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How to: Wedding Jewellery
For most brides, the march toward a wedding begins with a piece of jewellery – the engagement ring. So it makes sense that jewellery considerations will be an important part of your wedding preparations. You'll likely never have a more glamorous event where more photos are taken, and your jewellery can help set the tone for your wedding and lend a hint of sparkle to your wedding day photos.
Wedding traditions link one generation to the next, and choosing your jewellery according to tradition can help you whittle down your choices and incorporate themes that matter to you. Keep in mind the following:
- Your jewellery can be your something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, or all four. If you're not sure how to incorporate this classic tradition, try wearing a blue bracelet, a borrowed pair of earrings, or a vintage necklace.
- Tradition dictates that diamonds are for evening occasions only, while pearls can be worn any time of day.
- Diamonds and pearls are the traditional choices for wedding day jewellery. Diamonds will both match your engagement ring and symbolize eternity, while pearls symbolize harmony and purity. If you'd like to abandon tradition and try something different, consider your birth stone, your partner’s birth stone, the birth stone of a favorite relative who can't be at the wedding, or perhaps a gemstone that reminds you of the place you and your betrothed met.
Consider Your Dress
Your dress will place definite limits on the types of jewellery you can wear. If you have a broad, low-cut neckline, you have significant freedom to choose between types of necklaces because you'll have plenty of room to display them. If you go with a higher neckline, you'll need smaller jewellery that doesn't hang down over your dress.
You'll also need to consider the relative dressiness of your wedding gown. If your gown is a decadent frock embellished with lace and pearls, balancing the look out with simple jewels can create an elegant look. However, you can also deck yourself from head to toe in jewellery if your dress is dressy and your wedding is highly formal. If you're going for a more informal look or have a casual daytime wedding, stick to smaller pieces. With a simple white dress, you might opt for delicate pearl earrings, a small tennis bracelet and an elegant pendant necklace.
You'll also want to ensure that your other jewellery – earrings, bracelets, rings, etc. -- doesn't snag your dress and doesn't sit against your dress. Shoulder-grazing earrings may be trendy, but they can quickly ensnare your dress, leaving you a tangled mess.
Trends vs. Classics
When you choose your jewellery, think about whether you'll still love the look in 10 years or will wonder what you were thinking. If you're a dedicated fashionista, your guests may expect you to deck yourself in the latest jewellery trends, but otherwise, it's best to stick with classics. If the piece you're buying is the hottest thing this season, features in every fashion magazine, or is currently on a celebrity must-have list, the odds are good that it will quickly go out of style.
Jewellery and Body Type
As with your dress, you'll have to consider your body type when you choose your jewellery. Consider the following:
- Large jewellery can be overwhelming on a small frame, particularly if you opt for a statement necklace. Similarly, small jewellery can make your proportions look strange if you have a larger frame.
- Ensure your jewellery doesn't highlight your least favorite features. If you hate your jaw line, earrings that hit at your jaw will draw attention to it. If you have a heavy neck, a choker can make you look even heavier.
- Longer earrings tend to be the most flattering on tall women, whilst sharp angles and geometric shapes look best on fuller figured women. If you're a petite gal, stick with more delicate pieces and choose one statement piece rather than opting for big and bold all over.
You're going to be wearing your wedding jewellery all day, so make sure it's comfortable. Heavy dangly earrings can leave your ears aching and itchy during your photos, and a scratchy necklace may leave nasty red marks on your chest. If you opt for faux metals, do a test run first to ensure your jewellery doesn't alter your skin color.
You'll also need to remember to leave space for your wedding ring. Brides typically put their engagement rings on their right hand the day of the ceremony, and this leaves less space for other rings. Steer clear of multiple rings, as they can detract from your engagement and wedding ring. After you get your wedding ring, it goes on first, followed by your engagement ring on top.
Don't forget to have some fun shopping for jewellery! Jewellery is an easy way to accessorize your dress, and can make the colors of your gown, the beauty of your face, and your own personal style stand out. Don't be afraid to get a second (or third) opinion, and take a few photos of yourself in your jewellery to ensure it looks good in pictures.