2013 Trends: Bridal Party Jewelry with AJ Stout of Stella & Dot

In this month’s 2013 Trends feature, we decided to have some fun discussing a favorite pastime of many women out there: accessorizing!  As wedding planners, we encourage our brides to think about bridal jewelry (their own as well as their bridal party’s) as they move along in the planning process. Plus, playing with jewels and accessories is just plain fun!

We reached out to AJ Stout, Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot, based out of San Francisco, for her expert opinion on 2013 trends. AJ also shared some photos from a recent shoot she styled using Stella & Dot jewelry, enjoy!

Tell us a little bit about Stella & Dot, when and where was the company created, and how you got involved as an independent stylist.                                                                                                                                                                     Stella & Dot was founded by our CEO Jessica Herrin as Luxe Jewels in 2003. The company evolved, and in 2007, Jessica partnered with Blythe Harris, Chief Creative Officer and re-branded Luxe Jewels as Stella & Dot, which they named after their grandmothers. The company is based in San Bruno, CA. I began working as an Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot, as a means to satisfy my need to work in a “feel good” capacity after battling Triple Negative Inflammatory breast cancer last year. Styling my clients with beautiful jewelry has motivated me and helped me make many wonderful personal connections!

AJ Stout

AJ Stout

How does the process of seeing and selecting pieces of jewelry work with Stella & Dot? Have you ever held a special party for a bride and the members of her bridal party?

Stella & Dot jewelry is designed in New York City and San Francisco and each piece is hand crafted. Our design team has worked with luxury brands like LVMH and Coach. For wedding jewelry, I have helped brides incorporate a Stella & Dot trunk show into their bridal shower so that they can earn style rewards (jewelry credit) towards their own wedding jewels, and choose jewelry for the bridesmaids, mother-of the bride, or flower girls.  Typically, when the guests know their shopping benefits the bride, they are happy to shop to help her earn style rewards to look beautiful for her big day!

Tell us about the price range of Stella & Dot jewelry.

Half the line is under $50, which makes it affordable for most women. Our current price range is $16 – $298.

Does Stella & Dot create pieces that are specifically geared towards brides?

Our products are not geared to a specific occasion; however, our designers do an excellent job of having some very elegant pieces available, which I have often recommended to my bridal clients.

What bridal trends have you noticed in 2013?

The Great Gatsby film has influenced many bridal looks this year. As seen in the bridal photos, the Stackable Deco rings (et of 3 for $49).

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

As well as the vintage inspired Deco Drop earrings ($44).  Both pieces emulate the art deco style of The Great Gatsby.

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Adding a ‘pop of color’ with jewelry can really heighten the overall look of a bridal outfit. Which colors have been the most popular in 2013?

The aqua stones of the Lily Chandelier earrings have been a pretty choice for my bridal clients who want to add a little color to their look, and they’re priced well at $39!

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

What are some favorite pieces that you’ve seen brides and bridesmaids wear in 2013?

My hands down favorite piece is the Ainsley bracelet ($98), which I am wearing in the potrait above.  It’s a sparkly stretch bracelet that adds a lot of glamour to the overall look:

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

In your opinion, which pieces of jewelry should a bride consider giving to her bridesmaids to wear at her wedding?

I think it all depends on the dress style and is often budget driven. When I got married a few years ago, I bought matching bracelets for my bridesmaids to give them a consistent look and a little color as they were in black dresses.  Something to keep in mind when giving the bridesmaids a piece of jewelry is that it’s a gift for them to wear on the wedding day and hopefully something they will want to wear again and again.

In the 2013 collection, does Stella & Dot feature pieces that would be appropriate for a wide range of ages within a bridal party (i.e. the Bride, Bridesmaids, Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom)?

We have a wonderful collection of jewelry appropriate for the different age ranges of the bridal party.

