March 29, 2009

Costume vs High Fashion Jewelry PLUS Enter to Win a Gorgeous Bracelet!

Today we are going to talk about bridal jewelry. Just like diamonds, there's a vast selection of quality. When you finally narrow your selection down to one or two gowns, the store associate will probably pull out the big guns - the accessories. Just about every bridal store has it's own display of bridal jewelry. The associate will point out how one necklace matches the crystals on your gown, how another accentuates the neckline, and still another that co-ordinates with your veil. Your mind will be whirling with accessory overload.

My suggestion - don't even look at jewelry that day. Shop around to other stores. While you're shopping, pay attention to the two types of jewelry most brides consider: Costume Jewelry and High Fashion Jewelry

Costume Jewelry
(cost: $20-135 per necklace)

Most bridal stores carry costume jewelry. While it looks nice and is designed to match the gowns and bridesmaid dresses on display, it's lower quality than high fashion jewelry. It also does not come with a guarantee. If it breaks before the big day, then you'll need to purchase another necklace.

Another thing to consider is that since your necklace matches your wedding dress or the bridesmaid gowns, will it match anything in your closet after the wedding? In my case, the answer has been no. I chose a pretty costume necklace my bridal associate recommended to go with my dress. While I loved it and it's certainly a very pretty necklace, for the last ten years it's sat in my jewelry box collecting dust. No matter what dressy occasion I attend, I've never had another gown or dress that necklace looked good with again. I can say the same for the other three necklaces I wore as a bridesmaid in other weddings. Right now, all four of those necklaces have just been collecting dust. I've seriously thought about getting rid of them, but so far have kept them for sentimental reasons.

Here are some examples of costume bridal jewelry:

Cost: $30/necklace

This necklace is a lot like the one I wore when I was in my brother-in-law's wedding.
A combination of pearls, gold, and crystals makes this a definitely bridal piece in that
it's very difficult to match up with another outfit.
Cost: $40/set

My bridal set was much like this.
While it's very elegant, I haven't found anything to wear it with since.
Cost: $80/set

Cost: $99/set

I have a necklace like this with an emerald green stone to match the bridesmaid dress I wore. This type of necklace was very popular for bridesmaids back in the 90's.
Cost: $20/necklace

High Fashion Jewelry (Cost: $20-250 per necklace)

High fashion jewelry is higher quality than costume jewelry, although lower in quality than fine jewelry (the really nice stuff with real pearls, gems, and diamonds). One benefit to high fashion jewelry, is that many stores or high fashion jewelry companies will replace your item for free or at a very low cost (shipping & handling) if your item breaks. This is definitely good if you're spending $30 or more on a necklace.

High fashion jewelry is also more versatile. You will find beautiful pieces to co-ordinate with your bridal party, but you'll also wear these pieces over and over again in your day-to-day life which makes it a much better addition to your jewelry box. You can Google "high fashion jewelry" and find lots of companies to choose from. When I did my Google search, on the first page of results, there's one company who came up multiple times as a favorite high fashion jewelry supplier - Premier Designs.

I was surprised, but I guess I shouldn't have. My girlfriend, Laura Marion, is a Premier Designs jewelry lady and I love getting her new catalogs. I have lots of Premier Designs jewelry, but I never knew they were so in demand that they would come up as the top hits on a Google search! Armed with this new info, I called up Laura and talked to her about my upcoming post on bridal jewelry. I asked her to bring over some jewelry she would recommend for a bridal party so I could take pictures for this post. She gathered up her favorite pieces (which were quite a few!) and here they are below. Disclaimer: I am not a professional photographer. These pictures don't do justice to the actual colors of the jewelry, but you'll get a good idea of what's available. Believe me, they are gorgeous! In between photos, I was trying on each of the necklaces and running to the bathroom for mirror access!

Silvers: From Left to Right Two Hearts Necklace ($39)
Very romantic silver necklace. I love the toggle and hearts draping down.

Luxe Necklace ($35)

I have the Luxe necklace. It didn't turn out very well in this picture.
On one side of the silver circles, it's blingy with crystals and hammered silver.
You can also open the clasp holding the circles
and flip them over to a smooth, shiny silver surface.
I love how this necklace and be all bling bling for a more dressy occassion
or sleek for with jeans and a nice shirt.

