Introducing the Rachel Pally Bridal Collection + a $500 Giveaway!

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I’m a huge fan of Rachel Pally‘s dresses – they are super stylish as well as comfortable which is always a win in my book! So, today I’m super excited to announce that Rachel Pally now has her own Bridal Collection with the prettiest (and most comfortable) bridesmaids dresses!

The Rachel Pally style has been distinguished by her ability to blend the “easy and elegant” with the “chic and classic.” Her ability to dress women of all shapes and sizes ranging from a size 2-22 has organically developed into newer collections – Rachel Pally Maternity (which I wore when I was pregnant!) and now Rachel Pally Bridal – to follow women throughout all phases of their lives. The Rachel Pally Bridal collection now gives bridesmaids the ability to be effortlessly stylish & comfortable at the same time –and provides them with a dress they will definitely want to wear again. I love that these dresses are also so great if you happen to have a pregnant friend or sister in your bridal party! :)

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Be sure to check out the full collection of dresses over on Rachel Pally Bridal.

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And now for the even more exciting news – we have a $500 Gift Card to give away to one lucky reader!! This would be perfect to help with your bridesmaids dresses, or save for yourself and pick up a few fun pieces for your honeymoon! ;)

To be entered to win:
1. Follow @rachelpally on Instagram
2. Fill out the form below 

Thanks for your interest in our sweepstakes. The entry period is now closed.

**Congrats to Rebecca who was our lucky winner!**

Contest Rules

  • Contest ends on May 9, 2014 at 5pm PST.
  • Winner will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries on or around May 9, 2014.
  • Limit one entry per valid email address.
  • If Rachel Pally is unable to contact a potential winner, the potential winner will be disqualified and forfeit his or her right to a prize, and a new winner will  be randomly selected.
  • To be eligible to win any prize, entrants must be over 18 years of age.
  • To be eligible to win any prize, entrants must be a resident of the USA.
  • Sponsors reserve the right to modify these rules for clarification purposes without materially affecting the term and conditions of the Sweepstakes.
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Unique Engagement Rings + Ring Cleaning Tips from Jewelers Mutual

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Your engagement ring is one of the most important pieces of jewelry you’ll ever own, so taking good care of your beautiful bauble is just as important as picking out (or receiving!) a style you love. Today we’re sharing a quick round-up of our current ring faves (including those beauties above), along with some invaluable cleaning + care tips from our friends at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.

Spring has sprung and along with the warmer weather, longer days + gorgeous spring blooms, comes the innate urge to clean – everything! But before you grab your ring to give it a (meaningly innocent) scrub, put down the toothpaste (yes, that’s a popular misconception!) and listen to reason. There is a better way!

Although toothpaste does give diamonds that extra sparkle, it can cause damage. There are abrasives in toothpaste that can scratch your metal and stones, so toothpaste should never be used,  says GIA Graduate Gemologist and Jewelers Mutual colleague, Amy Helein. Instead, Helein recommends using an ammonia-based cleaner or rubbing alcohol with a soft toothbrush to clean your diamond. Then dry with a soft, clean cloth.

Imagine damaging one of these beauties! No way. We’re so glad Jewelers Mutual is showing us the way.

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above rings 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

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above rings 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

More helpful ring cleaning tips:

Stay clear of the sink. As obvious as it sounds, we think we’ve all caught ourselves making this mistake once or twice, but NEVER CLEAN YOUR JEWELRY OVER THE SINK! Those tiny pieces get slippery when wet and can pop out of your hand and down the drain in seconds.

Be mindful of labels. When shopping for cleaning supplies, keep an eye on the label. There are some jewelry cleaners for diamonds only and others for silver, while still others specifically for pearls, opals and emeralds. Helein advised, When in doubt, use warm water and a soft bristle toothbrush.

Have your jewelry professionally checked and cleaned annually. The pieces you wear most often are the pieces you’ll want to have inspected more frequently.

Visit your jeweler anytime you bump your ring and think you may have a loose stone or chip.

During yearly inspections, have your jeweler check the current value of your jewelry to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage in the event of loss or damage.

