Choosing Wedding Jewelry: Necklaces and Necklines

Before you get your hopes up, we need to say that there are no hard and fast rules for choosing wedding jewelry. We might say pair like with like, but there are plenty of brides who mix gems and pearls and gold and silver and still look gorgeous. We might suggest such and such a bridal earring set with this or that hairdo. We might even think that gold wedding jewelry goes better with a particular shade of white. But in the end? It’s your decision. This is our way of letting you know that our necklaces and necklines guide is just that… a guide.

Typically, a lowest part of any bridal necklace should fall halfway between the base of your neck and the neckline of your wedding dress. That said, there are necklace styles that go particularly well with certain types of necklines – this being out opinion, of course – and knowing what tends to pair well with what can help making choosing wedding jewelry that much easier. Here’s a quick look at necklaces and necklines with some examples from our collections so you can visualize.

Square neckline: This neckline presents with a strong straight line that can feel kind of, well, edgy. Take the edge off with something gently rounded like a bridal choker, princess necklace, or simple strand of crystals or pearls.

Sweetheart neckline: The curves and tiny plunge of this neckline mean you can wear almost any necklace style effortlessly. We recommend a drop pendant if you want to call attention to your neckline or a choker if you’d prefer people look at your face first.

V-neck neckline: Any kind of pendant or drop necklace will work well with this neckline because both will center this look and subtly draw onlooker’s attention upward.

Halter (or deep V-neck): If the straps of your wedding dress sit wide on your neckline, follow the guidelines for the standard v-neck. Straps that sit high and narrow – essentially coming to a point at your neckline – are usually striking enough on their own that no necklace is required.

Jewel neckline: This high, rounded neckline calls for a necklace that sits high and close on your throat. Can’t find a necklace that doesn’t overlap the neckline? Consider nixing the necklace and opting for a bridal belt instead.

Scoop neckline: This versatile neckline will take almost any type of bridal necklace, from princess necklaces to chokers to pendants.

Bateau neckline: One or two – or three – strands of pearls or a crystal bridal necklace worn close to the throat are the best pairing for this feminine, vintage look neckline.

Portrait (or off the shoulder) neckline: For this neckline, follow the initial guidelines and choose any necklace whose lowest point falls between your collarbone and the top of your wedding dress.

Asymmetrical neckline: Skip the necklace! We’re not kidding. The symmetry of a necklace can clash with this already striking neckline. Focus on earrings, your bridal headpiece, and other accessories.

We’d love to hear whether you’re following these guidelines – or making up your own!


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T.S. Asks About Choosing Wedding Jewelry

Have we mentioned that we love reader questions? Please share your questions about choosing wedding jewelry and more with us at our Facebook page – or connect with us on Twitter and ask there! The most recent question we received is all about balancing your wedding jewelry, wedding accessories, and wedding dress!

Q: I love big bold wedding jewelry like statement necklaces, drop earrings, and tiaras, but I’m really afraid of overwhelming my dress. How can I make sure I don’t go overboard with accessories? – T.S. in Cupertino

A: First off, T.S., congratulations on having such a conundrum – and for thinking about wedding jewelry as part of your overall big day ensemble. Too many brides buy their accessories without ever considering their gowns (or hairdos or wedding venue, etc.) so we’re pretty psyched when we encounter brides like you who actually care about this stuff!

There’s no one right way or wrong way to choose your wedding jewelry – as we’ve mentioned in the past – but we do suggest that brides think in terms of letting their wedding dresses, and not their wedding jewelry, stand out. After all, you can always wear your wedding jewelry again. The chances of you wearing your dress again are probably pretty low.

So when you’re buying wedding jewelry, make sure whatever you’ve chosen works with your gown. That might mean choosing a delicate bridal necklace set if your wedding dress is quite simple – or a funky, stand out statement necklace if your dress is a showstopper. Does your gown have an amazing neckline? Maybe skip the necklace altogether and choose longer, flashier bridal earrings. Then again, a wedding dress with a plunging strapless neckline practically screams out for a stunning, somewhat longer than usual necklace! An ornate necklace? Will always look better with a gown that has a large pattern of embellishments.

