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How to Choose Vintage and Costume Wedding Jewelry

Apr07

Vintage wedding jewelry has become extremely popular, not only for wedding and engagement rings, but also for the bride’s wedding jewelry and bridesmaids’ accessories. Here are a few things to consider, both when choosing your own vintage ring and other accessories:

Do your research on your seller. There are many ways to purchase vintage wedding rings, such as through online sellers, antique jewelry stores, or estate sales. Before purchasing a ring, you should probably take it to a professional jeweler to confirm its value. (This may not be possible with online sellers, so make sure that you are pay-protected.)

You may not necessarily want an actual antique ring; you may be looking for something that has a vintage look. In this case, decide what type of style you are looking for by browsing antique shops, wedding band shops, and other boutiques that specialize in vintage jewelry.

If you do decide to get an antique ring, have a certified jewelry appraiser look at it to make sure that it is authentic. Only make purchases from reputable sellers.

Consider designing your own ring. This is becoming more and more popular, as brides want completely original designs that no one else has. Also, it makes the ring very special, especially if the groom designs it, or the two of you design it together. Note: you may want to have your jeweler make a wax copy first to make sure you like the ring. You don’t want to go through the whole process of having a ring made, and then not be satisfied with it. A design on paper will look different than the actual ring.

For your bridal accessories, consider both your neckline and your hair style. Crystal wedding jewelry, such as chandelier earrings, looks lovely with an updo. Alternately, a choker-style necklace does not look great with a V-neck dress. Remember that a square or straight neckline (such as a strapless gown) often looks great with a choker. A dress with a scoop neckline is often accentuated with a tiered (or multi-stranded) necklace. A simple pendant looks great with a V-line. Keep in mind that if you are wearing large chandelier earrings, you probably should not wear a necklace at all. You do not want your wedding jewelry to take away from your dress, or, more importantly, to take away from the bride!

You may also want to consider antique hairpieces, especially ones with pearls, crystals, faux diamonds, or vintage-looking fabrics such as tulle. Again, you need to consider your dress and veil before purchasing a hairpiece.

For your bridesmaids, try to choose jewelry that is timeless, something that they could take out and wear again in the future. Make sure that the materials do not look cheap (or leave smudge marks on their necks, which cheap necklaces often do). Look for brass or sterling silver. Again, the same rules regarding necklines apply to your bridesmaids. Choose either a necklace or earrings (unless both are very simple), and make sure that a necklace type corresponds to the neckline of the dress.

When in doubt, choose pearls! Pearls are timeless, classic, and have a decidedly vintage appeal. And they go well with many different colors and fabrics.

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Minimalist Wedding: The Dress

Apr07

One of the many perks of being a minimalist is that you get to simplify everything, including your wedding. Weddings can be stressful enough as it is, so having added pressure to buy a big expensive wedding gown can really weigh on you. Use the following ideas while on the search for proper wedding attire that supports to your lifestyle.

Stay away from bulky gowns, for example princess wedding dresses. You’ll find that this style is one of the top wedding trends of 2011, but that doesn’t mean you need to hop on that train. Speaking of trains, stay away from them as well. As a minimalist, one of your goals is likely to have as little fabric and bulkiness for stowing as possible, so stay away from any unnecessary fabric.

Forego any veils or headpieces, and instead opt for a gorgeous hairstyle. Although veils, headpieces, and hair accessories can be beautiful additions to your wedding ensemble, they aren’t necessary and can be costly.

If it’s space you’re most concerned about, then consider a cocktail length wedding gown. This length comes in many different styles, including halter, strapless, one shouldered, and is available in countless different fabrics.

Whichever dress you end up choosing, just make sure you keep it simple—just like your lifestyle!

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Wedding Ring 101

Apr07

There are countless factors that come into play when choosing your wedding ring. Whether you want to explore custom designed rings or not, what type of metal, and of course, what stone fits your unique personality and style are all questions you’ll need to answer on your journey toward your perfect ring.

First, decide what type of ring you want. Narrowing it down to either vintage, modern, or classic will make your search a whole lot easier once you find yourself online or in stores trying different styles on. Classic diamond wedding rings come in various styles, but tend to be conservative and timeless. Modern rings tend to have bold mountings, open shanks, and unique diamond settings. Vintage style wedding rings typically include micropave diamonds, milgrain details, and halo settings.

