Great bridal shower gift ideas

My sister texted me tonight saying she's going to a bridal shower and has no clue what to get the bride and wondered if I had any ideas. Because I'm in the wedding industry I totally should have ideas and lots of them, right? Well, I was a little embarrassed to admit that I didn't have a blog post that could help her, but I promised that soon I would. So, here it is! 

Super Adorbs Apron

I know it's super sexist to say that now that she's becoming a wife she needs an apron, but I'll tell you a little secret: I didn't cook until I was married. I mean, I knew how to make scrambled eggs and miso soup but I mostly ate take out from the Whole Foods deli because I didn't know how to cook. So I would have LOVED an apron as a bridal shower gift! Check out this cute and colorful apron.

Bake, Rattle, and Roll Apron

Colorful Nautical Notecards

These sweet nautical notecards are perfect for a bride getting married in Maine! I would freakin' love a set of these and would totally use them. The handwritten note is coming back in style (thank god) and you might even get one of these as a thank you note if you give her this sweet gift! 

Sea My Guest Notecard Set

Jewelry Organizer-Thingy

I need one of these soooo badly! This is the perfect give because it's the kind of thing that your friend might not buy herself but she probably totally needs. My necklaces are a knotted mess and my earrings are all over the place. I would LOVE to get this sweet copper jewelry stand

Wrangle Your Bangles Jewelry Stand

Framable Botanical Prints

I adore these! Every since seeing Alicia Florrick's wall of framed botanical and bird prints I've wanted to do the same thing in my living room. I think they would look so pretty framed and laid out in a grid. Maybe get two sets so she can really make a statement. Would your bride friend like these beautiful botanical prints

Seed What I Mean? Print Set - 9.75 x 8.25

Otter Tape Dispenser

Ergmagahd! Apparently I'm just putting together a list of things I want because I MUST have this otter tape dispenser. He's so dang cute, just look at that face! Another little story...this year for our anniversary I got my husband a card that said "We're meant for each otter!" Cute, right? I know, and so is this adorable otter tape dispenser. I promise you, your friend doesn't already have one. ;)

Alma Otter Tape Dispenser

Everyone Needs Gold Bowls

Ok, yeah, this post is totally just a list of things I want. LOL! But, c'mon, who wouldn't want these awesome gold bowls? They even have matching gold mugs, but I think I like the bowls even better. If she doesn't want to eat ice cream out of them, then maybe she can use them for her hair ties or rings or keys or nuts or candies or...whatever.  

Gold Crush Bowl Set

Mrs. Wine Tote

And, because she's becoming a Mrs. this little canvas wine tote would be a perfect bridal shower gift! And a wine tote is yet another useful item that people don't usually buy for themselves. And, you can totally put a bottle of champagne in it and tell her it's to bring to the bridal suite on wedding day! What a thoughtful gift. Give her this miss to mrs. wine tote and she'll know you really "get" her. 

Hugs and Mrs. Wine Tote

Little Retro Nightgown

It's traditional to get the bride some lingerie for her bridal shower, so why not get her something cute she can wear on her honeymoon. This cute little nightgown could fit most figures and is super flattering and totally sweet. C'mon, it's not like you're getting her leopard print g-strings. 

Love Story of My Life Nightgown

Studs are The Hoops

Is she into jewelry? Studs are making a comeback, so maybe get her this charming set of pastel-y colored earrings. Every time she wears them she'll think of you. And if you're wondering what to get *me* for Christmas, I'd love these! 

Hello, Retro Earring Set

You Need More Sleep

You didn't think I'd make it through a whole post about gift ideas without throwing in something with cats on it, did you? Maybe you don't know me well enough yet. I'm a proud, crazy cat lady to two sweet cats, Felix and Bean. They even have their own Instagram account where you can see the life they live in Maine. So, yeah, I, like, really love cats! Hey, maybe your friend does to! Get her this funny cat advice book

You Need More Sleep: Advice from Cats

I truly, honestly love every item in this post. I'm also part of the ModCloth affiliate program and the links on this page are affiliate links. 

Cool Wedding Websites

I'm a big fan of Squarespace, which is the service I use for this blog/website. They are promoting their templates to couples getting married for wedding website, or wedsites, and I think you might want to check them out. 

What You Get 

  • a free custom domain name
  • a custom cash gift wedding registry
  • some of the coolest templates out there
  • an online gallery
  • a free 14-day trial

They're not paying me to promote them, I just seriously think they're awesome. Plus, the templates are totally customizable which I haven't seen with other wedding websites. I think you'll like these. :)

guest blog: how i met my husband

POSING WITH MY HUSBAND BEFORE HE WAS MY HUSBAND

by Beth Fitzgerald
Editor, The Maine Wedding Company

Brian and I worked for the East Valley Tribune in Arizona as newspaper photojournalist during the late 90's. We barely knew each other when a mutual friend and fellow photographer, Samantha, asked us to pose for a freelance job she was working on for a national photography magazine. Her assignment: Taking natural couples portraits. 

The three of us went to a nearby playground to take the pictures. Samantha set us up in various positions from snuggly to silly. It was super awkward at first but Sam worked her magic — wearing us down shot after shot. Twisting arms, moving hands. Changing our embrace until nothing was left but sweet vulnerability. 


What can you do? You're just wrapped up with a complete stranger! You're forced to let walls down. You're forced to laugh and smile. Your forced to gaze and breathe and connect in way that I can only explain as human.

