5 Jewelry Ideas for Non-traditional Brides

By: Sarah Stephens

Truth is, there are precious few ideas floating around out there for brides who want a little character in their weddings. Here, Sarah Stephens, a jewelry designer in San Francisco (where different is actually the norm), offers up 5 tips for creative accessories for unique ladies looking to tie the knot.

1. Color is Creative
At a traditional wedding, the word "bride" is really a synonym for "white." Non-traditional brides will, therefore, want to push the envelope on color. Look for jewelry replete with gemstones. Gemstones come in all colors, shapes and sizes. Pick bold blue turquoise, sapphire or appatite stones to match blue eyes; jade, peridot or emerald for red hair; and ruby, garnet or coral to match red or pink flower bouquets. Color is probably the most essential part of the non-traditional bride's accessories, as it is the most obvious display of her own personal style.

2. Big is Better
Classic brides typically choose very feminine, delicate accessories. Distinguish yourself with chunkier, bold jewelry that screams fun and personality. Long, muli-layered necklaces punctuated by colorful gemstones add character while still appearing graceful. Cuff bracelets and single strand bracelets that boast bigger gemstones can be flashy and fun, and offer the opportunity to tie in a color theme without going overboard. With earrings, forgo the traditional pearl stud and decorate your lobes with a long hoop; these designs can be decorated with petite gemstones for a truly original shape and style.

3. Earrings are Everything
There are so many earring styles to choose from, I thought this needed a bit more attention. I recommend hoops at a wedding only if they are decorated with a bit of feminine flare, as with cascading chains or dangling gemstones. Otherwise, this style has too much of a "clubby" look. I like cascade style, which is one of those timeless designs open to modern interpretation. Pick a length that complements you - long faces need longer jewelry - and wear your hair up so it doesn't get tangled. Keep in mind the color tips above, as these earrings tend to be full of gemstones that can make or break your eye color. In general I would say stay away from big, heavy studs. They weigh your earlobes down, making you appear klutzy, rather than funky.
For an example of beautiful blue cascade earrings, click here.

4. No Two Rings are Alike
There are no rules that say the engagement ring has to be a diamond and the wedding band has to be as plain as possible. Choose a ring you'll truly love to wear every day of your life - one that screams personality and sentimentality all at once. One look I like is a multi-wrap in gold or silver, with a small gemstone nestled at the top, like this one. The stone allows for sentimental value - pick either your anniversary month or birthstone - or if you are getting cold feet about this whole "nontraditional" approach, you can always make it a diamond.

5. Let Your Bridesmaids Choose
If anyone has a problem with your non-traditional style of things, I'm sure it won't be the bridesmaids. Let your ladies choose their jewelry, or at least their preferred style of jewelry, from a custom-made jewelry boutique. You choose the style of earring and necklace and let them select their favorite stone and metal, or vice versa. Either way, we bet they'll wear the jewelry later and vote you Best Bride of all time!

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