Don’t forget your other accessories, T.S.! If you’re wearing a bridal tiara with a very strong presence, choose simple earrings like jewel studs or single pearls. Unless your dress is quite lavish, in which case, go big! Brides who wear gloves seldom need bracelets. If you’re not sure whether your wedding jewelry and your accessories will play well together, do a trial run with a hairstyle that’s as close as you can get to your wedding day hairdo.

Finally remember that proportion is key. Your necklace, earrings, and bracelet should be balanced in terms of color, metal type, gemstone or pearl size, and design. This can be difficult if you’re not buying a bridal jewelry set, but remember that your jewelry doesn’t have to match exactly. Each piece just needs to compliment the others! One last piece of advice: Think of your wedding jewelry as an accent, rather than a focal point and you can’t go wrong.


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Wedding Jewelry Plus Hair Accessories Plus Wedding Gown Equals…?

Coordinating your whole wedding day look – something we’ve discussed more than once in the past – is a matter of choosing wedding jewelry and accessories that harmonize with each other and with your gown. But how exactly do you do that? The first step, obviously, is choosing a wedding dress that makes you feel beautiful. Next comes your wedding jewelry, which should coordinate with your gown.

Then come the wedding hair accessories – and for some brides-to-be, this is the hardest part of planning a successful bridal ensemble. That’s because coordinating two things – a gown and a bridal jewelry set – can be a lot simpler than coordinating three things… plus a bridal hairstyle, yikes! No wonder some mild mannered brides morph into bridezillas!

But we want to make it easy, at least so far as your bridal hair accessories are concerned. The first guideline we offer brides is to look at bridal hair accessories that have something in common with already-purchased jewelry sets. You might coordinate design, color, shape, gemstones, or style. For example, you might pair a pearl tiara with a pearl bridal jewelry set.

Once you figure out what you need to look for, you can start thinking about the type of bridal hair accessory you’d most like to wear. Here are the basic kinds of hair accessories favored by brides:

Tiaras: This is one of the most versatile bridal accessories because tiaras can be worn with short or long hair. If you want to feel like a princess on your big day, a crown-like tiara with gems or pearls will definitely do just that.

Bridal headbands: Just like your everyday headband, a bridal headband can be worn with long hair to keep it out of your eyes. Headbands can also easily be a part of an upswept hairstyle.

Double headbands: Just like a traditional headbands, this hair accessory can be used to keep loose hair in control. Double headbands can make more of an impact, though, because there are two rows of pearls, gems, or decorative elements.

Bun rings: A bun ring is a circle of crystals or peals that wraps completely around a bun or other updo. This particular accessory is a classic and not often worn by modern brides, but very beautiful with the right wedding day hairstyle.

Backpiece: When you don’t want to take away from the impact of your wedding jewelry, a backpiece is a great hair accessory compromise. These clips and pins sit in the back of your hair – sometimes with an attached veil.

Combs and clips: These bridal hair accessories can be worn with almost any hairstyle. Just be sure to let your stylist know that you’ll want to incorporate them into your hairdo!

Like our tips? Find even more wedding jewelry and accessory tips on our Facebook page! See you there!


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5 Tips for Storing Wedding Jewelry

Most brides-to-be consider how they will preserve their bridal bouquets and their wedding gowns, but few give as much thought to keeping their wedding jewelry beautiful for years to come. Yet we’ve never heard of a bride who didn’t plan to keep her wedding jewelry… have you? Jewelry in general is seen as lasting, so it gets casually tossed into bathroom cupboards and on nightstands. And jewelry can, for the most part, stand up to this treatment. But should it? We’d argue no. Your wedding jewelry, if you do in fact plan to keep it among your cherished possessions until death do you say you goodbyes, can benefit from careful packaging and handling as much as your wedding dress.

Surprised? Here are some tips that we have collected from brides who have experience keeping wedding jewelry looking as beautiful as on the day they wore it.

1. Every woman needs a good, strong, long-lasting jewelry box for her wedding jewelry. Sure, you could pick up a cheap wooden one, but chances are the glue holding the thin velvet down in the drawers will start to lose its grip over time. Things like earrings can sink down into cracks in broken drawers. And one broken hinge at the wrong time is all it takes for a ring to be gone forever. If you truly want to keep your wedding jewelry safe, a good jewelry box should be viewed as an investment.

