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Satin, Shine, and Sparkle: The Joys of Wedding Jewelry

Weddings can be incredibly elaborate or simple and austere. We’re fortunate to live in an age when most anything is acceptable, as long as it’s a reflection of who the wedding couple are as people. I’ve been a maid of honor twice: once, in a Romanesque-style church; the other, in a ramp patch on the forested grounds of a Buddhist retreat center. Both occasions were joyous and heartfelt, two perfect weddings for two very different couples.

wedding photo

Whether you’re a minimalist or a devotee of flourishes and baubles, the jewelry you select for your bridal ensemble is an easy way to put your own style stamp on your wedding day. Here are some basic strategies for bringing it all together.

  • If you plan on wearing a bracelet, make sure it won’t snag any lace or delicate fabric.
  • Does your wedding gown have a high neckline? Make a splash with great earrings, a brooch, or hair ornaments instead.
  • Switch up your look with jewelry to put on after the ceremony. A big, sparkly cuff or a glitzy necklace will reflect your celebratory mood at the reception. You can even infuse some unexpected color with bright jewels instead of white pearls or rhinestones.
  • A brooch can emphasize a sash or bow on your gown and add a personal touch.
  • Simple stud earrings won’t upstage a gown embellished with pearls, sequins, or beads.
  • Depending on the dresses you’ve selected for your bridesmaids, they may not need any accessories for the ceremony. But thoughtful gifts of tasteful bangles or necklaces for them to wear at the reception make festive additions.

deco dropsThe convention of European and American brides wearing white wedding dresses is relatively recent, originating in 1840, when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert. In fact, white wedding dresses didn’t become the default until after World War II.

But pearls have long been associated with nuptials. The ancient Greeks associated pearls with marital bliss; centuries later, Jacqueline Bouvier wore a strand when she married the future president Kennedy. (Queen Victoria, however, opted for a giant sapphire).The connection between diamonds and engagement rings is much newer, dating back to the 1930, when sluggish sales of the most precious of gems prompted the cartel De Beers to make a big marketing push to promote diamond rings. In 1947, a copywriter for the ad agency N.W. Ayers dreamed up the line “A Diamond is Forever,” and the rest is history.

Modern or vintage, costume or precious, the jewelry you wear on your wedding day is an opportunity to express who you are. Have fun with it!

By Sara Bir

Photo by GU / 古天熱

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