11 Wedding Jewelry Dos and Don’ts

Guess what, ladies? March is Dos and Don’ts Month here at the USABride blog and naturally, we’re starting with wedding jewelry. We’d of course prefer that brides-to-be not think about their wedding jewelry and accessories in terms of mistakes to be made, but we all know that one bride who just didn’t hit the mark with her big day look.

Luckily, a little prep is all it takes to nail bridal beauty. It really is as easy as lunch hour research, and we’re here to help! First up is our 11 dos and don’ts for the bride-to-be who is ready to shop for the necklace, earrings, and bracelet she’ll wear when she goes from miss to missus.

  • DO give yourself plenty of time to find the perfect wedding jewelry. If you shop in a rush, you might not be happy with what you end up wearing on your wedding day and that’s the saddest thing we can think of.
  • DON’T limit yourself. We know, we know, all the guides say embrace your innate style, but a wedding should be a once in a lifetime event. Why not try a once in a lifetime look?
  • DO go big. For real, there is no reason not to let your wedding jewelry do the talking for your big day outfit. Think focal point, especially if you’re wearing a relatively simple gown. Think lots of sparkle. Think tiara if you really want to!
  • DON’T wear a watch. Seriously, just don’t. Even if it’s a watch that looks juuuust like a bracelet. You do not need to be anywhere on time once you are at your wedding, so don’t make it look like you’re on deadline. Wear a bridal bracelet instead.
  • DO make sure your jewelry coordinates with your bridal veil! While it might be tempting to collect pieces as you encounter them, you’ll look more beautiful on your wedding day if you think of your bridal ensemble as a unified whole.
  • DON’T wear a necklace with a wedding gown with an asymmetrical décolletage – let the neckline speak for itself.
  • DO consider wearing two sets of wedding jewelry. Something subtle and feminine for the ceremony and then something striking and shiny for the reception, for instance. If brides can change into a second gown, no one should look askance at a jewelry swaparoo.
  • DON’T go cheap. You know that we’ll never steer you toward breaking your budget, but we do suggest staying away from a certain mall chain that will sell you jewelry that looks okay for an hour or two… before turning your skin green.
  • DO look for pieces you can wear again. You may not find them and that’s okay, but there’s no reason not to think long term when you’re picking out wedding jewelry.
  • DON’T worry about whether your wedding ring matches your necklace and earrings. Your ring stands alone and shouldn’t dictate which finish you wear.
  • DO mix and match. Wedding jewelry sets are great – seriously, we adore them – but if you’re brave enough, think about letting the old maxim inspire you to mix old and new and borrowed, too.

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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A Quick Look at the Rarest of Pink Pearls

Pink pearls are a relative rarity, even today. While saltwater varieties of pearl-producing oyster can whip up pink pearls naturally and freshwater pearls can be dyed, you probably won’t find these in pink pearl wedding jewelry. The pink pearl produced by the Queen Conch, the Caribbean pink pearl, could be called the rarest of the rare. The animal itself, from which astounding flaming pink pearls originate, is pretty finicky. Only one near-perfect will be found among every hundred thousand shells. On top of that, the Queen Conch is officially a threatened species, so there aren’t even that many pearl producers in existence!

Every attempt to produce a cultured Queen Conch pearl has failed and so the only pink pearls of this variety are found the old fashioned way. That means that only a few thousand new Caribbean pink pearls make it out of the sea every year, and then only 15% of those are of a high enough quality to be used in jewelry. You can imagine that the price tag for these pearls is pretty steep!

Of course, the pink pearls we offer are the most exquisite cultured freshwater pearls and colored glass pearls versus natural pink pearls – which means every bride can wear pink if she wants to!


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Famous Brides Who Wore Pearls

Back in ancient Greece, people believed that when a bride wore pearl wedding jewelry that she would be guaranteed a happy marriage with very few tears. Correct or not, the tradition of brides wearing pearls as they say their vows dates back at least to this period in history! If you decide to pair your wedding dress with pearl bridal jewelry, let me just say you’ll be in good company. Here are some famous brides who picked pearls for their spotlight weddings:

When Queen Elizabeth II tied the knot with Prince Phillip, she wore a gown embellished with 10,000 miniature pearls imported from the US and a strand of classic pearls (a gift from her parents).

