Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Something Blue

Now this post is going to be my favorite! I love the interesting ways brides wear blue, which symbolizes fidelity, on their wedding day. You can have a little fun with this, and blue comes in so many shades you are bound to find something you love.

Check out this stunning sapphire and diamond eternity band, available through Brian Gavin Diamonds. It would make a fantastic addition to any jewelry collection, and could be an heirloom for your future children.

If your shoes are a little on the plain side, you have so many options if you get shoe clips! Heck, I even have a few pairs of shoe clips to jazz up my every day black pumps, they would be fantastic for a wedding! You could wear them every year on your anniversary to dinner. I love these blue satin and pearl flower clips found on etsy.

Have your seamstress embroider your names, monogram, wedding date, or a special message on the inside of your wedding gown. If you can't find a seamstress to do this, there are many options, like this seamstress on etsy to who can make you a blue wedding gown label.

Hanky Panky makes these adorable blue panties with "I DO" written on the hip in crystals. These underwear may look pretty, but they also are great for those who like to avoid panty lines!

After Carrie Bradshaw got married in those stunning cobalt blue Manolo's, many brides are dying for blue shoes. The problem? A lot of their mother's, who are probably paying for said shoes, aren't having it. Now you can both be happy, Pour la Victoire has come up with a line of bridal shoes, modeled after some very  famous Christian Louboutin blue-soled shoes. You have that hint of blue that will take fabulous photos, but as you walk down the aisle you won't be making your mother cringe. 

Something Borrowed

OK, I thought about making a "something new" post, but I feel as though I don't need to insult your intelligence, dear readers. Ideally, the "something borrowed" should come from a happily married woman, so as to borrow not only her belonging, but her good fortune. I think so long as you are borrowing from someone you are close to, you'll be in good shape.

Veils are one of the easiest things to borrow. Ask around and see if any friends or family memebers have something that would work with your dress. If your gown is simple, an antique veil would be gorgeous, so ask your mother, mother-in-law, or grandmother if theirs can be used. You would be surprised what a talented seamstress can restore.

Can't afford a diamond pendant or diamond chandelier earrings, but you'd love to be wearing some the day of? Borrow from a relative or good friend. I don't think they would feel taken advantage of, and would surely be flattered you thought of them. I'm even working with a bride who has a great relationship with a local jeweler and he is letting her borrow anything in the store. I need to know how to find a friend like that!

Carrying a bible down the aisle is a tradition that dates back several centuries. Have a close relative loan you a family bible, or even borrow one from the church you grew up in. Your florist can create a romantic spray of flowers to rest atop the bible, so you will still have a bouquet. If your are Catholic, borrow a rosary from someone and have your florist incorporate it into your bouquet.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Something Old

The tradition of carrying something old on your wedding day is to represent that a bride values her past and her past will continue on to her future. It can be anything, an antique, heirloom, or something sentimental from the your past.

A beautiful hat pin would look gorgeous tucked in to the bouquet or placed in your hair.

Don't know where to put that old button or handkerchief? Why don't you sew it to the inside of your wedding gown?

Tie a locket with photographs of deceased relatives or pictures of close family members on their wedding day to your bouquet, or wear one on a chain.

Who says your dress has to be new? Posh Girl Vintage is just one place to find beautiful vintage wedding gowns.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What's old is new again!

Currently, people are buying vintage gowns, cars, furniture, you name it. Well, let me introduce you to vintage-cut diamonds! For those of you that are exceptionally romantic, and love the idea that your stone could have been worn by someone over 200 years ago, take a look and be prepared to fall in love.... again.

Photo courtesy of Jewels by Erica Grace

When viewing and evaluating antique diamonds, be aware that you can't judge them as you would their modern counterparts. Antique diamonds have a soft romantic glow that is hard to resist. They were cut during a time when candles or lamps were the primary means to see, which is fairly impressive. These vintage diamonds usually have smaller tables, higher crowns, deeper pavilions and thicker girdles than modern cuts. The deeper cut holds the light longer and bounces it around, resulting in a kind of fire that is not often seen in modern diamonds. 

