22 June 2011

BTW: Fit for a Princess

"If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done."

Every woman wants to feel like a princess on her wedding day.

And to help a woman feel her absolute best on one of the biggest days of her life is special indeed.

I accepted the call to create a wedding ensemble for Kim along with a mother-of-the-bride set and two attendants back in February, and promptly ordered the materials. (Aren't you proud of me for being so FOCUSED at that time?! I am!). My time and talent and labor are my gift to Kim. But like most things in my life, if I don't do it right away, then it doesn't get done. I let other things (like this and this and this) take precedence.

Now the wedding is but a few weeks away, and I am sure that the anxious bride is hoping that I will complete this asap! This is what I have been working on the past few nights.

{Wire, chain & crystals waiting their turn...}

When I met with the bride, I had just picked up a copy of The Earring Style Book by Stephanie Wells. I enjoy this book because it has striking photography and some very current styles worn by all the hottest celebrities. However, they are a bit too much for me to wear as earrings, so I would not likely make them that way (I tend to only make things that I would likely wear, since if it doesn't sell it is part of my personal collection!). But if you look past the intent of a piece in a book and focus on the parts, you can find some great ideas for connectors and pendants in this book. I highly recommend it.

Kim's dress has some rather ornate detailing, and I thought that might be a nice focal for her piece. Kim's mom wanted something similar to her daughter, but a bit on the smaller scale. These shapes come straight from Kim's dress with scrolls and tendrils.

{For the bride and the mother-of-the-bride... similarly matched sets!}

And for the bridesmaids we chose a page straight from The Earring Style Book. Page 144 to be exact. Shown there are the Osiris earrings in a serpentine style wrapped in gemstones. To keep it simple, we opted for one stunning Swarovski crystal with the scroll a little smaller in size. I hammered a bit of texture to catch the light.

{For Colette}

The size and color on these Swarovski crystals is really quite extraordinary. Their huge irregular shapes make this feel more organic. Simple, yet stunning. (Hmmm... I think I should make more like this!) Oh, and all have a matching pair of earrings to coordinate. Of course.

{The wedding party}

I don't do a lot of weddings. It is not that I wouldn't mind doing them, but around here they are just all the same. I find it incredibly boring to 'design' for an army of taffeta wearing, rose-toting girls. Besides, I would have a hard time making anything the same. Like I had a hard time making the frames on the the two attendants pieces to match up. It is a good thing they aren't supposed to be a matched set. The fact that they each have a different color scheme makes me feel a bit better about the repetition and allowed me to put a more individual spin on things. In fact, I will always lead someone to select different ensembles for their bridesmaids to match their personality and style. Color is great place to start, but there is oh-so-much more that you could do! It is a much better gift that way, when you think about the person that it is intended for, don't you think? I did enjoy making these, and testing out this fabulous new-to-me book, although I wish (and likely Kim does, too!) that I weren't such a Last Minute Lucy. ;-)

{Fit for a princess!}
I wish Kim and Randy a lifetime of happiness and good fortune. She will be a beautiful bride and I am delighted that I could help complete her princess outfit!

Your turn...
Have you ever made wedding jewelry? 
Do you like making it or hate making it?
Did you wear jewelry in your wedding that you loved or was special is some way? I hate the cheap costume earrings that I wore. I so wish that I had discovered this talent back then!

Have you ever done anything unconventional for weddings? The first commission I ever got was a wedding with the bride, eight bridesmaids and three special attendants. Every single piece was different but in the same color scheme. It was the best wedding ensemble I have ever done! How about you? I used to help do floral arrangements for weddings, and the best trick we used was rolls of screen door replacement spray painted in metallics as a camouflage for the huge glass vases on the tables.

If you were to re-do your own wedding, would you do anything different? I would have different flowers, perhaps a brooch bouquet or one made of feathers.
Do tell!

Enjoy the day!


shari said...

Wow! These pieces are stunning! I love the stones you used... their facets are unusual and their colors brilliant! The women will LOVE THEM. If I were to re-do my wedding, I probably would also do different flowers.... my mom made me use her friend, who wasn't yet a seasoned flower designer. I didn't care for the flowers at all. Other than my bouquet, which was alright. But everything else was wonderful! And even though I'm getting a divorce, I still like my ex. We learned a lot from each other, and are still friends. So I wouldn't even change the fact that I married him. :-)

somethingunique said...

