Everything Old Is New Again!

One trend we’re totally loving? Vintage look wedding jewelry! I mean, all things vintage are hot right now… right down to vintage typewriter wedding guestbooks and sepia toned photographs in wedding albums, but you can understand how we’d gravitate toward the wedding jewelry end of the planning spectrum. We especially lust after all things Swarovski crystal, which has an old school glamor that you just can’t find in other gems – and why not? Specialty Swarovski crystals have been around – and probably dazzling brides – since 1895! Here are some of our favorite vintage look pieces that might just become your new favorites, on the big day and beyond:

Our Eve Swarovski crystal bridal earrings are as delicate as they are bold. It’s hard to describe how something can be both femme and fatale at the same time, but that’s what you get. Along with, we should add, a big hit of sparkle and vibrancy that may just compete with your dress when it comes time to pick the star of the show.

Freshwater pearls offer up an eye-catching counterpoint to all that sparkle in our Isadora Swarovski crystal bridal necklace, which is every bit as bold as the bride who wears it. As striking as this piece looks in photographs, it is even more dramatic in person. We recommend pairing it with a simple sheath for the most impact since this is a necklace that can’t help but steal the show.

And finally, there are our Simone freshwater pearl and crystal bridal earrings, which also feature genuine Swarovski crystals. Stunning is one way to describe them – unique is another. We love the delicate metal work under the crystals, but we’ve had brides tell us that their favorite thing about these earrings is the size. Not too big, not too small, and just right for pairing with a sophisticated wedding updo.

Are you wearing any of these pieces on your big day? It’s just a great time to be a retro bride, especially if your idea of retro is more 1930s than 1960s!

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Silver Wedding Jewelry or Gold Wedding Jewelry?

Planning a wedding means making big choices. Will you say your vows in a house of worship or somewhere secular? And for that matter, will you write your own? Buffet or sit-down dinner? Huge blowout bash or small intimate affair? Will you leave for the honeymoon right after the reception? Should you invite ::shudder:: Uncle Al? How far apart do divorced parents need to sit, anyway? There are so many decisions to be made, and that’s just the big stuff. Eventually, you figure that all out and it’s time to focus on the little stuff. Like heels or flats? A-line or princess silhouette? Silver wedding jewelry or gold wedding jewelry?

As you might imagine, we have a little bit to say about that last one! Here are three things to think about when deciding between silver wedding jewelry and gold wedding jewelry:

Consider Your Wedding’s Overall Look
If you’re planning a theme wedding, you may discover that the theme dictates your choice of gown and accessories. For example, if you’re having a vintage wedding and dressing the part, you’ve probably already noticed that silver and gold are popular in different eras. And even if your wedding theme is just, well, wedding, your color palette may help you decide between these two classic metals. Your wedding jewelry doesn’t have to harmonize with your theme or colors, but it can!

Let Your Dress Decide
Different shades of white pair coordinate better with either silver or gold – as do different colors, if you happen to be wearing a colored wedding dress. Gold wedding jewelry, for instance, pairs beautifully with richer ivory and champagne gowns, whereas starker white wedding dresses almost always look better when paired with silver accessories.

Which Is More ‘You’?
Presuming you wear jewelry in your day-to-day life – and metallic jewelry at that -you’ll probably feel most beautiful in the kind of jewelry you’re comfortable wearing. If you look stunning in silver, then we recommend silver wedding jewelry. Or if you are gorgeous in gold, then go with that. There’s no need to change your signature look on the big day. In fact, you’ll look more like you in your wedding photos if you keep it real.

What color is your wedding jewelry?

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Bridal Glove Etiquette: Wearing Bracelets with Gloves

One of the questions our bridal stylists get a lot is “If I wear X, can I still wear Y?” where X and Y are various bridal accessories and types of wedding jewelry. As in, if I wear crystals, can I still wear pearls? If I wear a bridal tiara, can I still wear luxurious drop earrings? You get the idea. A particular question that comes up less frequently, but still comes up, is whether a bride can wear bracelets with her gloves.