If you are a person who considers the most desirable diamonds to be of D-G color, you are going to be in for a major shift in expectations. Typically, most available antique cut stones will be lower in color. There are two reasons for this. First, there were fewer diamond mines operating then than there are now, and the stones from those mines were of a more ivory hue. Secondly, in the 1970's and 1980's many of the high color antique stones were unfortunately recut with modern technology. Luckily, old cuts face up considerably whiter than modern cuts of the same grade. For example, a J colored antique stone still appears very white to most people. 

Until the early 1900's, diamonds were cut by hand. As you can imagine, this was a painstaking and time-consuming process. The same can be said about the mountings created for these beauties. The hand-crafted settings from years past can't be beat. I adore the look and thought behind hand-made jewelry, and many prefer the appearance to cast settings.

What truly makes an antique diamond so special is that it is absolutely unique. You could gather ten diamonds of identical specifics (carat weight, color, dimensions) and wind up with ten very different looking stones. If you have an old cut stone, you know that it is absolutely one of a kind.

Below are four examples of antique diamond cuts. If you are looking for an engagement ring, be prepared to start lusting over these gorgeous stones.

Rose Cut 

Earrings for sale at Jewels by Erica Grace

Rose cut diamonds were initially on the scene in the 1500's in Antwerp, Belgium. The cut got it's name because it slightly resembles a rose.  The bottom of a Rose cut is completely flat and the crown is domed shaped, with the facets meeting at a point in the middle. Essentially, this cut has a crown but no pavillion. These stones are distinguished by the number of facets, the less facets it has, the older it most likely is. While rarely used for an engagement stone, rose cuts make beautiful earrings, pendants, and brooches. Perhaps they can be your "something old" on your wedding day.

Old Mine Cut

For more pictures of this stone, for sale at Jewels by Erica Grace, please click here.
For more pictures of this ring, for sale at Jewels by Erica Grace please click here.

Around since the 1700's, this is the precursor to today's cushion. Sometimes, an "OMC" is also referred to as an antique cushion. They typically have a soft round or oval shape, and feature the pillow-like appearance of a cushion. Old miner's have a high crown, resulting in a smaller table and often a larger cutlet, visible through the table. I adore the broad flashes these stones give off, a product of the chunky facets OMCs possess. The OMC is fit for any feminine and girly-girl looking for something different than what you can find at Tiffany's.

Old European Cut

For more pictures of this ring, for sale at Jewels by Erica Grace please click here. 

The ancestor of the modern round brilliant, the Old European Cut is a gorgeous look. It is a round shaped stone, with small to medium sized cutlets, a small table, and a substantial crown. The large facets create beautiful patterns, often resembling a flower or checkerboard appearance. "OEC's" have been donning ladies fingers, necklaces, and ears since the late 1800's. If you love classic, sleek, and historical, this stone is for you.

Transitional Cut

To view more photos of this diamond, please click here.

For more pictures of this ring, for sale at Jewels by Erica Grace please click here.

Exactly as they sound, transitional cuts are in-between the OEC and the modern brilliants of today. They feature a larger crown and smaller cutlet than any of the older cut stones. The first attempt at precision cutting is also referred to as an Early American Cut. This cutting style was not prevalent for a long period of time, so they are also a rare find, perfect for some one who prefers to be off the beaten path.

Where do you find the beauties of yeseteryear? Browse antique jewelry stores, your grandmother's jewelry box, estate sales, and even some brick and mortar jewelry stores. I also recommend Jewels by Erica Grace, a budding business of two women with a passion for antique stones with character. Singlestone is also a premier dealer in antique jewelry and reproductions. Oddly enough, Ebay is also a great resource in finding old cut stones.

Take it away, Marilyn!

*A very heartfelt thank you to my friend Melissa, for all of her wisdom in the world of antique diamonds.* 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My top 10 WORST celebrity wedding gowns!

