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Gemvara Blog » Guest Collaborators
18 October

A Mixed Metal Wedding, Curated by Bespoke Bride

10_20 Mixed Metal Header

We love finding inspiration on Pinterest and were completely charmed by UK wedding blogger Bespoke Bride’s unique and creative ways to customize a wedding with your personality. Using one of our favorite jewelry trends, mixed metals, we had Jess from Bespoke Bride curate a Pinterest board of opulent, metallic inspiration and guest blog for Gemvara.

If you’re a lover of fabulous jewellery like us then creating a wedding day around this theme is just about as glamorous as it can get! But how would you ever choose between the gorgeous tones of golds, silvers, coppers and more I hear you cry?! Good news: you don’t have to! Why not switch it up with a mixed metal wedding theme?

Imagine yourself walking down the aisle covered in silver hues while your bridesmaids follow behind you in coppers and gold! Imagine a wedding cake combining metal glamour into its design! Tables doused in golden glitz with silver elements threaded through! What’s that? You’re having trouble imagining it? Then let us tickle your mind taste buds with a little inspiration

What do you think? Are you as in love with this as we are? Don’t forget one of the best ways to incorporate mixed metal into your wedding day is with jewellery! Go on… treat yourself.

Much Bespoke Love,

24 February

Red Carpet Inspiration: Annabel Tollman’s Celebrity-Inspired Creations

Awards season is in full force and wrapping up with tonight’s Oscars.  Celebrity stylist Annabel Tollman has been quite busy dressing some of the biggest celebrities for their red carpet moment.  Annabel took some time to pick a few of her favorite red carpet looks from this season and use their fashion to inspire some gorgeous Gemvara pieces.


Photo Credit:


Photo Credit:



21 January

Romantic Inspiration, Annabel Tollman’s Valentine’s Creations

Stylist Annabel Tollman has worked with celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Mariah Carey, so who better to share romantically-inspired gift ideas for Valentine’s Day?  From earrings with delicate details to modern pendants that spell “LOVE”, explore Annabel’s ideas to create the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

valentine's gift

valentine's giftvalentine's day giftvalentine's gifts





13 September

NYFW Jewelry Trends from Gabriella, Kneadle and Bread

Among the sea of sunny yellows, fiery reds, and cobalt blues, classic pieces featuring dark blacks and bright whites were worn down the New York Fashion Week runways.  Some of the designers that had models strutting their stuff in black and white include Naeem Khan, Jenny Packham, Badgley Mischka, and Carmen Marc Valvo.

NYFW 2012

Though I’ve always been a fan of bright colors, especially for spring, the classic dark and light contrast caught my eye immediately.  Patterns, fit, repetition – each designer added their own twist to create entirely unique pieces.

These spring 2013 essentially speak for themselves, but why not add a little something?  Statement pieces are always the perfect addition to any outfit, especially when they’re totally customizable.

Try pairing jewelry like Gemvara’s Naked Cushion Petite Bezel Pendant or the Cosmic Illusion Bracelet with polka dots, stripes, or any other pattern that pops up during NYFW to create your own spin on classic pieces.

NYFW 2012 Jewelry

Check out Gabriella’s blog!

7 September

Rustic Wedding Ideas for Fall from

When the weather is warm, the great outdoors is the perfect setting for a rustic wedding. But what about when the weather is just too cold or unpredictable to be outside? Change the focus from scenery to the wedding details and your indoor wedding will be just as successful.

Set the scene with your wedding stationery designs.
From your first announcement through the time your guests sit down at reception tables, there are several ways to make it clear your wedding is rustic. Choose or create imagery that reflects your style, then personalize all of your wedding stationery with it: save the date cards, postage stamps, invitations, reply cards, wedding programs, the guest book, and escort or place cards (get some design ideas here).

Bring the nature indoors.
Fall–with its beautiful browns, oranges, reds and yellows–adds a new facets to the definition of rustic. Look for these elements to include in your centerpieces and other decorations.

