Warm Invitation Ideas for Winter & Fall: Wedding Paper Divas

We're coming up on what is affectionately known as the engagement season.   And since many  couples who get engaged at the end of this year will be tying the knot in the Fall and Winter, we thought now would be a good time to take a look at some new invitation options.  Fortunately, the current Fall/Winter collection from The Wedding Paper Divas focuses on a few new style and color trends as well as focusing on key styles and themes. 

It features many watercolor designs in this collection which gives a beautiful artistic touch. You will also find fall and winter imagery such as fall foliage and snowflakes but with a modern touch, such as watercolor techniques, letterpress or layers to simulate depth.  (I think the watercolor invitations are SO romantic!) There are also modern and formal invitations for those brides who might not want snowflakes on their wedding invitations. But as always, you will find designs with ombre, shimmer and shine, and flashes of brilliance.  Take a look!


Well, what do you think?    Let me know in comments!  Take a look at the full collection of fall wedding invitations from Wedding Paper Divas.

Wordless Wednesday: Seriously Stunning

From Allebach Photography
Philadelphia, PA

Celebrate In Color Review

This is a really, really, really overdue review. Celebrate In Color approached me about reviewing their products A YEAR AGO. During that time, one thing or another kept cropping up - everything from a blog hiatus to digital camera woes. But now that I've had a chance to thoroughly review these products I can say, "Boy, was it worth it!" No lie - these items are some of the most adorable party products and stationary I've ever seen for people of color, covering everything from engagement parties to wedding showers. If I weren't already be married, I'd be all over them. Take a look:

Paper Cups

Paper Plates

Shower and Party Invitations

They all look great, right?! And I'm happy to report that the quality and thickness of all the materials are very good. I love quality invitations no matter what the occasion and I was impressed that these in particular were printed on a nice cardstock in unique designs. I highly recommend all of these. Now I have to find someone to throw a shower for! Celebrate in Color is located in Virginia but can be contacted worldwide through the website, CelebrateInColor.com, or on Facebook.

Wordless Wednesday: Ashlie & Aaron

See more of their pics and read their incredible story on the blog TheFutureMrsEvans.

Wedding Dress of the Day

Take a look at this stunning powder blue wedding gown designed by Claire LaFaye. Gorgeous!

What do you think? Would you take a chance on a powder blue dress for your wedding day? Let us know!

What Happened to the Pics!?

Have you ever deliberately put something in a safe place, but when you go back to look for it later it's gone? That's the feeling we've had for the last couple of weeks when it comes to our most recent blog posts. As you may have noticed some of the recent photos on our blog have vanished and have been replaced with a symbol. Apparently, this is part of a glitch that sometimes happens when you have a Picasa account and share your blogspot posts on Google+. Who knew? We are working to get the images back and replenish the posts. Stay tuned! Image source: jpgmag

Stunning Wedding Styles for 2012 to 2013

Special to African-American Brides by HairStylesDesign.com 

It's that time of year again. Wedding season is upon us and many couples have already set a date for the upcoming months. Spaces have been rented, guests have been invited, and everything is ready, except for one thing – finding the right hairstyle for the ceremony. For a woman that is struggling to discover the exact look that will give her the memory of a perfect wedding, it can be frustrating to sift through loads of pictures without finding the right style. Thankfully, there are some wedding looks that are already becoming 2012 hits and have a classic and timeless appearance that make them perfect for any women getting ready to tie the knot. If the woman is getting married in the spring, then a fresh look like the one pictured above may be the right style. Airy and light, this look may have a little less in the refined elegance department, but is a great choice to show off a woman's facial structure. Attention is pointed to the cheekbones, chin, and eyes and a tiara works as a natural accompaniment to balance out the style. Even 20 years later, this hairstyle will still look good in pictures and the combination with an outdoor setting for the service will make it hard to beat.

Another fresh look that can make for a stunning bride is to simply go with natural hair framed by a hairpiece made of flowers. This look works best when it is paired with a more simple wedding dress. Early weddings in 2012 are seeing many women adopt this style and for good reason. It holds up well over time, requires little work on the actual wedding day, and can be recreated easily whenever a woman wants to relive her wedding. At the same time, if a woman finds this style a bit too relaxed, maybe one of the next examples will be a better fit.
This glam style worn by Kerry Washington obviously has its roots in 1950s and 1960s hair culture, but somehow feels modern at the same time. A bridge between simple and elegant, the look works great with a veil and a woman that want to mix things up can pull the hair back during the ceremony and let it down for the reception. The trick to getting a good glam style is for a woman to avoid going too retro. It's a thin line, but when it's done right, this style may be the best possible look a woman can have for her wedding.
If embracing the elegance of a wedding is the order of the special day, then it's hard to go wrong with a classic updo and this relatively simple version is a great way for a woman to bring attention to her face. Of course, it works perfectly with a veil and nearly any style of dress, but the best combination is to match this look with a refined high-cut dress to give a complete air of refinement. In choosing a specific wedding updo, a woman will need to avoid something overly complex as it can easily overshadow the face, dress, and other components of the woman's appearance.

