I asked Mabel Chong, a San Francisco jewelry designer, who celebrates color, shape, texture and the woman to answer questions about selecting jewelry for the wedding day.
How do you advise selecting a piece? While I pay attention to the dress color, the woman’s particular colors and features in her face (and body), most important is whether the woman likes it or not. Is she comfortable in it, and does she believe she’s beautiful and powerful. If she does, then she is. I design from this foundation, so a woman has only to choose, commit, and succeed!
Is age ever a consideration? It can be, but again, if a woman celebrates herself through her personal style and accessories, it’s almost never the wrong choice.
What materials are most popular for wedding jewelry? We see a lot of swiss quartz, citrines, and sapphires. Colors that help frame a woman’s face and decolletage. Silver and gold, of course, depending on a woman’s preference. Blondes, I have found, have a tougher choice between the two, although I try to lead toward gold, as it seems more regal. And on our wedding day aren’t we regal?
Is skin tone and / or hair color a factor? It’s definitely a factor, but it’s really about the woman’s own joie d’vivre.
Should the neckline of the dress influence your selection? Both the neckline and the size and shape of the gown should be taken into consideration. I think we’re very conscious of our necks–men just have no idea!–and it’s important to create an ensemble between the woman and the accessory.
Does hairstyle influence the jewelry choice? Brunettes with long hair can lose their darker earrings in that halo–I’d suggest something that catches and reflects light. I love to see long-haired women tie up their hair. And French Bobs or short hair–these women are the luckiest–they can do anything!
Is custom jewelry popular? We do a bit of custom, particularly for brides to be. Once, though, I showed a couple some black diamonds, and they had me make a four-stranded necklace, in gold; and they wanted it to be the only one in the world, so I couldn’t ever do it again! Of course, I have honored their request.
What essential pieces of jewelry should every bride have in her wardrobe? A pair of shorter earrings, good for all occasions, in a simple color. A necklace that can be worn long or short. A nice-sized stone on a (gold) ring. These three simple items can take the graceful woman from pavement to penthouse!
Read more tips at Wedding Books
Using semi-precious stones and pearls, gold and silver, she creates pieces that touch a woman’s deeper aesthetic, giving her power and grace and beauty.