There are two wedding rules every female wedding guest knows: Don’t wear white to a wedding and don’t outshine the bride.
When it comes to accessorizing an outfit, however, things can get a bit tricky. Is there any type of jewelry you shouldn’t wear? Can you wear pearls to a wedding?
Yes! Pearls are the perfect choice for female wedding guests. But what and how much should you wear? To help you look your best and accessorize with confidence, we’ve put together a guide to help you choose the right pearl accessories for your wedding outfit.
Can You Wear Pearls to a Wedding? The 5 Major Dos and Don’ts
Aside from your engagement ring or wedding band, female guests are expected to leave their diamond jewelry at home. That’s why pearl jewelry is such a great choice. Like diamonds, they compliment any outfit from formal to casual and look great with any color.
And that makes pearls the perfect alternative to diamond jewelry. That said, there are still some basic etiquette rules to keep in mind when choosing pearl necklaces, earrings and bracelets. To help you put your best foot forward, here are five important tips to keep in mind.
1. Don’t steal the bride’s thunder
If you’ve been invited to a wedding, it’s vital that you keep the bride in mind when choosing your pearl accessories. Statement pieces like flashy chandelier earrings or an eye-catching choker should only be worn by the bride. As a guest, it’s important to choose pearl jewelry that won’t attract a ton of attention.
Rather than opt for larger than life pieces, go instead for an elegant strand of pearls or a pair of pearl drop earrings.
2. Do choose smaller pieces
The best way to ensure your jewelry isn’t too attention grabbing is to choose smaller pieces such as a pearl pendant and pearl stud earrings or pearl drop earrings and a simple pearl bracelet.
The key is not to wear too many pieces all together. If you do want to wear something a bit showier, then that should be your lone piece of jewelry — just make sure it’s not a piece that will command too much attention.
3. Don’t wear too many pieces
When it comes to wedding guest jewelry, less is definitely more. This is definitely not the time or place to layer several bracelets or necklaces together or to wear shoulder duster earrings along with several studs up your ear. Instead, opt for a subtle necklace, earring and bracelet set. If you have your heart set on wearing something a little more eye-catching, stick with one piece only and make sure it’s not too showy.
Keeping your accessories simple will help you to look classy rather than tacky and will ensure you’re not competing with the bride, the bridal party or the bride’s or groom’s mothers.
4. Don’t mix pearls and diamonds
Avoiding jewelry that mixes pearls with diamonds or other types of clear-colored gemstones is another way wedding guests can pay respect to the bride. With the exception of your engagement ring and wedding band, you should avoid anything resembling diamonds.
A nice alternative is mixing pearls with metal jewelry such as gold, silver or platinum.
5. Do mix pearls and gemstones
While you should avoid wearing diamond or clear-colored gemstone jewelry, you can mix pearls with gemstones. If you want to mix pearls with another type of stone, emeralds, sapphires, rubies will look gorgeous. You can also go for paler stones such as amethyst, topaz or aquamarine.
How to Successfully Pair Pearls With Your Wedding Attire
Classic pearls go with every shade of the rainbow, thanks to their creamy, slightly iridescent color. If, however, you choose to wear a colored pearl set such as black, lavender or pink, it’s important to choose the right outfit to compliment your jewelry.
If you’re wearing a dress with a busy print or pattern, keeping your jewelry as simple as possible ensures your pearls aren’t competing with your outfit.
It’s also important to know what type of jewelry to pick based on the wedding’s dress code. What you would choose for a black tie wedding, for instance, would be completely different from what you’d choose for a wedding on the beach. Here’s a few tips to help you put your best foot forward.
1. Formal wedding jewelry
If you’re wearing an evening gown to a wedding, then classic jewelry is always your best bet. A pearl necklace paired with pearl teardrop or stud earrings is a sophisticated look that will enhance your evening gown.
If the neckline of your dress is busy, rather than wearing a necklace, you could pair a pearl bracelet with earrings instead.
2. Semi-formal wedding jewelry
Cocktail dresses are the norm at a semi-formal wedding and pearls are the perfect accompaniment. How you accessorize your dress will depend on both its color and style. If you’ve chosen a solid color dress with simple lines, you can go all out with a matching necklace, bracelet and earring set as long as each piece is subtle and elegant.
If your dress is patterned, is sparkly or has embellishment on the bodice, skipping a necklace completely is best. Wearing a dainty bracelet and pearl studs will keep you from looking too busy. If you prefer larger earrings (but don’t go too big), leave the bracelet at home.
3. Casual wedding jewelry
Pearls can make casual attire appear more sophisticated as long as you wear simple pieces that don’t overwhelm your outfit.
It’s best not to wear an entire set together, however. Instead, choose pearl studs and a chain with a small pearl pendant or studs with a bracelet. Wearing a string of pearls can also work as long as you keep it small and avoid other jewelry.