and that mood is reflected in the personalities of the people who love it.
So how should you use orange in your wedding planning?
First, it helps to know that most brides-to-be choose not only a dominant color – seen in wedding invitations, bridesmaids’ dresses, and flowers, but also a secondary color – found in tablescapes, bridesmaid accessories, and some décor – and sometimes also an accent color – which serves to highlight your one or two main colors.
Next, consider the mood you’re trying to set. Do you envision your wedding being bright and happy or rich, spicy, and exotic? Lighthearted or serious? Warm or cool? This will help you choose just the right shade of orange, and may also help you figure out whether you want orange to be your primary wedding color or your secondary or accent color.
Finally, if your primary wedding color will be orange then it’s time to pick the colors that will complement it. White is a no-brainer. Eggplant may be harder to imagine but hop onto Pinterest and you’ll see plenty of gorg orange and eggplant pairings. Pink and yellow are fun and flirty, if obvious, choices. Sea foam green, on the other hand, is a little daring. Black and white or gray and white make a classic palette. And orange plus brown is evocative of all things fall.
However you use orange in your wedding color scheme, have fun with it! Considering your love of this versatile color, we’ve not a doubt in the world that you will.
Shopping for wedding jewelry and bridal accessories and gowns and shoes can be just a little confusing. There are sometimes so many options in front of brides-to-be that it’s easier just to step away from the computer and think about something else. We get it. We really do. But we also spend so much time curating our inventory of wedding jewelry that we tend to forget how overwhelming it is.
Looking through a page of 50 wedding jewlery sets is fun – bump that up to 150 sets and suddenly it’s more than a little tedious. There’s nothing wrong with options, sure, but how do you even start narrowing it down? By color? By style? Or how about by gem? Even that can be tres confusing because again, there are so many options.
That’s why we want to help you narrow down what you want. We can’t choose your wedding jewelry for you, but we can give you the knowledge you need to make an amazing choice yourself! So let’s talk about stones. Specifically, cubic zirconia, crystals, and rhinestones – how they’re the same, how they’re different, and when you should wear which!
The Rhine is a river than runs through Germany, and rhinestones are so named because the original sparkling diamond lookalikes were cut from the rock crystals gathered along the river. Now most rhinestones are made of hardened glass that is hand cut like diamonds and coated at the base with a mirror-like finish that enhances the sparkle of the individual facets. Aurora Borealis rhinestones were first created by Swarovski are coated with a metallic glaze that turns ordinary rhinestones into iridescent jewels.
These gems are created from a mixture of glass and lead – without the lead, glass crystals wouldn’t have the same ability to catch the light. Clear or colored, a crystal’s radiance will be determined by the lead content, the quality of the glass, the ability of the cutter, and the placement of the individual facets. Glass crystal can be cut into beads or like gems, and then used like rhinestones.
Swarovski crystals are precision cut glass beads made with a top secret recipe of natural minerals, metals, and quartz. They were first created in 1892 in Austria when Daniel Swarovski invented a new kind of crystal cutting machine that allowed cutters to create quality cuts like never before. Because of their unique composition, Swarovski crystals are incredibly brilliant and are uniformly clear all the way through. Fun fact: The facets on Swarovski crystal always meet at a single point.
These are true simulated diamonds that possess a clarity and brilliance close to that of the gems they imitate. Cubic zirconia is a man-made gem produced by applying huge amounts of pressure to carbon and other elements – essentially copying a process that takes nature eons to complete. Dyes can be added to the mix to give CZ gems color, but whether clear or colored, cubic zirconia is most beautiful when cut by an expert and mounted in an open-backed setting.
Are you leaning toward CZ wedding jewelry that will mimic the look of true diamonds or a more playful crystal wedding jewlery set?
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.
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!
Wedding trends come and go in waves. One year brides all seem to be wearing crystal wedding jewelry and the next they’re just crazy for pearls. Part of why we keep such a big stock in house is that we want to please not only the brides-to-be who follow the trends, but also the ones who follow their hearts. Crystals or pearls – to us it’s all gorgeous.
Last year, sparkle was in. Now we’re seeing more pearl wedding jewelry and accessories fly off the shelves… but not just pearls upon pearls upon pearls. These days, brides are choosing headpieces and jewelry sets that bring all that sparkle to the table with just a hint of shine. A little bit of pearl and a lot of crystal. The best of both worlds!
This combo is amazing for any bride-to-be who wants all the sophistication of pearls and the brilliance of crystals.
As for how to wear crystal and pearl wedding jewelry (or carry it if you’re going to be blinging up your bouquet), that’s up to you. My online guideline would be to let your gown be your guide if you’re wearing a wedding dress that has crystal and pearl embellishments. Are there more crystals than pearls worked into your embroidery – or vice versa? Then try to find jewelry and accessories with the same ratio of one to the other.
Here are three of the crystal and pearl pieces that are moving off our shelves like crazy right now:
This silver plated bridal bracelet has the perfect balance of gorgeous white pearls and crystals in a floral vine detailing that’s amazing on brides or bridesmaids.
This spectacular pearl wedding jewelry set is hand crafted with genuine Austrian crystals accented with delicate soft white faux pearls.
What’s not to love about this beautiful bridal hair comb embellished with sparkling rhinestones, Swarovski crystals and pearl accents?
Never think you have to choose between crystals or pearls… double up!
When it comes to wedding planning on a budget, trying to get the ceremony and reception you want can feel like a second job. You’re hunting down deals. You’re bargaining with vendors. Looking for steals that look like splurges. It is, we know, a lot of work for the bride-to-be who has caviar dreams with a canned tuna bank balance. It’s a big part of why we sell beautiful wedding jewelry at prices every bride can be happy with – we think you deserve to look beautiful no matter what.
(You’re already beautiful, of course – you know what we mean…)
But anyway, back to point. We have a secret to share. You can get what you want – the best version of it – by giving up the things you don’t care about. Or you get the whole package, everything and anything for your wedding, by lowering your expectations just a little bit.
Maybe that means working up DIY baby’s breath centerpieces instead of decorating tables with professionally arranged roses. Or wearing simple glass pearl wedding jewelry instead of shelling out for the real deal. A classic outdoor ceremony in your nearest public park instead of the high profile house of worship with its supposedly optional “donation.” Or maybe it means cutting back nearly everywhere except for your clothes and accessories so you can hire a kickass photographer. There is no right way or wrong way to plan a wedding.
Some wedding planning truths:
- · Cheapest does not mean best
- · Neither does most expensive
- · Sometimes prioritizing means giving something up so you don’t have to deprive yourself
- · Sometimes budgeting means not having to prioritize
Things you do not need for your wedding:
- · Wedding favors
- · Ceremony programs
- · Alcohol at the reception (no kidding)
- · Live musicians
- · A big white wedding dress
- · A tiered cake
- · Five different inserts in your wedding invitation
- · Anything that isn’t you, your honey-bunny, an officiant, and some witnesses (if your state requires them)
Basically, you can prioritize. Or you can budget. Or you can do both, but you don’t have to. If you plan your wedding thoughtfully, you can get the wedding you want without breaking the bank and love every minute. Promise!
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.
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!