Years ago, my sister got married.
The bridal party was small; my other sister (yes there are three of us) as the Matron of Honor, my two nieces and myself as bridesmaids, and of course, our male counterparts/escorts.
My sister and I wore cinnamon, my nieces champaigne.
Our jewelry “requirement” was “simple, clear stones, silver” – matching if we could get it!
Ha ha ha… no.
What really happened? My nieces went shopping separately. The MoH and I were in another state, and tried to find matching items, but she found something she liked and got it, and I wound up getting my jewelry the night before the wedding.
None of it matched. None of it coordinated. Most of it looked AWFUL on us – when it looked lovely on the display. My necklace was too short and almost choked me. My earrings were too heavy. My sister wound up with similar issues. The bride’s necklace was a little too long and part of the pendant was hidden in her dress. The earrings were tangled in her hair by the end of the night.
When I created the Spiral set, I started thinking to myself that wedding jewelry should match, be light, be to the bride’s specifications, coordinate if not match, and should be tiered.
The bride of course should shine, stand out – it’s her day after all! The bridesmaids should have coordinating jewelry to each other and the bride, but much muted. The MoH? In between.
It should also be affordable to not break the wedding party’s budget, and should not be a nightmare last minute for the party to find.
An old school friend contacted me after seeing my (unfinished) butterfly headdress/hair chain/net whatever thing, and asked if it could be done in a daisy motif.
My answer? “Of course!”
As I began work on the first proper bridal party set of headdresses, necklaces, earrings and bracelets, I started to wonder just how to do it all, and make it the tiered splendor it should be. I have colors from the bride, the motif, and I’ve found it so much easier to do than I initially thought – apart from making several wire flowers (hand-tooled; I try not to use jigs much) that were size-uniform, but each unique in its own right.
Even as I worked on the first prototypes, I started to wish I could have done these things back when my sister got married. Our jewelry would have coordinated, been what the bride wanted, and we wouldn’t have spent nearly as much as we did (which was almost the cost of the DRESSES – which I find a bit excessive), nor as much time scrambling to find something that worked.
My mission now?
To save other brides the nightmare we went through. Prices of course are dependent on how complicated the design is, the materials, how large the bridal party is, etc., but still – how much would one spend at a name-brand designer for a matching/coordinating set – custom created for that bridal party? Too much, I would think – possibly in the multiple thousands for some.
Especially since said name-brand designer wouldn’t want to fluctuate as far as materials or position of the bridal party member. Make one, cast it, duplicate it.
… oh.. one of the bridesmaids is allergic to the metal the others are wearing? Too bad! It’s extra to make it in something else.
The thought makes me ill.
Considering some companies DO care, I’m not going to say none of them do, but too many want extra money for having to make something in another material – even if the MATERIAL is the same price.
Too much mass-production for my tastes, especially if it’s something simple the party’s looking for – just.. matching or coordinating and custom design.
I just hope I can pull it off! Not just for this old school friend who reconnected with me – but for other brides and their parties.
One less hassle, one less nightmare.
If I can take some of that pressure from them, it would bring me as much joy as I take in creating.