Is there anything a woman is more particular about that her jewelry? I don’t think so. So why is it that so much of bridal jewelry is so…similar? As the industry focuses more and more on providing for women’s individual tastes and sense of style, I’m rather surprised to find that most brides still wear classic jewelry.

We all know jewelry is ornamental, but did you know the science behind the placement of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings? Necklaces draw attention to the decolletage. Bracelets show off delicate wrists and hands. Earrings draw attention to the face.

It’s all about directing the eye. Decide which features you want to highlight, and choose your jewelry accordingly.

So, on that note: wedding jewelry. The classics, the new, and how to wear them all.

Reinvent your mom’s pearls

It’s easy to see how pearls became the staple of the wedding ornamentation. They symbolize innocence and purity, look well against all skin tones (traditionally round white pearls are used for weddings, but they come in many colors and shapes), and can be worn for innumerous occasions post-wedding.

Pearls are also great for fulfilling one of the items of the old “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” mandate. Brides often borrow their jewelry from mothers or other relatives, and almost everyone’s mom has a set of pearls.

So, how to update the look if you don’t want the traditional single strand? Pile ’em on in mis-matched sizes and lengths, like Coco Chanel.

Loop them around your head and secure with hair pins.

A beautiful way to show off an open or low-cut back is with a lariat. You can easily take a longer strand of pearls and create this look.

The joys of Ebay and Etsy

I love to shop on both of these sites for jewelry. Especially vintage or vintage-inspired jewelry. If you really want to draw attention to your face, but are tired of chandelier earrings and small posts, why not go for 50’s style? Think of Mad Men:
Note: larger earrings look best on people with defined jawlines.

Who says it has to be white?

Why not add some color? Blue is an obvious choice, but any color will pop against the white.

Go Big

Statement pieces were created for a reason. Skip the earrings and bracelet and just have one big, eye-catching piece. Or an eye-catching ensemble?

Blue wedding jewelry

Full circle back to pearls! But definitely not your mom’s pearls.

Bracelets are the most neglected form of jewelry. If you wear one, you instantly set yourself apart. Two has double to impact.

Don’t feel like you have to keep your hands bare. A cocktail ring is a great way to infuse a little theatricality and personality into your ensemble.

Make it fun: don’t settle for the classics just because you feel like you’re supposed to, or that it’s inappropriate to get creative with your jewelry. Match it to your overall look and the feel of your nuptials. Raid your mom’s and grandmother’s jewelry chests, check out yard sales and vintage shops. Mix costume pieces with real ones (just don’t make it ALL costume pieces); as long as they’re high quality costume pieces, they’ll work. And most importantly, have fun! This is the day that all those early years of dress-up were leading you towards.