The bride may want something as simple as our Glint Flower Cubic Zirconia necklace ($39):

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Or something more contemporary, like our Dot Bloom necklace ($198):

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Bridesmaids can acheive an elegant lace look with the Geneve Lace Bib necklace, ($96):

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Flower girls will feel fancy in their Mini Soiree necklace ($24) and Bracelet ($16):

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

I’ve also seen the mother-of-the bride choose to wear a statement necklace. Some women are reluctant to wear larger pieces of jewelry, but for a wedding where they will be wearing a glamorous dress, these pieces can really bring out the best in their personal style! I like the Marchesa necklace ($178) for a luxurious look.

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

If you had an opportunity to style your dream wedding featuring jewelry from the 2013 Stella & Dot collection, which pieces would you include?

I recently styled the following photo shoot and included pieces which really set the tone for the overall elegant theme.

On the blonde model is the Metropolitan Mix Chain necklace, (was $198, now available directly through me for $99), the Glint Flower cubic zirconia earrings ($39), and one the Stackable Deco rings (set of 3 for $49).

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

On the brunette model are the vintage inspired Deco Drop earrings ($44), as well as some very affordable bling: the Radiance Coil bracelet ($29).

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Check out the photos from my shoot here:

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo shoot credits:

Photographer: Michelle Lascon http://www.michellelacsonphotography.com

Jewelry Styling: AJ Stout, Stella & Dot Independent Stylist http://www.stelladot.com/AJStout

Shoot Coordinator: Hoofrish Patel – Tamrish Events http://www.tamrish.com/


Thank you, AJ, for sharing all of these helpful tips and ideas!


Please contact AJ directly for more information about Stella & Dot and any of the pieces she referenced in this interview: ajstoutstyle@gmail.com.

And be sure to read out last installment of 2013 TRENDS focusing on Wedding Cakes with Amber McKenney of Sweet On Cake!

Honeymoon Packing Guide with BB Style

The Big Day has come and gone in the blink of an eye! You are still running on adrenaline, feeling exhausted, and asking yourself how the wedding flew by so quickly. The good news is it’s finally honeymoon time! Say goodbye to your friends and family and take off on some much needed newlywed time to enjoy and celebrate being Mr. & Mrs.

Tackling your honeymoon packing can seem like a big task. With all of the other wedding planning and outfit styling leading up to the wedding, your honeymoon had felt so far away. I recommend packing ahead and being very strategic. It is definitely easier to pack for warm weather locations (as well as a very popular for honeymoon destinations), but you should still take time to plan ahead.

Tips on preparing and packing for your fabulous, tropical or otherwise warm weather honeymoon:

Make a checklist before packing to keep yourself organized, making sure you don’t forget anything

– Keep in mind what activities or dinners you have planned to keep your packing focused on what you will actually wear and need – don’t just throw in every sundress or tank you own.

– Keep it simple! Lay out everything you think you might want to bring, then edit and edit again. Bring pieces that mix and match together so you can wear things more than once in different combinations

– Make sure to bring a few cute dresses that make you feel great and can be worn for daytime fun or dressed up for a romantic dinner

– Accessories don’t take up a lot of packing room, are an easy way to change up an outfit and make it feel different even if it’s the second time you’ve worn it

Bring a beach tote and hat that fold up and are easy to squeeze in your suitcase so you don’t have to carry it on separately

– Don’t over pack shoes.  During the day you will either wear sandals / flip flops for the beach or shoes to walk around and/or do activities.  At night you really only need one pair of great wedges or dressier sandals to wear to dinner.

With my outfit recommendations, you can wear these fun, bright warm weather styles for the following:

Daytime activities- an excursion touring a cute beach town, visiting local sites, having lunch or doing some shopping

Relaxation Time- lounging by the pool, at the beach, doing spa treatments or on a great patio just hanging out together – enjoying some tropical drinks, reading or dozing

Romantic Dinner- Having drinks after a day in the sun followed by getting dressed up for a romantic newlyweds dinner.

Try to enjoy every minute and make sure to take advantage of all the honeymoon attention and perks!

