Luxe Jewelry Looks

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Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but on her wedding day, brides are looking for even more company.

In the year the Pantone Color Institute declared “emerald” the 2013 Color of the Year, brides are choosing colorful jewels to brighten their puritanical white affair, such as precious and semi-precious stones along with hydro quartz stones and vintage crystals in hues that complement their wedding — from red rubies and garnets to amethysts and paler aquamarines and other pastels.

The looks span fashion and fine jewelry options, from swingy drop earrings at Carolee to decadent pear-shaped aquamarine halo drop earrings or a dramatic bib necklace studded in rubies and diamonds at Blue Nile.

“Gemstones can signify the magnitude of the occasion,” says Josh Holland, a senior manager at Blue Nile, the Seattle-based online retailer. “Sapphires are definitely popular … and we expect to see emeralds making a comeback.”

The color story has grown for brides since they began adding contrasting sashes and whimsical shoe colors, such as blue and red, to their ensembles in the last few years. Style makers and A-listers also are helping the trend shine, says Holland. The blinding light from Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring and Halle Berry’s emerald engagement ring are hard to ignore. Even bridal designer Monique Lhuillier included a pink sapphire in the engagement rings of her new jewelry line launched on Blue Nile last October to exemplify a blushing bride.

Brides can use the vivid jewelry to personalize their looks based on the color of their weddings and their dresses. The trick is to not go from looking gorgeous to gaudy.

“She must wear [just a] few pieces of jewelry, but these few pieces have to be spectacular,” says Laura Bicego, designer of Italian jewelry line Nanis.

Heather Williams, design director for Carolee, notes that styling your look can be an “either/or” option.

“With a strapless dress, she should keep the drama at either the neckline or the ear, not both,” Williams says. “With a high collar, she should focus on the earrings to frame her face.”

Luxe looks by Nanis, such as the Endless amethyst drop earrings set in gold or the Ipanema necklace set with dazzling natural stones in 18-karat gold, can work with a strapless dress. Bridal designer Anne Barge showcased Karen Lindner Designs on the runway of her fall 2013 collection, featuring the jeweler’s choker-style necklaces loaded with a mosaic of stones and attached to satiny ribbons on models wearing strapless gowns.

High-collar dresses also can pair with a single strand drop necklace or a chain that drops down the back for drama, says Karen Lindner.

Alexis Bittar’s textured gold cuff resembling delicate lace and interspersed with aqua-green crackle and aquamarine hydro quartz stones are a great accent for a cap-sleeve gown, as is Blue Nile’s triple row bracelet in emerald and pave diamonds.

Earrings or bracelets are enough of a finishing touch for a lace dress so the “fabric is both protected and doesn’t get snagged,” Lindner says.

The best part of this jewelry trend? Brides will have pieces that can be worn after the wedding.

“They’re heirloom pieces and you don’t have to wait for your anniversary to wear them again,” says Judith Cartier Oliver, owner and designer of Seattle-based Looney Maiden Jewelry.

© Brides 365