Here Comes The Guide's Blog

Recyling Heirloom Jewelry: Turning Something Old Into Something New

A while back, my mom gave me her diamond engagement ring. She said she wanted me to have it now so that I could enjoy it sooner than later. I was very touched, of course, but given that it was several sizes too large for any of my fingers there was no way I could wear it. So…it sat around in a box for over a year. Clearly I wasn’t enjoying it as my mother had intended, and I’m sure she was quietly wondering if her gift would ever see the light of day again.

Since I’m not really a ring person, I decided to turn my heirloom into a pendant and I knew just where I wanted to have it done: the Christensen Heller Gallery in Oakland. I love going into their store on College Avenue, because it’s cozy and intimate, their display cases are filled with lots of distinctive jewelry, and their staff is incredibly easy to work with.

Christensen Heller GalleryWhen I sat down with gemologist Baird Heffron, I asked him to design something simple, elegant and not too pricey. He not only satisfied me on all counts, he and Jan Christensen Heller, the owner, were able to use some of the settings from the original ring, which made my pendant even more affordable. Angela Prieto stepped in to help me select a chain, and Baird even did an appraisal of the completed necklace. What more could a woman ask for?

Whether you come to the Christensen Heller Gallery to snap up a pair of earrings you saw in the window or to order a custom-designed piece, these very talented professionals will take care of you. They’re knowledgeable, patient, and will make your whole experience a pleasure.

Your wedding day is a perfect excuse to breathe new life in your family’s heirloom jewels. For inspiration to help you turn your “something old” into “something new,” check out their gallery.

Jan Posted by Jan on Dec 14, 2009.
Filed under Wedding IdeasWedding Jewelry and Rings

Bridesmaid Dresses: What Would Vera Do?

When it comes to choosing dresses for your bridesmaids, one size definitely doesn’t fit all. Not only that, but not all styles are going to be universally approved. What to do? Vera Wang has a few suggestions… Read on!


Vera WangQuestion: How do I make all of my bridesmaids happy with my choice of a bridesmaid dress?

Answer: It is customary for the bridal party to take the cue from the bride when it comes to wedding fashion. However, most brides these days are sensitive to the range of tastes, sizes, shapes and incomes of her attendants.

If you are finding it challenging to find a singular bridesmaid dress that suits your entire bridal party, then consider creating a common thread: Pick the color and let each attendant select a style in that color that most flatters her shape. You can also let each bridesmaid choose her own dress and create conformity through accessories, hairdo and make-up. That said, different bridesmaid dresses respect individuality but can also be distracting.

You are the bride, and while you should be as accommodating as possible to your bridal party, they should ultimately respect your overall vision for your wedding day including your choice of a bridesmaid dress.

—Excerpted with permission from Vera Wang’s RSVP Club newsletter. Want to read more of Vera Wang’s newletters? Click here to subscribe.

Jolene Posted by Jolene on Dec 10, 2009.
Filed under Brides Want to KnowExpert AdviceFashionVera WangWedding Dresses

Wedding Day Emergency Fashion Kit

As maid of honor for my sister’s wedding last year, I wore a strapless dress.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m no Heidi Klum. I’ll probably never be asked to model bras for Victoria’s Secret if you know what I mean, so I needed to make sure that strapless gown stayed put against all odds. I’d worn a strapless dress at weddings before, and I have to admit I spent half the night pulling my dress up.

I wasn’t interested in constantly monitoring my dress’ coordinates at my sister’s reception, so I made an appointment to have my dress altered 2 weeks before the wedding. When I got the dress back from the seamstress, I was thrilled. It fit like a glove! It passed every test: jumping up and down, dancing, sitting.

The day of the wedding, I put my dress on and, to my horror, it felt loose. I guess those last few spin classes did more than I wanted them to! Luckily, one of the bridesmaids had fashion tape in her bag. I’d never used it before, but all I could hear in my head was Tim Gunn saying, “make it work.” We lined the very top of the dress with a couple of pieces of tape and I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

I’m proud to say that fashion tape saved my life! My dress didn’t budge all night, and let me tell you I put it to the test and danced my butt off!

Here’s a list of items I’d recommend a bride and bridesmaids have handy in an emergency kit for the wedding day:

Fashion tape in action: me and my sis at her wedding1. Fashion tape
2.  Sewing kit
3. Extra jewelry and earring backs, in case anyone forgets their pieces or something breaks and you need a replacement.
4.  Tide To Go pen, baby powder and white chalk to remove or hide any stains
5.  Bobby pins
6.  Mints
7. Tampons
8.  Advil
9.  Band-Aids
10.  Super glue
11. Clear nail polish
12. Travel lotion
13. Travel hairspray
14.  Sole inserts for high heels (your feet will thank me).
15.  Nail file
16.  Lipstick, lipgloss and Chapstick
17. Oil blotting sheets for your face: I love them because they take the shine away without loading another layer of makeup.
18.  Travel deodorant
19.  Static Guard 
20.  Small brush or comb

(Just so you know, the links here are Amazon affiliate links. We get a little commission, which we appreciate, but that’s not why we recommend these things.)

Denise Posted by Denise on Dec 07, 2009.
Filed under Bridal Beauty AdviceExpert AdviceFashionWedding Dresses