Items and ideas for the discerning bride
Looking for wedding accessories with that wow factor? This season, it's all about accessorizing your wedding dress with a statement hair accessory, such as a jeweled headband. Here are a few stunning pieces to adorn those lovely locks:
From top to bottom: (1) The exquisite rose gold flexible band from JL Johnson (Item 3404) features pearls and rhinestones. Available locally at Orainda’s Bridal Boutique or visit jljohnsonbridals.net.
(2) The Everdeen Halo from BHLDN exudes a bohemian vibe with its delicate draping chains and clusters of enameled blossoms and Swarovski crystals. Visit bhldn.com.
(3) With its timeless floral wreath look, the Violet Bandeaux from Jennifer Behr glistens with a pattern of petite flowers and is finished with elastic at the back for comfort and versatility. Visit jenniferbehr.com.
Typed with love
Planning a rustic-chic wedding? These cute 'LOVE' magnet favors are perfect replicas of vintage typewriter keys. Give these to your guests as fun yet practical favors, or use as accents throughout your wedding décor. Each set is packaged in a beautifully designed vintage-inspired craft paper gift box. For info, visit weddingstar.com.
Want to make your wedding more memorable for your guests? Think custom wedding labels for use on wine, beer, water bottles and more. They’re a great way to provide special, personalized messages of thanks and notes of welcome to guests. They’re perfect as favors at receptions as well as other wedding-related events (bridal showers, bachelor parties, etc.). Think it might be hard to design and print your own labels? Worry not. The pros at Bottle Your Brand do all the custom work for you. You’ll also find matching sets so you can carry your theme throughout multiple products. For info, visit bottleyourbrand.com.
Give each toast a personal touch with these chic stemless wine glasses that hold a generous 15 oz. The perfect wedding favors, they feature a variety of designs to complement your theme. Personalize with your names and your wedding date for fabulous mementos (and tabletop decor). For info, visit weddingstar.com.
Blend in nicely
Get ready for the cameras! Highlight your best features with Arbonne’s Sheer Glow Highlighter Stick Duo. Blend the lighter of the two sticks (‘Pearl’) on those areas of your face that reflect the light for a radiant, healthy looking glow. The second stick ('Bronze') can be used alone, or in tandem with 'Pearl' as a contour shade. To apply as a contour, simply blend in the hollow of your cheeks, down the sides of the bridge of your nose, on your temples and at the top of your forehead. Formulated with moisturizing botanicals, these easy-to-apply sticks are perfect to throw in your purse for on-the-go touch-ups. Visit arbonne.com.
Celebrate your new wedded status with this unique cutting board. Words With Boards creates personalized, hand-cut, hand-sanded boards that can be displayed with last name, first name, nickname – you name it, so get creative! The cutting boards, made of sustainably forested hard maple wood, would make a great cake plate at the wedding, as well as a unique wedding gift for the unique couple. Visit wordswithboards.com.
So many pre-wedding parties…so many high-calorie cocktails! Go ahead and create signature cocktails for every blissful occasion with the low-calorie, naturally flavored Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka – it offers a crisp, smooth and somewhat sweet flavor with a lightly warming finish. And, at less than 77 calories per 1.5 ounce serving, it provides the perfect base spirit for designing guiltless cocktails. Here are two playful bridal concoctions.
Shower with Love
1 ½ parts Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka
3 parts cranberry juice
1 part orange juice
Preparation: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and pour over ice.
Here Comes the Bride
1 ½ parts Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka
2-3 parts diet tonic water
Frozen cranberries for garnish
Preparation: Pour all ingredients over ice. Garnish with frozen cranberries.
Wish your wedding flowers would last for years to come? A unique alternative to real flowers, Made with Love Alaska creates bouquets, hair accessories, corsages and boutonnières – all out of clay. These lifelike hand-sculpted florals are customized for brides, bridesmaids and flower girls. Makes a lovely keepsake long after the wedding day, such as a centerpiece or stored in a shadow box. Visit etsy.com/shop/madewithlovealaska.
Get ready robes
When getting ready for your big day, spoil yourself and all the gals with stylish, personalized, soft and silky robes. This floral-on-white kimono robe features an original water color print in a romantic palette that celebrates pretty. Made from easy to care for polyester silk, this will be an impressive gift that will make a lasting impression. Add an embroidered monogram or brief message for a thoughtful finishing touch. Visit weddingstar.com.
