How Far Should You Take Your Wedding Theme

Most brides-to-be at the very least explore the idea of having a theme wedding, but the whole idea of a wedding them has gotten a bad rap. A bride that has a vintage wedding theme complete with old fashioned Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry, antique lace, wedding fruit cake just like great grandma had, and retro menswear, plus an old Model T and all the trimmings of 1920 is somewhat unusual.

If anything, more brides (and their partners) integrate themed elements into their ceremonies and receptions without going whole hog. Wedding themes can seem a little scary when some of the examples of theme weddings out there are a little… déclassé. We’d caution that the overwhelming number of rather silly ideas for theme weddings on wedding planning sites shouldn’t get in your way of wanting to have an awesome ceremony and reception that fall outside of the norm!

As far as theme weddings go, there are two ways to handle integrating a theme into your ceremony and reception, and we’ll describe both here.

Taking a Wedding Theme All the Way

Wearing great grandma’s bridal jewelry isn’t enough? Or maybe vintage isn’t for you and you’re currently hunting down Doctor Who memorabilia and a Tardis. Possibly a nautical theme? The theme itself doesn’t matter as much as your willingness to put the time and effort into building upon it when you’re going all the way with your wedding theme. The thing about planning a wedding around a theme is that it can take longer than planning a wedding where the theme is, well, getting married. It can be more expensive, too, especially if your theme will require you to buy a lot of specialty items – or have decor and clothing custom made. So before deciding on a theme wedding, consider your budget! And ruminate on the fact that theme weddings often work best when both halves of the couple are equally enamored by the theme.

A Wedding Theme of Subtle Touches

If the time and commitment required for a in depth theme wedding seem like too much effort and expense or you and your sweetie can’t agree on a theme, consider integrating details from the theme that resonates with you into your ceremony and reception without going all the way. For example, many brides and grooms will have subtly themed wedding favors or songs that relate to a theme that’s close to their hearts without dressing up like pirates or having a Fourth of July wedding cake. Having a themey touch here and there can be a lot more budget-friendly and a lot less jarring for those friends and relatives who might otherwise be confused as to why they’re suddenly entering the world of My Little Pony – hey, it could happen – when they expected to be at a wedding.

Shown: gold chandelier bridal earrings; pearl and rhinestone bracelet

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Fab Bridal Finds for Under $100

Wedding budgets at the worst, right? First, folks like us tempt you to think in terms of the sky being the limit, then money matters drag your fantasy wedding right back down to earth. Sorry about that! It’s easy for us, who are just dreaming and have the freedom to build the ultimate any price wedding from the ground up, to suggest gobs of Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry and a sit down dinner for 300 when we’re not the ones paying for it. To apologize for any unrealistic expectations we may have put into anyone’s heads, we wanted to give our budget brides-to-be a little present in the form a post with lots of fun wedding gear and accessories – all for under $100!

The first rule of saving money? DIY! Putting together a simple bridal bouquet with a single blossom is easy – just add ribbon and a rhinestone hair pin. Make some for your bridesmaids, while you’re at it!

A Russian tulle vintage cage veil with feather hat? Yes! It’s the perfect complement to retro fun and flirty wedding dresses.

We love these modern floral ring pillows from Seizen. They’re a great antidote to all of the plain poly satin ring pillows lurking behind every bridal corner.

Edible wedding centerpieces? Why not! We’ve seen amazing things done with fruit and veggies – just find the produce that matches your wedding colors and find a friend to help you DIY!

Our Naomi Pearl & Swarovski crystal bridal earrings pair beautifully with simple wedding dresses and gowns that are a little more elaborate.

Betsey Johnson Betseyville pumps in black and white make a great bridal accessory for the bride who wants to wear something a little bit different underneath her wedding dress.

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What Kind of Brides Wear Bridal Tiaras?

We’ve had so many of our bridal clients come to us cautiously looking for the perfect bridal tiara that we eventually had to ask ourselves why there were so many tentative shoppers out there. When we dug a little, it turned out that a lot of brides-to-be were worried about looking overdone or over-the-top and feared that the drama of a, say, Swarovski crystal bridal tiara would make them look stuck up rather than elegant. The good news is that nothing could be further from the truth! Today’s bridal tiaras are every bit as sophisticated as bridal hair brooches and pins – and not, we’d like to point out, trying to be the crown jewels.

