Why Your Wedding Needs a #Hashtag

Professional wedding photos are on most couples’ must-have lists, but that doesn’t mean candid snaps from friends and family are equally special. The problem? Tracking them all down after the big day. I got married in the days before the hashtag so after I said my “I dos”, I was emailing guests, going on Flickr and Facebook to track down pics, and begging when necessary. In the end I got lots of the photos my guests took, and it was a good thing, too. My wedding photographer ended up in the hospital on my wedding weekend and the backup he sent? Stunk. I mean, my pics were awful. Thankfully, my loved ones stepped in to fill in the gaps and I was able to make my own wedding album with my favorites.

calligraphed-wedding-hashtag-sign

These days, couples should not have the same issues that could make finding their wedding photos being so much work. Apparently, 55% of all weddings have a hashtag! Does yours? If not, experts say there’s more to picking the perfect wedding hashtag than putting a pound sign in front of your names. A lot of brides and grooms will choose a mashup, a la Brangelina. Make it easy by including your wedding day or year or some defining feature – like #sarabob2015 or #halloweenwedding2016. Just make sure you check your wedding hashtag on Instagram and other sites to be sure it’s original enough that you won’t be wading through other couple’s photos after the big day.

Just whatever you do, make it easy to remember! If it’s too long or weird or complicated, guests aren’t going to us it. And if all else fails, try the Wedding Hashtag Generator!

wedding hashtag

The best reason to create and share  wedding hashtag is that you get to see your wedding from multiple perspectives! Your photographer will be one person in one position but your friends and family may capture moments your photog never sees. For instance, one of my very favorite wedding photos was myself and my husband and our families posing with the photographer in front of us wearing my mother’s hat to block the sun. If I hadn’t chased down everyone’s pics I never would have seen it!

So pick a wedding hashtag, spread it around, and enjoy hundreds more wedding photos than you would have otherwise!

 

 

 

 

 


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5 Statement Bridal Accessories Worth Wearing

Looking for bridal accessories with that wow factor? You’ll love shopping for bridal jewelry and accessories every bit as much as choosing your gown when you focus your search on statement pieces like these.

Chandelier earrings!

chandelier earrings bridal

Chandelier earrings are a top pick for today’s bride because they add elegance, romance, and especially glitz to any wedding day look. Bridal earrings can be worn alone as a statement piece or perfectly paired with stacked bracelets, a fabulous comb, or headband.

A floral crown!

crystal bridal crown

A delicate floral design dotted generously with sparkling rhinestones and scattered crystals can complete so many bridal looks, from romantic to Boho. Just don’t let the word ‘delicate’ fool you – our Annalise crown is custom picked for the bold bride.

Vintage-inspired headbands!

vintage bridal headband

Curving, hand-wired rhinestones in striking circular arrangements bring to mind all things art deco in modern vintage-inspired headpieces. Bridal headbands are on trend but don’t feel like you need to run with the crowd. Choose a headband that will wow!

Fabulous filigree!

filigree bridal hair comb

Beautiful antique gold is paired with swirling rhinestones in this bridal hair comb with an heirloom feel. If you look to the past for your style inspiration, filigree scrollwork is the perfect way to express your inner Gibson Girl.

Big bling!

CZ bridal earings

Going large with gems is the easiest way to make a statement with your bridal jewelry and accessories. You’ll love the big burst of sparkle that our Tara earrings bring to the table.


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How to Pick the Perfect Bridal Accessories

wedding jewelry and accessories

Finding that dream dress feels like big moment in a bride-to-be’s life – and it is. But she’s not done once the deposit has been paid. Bridal accessories are the finishing touches on her wedding day ensemble – enhancing her look and making her feel like a million bucks.

Your wedding jewelry? Should be more than just an afterthought! Ideally you should be shopping as carefully for a wedding jewelry set and bridal headpiece as you did when you were searching for your gown. Here are 12 tips that will help you find the perfect accessories for your big day:

1. Decide on the dress first because the style, cut, and neckline of your dress will help guide you as you shop for your jewelry and accessories.

2. Keep a picture of your wedding gown in your purse or on your phone so you have it handy while you’re browsing necklaces, earrings, headpieces, and veils.

how to buy a bridal tiara

3. Know your bridal style – are you a romantic? Do you want to look like a princess? Are you 1950s flounce all the way or Boho chic?

4. Let your gown’s embellishments guide you for an elegant, coordinated look. For instance, if your wedding dress is embroidered with white seed pearls, pearl wedding jewelry is a safe bet.

5. Match your bridal hairstyle to your hair accessories. Whether you pick a hairdo first or a tiara, headband, or hair pin, make sure your bridal hair accessories will work with your ‘do.

6. Ask your stylist for help. Your hairdresser can help you choose an amazing bridal headpiece to make your favorite hairstyles.

7. Be patient! Have fun shopping for your wedding day accessories. Browse in stores, shop online, read blogs, and flip through wedding magazines to find inspiration.

bridal earrings by online

8. Use Pinterest to find photos of real brides wearing the sorts of accessories and jewelry you like best. Seeing headpieces, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets on real people will help you see how they’ll look on you.

9. Pick a bridal veil that matches both the look and feel of your wedding dress and the formality level of your ceremony venue.

10. Your gown’s neckline should determine the length and type of your bridal necklace. Similarly, your hairstyle will influence the length and type of earrings you choose.

11. Think balance. A sky-high updo that includes a tiara should be a focal point, so pair them with simple stud earrings. A simple headpiece might be paired with dramatic statement earrings.

12. Remember to coordinate your bridesmaids’ accessories with your own. Make sure that their jewelry doesn’t outshine yours but don’t skimp on the sparkle!


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Too, Too Demure: Victorio & Lucchino at Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015

If you’ve dreamed of getting married in something a little more modest but feared that your options would be few, you’re going to find this is a great year to be a bride!

Included in your frock choices you’ll find the 2015 wedding dress collection from Spain’s Victorio & Lucchino, which is called Amor, Amor – a more than appropriate because we love, love it! It’s definitely a pioneering collection in the bridal fashion world. It debuted at Barcelona Bridal Week with diaphanous and luxuriant wedding dresses with lots of covered shoulders and hardly a peek of decolletage.

The look is ultra feminine and just a little old fashioned, and Victorio & Lucchino’s 2015 collection definitely is on trend with its emphasis on the back! Stunning backlines reveal while otherwise modest lines conceal. Barcelona Bridal Week’s description said the collection is imbued with a message of love, and we couldn’t agree more. Nothing says romance like gauze, georgette, organza, Mikado silk, and soft tulle along with more than a few yards of lace!

Have a look:

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 1

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 2

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 3

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 4

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 5

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 6

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 7

Victorio Lucchino - Barcelona Bridal Week Spring 2015 8

What’s your favorite 2015 bridal collection?


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Bride Has Got Back: The Newest Trend in Wedding Dress Design

Have you gone wedding gown shopping lately? If so, you’ve probably noticed that while the simple wedding dresses are still there there is a revolution in style underway. You have to remember that gown fashion changes slowly. Think about how long strapless dresses reigned supreme! But change is afoot in the world of wedding fashion and I, for one, am loving what I’m seeing!

wedding dress backs beaded

Gorgeous beaded and otherwise embellished backs are suddenly all the rage. And it makes sense when you think about it. How much time might a wedding guest spend staring at a bride’s back during the ceremony or while she’s being waltzed around the dance floor? Answer: plenty!

Veluz Bride wedding gown

While the traditional long line of pearl buttons will probably never go out of style, there’s nothing to say a bride can’t wish for a little flair on top of the shine! Designers like Veluz Bride are delivering in droves with lace, pearls, beading, and other tricks and treats that make bridal jewelry all nearly unnecessary.

Anna Campbell gown

Gorgeous, no? Think of it like a little something sweet for your wedding guests – and your wedding photographer! But p.s., I was only kidding about not needing wedding jewelry. You might choose to skip the necklace, but wedding earrings are still a must. Choose jewelry and accessories that share the same elements as your embellished back, like lace and pearls or sparkling rhinestones. Coordination is key to creating a harmonious wedding day look!

christa terry for usabride.com


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What are Freshwater Pearls and How Do Brides Wear Them?

Pearls have long been a part of the bride’s wedding day must-haves and their history as jewelry is nearly as rich as the history of humanity itself. Cultures from around the world have embraced pearls as part of clothing and accessories because of their natural beauty and warmth. Brides who choose pearl wedding jewelry are part of that history, whether they wear creamy freshwater pearls in a variety of intense shades of ivory, cream, and rum pink; cultured saltwater pearls in any of the same hues, or manmade glass pearls with all the weight and shine of the real thing.

 freshwater pearl wedding jewelry

What are Freshwater Pearls?

Today, let’s talk about freshwater pearls. Many of our pearl wedding jewelry sets feature rich, natural freshwater pearls – and sometimes our customers are surprised to find that in this case the real thing isn’t much more expensive than our accessories crafted with high quality faux pearls. That’s because freshwater pearls are more abundant than natural or cultured saltwater pearls because the freshwater mollusks that grow these pearls can create up to 50 at a time! So even though most freshwater pearls come from just a few bodies of water in Japan and China, they are still more abundant and thus less expensive.