Dance the night away in comfort and style with these foldable ballet flats. Makes a nice gift for your bridesmaids – and wedding guests! The women dancing at your reception will be oh-so-grateful. Keep the flats all night, then use them again for commuting, travel and more. Just fold them up and tuck them in your purse. For a personalized touch, create a custom bridesmaids’ pack that includes each of your bridesmaids’ names labeled on the bags. Talaria Flats are available in black, champagne or white. Visit talariaflats.com.
With your own "Love Wreath" design rubber stamp, you can easily personalize everything from your wedding invitations and escort cards to your favor bags and thank you notes. This stamp can be personalized with the bride and groom's first names and the event date (or two custom text lines). Use an ink pad in your favorite color (or wedding colors). Visit weddingstar.com.
Map your moment
Honor the place you hold dear with a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. A. Jaffe’s new Maps collection offers necklaces, pendants and charms in 14-karat white and rose gold or sterling silver, and each custom-made piece can be engraved with any location the world over. A diamond marks the spot of a favorite memory – such as the spot where you first met, fell in love, were married or experienced some other significant or personal event. Everything from the placement of the diamond, to the choice of gold or silver, to the shape of the piece, and the type of jewelry is available for customization. Visit ajaffe.com.
Sip in style
Add a sophisticated touch of style to your engagement party, rehearsal dinner or wedding reception with sangria, a wine cocktail synonymous with social gatherings, celebration and joy. But don’t settle for any sangria, consider LOLEA, a refreshing, gourmet sangria from the Mediterranean. The eye-catching, red and white-dotted bottle lends a joyful, colorful flair to any celebration. Available in either red or white wine sangria, LOLEA contains a moderate amount of alcohol and is made with all natural ingredients. You can even plan your party décor around the polka-dot theme. For local retailers, visit sangrialolea.com.
Bring the spa home
Get your whole body (even your feet!) polished and pretty for your wedding day – without visiting the salon. The Spa Sonic Pro, an all-in-one, facial, body and pedi cleanse, is the perfect solution. This waterproof set comes with five removable rotating heads that can be interchanged for easy cleansing and exfoliating both in and out of the shower: three for face (a small brush, a facial sponge and a pore minimizing silicone brush) and two for body (a large brush and a pumice stone for rough areas like feet, elbows and knees). Available at Walgreens.
Save the veil
Never fear: When the wind blows, your veil won’t! Save the Veil was created by a wedding planner after coordinating many weddings where windy conditions caused her brides’ veils to blow every which way, disrupting the ceremony and photos. Save the Veil, made of beautiful pieces of magnetic jewelry that act as veil weights, will ensure that your veil stays down when the wind acts up. After your wedding day, you can use Save the Veil to wear as a piece of jewelry or use them as magnets to hang up your beautiful wedding photos. A keepsake and piece of your wedding to have with you always. Available locally through Orainda's Bridal Boutique or visit savetheveil.com.
What's more adorable then a little flower girl covered in tulle? Kick up the cuteness meter with this Daily Tutu from Lille Couture. This detachable tulle tutu with a satin ribbon bow can worn over any of the Lille Couture flower girl dresses and comes in a variety of color combinations. Shown here on the Aaralyn Dress in black glimmer tulle with licorice ribbon. Available locally through Fabulous Frocks of Anchorage. Visit lillecouture.com.
Whether it's for the bride or the bridesmaids, monogrammed jewelry makes a great personalized gift. This polished Engraved Monogram Pendant features elegant script lettering – a timeless style that she’ll wear for years to come. Customize it with different colors, chain lengths and pendant sizes. Guys: Engrave it with her married monogram to wear on her honeymoon! Visit baublebar.com.
The beauty of wine
The color experts at Pantone have named Marsala – a "naturally robust and earthy wine red" – the color of the year for 2015. This rich, sophisticated hue is universally flattering and – no matter your skin tone – it’s an excellent color choice for adorning those eyes, lips, cheeks and nails on the big day. Try: Bobbi Brown Lip Color in rum raisin, a creamy matte formula with lasting power – a plus in any bride’s book; and for those nails, try Essie’s slinky shade called Skirting the Issue. For a list of local retailers, visit essie.com and bobbibrowncosmetics.com.
Need a gift idea? Available for purchase by the bride, groom, family or friends, the Alaska Heirloom Marriage Certificate makes a unique gift. Having first debuted in October of 2001, these heirloom quality marriage certificates are available in three designs by Alaskan artists Dale DeArmond, Byron Birdsall (pictured here) and Rie Munoz. Proceeds from each certificate goes to the Alaska Children's Trust, which generates funds to eliminate child abuse and neglect. Last year, the marriage certificates contributed over $15,000 to the Trust Fund. Visit dhss.alaska.gov.
