Unless you ride a gossamer parade float crowned Miss Butter Queen at the state fair or are voted to the homecoming court, your queenly days are numbered. For most, there are maybe only 7 times in your life you will feel like royalty, if you’re lucky: the quiet hours playing dress-up in your bedroom; Easter Sunday wearing the first dress you were allowed to pick out; confirmation day; quinceanera; prom; and the first day of your retirement when you realize you’re free! Don’t have to take no orders from nobody! Likely, the biggest of them all will be your wedding. So make it count- add sparkle! Here’s ten ways to make a big impact with a little bit- or a lot- of crystal rhinestones.
- Your dress. The obvious option for sparkle is in the gown. Oo, just saying it makes you feel like the British regency: gown. Find a dress that makes you feel good, whether a couture designer number, a simple slip dress or a secondhand vintage frock. When it fits well and highlights your best features, you’ll be comfortable. From there, it’s easy to add a million dollar look with a relatively small amount of rhinestones. You can do an all-over scatter for shimmer from every angle, or concentrate the crystals to bring attention to a specific area, say a face-framing neckline or a waist-cinching sash. Cluster rhinestone brooches, sew on a crystal appliqué or create your design with flat back stones. You can glue them on, purchase hotfix elements or get sew on stones, pre-drilled with tiny holes just large enough for a needle and thread to pass through. By nature, design presents infinite possibilities; gather patterns or finished looks you like to help narrow down a design- then, just go with your instinct. Queens must make executive decisions every day- don’t look back.
- Your invitations. Just one or two crystals in the right spot can class up invites, thank you cards and other royal decrees. Stick with flat backs with a low table height, say Preciosa Viva 12 crystals, and a smaller size, 12ss through 20ss, so they can slip through automated mail machines with ease. If you’re making it official with a wax seal, press a pointed back stone in before the wax hardens. If you’re giving gifts to your handmaidens and ladies-in-waiting, use the leftover stones on the wrapping or bow. After the event has taken place, you could also decorate your marriage license a little before framing it for display. Maybe make a photocopy first…
- Your accessories. Every regent needs a crown, right? Modernize your tiara by substituting a crystal headband, blinged veil or wearing a unique necklace in your hair. But, beyond jewelry, consider your bag and shoes. Unless your gown has pockets, and let’s pray that they become a standard in dresses from now on, you’ll want to keep your camera phone and lipstick somewhere close. Update a great wristlet clutch and a pair of flats with glue and flat back stones, and you’ll be stylish and comfortable. Don’t forget the ring! Oh, wait. Your partner probably has that one covered. Never mind.
- Your flowers. If you’re serious about sparkle, collect crystal brooches at your bridal shower and carry a brooch “bouquet” down the aisle. Or, let your florist add bling to the fresh flowers. Bouquets can get rhinestone wraps around the stem or dewy crystal drops worked in between the petals; table centerpieces can incorporate large cushion stones or decorate a blah bottle for an insta-vase. Boutonnieres, kissing balls, sparkling ribbon in green garlands- if you want sparkle, queen, your florist can guild the lily.
- Your skin and nails. Did you know that rhinestones can be applied to your skin with a high-quality eyelash glue? Add a few stones at the corners of your eyes for an ethereal day glamour, or add drama to your black tie affair with a full masquerade application. Love, honor and cherish an exposed tattoo by dressing it up for the event. (After all, it truly will be with you ‘til death do you part.) On nails, DIY mani-pedi parties can drop tiny flat backs into wet topcoat. Once dried, seal the perimeter for reinforcement, using a detail brush dipped in the topcoat. For the pro nail job, purchase the stones with your technician or bring your own to match your bridesmaids; between Swarovski and Preciosa alone, you have over 230 shades to choose from.
- Your cake. Creative cake toppers, like crystal-encrusted monograms, look fantastic atop a tasty tiered dessert. Banding- rhinestones preset into strips- is an easy way to decorate frosted layers for show and then remove for eating. Got cupcakes? Plate them on a glass pedestal edged in colored flat back stones. Pleasing to the eye and the palate!
- Your altar. Your dearly beloved will be staring at you for an hour. Some are far away in the last row, some are just old with astigmatism. Make sure they can see you (and have something to look at besides the back of your heads) by glamming up the altar. Chessboard squares give off a lively- but not overpowering- shimmer for a large stone. Attach them along lengths of ribbon to hang as a backdrop. A chuppah cloth, table runner or ceremonial wrap can get the royal treatment with a crystal border design. Make a mobile of vintage crystal ornaments; jazz up candelabra with stone size (ss) 16; glue 30ss and 40ss rounds onto the edge of the garden arch you stand under.
- Your table settings. Table numbers and name placards, disposable cameras and favor boxes can all get some sparkle. If you want the attendants table to shine, tuck crystals into the swags, decorate the bouquet vases, crystallize the speech microphone or bling up a large frame and hang it behind the smiling faces of the couple.
- Your getaway car. If your pumpkin carriage footmen called in sick (sigh. Bachelor parties.) whip out a pair of rhinestoned driving gloves and drive yourselves into the sunset. A “Just Married” sign at the tail can be filled in with colored stones, and a loopy bow can get a dangling crystal pin in the center. Your matching Vespa helmets can say “bride” or “groom” in contrasting crystal script, or get a sparkling saddle blanket and some crystal-riveted tack for your horse. Or, glue some stones on the lacquered hooves! There’s always a way, my friends.
- Your honeymoon! Sunglasses, luggage tags, passport covers, bikini, your Nook, your scepter. Oh, by the way, did I mention vajazzling in number 5?
Rhinestones Unlimited blog author Jemm Stone is a multifaceted girl navigating our sparkly world with on-point insights. Visit RhinestonesU.com/blog to follow her thoughts as she highlights design trends, turns the spotlight on industry influencers and breaks down how-to tips like light through a crystal prism.