Completing the Look of Your Wedding Day: Bridal Accessories
by Christina`s Custom Crafts

Most Brides spend countless hours choosing the more significant aspects of their special day; their gown, the reception hall, entertainment, photographer, and transportation. There are, without doubt, some of the most important decisions a bride can make. What often happens, however, is that brides overlook their bridal accessories leaving them little time to "complete" their look. This article looks at the types of accessories that most brides consider, when to begin looking into accessory options and what some of your choices are.

Bridal accessories fall into three main categories: heirloom pieces, store bought items, and custom work. Heirloom pieces are items of jewelry passed on by a family member to a bride, often taking the form of an inheritance, a gift, or a borrowed piece. Heirloom pieces hold a great deal of family and sentimental value but rarely reflect a bride`s tastes or style. Store bought items can be either genuine or cosmetic jewelry pieces. The greatest advantages of store bought accessories are the ease of purchase and, depending on each store`s policy, the ability to change your mind and return an item. Custom work, which can be a more expensive option, depending on the artisan you select, allows for the greatest level of flexibility, choice and individual style. Depending on the complexity and size of your order, custom work should be initiated between 8 and 12 weeks before your wedding date.

Accessories encompass three main groups: Bridal accessories, including hair and jewelry; Attendants or Bridesmaids accessories, including hair and jewelry; and finally Mother of the Bride accessories. Each group will be discussed individually.

Bridal Accessories:
As a bride, you are the center of attention on your special day and of course you want to look your best. Your dress, hair and makeup are all aspects of your look which you will spend hours debating over, but don`t forget the following areas where accessories will enhance your overall look:

Hair:
Brides have several choices when it comes to hair accessories. The least expensive option is the use of decorated hair pins. Most hair stylists will use plain or decorated hair pins when setting your up do or other salon style. Hair pins can be purchased from a variety of accessory stores or can be custom made. They can be scattered throughout your hair or grouped together depending on the look you and your stylist hope to attain. Hair pins range in price and brides usually require 6 to 10 pins depending on the hair style and thickness of your hair. A more expensive option is a fancy hair comb. Hair combs are usually used by stylists to finish the look of an up do or to replace a tiara. Hair combs can be store bought or custom made and are usually decorated with a combination of crystals and pearls. Hair combs come in a variety of sizes and can also be used to secure your veil in place. The most expensive option is a tiara. Tiaras can be anything from simple wire and beads to gold and diamonds used by celebrities! Tiaras can be purchased at wedding gown stores, boutiques, jewelry stores, accessory stores, or can be custom made. Tiaras can be a very creative aspect of your look, from a traditional to a more whimsical style, and use a variety of materials ranging from Austrian crystals to sea shells!

Jewelry:
Aside from your hair, jewelry is another major aspect of your look. From a necklace to earrings, bracelets to broaches, the most important aspect of choosing your jewelry is to make sure that it matches & suits the style of your gown. Often times your gown`s advertising photos include jewelry worn by the model, these designer pieces are perfect for your gown and can usually be reproduced by a retailer specializing in custom jewelry. As most brides wear white bridal gowns, crystal and pearls are the most common materials used to make bridal jewelry.

Bridesmaids Accessories:
After you have finished deciding on your accessories, why not consider outfitting your Bridal party with a matching set. Brides spend hours of time and hundreds of dollars on their Bridesmaids` dresses but often leave the jewelry up to their Bridesmaids. Having a matching set gives your Bridesmaids that completed look. Bridesmaid`s jewelry provides a wider range of styles and materials depending on the color and style of their dresses. Be sure to carry a swatch of the dress material and a picture or sketch of the design when shopping around or looking into custom work. You may not be able to find an exact match at a retail outlet but most custom designers can order materials to match any swatch provided to them. For Brides on a budget, a beaded set of necklaces & earrings will do the trick, a more expensive option can include colored Austrian crystals, semi-precious stones and all three pieces: necklace, earrings, and bracelet. Jewelry for your Bridesmaids makes an excellent gift for you attendants while also giving them that finished look.

Mother of the Bride:
Last, but certainly not least, is the Mother of the Bride. Mom`s usually buy a new dress for their daughter`s big day but will wear their traditional "good" jewelry. An increasingly popular option for Mothers of the Bride is to have custom jewelry made to match their new dress as style and materials are both flexible.

Overall, your bridal accessories are an easily overlooked but important finishing touch on your wedding day. You have many choices to make but have a number of different avenues to explore while making these choices. Bridal Accessories can be found at your gown store, retail outlets, online, or through a local custom artisan. Bridal Accessories will provide you with the final exclamation point on your wedding day, don`t put off this important aspect of your wedding plans off until it is too late!

Christina`s Custom Crafts

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