Jacqueline Kennedy’s stylish wedding ensemble featured a demure pearl choker that was surprisingly sedate considering she’s known for the triple strand necklace she made famous later.

1,500 pearls embellished the gorgeous Helen Rose wedding gown worn by Grace Kelly when she married Prince Rainier III. Her prayer book, carried in lieu of a bouquet, was also encrusted with pearls.

Gloria Vanderbilt married agent Pasquale DiCicco at only 17 years old! She naturally wore some of the pearls her notable family was famous for, including a girlish but practically perfect single strand of white pearls.

See? Like we said last week, if you’re wearing pearl wedding jewelry when you say your vows, you’re in very good (and very royal) company!


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Four Wedding Jewelry Trends for Summer 2013

We seriously can’t believe that we’re already halfway into the first month of 2013! But we are, so forward we go! And we decided the first thing we’re duty bound to do is make a few predictions about the year’s jewelry trends. This summer we expect you’ll be seeing a lot of wedding jewelry that could be described as fresh… striking… unique… and exciting. This is going to be a pretty amazing year!

Specifically, we bet you’ll be seeing more:

Floral Bridal Headbands – Pretty and feminine, floral bridal headbands are showing up on brides of all ages. Pair this look with a simpler wedding gown, lest you end up looking sickly sweet instead of just sweet.

Statement Colors – Crystal bridal jewelry will never go out of style, but 2013’s brides are going to be a lot braver when it comes to color than brides of years past. Look for bold, saturated colors on brides – think deep blues, royal purples, and brilliant black and silver.

Artisan Inspired Pieces – Whether that means the continuing popularity of all things vintage or jewelry that looks like it was created by your bestie who took that class that time, it’s all about that personalized, handmade look. Be original!

Chandelier Earrings: Big bridal earrings can give you that wow factor when you’re wearing a relatively plain wedding gown like a sheath. Just remember that these will always coordinate better with an updo than a half-and-half or long, flowing style.

What 2013 wedding jewelry trends are you excited about??


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A Little Sparkle to Ring in the New Year

Your wedding accessories don’t have to be the only thing that sparkles at your reception. As brilliantly as crystal wedding jewelry can catch candlelight, there’s nothing quite like letting guests fire up specialty sparklers at your after-dark affair.

And there’s more than one way to have fun with wedding sparklers.

Forget rice or birdseed… give guests sparklers tied up with ribbons or monogrammed paper packaging and let them see you off in striking style. Your exit photos will be amazing! Or skip the usual wedding cake topper in favor of sparklers surrounding something like this. Your cake cutting ceremony will be an unforgettable event all its own. Or plan ahead with your wedding photographer to use wedding sparklers to create a brilliant message in one or more of your pics.

Of course, you could just give out packets of signature sparklers as your wedding favor and let guests do what they will. Especially if you’re having your reception outdoors and there will be lots of older kids in attendance.

But no matter what you do with your wedding sparklers play it safe! Before you commit to wedding sparklers, make sure your venue allows them and doesn’t require any extra prep on your part. And only use sparklers in spaces where stray sparks won’t ignite anything flammable. Finally, designate someone like a bridesmaid or groomsmen to keep an eye on who is using sparklers and how they’re using them. We’ll go ahead and assume that everyone at your wedding will act responsibly, but you never know.

Happy New Year from all of us at USABride!


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Why Is Choosing Wedding Jewelry So Hard?

So you have the dress of your dreams – maybe it’s hanging in your closet in a museum quality garment bag or it’s waiting for you at the bridal salon for the day you come in for your first round of alterations. Your venue is booked, the officiant is on board, and you’re still under budget. Next up on your wedding planning to-do list is choosing wedding jewelry!

Simple, right? Except that every time you hit the shops or fire up your browser, you start feeling overwhelmed. And why not… there’s crystal wedding jewelry, pearl wedding jewelry, matched sets of gold wedding jewelry, solo single pieces, Swarovski crystals, hand cut Austrian rhinestones, and colored gems in every hue under the sun. And that’s before you even start thinking about styles of wedding jewelry.

That’s why we’ve made it our mission to make choosing wedding jewelry easy – or at least fun, even if having to say no is sometimes painful. Did you know that we have stylists on staff who can help you choose the perfect bridal accessories? We consulted them to get some pre-buy pointers brides-to-be can use to narrow down their choices.