2. Each piece of your wedding jewelry set should be kept separate from the others. If nothing else, your bridal necklace shouldn’t be rubbing against your bracelet and earrings. Immobilize what you can, and if space is an issue, consider purchasing a display case type jewelry box – sometimes called a jewelry casket – just for your wedding jewelry. Then you can look at it day after day and think back on all those wonderful memories.

3. Or wrap each piece of your wedding jewelry in acid free archival quality paper, raw silk, or untreated cotton. Brides who sew can create custom sized fabric pouches for each of their baubles. These can be gently stacked, but never crammed into a drawer or other small space. Remember, the goal is to keep pieces from rubbing up against each other.

4. Ideally, you will hang your bridal necklace from a padded hook – but we get that not every bride has a padded hook in her walls. The next best option is a long, rectangular jewelers box designed specifically for necklaces. If yours came in such a box, save it. If not, there are many stores selling jewelry supplies online.

5. Never, ever store your wedding jewelry in plastic bags. The chemicals in some plastics can react with metals and cause them to tarnish or even cause the surface of the metal to pit. The same goes for some kinds of plastic costume jewelry – gases released by the plastic can cause discoloration and damage to metals, and that damage can’t be repaired. Plastic costume jewelry and your wedding jewelry are best stored separately.

And that’s all it takes! With a little care, your wedding jewelry will last as long as your marriage!

Shown: Chunky pearl bridal bracelet; Hollywood cz bridal earrings; Lucia bridal headband


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For Bridal Jewelry, Think Tiny!

Who says your bridal jewelry has to shout? Some of this year’s wedding gowns are loud enough without adding too much noise to the mix. For Friday, we’ve chosen four delicate bridal accessories that are feminine, subtle, elegant, and sophisticated. When you look this lovely, you don’t have to shout it to the world because the world will notice you without your having to say anything at all. If you’re a bride who is worried about her wedding accessories overshadowing your gown – or playing a sad second fiddle – follow our suggestions for a balanced wedding day look that will have all of your guests singing your praises for months to come.

Our Swarovski crystal bridal bracelet and jewelry set just goes to show you that beautiful doesn’t always mean big. Our genuine Swarovski crystals are large… for Swarovski crystals, and they offer exceptional shine and movement. They’re as delicate as they are brilliant.

Pink rhinestone drop earrings are perfect for the bride who wants delicate colored bridal jewelry for her big day. They add just the right pop of pink to any bridal ensemble so you have a splash of color that doesn’t overshadow your look.

Our Charlotte jewelry set is a chic as it is subtle. Simple Austrian crystal marquis rhinestones have botanical beauty in a bridal necklace and jewelry set that is reminiscent of flowers.

The genuine Austrian crystal rhinestone necklace and earrings in this crystal bridal jewelry set are simply stunning. And we mean simple in the nicest possible way. Linked crystals move with you, making your every twist and turn brilliant. And, lest we forget, they look radiant in photographs! (As do all of the above suggestions, hint hint!)

Are you considering going small when it comes to your bridal accessories? If so, we’d love to hear why!


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For Brave Brides, Colored Bridal Jewelry

Remember our top bridal accessories trends for 2012 and 2013 weddings? Number one was color. Whether brides choose a little or a lot, we’re seeing plenty of bright, bold, and brilliant color in the weddings we’ve attended in these past two months. And we don’t see color’s momentum slowing down any time soon. Bold is the word of the year when it comes to color, and that means colored bridal jewelry! Yes, we’re talking about everything from Kelly green to tangerine and beyond.

For some, it’s a scary thought. It’s just so easy to pair a white wedding gown with crystal bridal jewelry or pearl bridal jewelry. And the color, that’s for the bouquet, right? We say, why limit yourself! Your gown will look all the whiter when you’re showing the world your true colors in colored bridal jewelry. As for how to wear it, might we suggest color matching with your shoes? Bridal shoes have long been a way to spice up a bride’s look – you can take that one step further!

