As much as I adore costume jewelry for the visual statement that a really enormously chunky piece makes, lets face it, nothing beats the real deal. And by “real deal,” I mean diamonds. It comes down to this very simple fact: the hardness of diamonds allow them to take and keep a very sharp edge once they’re cut, they don’t dull easily and because of angles, vectors, refraction and dispersion (yay science!). . .well, let’s just say the brilliance, fire and scintillation (sparkle) that diamonds give off cannot be matched.
Alas, best friend has gotten married! She had a gorgeous ceremony at the Four Seasons Resort in Maui and yours truly had the privilege of being a bridesmaid and providing the wedding jewelry. The bride was radiant in an Elizabeth Fillmore dress (Eden) from Mark Ingram Atelier (the bridal atelier for discerning brides), tiara, veil and Jimmy Choo shoes and clutch. Of course bestie bride was perfectly accessorized and struck the right balance without falling over the gaudy ledge but how does one accessorize for one’s “big fat ___ wedding?”
I completely understand that on your wedding day all brides like to feel like the center of attention and indeed, they always are. However, there is always a risk of overdoing the frills and sparkles and turning into a caricature of the Bob Mackie Empress Bride Barbie (see horror show picture below).
Let me just stop you right there. NO. For the modern bride more is rarely more. If you’re going to do the tiara and the veil, then exercise restraint when it comes to your jewelry. No one needs to look like a rococo chandelier heaving under the sheer weight of the gilded crystals and lace. Bestie wore her engagement ring, a vintage diamond tennis bracelet on her right hand (something old), a smallish pair of flower cluster diamond earrings from J&A (“borrowed”) and a pair of J&A sapphire and diamond studs in her second piercing (“blue”).
A good rule-of-thumb is ONE statement piece within 2 feet of your face and only 2 pieces of jewelry total. Yes, a tiara counts as a “statement piece”! In general, if you forgo the tiara then perhaps a pair of statement earrings and bracelet would go nicely. If you would rather a larger necklace, then keep the earrings demure but you may be able to sneak in a bracelet of some sort. Don’t try to rock a parure (a matching set of earrings, necklace, tiara, bracelet and/or brooch) unless you’re a pro. Strike that, just don’t. Parures were fashionable in the 17th century and unless you want to look like Bob Mackie Barbie over there, I wouldn’t even do a demi parure (matching earrings, necklace, brooch). One statement piece within 2 feet of your face, 2 pieces of jewelry total. Full. Stop.
I shall leave you with a couple of shots of the wedding band that I designed to complement her engagement ring. In case you missed my post about how to select the right wedding band, here it is again.
I will be covering the JCK jewelry convention in Vegas this week through next, expect the very best from the couture shows and get ready to SWOON!
Thus the story goes: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy proposes to girl, boy gets engagement ring, girl gets wedding ring, girl gets more jewelry and more jewelry. I have the pleasure of being in Maui this week for my best friend’s wedding and her lovely hubby-to-be commissioned a wedding gift from me a couple months ago. Here is a behind the scenes look at commission to creation.
I start with a design and sketch of the ring, then a wax mold is made so I can see and approve the physical design. We then either hand-make the ring out of the chosen gold or make a casting. This particular one is rose gold and white gold with white diamonds. The diamonds are then selected and set on the ring at which point if there are multiple parts of the ring, they are then soldered together and the whole piece is polished. End result: boy gifts the ring and girl shows it off drinking a martini. Ta-da!!
Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,
Oh no big deal, just a mid-week delivery from our offices in NYC. A pair of yellow diamonds jackets and a pair of white diamond jackets for my studs. Makes me wish I had 6 ears. . .now THAT would be a useful deformity!
Kiss kiss, love love, matchy matchy, VOMIT! Let me clarify lest you misunderstand me. . .Of course I love: love and couples and happily ever after! I just don’t believe people should give up their individuality in exchange for wedded bliss and babies. We all had personalities and interests before we settled down (most of us anyway), why would being in a happy committed relationship change any of that? Compromise for the betterment of the unit? Sure. . .to the extent that you don’t lose sight of who you are and what make your sig. other fall head over heels in swooning love for you in the first place!
So my answer to the question do wedding bands have to match is a big resounding NOT IF YOU DON’T WANT THEM TO. Same goes for engagement rings and wedding bands (unless you are the poster girl for twin sets, twill and Tiffany’s)–don’t have to match. Don’t worry, people won’t think less of you and your marriage won’t be jinxed. Trust me!
For the Boys
Ladies, keep in mind that many men are not used to wearing jewelry on their fingers, it might feel strange to them at first. For the macho metro man I really like to keep things simple. Men’s bands should be proportionate to their hands unless their personality dictates otherwise. Translation: if your man has big hands lucky you and get him a wider ring to balance them out. If your guy has smaller hands but is into monster ballads and motorbikes, you should still probably go with a wider band. Traditional types like a simple gold band, the more metro boys may prefer a matte platinum band. Chances are, you can match his ring to his personality while still forgoing the frills and keeping things simple. If you’re guy is like Brad Pitt and likes to get involved in designing of your ring, he might want to have some input into his as well. Bottom line: you know your man and deep down you know if you’re bullying him into getting a ring he doesn’t feel comfortable in. That’s the number one concern for men: they have to feel comfortable in the ring. My poor father has still not gotten used to his ring and keeps it in the vault. My husband, however, loves his but has lost it 3 times (I blame it on the lanky European genes). Not a problem, I just make them smaller every time and we went from platinum to 18k white gold because it gets to be an expensive habit (and men need consequences). : D
For my DMD Darlings
You probably have a good idea of what you want. Whether your idea of the perfect wedding set is a matching band or something a bit more adventurous keep in mind that while the pieces don’t have to match, they should share a similar aesthetic. If your engagement ring is super romantic and slightly antique-y, don’t try to get all modern and abstract with your wedding band. Either stick with a similar theme or just keep it simple and elegant.
The most important rule for women whose wedding bands match their engagement rings: YOUR WEDDING BAND SHOULD BE SLIGHTLY THICKER OR SLIGHTY THINNER THAN THE SHANK OF YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING. It just looks better that way. If the two rings are the same width and worn together it looks terribly boring and a bit cheap flimsy. If your wedding band is just a touch thicker or thinner than the shank (aka band) of your engagement ring it gives the eye some contrast to pick up on and elevates the whole look exponentially. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of how NOT to do it to drive my point home but if you Google “matching engagement ring and wedding band” you’ll quickly see that the more appealing sets are never the same width.
I just finished a gorgeous set for a client whose wedding I will be attending next week, I will post pictures after the wedding because even though I suspect its not bad luck to blog about the wedding band before the wedding, I’m not taking any risks! Per the norm, when in doubt feel free to contact me and ask.