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!


Read more

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!


Read more

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!


Read more

Bride-to-Be: Take a Break

How easy is it to get so wrapped up in planning a wedding that everything else in your life gets the short end of the stick? Too easy. Trust us, we get it. Wedding planning is alternatingly fun and tear your hair out stressful in that way that makes you feel like a reality TV star. We love it all, the good and the bad. Touring venues. Shopping for wedding jewelry. Oohing and ahing over gowns.

The only problem is that wedding planning 24/7 is not exactly healthy when you stretch it out over a period of months. You need to do something else. Anything else. But preferably something else that makes you happy and helps you reconnect with you. You are, after all, more than just a bride-to-be.

We say take a break.

Treat yourself. Go shopping. NOT for the wedding! For you. Buy yourself something fun that isn’t related to the ceremony or reception. Like a pair of amazingly impractical shoes. Or a funky ring. A book you’ve been dying to read – and then make the time to actually read it. Or sign up for a dance class. Buy a huge bag of yarn and learn to knit.

Go crazy! Buy an old junker and fix it up in your spare time – that’s right, you could DIY your own classic limo.

In other words, the sky is the limit. The purpose of this exercise is to spend some time not thinking about your wedding. You’ll be happier, less stressed out, and will have more energy to devote to planning that wedding. Pinky swear.

So do something nice for yourselves, brides! Something just to make you smile!


Read more

Brides and Bridesmaids, Lovely in Lace

When I was poring over the spring 2014 wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses, trend hunting my tush off, one thing I saw over and over was lace. Let me tell you, I love lace. But is lace a trend? Can a lace wedding dress be trendy? I’m not ready to go there. This flimsy fabric has been found on wedding dresses for so long that who knows when it first found its way onto a train or bodice.

What was surprising that I was seeing lace on bridesmaids. Wouldn’t you know it, what was once the sole territory of the bride herself has trickled down into bridesmaid fashion – and how!

What’s so exciting about the lace bridesmaid dress trend – yes, I said it – is that it gives brides-to-be and brides yet another option. Bridesmaids dresses have, not by design but sometimes by default, been rather dull. The same old A-line frocks in jewel tones that virtually guarantee said dress will never, ever, ever be worn again.

But a lace bridesmaid dress? This isn’t just femme, it’s femme fatale! I’m picturing a draped back panel. An illusion neckline. A lace overskirt in any color you can imagine.

Now are you excited?!


Read more

Anything But Boring: Gray Bridesmaids Dresses

Going gray isn’t something to be ashamed of… when you’re choosing wedding colors, that is. Nor is it something to worry about when it comes to hair, but I’m here to talk about bridesmaids dresses, not aging gracefully. And hey, I don’t judge.

What makes gray great? I say it’s a neutral that has some flair. Think gunmetal or silver or the palest gray that’s the exact color of a sky after a storm. Soft or dramatic. These are the sophisticated shades that make a bride’s white dress pop. Black can do the same, but we all know it feels a little prom-esque. Gray is elegant without inviting comparisons to funerals… galas… or yes, proms.

Sorry. I love black bridesmaid dresses. I really do. But sometimes they can feel like a little much.

Gray, on the other hand, can be coordinated with almost every bouquet color because it’s a neutral. And it practically doubles the chances that the dress will be worn again, which is apparently today’s gold standard for any gown designed for ‘maids. It’s particularly wonderful when what you’re going for is a more formal, but also modern look. Think sheer asymmetrical straps or an updated Grecian look.

Finally, gray is – dare I say it? – a universally flattering color. Scratch that. What I mean to say is there are so many shades of gray that you can outfit ‘maids of all skin tones without leaving one poor girl looking sallow and drab. Such is the power of gray!


Read more

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:

wedding-jewelry-003-bridesmaid-dresses

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!

 


Read more

Illusion Necklines: No Necklace Necessary

Shopping for a wedding jewelry set? Are you sure? Sometimes separates are de rigueur and sometimes they’re absolutely, positively necessary. I nearly keeled over delightfully dead when I saw all those illusion necklines walking down the most recent bridal runway models.

On one hand, there’s nothing like finding the perfect bridal necklace to chase the pre-wedding blues away. On the other, I adore how a single flirty piece of sheer fabric can take a wedding gown from ordinary to extraordinary. I mean very few gown details can make the kind of impact that a barely there neckline can – whether it’s spectacularly embellished or simply sheer.

High drama, in either variation.

Now of course, choosing a gown with an illusion neckline does make for some interesting wedding jewelry shopping. Obviously, I hope, no necklace is necessary. If it isn’t obviously a no-no in your book, then let me just say that you should never, ever layer a necklace over an illusion neckline. If you’re desperate for the look of a bridal necklace, there are scads of illusion necklines with necklace-like adornments that are to die for.

As for the wedding jewelry you ought to be shopping for, your neckline will be your guide. Illusion necklines with gorgeous beadwork or floral embroidery should be treated as focal points in and of themselves. The same rules apply as with any style of wedding dress… your accessories should be in harmony with your gown’s embellishments.

I recommend thinking in terms of opposition. A plain illusion neckline calls for very striking wedding jewelry, while an opulent neckline is like jewelry unto itself. Stick with simple pieces in that case and let your neckline (or your bridesmaids’ necklines) do the talking.

How much do you love these gowns?


Read more

A Little Bit of Engagement Ring History

If you think about it, the most important piece of wedding jewelry you’ll wear probably won’t be one you choose yourself. We’re talking about your engagement ring! We know that not every bride will wear – or even have – an engagement ring, but in most circles it’s still a must-have.

But why a ring, anyway?

When you go back far enough in history, brides wore wedding rings as part of their bridal jewlery and beyond but only on and after the wedding day. Historians think that the Romans were the first culture to practice giving a ring to signal one’s intention to marry, but their custom didn’t catch worldwide on until much later. The Ancient Greeks had their own version of the engagement ring, but the giving of these rings wasn’t necessarily linked to betrothal.

It was only in medieval times, in 1215 if you want to get specific, that engagement rings became a part of the lasting lexicon of matrimony. That was the year that Pope Innocent III declared a mandatory waiting period between a couple’s engagement and the wedding ceremony. And there was nothing like a ring to show that a bride-to-be was off the market. Not that you or I would recognize these rings as engagement rings by design.

If you’re wondering when ‘modern’ engagement rings hit the scene, you’d have to jump forward to the 1400s – and then visit a wealthy family with a wedding in the near future because the practice was typically limited to high society. It’s in this century that you’d start to see engagement rings with precious gems like emeralds, sapphires, or diamonds.

Today, engagement rings are still a traditional part of the betrothal process, but the common diamond solitaire isn’t the mainstay it once was. Sapphire engagement rings, the perfect complement to blue wedding jewelry, have been popular ever since Princess Diana’s day and are modish again thanks to the divine Kate M. Semi-precious stones and lab gems like moissanite give buyers more bang for their bucks. And some couples are replacing rings with necklaces, watches, and other alternatives!

What’s YOUR engagement ring history? Did you help shop for your own or was it a surprise? Are you even wearing an engagement ring?


Read more

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?


Read more