I love a wedding, don’t you? All that dressing up, people enjoying themselves, the wine paired perfectly with the food – I can honestly say that only at weddings have I realised how good wine actually tastes when served with the right food. And of course, there’s the hoping and praying for good weather.
Weddings are also perfect for people watching, in particular commenting on what the bride is wearing (isn’t it all about the dress after all?); whether any guests have shown up in a dress a little too ‘bridal’; what is the Mother of the Bride wearing and does it compliment her daughter’s dress? Nobody really pays much attention to the men, do they?
It may not be something we focus on when we’re people watching (and judging, let’s be honest), but the jewellery worn by key wedding players can make or break their outfits. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, jewellery is as important as your hair and clothes in bringing a ‘look’ together and having the desired impact, so although it’s not the focus on the big day, getting your jewellery wrong can throw a look completely ‘off’. So what are some jewellery styles to wear on the big day to compliment your ‘look’ and to make sure you look your best?
The Bride, Maid of Honour and Bridesmaids
Generally, the bridal party wear dresses and jewellery that compliment each other to create a coherent group ‘look’. With the dresses being the focal point, what dresses you choose, and in particular the neckline (as mentioned in my previous blog) will determine what style jewellery you wear. Check out this easy graphic to see what necklaces you should wear with different necklines:
A popular and classic wedding dress is the strapless ball gown with a sweet heart neckline. You may think that having such a lovely expanse of skin to play with means anything goes in jewellery, but that’s not the case – you must always take into account the neckline when choosing your jewellery. I’ve seen many brides play it safe and stick to the classic single pearl droplet pendant. There’s nothing wrong with this but it really gets lost on so much skin. A dress with this neckline can either be very plain or have a lot of detail and sparkle in the bodice, which is also a key factor in determining what necklace and jewellery you choose to wear.
If you have a plain sweetheart neckline dress, why not go the whole hog and add a gorgeous choker necklace? Be as daring as you want, but because your dress will be so understated, you can afford to go a bit over the top with your necklace.
If your dress has more sparkle and detail, I would avoid a necklace all together, as it will sit too close to the detail of the dress. Instead wear a pair of statement earrings. Again, bear in mind the level of detail on your dress, but the earrings will be far enough from the body of the dress to avoid an overbearing look. Also bear in mind your hairstyle. Statement earrings look their best when framed with hair worn down or tied back loosely. However, if you have shorter hair or an ‘up do’, you will make an even bigger statement with a gorgeous pair of bold earrings. Just make sure they frame and compliment your features – this blog has some great hints and tips on what jewellery will suit your features.
What about if you’re a boho bride? Boho wedding dresses come in a variety of styles but tend to be more slim fitting. They tend to have straps or lace sleeves and the neckline is very much a ‘V’ neckline. Again, the neckline and level of detail in the dress is crucial in ensuring you get the right balance between the jewellery enhancing your look, or totally overpowering it.
Is your boho dress simple with only a hint of detail? If so ,a long, dainty long line boho chic necklace is perfect. You can really ramp up this look and wear a layered necklace, so long as it compliments your dress. This look suits a boho dress with a high neck too, or even an ‘off the shoulder’ dress.
If your dress has more detail, again, avoid adding more detail as the look will be too overpowering. Instead, why not wear a layered stack of dainty bracelets and a pair of statement earrings? Again, it’s all about creating a balanced look where each element compliments one another. Here you’ll have detail at the top, middle and bottom of your body, allowing each piece of jewellery to command attention and not crowd in on any other elements.
Now what do I mean by ‘funky’? Here I’m thinking in particular of shorter bridal dresses, that may be a bit daring with a very plunging neckline or a high split up the thigh; maybe even a dress in a brighter, bolder colour. Essentially wedding dresses that have a bit of an ‘edge’ to them. Again, be aware of the level of detail in your dress and the neckline and the same rules apply when choosing your accessories. But in this case, if your dress has a hint of colour, why not choose jewellery that includes a complimentary colour?
Mother of the bride
The Mother of the Bride often draws as much attention as the bride, so it’s essential she also chooses her jewellery wisely. Apart from keeping the neckline and level of detail of the outfit in mind, if you’re a Mother of the Bride, you should also consider the following:
In general, the mothers of the bride opt for elegant, sophisticated designs, so as not to outshine the bride. There is also the added factor that you may be wearing a hat. With these in mind, you should abide by the following rules, again, so not to tip your look into ‘overpowering’.
What is your neckline and are you wearing a hat?
Both of these are crucial in deciding your necklace. As with the bride, make sure you follow the neckline rules above. But your hat will determine the size and level of detail in the necklace, if you wish to wear one. Again, the more understated the hat, the larger, more statement and more colourful your necklace can be. If there is more detail in the hat, pair down the detail in the necklace.
Your choice of hat will also determine what earrings to wear. If the hat is detailed, stick to elegant, smaller earrings. The choice of gem, metal or pearl is up to you, they key is ensuring they compliment your overall look. One thing to avoid if you have a larger, more detailed hat, is large, statement earrings. These will be far too overpowering when sitting so close to your hat – remember it’s all about the correct spacing of your jewellery to ensure each element of your outfit can command its own space without encroaching on anything else.
However, if you really want to go bold, there is nothing stopping you wearing that statement piece of wrist wear. Again, be mindful of the detail in your dress, but the space between the dress and your wrist means you can experiment a lot more with what you choose to wear.
What gifts to give your wedding party
Not only is jewellery worn on the big day, but it’s also given as a gift to those who have helped, in particular the maid of honour and bridesmaids. You will know them best but there’s nothing better than giving them the ultimate personalised gift – engraved jewellery. Whether it’s a pendant or ring with their initial, or the date of your wedding, nothing says ‘thank you’ better than a completely personalised gift. Why not team it with their favourite gemstone or birthstone, to make it even more special?
When planning for a wedding, we tend to focus on the bigger things and how they coordinate – what is the colour theme, how will we take that from the colour of the bridesmaids dresses to the table settings? Of course they’re important, but attention to the details brings it all together. One detail that stands out can really jar your senses, so it’s important to choose your jewellery wisely to compliment the overall look you want to achieve.
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