Honeymoon Packing Style Board

Shop the looks below:

Relaxing Poolside-

Emamo Printed Kaftan Coverup

Calypso St Barth Maxi DressJ. Crew Beaded Rose Necklace

Supergoop Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 50

Anthropologie Floral Swimsuit

Essie Nail Polish “Sunday Funday”

Stella and Dot Travel Jewelry Roll

Romantic Dinner-

Calypso St Barth Ikat Maxi Dress

Jack Rogers Gold Sandals

Ray Ban Cat Eye Sunglasses

Elizabeth Cole Statement Earrings

Floral Bella Black Raffia Clutch

K.Jacques Fringe Sandals

Eberjey Crochet Romper Nightie

Daytime Activities-

Lemlem Stripe Gauze Scarf

Tibi Pink Silk Tank

J. Crew Printed Shorts

Flora Bella Large Raffia Beach Tote

Kenneth Jay Lane Turquoise Necklace

J. Crew Gold Bangles

Target Geometric Bikini

ban.do iPhone Case

Joie Embroidered Top

Metallic Floppy Sun Hat

White Fringe Cross Body Purse

J. Crew Linen Bandana Tee

Click here in case you missed our last installment with BB Style, featuring Post Wedding Day Brunch Style!

Post Wedding Day Brunch Style with BB Style

Welcome back to our newest installment of wedding styling tips featuring BB Style!  The day after your wedding, you’re exhausted, still running on pure adrenaline and want to relax with your guests after the Big Day. You’ve pulled out all the stops with fabulous outfits throughout the week, and now your post wedding day brunch is the final event before you head out on your honeymoon (yay!). Whether your brunch is a casual “grab and go” event or a full sit down meal, you want to continue to show off your unique wedding style.

Bri’s tips on styling outfits for your Post Wedding Day Brunch:

– Go with a maxi dress or cute skirt and top. After being in your dress for several hours on the Big Day, dressing in a fun chic outfit for your brunch will set the casual post-wedding tone, and allow you to relax and reminisce about your wedding.

– Consider opting for cute flats to give your feet a rest!

– Compliment your playful brunch outfit with some colorful accessories.

– It’s ok to wear your shades, especially to an outdoor brunch. I suggest shielding your tired eyes with some cat eye or round sunglasses.

– Wear your new initial… there are so many cute monogramed jewelry options on the market!  I love seeing these on a delicate necklace, bracelet or ring (such as the Bauble Bar Initial Disk Necklace, featured with the beach outfit).

Post Wedding Brunch Style Board BB Final(1)

Beach OutfitMiss Selfridge Embroidered Dress | Ray Ban Aviators | Bauble Bar Initial Disk Necklace | Bauble Bar Triad Cuff | Zara Embroidered Bag | Zara Sparkly Flats

City OutfitJoie Lace Dress | Kate Spade “Mrs.” Necklace | Forever 21 Pyramid Bangle | Kenneth Jay Lane Oval Ring | Just Fab Nude Heels

Garden Outfit- Zara Embroidered Top | Miss Selfridge Pom Skirt | J. Crew Neon Stone Necklace | Bauble Bar Bridal Bangle | Loft Color Block Wedges

Wine Country Outfit– J. Crew Silk Maxi Dress | Cat Eye Round Glasses | Tom Binns Statement Earrings | Jennifer Meyer for J. Crew Jeweled Cuff | Zara Flat Sandals

Click here in case you missed our last installment with BB Style, featuring Rehearsal Dinner Style

2013 TRENDS: Florals with Atelier Joya

Welcome back to our recurring monthly series, 2013 TRENDS.  This month we selected to interview the dynamic design duo at Atelier Joya, Priska Kaspar Jayme and Lisa Boone.  We cannot speak highly enough about these innovative, enthusiastic and creative women and love any opportunity we have to work with them.  Atelier Joya is forever ahead of the curve, so it seemed fitting to ask them to forecast this year’s trends in florals. On behalf of Atelier Joya, Lisa shares her thoughts on the exciting things in store for 2013.

Lisa Boone and Priska Jayme Jasper

Lisa Boone and Priska Kaspar Jayme

Q: First tell us about Atelier Joya and how your company got started.

