Brides who believe wedding jewellery should be more than a little disposable sparkle on the day are the ones who find their way to my workshop. They’re often the women for whom family is everything, so they want mementoes of the day that will become tomorrow’s heirlooms.
Although I didn’t start out with the idea of designing earrings and necklaces for bridal parties – I began by designing jewellery just for myself — I was equally charmed by the idea of creating necklaces that would carry memories.
There’s a design challenge in making a necklace that will outlive today’s wedding dress and become a sentimental piece, reminding a woman of her wedding for the rest of her life. But I soon learned that many women wanted jewellery that could also grace the necks of their daughters and granddaughters, at some future weddings. So the pieces had to have the timeless quality of classic clothes.
Of course, my pearl necklaces are frequent choices for brides doing big, white weddings. The versatile ropes can be worn long, as a flapper in a slip dress might wear them. Or they can be styled as chokers or multiple-strand collars, to work with evening dresses or suits.
But I’ve had some unusual requests from modern brides too. One of my favourites came from a bride who was getting married on a tropical beach and wanted jewellery with “beach-y elegance” that would remind her of that day. I mixed London blue topaz and smokey quartz to arrive at the ocean-and-sand colours that would remind her of the setting.
One bride wanted something more modern – a sort of tailored romantic look she could easily wear to her casual workplace. She asked for one of my silver chain necklaces with her own silver charms. The pieces represented things that were meaningful to the couple – where they met, where he proposed. The accent stones were his birthstone and hers. I’ve since added a lovely purple amethyst to the piece, representing their first child.