Traditional Wedding Cake by Elaine Ashton via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but we here at the Bridal Costume Jewellery blog have been seeing a rising trend in Scandinavian inspired weddings. We have seen features across a number of publications and bridal websites covering such trends and so we thought we’d take a look at two of our favourite Scandi-style bridal jewellery.
First up we have Renaissance Life, a brand specialising in beautiful whimsical jewellery. Whilst not costume jewellery, the sheer aesthetic appeal of the Renaissance Life collection might make you go that extra mile in terms of Bridesmaid gifts. Each piece in the Renaissance Life portfolio has had a great deal of care go into its design, and as such it’s clear to see that each one has a story behind it. This story is then lovingly created through excellent craftsmanship in fine materials. Continue reading
Every Bride wants to look her best on her wedding day and to have some lovely accessories to enhance her outfit. It is even better if those pieces can be kept for the future and used again. There is also the issue of the bridesmaids to consider as they will need jewellery and accessories too and it is traditional to buy them a gift. If you are not careful the costs can start mounting up rapidly and it makes no sense to spend big on jewellery if the cost is out of keeping with the rest of your wedding budget.
I bet everyone has lusted after a beautiful diamond or a stunning sapphire in their time. I know I have but for most of us high end jewellery is a luxury we simply cannot afford. This is especially true when you are getting married as there are so many other expenses to accommodate. There is no doubt that costume jewellery can look truly spectacular but if you are looking for something that little bit special and precious for your big day then there is another way. You can enjoy the beauty of precious metals and gemstones if you look beyond gold and diamonds and dare to be different.
Whilst gold is extremely expensive and prices have risen sharply in recent years silver remains very affordable. To the untrained eye silver is indistinguishable from white gold and unlike some costume jewellery it will not irritate your skin either. It is possible to buy gems set in Sterling Silver and this is gemstone jewellery which is very affordable but will look dazzling on the day. You won’t have to sacrifice style either as there is some gorgeous silver jewellery on the market in stand-out designs.
If you wanted dazzling diamonds but they are simply beyond your budget then consider crystal jewellery instead. You still get the wonderful sparkle and luxurious look but at a fraction of the price. With crystals you can really go big and have as much sparkle as you want. If you are looking for coloured stones then rubies, emeralds and sapphires can be pricey whereas amethyst, aventurine, citrine and rhodolite are equally beautiful but won’t cost the earth. There are stones to match any colour theme that you may have and gemstone jewellery makes the perfect gift for your bridesmaids. You could even buy some special pieces as a gift for the mother of the bride too.
Choose the right jewellery for your wedding and it can become a real talking point. You can impress all of guests with your carefully chosen pieces and really dazzle throughout the day. You can tell them what a bargain you have uncovered or you can keep quiet and let them think you haves spent a fortune on precious gems, it is up to you, but you can certainly make an impression without having to expand your budget.
Article by Sally Stacey
If like me you sit glued to the Antiques Roadshow every Sunday evening, you’ll know how an expensive box can get the heart racing when someone pulls some jewellery out of their bag to be valued. Expensive pieces of jewellery typically have expensive boxes, often custom made to fit the necklace, brooch, earrings or tiara contained within. Antiques experts love nothing better than a lovely leather box with the word Cartier or Faberge on it, but does presentation matter so much with modern jewellery? Continue reading
In the midst of a world recession most industry sectors are experiencing challenging times but one area that is bucking the trend is luxury and designer watches. With the poorer members of society suffering and the lower-middle classes being squeezed, the more affluent people continue to enjoy a significant disposable income and increasingly look to spend it on aspirational items which include fine timepieces. Luxury watches are statement pieces and high-end fashion accessories and their producers have prospered in recent years from an increasingly image conscious world and the boom in the Chinese economy.
Things are not set to change, however, as an economic slowdown hits China and the Government have severely cracked down on corruption. Many of the luxury watches purchased in China were bought as impressive gifts to be used as inducements in business deals and for money laundering purposes. A very vocal popular outcry has seen aggressive action on the part of the authorities to stop these practices and so the burgeoning Chinese market for designer pieces may now come to a halt. Watch producers must now look to a new direction in order to continue their impressive growth.
