Finding the perfect dress is a lot like finding the perfect mate. The right one should complement your personality, bring out your favorite features, support you when (and if) needed, and give you plenty of room to be yourself. That being said, a wedding dress is still a dress; while your gown will make you stand out as the bride, it is your wedding jewelry that will make you stand out as yourself.
We’ve had more than one bride bring her dress into one of our many Lee Michaels locations to make sure her wedding jewelry adds just the right touch. Some brides have a fairly good idea about the look they want, but most don’t know where to start. Before the process gets too overwhelming, we always recommend keeping these five guidelines in mind.
Match your metals.
“Contrary to common opinion, metals aren’t exactly neutral,” says Hannah Mitchell Brown, Bridal Expert at at Lee Michaels Fine Jewelers. “Gold, which looks gorgeous with ivories and softer whites, can clash with cooler white gowns, which are better suited for silvers and platinum.” Hannah recommends using your gown as the ultimate guide, especially if it has intricate beadwork or stitching that leans toward a particular metallic base. This Yellow & White Gold Diamond Disc necklace has an adjustable chain to complement a variety of necklines.
“I like to tell brides to start from the top,” says Hannah. “Think veils, updos, necklines, wrists, fingers, ankles, and feet. As we run through this list in the bride’s overall look, it gets much easier to figure out what’s needed, and what isn’t.” Most brides focus on their ears and neckline, but only after they decide if they are wearing their hair up or down. “Updos mean drama, which means extra sparkle or sway to earrings,” she adds.
Flaunt your features.
Accessories can certainly add to the gown and to the bride, but they can also weigh the look down if you go overboard. “Base your accessories on the standout features you and the gown,” adds Hannah. “Simple gowns can handle bolder accessories, like these Penny Preville Diamond Earrings. Ornate gowns may not need much at all.”
Heirloom pieces are often part of a bridal wardrobe, so if Grandma offers her pearls for the big day, it’s important to know that before you start. “Many brides have one look for the ceremony and one look for the reception, so you can honor your family and still have a little something for yourself,” says Hannah. “Lee Michaels can find pieces that complement the entire look so you can transition beautifully.”
Strapless, sweetheart, satin, mermaid, ballgown, sheath–wedding dresses come in all styles, fabrics, colors, and silhouettes. How you accessorize these styles comes down to your personality and style. “The most important thing to remember is that the gown’s best accessory is you,” says Hannah. “No matter what the neckline or the hairstyle, the goal is to attract and not distract. When done right, your smile will be the most radiant accessory–and it should be.”