The easy answer is yes – we support brides wearing whatever will make them feel beautiful – but we wanted to go deeper and find out what the etiquette rules are that deal with bracelets and bridal gloves. As it turns out, the rules for bracelets (as opposed to rings) are a lot more simple and straightforward than we imagined they’d be.

There is actually a long history of prominent women wearing bracelets over opera gloves – which is why some stylists caution brides to avoid wearing bigger bracelets over gloves lest they end up looking like the Queen Mum (or a Material Girl).

But in general, there is no reason to wait until your wedding reception to swap out your gloves for a beautiful bridal bracelet. These days, brides who wear both aren’t breaking any rules, etiquette or fashion. And in fact, a bracelet on each wrist *daring, we know* gives the bride wearing mousquetaire gloves somewhere to tuck the ends during the ring exchange part of the ceremony and while dining.

When it comes to rings over gloves, though… we think not, even if some think doing so is fashion-friendly.

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Is Flower Girl Jewelry a Must-Have?

Let’s talk flower girl jewelry. If a flower girl is little enough, the jewelry she wears at a wedding may be some of the first real jewelry she ever receives. You can probably guess that it’s not unusual for the bride and groom to give the flower girl a gift of a necklace and bracelet and maybe even earrings if she has pierced ears. But is flower girl jewelry a must-have line item on the average wedding budget? The short answer is no.

In terms of actual responsibility, the parents of the flower girl are typically on the hook for the flower girl dress and accessories. That said, we love the idea that our hypothetical flower girl will always think back on her first time in a wedding party as the first time anyone – in this case, the bride – gave her a special gift of jewelry.

Flower girls don’t even have to wear jewelry when it comes right down to it, of course, but what little girl wouldn’t go gaga over the opportunity to wear a grownup jewelry set? We say if you’re on the fence about putting flower girl jewelry in your wedding budget, consider that these accessories in miniature are usually very reasonably priced – and the sparkle in your flower girl’s eyes when you present her with her very own wedding jewelry set will make the cost worth every penny.

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How to Choose the Perfect Bridal Necklace Length

The vast majority of brides choose a wedding dress long before they even think about choosing wedding jewelry, and that’s just as it should be. Think of your wedding dress as the focal point of your big day look – your accessories are the icing on the cake! When you’re picking out the perfect bridal necklace, for instance, your taste won’t be the only factor dictating your choice. Your gown’s neckline will largely determine the kind of bridal necklaces you’re choosing between. Some necklaces will accentuate the beauty of your gown while others can make a dress look awkward.

Are there rules for picking a bridal necklace? But of course! Just two, really, so this is one of the simpler to-dos brides-to-be need to tackle.

First, think of your neck. Brides with long, graceful necks can pull off bridal chokers and collar necklaces – provided they’re wearing wedding dresses with necklines that fall between the collarbones and the decolletage. On the other hand, brides whose best features lie elsewhere can make their necks look longer and more graceful with a teardrop pendant bridal necklace that brushes the top of the decolletage. A rope length necklace will be the most dramatic choice and will draw the eye up and down the body.

The second step is to consider your wedding dress’ neckline. On most brides, bridal necklaces should fall somewhere between the collarbones and the neckline of the gown – usually at least one inch higher than the latter or lower than the former. Very short and very necklaces can be absolutely gorgeous as long as they don’t overlap with a gown’s neckline. For the rare bride who has strong ideas about bridal necklaces before buying a wedding dress, we recommend cutting a ribbon that’s the same length as the perfect necklace and wearing it every time you hit the bridal salon.

And that’s about it! Happy shopping!

Shown: a rhinestone bridal choker; teardrop pendant necklace; elaborate bridal necklace; rhinestone wedding jewelry set

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FAQ: Wedding Jewelry for Your Flower Girl? Sure!

