9 months: that’s the recommended time a bride needs before her wedding to ensure her gown will be ready for the big day. Add on the months browsing and actually shopping, as well as the many alterations after, and it’s no wonder so much thought goes into the gown.

One of the most common mistakes brides make? Settling on a dress, only to get to the wedding week and realize they have no idea what else they’ll be wearing.

While the most iconic accessory is a veil, jewelry can make or break bridal fashion. From delicate pearls to colored, beaded necklaces, accessories shouldn’t be an afterthought. Unlike everyday wear, bridal jewelry should be given extra care.

Here are some things all brides should consider when selecting jewelry:

  1. The Dress: Is it a simple chiffon sheath, or a beaded tulle ball gown? It really does matter: jewelry should complement, not compete for, or combat the style of the gown. Beading above the waist calls for finer necklaces and earrings. A heavily beaded neckline, and even a detailed illusion neckline is a point of visual interest. Go with a simple chain and pendant, or something elegant like baby pearls. Earrings should be also be more subdued. Very plain dresses, or dresses without much embellishment above the waist, however, play very well with statement pieces. Colored beads, diamonds, crystals, and cubic zirconia add some pizazz and draw the eye upward. At the same time, keep the style overall in mind: while heavier and more colorful pieces work well on simpler gowns, you’ll do well to keep with an overall look.
  2. The Venue & Theme: By no means is there certainly jewelry required for different types of venues, but it’s a smart choice to at least consider where the wedding will be held. A religious, church ceremony would be a perfect occasion to wear religious accessories. A rustic, country-chic wedding would do well with more playful pieces, like vintage silver, necklaces with a horseshoe charm, and braided bracelets. A wedding hall or ballroom, meanwhile, calls for glamorous: drop earrings, layered necklaces, and plenty of sparkle (crystals, cubic zirconia, diamonds, as budget allows).
  3. Sentimentality: Something borrowed, something new, something blue: tradition, and tribute to loved ones, both living and deceased, show just how meaningful jewelry can be. Consider pendants, necklaces, or even small pins that were worn by past brides. You can make older jewelry your own by adding it to your picks, or modernizing with a new chain. Even a small gesture will mean alot to someone. Don’t have a family heirloom? Go for a vintage style that mimics something from that era, or, better yet, have loved ones shop with you.
  4. That Feeling: Just like any type of bridal fashion, it comes down to the bride and what feels right for her. For anyone who doesn’t know where to start, asking a bridal consultant is a great idea: seeing the entire accessories collection the store offers will make the bride aware of what is available, while the consultant can get an idea for your budget and style preferences.

Photo Credit: H R M Photography