As promised, here is my roundup of the top ten most atrocious celebrity wedding dresses. Some of these are unbelievably bad!

Number Ten: Danielle Spencer

Oh, it started out so beautifully! This dress could have been a contender for one of the best, if only that slit weren't so darn high! The Armani gown had 10,000 clear Swavorski crystals sewn onto chantilly lace. My question: How does one SIT in such a dress?

Number Nine: Pink

Oh my, that hair was bad. Did she not have time to fix it after her exercise class? I also do not think the bodice fit her well, it made her look a little... erm.. saggy. I'm not much of a fan of pick up skirts, but I suppose this could have been worse. Pink married Carey Hart in January of 2007 in Costa Rica. Her lace and satin gown was designed by Monique Lhuillier.

Number Eight: Victoria Beckham

The dress itself isn't all that bad. I think the crumb catcher top looks a little bit off, but I do appreciate the traditional shape of the Vera Wang gown. What I take issue with is the bouquet. Are thost apples? What on earth inspired her to choose that awful, vine mess? Also, shouldn't a bride look happy on her wedding day?

Number Seven: Chelsea Clinton

I had high hopes for the former First Daughter's dress, but I was quite disappointed with this Vera Wang travesty. The laser cut organza looks like a rumpled mess, it's too trendy of a look to me. I pictured Chelsea in something more figure hugging and I definitely would have pegged her to wear something classic.

Number Six: Heidi Montag

While Chelsea may have been surprisingly bad, I fully expected Heidi to show up in something awful. Again, Monique Lhuillier designed this gown, which is called "Symphony" from her Spring 2009 collection. The skirt is supposedly inspired by peacock feathers, but all I see are fish scales. Added to the busy ensemble were over a million dollars of borrowed Neil Lane diamonds. While I think each piece individually is gorgeous, she looks a bit like a gypsy with the sheer amount of jewelry she is wearing. My mom always told me to remove one accessory before walking out the door. I think Heidi should have removed four or five.

Number Five: Carrie Underwood

Yikes. This Monique Lhuillier custom-made dress looks like something a Jersey girl on Say Yes to the Dress would pick. The sheer chantilly lace bodice with exposed boning is erring on the trashy side. Underwood described her dress as "girly and pretty, and it's simple and glamorous at the same time." I think we possibly have different definitions of what "simple" means. The beautiful singer would have looked much better in something similar, but toned down.

Number Four: Britney Spears

The dress she wore for her ceremony to Kevin Federline wasn't all that bad. Her reception dress, however, was shocking. Can one even call that a dress? I want to put some pants on her! And, what's with the bra strap hanging out the sleeve? A few years after the divorce was finalized, Britney was spotted in an airport wearing the exact same dress, which is absolutely bizarre.

Number Three: Celine Dion

Now this one is over- the- top. It took 1,000 hours to complete the Mirella and Steve Gentile silk creation. Her train was twenty feet long, imagine carrying that around! She donned a 7-pound Swavorski crystal tiara that had to be sewn in to her head. That's right, sewn. The level of pain she must have experienced is astounding, especially considering she resembled an alien.

Number Two: Pamela Anderson

I always say, there is nothing as tacky as a drunk bride. I stand corrected. There is nothing as tacky as a drunk bride in a barely-there bikini. The Baywatch babe married rocker Kid Rock on a yacht in Saint Tropez and made headlines for her itty- bitty wedding attire.

Number One: Katie Price

Katie Price, also known as Jordan, is a British "celebrity." She was determined to have the longest wedding dress on record, so she ensured her pink tulle and satin monstrosity was 2,700 feet long. Everything about this look is bad, from the pink tiara, to the revealing top. Bless her heart, this poor dear just looks TACKY!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My top 10 celebrity wedding gowns

Throughout the years, countless celebrities have wowed us with their show-stopping gowns. These ten are, to me, the most timeless of them all.