The increased prosperity of some South American countries offers potential for new sales but by far the biggest untapped market is watches for women. It is uncertain exactly what proportion of the current market ladies timepieces constitute but it is thought to be no more than 20%. Men have traditionally been far more interested in watches than women but this could be in mainly due to the products on offer being largely designed for men with the majority of the women’s offerings being merely scaled down or adapted versions of these watches. If women are to be attracted to the market in greater numbers the styles must be specifically developed with women’s tastes in mind. It is probably the case that the female half of the population are more attracted to design features like shape and colour rather than gadgets and gizmos. A woman will view a watch much like a Gucci handbag, not like an iPhone.
There are signs that the big brands are taking a serious look at their ladies watches and we can expect to see more styles coming to market soon with the emphasis on styling. Ladies watches which are just smaller versions of the men’s pieces may soon be a thing of the past as interesting new designs featuring feminine colours and elegant lines start to appear. Women’s watches are about to move from afterthought to centre stage and the trend will probably filter down from the luxury end of the market through mid-range timepieces like models from Hugo Boss and Swiss brand Tissot to even budget ranges. There is a vast untapped market out there and sooner or later the producers of watches are going to capitalise on it.
Sally Stacey is a keen blogger and watch enthusiast who is excited about the new trends in timepieces for women.
It’s cheap, it’s quick and it’s fun but is a drive-through wedding your dream day or your idea of a nightmare? If you don’t really want all the fuss of a big wedding, have a small budget or would prefer to spend the funds you do have on a damn good holiday rather than a wedding reception then the Vegas quickie could be your solution. There are several venues offering the drive-through experience and it can cost as little as $100!
Basic packages include just the ceremony in your own car with background music. Simply get your marriage licence, book your slot, turn up and a few minutes later you are married! The service is conducted through a hatch whilst you sit in your car which might sound crazy but it is somehow very romantic! If you fancy something a little more extravagant you can book a limousine for the occasion or an exotic car like an Elvis style pink Cadillac and many venues offer extras like flowers and photographs.
If you hire a limo you also have the option to be collected from your hotel before the ceremony or to take a chauffeur driven tour of the sights stopping off in some great locations for pictures. Add champagne to your vehicle for the ultimate in luxury drives.
If you take your own vehicle it doesn’t matter what it is, some venues will even allow motorbikes. This could be the ideal wedding for motocross fans. Wear your leathers and turn up on your bikes wearing motocross accessories instead of jewellery! Harley Davidson fans would be in heaven too!
However you choose to arrive, services are available until 11.45pm each day and can be conducted in several different languages. The venues will even give you a just married sign for the car when you leave!
When the deed is done you couldn’t be in a better place to enjoy yourselves. Take a tour of the Strip before celebrating over dinner in one of Las Vegas’ fine restaurants and do something romantic to top off the day. You could watch the fountain show outside the Bellagio hotel and pray that the soundtrack is not “Time to Say Goodbye” or you could experience a helicopter flight over the city as the sun goes down. There are also numerous spectacular shows to enjoy and you could be lucky enough to catch one of your favourite bands on tour. Who knows you might even win your fortune in one of the casinos!
At first glance a drive-through wedding looks a bit gimmicky but thousands of couple every year find this a very romantic way to marry and it will save you a lot of hassle organising a big event. You have a fantastic honeymoon destination at your disposal and as soon as the ceremony is over you can get on with enjoying yourselves in the sunshine. It could be worse!
I have been running a bridal shop for 8 years and during that time I have experienced some very usual requests from my brides. Sometimes it is just a case of strange colour choices or unusual fashion tastes but occasionally I have been asked to source some weird and wonderful items for weddings which are great fun to arrange and which stick in the memory. Here are my favourites:
Nothing unusual about tuxedos you might think but there is when they are for your dogs! I was asked to find two full formal outfits for a pair of Jack Russell’s and I was surprised to discover that such items do exist. The wedding went ahead with the dogs suitably dressed for the occasion and I now like this idea so much that I am recommending the concept to all brides whose venues allow animals.
One of my brides was very concerned about her young flower girls ruining their pretty dresses and so asked me to create matching bibs. Ivory bibs with sequins were in short supply and so I created a bespoke model using an ivory towel, some spare fabric from the dresses and beaded detail which matched the gowns. The bibs looked fab and I am now strongly considering creating some more in different colours.
