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Jewelry | Manolo for the Brides - Part 4
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Bridal Jewelry by LaVieja Tun Tun

Aren’t these just too pretty? LaVieja Tun Tun‘s bridal necklaces, hair clips, hair pins, and other bridal accessories are feminine, romantic, and perfect perhaps for the bride who wants a striking piece of jewelry to complement her classic, Hollywood, or vintage wedding day look.

bridal jewelry necklaces roses

Hand formed soft fabric roses are paired with glass pearls, Czech beads, semi-precious stones, and brass links to make all manner of bridal jewelry (that is also nice for the bridesmaid or even the non-bride). Apparently, LaVieja Tun Tun will happily custom make a necklace or other piece using your wedding colors, but I’m having a hard time confirming that. I’m envisioning the brighter counterparts of the accessories above on brides who want to add a little more color and flair in their bridal ensemble.

What do you think? LaVieja Tun Tun’s designs are quite chunky and can dominate. Too much? Just enough?

Something Blue, On the Chain

Still looking for your “something blue”? Plenty of brides hide something blue under their skirts in the form of a blue bridal garter or blue satin shoes. Then there are brides who add a touch of blue to their wedding gowns with the addition of a sash or even wear an entirely blue wedding dress! Maybe, however, none of these options sounds right to you. May I suggest a bridal necklace that features a big splash of sparkling blue? For just under $50, a frequently closer to $30, a bride can get something blue that is bright, fun, and totally rewearable. Here are four of my faves:

something blue 5

From afar, this blue pendant necklace from An Optimistic Cynic looks rather like blue opal because of the different colors, but come closer and you see that it’s actually painted flowers. Matching beads on a uniquely-shaped chain complete the look. ($25)


Jewelry Rental: Wear a $24,000 Necklace, Spend $490

Much of the bridal jewelry that can be described as affordable is meh. For the most part, you have your faux pearl sets and your glittering rhinestone pieces available in every color under the sun.

I tend to recommend spending a bit more (but not much more) for vintage costume jewelry that will at least be well made or, better yet, scrap the whole notion of buying something new and ask grandma or a great aunt for that special “something borrowed.” Shopping in one’s own closet can yield some surprisingly bridal results, though that depends on whether you have a tendency to amass jewelry.

Then again, it could turn out that no one in your family has good taste or an eye for fanciful things and maybe vintage jewelry just isn’t your bag. What is a girl to do? This is where I suggest taking a cue from Hollywood, spending even more money, and borrowing bridal jewelry usually reserved for those who exist in mountain-high tax brackets. Jewelry rental! Assuming you’re not famous enough to attract designers desperate for you to wear their necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, please read ‘borrow’ as ‘rent.’

bridal jewelry rental

That’s right, jewelry rental. The same way that brides can rent wedding dresses (though few actually do), brides can rent bridal jewelry… really nice bridal jewelry. Adorn Brides puts some seriously precious metals and gems into the hands of those who might otherwise be stuck pairing an el cheapo bridal jewelry set with a $1,000 wedding gown. How does jewelry rental work? It works like this:

1. Go shopping and pick out the pieces you love and add them to your “shopping bag.” Check their availability by entering your event date.
2. Check out using a credit card to order the jewelry for your event date.
3. Look amazing wearing the jewelry on your wedding day

  • We will call you a few days before your event to confirm shipping information and review the details.
  • Your jewelry will arrive 2 business days prior to your event.
  • Best of all, the jewelry is insured while in your possession and the insurance is included in the rental price! (If the jewelry is not returned, we will charge a 33% deductible.)
  • Please note that an amount equal to approximately 5% of the retail value of the jewelry will be reserved on your credit card while you have the jewelry as a temporary security deposit.

4. Send it back on the first business day after your event using packaging and pre-paid label Adorn provides for you.

  • Simply drop it off at the closest UPS store.
  • Once we receive the jewelry we will remove the security deposit.

Voila! Jewelry rental! Do note that even though renting a fine piece of jewelry will cost you a lot less than buying a fine piece of jewelry, bridal jewelry rental can still set you back a pretty penny. Think in the order of $1,000 for a complete set, and even then I’m not talking about a pair of huge champagne diamond earrings. In other words, jewelry rental is only a budget option if your wedding budget is fairly well-padded. Bridal jewelry rental is, however, an idea perfect for the diamondless bride dead set on wearing real diamonds on her wedding day.

The Question: Are Women Losing Out On ‘Precious Carats?’

Sometimes the public relations e-mails I get really raise my hackles, particularly when the companies advertising therein are trying to convince me (and thereby you) that their product or service is necessary to matrimonial or marital happiness. For example, I recently received an e-mail with this subject line: Is the recession costing women carats? Here is the FiLife poll doing the asking, where the actual question is “How many weeks’ salary is appropriate to spend on an engagement ring?”:

The more traditional seven to nine weeks is winning out over three to five weeks, but just barely. Personally, I think the appropriate number of weeks’ salary is however many weeks the giver can afford and is comfortable with. For some, that might be half a weeks’ salary. For others, it might be ninety-nine weeks’ salary. Twistie has her silver frog. I have two engagement rings, both of which sport semi-precious stones and were purchased via eBay. Most of my momfriends have these ginormous diamond engagement rings that kind of make my eyes glaze over. Different strokes for different folks, right?

