Pearls are a staple of bridal jewelry. Symbolizing romance, purity, and sophistication, they’re equally beautiful and work with different wedding themes. We’ll explain how to leverage the versatility of pearl bridal jewelry to put the finishing touch on your big day.
The Significance of Pearls
Civilizations around the world have treasured pearls for thousands of years. Pearls were given as gifts to Chinese royalty as early as 2300 BC and were considered a status symbol in ancient Rome. They also reflected much prestige in 16th-century England.
Pearls are often associated with the moon, magical properties, modesty, and innocence. They’re the June birthstone and are considered a timeless wardrobe accessory. For many cultures, they are a customary component of bridal wear, being that pearl bridal jewelry can be modern, vintage-inspired, or glamorous.
How to Choose Pearl Bridal Jewelry
The first thing to consider is matching pearl jewelry with your wedding theme. For a traditional wedding, pure white or ivory pearls are common (Akoya, Freshwater, or South Sea pearls). It’s customary to start with larger pearls. However, White South Seal pendant and earring sets suit modern-style weddings. If you’re going for a tropical wedding theme, Black Tahitian or Golden South Sea pearl sets are often fitting.
Pearls for the Bride
On her wedding day, the bride is the star of the show. She should wear the largest and most exquisite pearls. The color, size, and overtone of her pearls should be chosen freely according to her style and preferences.
A bride has many ways to wear pearls on her big day. The options include:
- Pearl Necklace: The length of the necklace depends on the neckline of her dress. For a high neckline, the best choice is a 16-inch choker necklace. Moderate necklines slightly below the collarbones are best complemented by a 17- to 18-inch necklace. A low-neckline dress is best complemented by an 18- to 22-inch necklace.
- Small Necklace/Earring Set: A small necklace and earring set is a great pearl bridal jewelry choice for different body types. Smaller pearls are best suited for a petite woman. A larger set is better suited for a bride with a moderate build. The most popular size is somewhere in the middle, in the ¼- to ⅓-inch range.
- Bracelets: Pearl bracelets come in many styles and forms. Pearls complement a traditional white wedding dress quite well. They can also be used as wedding dress accessories. No matter how you wear your wedding day pearls, legend says they’ll bring a happy marriage and a lifetime of joy with your spouse.
Pearls for the Bridal Party
Depending on the custom, the groom may gift his bride pearl jewelry during the wedding. The gift can be a strand of pearls, a set of pearl earrings, or pearls passed down from the bride’s future mother-in-law (she can gift her daughter-in-law-to-be a new set of pearls as well).
But pearl bridal jewelry isn’t only for the bride. Others may incorporate beautiful pearls into their outfits.
- Bridesmaids: The bridesmaids extend the bride's beauty during the ceremony but should not overshadow her. The pearls they wear are smaller and any pearl necklaces or bracelets will be shorter. Slightly bigger pearls may be used to distinguish the maid of honor so that she stands out from the other bridesmaids.
- Flower Girls: The flower girl is typically young and requires a small pearl size. A pearl necklace, despite not being too long, will carry the youthful brilliance of pearls. After all, their timeless beauty means the wearer can be of any age.
- Mothers/Grandmothers: It’s customary for a mother to wear classic pearl bridal jewelry. Older women are best complemented by larger pearls. Look for larger-diameter pearls and longer necklace lengths.
- Groom/Groomsmen: Pearls are also appropriate for the men in a wedding. For example, you can set a pair of smaller pearls into matching cufflinks. They can make the attire more classy.
Pearls Are Timeless
Pearls make for fabulous bridal jewelry and can be worn long after your wedding day. And they don’t have to be reserved for special occasions. You can wear pearls in any setting, which is something to consider when choosing pearl bridal jewelry.