Yes there are actually brides who want to get married in their trainers taking the idea of comfortable shoes to a new place! One of my brides wanted her shoes to look a little more appropriate for the occasion and so I found myself adding diamante stones and crystals to the white shoes in order to create a more bridal look. I am not sure the idea will catch on but the bride was pleased and that is what counts.
Goth brides often choose to get married in black but one of my clients decided to go red with Doc Martens boots underneath. I was amazed to discover that she was going to walk down the aisle to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” on top of everything else. That was really a wedding with a difference!
I wonder what I will be asked for in the future. Customised Wellington boots featuring Swarovski crystal or perhaps sparkly jewellery with skull motifs? I could introduce fancy lingerie like the gorgeous Eberjey chemise adapted for cats or create bridal music with screaming goats. Who knows what people will want next!
Every year the Pantone Color Institute select a specific shade to be their official colour of the year. The institute is the World’s leading authority on colour and technology for communicating colour and so designers across the planet keep a close eye on their annual choice as it will inevitably spark new trends in fashion, jewellery, interior décor and even car paint.
Current and predicted trends and significant world issues are all considered in finding the colour of the year in order to accurately reflect the particular era. With the environment currently being a major concern and Emeralds returning to popularity in a big way it should be no surprise that the choice for 2013 is Emerald Green. We can now expect striking shades of green to feature heavily on the catwalks and many jewellery collections are sure to follow suit.
Baselworld is the world’s largest trade fair for the jewellery and watch industries and in a nod to the colour of the year and to the current taste for the precious stone, Bayco’s stand in 2013 featured the Stella Green, a 206 carat Colombian Emerald of extraordinary quality. Bayco produce unique pieces of jewellery from exquisite gemstones and had wanted to purchase the rare stone for many years before the collector who owned it finally agreed to sell. Sadly Baselworld is a trade only event and so the rest of will not get to see this magnificent stone on display but the colour of Emerald should soon be everywhere.
Most of us are not in the position to purchase an emerald encrusted necklace or a jewelled watch but the demand for green is bound to be reflected in the more affordable ranges of timepieces and costume jewellery. Ice Watches and Kahuna Watches already strongly feature bold splashes of striking greens and fashionable brands like Hugo Boss and Armani are sure to follow on. The colour of the year in 2012 was Tangerine Tango and this was reflected in the Sally Stacey is a wedding professional and regular blogger with her finger on the pulse! She is currently writing on behalf of Watchhub who offer a fine collection of timepieces including the Tissot and Hugo Boss ranges.
Weddings are a special day for all involved, but it can be said with some certainty that it is for the bride that it’s most special. Films and books endorse the concept that for years and years many women dream about their wedding day and this is of course true for some and not for others. The details of a wedding take time to plan, but at the end of the day it’s all about two people coming together to make a commitment to each other. Once you’ve had your go, your big day, it’s normally time for you to play the role of guest at other’s weddings, and this can be an excellent excuse to dress up and let your hair down (at the reception that is!).
Once invited to a wedding you can begin to plan exactly what it is you’re going to wear. With most traditional weddings this can be an easy task; however you may run into some difficulty when confronted with a themed wedding, a style of wedding that is ever increasingly growing in popularity. The main focus of any outfit is surely going to be a dress. Look for a flattering style which lets you appear refined and elegant. Sticking to choosing a colour from the main colour palette for your dress will be beneficial when you begin to look for other matching accessories including shoes and a hat or fascinator. Online retailers such as Peppermint offer excellent and fashionable dresses like those from Vero Moda clothing at great prices, giving you an inexpensive couture look.
As mentioned some other aspects of your outfit to consider aside from your dress would be matching or complementary shoes and a hat or fascinator. Hats and fascinators are a common sight at a traditional wedding and many beautiful designs can be purchased from high-street retailers at little cost. Wearing an elegant hat can really make you stand out from the crowd, accentuating the rest of your outfit, especially if the whole ensemble matches well. Of course care should be given as not to “out do” the bride, as after all it is her special day. One way of making this certain is to avoid white or white-ish tones when choosing your outfit for their big day, this way there will be no confusion as to who exactly should be the centre of attention. To finish off an outfit you should select complementary pieces of jewellery such as a matching necklace and earring set. The jewellery should be chosen with your dress in mind so that it works with the cuts of the dress, this is especially important around the neckline.
On your most special of days you really want to be as well presented as you can be and this doesn’t just mean a beautiful dress, sparkling jewellery and some lovely shoes… Continue reading