Wedding Jewelry Choices Reflect Your Taste, Style

The wedding jewelry you wear on your special day is more than decoration. It symbolizes the importance and romance of this special occasion.

A good example is the wedding band. The rings you exchange with your fiance are a statement and recognition of your abiding love and commitment to a life together. As such, yours should enhance your engagement ring, not overwhelm or distract from it.

Family Heirlooms
Your wedding jewelry can symbolize other important emotions and traditions. Some brides wear family heirlooms — a grandmother’s bracelet, beloved aunt’s necklace or your mother’s prize pearls. Such choices in wedding planning reflect an appreciation for your past and a warm salute to those who watched you become a adult.

Heirloom pieces also can be reset to retain elements of their original designs, but in a setting that’s more fitting for your tastes and lifestyle.

Whatever you choose for your wedding, jewelry worn should be suitable for the occasion, as well as symbolic of the change in your life.

Bridal Fashion
Your gown and hairstyle will impact the wedding jewelry you wear. Larger, dangling earrings look very flattering if you are taller and wear your hair pulled back or up in a bun. Shorter hair, a looser design or a more petite physique look best with something smaller — diamond studs or drop pearls, for example. This also works well if your makeup is dramatically defined.

Although brides traditionally wear pearls and diamonds, colored stones have become a popular alternative in wedding jewelry. Among the more popular are sapphires and emeralds.

An elaborate gown draws so much attention that too much wedding jewelry merely creates clutter. But the impact of a simple, elegant sheathe is strengthened by one or two dramatic pieces. The bottom line is that the more detailed your dress, the simpler the accessories.

Wedding Ring Consistency
When it comes to the rings, it should only be an issue of cost and preference. There are no rights or wrongs.

Consistency is important. If your engagement ring has a modern, platinum setting, it’s probably unwise to pair it with an old-style gold wedding band. But such an engagement ring would go well with a wedding band of white gold. Because you often have the option of joining the two rings, dramatic differences in color and style of your wedding jewelry could be unfortunate.

Your wedding ring will be one of three types — a band worn alone, a band worn next to your engagement ring or a band that wraps or encases the engagement ring.

Many couples select their rings — both the engagement and wedding bands — together. Most look for wedding jewelry designs that reflect their personalities. Begin your search at least six weeks to two months before your wedding. This allows time for rings to be properly sized or, if desired, reset.

Your jobs and lifestyle also affect your ring choices. Depending on their size, and design, some rings are more vulnerable to damage than others. If you wear gloves a lot, for example, consider rings without prongs or precious stones that can be pulled, scraped or battered. One solution are channel-set stones that are recessed in the ring band.

The weight, not the metal, of a ring may influence your choices. Platinum is very popular for wedding jewelry because of its weight and ability to withstand scratches and other damage. It’s popular with men because it’s much denser than 14-karat gold. It has a heft that appeals to many men. Because it enhances their diamonds, many women like platinum. But it is expensive. White gold is frequently used as an alternative.

Gold has long been a staple for wedding jewelry. The larger the gold content in a piece, the softer and more luxurious it's color. So-called “white gold” is really yellow gold mixed with nickel and palladium, topped with a plating of iridium. Although its shine can be as bright as platinum’s, “white” gold is more brittle than yellow gold.

Though popular in fine jewelry, silver rarely is used for wedding jewelry because of its softness.

Remember, your wedding jewelry should accent, not distract, from your overall appearance. Your wedding rings, in particular, are intended to be lifelong investments, not one-day decorations. As you make your jewelry choices, don’t worry about right or wrong. Focus on what make you look and feel good. That’s all that matters.