Bridal Jewelry: How much is too much?

Charming chandeliers

The art of balancing accessories is one that eludes many people. All too often, women and men stroll the streets wearing far too much jewelry; oddly contrasting scarves, shoes, and handbags; or uniformly tight or bulky clothing. It’s no wonder that brides who picked their wedding day dresses decisively feel confused and conflicted when considering their matrimonial accouterments.

Jewelry retailer Anna Bellagio (creators of the lovely and feminine chandelier earrings with round-cut cubic zirconia above) has a wonderful guide to bridal jewelry on their web site. Because there is a fine line between all decked out and overdone, they suggest that the key to bridal jewelry splendor is balance.

A pearl and crystal tiara may be perfect when paired with a matching necklace, but can become a bit much when you add a pair of dangle earrings and a bracelet to the mix

As a general rule, your mix of bridal jewelry and wedding accessories should reflect the formality of the celebration. A small, informal wedding calls for a simple ensemble, while a large, formal wedding can be the perfect stage for more elaborate bridal jewelry.

They suggest brides-to-be use a three-step process to determine whether their bridal jewelry is just enough or too much. Step one involves the future bride making a list of all the jewelry and accessories she plans to wear and carry on her big day. Step two involves assigning each piece a “glam factor.”

You might assign a 1 to a pair pearl stud earrings because they’re so simple and small in scale, while that gorgeous 3-inch high rhinestone tiara you have your eye on would fetch a 5 both for it’s size and sparkle.

Finally, the future bride should add up her bridal jewelry glam numbers. Up to a six and you have pretty simplicity. Between seven and fifteen indicates a moderate and balanced “glam factor.” Anything above fifteen, however, may make brides look too glitzy for their own good.

Personally, I’d just recommend doing what Coco Chanel always advised: When you think your look is perfect, remove one accessory from your person.

12 Responses to “Bridal Jewelry: How much is too much?”

  1. Bria April 26, 2006 at 4:31 pm #

    Is it just me, or is it weird that the Anna Belagio folks call those round stones “princess” cut?

  2. Dataceptionist April 26, 2006 at 7:37 pm #

    Its not just you Bria, I also thought that. NtB?

  3. Never teh Bride April 26, 2006 at 7:38 pm #

    Hmmm, you’re right, Bria. I just looked at their description without really putting two and two together. You’d figure they’d be a bit more up to speed on their jewelry terms.

  4. enygma April 26, 2006 at 9:02 pm #

    If I ever get married, I know that the accessories part will trip me up. Aside from a ring, and sometimes a watch or earrings, I don’t really accessorize. I can’t handle them.

  5. Gigolo Kitty April 26, 2006 at 10:12 pm #

    I’m South Asian. You are expected to be overburdened with jewelry on your wedding day. If not, “people” might sniff at your parents for not providing for you since, traditionally, a bride’s jewelry was her dowry.

  6. La BellaDonna April 27, 2006 at 9:55 am #

    And I do not feel the love for Coco Chanel, who was a total Nazi sympathizer. I lean towards the basic math of Miss Piggy: “Less is not more, less is less. More is more.” If I were to turn up for my wedding with a glam factor of fifteen or below, my loved ones would be dialling for the EMTs.

  7. Never teh Bride April 27, 2006 at 11:47 am #

    If you’re glam, La BellaDonna, then I say BE GLAM with pride. Someone’s got to do it!

  8. Bria April 27, 2006 at 2:06 pm #

    Miss Piggy is my girl. I used to keep a Miss Piggy finger puppet in my office (heh, when I had such a thing) because she’s a gal who doesn’t take [poo] from anyone. And, as LBD aptly points out, she has an excellent understanding of the grandeur that lies in excess.

  9. Twistie April 27, 2006 at 2:57 pm #

    I think the key to wedding finery is the same as for every day: what do you feel beautiful wearing? There really isn’t a one size fits all answer.

    I was bridesmaid in a wedding once where the other bridesmaid was laboring under the delusion that she was the one who got to make all the decisions about what the bridal party should wear, and she insisted on tiny pearl studs. It was the groom who mutinied at that point, took me aside, and told me he wouldn’t recognize me if I showed up with tiny, demure pearl studs and begged me to wear something fabulous in my ears.

    He grinned from ear to ear when he saw the huge, bronze, heart-shaped scrolls with garnets and pink freshwater pearls dangling from them. The bride adored them, too.

    OTOH, if you’re not comfortable with bling, for goodness’ sake, keep it to a minimum. The thing you should look like on your big day is YOU at your best.

  10. Meg April 27, 2006 at 3:20 pm #

    Having given in to my inner princess, I will be wearing a traditional gown (which my MOH is okay with – hooray) with bugle beading (tasteful) all over it. (Alfred Angelo’s #1118 – white, not gold; I plan to keep it simple. Pearl stud earrings and the pearls I got from my parents when I turned 21. And probably a sparkly hair comb for the veil. I’m considering a pearl enhancer with a sapphire in it (for loyalty and because it’s the groom’s birthstone) but have had absolutely zero luck finding one at a price that doesn’t give me a heart attack yet. Ah well, still time to shop.

    Viva understatement! (For me.)

  11. Never teh Bride April 27, 2006 at 3:42 pm #

    How beautiful, Meg!

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  1. Elena - December 4, 2006

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us every day :-) I love Manolo for the Brides!