So You Want to be a Fairytale Princess

Well in that case, let's start from the floor up, shall we? DSW has been collaborating with Disney to create a limited collection called "The Glass Slipper". The shoe collection won't be available in DSW stores until October 2nd. But here's a quick peek.
So what do you think? Do any of these appeal to your whimsical side?

Choosing Rings That Reflect Your Style

- by guest blogger Claire Windon

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but they just aren’t your style. You and your future spouse agree -- you both want rings that reflect your individual values, not strict tradition. At the same time, you ARE getting married, and you like the idea of wearing a wedding ring. Fortunately, there are many alternatives for rings for both you and your future spouse that reflect your style and still let the world know that you’ve found the love of your life.

Alternative Materials
If you’re not into diamonds, consider a ring with a semi-precious stone instead. A pearl engagement ring has the elegant look of a diamond while still looking distinctive. A romantic alternative is to design your own ring with your birthstone and your future spouse’s birthstone substituting for the diamond solitaire.
Alternatives also exist for wedding bands. Tungsten is ten times harder than 18 carat gold and four times harder than titanium, which makes it a practical choice for rings that you and your spouse will be wearing every day. Titanium is light, shiny and easily polished if you happen to scratch the band of your ring. Cobalt chrome is as shiny as platinum and has the look of white gold, but it’s much more durable and scratch resistant. If you’re on a really tight budget, consider stainless steel rings, which are just as shiny as silver but never tarnish.
An eco friendly alternative for an engagement ring or a wedding ring is to recycle an inherited ring into something more modern. Not only is remodeling an existing ring often cheaper than buying a new ring, you have the added element of incorporating a family heirloom into your new life. A recycled ring also doesn’t involve any additional mining for wedding band materials or gems. If you don’t have a ring to recycle, many jewelers feature rings made with recycled metals and stones among their offerings. Wood rings are another eco friendly alternative. Although they’re not as sturdy as other material choices, they make a striking visual statement.

Conflict-Free and Fair Trade
If you’ve seen the movie Blood Diamond, you may be horrified about wearing a traditional diamond engagement ring or a gold wedding band. The good news is that you don’t have to give up diamonds or gold to be at peace with your conscience. Many jewelers feature conflict-free diamonds and fair-trade gold bands, both of which are certified to have no association with child labor or other human rights abuses.

Cultured Diamonds
When your heart is set on diamonds but your budget says cubic zirconium, cultured diamonds allow you to have a real diamond for a fraction of the price of mined stones. Cultured diamonds are created from a carbon-graphite core and a diamond seed that are subjected to super-high pressure for four days. The result not only looks like a diamond, it is a diamond.
However, where a one-carat yellow mined diamond would set you back more than $20,000, a cultured yellow diamond of the same size only costs about $6,000. Cultured diamonds are also totally conflict free and don’t involve mining rare natural resources. Cultured diamonds are available in nearly every carat size and in a wide range of colors to suit the preference of nearly every bride-to-be.

Claire Windon is a freelance writer and wedding planner. To learn more about personalized jewelry visit SorellaJewelry.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Lenora & James

Engagement session
Wyatt Ramsey Photography
Savannah, GA

Thanks, Lenora and James for this lovely submission! If you would like to share any of your engagement, shower or wedding pictures with us, please feel free. We love showcase our gorgeous readers and their loved ones.

Oprah Goes Natural

Well, for a while at least.    She took made the change for her latest magazine cover.   I haven't seen the entire thing, but she looks nice here!  

You can read the whole story at USA Today

Trend Alert: The Bridal Pantsuit?

Am I for real? I sure am. Earlier this year Carolina Herrera debuted her first ever bridal pantsuit, and since then lots of other designers have been taking note. I mean the suit is lovely, is it not?

I probably wouldn't have considered it for my wedding, but I wouldn't mind wearing it SOMEWHERE. And although some of the wedding pantsuits coming down the runway do look dressy enough for a wedding, others are more suited for one of P-Diddy's "white" parties.
Here is another beautiful suit by Yuki Katsura.

It's hard to believe, but Bianca Jagger got married to her rockstar husband in a similar ensemble 42 years ago.
So tell me, what do you think? Even though this style will never be worn by the majority of brides, could it work for some of the super-independent ladies out there?

Wordless Wednesday: Kossy & Chibuikem

This lovely engagement session is courtesy of Sanam Zaer Photography. It was taken at Hermann Park in Houston, Texas. See more on the Facebook page.

Three Major Wedding Dress Trends for 2013

Yes, only three! But they're big and definitely worth taking note of.

One: Gowns with straps have been making a comeback for sometime. But now they seem tp finally be as abundant as strapless dresses which reigned for so long. Straps don't mean sleeves, though, and some of the straps you'll see are beaded and wispy at best. Sometimes the strap will cover only one shoulder, but it's there.

Two: Shape and cut are everything. When you buy a wedding gown this year, you WILL know the name of its shape whether mermaid, ball gown, peplum, etc. Designers have been working hard to fashion white dresses into a variety of forms and brides seem to be taking notice.

Three: Ethereal and fairytale looks are making their mark the way vintage styles did a few years ago. This means romantic looks with tulle, georgette, fine lace, and layers.

If you're thinking outside-the-box when it comes to wedding dresses, don't forget to look in unexpected places, as well as in well-established stores such as David's Bridal for great dresses like the ones shown above.

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