Here are a few beautiful examples of color matching that involve beautiful colored bridal jewelry and bridal shoes:

Here, we’ve paired our Radiant yellow chandelier earrings with strappy sandals in brilliant yellow featuring a sweet rosette detail near the peep toe!

How about eye-catching turquoise peep toe pumps with amazing Claudette turquoise chandelier earrings? This would be an amazing combination for a bride who loves turquoise and lime!

Finally, we paired classy black bow pumps with striking black pearl bridal jewelry – a traditional, but surprising combination that will have your guests saying WOW. Are you going to wear colored bridal jewelry on your big day?


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Doesn’t Your Bridal Jewelry Deserve a Spot in Your Wedding Album?

There are so many must-have wedding photography guides for brides and grooms out there. Some wedding photographers even have long shot lists for their clients of poses and scenes and events that most couples can’t live without. When it comes to bridal jewelry, the rings usually play a starring role in wedding photography. How many married couples can say that they don’t have at least one up close picture of their cupped hands holding their wedding rings? Not many, we’d guess!

But what about the rest of the bride’s accessories? Beautiful crystal bridal jewelry, gold bridal jewelry, and pearl bridal jewelry surely deserves a place in your wedding album. After all, your wedding photographer wants to tell the story of your wedding through her photographs – and your wedding jewelry is part of that story!

Now, right now, you may be thinking that it would be lovely to be able to look back on your wedding day with perfect pictures of your bridal accessories. But of course the question is how do you include your bridal jewelry and other wedding accessories in photographs without getting into cheese territory. That’s just what we want to talk to you about today!

A beautiful bridal jewelry set – like our Touch of Sparkle bridal necklace and earrings duo – can be shown off in photos so many ways. Traditional wedding photography has almost always included a picture of the MOB or MOH helping the bride put on her necklace, but before that, why not capture your necklace artfully arranged on your bridal shoes?

Of course, bridal jewelry, like our gorgeous Floral Melody champagne bridal jewelry, is always most beautiful on the bride herself! Ask your photographer to spend a few close up snaps capturing your necklace and earrings (and hair accessories) after you’re dressed and ready so you can see the detail.

A pearl bridal bracelet as stunning as our Pure Bliss pearl bridal bracelet deserves the same treatment. Your wedding photographer can take a few pictures of your crossed or clasped hands to show off your engagement ring and your bracelet. If your bouquet includes bouquet jewelry, you can compose a shot that includes your ring, your bracelet, and your flowers!

If you’re wearing a bridal veil (like our current fave, the two layer Swarovski rhinestone edge veil) ask your photographer to take the classic as-seen-from-behind shot after you’ve had your hair done. You won’t get another chance to see your veil so perfectly as you will in the moments before you walk down the aisle.

Those are our favorite bridal jewelry-inspired photography ideas. What are your must-have accessory photos?


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Short vs. Long: How Does Your Wedding Day Look Stack Up?

Today we’re waging a battle of short versus long, and all kinds of wedding accessories – and a few dresses – are taking a stand. Speaking of stands, where do you stand in the battle of short against long? Yes, sometimes it depends on the dress, but personal preference can play a big part in the kind of bridal jewelry and accessories you choose. It may even influence how you dress your bridesmaids!

Whether you go short or long with your crystal bridal jewelry (or pearl set) may have less to do with preference and more to do with decolletage. A higher neckline necessitates a shorter necklace, and vice versa. Essentially, you don’t want to leave an expanse of real estate unadorned. Here, we pit our rhinestone floral choker against our stunning crystal drop jewelry set.

Short versus long in the earring world is often a matter of hairstyle. Updos almost cry for longer bridal earrings (like our Maria Theresa earrings) because they help draw attention to your graceful neckline. Shorter earrings, like the brushed gold dangle earrings, work amazingly well with half up/half down dos.

The old rule that the bridesmaids’ hem should match the bride’s is no longer an actual rule. It’s more like a guideline, and one meant to be broken. How do you like this Alfred Sung bridesmaid dress best? We like the abbreviated version, in case you were wondering!