  • Many of mother nature’s ornaments mature when the weather cools. Brown pinecones and acorns, as well as pumpkins, make interesting decor.
  • Add fall leaves for more color.  If the real things are too frail, consider tissue paper leaves on tables and/or walls.
  • Use year-round greenery such as pine or other evergreen branches and moss (buy sheet moss if needed).
  • Wood–in the form of branches, cut slabs, or “slices” of tree trunk–add contrast. I especially like the look of both birch bark and bare willow branches.

Be liberal with the rustic details.
You can change even the plainest of rooms into a rustic chic or country showcase by adding elements complementing your theme. Some ideas to think about:

  • Fabrics can go a long way in setting the tone for your wedding. Use strips of romantic or country-theme fabrics as a backdrop for the head table or photo booth entrance. Burlap as table clothes or under the centerpieces and cake is another option (go here for choices of wedding burlap by the roll, yard, or bolt).
  • Vintage American is also rustic. For example, use an aged door set a top barrels as a table, or an old suitcase for the card box.
  • Favors such as plants in tiny pots, individual pies, and homemade jams are other options (mini favor jars of various shapes are readily available by the case).
  • Even more ideas for transforming a room include wildflower or other rustic details on the cake; mason jar centerpieces; and chalkboards as signs (any flat surface can be transformed with chalkboard paint) .

Your options are too many to mention here! For even more inspiration, check out the following:

Photo Credits

Couple cutting cake: Amy Hardin, Details Weddings & Events
Amy and Pam strive to make every part of your wedding planning experience enjoyable and stress-free. They serve the River Valley, Northwest Arkansas, and Little Rock areas.

Burlap rose and mason jars: Amarette Arnold, Amarette Arnold Photography
In addition to being Bobette’s daughter, Amarette makes lasting memories one picture at a time through her photography. She serves the St. Louis, Missouri area.

Barrel dessert table: Erich McVey, Erich McVey Photography
Erich provides couples with timeless images to remember their day by. He strives to document every wedding through artful photos that bring to life all of the excitement, love and care you put into making your day so special.

Invitation: Rustic Leaves and Burlap Wedding Invitation by Zazzle

23 August

Three Easy Edible Centerpieces from

One of my favorite wedding savings strategies is to combine product functions. This allows you to spend on something memorable, but still keep costs below the alternative of buying each separately (which means more toward longer lasting elements, such as the wedding bands). A common way to achieve this is by combining centerpieces, dessert, and/or favors into one item.

I love food, which makes me very excited about these edible centerpieces. Of the 25 centerpiece ideas, my daughter, Amarette, and I recently pulled together, these three were the most fun. You can see details of each in the video and links below.

1. Individual S’mores “Kits.” Who doesn’t love s’mores? (My husband and grandson, who wanted to gobble this one before the photos were taken, sure do!) You can easily make a mini dessert station at each table by creating a centerpiece made of a s’mores kit for each guest–two chocolate and graham cracker “sandwiches” stacked with two marshmallows on top, then wrapped in tulle gathered together with a tied ribbon. Provide skewers (or let them use forks) and Sterno chafing fuel or candles and your guests have everything they need to make s’mores.

2. Mini Candy Buffets. You can take the mini dessert station concept a different way as well. Candy bars, with various candies in interesting containers, are popular. Miniaturize the concept by filling different size glassware and clear glass containers with a variety of candy. You can also easily color-coordinate with your wedding colors by purchasing bulk candy by color.

3. Cupcake Bouquets. This centerpiece was the most challenging for me. The idea is to frost cupcakes with a flower design, then–using toothpicks in a styrofoam ball set into a flower pot–assemble them to look like a flower bouquet. As you can see by the picture, Amarette’s version looks much better than mine. So, depending on your standards and talent, you may want to have someone else make the cupcakes for you or buy them from a bakery.

Possible interpretations of these ideas are endless, so let your imagination run wild for your wedding or next event. You may be surprised at the results! Check out this great youtube video about these centerpieces!

Photos and Video: Amarette Arnold Photography

New at Top 5 Money Saving Tips When Shopping for Your DIY-Budget Wedding

2 August

Ringspotters Guest Post: Americana Weddings

Olympic fever is in full swing and this week, for our wedding round-up we wanted to proudly show off the red, white and blue. So whether you’re planning an Americana wedding or want a bit of patriotic inspiration for your next event, look no further than these festive pieces!

