Are you going to love your enticing illusion neckline after you see that stunning bridal necklace? Will your grandmother be more thrilled that you are borrowing her veil or shocked by your back tattoo? Like the wedding dress, your jewelry helps put your personal touch on the wedding day. But, unlike the dress, it’s something that you can continue to wear for the rest of your married life. Here’s a bit of guidance.
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What’s Your Starting Point?
Let’s get the order of operations down. Jewelry is commonly considered a second, accessorizing step when it comes to your wedding outfit. But that’s not always or entirely true. Don’t forget the engagement ring!
It’s also possible that you are going to be using jewelry that you already had or borrowing something for the occasion. If that’s the case, congratulations! You just need to fill in some complementary pieces.
If you do have the jewelry picked out before you try on the dress, feel free to bring it to the appointment. Just don’t come wearing that jewelry, as you want to make the process of changing in and out of the dress as simple and snag-free as possible. If you think you’ve found the winner, you can put the jewelry on as a finishing touch or final test, just as you will on your wedding day.
But let’s assume that you are just starting out with the dress and the engagement ring. Or maybe after you encountered the perfect dress, your previous accessory plans went right out the window. What do you do? Like we said before, it’s a matter of big-time opinions and small stylistic choices, so let’s sift through both of those categories.
Buy Things You Want to Wear Again
If you are going to be buying jewelry, make the most of the opportunity. Maybe you plan to be one of those brides that goes scuba diving in her wedding dress, but the odds are that you aren’t going to include your bridal gown in your Sunday brunch rotation or pull it out for your sister’s engagement party. Whereas you’ve already earmarked your wedding earrings for the next date night that requires a dinner reservation. And you can wear them as a wedding guest without causing a scene. So pick wisely.
Complement the Dress
It’s good to stock up for the future, but don’t lose sight of the main mission, which is the wedding day itself. What kind of partnership will your jewelry have with the dress? Do you want both to be understated? Or do you want one of them to play a supporting role in the dramatic statement the other is making? It’s worth noting each piece of jewelry can be an individual player. So you might go with a simple dress and stud earrings to set the stage for an eye-catching pendant.
This may only be one day, but you plan on hanging your wedding pictures in your home long enough to astonish your grandkids. So, even if the pieces only get a chance to work together once, you want them working as a team.
Small Stylistic Choices:
Subtleties of Shade
Your fiancé was astounded to learn that the wedding dress universe isn’t just about picking a white dress in your size. That’s partly because “white dress” isn’t a single category, but rather a family of similar shades with subtle differences that have dramatic consequences for accent pieces. So, while silver or white gold is often the general recommendation for wedding jewelry, ivory or champagne dresses might have a slight edge to yellow or even rose gold.
And while it’s important for the jewelry to match the dress, you also want it to match you! The dress isn’t wearing the jewelry, you are. You want your bracelets to flatter your skin tones. Do you know whether you have warm or cool undertones? This is a good chance to find out. If you wear this jewelry again, it won’t be with the wedding dress, so make sure you pick something that suits you. If you come across earrings that make your eyes pop and complement the beading on your wedding dress, that’s when you know you’ve found a winner.
Necklines and Other Nuances
It shouldn’t be surprising that “neckline” and “necklace” have a close relationship. A good general rule is that fabric and jewelry shouldn’t overlap. Not only will they be competing against each other, but they’ll risk actual entanglement.
In the same vein, avoid the kind of jewelry that is prone to snags or likely to make noise. You want your accessories to be contributing factors in making an entrance, not causing a scene.
Don’t overlook the accessories that complete your look If you are wearing your hair up, incorporate the pins into the ensemble. And while ordinarily you don’t put too much thought into whether your shoes match your jewelry, this is no ordinary time. Speaking of shoes — do you plan on changing into something more comfortable for the dance floor? Consider whether you want some backup jewelry as well.
Don’t Forget About the Rest of the Wedding Party
The first rule of wedding jewelry is finding what works for you. But if you have a chance to coordinate with the bridesmaids, that’s a plus. Furthermore, there’s a good chance that the groom’s wedding getup is going to become a staple of his formal wear, so it might be nice if one of your accessories can match him for that next gala or wedding you attend as a married couple.
We know there are lots of decisions to be made, but remember that wedding jewelry is meant to add a joyful accent. So have fun picking it out!
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