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  • Selecting Jewelry for Your Wedding Day
  • Rusty Lowell

Selecting Jewelry for Your Wedding Day

Selecting Jewelry for Your Wedding Day
Since your engagement, the only jewelry you really care about is the sparkler on your finger. With a beautiful engagement ring taking center stage, and a new wedding ring coming soon, what other jewelry could you possibly need? While your rings are sure to be the stars of the show on your wedding day, your bridal ensemble probably needs a few other accents.

Selecting wedding day jewelry isn’t something to leave to the last minute. The pieces you select will play a major role in the completed look and will be captured in hundreds of photographs. Here’s how to select wedding jewelry to accent the dress and create a memorable look.

Choose a metal

With thousands of options vying for your attention, the easiest way to narrow down the choices is to start with a color scheme, including the type of metal. Sticking to the same tone and metal as your ring seems like the obvious choice. But, your engagement and wedding rings can stand on their own and there’s no need to limit your jewelry choices to items that match them. Rather, consider which tones complement your skin tone and the hue of your gown. As every bride knows there are many shades of white, each of which takes on a new look depending on the accents.

  • Bright white – Dazzling, pure white looks best when accented with silver, platinum or white gold. Avoid yellow gold, which can dull the overall look.
  • Natural white – Sometimes called “diamond white,” this hue is just a shade off pure white, looks lovely on a wide variety of skin tones and is the most common wedding dress option. Happily, it is also the most versatile when it comes to choosing jewelry as it works well with every hue including both yellow and white gold, as well as the slightly less traditional rose gold.
  • Cream – With names such as “ivory” and “candlelight,” creamy shades with gold undertones generally look best when paired with yellow gold jewelry.

Consider the stones

If your wedding dress features accents, such as crystals or pearls, consider sticking to the theme by choosing jewelry containing the same stones. However, don’t overdo it. Heavily accented dresses look best paired with simple jewelry.

When selecting jewelry to complement an unadorned dress, diamonds or pearls are the traditional choices. Pearls lend a sweet, demure look while diamonds create drama.

When looking for clear stones, stick to real diamonds or high-quality crystals. Steer clear of inexpensive rhinestone. They might seem like a good way to ease the wedding budget, but they may end up looking low quality when teamed with an upscale dress. Plus, rhinestones typically don’t photograph well. Because they don’t reflect light like higher-quality stones, they may end up looking dark in your precious wedding pictures.

Beyond the traditional choices, add personality to your wedding look with colored gemstones. Add a piece of jewelry containing your birthstone for a sentimental touch. Or, choose accents that match the color palette of the day. Sapphires, emeralds and rubies add a pop of drama and will become pieces that you wear again and again, long after your vows.

Don't over-accessorize

Remember when you were a little girl and played dress up, pretending it was your wedding day and piling on heaps of Mom’s castoff costume jewelry? This is not that day. While you can get away with more sparkle and shine on your wedding day that you can in your day-to-day outfits, it’s still best to stick with one statement piece and use simpler accents elsewhere. On your wedding day, a hair comb or veil may require attention, calling for scaled-down jewelry. A statement necklace may be an option, but large earrings are often a chicer, more upscale look.

Complement your neckline

When selecting a necklace to pair with your gown, choose a length that enhances the neckline of your gown.

  • For a strapless gown, choose a choker or princess length necklace that grazes the collarbone. This is also the perfect neckline to pair with a large statement necklace.
  • For a V-neck dress, look for a slim necklace that within the open area.
  • For an asymmetrical neckline, necklaces will likely look confusing. Instead, skip the neckwear and opt for beautiful earrings to bring focus to the face.

Strapless gowns call for chokers or princess necklaces.

Slim necklaces go with a v-neck dress. Earrings go with asymmetrical necklines.

Careful with bracelets

For most outfits, a great bracelet, or even a stack of them, is a must-have. However, it’s often best to leave wrists unadorned on your wedding day. On such a busy day, there are plenty of opportunities for a bracelet to snag on clothing while hugging a guest and to serve as a distraction by sliding around during the service. The look of a large bracelet may also be too much, especially as you hold a large bouquet of flowers.

If you are head over heels for a bracelet, be sure it fits snuggly and doesn’t move around too much or slide down over your hand. Also, consider wearing a bracelet for your wedding and bridal portraits and sliding it off for the event.

Choose quality pieces

With the wedding budget stretched thin, it’s tempting to try to save on accessories. However, this isn’t the time for low-quality costume pieces. These will likely be the most photographed pieces of jewelry you will ever purchase, so make sure they match the elegance of the day. By investing in quality pieces, you aren’t just picking up pieces for one-day wear; you are adding lasting items to your jewelry wardrobe. It may feel like an extravagant wedding expense, but you’ll be happy you invested when you pull out the pieces to wear on your anniversary, loan them to a friend as their something borrowed or pass them on to your daughter as a family heirloom.

Make room for a sentimental piece

On an emotional day filled with love, family heirlooms or other sentimental pieces make lovely additions to your wedding wardrobe. But, what if they don’t complement your overall look? Consider placing a piece in an unconventional spot. A pretty brooch works well pinned to the handle of your bouquet while a much-loved strand of pearls or another necklace may drape elegantly around it. You can also pin small pieces to the inner layer of your dress, near your heart so that no one knows it’s there.


  • Rusty Lowell