Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wedding Dress Wednesday: Accessories

 Wedding Dress Wednesdays are guest posts written by my Mom, Janet

Last week I talked about the important parts of a wedding dress that you never see.  This week I'll discuss all the accessories that you can see, and which complete the wedding ensemble.

Shoes: Don’t forget to choose a heel height for final dress fittings! Bonnie went through a dozen pairs before she found the “ONES”.  They were all beautiful, but keep in mind you will be wearing them for hours! She did have a fancy pair of flip flops for the end of the evening.   

I heard a funny story the other day, a friend of mine was at a wedding, and a bridesmaid came creeping down the aisle peeking at all the women, she stopped and asked what size my friend wore, turns out the bride forgot her shoes and had to borrow some! What a story! 

{Bonnie’s note: I wish I had worn flips flops all day.   Mine weren’t all that uncomfortable, but I still noticed them while standing up on the altar.   Nobody sees them anyways, so don’t waste your time, money, and comfort!}
Coral and silver glitter high heels {yes I did buy and return six other pairs}

Final choice on wedding shoes, $24 at DSW!

Veil:  We went totally under-board on the veil.   Bonnie wasn’t sure she wanted one at all.   She tried one on while wedding dress shopping to make me happy, and decided that maybe a small one would be ok.  I was glad she’d considered it at all, so I was content with a minimal one.  She saw a picture on a blog with the veil tucked up under the bun, which looked surprisingly pretty and made it hang very straight down the back and not tickle her shoulders or look like a shroud (her words).  

While shopping in the garment district in LA I found a simple gathered strip of tulle on a piece of button cording (it has loops you could pin through).  It was only $8!!!

Veil tucked into bun

Belt:  If we went under-board on the veil, we went totally overboard on the belt!  The nice ones in the stores average about $600, and have a ribbon closure to make them adjustable.  If you know Bonnie, she is allergic to bows, all her life we have had to do ‘bow-ectomies’ to her garments, even nighties and bras.

Given our allergies to expensive purchases and bows, I felt I could make a high quality beaded belt myself!  I made another trip downtown and this time visited all the stores with beaded trims (check out the fabric shopping post).  The ones I was interested in were usually kept behind the counter or under glass.  $20-60 a yard was typical.  I was drawn to the ones made like jewelry, but when I sent Bonnie pictures on my phone, we realized that the silver settings for the stones looked grey on top of a white dress.  I found some lovely ones that were all white pearls and sequins, and would look lovely against the dress.  

I started out by making a 2” wide covered belt to attach the trim to, but you could see the dress fabric too plainly.  Next I made a 1” belt using four fabric thicknesses, and used a skirt hook on the end for the closure (no bows).  It was slightly narrower than the trim, so it didn’t show at all.  I stitched the trim to it firmly and left the end undone until right before the wedding.

The trim was mostly very pretty, but every inch or so it had a jumbo fake pearl and a white plastic sequin.  UGH!

Beaded trim, but afflicted with tacky white sequins and pearls

So I snipped those off, and sewed on smaller pearls in their place.  

If you look closely you can see the before and after effect of my beading.  Most people wouldn’t have noticed, but Bonnie and I did!  Her custom stitched belt that was 100% beaded and sized to fit was only $35 of materials.

DIY pearl beaded belt for wedding dress

Hankie (something old): I love old hankies and even once made a quilt out of some floral ones for our vintage feather bed.  I had been collecting them for Bonnie, and she picked the one with a big ‘B’ appliquéd on it.  The one we bought in Belgium with a lace ‘B’, she tucked in her dad’s pocket.  He presented it to me at the end of the aisle; I was tearing up watching them!

Antique handkerchief with the bride's initial

Jewelry (something new): Bonnie tried on lots of jewelry with her dress.  Between family stuff, loans from friends, and even the entire garment district, we didn’t find quite the thing.   Bonnie had in mind a simple drop necklace and I thought it should look ‘believable’, and be something she could wear for years.  In the end, she found a set at Macy’s that looks like diamonds set in white gold.  Very tasteful and understated!

Faux diamond wedding jewelry
{Bonnie’s note: Somebody at work fussed at me the other day for wearing my nice diamonds.  Ha!}

Garter (something borrowed): Two years before their wedding, when they were still dating, Tommy caught the garter at a wedding.  It came home in his suitcase, and Bonnie found it while packing for the wedding.  She wore it, and intends to give it back to the rightful owner so it’s truly something borrowed!

Tommy caught the garter, and they were next!

Wedding Date (something blue): Bonnie saw some photos on pinterest of wedding dates sewn into the bride and groom's clothing.  We thought it would be cute to do it in blue as her "something blue"!  It was left as one of the very last touches, so please forgive the quality!!!

Wedding date sewn into wedding dress

Silver Sixpence: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a Silver Sixpence in your shoe.  

...and a silver sixpence for your shoe

Many people don’t know the whole saying, but when I got married one of my mother’s friends from England gave me a sixpence as a shower gift!  It’s supposed to bring financial luck to your marriage.  After lots of hunting, I finally found it and presented it to Bonnie at one of her showers.  Nowadays you can find them without too much trouble on Ebay.

We stuck it in her shoe, in the arch area so it wouldn’t rub.  We used one of those sticky-spots-things you can use on your clothing.  

Check back next week when I describe hand-beading the bodice! 


  1. wow!! You did a great job in preparing your wedding. Hope you have a successful and memorable wedding.
    Congratulations in advance!! :)

    1. Yes, I am agree with you , that your arrangement is very clean and attention to detail. It is so precious moment for everyone.So,Must be prepared for that.

  2. I can so remember helping many a bride with all the various accessories to compliment the gown. The shoes were often a big deal that had to match the gown. More than one bride left them at the altar. Too bad flip-flops weren't popular 30 years ago.


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