Brides-to-be often have the most questions about dressing flower girls – especially when it comes to wedding jewelry and accessories. Here are some of the questions we’ve been asked in the past:

What style of jewelry is appropriate for flower girls?

You should look for flower girl jewelry that’s similar to the wedding jewelry your bridesmaids are wearing, whether that’s pearl wedding jewelry or rhinestone wedding jewelry. Your flower girl will look beautiful in whatever you choose, as long as you pick accessories that harmonize with your whole bridal party’s style.

Should I ask my flower girl’s parents for input?

Only if you want to. They’ll have a good idea of whether she’ll tolerate wearing a necklace or tiara for the length of the ceremony or if she’s one of those little girls who can’t seem to avoid snagging necklaces and undoing hairstyles.

Are there special wedding jewelry options for flower girls?

Yes! Flower girls are typically younger and so will look best in more delicate jewelry – plus, necklace lengths are typically designed for the adult frame. You can always have a jeweler shorten a necklace or bracelet for your flower girl, but consider that many flower girls would much rather wear a flower girl tiara than a necklace set.

Are the rules the same for wedding jewelry for junior bridesmaids?

In our experience, a junior bridesmaid can be anywhere from 7 years old to in her upper teens. Think about the girl herself when buying wedding jewelry for a junior bridesmaid. If she’s on the younger side, choose smaller, more delicate pieces that won’t look overwhelming. But for older junior bridesmaids, we recommend buying the same wedding jewelry you’re buying for your of-age ‘maids.

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FAQ: Wedding Jewelry and Your Bridesmaids

Brides-to-be sure are busy! In addition to choosing their own wedding dresses and wedding jewelry – along with venues and vendors – they’re typically responsible for dressing their bridesmaids. And that includes choosing accessories! Here are just some of the questions brides-to-be have asked us in the past as they checked items off their wedding planning to-do lists:

Must my bridesmaids’ jewelry match?

Some brides like the harmonious look of bridesmaids in matching dresses, wedding jewelry, and shoes, while others like to mix things up a little. Or a lot! Just like you can choose to dress your ‘maids alike or not, it’s just fine to mix and match their wedding jewelry and shoes. We really love wedding jewelry that’s all in one color family, but subtly different so every bridesmaid looks like an individual.

Should my bridesmaids’ jewelry match my own?

We don’t recommend putting your ‘maids in matching jewelry, but their accessories should certainly harmonize with your own. That means if you’re wearing gold tone and pearls, for example, they should be, too.

Can I give wedding jewelry as a gift to my bridesmaids?

At this point, presenting your ‘maids with the jewelry they’ll wear on your wedding day is practically tradition. But unless you’re choosing something they’ll definitely wear again, think about giving each of your ‘maids something more personal in additional to wedding jewelry.

If I’m giving my bridesmaids wedding jewelry as their bridesmaid gifts, when should I present it?

If you’re asking your ‘maids to wear matching wedding jewelry and you want to give them said jewelry as a bridesmaid gift, give it to them before they buy accessories on their own. Often, the bride-to-be will give her bridesmaids gifts at a bridesmaids’ luncheon or rehearsal dinner, but consider presenting your ‘maids’ jewelry earlier.

Should my maid of honor get something special?

It’s up to you to decide whether you’d like your maid of honor to stand out or to blend in with the rest of your bridal party. Some brides choose a slightly different bridesmaids dress for their MOH, but wedding jewelry that’s a little bigger or flashier than the rest of the ‘maids are wearing can accomplish the same thing.

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A Quickie Wedding Jewelry FAQ

Should I choose my wedding jewelry based on my wedding gown?

Absolutely! Your necklace, earrings, and bridal accessories should complement your wedding dress in terms of not only color, but also style and any embellishments like rhinestones or pearls. An antique white gown, for example, will look good with wedding jewelry that’s quite different than what you’d choose if you were wearing stark white or cream.

What comes first, my wedding dress or my wedding jewelry?
Your wedding dress should be your first purchase unless you’ve been planning to wear certain wedding jewelry and accessories since you were a little girl. This way, you can choose jewelry that harmonizes perfectly with your gown.