Unbelievable Bracelet
This is a blingy silver and crystal bracelet.

Earrings: Lookin' Good Silver Bracelet ($28)
More Imagination Necklace ($21) Different colored cords available

Silver Companions Oval Earrings ($26)

Golds & Metallics: The colors in this picture didn't turn out well.
Rio Necklace ($49)
Rio Bracelet ($39)
The Rio Set is made up of blocky strands of gold, silver, and copper.
Avant Garde Gold Necklace

Silver and Beads
Austin Necklace ($38)
Austin Bracelet ($35 for set of 3 bracelets)

The Austin Set is made of silver strands with blue, brown, and tan beads

Euginia Silver Necklace ($49)

Gold and Beads
Kristiana Gold Necklace ($69)
Mahogany Necklace ($49)
Mahogany Bracelet ($29 for set of 3 bracelets)
The Mahogany set is made up of chocolate brown and plum colored beads.

Black & White Beads
Jet Set ($49)
The Jet Set is made of black and gray beads.
Opposites Attract Necklace ($35)

Opposites Attract Bracelet ($28)

The Opposties Attract set is made of silver strands with black and white beads.

Beads and Pearls
Waterfall Bracelet ($26 for set of 4 bracelets)
Pearl Bracelet
Sandstone Bracelet ($36)
Carolyn Gold Beaded Necklace ($44)
Carolyn Earrings ($21)

Romantic Glass Beads
Lavendar Rose Necklace ($29)
Lavendar Rose Earrings ($17)
The Lavendar Rose set is made of lavendar and pink glass beads with silver links.

Spring/Summer Trendy Glass Beads
Venetian Necklace ($34)
Venetian Bracelet ($24 per bracelet)
The Venetian set is made up of blue, pink, and green glass beads
in a variety of geometrical shapes on a silver strand.

As you can see, there's a much larger variety of jewelry pieces available - everything from bling to metallics to beads - with a more styles to choose from. High fashion jewelry is unique and certainly not like costume bridal jewelry, although the prices are comparable.

So,whether you're the bride or the mother-of-the-bride, shop around for your jewelry pieces. You will most likely find something you like much better than the selection at a bridal shop and you'll also enjoy wearing it again and remembering that special day.

Premier Designs Jewelry Give-Away!

My girlfriend, Laura, was kind enough to offer this beautiful Blanca bracelet for one lucky From My Wedding to Yours reader!

The Blanca Bracelet is made of inter-twined silver hoops with pearl accents.

Here it is on my wrist.
It's so pretty and romantic!

The winner will also receive a gift certificate for 20% off an order placed with Laura! Hmm . . . a beautiful bracelet AND a 20% discount! I wish I could enter!!!

There are three ways to receive a contest entry (which means you could earn up to three entries!) All entried need to be received by 12 noon (CT) on Tuesday, April 7th. The winner will be announced later that afternoon on April 7th. When you comment, be sure to leave your email address or blog link so I can contact you!!! The winner has until Friday, April 10th to send me their mailing address or another winner will be chosen. Good luck, everyone!

1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me what topics you'd like to see in future From My Wedding to Yours posts.

2. Become a From My Wedding to Yours follower. (Please leave another comment letting me know you became a follower or if you are already a follower.)

3. Go to Laura's jewelry blog, Laura's Jewelry 411, and leave a comment. Be sure to let her know you're a From My Wedding to Yours reader. I check her blog frequently & will give you an additional entry to the contest when I see you there!

Happy Wedding Preparations!


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March 20, 2009

Receptions - Love 'Em and Hate 'Em

As part of the "Your Temple Wedding" give-away, I asked you to leave comments about what you loved and hated about wedding receptions. While you gave me lots of reasons you hate receptions, there was one common theme of why you love weddings . . .

You all said you love to seeing and visiting with friends and family. I totally agree. It's so much fun to be surrounded in one room by tons of people you haven't seen in a while. It's so much fun to bop from table to table visiting with friends and family, laughing and enjoying the reception. I love it when friends are so excited to see me, they grab me (interrupting whatever conversation I was in) and start a hug fest!

