Accessorising Wedding and Bridesmaid’s Dresses
You’ve chosen the wedding and bridesmaid dresses, the venue, the flowers and even the table settings. The band has been booked and the menu tasted. At some point your thoughts will inevitably turn to the finishing touches, and so to what accessories and jewellery will complement your wedding outfit.
The choice can be confusing. White gold or yellow gold? Diamond jewellery or a mix of pearls and diamonds? Can you wear gemstone jewellery for a little colour? Should you keep it simple or opt for a regal look? Our handy 10 Top Tips will help you choose.
Do you prefer white gold or yellow gold?
Naturally the gold colour of your engagement ring and wedding ring will influence your decision here, but it is also worth bearing in mind the style of your dress. Generally, white gold or platinum gives a more contemporary edge, while yellow gold is seen as more traditional. Two tone gold offers the best of both worlds – why not try a pink and white gold pendant instead of the more usual yellow and white, for a slightly more romantic look?
Do you have a preference for diamonds, pearls or gemstones?
Traditional brides may prefer white pearl jewellery, but it’s a misconception that pearls are necessarily old fashioned. Indeed, a white gold pendant featuring a single pearl and accent diamonds can work well with a minimalist, contemporary look.
Diamond jewellery is a popular alternative, and can be the most glamorous option. It’s also a plus point that the choice is vast – you’re sure to find something you like, from a pretty floral diamond pendant to a rubover diamond tennis bracelet or diamond chandelier earrings. Diamonds do of course have the benefit of adding a touch of sparkle to your dress, and most styles are readily wearable in everyday life (for example, diamond stud earrings are one of the staples for every woman’s jewellery box and look great at the office; while a fancy necklace can be worn on nights out).
For something a bit different, it might be worth considering some subtle gemstone jewellery. Even if you’re going to wear white, you could add a single piece of gemstone jewellery, which will go well with other diamond pieces. Indeed there can be positive benefits of adding a touch of colour – a particular gemstone can be used to tie in your own outfit with that of your bridesmaids and wedding colour scheme in general; your birthstone could be worn to add some special hidden meaning to your accessories (or even your husband’s birthstone for an extra romantic idea); or a sapphire or topaz item could take care of your “something blue” worries!
What is the style of your wedding dress?
In very broad terms there are four styles of wedding dress (or indeed bridesmaid’s dress), namely:
(a) classic elegant dresses (e.g. a simple white satin a-line dress nipped in at the waist);
(b) princess style dresses (e.g. boned with netted underskirt);
(c) flowing and romantic dresses (e.g. empire line, perhaps with chiffon or lace); and
(d) figure hugging dresses (e.g. fully fitted with a fishtail).
Jewellery works best when it either subtly accents your dress or acts as a stunning feature against a simple background. It’s best not to, for instance, overpower a traditional lace ornate dress with heavy diamond jewellery when an elegant pearl pendant would look more in keeping with the style of your dress.
Again as a very general guide, dresses falling within category (a) are the simplest to accessorise as they look great with almost any jewellery. For a full on princess effect (category b), chandelier earrings or a fancy diamond necklace are probably the order of the day, since you’re likely to be a fan of sparkles! For dresses in category (c), these team best with pearls or more subtle pieces; and for (d) you can either keep the jewellery to a minimum by wearing smaller or non drop earrings and no necklace or go all out and wear a showstopping piece of jewellery or two.
What neckline will your dress have?
Next to your hairstyle, this may well be the deciding factor for you in choosing your jewellery. Round necklines look beautiful with pearl necklaces or diamond tennis necklaces whereas v-necks emphasise a pendant more.
The easiest to accessorise is a sweetheart neckline, which goes well with almost anything. On the other side of the coin, you may be wearing a high necked dress – the very fact that this isn’t seen much nowadays means that it will be stunning enough on its own, without any necklace needed (though a pair of earrings would look fantastic with it). Modern one shoulder dresses, or those with a halterneck, may not work as well with a line necklace, though again offer the perfect backdrop to a beautiful pair of earrings.
Will your wedding dress have straps or sleeves?
The majority of formal dresses seem to be either strapless or with spaghetti straps, neither of which should pose any problem for your jewellery choices. If however you have a dress with long sleeves, you’ll almost certainly have to forego any bracelet or bangle since this could catch on the fabric of the sleeve. Mid length sleeves (around elbow or three quarter length) are the opposite: since they draw the eye down the arm, a diamond bracelet or gold bangle will add the perfect finishing touch.
Will your dress be embellished?
If there’s already a lot of embellishment on the dress, by way of beading or embroidery, you should take this into account too (you might want to avoid overdoing it, or you may be going for the full on princess effect – either way, accessorise accordingly).
What other accessories will you have?
Probably more than you think! But the most important in terms of complementing the jewellery you’ll have will be the veil (especially in terms of earrings), the handbag (if you have a bangle or bracelet near it) and any hair accessories (tiaras suit the princess look; flowers are more romantic and look fantastic with pearls).
What is your price range?
Not every bride’s budget will stretch to a full wedding jewellery suite with a diamond necklace, tennis bracelet and chandelier earrings. It can be tempting just to wear the same jewellery as you wear to the office every other day.
Yet it’s worth considering at least one new piece of special jewellery to enhance your wedding dress: not only will you feel like a princess on your big day, but you can wear it on your wedding anniversary the following year. Just remember that one stunning item can transform the whole look, with other pieces taken from your existing jewellery box (or that of a kind relative!).
Find your perfect wedding jewellery at Aspiration Jewellery.