Bridal Accessories with Belles & Crystals

Posted by in Design Secrets, In the Studio

something blue I Do shoe sticker

Today I want to introduce you to the breezy yet elegant bridal accessories of Ambre, designer at Belles & Crystals.

Ambre describes her style as timeless, feminine and modern. “In today’s world of “throw away” clothing, the wedding attire trousseau is really the last remaining instance of true cherished special occasion clothing that can be passed from generation to generation,” she says. “I love being a part of that tradition.”

All of Ambre’s designs are handmade, which allows her to give personal attention to each piece. “From my feather flowers to handcut silk blossoms, each piece is made from scratch in my studio.”

pearl crystal bridal tiara handmade

“I find that my job is more about taking a bride’s vision and the details she wants and making them work together, also giving a designer’s touch at the same time,” says Ambre. “Weddings are about creating a mood….so I work with the bride to create that mood so everything flows together.”

fuchsia ruffled bridal clutch

white ruffled bridal clutch

Designer Secret: Ambre suggests keeping your wedding day look more scaled back to allow you to shine through.

“When it comes to wedding day looks, I always err on the ‘less is more’ approach and the old adage of ‘take one thing off before you leave the house,’” she says. “It is quite easy to get carried away these days. Pick and choose your favorites and where you want to make a statement. The ultimate statement should be you, the bride.”

“Pick and choose trends. Don’t try to do them all or wear them all at once. I always caution on being overly trend-heavy both in attire and wedding theme décor. You want to look back on these pictures with cherished thoughts, not “What was I thinking?”

white bridal hair facinators crystal

Ambre came to creating bridal accessories from her own wedding and her fashion training.

“I actually worked as a fashion designer in NYC’s garment district for several fashion houses for over 10 years,” she says. “After planning my own wedding from top to bottom I fell in love with everything wedding and decided to venture out on my own. Things started happening very quickly. And soon after I started up, Drew Barrymore was wearing me on the red carpet and I was receiving editorial press in bridal magazines…totally beyond my wildest dreams!”

Ambre offers this advice for your wedding: “Enjoy every minute of your big day. It goes by so quickly, so remember to just breathe and cherish every single millisecond!”

To learn more about Ambre and Belles & Crystals, please visit:

Shops: and

something blue bridal hair pins

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Dreamy Bouquets and Boutonnieres with Kate Said Yes

Posted by in In the Studio

White Rose Bouquet with Red and Cream Accents

Today I want to share with you dreamy and lovely handmade bouquets and boutonnieres by Kate at Kate Said Yes Wedding Accessories. Kate has graciously offered our readers a 10% discount on her designs. More details on that below.

“My style is soft and romantic – I love fluffy silks and sparkly accents,” Kate says. “I think each of my items has a little something special that makes it a bit different than a traditional bouquet. Whether it’s a little feather accent, a bright ribbon, or a rhinestone brooch, I want each of my products to have a little something that makes the buyer feel good.”

Ivory Rose Peony and Ranunculus Silk Bridal Bouquet

{Designer Secret} Since flowers are one of the most important design choices for your wedding, Kate recommends that you really set the tone of the wedding through your flowers. Even if that means reducing the emphasis on your flowers.

“Soft and romantic morning garden wedding? Keep the flowers light and simple,” she says. “Poufy dress and lots of sparkle? Don’t let your flowers upstage your dress. As I get to know my brides, I find that their choice of flower and style really tend to match their personality, whether it be big and bold, or traditional and soft-spoken.”

Fuchsia Pink Ranunculus and Navy Blue Silk Wedding Bridal Bouquet

Large Cream Calla Lily Real Touch Wedding Bridal Bouquet

“One question I’ve been asked a lot lately is, ‘Is it okay for a bride to carry a small bouquet? Does this make me look like less of a bride?’ I have a lot of brides who are ditching the overgrown bouquet and adopting more petite styles, whether it be to save money, or to de-emphasize the flowers and shift the focus on another style aspect of the wedding.”

“My answer to this question is, of course! On your wedding day, you can do anything you want, and all that really matters in the end is that you are happy with your style decisions.”