In fact, a bridal tiara can be a perfect accompaniment to a bride’s overall wedding day look, harmonizing fabulously with her bridal jewelry, gown, and shoes. Can a tiara stand out and play a starring role in wedding day attire? Absolutely, if that’s what the bride wants. Most brides who choose tiaras, however, aren’t looking for something queenly so much as something that will show off their beautiful hairstyles and in many cases, a simple veil. And tiaras are a great way to do just that while also being easier for many brides to wear than clips or hair pins.

If you’re a bride-to-be and you’re not wholly sold on bridal tiaras just yet, keep these 5 tiara buying tips in mind:

1. Buying a bridal tiara may be more complicated than finding something you like and clicking ‘purchase’. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time for exchanges, just in case.

2. Consider your hair length, your anticipated wedding day hairstyle, and how difficult a given tiara will be to secure in place through your ceremony and reception.

3. Your face shape matters, so look for guides that will help you choose a bridal tiara that looks beautiful on you.

4. Tiaras come in different heights, so consider how much height you want to add to your wedding day look when choosing a tiara.

5. Don’t forget your dress! Tiaras come in so many styles, colors, and metals, so be sure that the tiara you choose complements your wedding gown instead of competing with it.

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Brides: Wear What YOU Love, Not What Someone Else Likes Best

As a bride, everywhere you look, someone is telling you what to do. And it’s not just the magazines and wedding planning websites, either. In addition to the pressure to be trendy or to DIY your wedding to the nines, we’re guessing you have well-intentioned friends and relatives who are offering up unsolicited advice left and right. The big ones? Are usually that brides have to wear white… that bridesmaids have to match… that you have to serve cake… have a wedding DJ… wear high heels and a bridal jewelry set… toss the bouquet… There are plenty more. We could probably spend the next hour listing off the “musts” that poor brides-to-be have thrust upon them as soon as they start wedding planning. It can get irritating – or disheartening, depending on whether you were excited to buck the trends or you simply were trying to cut down on costs.

Here’s the thing, though. There are only a few real “musts” in the wedding planning world. You must speak your vows in whatever way is required in your state. You must feed and entertain your wedding guests – if, that is, you’re having guests at your wedding. And that’s about it. Wedding favors? Not necessary. Cake? It’s up to you. An iPod can stand in for your DJ if you really want it to. There’s no rule saying you have to have a sit down meal at your reception.

Brides, as it turns out, actually have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to what they “must” do, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. For every bride who wants to wear Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry there’s a bride who wants to wear a simple veil and no other accessories. Most brides still choose white, but we’ve been to many weddings where the bride walked down the aisle in red, purple, green, or even black – and saved a bundle of money as a consequence. Matching bridesmaids? Only necessary if you like that look! Some brides choose a color and let their bridesmaids choose the dress. Others choose a pattern (see above) and go from there.

The point is that there is more than one way to have a wedding, regardless of what the magazines and wedding planning websites would have you believe. As a bride, you should wear what you love, not what someone else likes best or what some expert tells you is proper. Do we offer recommendations? Of course, and we do it weekly! But we’d much rather know that you’re standing at the altar feeling comfortable and beautiful than be the ones to pick your colors, your bridesmaids’ dresses, and your jewelry.

Because, bride-to-be, that’s your job! If anyone tries to tell you any different, feel free to thank them for their input and then disregard that input entirely.

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Let Your Wedding Jewelry Style Be Your Guide

What is it about weddings that makes people feel like they have the right to chime in with any old opinion? You may have noticed that everyone and their mother has something to say about your wedding colors, your cake flavors, or your venue.

In some cases, it pays to listen. If your cousin was married at that cute little chapel in the next town and tells you that the AC broke halfway through her summer ceremony and the minister asked some very inappropriate questions beforehand, consider looking elsewhere. But when it comes to your wedding dress, bridal shoes, and wedding jewelry, you shouldn’t feel obligated to listen to the opinions coming from all corners.

Why? Because you are the one who will actually be wearing your wedding dress, bridal shoes, and wedding jewelry. Almost every other element of your wedding is shared. Your guests will spend time in your ceremony space and eat the same food you eat at the reception. The cake you cut will almost always be the cake everyone eats. The favors will hopefully go home with the majority of guests. The decorations will be enjoyed by friends and family alike.

But again, you are the only one – we assume – who will slip into your wedding dress, bridal shoes, and wedding jewelry. As much as you value your mom’s input or your bestie’s suggestions, you’ll be most lovely in your chosen dress and accessories when you’re comfortable. Bridal earrings that feel too heavy will make you self-conscious. A dress that pinches or weighs you down will lessen your enjoyment of one of the happiest days of your life. A bridal headpiece that gives you a headache? Don’t even try to suffer through it, no matter how amazing it is. Shoes that are too tight? Hobbling is never beautiful!

