As all my friends know, I am a jewelry fiend in love with big statement pieces and long-lasting heirlooms. And yes, the two can definitely go together if worn with the right attitude. As I type, I'm wearing my grandmother's turquoise stone on one finger and shiny gold beads around my neck dangling down my sweater. The most recent pieces in my collection (yes I do now have a collection!) have a special place in my heart. They remind me of the times of wandering through hidden alleyways, experiencing unique cultures and being by Ali's side full of love and excitement. I've begun selecting pieces that reflect my personality so that I'll appreciate them for the long haul.
This is why I've asked my industry peer and friend, Sarah Walsh from Sarah Walsh Bridal to provide insights on how to personalize your bridal jewelry to bring out who you are while never going out of style. She also provides some useful tips on selecting the right pieces and how to take care of them. Without further adu, here's Sarah!
Jewelry has always been so special to me because of the sentimental value. I envision every piece coming out of my studio as an instant family heirloom that will be treasured for years to come. As a jewelry designer, this is why I choose to specialize in bridal.
For Batoul's #weddingwednesday series, I have put together some commonly asked questions about my favourite topic -- bridal jewelry!
When should I select my bridal jewelry?
Jewelry is the finishing touch on your bridal look -- the icing on the cake! I recommend choosing jewellery last, after you have selected your dress, hairstyle, makeup, and any other accessories (e.g., belt, veil). If you order your jewelry from a designer, it is very easy to customize your jewels to coordinate with the rest of your bridal look. For example, if your sash has tiny blush pearl beading, we can incorporate similar blush pearls into your bracelet or hairpiece!
How do I go about selecting my jewelry
I suggest selecting one primary piece that you love (e.g,. a triple layer pearl necklace), and then choosing your other pieces accordingly. For example, if you are set on a certain pair of statement earrings, then I would recommend forgoing a necklace and doing a bracelet instead. I tend to be a minimalist myself, so unless they are very small pieces, I rarely recommend wearing a necklace, bracelet, hairpiece and earrings all at once.
How do I choose the right necklace for my dress?
Sweetheart neckline: It’s best to keep with visually clean lines with this neckline by wearing a pendant, y-shaped necklace, or lariat-style.
Straight across strapless: Keepingclean lines, again, with a strand of pearls, multi-layer necklaces, or anything that’s rounded in shape.
V-neckline (with sleeves): If you choose to do a necklace, a simple pendant is usually best.
High neckline: Uncommon to do a necklace with a high neckline. But, a long layered pearl necklace, or multi-strand necklace would work.
What do you recommend for jewelry when the bodice of my dress has lots of beading?
I’ve seen such beautiful beading on dresses, and I personally believe that your jewelry should never take away from that. If you have a lot going on, then keep your jewels simple. It’s all about balance. On the other hand, if your dress has little to no beading, then choosing more detailed jewellery is highly recommended. Long pearl & crystal cluster earrings, or a Swarovski elements multi-strand cuff bracelet would add great visual interest to your whole look!
What are some bridal jewelry trends right now?
Rose gold is a big one right now! Also coloured gemstone pieces (e.g., moonstones, chalcedony, rose quartz), as well as anything nature-inspired (e.g., beaded floral hairpieces). However, classic pearl pieces will never go out of style, nor will vintage-inspired pieces.
Should I go trendy or classic with my jewelry?
I never recommend following the trends just because it’s popular. Only follow a trend if you connect with it personally. We all know the classic bridal look: a strand of cultured pearls, with matching studs. So many brides opt for this look, and they are absolutely stunning. However, more and more brides today are personalizing everything about their weddings. So if you’re a nature loving gal, go for that floral-inspired pearl hair vine. If you have always been a "pink" girl, rose gold is totally for you! Or, if you’re vibrant and free spirited, coloured gemstones would probably be your thing!
How do I take care of my jewelry?
Always avoid contact with any perfumes, oils, lotions, etc. Your jewelry should be the last thing you put on. Precious metal jewelry (i.e., sterling silver and 14kt gold) should always be stored in little air-tight ziplock bags to prevent tarnishing. After use, I recommend wiping your pieces with a microfiber jewelry cloth to remove any fingerprints, oil, etc.
And there you have it, a bit of insight into the world of bridal jewelry! If you have any questions or are looking for advice on choosing some jewels, we are always available for consultation! Contact us to chat over email or to make an appointment to meet us at the studio!
Sarah is the designer behind Sarah Walsh Bridal Jewellery. She works out of her Ottawa studio in the Glebe, alongside her team of assistants. She designs and intricately handcrafts bridal earrings, bracelet, necklaces, and hairpieces. Not only does she have the pleasure of meeting with many local brides at the studio, but she also ship her pieces all over the world. Check out her work here.