Plum Purple Hydrangea Silk Boutonniere and Bouquet

Yellow Ranunculus Silk Wedding Bridal Bouquet

Kate started her business actually designing boutonnieres a little over a year after her own wedding.

“I often hear that grooms don’t want their boutonnieres to match their bride’s bouquet too closely, because they want to stay away from anything too feminine,” Kate says. “And that’s okay! You can do a lot using masculine colors, earthy flowers, and more organic looking designs. I’ve had other grooms, however, who are totally fine wearing bouts with feathers and glitter, if that’s what their lady wants!”

Beach Wedding Silk Boutonniere

Silk Peony Wedding Bouquet

Kate uses silk and real-touch flowers for her bouquets and boutonnieres. So they last beyond the wedding day, and may help brides planning destination weddings get that off the to-do list early.

“Throwing out my bouquet after my wedding was traumatic,” Kate admits. “And I don’t want any other bride to experience that! I love that you know exactly what you are getting before the morning of your wedding. My brides can hold their bouquets in their hands, know exactly what it looks and feels like, and then after the wedding, have it as a keepsake.”

Wedding Groom Silk Boutonniere

Rust Orange and Moss Green Calla Lily Wedding Bouquet

“I value the freedom my business gives me to express my creativity and be involved in a bride’s special day,” Kate says. “It makes me feel so happy to know that I can play a part in making a bride happy. Weddings are such personal events, and I feel blessed with every wedding my products are featured in.”

For a 10% discount on Kate Said Yes designs, use the coupon code BLOGLOVE in her Etsy bouquets and boutonnieres shop.

To learn more and see more beautiful bouquets and boutonnieres, please visit:

Etsy shop:

Ivory Rose Silk Bridal Bouquet with Green Hops and Berry

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Hand Painted Bridal Shoes by norakaren

Posted by in In the Studio

hand painted blue floral wedding heels

With so many areas of great personalization possible with your wedding, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Nora of norakaren, maker of hand painted wedding shoes.

“My style is glam, very art deco, high fashion,” says Nora. “My technique is probably what it makes it more unique, because it is free hand painting, very hard to copy. I create every piece one by one for each one of my brides, no mass production here.”

painted jeweled chandelier bridal ballet shoes

chinese wedding shoes dragon phoenix

{Designer Secret} High heels aren’t the only option for a high fashion, beautiful bridal look. Nora has great advice on that and on the best colors for outside weddings.

“Many brides look for lower heels, sometimes because the fiancée is shorter or not that tall but they still want to be stunning,” Nora says. “So I suggest a great peep toe with a 1 3/4″ heel or the ballerina flats that come in many shapes and about 64 different shades.”

painted blue rose bridal high heel shoes

“If the dress is short I love to pair it with flats or Mary Janes, maybe a cute peep toe. If she wears a closed toe pump, it will look very 1950’s. Sandals are great for summer and springtime weddings but they can work also on a closed ballroom.”

“For weddings outside I would recommend light colors not only for the climate but because they photograph better,” Nora explains. “Black doesn’t photograph well outside, red is always trying to fade under light too. Blue, what can I say, it is always nice to wear “something blue”.”

hand pained pink peacock bridal open toe shoes

painted peacock bridal shoes

But norakaren wasn’t always all about painted wedding shoes.

“I’ve been a painter/designer since I was a young girl seated on the porch of my house,” Nora remembers. “I started in 2001 seriously working for a fashion designer and my first best seller was a pair of jeans made to commemorate September 11th. I opened my Etsy store based mostly on hand painted designs on fabric and I received a very unusual request on a pair of satin shoes.”

“After that, I loved the technique, the medium and of course the shoes (who doesn’t?) and the orders started pouring like rain. I’ve found that these creations are loved by women who love style, girls for their proms and parties, and brides for their themed weddings.”

To learn more about norakaren and see more shoes, visit:


painted heal wedding shoe





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Natalie Briggs Sexy Handmade Bridal Garters

Posted by in Design Secrets, In the Studio

And now for something sexy! And Australian-based Natalie Briggs – Luxury Handmade Garters are certainly that.

