With only a week or so to go until Harry and Meghan’s nuptials, I’ve got all things bridal on the brain. I’m a big fan of weddings – formal or casual, large or small, there’s nothing that gets me feeling warm and fuzzy more than a couple’s big day. I’ll be working at a pop-up market on Harry and Meghan’s big day, but the venue is showing the wedding so I’ll be eagerly hoping to catch a glimpse of Meghan’s outfit as she steps out of the car. Having worked in the bridal industry for many years, and now in jewellery, I could wax lyrical for hours on frocks, petticoats, headpieces and jewels. Sadly most of us won’t have the Windsor’s budget to spend on tiaras and diamond earrings, but I’ve got a few tips and tricks to share with you about choosing the perfect jewellery for your big day.
- Be guided by the dress.
Now, it may be that there’s a family heirloom that your mum’s desperate for you to wear, or you’re keen to have your ‘something old’ as part of your wedding day jewellery, but make sure the style of your jewellery compliments they style of your dress. A long necklace will perfectly suit a v or low-necked gown, but if your dress has a high neckline (like Pippa Middleton’s), you’d be better off leaving the necklace entirely. You might think about wearing a statement pair of earrings, or a cuff instead. Think about incorporating the ‘something old’ in a more subtle way – I wore a brooch that belongs to my Mum pinned to the inside of my gown – it was my something old, and also, a little symbol of our closeness that only I knew about.
If your dress has a low back, wearing a long necklace backwards, so it draws attention to the curve of your spine, will really show off that detail. Long earrings accentuate and draw attention to your neck, so if you’re wearing a dress that shows off your neck and shoulders, think about pairing drop earrings with a simple up-do to really accentuate your neck. Jewellery can be a wonderful way of drawing attention to your best feature!
- Statement dress, or statement jewels?
I’d always advise brides to contrast the dress and accessories – if you pick a very simple, elegant dress, you can go for something really bold jewellery-wise. A statement necklace makes an amazing focal point when teamed with a classic, understated dress. A pair of chandelier earrings add glamour to a slinky mermaid-cut gown. On the other hand, if the dress you’ve chosen is heavily detailed, lacy, or embroidered, you might want to choose a simple pendant necklace and stud earrings, so that the dress speaks for itself.
- Mirror the details
Think about subtly mirroring the details in your dress in your accessories, for a co-ordinated, grown up look. On a guipure lace gown, pick out the floral shapes in the lace by choosing a leafy or petal shaped necklace. If your dress is contemporary with pleats or folds, choose minimalist, geometric jewellery to keep the whole look slick.
- Be practical.
This is going to sound a bit dull but bear with me. If your wedding dress is in a very delicate fabric – think chiffon, tulle, or fine Chantilly lace, think carefully about the style of jewellery you choose. Anything with claw-set stones could easily catch on your gown and make a pull in it (the same goes for shoes with jewelled details). Select polished metal, pearls or recessed stones so that you don’t accidentally snag your dress. On a similar note – don’t choose a very sticky lip gloss if you’re wearing a veil – if the wind blows your veil will stick to your lips!
- Show your personality with your accessories.
Most brides tend to go fairly traditional – in the UK today the vast majority still choose a fairly formal gown in ivory or white. Accessories are a great way to add a fun and contemporary twist to your bridal look. Whether it’s a funky bracelet stack, a fine necklace with your favourite motif as a pendant (think stars, sea shells, geometrics or initials) or earrings with a stone in your favourite colour, jewellery can be a subtle way of adding your personality to your bridal look.
- Remember your bridesmaids.
There’s a reason jewellery is a popular bridesmaids’ gift – it adds the finishing touch to their outfits and is a special gift that they can wear again and again. I have very fond memories of presenting my bridesmaids with necklaces I’d chosen on the morning of my wedding, to thank them for all their help and support. Thankfully there’s an amazing array of contemporary dresses out there for bridesmaids these days, so choose something modern, stylish and personal to show them how special they are.
By Lisa Karter