You know the expression “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride”? In my case, it’s been “Always the designer, never the bridesmaid.” When my friends realized that I could design the jewelry for their weddings, I became the designated designer. I love that I can create their jewelry as a gift for their special day, and it removes all the hassles of dealing with a registry!
For those of you that don’t know, my own wedding is coming up! I’ll be getting married in Arizona, and I’ve decided I don’t want a typical color scheme, which means my wedding can choose what they wear. The only thing I feel strongly about is having a desert wedding with accents of sunflowers and crystals.
I know I’m exceptionally laid back on my own wedding, but experience in designing for friends and customers has taught me that many brides feel very strongly about the minutest details.
Crystal and pearls seem to be the perennial go-tos for bridal and bridal party jewelry. As brides are increasingly looking for ways to stand out from the crowd in their look and their wedding, stone can be a fantastic way to incorporate a higher end and more personalized look.
I’ve compiled a “cheat sheet” to give both our stores and designers an overview of tips, tricks, and must-haves for wedding designs.
My most recent Navy Blue design (above) presented a challenge. The bride had chosen a lighter shade with a more gray cast. In this case, I looked to Star Cut Dumortierite. It pulled in the “just right” color, as well as subtly lighter and darker tones. And, of course, the subtle sparkle from the Star Cut combined with the unique cut gave the finished design a truly custom look. Burgundy - This is another perennial favorite that can have huge variations. Depending on the shade, I’ve been able to use either Red or Purple Garnet. I’m really excited that we brought both hues in to our line of 4mm Faceted Coins. Since it’s a fresh new cut and shape, it’s a great way to refresh or upgrade designs that use a crystal bicone or round. We’re currently carrying Red Garnet Diamond-Cut Rondelles in both 3mm and 6mm. Sharkskin… Mink… Silver… Any Shade of Grey - Labradorite is my top pick for this accent color. With the natural AB flash (AKA Labradorescence) it easily picks up other colors and tones . Labradorite is incredibly popular and we currently have a great selection of exclusives shapes in our dsPremier line, as well as traditional rounds and faceted rondelles in multiple sizes. Aqua - Amazonite is another ever-popular stone that works really well for this shade. Depending on whether the shade skews more towards vibrant teal or softer seafoam, you’ll find an Amazonite variety that works. For vibrant shades, Peruvian Amazonite is the ticket. Our current dsPremier collection has custom-cut exclusive shapes, and we also have a variety of other traditional cuts. If the shade needs to hit a softer note, try Matte Amazonite! In doubt? Crystal or Moonstone. These have the neutrality of classic pearls without the conventional look. Both crystal and moonstone can pair with a variety of accent stones to give extra shimmer or sparkle.
Sssssshhhh!!!! I’m working on an oh-so spectacular “goddess piece” with crystal points for my own special day.
Jewelry Design Tips:
1) Try different stone types, even things you aren’t sure of! The natural pattern, color variation, and inclusions in stone can result in pieces that honor the color theme of the bridal party without being a perfect match. Keeping the palette more diverse in shade can take a look from cookie cutter matchy-matchy to memorable. Remember we have a great return policy. If you order something that doesn’t work, you can always return for a full refund.
2) Always get more than you need! Brides may realize at the last minute that they want to include the flower girl, mother of the bride/groom, personal attendants, or other friends involved in the ceremony. When you’re consulting with the client, you can also ask them at that time. I’ve also had brides that loved the designs for the bridal party so much, they wanted one for themselves, too.
3) Use the sturdiest possible construction. Wrap wires, use oval jump rings or the heaviest possible jump rings, heaviest stringing material, etc. If you don’t already religiously use soldered rings or split rings with your clasps, this is the time to start. Be aware of any sharp edges from components that might catch on delicate fabrics. When consulting with a client or guiding a customer, remind them that you’re trying to create pieces that can withstand a day of dancing, hugging, celebrating, and rambunctious children.
Need some suggestions? Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) a picture of what you are trying to match. I can offer you some choices and talk you through considerations.
Stay tuned to Facebook to see pictures of designs and, most importantly, updated pictures of my wedding jewelry as my big day gets closer!