As you plan your wedding, be gracious. Listen to the opinions – and know that they come from the best possible place. But don’t ever feel obligated to let someone else’s ideas about your wedding dress, bridal shoes, and wedding jewelry determine what you’ll wear as you say your vows. On your wedding day, you should look and feel like yourself – and that means looking and feeling your best.

How much weight are you giving others’ opinions about your big day?

Shown: The Bella ribbon bridal headband

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Know Your Wedding Jewelry: 4 Facts About Swarovski Crystal

Did you know that we carry a range of Swarovski crystal wedding jewelry? Our new Dareth Colburn collection features genuine Swarovski ELEMENTS, and we’re very proud of these new designs. But these are not the first Swarovski crystal pieces we’ve carried! In fact, Swarovski crystal wedding jewelry and veils have been one of our specialties since our beginning.

Yet we want to do something here to highlight the new collection and our newest Swarovski crystal pieces. We thought it would be fun to share some Swarovski crystal facts that you probably don’t already know. Oh, you probably know that Swarovski crystals are beautiful, but did you know:

1. Swarovski crystal isn’t actually made of true crystal. It’s actually better! The Swarovski crystals you see in fashion and décor are actually precision cut glass made with a top secret recipe of natural minerals, metals, and quartz. Because of their unique composition, Swarovski crystals are incredibly brilliant.

2. In 1892 Daniel Swarovski invented a new kind of crystal cutting machine that allowed cutters to create quality cuts like never before. His machine changed the crystal cutting process forever, and that was how Swarovski crystals came to be.

3. In 1995, the Swarovski group built an indeed theme park to celebrate its 100th birthday. The Swarovski Crystal Worlds theme park located in the heart of the Alps outside the town of Wattens, Austria features attractions like pieces created by Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol.

4. You can tell true Swarovski crystal apart from imitation in two ways. First, real Swarovski crystals will never have imperfections or bubbles within – instead, they are uniformly clear all the way through. And second, the facets on Swarovski crystal always meet at a single point.

We’ll admit that we didn’t know all of these facts until looking them up! Did you?

Shown: Naomi Swarovski earrings (part of the Dareth Colburn Collection); Corina Swarovski crystal and pearl bracelet (part of the Dareth Colburn Collection); a Swarovski monogram cake topper; Isadora Swarovski and pearl necklace (part of the Dareth Colburn Collection); single layer Swarovski edge veil

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Wedding Jewelry Inspiration from the First Lady

You can find wedding jewelry inspiration in so many places – including the White House. I mean, did you see First Lady Michelle Obama’s choice of necklace at the State Dinner honoring British Prime Minister, David Cameron and his wife Samantha? Tres chic!

Mrs. Obama chose a Tom Binns statement necklace made of teal, blue, silver, and white pearls layered over a huge rhinestone piece that was absolutely striking without being overwhelming. Which naturally started us thinking about layering necklaces!

Layering bridal necklaces smartly takes the right bride and the right wedding dress. In other words, it isn’t for everyone. But just in case it’s for you, we put together an inspiration board with some of our favorite pieces that we think would look amazing layered. Michelle Obama choose blue, but we thought a subtle purple look with plenty of white would look amazing on a bride who wants a little bit of color, but not too much. Enjoy!

How do you layer bridal necklaces and come out looking as brilliant as the First Lady? Step one is to choose your starting pieces – as many or as few as you like, but we suggest going bold! Step two is to practice, practice, practice. Layering isn’t easy, and the order you don your necklaces will have a lot to do with the final outcome of your efforts. It may take a few tries, but you’ll find a great combo in no time!

Shown: Our triple strand pearl and rhinestone bridal necklace; Bella amethyst pearl bridal jewelry set; Isadora Swarovski Elements bridal necklace; Lustrous pearl bridal jewelry set; elegant purple bridal jewelry set; and a triple strand of pearls.

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Brides: No Pierced Ears? No Problem!

When people talk about wedding jewelry, bridal earrings are often the topic of conversation. Which is all well and good, until you’re talking to a bride-to-be who never felt the need to get her ears pierced. She may be the kind of bride who feels comfortable having her lobes bare on the big day, and we think that’s fantastic. There’s more than one way to accessorize a bride! But a bride-to-be who has gone without earrings for most of her life may still find that she wants a complete wedding jewelry look when she says her wedding vows.