But I guess not, since us ladies are apparently losing out on precious carats now that there’s a recession on. Poll comments like “I want a real ring to go along with my real marriage…If you are cheap don’t take champange (sic) to the beer store.” appear to confirm it. You know us women, all thinking math is hard and drooling slack-jawed over shiny bits of carbon. Seriously though, diamonds are definitely pretty, but precious carats? Precious carats? Goodness forbid we have to go through life without enough carats in our engagement rings!

My only consolation is that if the recession gets bad enough, we’ll all be too busy worrying about acquiring, ahem, precious carrots to give a thought to precious carats.

Let Them Eat Cake Jewels

Can we talk about something? Yeah, this cake jewelry thing…I have to say that I’m not so sure about it. I mean, I’m down with brides wearing as many jewels as they can fit on themselves, so long as they like it and can afford it. That’s cool by me. I didn’t do it and probably wouldn’t, but that’s a very personal choice and I absolutely support those who choose a different path than I did.

But cake jewelry. Jewelry for cakes. Actual pieces of metal and crystal on cakes.

Okay, as a cake topper, that’s fine. Again, not my choice, but not a problem. Everyone expects a cake topper to come off the cake, and most couples just take the top tier (where the topper resides) away and save it for later, anyway. I’m fine with making that topper whatever the hell you like. Put a crown on top. It’s cool.

Even the ones done as picks, while I’m still not exactly wild about them, I can accept. It’s clear that they’re to be removed before eating and they’re really easy to see, and pulling them out doesn’t make a mess or really harm the look of the cake before it’s sliced. I’m thinking about something like this:


LOVE/HATE: The Serious(ly Faux) Sparkle Edition

According to Wikipedia, rhinestones were originally rock crystals gathered from the river Rhine. In 1775, however, the Alsatian jeweller Georg Friedrich Strass decided to try coating the lower side of cut glass with metal powder, and thus the modern rhinestone was born.

On one hand, there’s a part of my brain that says “rhinestones are crazy tacky gaudy.” On the other hand, as The Beard just said to me while looking at crazy vintage jewelry on Etsy, “the right ones are gaudy in a good way.” I’ll admit to having a few tiaras and largish rhinestone necklaces that I only ever wear around the house (usually on my birthday). I didn’t, however, wear rhinestones on my wedding day because they just seemed like a little too much.

rhinestone wedding jewelry

Here are six examples of rhinestone jewelry currently being sold by the following Etsy sellers: kimdep, Lulusplendor, BelleNouvelleDesigns, and PenelliBelle. I think they’re all lovely, though I don’t know that I’d have the chutzpah to wear them to drop off my overdue library books or visit with the OB/GYN. The supermarket, maybe. My friend’s post-NYE brunch? Definitely.

What say you? Faux diamonds and rubies and emeralds and sapphires… totally tacky? All in good fun? Inappropriate for brides? Perfect for weddings? Let’s hear it!

Bridal Necklaces, Four Ways

It’s Monday (again), and perhaps you took the weekend off from the rigors of wedding planning so you and your sweetheart could have some quality time. Now that you’re back at your desk reading wedding blogs and thinking about all the things you still have left to buy for your nuptials, it’s time for some inspiration. On the chance you have not yet bought your bridal jewelry, here are six looks from Haute Bride in San Francisco that may get your creative juices flowing.

Bridal Jewelry from Haute Bride

The question, of course, is which to buy or emulate or craft! Most brides choose their bridal jewelry after picking out and putting a deposit down on a wedding gown, but if you’ve fallen in love with a certain style of necklace, there’s no reason you can’t base your wedding day look on your jewelry. While almost anything goes, there are some bridal necklace basics of which every bride-to-be should be aware.

Short Looks
Neck hugging necklaces are lovely when paired with strapless bodices (and long-necked brides), though don’t discount chokers if your wedding gown ends just below your collarbone. A substantial choker will look smashing sitting just above a boat or jewel neckline.

Insubstantial Looks
Simple, minimalist strands worn close to the throat (think y-drop or princess style necklaces) complement bateau and scoop necklines beautifully. Thin necklaces are a practical choice for brides who don’t want their jewelry to outshine their wedding dresses and/or want to wear their bridal necklace again.

Layered Looks
Necklaces can be heaped one upon the other or made to look that way, but almost all layered looks will pair best with simple, unadorned, low necklines. Layers of thicker necklaces can lessen the jarring impact of a plain strapless neckline, while thinner layers can add softness to a square neckline.

Long Looks
Necklaces with enough length to hang loose on both sides of the bride are best worn with wedding gowns that plunge in the back as well as the front… so the necklace itself can take center stage. This look is even more dramatic when the necklace is augmented with a jeweled brooch.

Personally, I opted for a loose but rather thick one-strand choker paired with a off-the-shoulder neckline. Now I’d love to know what you chose to wear or are planning to wear around your neck on your wedding day.

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