a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

Wedding Party Gifts July 6, 2009

Now that the wedding is over, I can finally rave about our wedding party gifts! Not surprisingly they were from Etsy – we knew we wanted something personalized and unique so I spent many happy hours shopping through the many vendors. For my girls I was looking for a piece of jewelry that could be customized with colors, initials, or something for each bridesmaid – Cindy V. had both! I got each girl a jewel cluster necklace in a different color with a tiny initial charm…I couldn’t resist getting one for myself too.


Shopping for the guys was a little trickier at first (isn’t it always?). We had played around with the idea of cufflinks but didn’t find any we liked until I happened upon these awesome ones made out of antique typewriter keys at QA Create. Sold! We got each groomsmen and Drew a set of cufflinks with their initials which they wore on the wedding day. I thought they looked pretty cool against the classic black and white tuxes. I’ll have detail shots from the day up in the near future!


Vintage Look for Less March 8, 2009


dress belt buckle earrings shoes veil/fascinator

All of this for only $286.42? I saw this gorgeous chiffon dress with beaded cap sleeves and immediately thought what a statement it would make on a vintage inspired bride. This look would require a somewhat crafty touch, but I think fashioning a belt out of ribbon and an antique belt buckle ($14) and turning bits of rescued tulle, netting, and flowers ($12) into something like this would be so worth the challenge:


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!!!


Sparkly, Shiny July 30, 2008

Sometimes I think I like the shopping more than the purchasing, which is true so far in the case of my wedding jewelry. I love looking at pretty,shiny things! I tend to be minimalist when it comes to jewelry, so I already know I want the focus to be on one gorgeous pair of earrings, probably with yellow stones to compliment my yellow sapphire engagement ring. I like the idea of borrowing a pair from Bag Borrow Or Steal, but so far they don’t have anything quite right. If I had an unlimited budget, I would probably snap up these absolutely fabulous Art Deco earrings from Adin Antique Jewelers, but at 1,300 Euro’s the price is just a wee bit intimidating.

Fortunately, I’ve already found several much more budget friendly options. These canary crystal earrings also have an Art Deco look to them, but are much more affordable at $395.

Normally I’m not a pearl kind of girl, but I like the simplicity and elegance of these fair trade earrings. Plus Drew likes pearls…

These are by far the cheapest option at only $39! I do like the marquis shape of the stones, but I might want a little more drama. What do you think?


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!


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.