Cage veil versus fingertip veil? Here’s where the bride’s preference matters more than anything. Yes, there are experts who will tell you that your dress and your ceremony venue *must* determine your veil length, but can we not-so-respectfully disagree? Wear the bridal veil that YOU like best, short or long!

Bridal gloves are an unusual choice these days, but still a classic and elegant look for the women who choose to wear them! Long bridal gloves – aka opera length bridal gloves – are more popular than their short cousins, but who knows! Maybe a short bridal glove is just what you’ve been searching for to go with your ballet length dress.

So where do you stand on the short versus long issue? How will your wedding day look stack up?


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Accenting Tangerine Tango, Pantone’s 2012 Color of the Year

Do you get excited for Pantone’s color of the year? Last year, it was Honeysuckle – a surprising dusty pink. This year? It’s Tangerine Tango, a vivacious and appealing reddish orange. It’s a color that provides an instant energy boost. An exciting color. And one that is sure to warm you up, even if yours will be a winter wedding.

Plus, did we mention that bridesmaids look great in Tangerine Tango? It’s one of those mysterious colors that work amazingly well with any skin tone or hair hue.

The only problem that some brides who want to outfit their bridesmaids in Tangerine Tango may run into is accessorizing it. That’s where you have two options. The first is letting the tangerine take center stage and choosing crystal bridesmaid jewelry that will sparkle, but purposely underwhelm. The color is the star – the jewelry plays a backup role. The second is color blocking, aka pairing Tangerine Tango with complimentary (and sometimes surprising) colors like blue or purple.

Here are three bridesmaid looks that incorporate Pantone’s color of the year, pairing it with classic pearl bridesmaid jewelry, navy bridesmaid accessories, and if you can believe it, deep purple bridesmaid jewelry!

In the upper right, we took a saucy Tangerine Tango Alfred Sung bridesmaid dress and accessorized it with gorgeous deep purple bridesmaid jewelry and a beautiful purple clutch (that would make a great bridesmaids gift, hint hint). In the bottom right, an elegant example of After Six bridesmaids dresses gets the blue treatment with navy pearl bridesmaid jewelry and a pair of amazing heels from Badgley Mischka.

And finally, to show off how amazing Tangerine Tango can be as a showpiece color, we took classic touches like a white satin bridal handbag, a pearl bridal ring, a pearl bridal jewelry set, and a simple pearl hair comb and let them highlight the beauty of this versatile color.

All this works because even though Tangerine Tango is an incredibly vibrant color, it also works as a neutral.

What do you think of Tangerine Tango, anyway? Do you love it? Hate it? Think it’s just coral all dressed up?


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Crystal Bridal Jewelry Gets a Dressing Down

Ever wonder what you’re going to do with your crystal bridal jewelry or pearl bridal jewelry after the BIG DAY has come and gone? True story: Few brides-to-be ever give this a thought. And why should they? Most are more concerned with the gown… will they preserve it? Sell it? Donate it? Mod it? Bridal jewelry sets tend to get worn, get saved, and eventually get pushed to the darkest corner of the jewelry box, never to be seen again.

You can imagine that we don’t like that fate very much.

Which is why we’d like to offer an alternative for after you say your I dos. Instead of treating your crystal bridal jewelry or pearl bridal jewelry like relics to be taken out and examined every now and then when you’re feeling a bit sentimental, why not actually (gasp!) wear it?

Oh, we get your lack of enthusiasm. Totally. Right now, you’re so wrapped up in wedding planning that you’re probably thinking when I get married, I’m never wearing another Swarovski crystal as long as I live! But hear us out. There’s something fun and chic about pairing the formal with the casual, right? That’s why we think our bridal jewelry sets deserve a good dressing down.

Imagine our dramatic Sensation CZ necklace paired with a plain black t or tank and jeans!

The same goes for our chunky coil pearl bracelet

And our Dominique rhinestone headband, too.

Don’t think you can pull it off? Whatevs. That’s why we put together the mini inspiration board above. Yes, that’s Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey in two of the pics, but the others are all actual real people who decided that there was no reason to keep neglecting the crystals and rhinestones in their jewelry collections. They did it and looked amazing. All we’re asking is that after the wedding, you give your bridal jewelry some love because you’ll look amazing, too.


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