Choosing jewellery for everyday wear is a matter of personal style and current mood. But when it comes to her wedding day, it’s a totally different story. Wedding jewellery goes beyond reflecting the bride’s wishes alone, and especially so in Asia, where families are deeply involved in the occasion.
The key is to choose pieces that reflect not only on the bride’s style and personality, but also on the significance of the moment for the couple and their loved ones. While this may make the process seem abstract, the decision can be made easier by identifying the factors that affect it. Here are a few.
GEMS & DRESSES
It’s obvious that the jewellery and dress must not clash. But the question is, which must complement the other? Many brides prioritise the dress, while others choose their jewellery first and design the gown accordingly, especially so for heirloom pieces. Whether the dress or the gems come first, basic style sensibilities hold true. Statement necklaces are best appreciated on bare shoulders and an open, symmetrical neckline — or on a backdrop of a simple, elegant gown with little or no embellishment. Warm metal goes with warm colours of textile, such as nude. Colourful pieces can be paired with a minimally designed dress in soft or muted tones.
FROM LEFT: Diamond drop earrings, LAZARE; Red Carpet chandelier earrings, CHOPARD; Vanita earrings, DAMIANI
MOTIFS & THEMES
Fairy tales infuse young girls with romantic sensibilities when it comes to wedding motifs. But as they grow up, they realise they have a variety of choices. For instance, an ultra-modern look can feature dark-coloured gems set in geometric patterns and framed by titanium. A minimalist approach can require a single strand of diamonds or pearls. It’s no longer unusual to have a themed wedding, which means jewellery choices depend on a chosen colour or a subject of inspiration — from gardens to goth.
Orange Blossom Necklace, AUTORE
TRADITIONS & BELIEFS
It is important for brides to consider the community’s norms when choosing jewellery for their big day, especially if they’re marrying someone from a different culture. Some cultures, for instance, might forbid brides from wearing pearls, while in others, pearls are believed to bring fortune and marital bliss. In some places, white diamonds, white gold, and platinum are ubiquitous in bridal ensembles. Others prefer coloured gems and yellow gold in the belief that a happy day must be celebrated with bright hues. Always remember, some things that may seem trivial in one culture can be laden with symbolism in another.
Diamond necklace with South Sea and freshwater pearls, YOKO LONDON
‘Drop of Life’ ring, CARATELL
STORY & PURPOSE
Sometimes tiaras, earrings, and other precious pieces are passed down through generations for brides to wear on their wedding day. This means the jewellery has been chosen long before the dress is designed. On the other hand, you might want to begin a tradition by choosing jewellery that can be passed on as an heirloom. Some pieces of jewellery are chosen because they come with a special story. Others are chosen to be wearable during semi-formal events or even every day, so that in the future, the married woman can have a constant reminder of her special day.
Statement heirloom necklace, FARAH KHAN
FACE & STATURE
No matter how beautiful the design, jewellery will not serve its purpose if it overwhelms the wearer’s face and stature. This includes face shape and skin tone, as well as height and body shape. Brides must consider this especially when choosing to wear non-traditional styles, such as chokers and chandelier earrings. One must also consider the hairpiece, which should complement the jewellery ensemble.
‘Stardust’ earrings, CHAVANA
Fancy-shaped diamond necklace, ENTICE