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And yet it’s interesting to note that freshwater pearls actually contain more nacre (shiny stuff) than saltwater pearls! When saltwater pearls are harvested and drilled, the nucleus around which the oyster created the pearl is still there. Freshwater pearls grow around a smaller nucleus that is drilled away during the finishing process, leaving nothing but nacre. The main difference is that investment quality cultured saltwater pearls are often perfectly spherical – identical from one to the next. Freshwater pearls are unique – irregular in shape and more suited to use in fashion jewelry.

How Do Brides Wear Freshwater Pearls?

For the traditional bride, the simple single strand of freshwater pearls – alone or combined with Austrian rhinestones or pave crystals – is a must have. But the dramatic bride should consider something more intense, like our Spectacular Fresh Water Pearl Tiara and Spectacular Fresh Water Pearl Jewelry Set as shown throughout this post. Today’s bride-to-be has almost limitless options when it comes to pearl wedding jewelry sets for herself and her bridesmaids. If you haven’t yet considered freshwater pearls, now is a great to take a second look!

usebride - wedding jewelry - bridal accessories


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Who Needs Jewels? Not In These Wedding Gowns!

For 2015/2016, backless gowns are IN. Wedding dresses with amazingly complex embellishments in back are just as hot. And now we’re excited to say that bodices are finally catching up. This is one of the few times you’re going to see me say wedding jewelry? Meh. These gowns bring their own sparkle and shine to the table, no necklaces necessary. Brides, prepare to be inspired!

Riki Dalal

Serious neckline love from Riki Dalal

essence of australia wedding gowns

Bling is the thing at Essence of Austrlia

Calla Bridal

Old Hollywood glamor from Calla Bridal

Marchesa wedding dress

Perfect art deco style from Marchesa

Hayley Paige Bridal

I can’t take my eyes off this Hayley Paige Bridal neckline

Hayley Paige Bridal Spring 2015 2

Here’s a closer look – LOVE!

Monique Lhuiller

Super sparkle (and great fit) from Monique Lhuiller

BHLDN

Big balance from BHLDN’s Harlow gown

prom dress as wedding dress

Not sure who made this beauty but wow!

Monique Lhuiller

A simply gorgeous gown from Monique Lhuiller

BHLDN

More from BHLDN

elie-saab-lorraine-wedding-dress

This Elie Saab gown is a very cool nod to the past

Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham has clearly made necklaces unnecessary

Are you loving these new lovely necklines as much as I am?

christa terry author of iDo


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How to Start a Pre-Wedding Exercise Program

bridal fitness - wedding lose weightAre you trying to get in shape for your wedding day? Most brides-to-be have at least some fitness oriented items on their wedding to-do lists. Those dresses can be pretty unforgiving, after all! Here are some real-life tips to get you started:

Make Time – If you tell yourself you will exercise when you have time, you will never get to it. Make exercise a part of your routine and put it into your daily schedule. If going to the gym is too much of a hassle, find ways to work out at home. There are lots of aerobics videos on YouTube! Here’s one free workout we love.

Start Slow – Begin with a low-intensity activity such as swimming, biking, or walking. Do this three times a week for 15 minutes. Gradually increase your workout to 30 minutes a day, six days a week, with more strenuous activity. Obviously if you already work out your starting point may be different.

Stretch – Before exercising, jog in place for a few minutes to warm up and then do a short stretch routine. When you complete your exercise routine, make sure you stretch well to prevent stiffness and increase flexibility. Stiff? Yoga can be a workout all on its own.

Drink Water – Drink plenty of water throughout the day and especially before and after exercise. Dehydration can cause dizziness and exhaustion at the very least, and heat stroke at the worst. Water also helps your body recover after workouts.

Use Weights – For muscle definition, consider walking with small hand weights. If you are feeling up to it, begin a weight routine with 5-lb barbells like this one. Give your muscles plenty of rest in between weight workouts. A trainer can help get you started and once you learn the ropes, you can continue on your own.

wedding workout - lose weight befor the wedding

Don’t Rush – The worst thing you can do is crash diet before your wedding. You won’t feel good and if your body is starving for nutrients, you aren’t going to look that good either. Remember that thin does not necessarily equal beautiful. Think about being your best, healthiest you on your wedding day.

Never forget that your intended loves you the way you are. Of course you want to look amazing in your wedding photographs. And if you’re happy, well nourished, healthy, and fit, you will, no matter what the tag in your dress says.

christa terry author of iDo

Note: Beginners should only use weights twice a week. If you have any health concerns, it’s important that you see a doctor before starting an exercise routine.