Number Ten: Christina Aguilera

She married Jordan Bratman in November 19, 2005 in Napa Valley. Her elaborate, Christian LaCroix gown was made of organza and silk. I adore the Spanish flair of her ruffled train, and the vintage, beaded rosary she carried in lieu of a bouquet. Check out her pretty mantilla veil!

Number nine: Katherine Heigl

Just two days before Christmas 2008 the Grey's Anatomy star wed singer Josh Kelley in a knock out Oscar de la Renta silk faille dress. Everything about her look was vintage, from the ruffled collar to her birdcage veil, she brought back the romance of ages past. I love the silhouette on her curvy figure.
Number Eight : Tori Spelling
Her wedding took place on the grounds of her father, Aaron Spelling's estate. The bride wore a custom Bagdley Mischka gown, Tori worked closely with the designers to get exactly what she wanted. She drew much of her inspiration from 1920 flapper fashions, and carried the "Great Gatsby" theme through the reception. Her marriage to Charlie Shanian may not have lasted forever, but that stunning dress will certainly not be forgotten.

Number Seven: Audrey Hepburn

This Balmain dress was classic Audrey. No wonder a lifelong style icon chose such a infinitely stylish, tea-length dress for her wedding to Mel Ferrer in 1954. She was cute as could be, I love the fresh flowers in her pixie length hair.

Number Six: Caroline Bessette- Kennedy

That look of pure joy on Caroline Bessette and John F. Kennedy Jr. running out of a historic Baptist church in Georgia is one I will never forget. Sometimes less is more, which absolutely rang true with her Narcisco Rodriguez simple sheath. Nothing about her look was overdone, the low chignon and red lipstick were the perfect combination for a quiet, secret wedding.

Number Five: Kate Walsh

I think the Grey's Anatomy star's one-of-a-kind Monique Lhuillier wedding dress is probably the most underrated celebrity dress. Years before Ivanka Trump brought lace sleeves back in style, Kate dared to be differen when she wed Alex Young on September 1, 2007 in an Ojai, California Presbyterian church. Just look at that exquisite alençon lace over pale gold satin!

Number Four: Courteney Cox- Arquette

When "Monica" from Friends married the wacky David Arquette in June of 1999, the last thing I expected her to wear was a slinky, silk-crepe gown by Valentino. I love that she accessorized with a dotted swiss veil attached to a silk flowered comb, it was the icing on the cake to a brilliant ensemble. Though, I think she looked incredible, Ican't say that I'm too fond of what David wore.

Number Three: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy

One of our nation's most iconic First Lady's had hands down one of the most drop-dead gorgeous dresses of all time. A true style idol, she did not disappoint when it came to her wedding day on September 12, 1953. Over 700 guests witnessed her walk down the aisle in an Ann Lowe creation dupioni silk ballgown. Oddly enough, the dress is not what she had envisioned, but her future father-in-law wanted her in a traditional gown, so she acquiesced. The dress is now on display at the Kennedy Library in Boston, it's something I would be thrilled to see in person.

Number Two: Jenna Bush

The White House wild child grew up to be a stunning bride, she knocked my socks off with her Oscar de la Renta embroidered organza dress. The chic silhouette was just right with her rustic nuptials at the family ranch in Crawford, Texas. She achieved what many brides of today yearn to do, remain modern and classic all at once.

Number One: Grace Kelly

No surprise here! Her life was that of a fairy tale. Cinema star falls in love with the Prince of Monaco and becomes a princess. Three dozen seamstresses worked on Grace's gown for six weeks. It was designed by Academy Award-winning costume designer Helen Rose, and worn during the religious ceremony April 19, 1956. They had a civil ceremony the day before, where she donned a light pink taffeta dress with white kid gloves.  Her more famous dress was made of one- hundred yards of silk tulle, twenty-five yards of taffeta, and 125 year-old lace. Though many may try to mimic this gown's perfection, few have come close. Grace Kelly's dress has stood the test of time, and will always be unforgettable.

Who would be in your top ten? Comments are always welcome. Stay tuned, dear readers, next week I'll give you my ten least favorite celebrity wedding gowns.