Let Your Gown Do the Choosing

It’s pretty obvious that your wedding jewelry ought to be simpler if your gown looks like one of these:

And should be – or can be – more ornate if your gown looks like this:

Then there’s color to think about. Stark white gowns coordinate with certain jewelry, while cream and ivory and diamond and especially that lovely color known as rum pink will look best with other pieces. Not that there isn’t overlap in terms of what looks good with what, thank goodness! Still, always consider color.

Next up, necklines. A gown’s neckline can be the deciding factor when you’re trying to choose between two wedding jewelry sets. There are more options open to a bride wearing a dress with a plunging neckline than there are for brides whose necklines are riding high. Even earrings can clash with certain necklines – when in doubt, take your jewelry frontrunners for a dress up appointment with your gown to see how they look together.

But Your Gown’s Not the Only Thing

There are the other accessories in your bridal ensemble, of course, like the veil (if you’re wearing one) and also your hairstyle, which is super important when you’re picking out earrings. Face shape matters, too. And the formality level of your wedding may also play a role in your choice of wedding jewelry, though we’d never tell you not to go glam at an otherwise casual wedding! Finally, your first wedding jewelry buys may drive the next ones, since you want your necklace, earrings, and other accessories to harmonize with each other.

No matter what you do, though, NEVER wait until the last minute to buy your wedding jewelry. Give yourself plenty of time to pick your dress and do a little wedding planning before you even start thinking about jewelry so you’re not rushed. Rushing = stress, after all.


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Would You Have a Christmas Wedding?

Every year, around this time, wedding planning blogs and magazines will feature a Christmas wedding inspiration board. And we’re no exception! But in addition to sharing a little holiday wedding inspiration, we also want to pose a question. Namely, would you ever consider actually having a Christmas wedding? Possibly in December and Christmas themed or even on December 24th or 25th? It’s certainly not a popular choice for modern weddings for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which is that planning a Christmas wedding can be a bit complicated. But for brides and grooms who love this particular holiday, it can nonetheless be ideal.

So where do you stand? For anyone unsure, we’ve put together a pros and cons list to help those couples thinking about tying the knot around or on Christmas decide whether it’s worth it.

The pros of having a Christmas wedding:

  • If your guest list is limited to mostly family, a Christmastime wedding can be the ultimate dual-family holiday get together. No more worries about who gets you on Christmas day!
  • Choosing a wedding color scheme is easy. There’s always red, green, and white, but don’t forget mauve and gold or blue and silver.
  • Red bridesmaid dresses. Need we say more?
  • Winter is an off month in the wedding industry, so you may have access to some amazing deals. That may also mean popular venues have openings!
  • And speaking of venues, yours may already be decorated. But if not, check out our holiday wedding decorating ideas!

The cons of having a Christmas wedding:

  • There will always be guests who decline because their own celebrations will conflict with your wedding date or they don’t want to deal with the hassles of holiday travel.
  • Depending on where you’re saying your vows, the weather may be unpredictable. Your wedding probably won’t be snowed out, but it may keep some guests from attending.
  • Some vendors may be unavailable because they want to spend the holidays with their families, not at work.
  • You may end up feeling limited by your theme. A red crystal tiara might feel Christmas-y, but maybe you want to wear a more traditional veil. Could be you don’t care for poinsettias. (Remember, you can have a Christmas wedding that doesn’t scream CHRISTMAS!)

Pros and cons aside, it’s your wedding and if you love everything about Christmas, it can be a wonderful time to have a wedding. Put the aggravations of the season aside – they’re nothing you can’t overcome with a little money or a little effort. Having the wedding YOU want is always worth the trouble!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE WHOLE USABRIDE TEAM!


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Thinking Outside the Bridal Box

Planning a wedding shouldn’t be about following a script, though there are certainly plenty of scripts out there to follow. The traditionalist’s script, with pearl wedding jewelry and a sit-down reception banquet in a hall. The quirky script, with flip flops for guests and cake balls instead of something tiered. The destination wedding script, with sand, sand, and more sand. Go off script, and it’s easy to feel like you’re breaking the rules.

Simple things like choosing tarts over cake, or a bridal brooch over a sash, or getting married in your own backyard can stress out brides-to-be who worry that guests will criticize or even refuse to attend.

