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!