Botanik Bride Feature: Geometric Bohemian Inspired Styled Shoot

I am so excited to let you know that we've been featured over on Botanik Bride today! We designed this shoot last spring, but it's still one of our very favorites. Through this shoot we got connected to a lot of wonderful Charleston talent, and I think the elements we brought in are timeless enough that any bohemian bride could draw inspiration from it.

Be sure to head on over to Botanik Bride and take a peek!

xoxo, Stacia

Tips for Choosing Your Wedding + Engagement Rings

This post was written and sponsored by Orla James - a beautiful wedding and engagement ring retailer in England.

Orla James rings.jpg

You’ve finally decided to spend the rest of your life together. Congratulations! It’s time you started thinking of your engagement ring and wedding bands. Ideally, buy rings that complement each other without going over the top. Opt for non-identical rings keeping scope for variety and future changes.

Katie Jones from Orla James has put together some ways you can choose your wedding and engagement rings.

Decide ring style:

Start by making a choice between gemstones and diamonds. Decide if you would like yellow gold, rose gold, platinum and so on. Once done, narrow your choice to band style – simple, or with embellishments. Keep your partner in the loop while making these decisions in case you want similar looking rings.

Mix your styles up:

It’s perfectly fine if you both have different tastes. If you like yellow gold and your partner likes white gold, you could compromise by customizing both metals – either an intertwining weave or by blending both together. Always remember that you are your own unique person – your life together should be a celebration of two halves that are unique in their own right. Key is to blend your individual styles in a beautiful and harmonious manner that reflects your union.

Select the clarity and cut:

If you and your partner opt for rings with gemstones, check with your jeweler for cut, clarity, karats, style, and setting. Explain to your jeweler how you would like the cut of stone to be – marquise, pear, emerald, princess, heart-cut and so on. Pay attention to the clarity of your gemstones. Getting your choice perfect is what matters – if you are worried about your selection, read up a bit before you go to ensure you are getting exactly what you both want.

Decide on customizations:

Many couples today prefer getting customized engagement and wedding rings to preserve uniqueness. Your individuality should reflect on your one-of-a-kind love. Going for a custom design also requires that you’re part of the creative process – just like your wedding preparations, you get to decide what goes where. The drawbacks to getting customized rings are that you need to start early (5-6 weeks prior) and have a clear vision of the rings in your head.

Pair your engagement and wedding rings:

If you’ve had a surprise engagement ring and are thinking of pairing your wedding ring with it, then you can mix and match to suit your preference! If you have a single solitaire ring as your engagement ring, you could pair it with a simple wedding band set in pave style to add brilliance to both rings! A pave set engagement ring could be paired with a stone-less wedding band to show off the dazzle on your ring finger. If you have a colored stone for your engagement ring, then pair it with a wedding band that alternates between diamonds and the same colored stone to maintain perfect symmetry!

Select a Budget:

When you decide on your wedding budget, be sure to make a special note of your engagement and wedding bands. Budgeting in advance assures that you have prepared for actual expenses. If you want, you could keystone a sizable chunk towards your wedding bands since you both would be wearing them daily for the rest of your union. Ideally, couples spend about 3-4 % of the total wedding budget on the rings. Factor in the costs of stone, metal, cut, clarity, any customizations, and engravings you might want.

Check for quality:

Always remember that you will be wearing your rings for long periods of time without taking them off. Quality control should be checked on engagement rings as well as wedding bands. Ensure you have the manufacturer’s trademark and the quality mark. This also assures that the metal and stone you have bought are of superior quality. Even if this means paying a little extra, ensure to get it done.

Real-life Inspiration:

Take inspiration from people around you while choosing your rings and make them your own. While you might like the cut of one stone, you might not be happy with the clarity. Whether you actually want to know the cut or clarity of the rings, it’s a great way to start observing and getting your choice into shape.

No matter your choice of rings, what matters is that you will wear them as a symbol of your love. Maintaining integrity and commitment in your rings is what matters. Your personality and uniqueness should shine with brilliance and beauty. This small piece of jewelry signifies the loyalty and love that you both will share for a lifetime!!

Head on over to Orla James to take a peek at their wide selection of engagement and wedding bands and get the inspiration flowing!

Wedding Chicks Feature: Emma Katzka's Spring 2017 Collection

I am so excited to let you know that we've been featured over on Wedding Chicks today! Last year I had the privilege of helping my friend Emma (the visionary behind Emma Katzka Bridal) with her Spring 2017 look book shoot. Emma's pieces are just gorgeous and have been winning hearts left and right.

Be sure to head on over to Wedding Chicks and take a peek at her collection!

xoxo, Stacia

Sparkle La Vie - Because Every Bride Deserves to Sparkle

The accessories in this post were sent to me by Sparkle La Vie in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sparkle La Vie Jewelry - because every bride deserves to sparkle on her wedding day.

Bridal jewelry is something that comes up often in my conversations with my brides. I've been asked for my opinions and advice through a slew of questions. What should they wear? Their grandmother's necklace that was passed down to them to honor her memory? A bracelet that the groom gave them early in their relationship? Would jewelry detract from the beauty of the dress?