Some of my favorite parts of the reception is seeing the wedding cake and pictures of the bride and groom. I just love all the different wedding cakes and think it's so much fun to see what the couple picks out. I also appreciate it when the bride and groom put up pictures and other fun things for the people in the waiting line to enjoy while they . . . yes, wait.

Now let's delve into the things you didn't like about receptions.

Standing in line for hours as a bridesmaid.
I have to say I totally agree. I never understood why, at LDS receptions, they make the attendants stand in line with the bride and groom. I mean really, the reason everyone is there is to see the bride and groom. It's rather uncomfortable for both the attendants and the guests to have to make small talk with a bunch of people they may or may not know. I recommend just having the bride, groom, and the parents in the line. Let the attendants enjoy the reception or help with the food. This is the other thing I don't understand about LDS weddings - why do you need bridesmaids and groomsmen? It's not like they are walking down an aisle or participating in the wedding ceremony. Yes, I can totally understand wanting everyone to dress up or have co-ordinating suits and dresses. But if you're being married in the temple and not having a ring ceremony that you walk down an aisle, you really don't need to assign "bridesmaids".

Money dances.
As a guest, you may not like them - but the bride and groom sure appreciate the cash for their honeymoon! Seriously though, this can be just as uncomfortable for the wedding couple. My experience with the money dance as a bride wasn't too much fun. You'd think everyone would want to dance with the bride, right? Nope. Our big reception was at my hubby's family ward in Kansas. I only knew one person there - my sister. And let me tell you, my hubby had a HUGE line of women waiting to dance with him. And I had . . . no line at all. How totally embarrassing. So my sister came up with a big bill and we danced together for a couple songs. So, even though as a guest you may not like the money dance, don't think you're the only one. And please, if you ever see a bride or groom with no line - go dance with them!!! Even if you don't add a dollar to the money pile!

The Work.
Oh. Yeah. I hear ya, sister. Receptions aren't the easiest things to throw together. Of course, that all depends on the bride and groom. Our wedding day reception was in Utah with all our college friends. We had a cake, punch, a DJ, and hired some BYU swing team dancers to come teach swing dancing. It was easy to set up and we were done before the reception started. I remember sitting around with some of my college roomies chatting while we waited for guests to arrive. Our Kansas reception was another story though. We told my hubby's parents we wanted a DJ for a dance and left everything else up to them. Holy smokes! We had a huge wedding cake, a groom's cake, a whole catered buffet, and the rest of the works. I was amazed at the amount of work everyone put into celebrating our marriage! I'll put together another post with tips about organizine your reception and how to make the day less stressful.

The wonderful feeling of being in the temple gets lost as you go into stress mode, pulling all the reception details together, ending the day completely exhausted.
So we go from this spiritual high from being in the temple and - if you aren't the bride and groom - you go from this calm, wonderful environment and jump right into the fire! Set up the cake, set up the tables, what happened to the center-pieces??? I will post more about how to keep that feeling with you as you pull all the reception details together.

Thank you, everyone for responding and entering the contest! Speaking of the contest, I bet you'd like to know the winner! (Drum roll please . . . ) And the winner is . . .


Come back next week for a new contest (hint: think bling!) Amy, send me an email with your address and I'll get your book in the mail for you.

Happy Wedding Preparations!


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March 12, 2009

Your Temple Wedding by Jeri-Lynn Johnson & Amy Jones and Give-Away!

Make your wedding beautiful, simple, and sacred. Learn how to make the temple and it's sacred ordinances the focus of your special day. Jeri-Lynn Johnson and Amy Jones are here to help. They will guide you through all the details and help you create just what you have dreamed of - without the added stress.

Today, I have the honor of reviewing the book, Your Temple Wedding, by Jeri-Lynn Johnson & Amy Jones.

I really enjoyed reading Your Temple Wedding. It's a great book that gives simple answers to questions many brides have - from the ring to the honeymoon. There are also sections for difficult questions such as; What if one parent isn't able to attend the temple? Or if the one side of the bridal couple's family are non-members, how do you explain a temple marriage? Jeri-Lynn and Amy give kind, loving answers to help brides in these situations.

My favorite part of Your Temple Wedding is all the gorgeous photography! Let me tell you, I was surprised at what these authors could do to transform a cultural hall into an elegant and beautiful reception location! No basketball hoops, ladies!

