a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

Vintage Millinery Flowers September 18, 2008

A lot of brides like to dress up their wedding hairstyle with flowers, but depending on the quality and where you buy (and how encrusted it is with Swarovski crystals) one ornament can cost up to $150. I know because I’ve looked! If you’re shopping around for something similar, the Vintage Millinery Flowers Shoppe on Ebay is definitely worth a look. They have flowers, leaves, and feathers all out of vintage fabrics, and best of all almost everything in the store costs under $10.


Wedding Bands! August 6, 2008

Whenever Drew and I stop by our local indoor/outdoor mall (which incidentally reminds me freakishly of Disneyland), I always get my engagement ring cleaned. This weekend, while we were doing exactly that, we decided to just “look” at wedding bands, which turned into actually picking them out! Drew ended up deciding on a very simple tungsten band, which is perfect for his classic/modern hybrid taste. After trying on approximately half the store’s collection of bands, we decided to get one custom designed for me to match my engagement ring. This picture is somewhat similar to what it will look like, with a curved band so the two rings will fit together. Drew also had the idea to add three yellow sapphires in the center of the band to echo the center stone in my engagement ring, which I love, especially because I think it will be just as pretty worn alone. If you live in the Columbus area, the Diamond Cellar has been incredible to work with, and I can’t say enough about them. They treat us like celebrities every time we come in, and are always willing to price custom designs for you in the store or order in stones to look at free of charge. I can’t wait to wear my ring already!!!


The Great Jewelry Hunt Begins June 3, 2008

So now that I have the dress and the shoes nailed down (a year in advance, yes!) I can begin to accessorize…I usually don’t go overboard in this area so I’m really only looking for two pieces. I do want some sort of veil/headpiece, but something non-traditional like an antique net veil or a feathered pin etc. The other item I’ve begun casually shopping for is jewelry. Usually I wear only very basic jewelry, and come to think of it, jewelry that has been given to me as a gift. Especially since my dress is fairly simple I don’t want to go overboard but I do want to have something that speaks to the importance of the day. I’m thinking a fabulous pair of earrings…here are some of my preliminary finds!

I love how these would compliment the yellow in my engagement ring, and I love Asscher cut anything. I think I may want something that dangles a bit more though, just for a little drama…

Normally, these would be just a tad out of my price range, but I have been playing with the idea of borrowing bling from Bag Borrow or Steal. I think the concept of renting designer jewelry for a fraction of the price is completely awesome, but I also may want something I can keep.

I adore Joy O’s designs, especially the earrings that Anne Hathaway wore to New York Fashion Week. I think these infinity earrings are gorgeously simple, and the tiny champagne diamonds are a luxury touch at a budget $158.

And while I’m on a modern jewelry kick, I have to mention By the Stones, because I love their work as well. These Rain earrings are on my Want list, even though they probably are a bit too casual for what I’m envisioning for my wedding day. Maybe the rehearsal dinner? I just want an excuse to buy them!


Another Ode to the Nordstrom Catalog May 10, 2008

Every time the Nordstrom catalog shows up I find myself brainstorming different reasons why I might need whatever fabulous things are featured on the shiny pages. It isn’t the most productive occupation in the world, but this time I did manage to scout a few (somewhat) wedding related items.

I think this necklace would make an adorable bridesmaid gift, and at $58 you wouldn’t break the bank either. There are several varieties with messages like “peace”, “love”, “cherish”, and “accomplish great things” if you want to personalize the gift for each girl, although my favorite is wish with the less kitchsy shape.

We’re planning to honeymoon in Greece, and I’m already bursting with excitement although we have plenty of time to wait. At least a year will give me lots of time to conjure up images of sightseeing in Athens, late night dinners in Santorini, and lounging by the pool. A cute cover-up is definitely on my shopping list as well as the perfect bikini which is another of those elusive shopping items.

I have a deep love for Stella McCartney but am far from being able to splurge on her designs, so I was thrilled to see that she is collaborating with Le Sportsac for a line of handbags and luggage. I think the Small Camera Bag would be perfect for toting my new laptop around town, although that would bring the number of bags I own with chains on them to three…this may be a little overboard but I love how they balance an otherwise feminine look. And the purple-gray color is so pretty. Even though this isn’t wedding related I thought it was well worth sharing!


More Pretty Things April 23, 2008

Given my love affair with unusual engagement rings (or just pretty jewelry in general) I was immediately smitten with Ylang23. Their collection is eccentric and beautiful and their prices seem very reasonable for the quality of designers they carry. Definitely one of the better online sources I’ve found for chic gemstone and diamond jewelry, especially of the more offbeat variety. I don’t really know what “blackened ruby” entails but it sounds intriguing and looks fabulous!


The bling factor March 25, 2008

I was really touched when my fiancé asked if we could design my engagement ring together. While we did lose the element of surprise, we gained an opportunity to create a ring that represented us as a couple, and since I intend on wearing it for the rest of my life, I wanted to make sure it was something that we both loved. Neither of us are particular fans of the diamond industry so we wanted something with a classic vintage look but with a unique centerstone. We ended up with this emerald cut natural yellow sapphire with a diamond band that still causes me to drive recklessly due to my staring at its sparkle.


Since we did a lot of ring related research, I figured I would share a little of what I learned for any other ladies out there that are looking for an alternative type of ring. If you are like me and want to wear it constantly, you do want to keep in mind that certain stones hold up much better and won’t be damaged as easily. While diamonds are the hardest stone, emeralds and sapphires are very close behind and in fact used to be the most popular stones for engagement before the DeBeers campaign.

Sapphires are especially appealing because they come in literally every color of the rainbow and in terms of sparkle and quality are very close to diamonds for a fraction of the cost. The Natural Sapphire Company is a good place to research what colors and cuts you like, and they also have a selection of cut stones and pre-made jewelry. We chose to go with a local jeweler, but we did a lot of our initial looking here and its a great place to start.


If you aren’t concerned about wearing your ring everyday then you have a lot more freedom to choose different stones and settings. Just browsing department stores you can find some really beautiful rings that will still be high quality and make a statement. This ring from Saks has that luxury look about it, and could have special personal meaning if your birthstone is a topaz.

Of course if you’ve dreamed of a diamond ring all your life, then go for it! But why not avoid supporting diamond cartels and go fair trade or vintage instead? Green Karat makes amazing ecologically friendly jewelry with recycled metals. Their diamonds are lab created, which can sound unappealing but really they have the exact same physical characteristics that diamonds do, without waiting for the whole thousands of years in the ground thing to happen.


Searching for a quality vintage ring can be a little like looking for a needle in a haystack if you have a really specific idea of what you want, but even if you do the looking is half the fun. You do want to be careful of condition obviously, but there are some great reputable dealers out there. One that I like is Adin Antique Jewelry. The other advantages of a vintage ring are of course that it is completely unique, and while it might turn some people off, I think it would be really cool to have a piece with a history, even if you don’t know exactly what that history is.