A: Priska has been working with flowers since she was a little girl. She grew up in Switzerland where her parents owned a nursery & flower shop. She knows the ins and outs of flowers and has had a passion for them all of her life. I have a background in interior design & styling and can remember spending many afternoons as a child doing the “decorating” for parties and always wanting to make my surroundings beautiful. Priska & I met while working for an event design company together. A year after both of us had left, we realized we missed working together and that we both were interested in starting a business. We both wanted to continue doing what we loved and knew we had the background to make it happen. That’s how it all began…

Decor by Atelier Joya, photo by: Sergio Mottola

Decor by Atelier Joya, photo by: Sergio Mottola

Decor by Atelier Joya, Photo by: Sergio Mottola

Decor by Atelier Joya, Photo by: Sergio Mottola

Q: How would you describe Atelier Joya’s philosophy of design?  What makes your work stand out amongst your peers in terms of quality, products and materials?

A: Atelier Joya has a refined, sophisticated style. For each event there are several key components we consider: color, proportion and a dramatic/unexpected element. We always take the venue into consideration and create designs that not only highlight the venue, but also enhance any decor elements that we bring in.

We always use the highest quality materials and believe in excellent craftsmanship. Priska has been in the floral business for over 20 years and she knows exactly how flowers respond to different handling techniques, climates and seasons. She is able to create any style of arrangement, as she deeply understands the technical skills behind it. I think what really makes us stand out amongst our peers is the thoughtfulness that goes into each event.  Not only do we design the floral arrangements, we design the entire event! By taking every differing design component into consideration, we are able to enhance each component of the design and have a cohesive look with layers of depth, dimension and surprise.

Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Q: Which flowers and themes were popular in 2012 that you think you’ll be seeing less of in 2013? Can you share some photos?

A: Mercury glass was very popular, along with florals in shades of blush pink and ivory with a hint of dusty miller mixed in.

Design & florals by Atelier Joya, photo by: Sasha Gulish

Design & florals by Atelier Joya, photo by: Sasha Gulish

Q: In your opinion, what are the new ‘it’ colors and floral trends for 2013?  Can you share some photos of these colors and trends?

A: We’re seeing a bit more color this year. There are lots of corals, peaches and even some fruits like kumquats and textural materials. The loose, organic, garden style is very popular right now too.

Florals & photo by Atelier Joya

Florals & photo by Atelier Joya

Q: Are there any new varieties of flowers, herbs or other plants on the market this year that you’ve not seen in the past?  Can you share some photos?

A: Every year we see a few new varieties of roses, garden roses dahlias and tulips. While this isn’t a new variety, we absolutely love using tree peonies during the 2-4 week period that they are available at the market.

Florals & photo by Atelier Joya

Florals & photo by Atelier Joya

Q: We saw a lot of mercury glass vessels being used in 2012.  Do you think a new innovative container and/or material will take center stage this year?

 A: We’re seeing a lot of gold accents (i.e. votives, silverware, rims of plates). We also think earthenware and ceramic pieces will take center stage. For us, we really like to focus on using specialty vessels that aren’t necessarily the latest trend, but are specifically sourced for the event. Our pieces are selected to showcase the flowers perfectly and to make an original arrangement that adds a one of a kind experience for the guests.

Heath Ceramics

Heath Ceramics

Photo courtesy Dwell Studio

Photo courtesy Dwell Studio

Q: When you start working with a new client on a wedding, how does the process begin?

A: It’s so much fun starting to work with a new client.  Initially, we sit down with the couple and talk about their vision for the day. What is it that they want to experience…what is the feeling they want to evoke. We have them fill out a questionnaire that helps us to get to know more about them as a couple. Some questions we might ask are what their hobbies are, what their dream home would look like, where do they like to travel, what magazines do they read, etc. We gather lots of information to get a real sense of the couple and come up with ideas for ways to have their personality shine through at the wedding. We spend time looking at photos together and learn what they gravitate towards. Once we have a good sense of who they are and what they are envisioning, we get to work designing for them.

Q: In your experience, how much of her budget should a bride set aside for florals and event design?

A: The budget really depends on the client’s priorities. For some clients, their most important component is the food, while for others it might be the music and for others the floral & decor. I think a great deal depends on the venue that is selected as well. The budget varies quite a bit depending on how many items need to be brought in versus how much the venue already provides.