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You’re Not Fully Bridal Without…

wedding jewelry mistakes - bridal jewelry tips

A veil! That is if bridal veils are your thing. Many women just don’t feel like a bride without one and that’s okay. How often to you get to wear a veil, anyway? If you’re like most of us, not that often. And that’s probably what makes bridal veils feel so special. Put one on and you immediately feel different. More regal. More beautiful. More bridal!

wedding veil - lace wedding veils - rhinestone bridal veilCan you be a bride without a veil? Of course, you’re every bit the bride even if you’re saying your “I dos” in jeans. But even if you have never considered wearing a bridal veil, don’t miss out on the opportunity to don a very fun wedding accessory because it’s unfamiliar. When you’re gown shopping, try one on!

In fact, try on several in different lengths to see what you like, what you definitely don’t like, and what works with the dresses you love. Even if you end up buying your bridal veil online (which I highly recommend you do for the discounts) trying on a multitude of veils in person is the best way to find the one you really and truly want.

wedding veils lace

While it might seem like veils are a pretty straightforward wedding accessory, they’re actually quite complex when it comes to the options available. In general, longer veils are considered more formal and shorter veils less – birdcage veils being the least formal of all. But length isn’t your only option! There are rhinestone and lace edges, thick and thin, single, double, and triple layers, corded veils, beaded veils, and more. It’s actually a bit dizzying when you’ve already been asked to choose a dress and jewelry and all the other bits and pieces that will become your wedding day look.

bridal veils - lace bridal veilYou’ll never hear me faulting a bride for skipping the veil, of course. I didn’t even wear one myself! But if I can tell you a little bitty secret, I actually kind of regret it. I felt beautiful on my wedding day but not particularly bridal, and since I don’t plan on ever getting married again it’s an experience I’ll never get to have.

christa terry author of iDo


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7 Mistakes You May Be Making With Your Bridal Jewelry

Now I hate to be confusing. If you follow my posts you know that I’m always saying anything goes, do what you love, wear what you want, etc. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some style mistakes that should be avoided. You can wear what you love and look a bit silly – or worse, look back and realize you don’t really like how you looked on your wedding day. For that reason alone it pays to pay the tiniest bit of attention to some simple style rules.

wedding jewelry mistakes - bridal jewelry tips

So what are the bridal jewelry mistakes you might be making without even realizing you’re about to commit a fashion faux pas? Read on!

1. You buy your bridal jewelry before your dress.

I’m not going to say there’s not a single reason to grab jewelry before the gown – a good sale is a good sale, after all – but how can you accessorize your wedding dress if you don’t even have it yet? Even if you’re in love with your necklace, earrings, bracelet and shoes, and headpiece, too, you may end up with an overall bridal ensemble that looks incomplete or mismatched.

2. You’re upstaging the dress.

You find the ultimate wedding gown and now you’re draping it in every bit of crystal and every pearl you can find. That’s wonderful except… your perfect dress is already embellished to the max. My advice – take it down a notch. Think about balance. A beaded, lacy gown with lots of bows and ruffles may call for simpler bridal jewelry than a simple sheath that can be dressed to the nines. But be careful. Sometimes a bold dress demands bold jewelry.

3. You have ignored your skin tone.

You were so careful when wedding dress shopping to differentiate between ivory and cream and diamond white, now you’ve descended upon the pearls with nary a thought to your own coloring. Are you a gold or silver girl in your day to day life? Stick with the tones that work well on you. Gold wedding jewelry may not be as popular as silver but if it looks gorgeous on you, who cares?

trendy bridal jewelry - bridal jewelry trends

4. You’re getting too trendy.

Your wedding day will be over in a few hours; your wedding photos will be there forever. Make sure you still love looking at them years later by thinking timeless. Sure, no piece of clothing or accessory is truly timeless but some trends are more long-lasting than others.

5. Your thinking is limited.

This is a great time to play dress up. You’re shopping – try something new! Maybe you always wear tiny stud earrings. It’s fine if you want to wear them on your big day, too, but why not think outside of your usual repertoire and have some fun. Try on pieces that don’t immediately call to you. It’s like wedding dresses – the one you fall in love with isn’t always the one you thought you’d like!

6. You’re getting too matchy-matchy.

Maybe you have a special accessory you inherited from your grandmother and you’re trying to build your bridal jewelry ensemble around that. Don’t worry about achieving perfect harmony. Your gran’s pendant can be the standout piece that takes center stage. No one is going to notice if its gemstones are champagne while your other accessories are crystal clear. In fact, the difference could make that pendant all the more striking!

7. You’re wearing a veil when you’d rather not.

Yes, it’s traditional but so was capturing brides back in the day. You can wear a tiara, a headband, or nothing at all! The same goes for almost everything else. If you don’t want to wear earrings, don’t. If bracelets make your wrists itch or you can simply never find the right size, why feel obligated to wear one. They’re accessories, for goodness sake. They should be fun. If they aren’t, move on!

How much time have you spent shopping for your bridal jewelry?

christa terry author of iDo


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