How Do I Choose the Best Vintage Bridal Jewelry?

Lauren Romano

In order for vintage bridal jewelry to be part of the wedding attire, it needs careful examination and consideration before purchase. The first step is choosing a piece depending on the bride's hairstyle and dress neckline so they don't take away from each other. The jewelry should also match with the color of the wedding dress. Vintage jewelry is typically more dramatic than contemporary pieces, so usually only one is enough. The pieces should be carefully checked over to ensure there are no loose or missing parts and, if possible, ask about the history behind the item.

Pearls are a traditional bridal accessory.
Pearls are a traditional bridal accessory.

Those who choose to wear vintage bridal jewelry typically want it to show, which means it should go well with the bride's hairstyle and the neckline of the dress. Earrings are a good option for those who have a short hairstyle or who have their hair in an up-do. Brides with a square or scoop neckline should opt for a single strand necklace, while V-neck dresses look best with a drop necklace.

Vintage bridal jewelry may be worn during the wedding ceremony.
Vintage bridal jewelry may be worn during the wedding ceremony.

If possible, brides should try to match at least a small aspect of the vintage bridal jewelry to the color of the wedding dress. Although many bridal gowns are white, some may have a dash of color such as pink, silver or blue. The easiest way to add color without adding too much is through the stones on the jewelry. Pearl earrings can complement almost any wedding dress, while drop earrings with a colored stone are a way to add a hint of color without overdoing it. The main color of the stones or pendant on the necklace should reflect any touch of color in the dress, such as a pink drop necklace for a dress with a pink waist sash or a white flower pendant for an all white dress.

One reason for the increased popularity of vintage bridal jewelry is because it's much different than contemporary pieces. It's typically more daring and vibrant whether it's the size of the piece, the design or the layout of the brightly colored stones. The more dramatic the piece, the less jewelry the bride should wear in other areas. For large earrings, a simple bracelet would suffice. Small earring studs add just a touch of sparkle while the bride is wearing a bright, dramatic necklace.

In order to be classified as vintage, the piece has to be between 50 and 99 years old, which means it's highly likely that others have worn and possibly damaged the piece. Carefully inspect the jewelry with a magnifying glass on both the front and back of it. Check for loose or missing stones, worn areas, scratches and loose findings.

There are quite a few traditions and superstitions that correspond with weddings, one of which is that it's bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her dress before the ceremony. Some brides also believe it's bad luck to wear anything worn by a bride whose marriage has ended in divorce. Considering many people get rid of personal reminders of a past relationship, ask for the history behind the piece to see how it ended up with the seller rather than staying with the original owner.

The bride's hairstyle and dress neckline should be considered when purchasing vintage jewelry for her to wear.
The bride's hairstyle and dress neckline should be considered when purchasing vintage jewelry for her to wear.

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