That’s where clip on bridal earrings come in. They represent an elegant solution to what isn’t actually a problem. Brides can get all the shine and beauty of crystal or rhinestone bridal earrings without having to fundamentally change their ears. Clip on bridal earrings are comfortable. They stay put. And they’re no more or less expensive than traditional post earrings.

We’re tremendously pleased to be able to carry a limited selection of amazing clip on bridal earrings because we don’t want any bride to have to go without! Here are three clip on bridal earrings options that have all of the sparkle of regular earrings in a pain-free package:

Our sleek and vibrant floral clip on bridal earrings feature a botanical pattern with oval and pear shaped stones that coordinate with any style or color wedding dress.

These dazzling clip on bridal earrings are crafted with tons of tiny brilliant gems, two medium circular gems, and a beautiful, light-catching teardrop at the lowest point for maximum impact.

You’ll be simply beautiful in our elegant 1″ clip on bridal earrings featuring two stones – one round and one teardrop – for subtle movement and shine.

Do you have pierced ears? Have you ever worn clip on earrings anyway?

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Wedding Jewelry: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and…

We can’t help you with your something old or your something borrowed – ask gram about that – but we do know a little something about something new and something blue. Especially when it comes to your wedding jewelry. But before we provide you with a little inspiration for your something new and something blue, we wanted to look more deeply into this tradition and its origins.

The full version of the rhyme is often written as:

Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

Like many wedding traditions (especially those dealing with wedding jewelry and accessories) this one’s history is shrouded in some degree of mystery. We know it was, if not common, at least in vogue among English brides in the late Victorian period. In 1894, it was printed in a Pennsylvania newspaper, where it was called a Puritan marriage custom. Why English, then? Because a sixpence was a silver coin used in the UK from the 17th to the 20th Centuries. They were also used in Maryland, but it’s still more than likely of English origin.

That doesn’t tell us much, of course, but what’s more important is the significance of this tradition. Why, exactly, do brides wear something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue? The something old represents the bride’s connection to her family and her “old life” as a girl. Wearing something new is a sign that the bride is looking forward to her “new life” with her spouse. Something borrowed – preferably from a happily married friend – is a good luck charm and a reminder that loved ones will still be there. And something blue likely had to do with the fact that blue symbolized faithfulness and loyalty. As for the sixpence, it is a talisman of prosperity and should be ideally worn in the left shoe.

And that’s it! This is one of those traditions that means what you want it to. If having something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue is important to you, then have fun (and check out our inspiration board below)! But if it’s not? Then don’t go nuts trying to find wedding jewelry and accessories that will fulfill the rhyme, because it’s just a rhyme, after all.

Shown: Our teal bridal handbag; pendant jewelry set in blue; Ella wedding headband; simple rhinestone bracelet in blue; and beaded swirl bridal garter in blue.

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Going Green: Green Wedding Jewelry and Green Weddings

We once had a client thank us and thank us because it was in our pages that she finally found the green wedding jewelry she was looking for. Why was it so hard? Consider that green has more than one meaning. Green weddings are all the rage these days, and we’re not talking about color schemes. We love the environment as much as anyone, but we definitely get that it’s no longer as easy as it once was to find green wedding jewelry – when you’re not specifically on the lookout for conflict free stuff.

It did not escape our attention that St. Patrick’s Day came and went this past weekend. Inspired by all of the Irish pride – and wannabe Irish pride, too – we found ourselves thinking about green wedding jewelry and how it can be incorporated into a wedding that’s green. As in, color scheme… though when you’re going green, why not go all the way?

Here are our picks for green wedding jewelry, along with some fun ways to pair it with bridesmaids’ dresses, flowers, and shoes. Our bride? She’s wearing a white Lela Rose bridesmaids dress (beautiful and economical!) with our Jamie olive green bracelet. Her maids are wearing a similar light olive and carrying peach bouquets for an unexpected burst of color. They’re wearing our Sadie olive and gold drop earrings with a striking pairing: stacked bracelets… the Jamie and our vibrant green bracelet. Everyone’s wearing beautiful olive satin shoes, but all in different styles to avoid too much matchy-matchy.

Now that’s what we call going green! But like we said, our hypothetical bride could take her scheme and make it a theme with eco green touches like invitations made from 100% recycled paper, a local, organic, vegetarian reception meal, donations to a rainforest preservation charity in lieu of wedding favors, local wedding flowers, and recycled gold wedding bands.

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