Then it was over. Got the shots. Great. Everyone went off to other things — separately.

Now, I can remember my face feeling red and how bright it was that day. I remember Brian's white shirt. I remember thinking that the images were cute when Sam showed them to me just a few days later. She had done a nice job. But that's about it; nothing amazed me at the time.

It wasn't until Samantha brought out those same photographs out two years later that I really saw it.  It was amazing. Brian and I were seriously dating by then and  I saw it. I fit right under his arm perfectly. From my expression, I felt safe. I saw the look Brian that gives me when he thinks I am being adorable. I saw how I touch him in photos. I saw us— our connection. 

Whoa! How we connected with each other before, not knowing each other, was the same way we connected with each other now that we were together. It was a shock to see.

I wish I had those photographs now. I don't. Brian and I have been married over 10 years and have daughter together. What would I be able to see now? Our bodies and faces have changed, but our connection has not. 

10 blue engagement rings

it's engagement season! between thanksgiving and valentine's day a TON of people get engaged. i thought i'd do a little post of engagment ring inspiration with a twist: blue engagement rings. for the record, blue is my favorite color, so it's a no brainer that i'd love blue gemstones for engagement rings. i hope you enjoy this list of ten engagement rings all with blue stones. if you're not into blue, i have a pinterest board loaded with all sorts of different rings

 Etsy

 


Ruffled BlogOh Darling Days

Turtle Love Co

Etsy

Etsy

Leif Shop

Etsy

Eight Hundred Ships

Sundance Catalog

vendor profile: bario neal wedding jewelry

I'm sure by now you've seen the gorgeous jewelry crafted by Bario Neal. If you're on Pinterest, you've definitely seen Bario Neal jewelry in your feed. I was lucky enough to get Anna, a co-creater of Bario Neal, to answer some questions about what makes the jewelry so special. 

Meet Bario Neal

Owners: Page Neal and Anna Bario
Business Start Date: 2008
Number of Employees: 8

What made you want to start a jewelry business?

Page and I were both making jewelry already - each running our own business - when we decided to start Bario Neal. We were interested in focusing on the sourcing of our materials in an industry with such a complex history.

What does ethically-sourced materials really mean?  

For us, it means working with materials whose source and history are as transparent as possible. We do everything we can to learn about the conditions at the mine sites, as well as steps along the way, such as where stones are cut. The environmental and human impacts of the materials are very important to us, and our goal is to work only with materials that are either recycled or sourced from mines and supply chains that we feel confident about.

What is Fairtrade or Fairmined gold?

From the Alliance for Responsible Mining: Fairmined gold is ethical gold extracted by Artisanal and Small-scale miners certified under our FAIRMINED standard. Buying FAIRMINED metals is supporting responsible certified miners and their families that follow strict requirements for social development, environmental protection, labor conditions and economic development in their mining communities. FAIRMINED gold is the achievement of the world’s pioneering and industry leading network of responsible Artisanal and Small-scale miners. An initiative and movement lead by and for the miners.

Our Fairmined gold is mined by Aurelsa in Peru. It allows mines to market transparency and we pay a premium that the mining community uses to reinvest in local projects. You can read more info about the project

What is a recycled diamond?

Our recycled diamonds come from old jewelry that our refinery collects. The recycled diamonds are cleaned and re-graded by a grading agency like GIA, and the process is overseen by a third-party certifier to ensure the recycled origin. The benefit of recycled diamonds is that no new mining is required, but we don’t know the initial origin or ‘age’ of the recycled stones with modern cuts.

How do you work with clients on custom jewelry?

Lately we’ve taken a bit of a break from some of our custom work to focus on a new collection of engagement rings. But in general, the process begins with a consultation where we develop the design idea. Then we’ll create sketches and either a wax model or computer renderings of the piece before it’s made in metal. The process with each project and customer is a little different, but there is a lot of communication and collaboration along the way.

Is your jewelry sold in storefronts or only online?

Both! We have two locations. Our main store & workshop is in Philadelphia (where all the work is made). This fall, we opened a showroom in NYC, and several stores also carry our work. 

Your ring designs are so creative, what inspires you?

Our inspiration can come from anything, but natural objects and vintage jewelry are often at play.

What do you want new customers to know about Bario Neal?

I think our blog can be so helpful for people researching jewelry and wanting to learn a little more about us. We have posts about everything from the history of diamonds to marriage equality.

What kind of person typically purchases your rings?

It’s great getting to meet our clients at the Philly and NY shops - they are very diverse and I think it’s a real mix of people who are attracted to the design work or to the focus on sourcing.

What is a cocktail ring?

A cocktail ring can really be anything that isn’t a wedding or engagement ring, but traditionally they tend to be a little bigger in scale.

My engagement ring is a Canadian diamond, how do I know if it was ethically sourced?

Many Canadian diamonds come with documentation of their origin, and some are laser inscribed with a unique ID number that allows you to trace them to the mine. Canadian diamonds are generally cut and polished responsibly by fairly paid adults (cutting and polishing is one of the big human rights concerns with diamonds).

Canada’s mining laws are certainly stricter than most countries’ but there are concerns about the environmental impact and the effects of the mines on First Nations land and communities.  

What kind of gems do you use?

We work with all sorts of gemstones - a lot of sapphire, ruby and aquamarine. Not to avoid the question, but there is just too much info to go through it all! We have a great piece on the blog about our colored gemstones.

If you want wedding jewelry that is sustainably sourced, creatively made, and absolutely stunning, contact Bario Neal