How to Ensure You’re Wearing Magnificent Jewelry on Your Wedding Day

Should you put a bird on it?

It happens to even the most conscientious bride. She gets caught up in the things the magazines tell us are the most important on a wedding day (outside of her actual marriage ceremony): her dress, her hair and her makeup. So few guides to bridal wear mention or instruct brides-to-be on how to properly accessorize.

Really, then, it isn’t the bride’s fault if she isn’t wearing any jewelry on her big day. Even the most conscientious bride can forget to find the right jewelry to compliment her dress if she hasn’t been instructed to look for it!

Consider this your order to remember to accessorize – as well as your tutorial on how to do it well!

Creative Incorporation for Heirlooms

Some brides are all but forced to adopt a loved one’s hand-me-down “must-wear” all seasons wedding accessory. It is incredibly sweet that your grandmother wants you to wear the giant brooch she wore on her big day. It is also entirely possible that you love that brooch, too, and you want to incorporate it somehow as much as she does. That doesn’t mean, though, that you have to wear it on your dress – especially if it would detract from your gown or cause it to droop or shift uncomfortably (as giant brooches have a tendency to do).

One of the common solutions to situations like these, according to My Fair Wedding’s David Tutera, is to incorporate it into the handle on your bouquet. He talks about that and other accessorizing dos and don’ts in this interview with

Balance Is Important

It is really easy to get caught up in the idea of jewelry and end up wearing too much, especially during seasons where fashion tends to be heavier (like fall and winter). One of the reasons that accessories are so typically overlooked, though, is it is often unnecessary with all of the other accouterments brides have to deal with: fancy dress necklines, tiaras, veils, rings, bouquets, etc.

How much is too much?

The key is to balance out everything else. For instance, if your dress is very fancy, with lots of beading and other decoration, jewelry that is very simple (and singular) is key, or you’ll overwhelm people. They won’t know where to focus. The effect will be kind of like the billboards in Times Square – so much shiny competing for your attention! Where should you look first?

On the other hand, if your dress is simple or plainly styled, you can opt for jewelry that is bigger or more complicated. Something too simple might not even be noticed.

When in doubt, Zoe Williams says in “All That Glitters: Four Tips for Accessorizing on Your Wedding Day” that less is more. It is better to under- than over-accessorize.

Charms Are In

5 Ways to Wear Contemporary Jewelry” tells us that “charms are in.” This is great news! Why? Because it gives you a wonderful and tasteful way to “dress up” jewelry that would otherwise feel too simple.

Adding a single charm to a gold or silver chain turns it into a keepsake. A delicate charm bracelet dresses up the bouquet its wearer is carrying. Charms are a great way to stick to the “less is more” and “create something personal” rules that have been blasted at you since you first started looking at wedding fashion photos.

Finally, what matters more than anything else – even more than your marriage ceremony – is that you make your day true to you and your groom. If you aren’t a jewelry wearer normally, you don’t have to force it. If you love big, bright, beautiful accessories, you can wear as many of them as you want. This is your day – and that’s a rule that is true for all seasons weddings and brides…

… No matter what your mother might say (though it is harder to argue this if she is helping to foot the bill)!

Erin Steiner is from Portland, Oregon where weddings take on an…eclectic flair, and beards and top hats are vogue all year round.