Stunning jewellery can add the perfect finishing touch to a beautiful bridal look; but get your accessories wrong and it can detract attention from your dress, creating the wrong focal point. We asked five jewellery gurus to share their bridal rules, so you can nail your wedding day bling.
“Consider your hairstyle before buying earrings,”says Jan Wuthrich, senior buyer at Jon Richard. “Wearing your hair up stops it getting tangled around your jewellery and a long chandelier-type earring gives a romantic, vintage look. A basic, pearl stud earring always looks effortlessly chic when hair is short or being worn down.” And if you’re wearing a statement necklace, Jan recommends a subtle stud earring so the two accessories don’t clash.
Jan warns that mismatched jewellery can look cheap and advises against hoop earrings because “they always look too casual for a wedding.” She tips earrings with a mixture of crystals and pearls, “a pretty combination” that goes with most dresses.
Jewellery designer Donna Crain says that considering what your wedding bracelet means to you will help you decide on style and budget:
“Unlike your dress, your bracelet is something you can wear time and again and it’s worth budgeting for a good quality piece.”
Donna says you should choose a bracelet that complements the style and detail of your gown. “Choose your dress first and bring pictures when you select your bracelet,” she says. “While pearls complete a lace gown beautifully, they might clash with a dress featuring hundreds of crystals. Plain satin, silk or taffeta gowns allow for bolder, detailed choices, but a big sparkly cuff with a big sparkly dress could still work.
“You can go wrong by choosing colours, fabrics or metals that clash with the details on your dress or other bridal jewellery. Try to purchase your jewellery from the same designer so your pieces will co-ordinate, and compare your bracelet colour with a fabric swatch of your dress.”
According to Kirstie Taylor, designer at Flo & Percy, less is more when you’re choosing a necklace. “Don’t choose a bold necklace if you already have a statement headpiece and earrings,” Kirstie says. “Let one piece take the lead and keep everything else simple.”
Kirstie advises brides to think about their neckline and says that a pendant works well with sweetheart shapes. The style of the dress is also crucial:
“If you have floral detail in your dress or lacework, go for flower detail or open-work design in the jewellery,” she says. “If your dress is simple and structured, choose a bold or chunky-style necklace to bring colour and sparkle and a focal point to your dress. And if your dress is floaty and Bohemian, keep your jewellery soft, sticking to a fine chain, a string of pearls or just a forehead headpiece for a relaxed look.”
Lovely brooches and backdrops
Lynsey Boyle of Lynsey’s Designs specialises in back jewellery. “Backdrops are perfect if you have a low-backed dress,” Lynsey says, “but be careful with the length of the design. Measure the distance between the back of your neck and where the top of the dress starts and subtract at least one inch to avoid the backdrop touching your gown.”
Lynsey advises brides to ask a jewellery designer for their advice on backdrops, but she rates detachable designs (attached using simple trigger clasps) that you can wear after the wedding with a little black dress.
“Brooches are an excellent way to further accessorise a wedding gown,” Lynsey adds. “They can be used to secure a sash around your waist and if you already own a brooch that is precious to you, you could attach it to your bouquet. Make sure it’s secured well and position your bouquet so the brooch is in front for your photographs.”
Rings and the rest
“If your heart is set on wearing a dress ring, choose something dainty and subtle for your right hand,” says Michelle Smithson from Totally Cherished. “Your guests will be desperate to see your sparkly new wedding ring, so be careful not to pick anything that is going to steal its limelight. Subtlety is definitely the key; small, simple dress rings ooze elegance and won’t take the attention away from your wedding ring. A touch of sparkle and soft colour can look stunning, but don’t be tempted to go overboard.” If you’re nervous about wearing a second ring, Michelle favours a dainty bracelet to balance out your accessories instead.
And if your groom wants to bling-it-up on the big day, Michelle urges him to keep it simple:
“On the wedding day, all eyes should be on the bride. If your husband-to-be is desperate to wear a chain, make sure it’s understated and, ideally, hidden!”