Hi Erin, as a matter of fact i am just doing my morning hop around the blogosphere then going down to the studio to finish up a bride and her maidens jewelry.Talk about last minute she just came to me 3 weeks ago and most of the supplies i get are on line and living in Canada most come from quite far. I am just doing basic 22mm pear shaped swarovski crystals on SS figaro chain & the matching 16mm crystal earrings, all exactly the same (that's the way the bride wants it) and i think it will be the first time in 3 yrs that i have ever duplicated anything besides earring pairs of course. I ordered some beautiful figaro chain from Etsy, paid extra for priority shipping, the crystals from Fusion!! and then the dreaded mail strike AUGGGG!! I waited until yesterday as the Government was suppose to put an order call back to work and i figured the stock pile i have at customs would arrive in time. (NOT) I have one place in town to get supplies anything else is within 300 miles, so i went down picture in tow, if i show Tony what i need he makes a run to some undisclosed location in Detroit and magicly appears with what i need. Somewhat? He brings me 10 chains with clasps already attached for $35 they look nice enough but don't try to tell me that they are SS, at this point i don't have much of a choice the bride is picking everything up today!! I am a very honest person and cannot tell her it is SS, i think the best thing to do would be to tell her to wear them for the wedding and when my beautiful Italian Figaro chain arrives i will replace it for them??? As for changing anything from my wedding.....????i am a single mom so let just leave it at that.
Take care, and the wedding party and MOM are going to just love the beautful creations you put together for them!!
ttfn Lana >^.^<

steufel said...

Erin, the pieces are outstanding and they are a fit for a princess. I'm a little sad that you are so far away my friend because you would be my choice to make the jewelry for my soon to come wedding day. We hopefully can set the date on friday - fingers crossed!

Unknown said...

I have not made anything for a bride but my hubby swears he will marry me again so if that indeed does happen I was going to make myself a little sumthin but after seeing these I think I may need to commission a piece the will blow me away. Humm who could do that for me? LOL

Anonymous said...

Oh Erin, your story sounds exactly like mine. Knew about the wedding and ordered supplies early this year. Only just made the brides earrings and 3 of the 5 bridesmaid earrings last weekend. 2 more to make and the wedding is less than a month away.

Your jewelry is gorgeous, the bride and all will love to wear them! Kristi


Kim said...

As the bride speaking, you did an amazing job Erin! :) You took the ideas we suggested yet made it your own too (just as I had hoped you would!). I am so excited to wear mine and show it off, and just as excited to give the other women theirs. Thank you so very much for all your amazing work! I can't wait to see them in person this weekend!

SummersStudio said...

I do love the sparkle of these pieces you've made. What I love even more about them is that I can see wearing them after the wedding. They 'fancy' enough for a wedding but not so much that you wouldn't wear them on another dressy occasion.

sandi m said...

These turned out soooo beautiful! I love the Fleur-de-lis-ish shape and the large Swarkis.
You must show us a pix of the lucky bride.

Last year I got an emergency call from the mother of the bride - can't find anything to match her dress, could I make something. I was so pleased with a four strand bracelet of various size Swarki indigo blues, a cluster pendant and earrings with gold filled. They were an absolute perfect match to the dress.

Cynthia said...

Your jewelry is beautiful. I'm sure the bride will be thrilled. I'll have to check out that book!
I've done 2 bridal sets (so far). One was great, because the bride wanted all the bridesmaids to have something slightly different. I used large strawberry quartz briolettes for all, but the necklaces were slightly different. I also ended up making the bride 2 necklaces, because the first necklace was "too fabulous" and competed with dress (according the people that sold her the dress). So, I made a smaller necklace to wear with the dress, and she wore the larger one to the reception. I also made the mother of the Bride's necklace, and 2 grandmothers of the bride's necklaces. It was a lot of jewelry - which I loved making!
My 2nd wedding party was more simple, and on a tight budget. But they turned out nice - 5 necklaces, pretty much all the same. I didn't even take pictures of them, because I gave her what she wanted, not what I would have liked to make. But she was happy.
I think doing bridal jewelry is fun, as long as the Bride knows what my style looks like, and likes it herself. I can't make something that is not my own style. (like you, it's all in my personal collection until it goes to it's new owner!)

Pretty Things said...

Weddings make me nervous -- so much on the line! But I've had some fun ones, one where she wanted all this fun, chunky vintage lucite. That was a blast!

Anna Lear said...

