Throughout history, pearls have been known to symbolise everything from purity and innocence to wisdom and beauty. However, there are also legends that associate these luminous gems that literally “light-up” your face when correctly matched with your skin tone and eye colour, with tears.
These old superstitions have been known to prevent some brides from wearing pearl jewellery on their wedding day. But where does this idea stem from and how does it affect others who are invited? Read on to learn whether wedding guests should wear pearls and some things to consider if you decide to do so.
Is it okay to wear pearls to a wedding?
Superstitions surrounding pearls at weddings date back millennia and vary greatly. In some ancient societies, people believed that wearing pearls would bring bad luck as pearls were the tears of angels gathered by oysters and transformed into solid form.
Others, like the ancient Greeks, believed that these watery gems promoted a marriage free from sorrow. In essence, pearls were deemed preventers of tears as they would take the place of the brides real tears, ensuring she will have a happy and tear free marriage.
The good news is that any superstition surrounding pearls at weddings doesn’t extend to guests. In fact, the simple elegance of pearl jewellery is arguably perfect for such a special occasion. Not sure how to go about choosing your jewellery for the big day? Explore some of our top tips for wearing pearls at weddings below.
Pearl jewellery for each type of wedding guest
Wondering which pearl wedding jewellery is the best option for you? Here are some ideas based on the role you’ll play at the event:
- Bride –dazzling pearl and diamond earrings, showstopping white pearl chokers and pearl cuffs or other multi-strand bracelets.
- Bridesmaids –elegant pearl drop pendants, delicate pearl chain bracelets and pearl studs for a subtle glow that won’t outdo the bride.
- Mother of the bride/ groom – single or multi-strand pearl necklaces, pearl brooches and pearl cuff earrings or short drop styles for a touch of glamour.
- Groom/ father of the bride/groom –pearl cufflinks or a pearl tie pin to match your spouse/ partner’s pearls.
- All other guests –a classic cultured pearl combination for formal weddings – a single strand necklace or pendant with refined earrings or a simple bracelet that matches your outfit. For a more casual occasion, consider colourful pearl jewellery that fits the theme. Avoid excess sparkle, and bold statement pieces that could detract attention away from the bride, if possible.
Tips for wearing pearls at a wedding
Keep it simple
When choosing wedding guest jewellery, remember that less is more. Weddings are generally quite formal events, so it’s a good idea to stick to smaller, elegant pieces. A classic combination of a single strand pearl necklace with simple pearl stud earrings is ideal for such a scenario. Delicate pearl pendants also work well, while pearl brooches will add a little extra something to a pared back outfit without overdoing it.
Be wary of statement pieces
The most important thing to consider when selecting pearl jewellery for a wedding, is that you complement, as opposed to upstage the bride. Bold statement pieces and striking diamond and pearls paired with a simple outfit, such as a block colour dress, will catch the eye without overdoing it. Multi strand bracelets and long pearl necklaces can also add an elegant line and varied texture to any simple outfit.
Follow the dress code
A good rule of thumb is to choose your wedding guest jewellery based on the dress code. The level of formality outlined will help you decide what’s appropriate. For traditional church weddings, choose pearls on the conservative side. For instance, a subtle pair of pearl hook earrings and a single strand pearl bracelet. If the wedding is an informal affair, like a beach wedding, multicoloured pearl jewellery with gemstones or hints of natural materials like leather and wood will make your look more varied and interesting.
Choose complementary colours
Whether you choose your pearl colour based on the wedding theme, the season, or simply to match your outfit, there are a couple of things to bear in mind. In keeping with the ‘less is more’ concept, pair multi-coloured or patterned outfits with neutral white or black pearls. Also, if you know the bride is going to be wearing white pearls, opt for a different shade and try to avoid clear, sparkly gemstones like diamonds. While you want to look elegant and well put-together, it’s the bride’s time to shine.
Consider comfort and practicality
This is one aspect that often gets overlooked by guests. With a ceremony, breakfast and evening reception to get through, weddings are long days! As such, you should choose pearl jewellery made with high-quality metals that won’t irritate or stain your skin through the day. It’s also a good idea to opt for lightweight earrings, or to wear a small set during the daytime and save your larger pearl drop earrings for the evening party.
Find the perfect pearl jewellery for weddings
At Coleman Douglas Pearls, we design and supply a broad collection of decadent bridal pearls and understated jewellery perfect for wedding guests. Whatever the theme or colour scheme, and however formal or relaxed, we have the perfect pearls for your friend or family member’s special occasion.
Browse our entire collection of pearl necklaces, earrings and more online, or if you’ve something specific in mind for a close relative’s big day, why not consider our bespoke jewellery service? We can design your dream wedding guest jewellery from scratch or restring classic pearl sets for an upgrade prior to the event. Contact us today to learn more.