We’re not suggesting that kind of thing never happens. Some people are just grumpy and always looking for something to criticize. No bride can please everyone – especially not when you’re trying to bring two families with very different ideas and traditions together. And that’s if there aren’t also differences in culture or religion to contend with! Being that such is the case, why even try to please everyone?

If you’re the kind of bride-to-be who wants to think outside the bridal box when planning a wedding, do it. Get crazy. Take your guests camping. Jump in the deck pool in your wedding gown. Serve virgin mudslides instead of champagne. BBQ. Wear a mini dress or your grandmother’s dress or a biniki or a pants suit or jeans. Have your reception at Taco Bell. Make your parrot your flower girl. Whatever.

As for the stress that comes with thinking outside the bridal box, we say “Why worry?” After all, as much as we’re sure you want to please your guests, your wedding is your party. Make it a good one, whatever that means to you!


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What to Do About Unhelpful Bridesmaids

You chose your bridesmaids. You proposed, and they said yes. You bought each of them the bridesmaid jewelry you thought they’d love best. Now you’re relying on them to be your Gal Fridays in the months and weeks leading up to the wedding. Most of your bridesmaids have really risen to the challenge of gown shopping, assembling wedding favors, and helping you pick out the perfect flowers for your bridal bouquet. But one bridesmaid? Well, she’s slacking.

Not that you have ridiculously high expectations. You went into wedding planning knowing you didn’t want to be a bridezilla, and reading this very blog has taught you that bridesmaids can’t be forced to put in a hard day’s work. Still, you’re wondering what’s up since your bestie seemed super psyched when she accepted your invitation to be in your wedding party and opened the pretty little bag with her bridesmaid jewelry and bridesmaid gift.

We can’t explain what’s going on in her head, of course, but we can help you figure out what she’s thinking.

First, ask yourself if this particular bridesmaid is just extra busy and you’ve been so wrapped up in wedding planning that you haven’t noticed. Maybe she’s in med school. Maybe she’s finishing up a jewelry making course. Could be that she’s been taking care of a sick loved one or is swamped at work. Consider tactfully asking your absentee bridesmaid why she hasn’t been able to make it to your group wedding planning activities.

Then, consider whether you’ve been asking too much of your bridesmaids. Bridesmaid jewelry isn’t a payment for services rendered, and bridesmaids-to-be need their weekends, too. It’s easy to let your own enthusiasm for stuff like cake tasting overwhelm your good sense when it comes to overworking your best girlfriends. Be sensitive to the fact that they have lives, too, and to-dos they need to take care of.

Finally, if you’re getting a really unenthusiastic vibe from the bridesmaid in question, think about whether she might have accepted the position out of a sense of obligation rather than excitement. We’re not saying that she doesn’t want to be in your wedding but as hard as it is to believe, not everyone finds the experience of taking on the usual bridesmaid duties a laugh riot.

Here’s one last suggestion: cut your slacker bridesmaid some… well, slack. There are so many reasons that a bridesmaid might not make it to all the pre-wedding activities, and the vast majority of them have nothing to do with how said bridesmaid feels about the bride.


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Have You Seen Our Swarovski Collection?

Have you had a chance to check out our Swarovski Jewelry Collections yet? Though our fixed catalog of accessories for brides includes Swarovski crystal wedding jewelry, we now have a new dynamic, specially curated collection of Swarovski accessories designed for brides, bridesmaids, prom-goers, and party lovers, along with the Dareth Colburn Collection of more luxurious Swarovski crystal earrings and necklaces.

So what makes this particular Swarovski jewelry so exquisite? First, these pieces are handcrafted in the US to our exact specifications to ensure superior excellence and quality. Second, Swarovski crystals are incredibly brilliant, being precision cut using a proprietary process from a special type of mineral glass known for its superior luster. Third, we have paired Swarovski crystals with things like gorgeous freshwater pearls and the highest quality glass pearls. Finally, we consulted both brides and bridal stylists before choosing what to include in our new specialty collections to be sure we could toe the line between trendy and timeless.

We are so excited to introduce these new collections, which include necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and full wedding jewelry sets for a wide variety of budgets so all our customers have the opportunity to deck themselves out in luxurious Swarovski crystals!


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