What beautiful work! I've done a few wedding pieces by request and had fun, but I wouldn't make it a focus of my small business. To answer your other questions: I bought myself a special crystal and pearl wedding set (I wasn't making jewelry back then) that I pulled apart and repurposed after my divorce a few years ago. What I would do differently about my own wedding: a different groom!! People told me he could be mean and that wouldn't get better but only worse over time; I wish I'd listened. ;-D

Green Shoot Jewellery Designs said...

Your jewellery is absolutely stunning! I have made wedding jewellery for my boyfriends sister last year, I was so nervous but on the day, I was really proud that my jewellery was good enough for someone to choose to wear for their most special day. It was an amazing feeling!
I had handmade jewellery for my own wedding and I wouldn't change a thing about it :-)
Also, I've got the earring book you mentioned in your post and I find it a really good inspiration.
Deb x

Lisa said...

I had a second wedding, and when I look back at those pics (1988) even though hair and make-up are different now, I would not change a thing! I loved my colors, flowers (had a great hometown lady do them all!), the cake, the decor...loved it! I did make my flowers I wore in my hair and also my attendant's and my flower girl's hairpieces. I wore the dress I wore as matron of honor in my sister's wedding and the necklace she gave me as my gift which was a string of swarovski crystals. She bought another necklace and the jeweler broke it apart and made the bridesmaids gifts. Wish I had been dabbling in jewelry-making then, because I was amazed with the simple thing he did. Lots of little happenings along the way in my lifelong love of jewelry have made me now say, 'I could've done that'!

Your pieces are fantastic, Erin, and I know that wedding party will wear them with pride that day and for days to come. I have learned so much from reading all the jewelry blogs I follow. Maybe one day I will be as productive as all of you!

Vintajia Adornments said...

Lovely necklaces, Erin!
Kinda makes me wish I was getting married all over again.

Regina said...

Very lovely pieces you have made, I am sure the bride and party will love it. I have made a few sets for weddings, once the bride told me that my jewelry was the only thing her Mom and she agreed on during the preparations. Mostly pearls and crystals are my choice, except for one group of bridesmaids in black and they opted for black and white striped agate.
My wedding, too nervous, but a lot of fun, don't want to do that again, too many pounds have come to stay. Also December in MA was too cold...

Jenners said...

These look beautiful ... and I bet they look even better in person. It would be so neat if you could share photos of them being worn by the bridal party. I'm not sure what kind of dress I envision to go with this kind of jewelry. I would be very curious!

Joann Mannix said...

Erin, those are simply gorgeous. What a stunning bridal party that must be with your beautiful and unique jewelry. And just knowing the love and care you put into your pieces, if I were that bride I would be over the moon with the way everything turned out.

If I were to do things over again, I would do two things: I would change my hair. My hairdresser who was also my friend did my hair. I hated it but I didn't want to hurt her feelings, so I wore it that way. I'm a changed girl since that day and I've learned to speak up instead of always being nice.

And too, I would have sized things down a lot. Sized down the extravagance, Sized down the huge crowd. I would have made it more casual and intimate. I think it would have reduced my bridal stress quite a bit.

JeannieK said...

Erin, you're such an uptown girl. The necklaces are sure to be treasured by the bride and bridemaids. I love the wire work and what a great idea to take the shapes from the dress.

I do a lot of weddings, but I have a love, hate relationship with it. I guess it depends on the bride.

Joan said...

Erin, you have created pieces that are more than I, mother of the bride, expected. I knew they would be unique and you have really put your special spin on them. I can't wait to wear mine and see Kim's on with her dress. Thank you so much for your labor of love.
I borrowed my grandmother's necklace for my wedding and still feel it was great for my dress. I am so happy Kim will have her own special necklace for the rest of her life.

Cynthia Lloréns said...

Wow! These pieces are stunning! I love the stones you used... their facets are unusual and their colors brilliant! The bride will LOVE that!!!This is my first time in here...and I´m in love with all have you created.....you are a great artist!!I´m follower now.
I wish a wonderful weekend!!!
Kisses and huges from Brazil

Dawn Doucette said...

Ms. Erin... I am in LOVE with the bride's set you designed.OMG... I love that cut of Swarovski, the way it grabs the light and sparkles is awesome! The scroll work is ornate and gorgeous as well.

I love making wedding jewelry. Part of that is knowing I'm contributing something I made with love on someone's big day. You outdid yourself here my dear! Love, love, love it!

Brandi said...

I don't do many wedding commissions, either, and for the same reasons. It's always flattering to be asked, though!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin