Vintage wedding jewellery like the increasing trend of vintage emerald engagement rings is beautiful and historical all at once. Connecting to the past is so important, especially for ceremonies like weddings, that continue to evolve from the same, ancient roots. If you’re interested in learning how to style vintage wedding jewellery, stick around – we’ve got you covered.
First things first.
What is Vintage Wedding Jewellery?
If you have a vintage piece that you want to wear for your wedding, then you have vintage wedding jewellery. It may sound simple, and that’s because it is. There are no rules that define if something is wedding jewellery or not except the question of ‘are you going to wear it to your wedding?’ Equally, the only thing that can determine if a piece of jewellery can be categorised as a vintage piece is ‘is it vintage jewellery?’ It sounds a little self-defeating to go round in circles like this, but I’ll simplify it.
If you know that your jewellery is from between the 1930s and the 1990s, it’s vintage. If your jewellery is more recent than that, it still counts as being cotemporary, and if it pre-dates the 1930s, then it’s antique jewellery. Easy enough? Grand.
Now let’s get cracking with some jewellery pieces that will look beautiful alongside any vintage engagement rings.
Vintage earrings come in an array of styles, so we’ll have a look at 3 examples of very wedding-appropriate vintage earrings. The most frequently used gemstones in wedding jewellery are: diamonds, pearls, and gemstones with faint colour like aquamarines.
Here’s a little look at our take on vintage wedding earrings.
Aquamarine and diamond earrings like these ones certainly aren’t for the faint of heart. The pear-cut aquamarines total 21.12 carats between them, and given that there’s a total of 66 individually claw-set diamonds on these earrings, it’s safe to say they’re quite the statement. You should only consider rings of this shape and size if you’re planning to have your hair worn up and away from your face. Earrings like this shouldn’t be subtly poking out behind your hair, they need to take centre stage. The shape of these earrings, however, will frame your face nicely, so don’t worry about them stealing the show entirely.
Diamond jewellery is generally considered to be the go-to when it comes to bridal jewellery, and it makes sense. It’s beautiful, it sparkles like nothing else, and it complements every colour, so no matter your personal skin tone or what colours you wish to have as a part of your wedding, diamonds will be your ally.
These diamond earrings incorporate a slightly floral motif, reminiscent of intricate lace patterns and femininity. These earrings would be the perfect suit to a lace-heavy wedding dress. Paired with a very simple necklace – if any necklace – these earrings will look best with a half-up half-down hairstyle.
Everyone knows that pearl jewellery is classic, timeless, and elegant. These are all reasons why it’s frequently picked as a bridal jewellery stone. Its ever-so-slightly off-white colouring is a great match with most wedding dress colours, and its lustre represents the same kind of purity as a typical white wedding dress or cake.
These pearl earrings have just the slightest drop to them, making them quite understated. These 1960s earrings would suit equally understated diamond jewellery, such as fine necklaces and bracelets. Nothing too over-the-top is required for these earrings to work their magic, a simple hairstyle like a French twist, or just soft waves, would be perfect.
Necklaces & Pendants
Whether you choose to wear a necklace or a pendant to your wedding is entirely up to you. You will want to consider the shape and style of your wedding dress and what hairstyles you are most interested in before you look at neckwear. Wedding dresses with high collars are currently on the rise, and a necklace in the midst of that would be messy and distracting. Equally, an off-the-shoulder styled dress leaves so much bare space – particularly with updo hairstyles – that you might want something to hold focus in that area. Enter, the necklace.
This vintage diamond and pearl necklace is part of a set with matching stud earrings. Jewellery sets are often a popular choice with brides, eliminating two birds with one stone and keeping a consistent aesthetic within their accessories.
This necklace sits in the midst of the décolletage, making it best suited to dresses with a V-shaped neckline. The pearl colour in this jewellery set complements white and ivory dresses over champagne or rose gold dresses. The stud earring inclusion would suggest this set goes best with hair that is down, but pulled back.
If you are religious, or perhaps you just like iconography, wearing a cross pendant can be a nice reference to your beliefs on the big day. Although, being in a church should certainly do the trick if you want to do it that way, the cross can also be a sign of how seriously you intend to take your marriage vows.
This vintage 1950s diamond cross pendant is set in white gold, and would look best alongside other white-gold jewellery. Simple stud earrings and a very traditional wedding gown would look best with this necklace. Your hair can be up or down with this necklace without fear of covering it or its symbolism.
A lot of bridal jewellery is unintentionally prejudiced against people with warm skin tones. The vast majority of bridal jewellery being made with white gold, silver, and platinum, and warm skin tones being best-suited to yellow and rose gold creates a clash. If you want jewellery that complements your skin on your wedding day, rather than simply the colour white, look to some yellow gold.
This Tiffany & Co. 1950s heart necklace encapsulates what your wedding should be all about: love. Sitting close to the neck, this necklace is for those who want to do something a little different or embrace a strong vintage style for their wedding. Consider a modern beehive or something playful.
Bracelets & Bangles
A lot of people decide not to wear bracelets on their wedding day, wanting nothing to detract attention or potentially get caught on the fabric of their dress. If you are not in this camp, however, here are a few ideas to consider for your vintage bridal bracelet. Diamonds are, once again, a prominent feature, along with pearls and some gemstones. There’s also the option to wear an antique or vintage cocktail watch on your wedding day. These watches are very stylish and elegant, and double up quite well as bracelets, with many of them having face-covers.
This diamond and white gold bracelet is the sort of delicate, finely-detailed piece you should expect as part of your bridal jewellery. Just as well-suited to a sleeveless wedding dress as one with a full-sleeve, this is a versatile piece of jewellery that can be worn again and again for years to come, reminding you of your special day each time you get it out.
This piece suits the minimalist aesthetic very well, so if you have a somewhat plain dress or very few other accessories going on, this bracelet will have plenty of opportunity to shine.
A bangle like this one is certainly something different for some bridal jewellery. The focal point is a 43.44ct turquoise that has that perfect ‘Tiffany & Co.’ blue pop of colour. If a teal/turquoise is the accent colour of your wedding, this bangle incorporates it without going over the top or being gaudy.
The plain white gold bangle indicates that this piece isn’t likely to get caught on any details of your dress, so it’s quite flexible in terms of styles. As far as other accessories go, plain diamond or turquoise studs would be the best complement to this bangle, as anything more than that will make you look cluttered.
Another diamond masterpiece – this time in yellow gold – this bangle features 219 diamonds across its face. All pave set, the diamonds on this bangle act as one, unified piece of dazzling shine that catches the eye and makes light dance around it. If you want an ultra-modern wedding dress, something structured and architectural, this bangle is the perfect complement.
It could be accented with Art Deco jewellery, perhaps a structured necklace, or statement earrings. This bangle will happily play support to something grander – like your engagement ring – if you wish. Equally, if you’re down for some minimalism, this bangle can be the only piece of jewellery you wear on your wedding day. It’s in your hands.
There are countless types of jewellery to wear on your wedding day, and countless ways to style them. We’re always here to offer advice and opinions where necessary. If you’re getting married, or you know someone who does, consider some of the advice given here as a promising starting point in the bid to establish exactly what you want for your wedding.
Bethany Massey – Digital Assistant (Content Creator)
Having graduated university with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing Bethany then joined the AC Silver team as a content creator. Bethany spends her days writing content for the AC Silver blog and other luxury goods/antique blogs.