The heart behind all of these questions, however, is "what should I wear that still feels like 'me'?"

As much as brides enjoy getting dressed up and having their hair and makeup done, all of them still want to look and feel like themselves on their big days. This means that every decision they make in regards to their attire can feel like a huge decision.

Recently I've fallen in love with a company the holds designs that could meet the needs of pretty much any bride (unless you hate sparkles, then I guess this might not be the right approach for you.) This company is named Sparkle La Vie and boy are they not lying when they use the word sparkles. Their accessories sparkle to the heavens!

The other beautiful thing about these accessories is that brides that love sparkle should be able to easy find an accessory that matches their color palette, provides them a hint of sparkle, but also doesn't take their outfit over the top. I love wearing the Blair Studs with jeans and a t-shirt looks on days when I'm just chilling, or putting them on with a dressier outfit and wearing them out on a date. (I'm also positive that many of my couples will see me wearing them on their wedding days.) They're perfect for everything!

The Cinderella Stars Ring might be worn a little less often by me since I have my wedding bands already to add a bit of shine to my daily attire, but it's still a gorgeous statement ring that will be very fun to pull out for special occasions.

Every bride should be able to feel like herself on her wedding day, and accessories can be a huge part of that. I think that the options brides have from Sparkle La Vie are beautiful, timeless pieces that will help the bride's beauty shine even more. (Or maybe the bride and her bridesmaids. Because bridesmaids need love, too.)

What would you choose to wear on your wedding day? Are there any pieces on the Sparkle La Vie website that capture your attention?

Sparkle La Vie Jewelry - because every bride deserves to sparkle on her wedding day.
Sparkle La Vie Jewelry - because every bride deserves to sparkle on her wedding day.
Sparkle La Vie Jewelry - because every bride deserves to sparkle on her wedding day.
Sparkle La Vie Jewelry - because every bride deserves to sparkle on her wedding day.
Sparkle La Vie Jewelry - because every bride deserves to sparkle on her wedding day.

I think that Possibly, Maybe, I'm Falling for You (Rugged Planet Shop Feature)

I was provided this art piece by Rugged Planet in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Rugged Planet art shop feature + giveaway!

"I think that possibly, maybe, I'm falling for you. Yes there's a chance that I've fallen quite hard over you." - Landon Pigg, Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop

With Valentine's Day coming up tomorrow, and the little extra bit of love that seems to be in the air right now, I've been enjoying my share of hearts and succulents (my preference to roses.) Whenever Michael and I get reminiscent of our relationship, there are a couple songs that we go to, but only one that truly makes us both feel all the feelings; Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop. It was a song that fell into our lives during the early stages of our relationship and slowly threaded its way into our relationship as "our song" before it eventually became our first dance song.

Michael and I have always been the out of the box couple, so it shouldn't have surprised anyone when we chose an out of the box first dance song, but it did. (No matter what you do, something about your wedding day will surprise someone.) Some people thought it was an odd choice, but it us, it couldn't have been more perfect.

You see, we really did fall in love at a coffee shop. (In a really small, college town, where the coffee shop owner was a little too nosy and plugged in some Christmas lights, flipped out the overhead lights, and said something about "ambiance" as he left the two of us alone in the side room of his shop during our second coffee outing. I don't remember what he said because I'm pretty sure I was beet red. We were firmly "just friends" in my head at the time.)

The quirky lyrics of this song match perfectly with our slow realization that we were both falling in love with each other (something incredibly obvious to all of our friends that only became evident to us when we were separated by distance over a school break and spent almost every evening of that break talking until the wee hours of the morning.)

Thus, when Brittney, the brilliant creative behind Rugged Planet mentioned that she was looking to offer her skills to the wedding market and wondered if I would like to see the quality of her work myself with a custom quote, I couldn't help but think that 1) that sounded like a delightful collaboration and, 2) this was the quote I wanted. Now it hangs on the wall in Michael's and my bedroom, constantly reminding us of all the stages our relationship has been through.

This print arrived from Brittney packaged incredibly safely and is painted on a nice, heavy cardstock that makes the print feel very high-quality. (Which her work is.) I love that Brittney created Rugged Planet out of a passion to sell art that was affordable for everyone coupled with the desire to donate parts of the proceeds to environmental charities.

Brittney offers a wide variety of beautiful calligraphy quotes to more abstract prints in her Etsy shop - so there is something available for everyone! She is so fun to follow on Instagram because it's always a surprise to see what she's creating next.

If you're a bride looking for help with your wedding related details, you can go to Brittney for help with any calligraphy related tasks (envelope addressing, escort cards, place cards, wedding signs, thank you cards, monograms, etc.) She is also very open to taking custom requests and I can only imagine the types of epic custom art pieces she could create for your event!

If you love Brittney's calligraphy as much as I do, you should be sure to head on over to Paper Swallow Events' Instagram where we're giving one of you the chance to win a custom calligraphy print of your own! Good luck!

However, if you see something in her shop that you love, you should definitely snatch it up with the code HAPPYVDAY for $5 off of $25+ between 2/13-2/20. I'd take advantage of it, if I were you! :)

What quote would you choose if you chose one?