A gift they can drink to
A classic groomsmen gift that has proven to stand the test of time, flasks are always appreciated when received by your best men – especially when you gift them pre-filled! This vintage-inspired design is a memorable way to show your men how much you care. Personalization included. Visit weddingstar.com.
Say "I Do" to disaster relief with the Minimergency Kit for Brides by Pinch Provisions. This kit is chock-full of 21 little essentials to save the big day, including extra wedding bands, antacid, breath freshener, mending kit, and the most compact facial and blotting tissues you've ever seen. But why stop there; find an emergency kit for everyone, including the bridesmaids, flower girl, moms, groom and groomsmen — a great addition to any gift. Visit pinchprovisions.com.
At long lash
Want eyes that really ‘pop’ on your wedding day? Dreaming of long, luxurious, silky eyelashes that won’t smudge or clump? Skip the falsies and try Benefit Cosmetics’ They’re Real! Mascara. This breakthrough bestseller, backed up by results from a consumer panel survey, has its customers raving about the lashes they never knew they had. It lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts and separates lashes for a spectacular "out-to-here" look. Comes in jet-black and available at Sephora or visit benefitcosmetics.com.
Add a luxurious touch to your wedding day with Gwendolyn-Mary Candles. These hand-poured soy candles are made from all natural ingredients and feature three unique scents. For weddings, the Pavane No. 2 fragrance is a huge hit with its blend of water lily, sacred Moroccan red rose and stargazer lily notes. Once the candle has burned down, these beautiful candle vessels can be repurposed. Use the glass to hold your favorite cocktail or a bouquet of peonies. The candles also make beautiful bridesmaid gifts. Gwendolyn-mary.com
Be a glowing bride
Want to avoid dull, dry skin on your wedding day? Go ahead, mask the problem! Perfective Ceuticals' Skin Brightening Mask is a unique paper mask that injects over 1,000 times its weight in moisture into the skin. It also contains seven botanical extracts proven to brighten skin. The active ingredients help give a youthful, dewy glow – perfect for providing a clean palette for makeup application. The masks are easy to apply (no messy gunk to wash off!) and come in single-use packets for travel or for sharing with your bridesmaids. Visit perfectiveceuticals.com.
Planning a rustic or Alaska-themed wedding? Why not showcase your personal style and satisfy any guest’s sweet tooth all in one bite? These custom-designed sugar cookies – shaped like polar bear, salmon and moose – would add a nice touch to themed dessert bars or as wedding favors to send home with guests. Baked up with love by Celestial Sweets Boutique. Visit celestialsweetsboutique.com
For the young maids
EarZing earrings are stylish, safe and perfect for the little girl who doesn't have her ears pierced yet. These new pierce-free earrings come in designs such as flowers, butterflies, cupcakes and more. EarZings are not clip-ons or magnets; they use a patented coil design to secure to the ear. They are extremely comfortable, easy-to-wear and stay on great. Plus, they add the right accessory to complement the bride and the rest of the bridal party. Visit earzings.com.
Brew for two
Buying for the new Mr. and Mrs. can be difficult. And finding the right tools to start a life together can also be tricky when the bride and groom have different styles, wants and tastes…coffee tastes that is. With the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Genio by Fiorucci, couples don’t have to quarrel over their morning perk. The limited edition Genio machine by Italian fashion label Fiorucci is spreading the love with a customized design and message perfect for the newlyweds - "Love Is The Message." A stylish and sleekly designed coffee machine, the Fiorucci can whip up 18 different hot and cold beverage varieties including lattes, espressos, iced teas and more in mere seconds. Whether he’s in the mood for an iced cappuccino or she’s craving a heavenly hot chocolate, there’s something for everyone. Visit dolce-gusto.us.
Get a leg up
Are your legs ready for honeymoon shorts? Try these two tips to get legs looking and feeling their best ever. To remove dry, rough skin and help even skin tone and texture, exfoliate with emerginC Scientific Organics ginger-lime sugar scrub, made with 100-percent natural ingredients. Then, to add a touch of bronze and definition to legs, apply Miracle Skin Transformer BODY, a high-performance tinted body enhancer with SPF 20. It contains moisture magnets such as jojoba oil, soy amino and hyaluronic acids to keep skin hydrated and radiant. Visit emerginc.com and miracleskinstransformer.com.