The next step—and the most fun—is choosing the diamond shape you want. The most common choices include the following shapes: round, princess, emerald, pear, radiant, oval, heart, or marquise.

What type of metal do you want? You have your pick of platinum, silver, or gold wedding rings. There are other metals to choose from, but the aforementioned three are the most common. 14-karat white or yellow gold is the most coveted metal for wedding rings, due to the fact that it is rich in color and durability. 18 karat gold scratches more easily and is a bit softer than 14-karat gold, however it has a color that’s too rich to resist. Anything below 14 lacks luster and appears dull.

Silver wedding rings are a great option for those of you on a budget. Although silver is soft, it easily tarnishes. Another option is platinum, which is a gorgeous white metal and a common choice for wedding rings.

Other metals to consider include titanium, copper, and steel. The main concern with these metals, is that they can cause discoloration and irritate skin, depending on body chemistry.

The next step in deciding on a ring is choosing the type of wedding band you want. The good news is that bands are designed in countless styles; the bad news is that you might have a hard time deciding! Bands typically come in round, comfort fit, and flat styles. The half-round is the most traditional of all wedding bands. The comfort fit wedding band is the heaviest of all bands, and also the most expensive. The edges are comfortable and round, hence the name. Last but not least, flat wedding bands are the most linear and understated of all bands.

Don’t forget about size! It’s imperative you choose the perfect fit because you don’t want your precious ring slipping off. Your local jeweler has finger sizers that will give an accurate reading on your ring size. Since your fingers vary is size during the week, due to the time of day, water retention, etc. it’s best to have your ring finger re-sized at least three times throughout the duration of one week before landing on a final size.

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Buddhist Wedding Engagements & Ceremonies

Apr07

The main difference between a Buddhist wedding ceremony and other religious based ceremonies is that it is centered on spiritual faith. Buddhist wedding ceremonies may seem simple at first, but actually require a good amount of planning if the Buddhist couple wants to adhere to traditional Buddhist rituals.

Are you and your partner a match made in heaven? Before you can even get engaged, your partner must first consult a Buddhist priest, or monk, to ensure that your horoscopes are compatible and that you’re a good match. If you and your partner’s horoscopes do not match up, according to the Buddhist priest, then you are asked to separate, and discontinue your relationship. If you are indeed deemed to be a good match, then your partner along with his family and priest will decide on a spiritually sound date to propose marriage.

Traditionally monks were not allowed at Buddhist ceremonies, however, in modern day Buddhist weddings they play an important role from beginning to end.

Following the proposal is a traditional betrothal ceremony called Chessian. In the Chessian, the bride’s uncle is placed on a platform, while the Buddhist priest shares Madyan with guests, which is a religious drink.

After the Chessian, the bride and groom decide where to hold the ceremony. Buddhist ceremonies typically take place in small venues, and include only close friends and family members. It is not uncommon to hold a Buddhist ceremony at the bride’s home or a temple.

On the day of the wedding the following rituals take place:

  • The bride and groom are required to wear traditional Buddhist wedding garments. The bride must wear a dress called Bhaku, as well as the groom.
  • A shrine honoring Buddha should be prepared at the ceremony location.
  • The groom must add the bride’s dowry to the shrine honoring Buddha. The dowry typically includes fruit, tea, cake, jewelry, meat, and incense.
  • A tray holding two candles should also be placed on the shrine. The couple will light the candles during the ceremony.
  • A red paste is applied to both the bride and grooms foreheads.
  • The ceremony begins when the couple lights the candles as well as the incense.
  • Guests are asked to pour water on the bride and groom's hands. This ritual represents the blessings placed on the couple.
  • The following hymns are recited: Vandana, Tisarana, and Pancasila.
  • After the hymns, traditional Buddhist wedding vows are recited by the couple, which is inscribed in the Sigilovdda Sutta. The vows are as follows: "Towards my wife I undertake to love and respect her, be kind and considerate, be faithful, delegate domestic management and present gifts to please her." The bride then responds with, "Towards my husband I undertake to perform my household duties efficiently, be hospitable to my in-laws and friends of my husband, be faithful, protect and invest our earnings and discharge my responsibilities lovingly and fastidiously."
  • The ceremony is concluded with Buddhist wedding readings, and blessings for the newly married couple.

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Wedding Planning Websites for Minimalists

Apr07

These days, you can find information on just about anything in just a few clicks. Since minimalism is on the rise, so are websites about this movement, and way of life. If you are a minimalist who’s on the lookout for wedding planning websites, then make a note of the following minimalist sites.

