What is the general wisdom on choosing wedding jewelry?
May 6, 2019 6:11 PM   Subscribe

How does one choose wedding jewelry? Assume there is no sentimental option in play (e.g. grandmother's earrings). The bride will wear a formal ballgown that some might consider somewhat high cut and plainly adorned (lace on the dress but no sparkle/beading). The wedding will take place in a church and the vibe is classic and traditional.

In light of this: How large should the jewelry be? Would it be egregious to mix, say, diamonds/sapphires and pearls? The current thought is a pair of smallish (1 carat each ear) sapphire studs (surrounded by tiny diamonds), set in yellow gold. Would a pearl necklace be out of the question paired with this? Would it be better simply to wear pearl earrings and a pearl necklace and forgo the sapphire/diamond? Would an all-pearl look appear fusty with a traditional ballgown? Halp?
posted by ClaireBear to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total)
Can we see a picture of the gown? :)
posted by Hermione Granger at 6:14 PM on May 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

Something that makes the wearer happy wheen they see it.
posted by runincircles at 6:19 PM on May 6, 2019 [10 favorites]

Sapphires and diamonds will look lovely, pearls will look classic, nobody will be thinking about earrings during the wedding. It's all going to be fine. Mazel tov!
posted by Ausamor at 6:38 PM on May 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Seems like a perfect time to bust out some fabulous drop earrings like these: bhldn or similar. They also have some pearls that are a little fancier than studs.

I'd go with fancy drops and then maybe no necklace if the neckline really is high. But sapphire and diamonds and pearls all together are all fine as well!!

FWIW, I got married almost two years ago, had an A-line lace dress with some, but not much beading. I wore my grandmother's pearls and a pair of plain pearl earrings, and then my husband gifted me with a pearl bracelet as his gift. It wasn't fussy and even if I hadn't had my grandmother's, would probably have worn pearls anyway.
posted by honeybee413 at 6:42 PM on May 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Getting a little tripped up by a description of a wedding dress as a "traditional ballgown," so seconding the request for a picture!
posted by praemunire at 7:11 PM on May 6, 2019

I’d probably go with the sapphires and a bare neck, or s sapphire and diamond necklace. I agree that pearls with sapphires aren’t the best match snd will seem busy with a lace covered gown.

Pearls for both would be nice and probably not fusty; the lace really moderns the ballgown silhouette quite a bit, I’d imagine.

I think the hairpiece / veil is probably the biggest issue here. You want the jewelry to match (or at least not clash with) the veil.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:23 PM on May 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

Depends on how you’re wearing your hair and if you’re wearing a hairpiece but I would focus on the earrings and skip a necklace if your gown has lace along the neckline.
posted by sallybrown at 8:21 PM on May 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: @Hermione: Ha! The particular dress is not yet chosen! Perhaps "traditional ballgown" wasn't the right phrasing. It will likely be either one of these or one similar - Ines Di Santo (Elated), some corsety Vera Wang ballgown (e.g. this), or some sort of Lazaro with a lace bolero over it (e.g. imagine this or this with lace over it), possibly something somewhat like this. I'm coming to the opinion that perhaps I ought to reask this question after the particular dress is chosen, as maybe the jewelry is very contingent on the specific gown! To answer a few things that answers brought up, the neckline won't be *very* high, but will probably be armpit height, without showing much/any cleavage. The veil will likely be simple tulle and cathedral length with a blusher on the front; although if a veil that matches the dress can be procured at a reasonable price that would also be an option.
posted by ClaireBear at 8:22 PM on May 6, 2019

Jewel tones look awesome on white and pearls can accentuate that. I would match the gold to the engagement and wedding rings.
posted by soelo at 8:29 PM on May 6, 2019

I did pearls and diamonds together. I borrowed my mom’s drop diamond earrings, and I borrowed everyone’s pearls, so I had 3 strands of various lengths and colours. I knotted the longest (double strand).
But really, get the dress then try on lots of jewelry with a friend. Don’t worry about tradition!
posted by Valancy Rachel at 9:51 PM on May 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

I wore a pearl necklace and sapphire drop earrings. No regrets. My wedding and engagement rings are mixed metals so I didn't worry about matching everything either silver or gold. I'd get your dress first and let it tell you what jewelery it wants.
posted by notjustthefish at 3:44 AM on May 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Pick the dress first unless there’s a piece of jewelry that you must wear (doesn’t sound like it). The neckline especially will make a huge difference in how much you like the pearl necklace. And re: a traditional ballgown, I knew what you meant (it refers to the silhouette).
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:22 AM on May 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

My sample-sale Vera Wang was very similar and I wore very simple crystal studs and a station necklace with crystals which, 15 years later, I wear nearly every day. In retrospect I might have considered wearing more elaborate and sparkly drop earrings.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:57 AM on May 7, 2019

For the ceremony, I wore a pearl headpiece (mounted in silver) an antique paste sapphire and seed pearl Lavalier (mounted in gold - family heirloom - image is closest in style). My engagement and wedding ring are platinum.

For the reception I switched out the Lavalier for a blue Bacarrat crystal star pendant on gold ribbon (gift from spouse).

Which is a long-winded way of saying - wear whatever jewelry make you the happiest on the day and works with your dress. And if you cannot decide, switch it up halfway!
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 3:30 PM on May 7, 2019

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