Q: What is the most over the top, fabulous event you’ve been a part of?  Can you tell us about your contributions and share some photos?

A: A really amazing event for us to design was the Kim Crawford Welcome Tent at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival. With over 20,000 guests attending the event, we captured the brand’s whimsical, glamorous image as well as evoked a Miami Beach vibe. We created the overall concept/design for the tent. Our client gave us the freedom to think outside the box and go big with an 80′ wall art installation. It was so satisfying to see our initial rendering come to life

Design by: Atelier Joya, Photo by: Jason Koerner

Design by: Atelier Joya, Photo by: Jason Koerner

Design by: Atelier Joya, Photo by: Jason Koerner

Design by: Atelier Joya, Photo by: Jason Koerner

Design by: Atelier Joya  Photo: Jason Koerner

Design by: Atelier Joya Photo: Jason Koerner

Photo by Atelier Joya

Rendering by Atelier Joya

Q: If you had an opportunity to put together your dream event (wedding or otherwise) with all your favorite florals and an unlimited budget, what would it look like?  

A: I would love to host an event in a faraway destination like the Greek Isles in a beautiful home with white stucco walls and a stunning view of the Aegean sea. It would be a gathering of close friends and family and it would be a time to relax, take in the sun and eat amazing food. I picture the decor in the evening being a sea of gorgeous lanterns scattered about the villa and large antiqued pots overflowing with fresh local flowers each day.

Photo courtesy Photo Bucket

Photo courtesy Elle Decor

Photo courtesy Photo Bucket

Photo courtesy Photo Bucket

Photo on the left by Elle Decor; lanterns on the right from Casamidy

Photo on the left by Elle Decor; lanterns on the right from Casamidy

In case you missed it, click here to read out last TRENDS entry, featuring Rentals with Hartmann Studios

Rehearsal Dinner Style with BB Style

Welcome back to our style series featuring Brianne Binder with BB Style! Today, we have another exciting Wedding Style guide for those of you who have been thinking about what you’ll be wearing to your Rehearsal Dinner and/or are in panic mode to find the perfect something to wear on the eve of your big day.

Have no fear, Brianne has some great styles to inspire you and get you ready for your Rehearsal Dinner; whether it’s a Beach, Garden, Wine Country or City Wedding. This is the big kick off to your wedding celebration, and you’ll be surrounded by family and dear friends. Since you’ll be the talk of the party and glowing with excitement, you’ll want to look put together with all of the attention focused on you!

Here’s a few suggestions on finding the right look that fits your style and event:

– It’s always fun to wear white or cream, to feel very bridal.  Brianne suggests adding some fun colorful jewelry or striking shoes. (glitter is always fun).

– Try a different silhouette than you would normally wear or a bold pattern that stands out.

– If you have a wedding theme, say, for example, Great Gatsby inspired, wear a dress that also goes along with the theme to get everyone excited for the details to come on the big day.

– Don’t be afraid to sparkle! Wear a dressy sequin dress in a flattering silhouette.

– You can’t go wrong with lace in any color! (Check out a couple of cute options here and here).

– Order options online so you can try them on at home and feel really good about your final decision. If you feel confident you will shine even brighter.

Have fun with it and try not to stress; everything will come together!

Rehearsal Dinner Style Board 2 _ BB Style

Beach OutfitMilly Chiffon Halter in Coral | Kate Spade Pearl Studs | Zara Clutch | J. Crew Nude Wedge

Wine Country OutfitNotte by Marchesa One Shoulder Dress | LuLu Frost by J. Crew cuff | Anthropologie Clutch | Kate Spade Sequin Bow Heels

 Garden OutfitJ. Crew Lace Dress | Kate Spade Bridal Statement Necklace | Jeweled Cuff | Tory Burch Gold Clutch | J. Crew Pave Chain Link Flats Gold

City OutfitMango Sequin Dress | LuLu Frost for J. Crew Star Earrings | DVF Clutch | Kate Spade Heels

Find all styles on BB Style’s Pinterest board here.

Click here in case you missed our last installment with BB Style, featuring tips on Bridal Shower Style!