Weddings around the world are usually big affairs with family, friends and community gathering together to celebrate the special couple. Bridal jewellery plays an important role, whether to show-off the bride’s family wealth, cover a sentimental role for female ancestors who cannot be present on the day or simply to add a special occasion ‘sparkle and shine’.
The most obvious bridal jewellery is, of course, the wedding ring gifted to the bride from the groom, and in the Western world, the bride also gives the groom a ring to show his new status as a husband. However, there are many other traditions out there.
In China, sterling silver jewellery is extremely lucky for the bride and families often start collecting pieces of silver jewellery for their daughter to wear on her wedding day when she is still very young.
Other Eastern countries value gold - in Hindu ceremonies, the bride often has sixteen pieces of yellow gold jewellery studded with precious stones. Bangles are very important in Indian weddings, as different colours of metal and gems can herald different moods to the marriage.
What jewellery do guests wear for weddings?
Guests should aim to show their personality and echo the theme of the wedding in the jewellery department when attending weddings. Semi-precious jewels that complement your outfit and fit the style of wedding you are attending make ideal jewellery choices.
For example, if you’re on your way to a big city bash, a sharp chignon and beautifully designed, a structural modern ring could be the icing on the cake of your elegant sheath dress. A city hall event might be more refined and casual, calling for an ornate cubic zirconium earrings and a tailored jumpsuit.
A country barn wedding calls for something entirely different - maybe a stack of intriguingly original bangles in a mix of metals - like rhodium, sterling silver and gold plate - to flash on the dance floor while twirling in your strapless, full-skirted dress.
How to go about choosing appropriate jewellery for weddings?
This greatly depends on what you’re wearing and your role in the wedding, but for the most part you want to pick beautiful pieces that are a step above the usual everyday jewellery you might wear. Think semi-precious stones, beautiful metal work and interesting designs - florals and botanicals are especially suitable for wedding looks. Try not to pull attention from the bride, but keep your jewellery an echo of your personality and taste.
If you are the bride, feel free to wear whatever you fancy - it’s your day after all! Keep in mind that the photos from this day are going to last you a lifetime. You want to be able to look back at them in a few years time and instantly love everything you were wearing - and know that it was such good quality you can still dig it out of your jewellery box for any special occasion!
Brides should try and stick to their favourite looks for their wedding jewellery, upgrading the pieces to beautiful stones and metals so that it doesn’t date badly over the years. It’s also a nice idea that if you purchase jewellery specifically for your wedding, that it has a staying power in your own special occasion wardrobe - imagine being able to wear the same earrings you were married in to your anniversary party a year from your wedding. Wearing them will bring all those special feelings flooding back.
Often, brides and grooms will bestow gifts on their wedding party to show how much they appreciate all the guests joining their big day. Bridesmaids, maids of honour, mothers and mothers-in-law may receive jewellery. It’s a good idea to present them a fine piece of jewellery that symbolises love and marriage.
When getting ready for a wedding, either as the bride, part of the bridal party or a guest, it is important to put effort into your appearance. It shows your love and respect for the family, the couple and the seriousness of the event - it also never hurts to look your best on the dance floor after the ceremony! So consider your outfit, and the accessories and jewellery that will accompany it, carefully. Well-chosen jewellery can enhance your looks, complement the wedding theme or colours and raise your outfit from ‘everyday’ to ‘special occasion’.