Colorful Jewelry. Look no further than Gemvara’s fabulous collection of patriotic jewelry. We particularly love their Shooting Star Pendant, the Star Flower Earrings and their Written in the Stars Ring.

Headbands$14. A delicious headband with a trio of flowers made of shabby chiffon and a jeweled center for an extra sparkle. Flowers are attached to an alligator clip so that they can be removed from the headband and worn alone.  Order them in red, white, and navy blue!

Bowties$22.  How can you resist putting one of these onto your little man? The most classic of all ties, the bow tie, will surely make for many cute photos.  (Available in other colors, patterns.)

Bold Clutch
, $53. Add some color to your basics with a bright bag. We’re loving this blue Frieda clutch from NIna Bridal, also available in red and white!

Ties$22. These preppy neckties are made as a full tie with back velcro release for safety and easy on/off for the little ones. 

A Little White Dress. You can’t go wrong with a LWD for the summer. Pair it with bold colorful accessories, and you are good to go!

31 July

7 Wedding Planning Tips for Brides on a Limited Budget from

Lower wedding budgets are today’s reality. Can a bride-to-be still have the wedding of her dreams? Absolutely. The secrets are prioritizing and being conscientious about what you spend. (Note, the engagement ring and wedding bands are often decisions separate from planning of the wedding because, unlike the products for the wedding itself, they will be worn and cherished for a lifetime.)

1. Prioritize wedding expenses. When dreaming of the perfect wedding, there are likely two or three elements you see vividly. What are they? The gown? Decor? Location? The people? Whatever the aspects, these are where you should put your priorities. Focus on the few elements that make the dream a dream and you will soon forget the insignificant pieces that did not happen as originally anticipated.

2. Pick and choose personalized service providers. Your top contenders for personalized services are (a) aspects of your wedding most important to you and (b) those things you do not have the time or talent to do yourself. Cut costs in areas you have the time, talent, and friends or family to help you with and those outside your top priorities . Before doing so, however, evaluate what quality you will give up by having your cousin do the videography or Uncle Walt running a boom box. Expertise and experience do matter, so scrimp here with your eyes wide open.

3. Choose a non-traditional venue. Many couples are having their receptions in unconventional spaces like empty buildings, barns, or the outdoors. This can save on rental fees.

4. Scrutinize guest count. Inviting a more intimate group of family and friends allows you to spend more per person on food, favors, and ambiance.

5. Choose lower cost food options. Serve a generally lower cost buffet, for example, or have only the entrees catered. Another idea is to ask each person in your family cook their specialty for your wedding.

6. Do it yourself (DIY). Making your own centerpieces or veil,  for example, is perfectly acceptable, as is giving handcrafted and personally meaningful gifts to the wedding party.

7. Harness the power of the Internet to keep costs down. Shop online sales, discounts, and low cost websites. Not only is the selection much larger than what you find locally, but lower priced options are more plentiful as well.

Here are some ways you can save by shopping online through

24 July 7 Easy Floral Centerpiece Ideas for the Non-Crafty Bride



One of the most popular do-it-yourself (DIY) projects for a wedding is the centerpieces. By making them yourself, you save money that could go elsewhere (toward a top quality Gemvara wedding band,  for example). If, however, you are on the non-crafty side (like me)  the prospect of creating them yourself can be a little scary.

You don’t have to be afraid! There are ways you can make creative and beautiful centerpieces with very little talent. In fact, I put together the seven floral centerpieces below, plus  18 or so other styles, with few problems. For more details, a photo, and a supply list for each, click on its title below. Or go to the Easy Centerpieces Homepage to see all 25 at once.

Creating these centerpieces doesn’t have to be complicated. The trick is to either (a) buy your flowers already arranged (silk flower sprays or bunches) or (b) use only one or two types of flowers with little or no fillers. That way, we non-crafty folk can have beautiful flowers by simply picking them up, sticking them into a vase, and fluffing.

1-3. Flowers in interesting vases and bottles. We put single stems into opaque bud vases, combined two types of flowers in a wine bottle, and stuck full blooms into a short, square container. You really cannot get any simpler and we think they all look wonderful. Plus, you can easily adapt this concept to include other unique containers.