Make sure you’re properly protected.  The best way to protect your valuable pieces of jewelry is to insure them. Jewelers Mutual has been exclusively protecting jewelry for over 100 years. Learn more about their Perfect Circle® Jewelry Insurance, get a quote, or even apply today.

That was so helpful, right? We’re feeling pretty good about our precious baubles being much more safe in our own hands!

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A Wedding at an Abandoned Church: Paige + John

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Paige + John quite possibly lucked out with two of the most unique + beautiful locations for their big day. And, seriously, we’re not just saying that! They exchanged their vows at Mt. Zion Church – an abandoned chapel from the 1800’s – and their reception was held in a stunning, historical warehouse that operated as a cotton factory in its previous life. These two believe in the beauty of simplicity, so their day was draped with minimal, yet charming, decor. A handmade arch, adorned with simple florals + greenery, was all that was needed for the ceremony, and a rustic communal table featuring a garland of eucalyptus + vintage glassware was a perfect fit for their intimate reception. The prettiest! And Paige has so much more to share about the inspiration for their day:

Our inspiration came primarily from the things that we both find most beautiful, often elements that are understated, natural, and minimalistic.  We are a couple who is amazed by the beauty of simple things like clean lines, white walls, artistry, craftsmanship, and community. We picked a venue that was about an hour-and-a-half pilgrimage into rural Georgia to get our friends and family out of the ordinary. The drive is exquisite to get to Sparta, Georgia – and when you walk into Mt. Zion Baptist church (built in 1814), you really have your breath taken away. All in all, our wedding wasn’t about the two of us as much as it was about what brought us together, what binds us, and sustains us – and we wanted to share that with other people.

Thanks so much to the lovely Paige Jones for sending this one our way and big congrats to Paige + John!

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Paige’s simple, yet lovely, dress is by Saja, but altered significantly. Paige dropped the waist, made it backless and removed some of the embellishment on the front, making it a perfect fit for her + John’s clean-lined, minimal day.

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And her lovely green + white bouquet was designed by Bud & Bloom.

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Our processional was a hymn called “Abide with Me” by Henry Lyte + Justin Smith, played live on a solo violin.

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We think the most powerful thing was our separate realizations that this long awaited day had finally arrived. The two of us made the hour and a half drive separately, alone. We were brought to tears by the ways in which everything came together. Hundreds of small details. Dozens of kind friends and loving family members who selflessly strove to make our humble affair as glorious as we both dreamed it would be. And it was. The moment when we realized that all the planning was over, all the waiting was behind us, all the beauty was before us - the moment we realized that all that was left was to say was "I will." That was a moment that makes our hearts beat louder every day.

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The bridesmaids each chose their own style of dress, in blush + nude hues, from Zara.

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Paige + John chose to have a pot-luck reception, which only enhanced the intimacy of the celebration. Also, such a great way to involve friends + family in a special way and save on expensive catering costs.

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I think we would both advise really thinking about the things that may cause you stress on the day and try hard to eliminate those things. Conversely, fight for what you know must be there on that day. But possibly the biggest piece of advice is that when it finally gets to that day, as long as you get to say the vows, it will be the best day of your life - no matter what details might fall through or what the rain might have to say about your occasion. Let the pursuit of a beautiful wedding fuel and excite you, but don't let the process be a burden. If something turns out to be a little different than you expected, you still have a person who has promised to spend their life with you no matter what comes.

photography: Paige Jones // ceremony: Mt. Zion Church Sparta, Georgia (part of the Sparta Hancock County Historical Society) // reception: Mushroom Factory at Elm Street Gardens (family owned; they generously opened their doors to Paige + John) // reception styling: Erin Wilson and Jodi Murphy // wedding design: Bride + Groom // event planner: Ginny Graham Events // floral design: Bud & Bloom // wedding dress: Saja // bridesmaid dresses: Zara // hair + makeup: Mary Sigalas Hair Studio // groom suit: Zara // rings: Audrey Laine Collection // benches, tables + tablecloths: Goodwin Events

This wedding features rad artists fromThe GWS Wedding Artist GalleryPaige Jones Photography is a Featured Artist in the GWS Artist Guide! Find more rad artists for your day in our Gallery
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