Here Comes The Guide's Blog

Jewelry Is Art at Shibumi Gallery

I’m not one of those girls who has known what her dress, flowers, and wedding cake would be since I was 12 years old. But after visiting Shibumi Studio in Berkeley, I’ve come a huge step closer to knowing what kind of wedding ring I want.

Shibumi Gallery Engagement RingWhen I walked into April Higashi’s high-ceilinged studio on a Saturday afternoon, my tactile and visual senses were immediately awakened. From the metal jewelry cases sporting vertically-sliding doors crafted by her husband, to the tall table with earrings and necklaces displayed like miniature sculptures, you’ll immediately feel inspired to find your perfect ring. Imagine jewelry shopping in your favorite modern art museum! April’s desire to give her customers a low-key experience where they don’t feel the need to upgrade the metal or get a larger stone virtually erases the feeling of even being in a store.

Shibumi Gallery Wedding RingWhile I adore the simple, natural yet undeniably elegant look of the gallery’s jewelry, I must say what I love most about Shibumi is the fact that they use exclusively conflict-free raw and natural diamonds and gold. Their artwork makes a humanitarian statement that reflects your values as a couple. And aesthetically, this means that literally no piece can be the same as another, so your ring will be as unique as yourself, your story, your ceremony, and your future commitment.

Julia Posted by Julia on Jun 13, 2008.
Filed under Stuff We LoveWedding Jewelry and Rings

Wedding 101: How to Hold Your Bouquet

You would think the right way to hold a wedding bouquet would be obvious. “Uh, in two hands?” But no, it isn’t. I’ve endured countless clueless TV weddings, where the bride botched the bouquet thing. One of the more memorable flubs was the wedding of Karen Darling on ABC’s Dirty, Sexy, Money. This was like her 5th time down the aisle or something Elizabeth-Taylorish. This chick is super high-society (think Ivanka Trump), with the crème de la crème of wedding vendors in attendance (who should have done something with her hair!), along with a host of paparazzi.

Karen Darling's wedding on Dirty Sexy MoneyWhat really rankled me was that this oh-so-experienced fictional bride (who had the nerve to wear white) carried her bouquet all wrong. I’d like to think her lack of attention to her most important accessory was a bit of directorial foreshadowing—by the time dessert was served, Karen Darling had said “I don’t anymore.” Well, “That’s TV,” I tell myself. “They don’t have the time to focus on details.” But you would think a major film hit, a film hit about weddings no less, would be able to get it right.

Sadly, that isn’t so. Last night, while my husband was deep into the NBA finals, I finally got a chance to pop in the DVD for 27 Dresses. Yes, it was adorable, funny, heartwarming, (predictable)… But to my shock and awe, in the grand finale, the moment we’ve all been waiting for…Jane walked down the aisle with her bouquet held chest-high, obscuring the bodice of her mother’s heirloom wedding gown over which she’d had such conniptions.

“No, Jane, No!” I yelled at the TV. Look, this gal had supposedly been to more weddings than, well, her fiancé who (spoiler alert) writes the wedding column for the local fictional newspaper. She should know how to hold her bouquet!

Which brings me to my point, oh brides-to-be. As you make your dramatic entrance down the wedding aisle, hold your bouquet just below your waist. Simple, elegant, and the best way to show off the décolletage on your Lazaro gown. This goes for bridesmaids, too, by the way.

Got it? Bouquets beneath your waist. Now let’s see how many future prime-time brides will follow my advice.

UPDATE: This just in from my Real Weddings newsletter:
“In full-length shots, be sure that you and your bridesmaids hold your flowers below waist level. This creates a more flattering silhouette, ensures that the flowers don’t compete with faces or dress bodices, and lengthens arms, which makes them look leaner. In close-ups, hold the flowers above the waist, so they are captured in the frame.”

I hate to say I told you so, but if the white satin Grazia wedding pumps fit…!

Jolene Posted by Jolene on Jun 11, 2008.
Filed under CeremonyExpert AdviceFlowers

Wedding Planning Goes Better with Chardonnay

You and your fiancé have spent practically every free Saturday since he popped the question touring possible wedding locations. In your determination to find "the perfect place," you've braved traffic jams, crazy drivers, exorbitant gas prices, and sticker shock. On the first outing, he was a real trooper, agreeing wholeheartedly when you nixed the place that didn't offer linens in periwinkle.

KennolynLately, however, he’s given to whining about missing quality time with his Wii, and thinks you're being too picky because you expect the banquet hall to supply electricity. Your own enthusiasm for the location hunt is also on the wane—on Day 1, you were super-organized, with color-coordinated file folders, 3-D mapping software and 23 printouts of our "Questions to ask a Location." Now you long for the honeymoon in Maui where the only decision you'll have to make is Mai Tai or Piña Colada.

Want to take the edge off? We have a suggestion: Stop by Kennolyn, a 300-acre hillside estate overlooking scenic Monterey Bay. Not only will you and your entourage encounter a gracious, event-friendly venue…you'll also receive a complimentary bottle of wine from their collection, their way of saying "thanks for stopping by."

Sometimes, it's the little things that can turn a hectic day around. Kennolyn's warm welcome, and a relaxing glass of vino shared with your partner back at home, is sure to bring a smile.

Jolene Posted by Jolene on Jun 09, 2008.
Filed under CeremonyLocationsReceptionsRehearsal Dinner