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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5 Tips for Storing Wedding Jewelry

Most brides-to-be consider how they will preserve their bridal bouquets and their wedding gowns, but few give as much thought to keeping their wedding jewelry beautiful for years to come. Yet we’ve never heard of a bride who didn’t plan to keep her wedding jewelry… have you? Jewelry in general is seen as lasting, so it gets casually tossed into bathroom cupboards and on nightstands. And jewelry can, for the most part, stand up to this treatment. But should it? We’d argue no. Your wedding jewelry, if you do in fact plan to keep it among your cherished possessions until death do you say you goodbyes, can benefit from careful packaging and handling as much as your wedding dress.

Surprised? Here are some tips that we have collected from brides who have experience keeping wedding jewelry looking as beautiful as on the day they wore it.

1. Every woman needs a good, strong, long-lasting jewelry box for her wedding jewelry. Sure, you could pick up a cheap wooden one, but chances are the glue holding the thin velvet down in the drawers will start to lose its grip over time. Things like earrings can sink down into cracks in broken drawers. And one broken hinge at the wrong time is all it takes for a ring to be gone forever. If you truly want to keep your wedding jewelry safe, a good jewelry box should be viewed as an investment.

2. Each piece of your wedding jewelry set should be kept separate from the others. If nothing else, your bridal necklace shouldn’t be rubbing against your bracelet and earrings. Immobilize what you can, and if space is an issue, consider purchasing a display case type jewelry box – sometimes called a jewelry casket – just for your wedding jewelry. Then you can look at it day after day and think back on all those wonderful memories.

3. Or wrap each piece of your wedding jewelry in acid free archival quality paper, raw silk, or untreated cotton. Brides who sew can create custom sized fabric pouches for each of their baubles. These can be gently stacked, but never crammed into a drawer or other small space. Remember, the goal is to keep pieces from rubbing up against each other.

4. Ideally, you will hang your bridal necklace from a padded hook – but we get that not every bride has a padded hook in her walls. The next best option is a long, rectangular jewelers box designed specifically for necklaces. If yours came in such a box, save it. If not, there are many stores selling jewelry supplies online.

5. Never, ever store your wedding jewelry in plastic bags. The chemicals in some plastics can react with metals and cause them to tarnish or even cause the surface of the metal to pit. The same goes for some kinds of plastic costume jewelry – gases released by the plastic can cause discoloration and damage to metals, and that damage can’t be repaired. Plastic costume jewelry and your wedding jewelry are best stored separately.

And that’s all it takes! With a little care, your wedding jewelry will last as long as your marriage!

Shown: Chunky pearl bridal bracelet; Hollywood cz bridal earrings; Lucia bridal headband


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Doesn’t Your Bridal Jewelry Deserve a Spot in Your Wedding Album?

There are so many must-have wedding photography guides for brides and grooms out there. Some wedding photographers even have long shot lists for their clients of poses and scenes and events that most couples can’t live without. When it comes to bridal jewelry, the rings usually play a starring role in wedding photography. How many married couples can say that they don’t have at least one up close picture of their cupped hands holding their wedding rings? Not many, we’d guess!

But what about the rest of the bride’s accessories? Beautiful crystal bridal jewelry, gold bridal jewelry, and pearl bridal jewelry surely deserves a place in your wedding album. After all, your wedding photographer wants to tell the story of your wedding through her photographs – and your wedding jewelry is part of that story!

Now, right now, you may be thinking that it would be lovely to be able to look back on your wedding day with perfect pictures of your bridal accessories. But of course the question is how do you include your bridal jewelry and other wedding accessories in photographs without getting into cheese territory. That’s just what we want to talk to you about today!

A beautiful bridal jewelry set – like our Touch of Sparkle bridal necklace and earrings duo – can be shown off in photos so many ways. Traditional wedding photography has almost always included a picture of the MOB or MOH helping the bride put on her necklace, but before that, why not capture your necklace artfully arranged on your bridal shoes?

Of course, bridal jewelry, like our gorgeous Floral Melody champagne bridal jewelry, is always most beautiful on the bride herself! Ask your photographer to spend a few close up snaps capturing your necklace and earrings (and hair accessories) after you’re dressed and ready so you can see the detail.

A pearl bridal bracelet as stunning as our Pure Bliss pearl bridal bracelet deserves the same treatment. Your wedding photographer can take a few pictures of your crossed or clasped hands to show off your engagement ring and your bracelet. If your bouquet includes bouquet jewelry, you can compose a shot that includes your ring, your bracelet, and your flowers!

If you’re wearing a bridal veil (like our current fave, the two layer Swarovski rhinestone edge veil) ask your photographer to take the classic as-seen-from-behind shot after you’ve had your hair done. You won’t get another chance to see your veil so perfectly as you will in the moments before you walk down the aisle.

Those are our favorite bridal jewelry-inspired photography ideas. What are your must-have accessory photos?


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Wedding Color Combinations: Sweet Lilac and Margarita

Pink and green is always a winning combo for weddings, but for 2012 and 2013, this combination has gotten a major overhaul. Instead of the bright pinks and greens of years past, we’re seeing more and more sweet lilac, a pale pinkish purple, paired with margarita, a muted lime green. Sweet lilac and margarita is a subtle combo – and one that works wonderfully with white as a backdrop or on its own.

Want to see it in action?

Here, we have a hypothetical bride wearing a white trumpet gown from the Monique Lhuillier Spring 2012 collection. She accessorized this gorgeous dress with a pearl and crystal bridal jewelry set in green that will coordinate perfectly with her bridesmaids, who are wearing Lela Rose bridesmaids dresses in pink and clover.

And they will coordinate perfectly with everything else! The décor, for instance, features a color blocked table that puts the sweet lilac and margarita color palette at center stage. And as for the wedding cake, it’s all about cupcakes – margarita and subtle lavender flavors are sweet without being cloying.

We actually think that’s also a great way to describe this color palette. Sweet lilac and margarita are feminine and sweet without being overpoweringly girly. It works for springtime, but isn’t so springy you can’t make it the color scheme for your summer wedding or autumn wedding.

What’s not to love?


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Crystal Hair Twists: A Fun DIY Idea… for Wedding Guests!

Brides, if you’re feeling extra extra generous and want all your wedding guests to look and feel as fabulous as you do on your big day, we have an idea for you. We’ll admit, it’s not for everyone. It’s the kind of idea that most wedding guests will never encounter – but those who do will be talking about it for months, and will probably bring it up at least once at every wedding they attend for years and years.

What is it? We’re getting to that!

Though we’re proposing brides implement the idea with crystal hair twists, we originally saw it done with flowers. At her own wedding, a noted California florist set up a DIY wedding hair accessory (and boutonniere and corsage) station for her guests that included flowers, pins, ribbon, and even fresh fruit. Everyone was invited to make a hair pin to wear during the ceremony and reception.

Good idea? Great idea, we think, but of course, not one that’s easy to implement for anyone who isn’t a florist who knows what goes into making floral hair accessories.

So our thought is that brides who want to replicate the idea do so on a smaller scale by displaying a pretty bowl of crystal hair twists for female wedding guests who want to pretty up their own wedding hairstyles in advance of the ceremony. It not only gives guests something to do, it also gives guests something to talk about while they wait for you and your wedding party to finish preparing for the main event.

No, it’s not the most budget-friendly idea, but it’s not a budget buster, either. If you want to give your female wedding guests a little small something to make them feel fab, it’s a fun and different idea that they won’t see at any other wedding!

Are you doing anything to help your wedding guests feel beautiful and festive? Tell us about it in the comments!


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Parent Gift Ideas

Gift Ideas for Parents of the Bride and Groom

Engraved Wine Bottle

Beautifully engraved and hand-painted wine bottles with your name and wedding date.

Gift Baskets

Try a basket of homemade goodies, such as cookies or muffins. Check out your local restaurant and specialty shop.

Massage

I gave my mother and my fiancé’s mother each gift certificate for a massage and a basket full of goodies (flavored teas, coffees, chocolates, etc.) to help them relax when all was said and done. ~ Shared by Michelle, Monticello, Illinois

Movie

My fiancé and I will be making a “movie” highlighting memorable moments throughout our lives (baby photos, teenage years, etc). We will use photographs and video clippings. Towards the end of the video we will merge our lives together. I plan to narrate the video and thank both of our parents for all the wonderful things they have done as we have grown. We will show the movie on a big screen at the reception for all of our guests to see how much we love and cherish our families. We have contacted a local high school to get students to help us so we only have to pay a minimal fee. ~ Shared by Kelly, Reading, PA

Personal Note

A personally written note to each parent individually. It makes things very special because it comes straight from the heart. ~ Shared by Katy, Alabama

Picture for Your Mom

For my mother I am giving her a beautiful picture frame with two sections. In the left section, I put a B/W photo of me as a little girl in a white dress on the beach. In the right section, will be my bridal portrait. If I know her, she’ll be moved to tears. Good thing I’m giving her an embroidered handkerchief as well. ~Shared by Anna, Austin, Texas

Get a picture from her Wedding Day (Professional or Not) and then frame it along with your Bridal Picture. A good place to get pictures of your Mom’s Wedding day is from your Grandparents!!! (And prepare for the tears) Include a note that says I hope that my marriage is as wonderful and happy as yours. ~ Shared by Miranda, in Brent, Alabama

Picture Frame for Dad

My gift to my father will be a double 5×7 frame with a picture of me when I was a little girl on the left and a picture of me & him at the wedding on the right. I will have engraved on the top left side “I will always be…” then on the right side “your little girl”.

Scrap Books

My fiancé and I are putting together little 4×6 scrapbooks for our moms. It will chronicle from when we were born up to the present. Scrap booking is a favorite hobby of mine and I know both our mom’s will just love them. We’ll even put little quotes or heartfelt sayings, this is something I think they’ll treasure forever!

Small Hardcover Pocket Books

Those little hardcover pocket books for Moms, Dads, or grandparents found in bookstores. ~ Shared by Sue, Kentwood, MI

 


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Get the Pictures You Want

To create and preserve pictorial memories that last a lifetime, you need to be assertive and specific about your desires.

1. Do your homework

Spend time researching photographers, looking at their work, and meeting with them. Also check their references. Know who is going to be taking the pictures. These lists may help you organize:

* Questions to Ask Photographers

* List of Photos to Take
Tip: List all the poses you want in the order they will probably occur. This makes it easier to check off which ones have been taken.
2. Assign your own “photographer’s assistant”

This person’s allegiance will be to you, not the photographer. Choose someone close to you who will know your family and friends and be able to point them out to the photographer. Give your photo assistant his or her own copy of your “list of must-have shots” to check off as each one is taken. This way the pressure is off you to stay on top of your photographer. Make sure your loved ones look fantastic in all your shots by having your photo assistant check smiles and fix hair, dresses, flowers, etc. A little preventative care can help ensure everyone (and everything) is preserved in your photo album looking their best.
3. Inform photographer of special events

Throwing a surprise or two into your wedding or reception helps to keep a magical, spontaneous atmosphere. For example, some brides like to slip out of the reception to change dresses and return with a grand entrance to dance the night away. Be sure to let your photographer in on the secret! Otherwise, you may miss what can be the best candid photos of special moments in your wedding or reception.

“The best thing at my wedding was the butterflies…the look of surprise and delight from my guests & the children’s faces were priceless…and it was all captured on film!” –Paula, wedding date: May 28, 2000
4. Mix it up

Have your photographer take different kinds of shots. Unusual angles or fuzzy focus can add interest to traditional photographs. Zoom in so close on the wedding cake you can see the texture, or photograph the bride and grooms hands as they talk at the reception table.

In addition, candid photos are often taken by guests at the reception tables. These provide a delightful complement to the more formal compositions of a professional photographer.

When it comes time to place your photos in a wedding album, arrange them so their varying size and style will add visual interest to each page.
5. To color or not to color?

Many of today’s brides are having their photographer snap both color and black and white photos.

Black and white images provide a classic, timeless look. This traditional approach focuses in on your faces and expressions of love without the flashy distractions of color.

Color adds a liveliness and reality to photos and can preserve a more accurate record of how your day really appeared. After all, you don’t want to have spent all that time anguishing over your wedding colors for nothing! Get the best of both worlds by combining the two approaches.
6. You (usually) get what you pay for

“PAY MORE FOR BETTER PICTURES, you’ll kick yourself later if you don’t. We paid more, but they turned out great!”
–Erin, wedding date: July 8, 2000

This does not mean you cannot save money on your photography budget, just remember not to cut corners on the quality of images. Once your wedding day is over, you will be left with your memories and your photographs. Make sure you have the best.


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Wedding Dresses & Wedding Dress Jargon

Finding it hard to translate bridal gown/ wedding dress terminology? Who thought it would be so difficult! Check out our list to help you speak fluently with your wedding dressmaker or designer…

FABRICS

Brocade: An intricately woven heavier fabric with raised designs.

Charmeuse: Lightweight, semi-lustrous soft fabric.

Chiffon: Delicate, sheer, and transparent — made from silk or rayon, with a soft finish — often layered because of its transparency.

Damask: Similar to brocade with raised designs, but lighter weight.

Illusion: Fine net fabric; used on sleeves or necklines.

Linen: Very light, easily wrinkles.

Organza: Crisp and sheer like chiffon, but with a stiff texture.

Satin: Smooth, tightly woven fabric with a high sheen on one side. Very common in bridal gowns.

Silk: A traditionally more expensive fabric. Strong, elegant, now available in less expensive blends

Shantung: Similar to raw silk, it has a rough texture with irregular “nubbies” throughout fabric.

Taffeta: Crisp and smooth, with a small crosswise rib; often made from manmade fabrics

Tulle: Open-weave net made of silk, nylon, or rayon, this is used primarily for underskirts and veils (think ballerina tutus).

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LACES

They’re often used on the dress itself, as well as on the veil or headpiece. There are tons to choose from, but here are some of the most popular:

Alencon: Needlepoint lace with designs in deep relief on sheer net.

Chantilly: Scrolls and floral designs on fine mesh, often with scalloped edges.

Duchesse: Floral designs with a lot of raised work; has an all-over effect, with irregularly shaped spaces between designs.

Honiton: An English lace similar to Duchesse.

Schiffli: Delicate floral embroidery; machine-made.

Venise: Heavy needlepoint lace with floral sprays, foliage, or geometric designs.

Spanish: A flat design of roses on a net background; used to make mantilla veils.

Venetian point: Heavy needlepoint lace with floral sprays or foliage.

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LENGTHS

Ankle length: Barely reveals the ankles, slightly shorter than floor length.

Floor length: Hemline falls 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches from the floor.

Tea length : Hemline falls several inches above the ankles.

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SILHOUETTES

Silhouette refers to the outline of the dress, or the overall style.

A-Line: Fits many body types as the waist isn’t as severe as a ball gown silhouette. Two vertical seams follow the A shape, starting from the shoulders and falling to the skirt which then flares out.

Ball gown: A tight, fitted bodice and definite waistline with a very full skirt. When you think bridal gown, this is probably what you think of.

Empire: Characterized by a very high waist (right under the bust); the skirt is fairly slim.

Mermaid: A very slim-fitting dress that ends in a little fishtail skirt.

Sheath: Not unlike the mermaid, this very modern style is form-fitting, often ending with a flare at the bottom

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TRAINS

An extension of the wedding dress that starts at the waist. Some dresses come with trains that are detachable.

Sweep: The shortest train, it extends back 8 to 12 inches after touching the floor.