This bridal planning website is fantastic because it’s a blog written by Alison Andrews, a bride who had a full-blown minimalist wedding from beginning to end. Alison and her husband, Jaye, decided to have a minimalist wedding mainly because it financially made sense for them, and also because of their lack of time. Alison was prepping for her graduation, which took place the day after their wedding, as well as a move to Taiwan with Jaye for one year to teach English. An extreme wedding didn’t make sense for Alison and Jaye because they were gearing up to move their lives post vows.

Alison and her fiancé got married at their local Home Affairs Office in their hometown of Cape Town. Only their closest family members were there as Alison and Jaye exchanged their vows, wearing non-traditional wedding garb—casual outfits they already had.

Alison and Jaye, with the help of their friends and family, had small wedding bouquets, off-the-cuff wedding photos, and the perfect minimalist wedding experience.

Alison’s blog delves into every other aspect of her minimalist wedding, including her and Jaye’s wedding bands, the reception, her minimalist wedding car (a VW Bug), and more.

Paper Doll Romance is another great wedding blog for minimalists. It's a blog about “romance, weddings, and generally girly things.” This blog will inspire minimalist brides throughout their search for answers, ideas, and general wedding guidance.

This blog has great ideas about your wedding venue, and agrees that most wedding venues are bombarded with brocade curtains, patterned carpets, and chandeliers, which are visually overbearing and unnecessary. For the minimalist, a venue with an abundance of wide-open space is ideal, and should look like a blank canvas. Open, white, modern spaces are the perfect space for minimalist couples to have a wedding that represents their way of life, and gives them free reign to scatter a few simple candles, vases, and flowers.

This post also offers some great photos for wedding inspiration in regards to your wedding dining tables, flowers, name cards, wedding cake, wedding dress, and bridesmaid dresses.

For those of you seeing advice on minimalism, explore SimpleRabbit and BeMoreWithLess.

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7 Practical Tips for DIY Wedding Invitations

Apr06

If you are planning to make DIY wedding invitations, it is incredibly important that you set aside enough time. A DIY wedding is worth it only if you do not allow it to stress you out too much, and if the time you spend is worth the amount of money you save. Here are a few tips for DIY wedding invitations:

1. One of the best ways to sabotage an effort at DIY invitations is to miscalculate the amount of time they are going to take you. Most wedding experts recommend that you send out your invitations at least 6-8 weeks before your wedding, and you should probably set aside approximately two months to complete the entire task of designing, assembling, printing, and addressing your invitations. The time may also vary, depending on how large your wedding is (and how many invitations you will have to address!) It may also depend on how much help you have. The process can be tedious, so you will want to do it in increments so that you can actually enjoy it. If you are completely stressed and pressed for time, you will not have fun!

2. Decide on your envelopes before you begin designing your invitations. This is crucial, because there are very specific sizes out there. You do not want to finish designing and printing out your invitations and then realize that the size envelope you need is actually nonexistent! Choose your envelopes first; the paper size will follow.

3. When you choose your paper, make sure it is a bit smaller than your envelope to allow for wiggle room. Also, double check to make sure that any inserts you want to include will also fit within the envelope dimensions.

4. Before deciding on an invitation design, print it out to see what it will look like on actual paper. If you still love your design as much when looking at it in hard copy (not on a computer screen), then it is probably the right one!

5. If possible, take a calligraphy class, or recruit friends or family with beautiful handwriting. Taking a calligraphy class will come in handy not just for addressing your wedding invitations, but also for the many thank you notes you will be writing in the months to come. A tangible, handwritten note or letter has so much value, given that we live in an age of texts, twitters, RSS feeds, and emails. Knowing how to write beautifully will give you an unexpected edge, not just for your wedding season, but also professionally.

6. Have several people proofread your invitation before you send it. It is truly embarrassing to send out an invitation with typos; like your wedding, your invitations should be elegant, classy and as flawless as possible.

7. Weigh everything before you buy postage to buy the right amount.

Remember: if DIY wedding trends are not for you, or if the amount of time you would spend simply is not worth it, do not despair. Some people really enjoy the process of making wedding invitations, centerpieces, etc.; others do not. If you are in the “do not” category, simply sit back and enjoy the process of choosing your invitation design and having them professionally addressed!