What I love about Natalie’s garters is that there’s a little unexpected surprise on each design. It’s almost a shame that you wear them under your dress.

Champagne Chiffon Bridal Garter with Ivory

“My style is Modern and Sexy with a little vintage twist,” says Natalie. “I love using Ivory satin and French laces in my work. My style is not your typical lace garter, a lot more thought and design goes into my garters, as well as considering comfort for my brides in my designs.”

natalie briggs something blue garter

{Designer Secret} According to Natalie, the key to choosing the right garter is to know your dress fabric and shape, for instance ball gown, slim fit, fish tail, etc. “Some fabrics, like taffeta are quite see through if they are only one layer, so you have to be careful with a dark garter under these dresses,” she says.

“If a bride has a ball gown dress with tulle layers underneath to give it volume, then I would not recommend a lace garter that is beaded as the beads could get caught on the tulle,” Natalie says. “If a bride has a more slim fitting gown, especially around the thighs, then I’d recommend a more slim fitting garter.”

Vintage Style French Blue Lace Pearl Garter

London Lace Pleated Bridal Garter

“I’m pretty good at visualizing what colors will go together and which ones will not,” says Natalie. “I think a lot of brides are looking for a professional opinion which is great! If the colors would not work, then I’d suggest maybe using only one or two of the colors instead, which always works out.”

Ivory and Pearl Lace Bridal Garter

Natalie’s passion for beautiful garters started with her own wedding more than a year ago.

“I couldn’t find a garter I actually liked. They all looked tacky, and as if they were all designed in the 80’s. So I decided I can do a lot better, and that’s how Natalie Briggs – Luxury Handmade Garters was born.”

Winter Wonderland Fake Fur Garter

For more tips about garters and choosing the right ones, Natalie put together a helpful video.

To learn more about Natalie and see more designs visit:
Website :
Facebook :

Photo credit: Koby & Terilyn Brown of

Chiffon Sexy Garter with Champagne Satin Flower


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BMJNYC: Eco-Friendly Wedding Rings with Organic Style

Posted by in Design Secrets, In the Studio

What I’ve always loved about the jewelry designs from Barbara Polinsky of BMJNYC is that she creates wearable art. I’m so pleased to share her work with you.

“I make jewelry from recycled gold and silver for an eco conscious customer who appreciates handmade,” Barbara says. “I strive for a natural effortless look – as if I am gently engineering nature taking the gentle curves of our bodies into consideration.”

eco friendly 3 stone wedding ring set

The results are designs that resemble twigs, flowers or simply naturally askew rings.

“My design style is organic and natural,” Barbara says. “I’m fascinated by natural “imperfections” and how they blend into the whole. Sometimes we focus on small details and loose sight of the big picture in life and in design too. I hope my work conveys overall harmony.”

eco friendly stone wedding band

{Designer Secret} Barbara suggests that when choosing your wedding rings think about day-to-day style rather than bling.

“Find something that you think is beautiful and will be comfortable and happy wearing every day for the rest of your life,” Barbara says. “You can always buy something fancy to wear with it later on.”

eco friendly engagement ring

And you don’t have to buy a set for your rings to match.

“One of the questions I’m asked most often is if things “go together”,” she says. “The jewelry I make mixes and matches with many different styles. I’m constantly amazed at how customers mix and match the twig bands to make a style their own.”

eco friendly flower cocktail ring

Customer ideas have been a guiding hand in Barbara’s designs. “My celebration collection has evolved from requests from my customers,” she says. “I guess you could say that customers’ suggestions have been golden.”

garland band eco friendly wedding ring

“I’ve been making jewelry on and off for over 30 years. When I was about 10 I was bitten by the handmade bug when one of my babysitters showed me how to solder and make a copper bracelet,” Barbara remembers. “It wasn’t until many years later that it actually became my business. I started by selling jewelry to friends and then expanded by opening a shop on Etsy.”

To learn more , and see additional designs, please visit:

Photo credits: Don Kozusko , Yosra El-Essawy

eco modern wedding band

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