Chandra's Wedding

Design Idea 960F Necklace
by Tim Cronkhite, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Back in December 2012, my niece Chandra (Stuart and Chris's youngest) asked me to plan her upcoming June wedding. I had never planned a wedding before, but I was honored to be asked to help with her and her fiancé's special day. She assured me that she knew that if I planned her wedding, she and the man of her dreams would have the most beautiful wedding possible with memories they would share forever.

It didn’t take long before I realized the challenges of planning an event for someone that lived three thousand miles away. Chandra lived in Baltimore, Maryland and the wedding was to be held at her mom and dad's house here in Grants Pass, Oregon. How was I going to make the bride happy, and plan the perfect wedding with her that far away? Would she turn into a Bridezilla? I won't lie, I was a bit terrified!

Knowing I didn't have a lot of time to pull everything together, I jumped into planning mode. I started researching florists, cake makers and DJs while making appointments for hair and makeup trials and doing taste tests for caterers. All of this while maintaining a full-time day job! My world was a blur for about a month.

As it turns out there is a LOT more to planning a wedding than I bargained for. There were things that had to be taken care of like renting tables and chairs for an outside ceremony, music choices, fittings for tuxedos and bridesmaid dresses and so much more. It was time to get some professional help. No, not a psychiatrist, a professional wedding planner. I was extremely fortunate to retain the services of Sherri, owner of Your Wedding Connection in Grants Pass. She turned out to be a miracle worker, taking over all the nitty-gritty details and giving me the time I needed to work with the bride and groom and their families on transportation and lodging needs, and arranging the rehearsal dinner.

Fortunately, I remembered that Fire Mountain Gems and Beads had a great article on wedding planning with a very helpful chart of wedding details. Many of those tasks are the ones you wouldn't ordinarily think of, and it helped me out tremendously. View the ''Pearls of Wisdom Wedding Countdown'' article.

Chandra's Wedding Then it was time for one of my favorite duties--designing and making the jewelry. I have made jewelry designs for all kinds of events that my other nieces have attended, like proms, homecomings and graduations. They have become aware that jewelry designed by their uncle is sure to be a crowd-pleaser and they will get a lot of attention as well.

Time was getting shorter, so I worked with the design team in the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads jewelry department to create a statement piece for the bride. I felt Design Idea 960F would be just the right complement to her beautiful gown, recreating its texture and wave effect.

The jewelry for the bridesmaids was more on the subdued side. We didn't want to upstage the bride on her day! It was a softer, more classic look using a combination of freshwater pearls with accents for just a touch of bling. Jewelry designer Jude did a fantastic job creating those subtly elegant jewelry designs ( Design Idea E307).

Finally, there was the necklace and earring set created especially for the mother of the bride, Chris Freedman. Esther, also from the Fire Mountain jewelry design team, created this incredible ensemble featuring fabulous crystal pearls and crystal beads. A statement piece of this caliber, Design Idea D20V, must be worn by someone of an elevated stature; perfect for Mrs. Freedman.
Chandra's Wedding

Chandra's Wedding While everyone in the crowd was enamored by the bride and her exquisite gown, I was awestruck by the jewelry. I knew that I could finally relax when I started to hear the exclamations from the designers in the group saying, "Wow! The jewelry is FANTASTIC!"

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