When we think about bridal jewelry, we tend to think about soft delicate jewelry, perhaps a strand of pearls or a delicate line of diamonds or crystals. What I want every Kallah to keep in mind is that even if you always dreamed of wearing a simple pearl necklace and earrings or just diamond studs or no jewelry at all; don't "lock" yourself into a style just because "you always dreamed of it". Try on any and every kind of jewelry you can lay your hands on!
It would be best to try on jewelry options at the same time as you try on your gown. If you can’t wear your gown then at least wear a white (or off-white) shirt, this way you can see how the pieces look against your skin. Colorful clothing will have a different effect on the jewelry and how it is reflected on your skin. You should also keep a picture of your gown close at hand as you try on jewelry choices.
Your gown, its cut, style and appearance should have the greatest influence on your choice of jewelry, hairstyle and makeup. Everything should work well together and nothing should over shine the OVERALL effect of the complete package. YOU should shine in the complete look!
Having said this, sometimes you may want the gown to "take the lead" – a simple, informal, country gown usually calls for simple, nearly-there jewelry and simple tasteful makeup and hairstyling. A formal, elegant gown may call for a slightly more dramatic makeup and hair "statement", but jewelry can go from nearly-there to a few 'solid' pieces.
More dramatic gowns of sequins, layers, glitz and bling, deserve special attention. On one hand, these gowns require more dramatic makeup and hairstyling, but on the other hand, you do not want to have an "all-out-war" between the different elements all screaming for attention! Let me explain: your gown is all glitz, so you need your hair to match the glitz in volume, height, length and accessories, this then creates the need for glitzier makeup, which leads to the need for obvious bling jewelry and then somehow your gown seems to have lost some of its shine. Let your gown lead: your hairstyle must have volume and height and your makeup should be more dramatic and glossy, but they should balance the overall effect of the gown. Now depending on the dress, jewelry can still be understated or in some cases, left out completely, if the dress is heavily sequined or embroidered.
If you tend to suffer from contact allergies from wearing jewelry is that not 100% solid gold or silver; you must ensure, in advance, the metal content of your jewelry.
I warmly recommend you NOT wear very expensive rare pieces of jewelry or jewelry that is fragile and does not have working, secure clasps. If this jewelry is important to you, then wear these pieces for formal photos and then remove them and place them safely away during the wedding and dancing.
When looking at each jewelry choice keep the following points in mind:
Pearls come in many different colors and shades, but when talking about white/off-white pearls, you should make sure that you wear the same shade of white for all your jewelry choices. The issue of matching white or off-white pearls to the same color wedding gown is a personal choice; most folks around you will not see a difference or care. So go for what YOU want, as you should with all your wedding choices!
- Long, hanging chandelier-type earrings are appropriate if you have a long/longish neck. If you have a wide and/or short neck, think about short hanging or button-type earrings.
- Always consider the neckline of your gown when considering the length of an earring – you do not want your earring continuously catching or even tearing the material of your gown or scratching your neck or shoulder.
- If your earrings are made for pierced ears, take an extra set of backs for your earrings. This is applicable whether your earrings are posts or hanging. In order to find this extra set in a hurry – tape them to a piece of colored paper and place it in your take-to-the-hall bag or makeup bag.
- Consider the neckline of your gown when choosing the necklace: a chocker style is usually appropriate for nearly any neckline, but a longer necklace may not be visible with a higher neckline.
- As with earrings, here too you need to consider the length of the necklace and style in order to prevent it from catching and tearing the material of the gown or continuously scratching your neck.
- As with earrings and necklaces, here too you need to consider the possibility of the bracelet catching and tearing the material of your gown or continuously scratching your wrists/arms.
- If the bracelet is set with precious, semi-precious or crystal stones, make sure the settings are completely closed and all edges are smooth and not jagged.
- Make sure the clasps of the bracelets are secure and will hold up to dancing and moving around.
- I believe you should only wear your engagement ring and your wedding ring, once you receive it. I don’t believe this is the time or place to show off other rings.
- Like every other piece of jewelry, tiaras must complement the wedding gown and the overall look. You do not have to choose your veil and tiara at the same time, but you should have both in mind as you choose your look.
- Tiaras come in different styles: a metal headband with combs at either end; a headband with ribbon or wire at either end or a headband with holes on either end that is attached to the hair with bobby pins.
- The tiara – its height and how it should be worn - must be taken into consideration when choosing a hairstyle or conversely, if you have your heart set on a specific tiara, you must take it into consideration when choosing your hairstyle.
- There are no set rules regarding the maximum height of the tiara and the height of the hairstyle. Please keep in mind that your overall height, as seen in the wedding pictures, is a combination of the height of your heels plus the length of your dress and styling (a tailored, very form-fitting dress will make you seem taller; a to-the-floor gown will make you seem taller than a shorter cut-at-the calf or knee gown) plus the height of your hair and tiara. I do believe that you should take the height of the groom into consideration when thinking about your overall look.
As veils are an important part of the wedding dress, they will be discussed in a separate, upcoming article.
MinhagThere is a minhag that under the chuppah, the Kallah removes all her jewelry, except perhaps her engagement ring. The thought behind this minhag is that the wedding ring is the most significant piece of jewelry for the Kallah, especially on this night and in order that no other jewelry outshine it, all other jewelry is removed. If the Kallah wants to keep this minhag, you need to appoint someone to remove her jewelry before the badeken and keep her jewelry throughout the chuppah and yichud and then return and place the jewelry back on the Kallah. You should have a draw-string bag or small box to easily hold the jewelry and keep it safe.