Chapel: Extends 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet from the waist.

Semi-cathedral: Extends 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 feet from the waist.

Cathedral: Extends 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 feet from the waist.

Extended Cathedral/Monarch: Extends 12 feet (or more) from the waist. (Think Princess Di whose train was 25 feet!)

Note: If your dress does not have a detachable train, you will need to bustle it so you can move around freely at the reception. This entails pulling the train up and attaching it to your dress by tiny hooks sewn into the back of the gown and the train.

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VEILS

Usually made from such fabrics as tulle or lace, veils may or may not have a section to cover the face.

Blusher: A short veil worn over the face. After the ceremony, it is turned back over the headpiece. The blusher can often be attached to a longer veil or a hat.

Fly-away: Multiple layers of veiling that brush the shoulders; usually worn with informal, ankle-length dresses, but this style is becoming more and more popular with all kinds of gowns.

Fingertip: Several layers of veiling that extend to the fingertips.

Ballet/Waltz: Falls to the ankles; this is also becoming popular, in simple, multiple layers.

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SLEEVES

Cap: The shortest of sleeves, it traditionally covers the shoulder only. However, off-the-shoulder dresses will often incorporate a small cap sleeve.

Fitted: Very close to the arm, no excess material.

Juliet fitted: A tightly fitted sleeve with a small pouf at the shoulder.

Leg o’ Mutton: Very full at the shoulder, the sleeve remains full until it narrows to become very fitted at the forearm.

Poet: A very, very full, pleated sleeve.

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NECKLINES

There are many variations of these necklines, however, these are the basics.

Boat (bateau): Straight across shoulders with a slight dip in front

Band: Like a mock turtleneck, this high neckline circles the neck.

Decolletage: A revealing, deep, plunging neckline.

Halter: A la Marilyn Monroe, the neckline scoops in front and ties behind the neck, leaving your arms bare.

Jewel: A high neckline which follows the natural shape of your shoulders and neck.

Square: Forms a half-square around the neck.

Sweetheart: Heart shaped, often seen on strapless gowns; there are many variations of this look.


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Ring Bearer & Trainbearer: Tips and Responsibilities

Selection

*It is not necessary to have either a ring bearer or trainbearer in your wedding, if you choose to, however, they should be between the ages of four and six.

In Advance

*It is not necessary for the ring bearer or trainbearers to attend the showers or other parties.
*Ring bearers and trainbearers do attend the rehearsal and should attend the rehearsal dinner with their parents.

The Wedding

*The ring bearer carries a decorated pillow with a ring or set of rings sewn to it. (The rings do not need to be the real ones and are usually not)
*The ring bearer walks either in front of or besides the flower girl in the processional and the recessional.
*If the real rings are tied to the pillow the ring bearer takes the pillow directly to the best man who will remove the rings.
*The trainbearer follows the bride in the processional and recessional and carries the bridal train.
*During the ceremony, the ring bearer and trainbearer may stand near the ushers or sit with their families in a front pew.
*Both the ring bearer and trainbearer are in the formal photographs with the rest of the bridal party.

The Reception

*The ring bearer and trainbearer do not stand in the reception line.
*They sit at a table of honor with their families, near the head table.

Expenses

*Families of ring bearer’s and trainbearer’s are expected to pay for their attire and any travel costs that may exist.
*The ring bearer and trainbearer are not expected to bring gifts to any pre-wedding parties they may attend. If their parents attend, gifts expectations would be the same as any other guest. If they attend more than one party, only one shower gift is expected.

General Tips

*Do not give the ring bearer or the trainbearer any sugar before the ceremony.
*Try to keep them calm by playing games with them or giving them something to play with while they are waiting to take their turn down the aisle.
*Talk to you ring bearer or trainbearer about their role, but resist the urge to “hype” up their role, this may make them more scared and nervous and could cause some un-needed problems on your wedding day.
*Don’t forget to show your appreciation for your ring bearer and trainbearer by giving them a small gift to commemorate the event.


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