Can I go overboard with my wedding jewelry?
Yes, and on the other side of the coin, you go underboard, too. Part of harmonizing your wedding dress and jewelry involves picking accessories that won’t overpower your look or be so underwhelming that they disappear when worn next to your gown or other accessories.

Can I wear jewelry at a beach wedding?
For beach weddings, we think mother of pearl jewelry and natural freshwater pearls are perfection itself. Natural pearl wedding jewelry is a great tribute to the venue but not so theme-y as to be déclassé.

Is faux wedding jewelry a super faux pas?
No way. Today’s wedding jewelry includes both the real deal and faux gems that have all the sparkle and shine of the real thing. This isn’t your grandmother’s costume jewelry! And trust us when we say that no one at your wedding is going to approach you to do an analysis of your gems.

Are there bridal earrings for those of us with unpierced ears?
You bet – there are plenty of clip-on bridal earrings options!

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Have You Got Your Bridesmaids Covered?

Don’t you just love this pic?

It’s pretty clear to us that the bride and her bridesmaids are fun loving people who actually get along. Not like some bridal parties, where certain ‘maids were chosen out of obligation… or Friend A doesn’t get along with Friend B and Friend C doesn’t know anyone else so feels uncomfortable and left out.

We’re wondering what you are doing to help your bridal party feel comfortable, happy, and financially secure. Is that your job? Well, not really, but considering the amount of strife that can come up among bridesmaids – and strife translates into stress for you – so it makes sense to take a few steps to keep everyone smiling. We recommend helping everyone get to know one another with a luncheon or girls’ night out well in advance of the big day. If there’s bad blood between bridesmaids, make sure the offenders aren’t assigned to the same wedding planning tasks. And of course, take the pressure off by making the whole wedding less of a wallet drain.

Why not hook your girls up with some bridesmaid jewelry that’s going to make them smile? Preferably bridesmaid jewelry they can wear again – as in, something that’s not just going to take up space in jewelry boxes for two or three years until it gets tossed in the donation pile.

P.S. Just wanted to add that we found this hilarious wedding pic on Pinterest, uncredited. And we can’t read the watermark. And a Tineye search didn’t bring up any results. So if you know who took this photo, we’d love to know!

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Reader Question: How Big Should My Bridal Bouquet Be?

A bride-to-be who identified herself as La Paloma emailed to ask this question:

After choosing my wedding dress, my wedding jewelry, my veil, and other accessories, I realized it was time to pick a bridal bouquet. I have flowers and colors in mind, but I realize that there are tons of different types and sizes of bouquet. What should I know about choosing a bridal bouquet?

Like your wedding jewelry, your bridal bouquet should ideally be scaled to your body. With wedding jewelry, actually, there’s more flexibility because you’re also working to coordinate your accessories to your gown. But with the bouquet, your height and width has a lot to do with making the flowers you carry down the aisle look good (and vice versa). So here’s the deal with bouquets and body types:

Your bridal bouquet shouldn’t be wider than your body, particularly your hips. Nor should it be so small that it makes you look like a giant in comparison. The goal, as with all accessories, should be to create balance and harmony. In general, brides with hourglass figures should avoid petite bouquets, while brides who fall into the category of pear should stay away from triangular cascade bouquets. Brides with wider shoulders have more choices because they can carry very wide bouquets and appear proportional. Don’t forget your wedding dress, of course. The bigger the gown, the bigger your bouquet can be. Tall brides in any dress style are fabulous with cascade bouquets in hand. And every bride can pull of a hand-tied bunch!

But as we say about almost everything else, bridal bouquet rules were meant to be broken. If you’ve fallen in love with the idea of carrying an absolutely huge bouquet or a tiny nosegay, we’re not going to be the ones to stop you. With confidence, you can carry off any bridal look in the book!

Image via Rene’s Bouquets For Brides by Rene van Rems

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