4-5. Tall Centerpieces.  Tall, slender centerpieces are popular not only for their dramatic effect, but also because they allow for easier conversation across the table. For the first, we used a slender tube vase filled with crystal confetti,  along with ball-shaped (i.e. topiary) blooms. The second is white blooms bunched together in a tall, trumpet-shaped vase, with smaller blooms filling the “stem” of the vase. You can find more tall centerpiece ideas on my Tall Centerpieces pinboard.

6-7. Blooms Under Glass.  Another super-easy and popular type of centerpiece consists of blooms placed beneath upside-down glasses and topped with a tea light or votive candle. We created three different looks with margarita glasses, wine glasses, and mason jars. You could also use other glassware or cylinder vases.

Sidenote: If mason-jar rustic suits your style, you will want to read Top 6 Rustic Wedding Trends on the Gemvara blog and take a look at my Mason Jar Wedding pinboard on Pinterest.

Now that you have some simple centerpiece and decorating ideas, it is time to get started on your own!


About the Author

Bobette Kyle is owner and publisher of

Where you can create your dream wedding on a do-it-yourself budget via the site’s tips, tutorials, videos, and products. The products there are from hundreds of merchants, ranging in size from well-known department stores to niche boutiques.


About the Photographer

Amarette Arnold, Amarette Arnold Photography
In addition to being Bobette’s daughter, Amarette makes lasting memories one picture at a time through her photography. She serves the St. Louis, Missouri area.


16 July

Guest Blog from Ringspotters: 10 Gifts your Bridesmaids will Love


Shop for Bridesmaids gifts at!

Shopping for that special something for your bridesmaids is always tough.  For one, you need to pick something that everyone will like.  At the same time, the thought of splurging on more gifts just makes you anxious. But etiquette calls, and a bridesmaid gift is a special and important way to say thank you to the ladies who will be by your side on your big day.  We thought we’d give you ideas on meaningful and stylish gifts that won’t break the bank, and more importantly, that all your ‘maids will love.

1. Shawls.  Who doesn’t love a good shawl?  Dessy has the cutest accessories, but we especially love their Pashmina Shawls for $30.  They are one size fit all and they come in every color, so that your girls can wear them down the aisle, at your reception, and over and over again.

2. Jewelry. Classic earrings, colorful bangles, and statement necklaces always make a fun gift. Pick different pieces to match the personality of your ladies, or select one classic piece for everyone.

3. Cosmetics:  Because girl can never own too much makeup!  And lip products are a relatively safe option as long as you stick to glosses, sheers, and neutral colors.

  • Sephora Lip Gloss set: $20 (for a $60 value) A four piece high intensity lip gloss set in tangerine inspired shades.
  • Sephora Korres Lip Goddess collection. $29 (for a $44 value) A limited-edition collection of full-size lip essentials in a range of beautiful finishes (two lip butters and a lipstick).
  • Essie Wedding Collection Nail Polish Set $17.00. The set includes a semi-sheer reflective pink, a freshly-minted cream green, a white rose with glistening stardust, and a creamy, dusty lilac.  Or, make a cute assortment with your “wedding” colors, and for your maid of honor,  package them with a giftcard to a spa.

4. Flip Flops or Espadrilles. Yes, you will need to do some sleuth work to find out shoe sizes, but who wouldn’t love a pair of these, especially for Spring/Summer weddings?

5. Clutch bags. Who doesn’t love a new purse? For an extra touch, surprise your bridesmaids with a little lip gloss or nail polish inside the bag.

6. Hairpins. How about giving them a pair of delicate hair pins they can wear on the wedding day or for any special occasion? They are unique, feminine and, most importantly, affordable.

7. Jeweled Straps.  We love the idea of going glam and these jeweled straps are definitely a unique gift and a beautiful accessory to add some sparkle to a strapless gown.

8. Robes.  Your girls will be eternally grateful when they receive a comfy, stylish robe for them to wear for the pre wedding day festivities, and any time afterwards!

9. Fun and Flirty Aprons. They’re different, unique and oh so feminine.

10.Get Personal. If you’re the sentimental type and someone who loves giving that extra personal touch, consider personalizing an item for your ladies – from a dish to a tote to a fancy wine glass, your options are endless!

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