While reading the book, I also had the opportunity to email back and forth with Jeri-Lynn and ask her some fun questions and bridal tips. (BTW - The picture you see is Jeri-Lynn with her daughter, Amy. What a great mother-daughter writing team!)

Q: Why did you decide to write Your Temple Wedding?

Jeri-Lynn: I have two daughters and they both had amazing weddings. We used a wedding planner and yet, I still had a 5" thick notebook full of ideas - so my oldest daughter and I decided to condense our findings into a book.

Q: If you were sitting down with a bride today, what advice would you and your daughter give her?

Jeri-Lynn: Our top tips are:
1. Make your wedding day personal. Have it reflect your personality.

2. Remember, this is just the wedding and reception - don't get carried away and stress yourself out. It is the "marriage" that is the most important thing. Keep your focus on the marriage - not the celebrations.

3. Make every effort to keep within your budget. Don't start out your marriage in debt. Marriage is all about compromise - start practicing that ideal when planning your celebrations.

4. Ladies, contrary to popular belief, your wedding day is NOT all about you. It is also your fiance's big day. Is there anything he'd like to incorporate into the plans? Did you bother to ask?

Q: Do you have a website?

Jeri-Lynn: Yes! You can find us at We've posted all of the overflow material from our book on the website to supplement the book. As a bonus,you don't have to buy the book to use the website.

To purchase Your Temple Wedding, click here.

And now, From My Wedding to Yours very first contest information!

I'd like to give a HUGE thank you to Jeri-Lynn and Amy for autographing their book as a prize for one lucky From My Wedding to Yours reader.

To enter the contest, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me what your very favorite and least favorite things are about receptions. To receive a second entry, announce this contest on your blog and link back to this post, then leave an additional comment here so I can come check it out.

All comments received no later than Midnight (CT) on Thursday, March 19th will be put into a hat and my 2-year-old will draw a winner. The winner will be announced on Friday, March 20th and will receive a free copy of Your Temple Wedding. The winner must email me within 3 days of the announcement or another winner will be drawn. Enjoy and Good Luck!

Happy Wedding Preparations!


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March 11, 2009

Our First Give-Away!

I'm so excited to announce that on Friday, From My Wedding to Yours is hosting it's very first give-away! It's something that every future bride, future mother-of-the-bride, or anyone who loves planning weddings will absolutely LOVE!

See you all Friday!!!

March 6, 2009

A Monogram Themed Wedding

Ladies, one of the most exciting parts of getting married is sharing your husband's last name. Sharing the same last name is a symbol of your new union and life together. You can create a beautiful and elegant expression of your union by using your monogram as the theme for your wedding and reception.

There are three ways to create your monogram:

One Letter Monogram: The first letter of your married last name. For example, the letter F from Ferguson.

Two Letter Monogram: The initials from both of your first names, joined with an ampersand (&). For example, J & D for John & Danyelle.

Three Letter Monogram: The initials from your first names and married last name. For example, JFD for John, Ferguson, Danyelle. If using this last example, then the surname (your married last name) is the initial in the middle. It does not matter what side the husband's or wife's initial is on. Play around with it and choose what you both think looks best.

Monogram tip: If you choose to use multiple letters for your monogram, consider the shape of each letter. For example, John and Danyelle Ferguson has the letters J, D, and F. The letter J's shape curves to the left, while the letter D's shape curves to the right. If you are using the three letter monogram, try to put the curves so they are facing out. JFD looks much nicer then DFJ. Likewise, the two letter monogram. When J & D faces away from each other, the curves create a rounded look, but D & J facing toward each other give a very blocky look.

Here are two examples of monograms from Moments of Elegance:

Here are some ideas to incorporate a monogram theme throughout your wedding and reception:

Invitations from Wedding Paper Divas:

Napkins from My Wedding Reception Ideas:

Wedding cake toppers by American Bridal:

As you can see, there are many beautifully elegant ways to use the monogram theme throughout your wedding and reception. If you have a question about your monogram, feel free to email me!

Happy Wedding Preparations!


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March 5, 2009

Create by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

This is a beautiful video presentation of Elder Uchtdorf's message to us women. I hope this uplifts your life today. Much Love!