8 Things NOT to Do Before Your Wedding

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:

drunkgirl

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.

17-Ways-to-Screw-Up-Your-Wedding-Day-5

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.


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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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The Skinny on CZ, Rhinestones, and Swarovski Crystals

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!

Rhinestones

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.

swarovski crystal tiara

Glass Crystal

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

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.

CZ wedding jewelry 2

CZ

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?


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Remember, Wedding Trends Change Slowly

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.

wedding fashion changes quickly - bridal accessories

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!


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Crystals and Pearls: A Perfect Combo

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!


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Wedding Planning Tips: Prioritizing Versus Economizing

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…)

pearl wedding jewelry

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

Wedding-Planning

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!


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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.

blue-and-yellow-inspiration-board-wedding

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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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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Five Ways to Rock That Something Blue

Stymied when it comes to your Something Blue? You’re not alone! While it’s perfectly fine to get married without the old and the new and the borrowed and yes, the blue, most brides-to-be find themselves scratching their heads when it comes to finding all four. Do you borrow your gram’s wedding jewelry? Does your wedding gown count? Is it all right to tell your MIL and your mom that, no, you’d rather not wear a bracelet on each wrist, but thanks anyway? That last one is up to you – we’re not touching it. But we do have five Something Blue ideas to help you in your search!

Blue wedding shoes are the darling of brides who want to add a little color without going crazy. And we love it because it’s so exciting to catch a glimpse of a splash of blue peeking out from under a lacey hem.

blue_wedding_shoes - wedding jewelry

Shoes still too much? A blue bridal garter will only make an appearance once during the reception – that is, if you plan to do the garter toss, which many modern brides specifically do not do. (True story: One of our bloggers didn’t toss, so went around giving everyone free peeks of her Something Blue.)

Some brides opt for blue earrings, which are noticeable but not overwhelming when they’re the only color in the wedding day ensemble. We love these, but what’s not to love? (Of course, there’s plenty of blue wedding jewelry to choose from!)

bridal bracelet - something blue

A blue sapphire engagement ring may be trendy thanks in part to certain royals who shall go unnamed but there’s actually scads of tradition to support picking sapphires over diamonds. These gems have been linked with fidelity and engagements since the 1700s at least.

On the flip side, there is the blue wedding dress. Not an option chosen by most brides, we admit. But still, we’re kind of in love with the thought of a deep blue gown on the bride and bridesmaids all in white. Very quirky and fun.

What’s your Something Blue?


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Earrings and Hair: A Love Affair

Have you ever wondered how some brides look so put together and other brides look a little, well, discombobulated? As if all the pieces aren’t fitting together quite right, we mean. Usually, that’s a symptom of a bride who didn’t bother to think about how her wedding accessories and her gown and her bridal hairstyle and her makeup would work together – or not – on her big day. Look, it’s not easy. Most brides-to-be have never had to worry about styling themselves for a formal event past prom, and prom was a lot simpler.

bridal earrings - wedding jewelry

Luckily, we’re here to help, and this week we wanted to share a few tips for choosing bridal earrings that will make a hairstyle shine (and vice versa):

  • Ideally, you’ll have checked accessory shopping off your wedding planning to-do list before you go to your hair trial with your stylist so she or he can style around your jewelry, head piece, and veil.
  • Your bridal earrings and your wedding day hairstyle should complement one another. If they’re competing for your guests’ attention, the whole look you’ve worked so hard to create is going to seem ‘off’.
  • Remember, some earrings are meant to be seen. If you’re wearing an elaborate hairstyle that has tendrils falling over tendrils or an otherwise soft, loose style, choose gem or pearl studs because chandelier earrings are just going to get lost in your locks.
  • Subtle doesn’t have to mean small when it comes to earrings. If your bridal earrings are subtle and larger than the average earring, your ‘do needs to be prim and polished. Conversely, flashy complements flashy.
  • It’s all about volume. A huge hairstyle is just crying out for a big, bold pair of earrings, so pick yours accordingly.
  • Statement earrings are totally hot but not at all right for every bride (or every bridal hairstyle). If you don’t like the way you look in what the fahsionistas tell you is a must-have, feel free to ignore their advice. You’ll feel more beautiful on your wedding day if YOU like the way you look.


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