dancing pearl 1A heads-up to brides looking for pearls for themselves or their bridesmaids: You’ve got to check out Eco Opulence, which offers real pearl jewelry for fab prices. They’ll win brownie points with environmentally conscious brides too, since all their pearls are 100 % organic (not treated in any way) and are set in recycled gold or silver. I’m highlighting the Dancing Lace necklace, and not just because the name is soooo bridal. Drum roll please–it retails for just $65. Happy shopping! –Christina, Un-Veiled


KiplingYou remember Kipling bags—those sporty, nylon standbys favored by Europeans on holiday. For the first time ever, Kipling is designing with leather, and the results are surprisingly stylish and great for travel. This spring’s Vintage Collection is a perfect marriage of form and function. I love the Cyan shoulder bag—it’s large enough to hold everything I could possibly need for the day, and it’s incredibly comfortable to wear on the shoulder or across the chest. Looks like little Kipling’s all grown up. –Xander, The Honeymooner

At the Stationery Show last week, I discovered that every vendor out there is trying to help his customers keep their budgets in check—even firms that specialize in pricey printing techniques. Take letterpress, for example. For those who want the look but need to watch their budgets, Smock Letterpress offers these two tips: 1. Use one color ink for printing, which is much more affordable than multiple inks.  2. Choose a reply postcard rather than a reply card and envelope, saving on postage and paper—and helping the environment while you’re at it. –Machell, Wedding Stylistas

ODD Image for blogVoting closes today for BRIDES magazine’s first-ever Operation Dream Dress contest. The field will be narrowed from 20 semi-finalists to 5 finalists, chosen entirely by you! Next, we’ll be bringing America’s Fave Five to NYC for a fashion show judged by a celebrity panel. The prize-winning dress will appear on the cover of our November/December issue. Visit www.brides.com/dreamdress and cast your vote. –Jackie, Cubicle Chat

flipI’ve been toting around a mini camcorder on all of our photo shoots to capture some behind-the-scenes footage.  My favorite is the Flip Mino HD, a slim digital camcorder that’s fun and easy to use (give it to a little brother to catch all sorts of key wedding moments!). The Mino may be petite—about the size of an iPod—but it can hold up to 60 minutes of video, and it’s hard to mess up. The hardest part is choose a style—you can customize the look of your Flip by uploading your own pattern or photograph, or browse hundreds of designs in the image gallery. At $229.99, (includes free shipping, yay!) it would be a great gift for that new husband of yours. –Machell, Wedding Stylistas

ODD Image for blogRemember to vote for the most beautiful wedding dress in America, created by up-and-coming designers, fashion students, and wedding dress aficionados. Will ruffles trump ostrich feathers?  Will color win out over traditional whites and creams? Will America favor trendy and short or a truncated train? Staffers here have already voted for their favorites, and our office debates are getting intense! We’ll announce the top five winners in June. Remember to cast your vote from now until May 26th at brides.com/dreamdress. –Jackie, Cubicle Chat

lillypulitzer3I’m back at the office after a day at the Stationery Show, where companies from all over the country display their newest designs in invitations, note papers, you name it.  I have a blister on my left foot from walking aisles after aisle, and my shoulders are sore from carrying around all the press materials. But it was worth it; there was some truly great stuff. Topping my list is the new invitation line from Lilly Pulitzer.  I certainly don’t consider myself the preppy type (you would never catch me wearing madras), but I couldn’t get enough of the Lilly papers. Obviously the selection is filled with pink and green combos, but for those who can’t go there, the line offers the same designs in different color combos.  I wish I had an excuse to place an order! –Christina, Wedding Stylistas