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Beach Wedding Attire: What to Wear to a Beach Wedding

Apr06

Many people tend to think that a beach wedding automatically means they can dress down. Unfortunately, this is not the case. You may not need to dress as fancily as if you were going to a wedding at a high-end hotel, but you still want to look like you are going to a special occasion. Here are a few rules to guide your choice on beach wedding attire:

Go with vibrant colors. Bright reds, purples, corals, and blues are great for beach weddings. More muted colors such as beiges, silvers, mauves blacks and browns may look great for an indoor wedding, but beach weddings demand a bit more color.

When in doubt, got with a floral dress. This does not mean that you can throw on a cotton halter dress that could be mistaken for a beach cover-up. A floral print dress in a nice fabric is both comfortable and elegant. However, make sure that it is long enough (or that you have something underneath) to account for windy days.

For men's beach wedding attire, linen is a great option. Linen pants, shirts, and jackets are great because they are comfortable (without looking too casual).

When it comes to beach wedding shoes, you need them to be practical yet nice. Rubber flip-flops should never be worn. A flat leather sandal is ideal. Do not wear stilettos, or you will draw too much attention to yourself as you try to make your way through the sand.

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New Arrivals at DavidsBridal.com: Vera Wang's White

Apr06

Wedding fashion is in a constant flux, which is a very good thing for bride’s looking for the latest and greatest wedding gown styles. The David’s Bridal website updates on a regular basis, giving you up-to-date information on various designer collections, including the White collection by Vera Wang.

One of the most recent White arrivals includes one of the most elegant halter wedding dresses to grace the site. It is a draped charmeuse halter with a net skirt and is only available at the David’s Bridal store. What makes this dress even more appealing is the price!

Another White addition includes a v-neck soft A line gown that is adorned with hand appliquéd lace. If you’re a true romantic, this dress is the one for you!

One of the wedding dress styles that was found front row and center in the bridal fashion world is the classic ball gown. The White collection offers a gorgeous satin-faced organza ball gown that would take any bride’s breath away. If you want to be the belle of the ball, then consider choosing this style wedding gown, and your wish will certainly come true.

Regardless of the wedding gown style you end up choosing, it’s important to keep in mind that your gown should fit your unique style and personality.

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2 Wedding Cake Designs with Chocolate Frosting

Apr05

When you think of wedding cake designs, you probably think of white or ivory frosting on the outside. This is the most classic and elegant approach. However, this means that you are limited to frostings that are white, such as butter cream, vanilla, or cream cheese frosting (which can give a bit of a yellow hue). However, if you are a chocolate lover, here are two ideas for whimsical and modern wedding cakes that demand chocolate frosting on the outside:

Chocolate Leaves & Petals: The chocolate leaves and petals wedding cake is covered in dark chocolate curls that resemble petals and leaves, with a moist hazelnut mocha cake beneath. This cake is especially great for autumn weddings, or for spring weddings, cover it with lavender, for a chocolate brown and lavender color combination.

Coffee Wedding Cake: For those who love coffee and chocolate, this cake is done in three layers (each with a different shade of mocha, progressively getting lighter from bottom to top). Underneath is a delicious coffee cake with dark chocolate frosting inside.

Remember, if your caterer or bakery does not offer these designs, it is always possible to bring them a photo of a particular cake. They may not offer to do it, but if they do (and it’s a hit), it could become one of their signature wedding cake designs.

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Traditional Jewish Wedding Music

Apr05

If you’re planning a traditional Jewish wedding, then you might want to explore your music options. When choosing the ceremony and reception music, make sure that you pick songs that highlight this joyous occasion, and that the music honors and respects the Jewish religion.

Before the bride makes her way toward the Chuppah wedding canopy, it is customary that two processional music selections are played for family members and the wedding party. The first song should be played for the family members, and the second as when the groom waits for his bride.

Music has always been a strong and lasting part of the Jewish religion, that it is imperative to integrate traditional wedding music into Jewish wedding ceremonies. Jewish brides typically choose ceremonial music like “Erev Shel Shoshanim,” or “Dodi Li." Another option is a modern Hebrew song called “Lechi Lach,” or even “The Wedding Song."

Jewish wedding reception music includes the music played while guests dance the Hora, which is a basic grapevine step. This is the most joyous and exciting part of the Jewish wedding because all wedding guests are invited to dance in a circle and celebrate the occasion.

Make sure you buy comfortable shoes for your traditional Jewish wedding, because you’ll be doing a lot of dancing!

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