Every bride needs a fresh face, and that starts with a thorough cleansing. The new Clarisonic Aria Sonic Skin Cleansing Brush oscillates at more than 300 movements per second to remove dirt and oil from the skin and creates a smooth, even canvas for the bride’s makeup application. Aria sings with 3 speeds, a real-time battery life indicator, and a USB-enabled charger so brides can maintain their glow on their honeymoon. A great gift for the bride or bridesmaids, make Aria your own by imprinting the handle with your name or personalized message. Try it out at the Beauty Room Day Spa & Beauty Boutique, or visit www.clarisonic.com.
Get the party rolling
After hours of preparation, photos and dancing the night away, what bride wouldn’t be left with aching, blistered feet? Enter Footzyrolls. The roll-able, fold-able shoe is the must-have item to keep tucked away in your clutch. Just when your feet start to ache, relieve them with cute, comfy flats. Your bridesmaids, too, will be glad to kick off their heels when you set out a basket full of Footzyrolls. Visit www.footzyrolls.com
Get cookin’ (light)!
‘The New Way to Cook Light,’ Cooking Light’s newest cookbook, is an indispensable reference for modern couples looking to spend quality time together in the kitchen – all while cooking and eating healthy foods. The book features more than 400 healthy and delicious recipes along with more than 200 beautiful photographs. Enjoy a wide variety of dishes, including quick weeknight meals and special occasion dishes perfect for the holidays. Makes a great newlywed gift. Find it at Barnes & Noble.
S.O.S. to the rescue
The Solemates Outdoor Solutions (S.O.S.) set may just save the proverbial day! For bride, bridesmaid or wedding guest, these gift sets include all the essential fix-its and fashion necessities for an outdoor wedding. Each kit includes a pair of Solemates, the clear covers that slide onto spike heels to keep them from sinking into grass and getting stuck in cracks. The custom kits are available in two varieties – Emergency (including pain relievers, insect repellent, bandages, breath mints and more); and Shoemergency (containing all the things needed to keep shoes pretty and feet comfortable and happy, including a nail clipper and file, a peppermint foot wipe, nail polish remover wipe, foot cushions, anti-skid pads, and heel gel cushions). Visit www.thesolemates.com.
Bubbly send off
Send guests off with tokens of your appreciation – and style! VOGA Italia’s Baby Sparkling, a mini-sized bottle of sparkling wine, makes a great single serve option or parting wedding favor. Simply tie a ribbon and thank you tag that coordinates with your party colors. Visit www.vogaitalia.com
At outdoors weddings, no one wants to be bothered by pesky mosquitoes and other biting bugs. ThermaCELL mosquito repelling lanterns discreetly keep up to 98 percent of biting insects at bay by creating a zone of protection. These lanterns are discreet, odorless, portable and priced affordably. With no open flame, the lanterns can be set at the parameters of the party and can provide protection for your guests. Visit www.thermacell.com.
Add sparkle to your day
Need a little extra sparkle to kick your reception up a notch? If so, try these glitzy and scrumptious bonbons from Bedazzle My Bonbons. Covered in an edible dusting of glitter, these little chocolate wonders are perfect for decor accents, food accents and even favors. Consider displaying them around your cake, centerpieces, drinks, candy stations or anywhere you need a little something sparkly. Available in 24 hues and six flavors. Visit www.bedazzlemybonbons.com.
Genius Pack makes honeymoon travel simple and stress-free – the perfect luggage for brides and grooms after their chaotic big day. The pack’s features include a laundry compression area, electronic re-charge station, integrated speakers, mini pop-out umbrella, designated compartments, a built-in packing checklist – and a whole lot more. The pack includes an exterior laundry chute to dispose of laundry and an air valve to expel unwanted air and compress laundry contents. When you return home, the laundry compartment zips straight out of the duffle and serves as a handy laundry bag. Visit www.geniuspack.com.
Want sun-kissed skin without the risk of sun exposure? Luckily, achieving a totally natural-looking faux glow has never been easier. The new Brazilian True Tan is an innovative tanning alternative that combines two steps of exfoliation and tanning into one. To ensure an even tan, Brazilian True Tan is developed with an advanced glycolic formula to exfoliate and condition skin in order to obtain that all-natural tan every bride desires. Brides can now get their glow on and no longer fear turning orange, staining a white gown or getting burned. Available through Sephora in Anchorage or visit www.sephora.com.
Complement bright bridesmaid dresses with sandals that radiate the ease of the islands or add a little flare to a wedding dress with a pop of color at your feet. Even better yet, you can dance the night away because these podiatrist-designed, good-for-you sandals from Orthaheel have a biomechanical orthotic footbed to help support and realign the feet for fantastic support and all-day comfort. Visit www.orthaheelusa.com.