Where to Buy Bridal Jewelry
By Rich Albanese
Posted on May 08 2018
What exactly is “bridal jewelry” anyway? The terms “bridal jewelry” and “wedding jewelry” are interchangeable and refer to jewelry appropriate for a bride to wear on her wedding day. Most brides opt for jewelry that compliments their dress and wedding ring but doesn’t break the bank, so we’ll focus on fashion jewelry with imitation gemstones like Swarovski crystals, rhinestones and faux pearls - and omit fine jewelry from this article.
Selecting bridal jewelry is matter of your personal taste and style but here’s a few pointers to get your started -
Consider matching the metal color of your earrings, necklace and bracelet with the color of your wedding ring. “Silver plate”, “rhodium plate” or “silver tone” jewelry will match a sterling silver or platinum wedding ring and “gold fill”, “gold plated” or “gold tone” jewelry will match a gold wedding ring. The same applies for rose gold.
One more thing to keep in mind is the size - three inch statement earrings might look out of place with a simple dress and tiny studs may disappear entirely in your wedding photos. But if your dress needs a little pop, there’s nothing wrong with adding some bling to your look with crystal drop earrings or a wide cuff. Jewelry can go a long way in adding a little something extra to your wedding look (just don’t overdo it!).
Always ask a family member or friend for their opinion and don’t forget to have fun! Compared to the stress of choosing a dress, this should be easy.
Your wedding jewelry will either be a new purchase, borrowed (grandma’s pearls?) or something you already own. If you’re shopping for new jewelry, where should you go? The following list will summarize your options with pros and cons for each one.
Specialty stores and boutiques
These are small and medium size stores that specialize in servicing a very specific customer - bridal, social occasion and evening wear shoppers. If you purchased your dress at this location, you can wear your dress (or a sample) while trying on jewelry, which is a huge benefit no other retailer can match. Plus, you’ll get personalized advice from your stylist and certain stores will offer customization options not available anywhere else.
Most boutiques have a smaller selection than department stores.
Chain stores and discounters (Charming Charlie, Claire’s, Marshall’s, Walmart)
Low prices across the board and a big selection. Chain stores like Charming Charlie may offer slightly more customer assistance than big box stores like Walmart but the level of service can’t compare to speciality stores or better department stores.
Make sure you’re aware of the store’s return policy because tarnish, missing stones and breakage are commonplace with very low priced jewelry. If you want jewelry that can be worn years after your wedding, you may want to look elsewhere.
Department stores (Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s)
A varied collection of familiar brand names and dedicated salespeople that can help with product information and fashion advice.
Generally these stores and their company-owned websites like Macys.com and Nordstrom.com will charge a higher price than online retailers and specialty stores.
Mass market websites (Amazon, Walmart.com)
There’s a lot to choose from in every style and the prices are tough to beat.
Unknown brands - There are hundreds of independent jewelry sellers on Amazon, plus Amazon’s private label brands. At times it can be difficult to determine who exactly you’re purchasing from. You probably never heard of these brands anyway, so your decision is entirely based on product descriptions and reviews.
Unknown quality - Examining jewelry up close is always the best way to judge quality but when shopping online, this isn’t possible until after you buy. Items prone to tarnishing and loose stones are particularly worrisome because these issues may not become apparent until weeks or months after you receive the item.
Limited customer service - Don’t expect to talk with customer service before, during or after your purchase.
Specialized online stores (Giavan, Anna Bellagio, Blue Nile)
A well organized selection of jewelry with product listings that are more informational, trustworthy and comparable than Amazon’s. Many of these sites also provide customer support phone numbers and online chat.
You’re still stuck evaluating the item after you pay for it and shipping may take a day or two longer than Amazon.
Handmade-Focused Websites (Etsy, Amazon Handmade)
A wide range of unique pieces at varying price points. Contacting the seller will often put you in touch with the artisan who made your jewelry, rather than a customer support person. Many items are customizable as well.
Unknown vendors, huge variations in quality and craftsmanship. Sometimes restrictive return policies.
This is not intended to be a conclusive list of all wedding jewelry vendors but it may be a useful starting point. Hopefully it helps you find the perfect jewelry for your big day!
I am employed by Giavan Accessories, the owner of this blog and website. Despite this affiliation, I tried my best to make the above list as impartial as possible.