JamesAllen Engagement Rings
WEDDING

A Guide to Choosing Bridesmaids’ Jewelry

Bride with bridesmaids

As Wedding Know How editors, we write about things that we love and we think you'll like too. We have affiliate partnerships and sponsorship and may generate some revenue from these at no cost to you.

Whether you’re the bridesmaid or the bride, you probably know that choosing the bridesmaids’ jewelry carefully will help to achieve a beautifully unified yet individual look. If each bridesmaid is wearing the same dress or hue, a tasteful choice of jewelry will set them apart, and avoid a “cloned” look. Here’s our ultimate guide to choosing bridesmaids’ jewelry so you can shine without overshadowing the bride.

Jewelry Styles for Different Necklines

The most important aspect is to start by considering your dress style and choosing jewelry that complements it.

For a Strapless Dress

If you’re wearing a dress with a clean, straight-across neckline, think of drop earrings, studs, dainty ear cuffs, climbers, and long necklaces. Multi-strand pearl necklaces and earrings, as well as a choker with matching studs will do the trick. An off-shoulder or strapless dress leaves plenty of room for big, bold jewelry—but since it’s a wedding, collar necklaces, bib necklaces, and chandelier earrings look too flashy for a bridesmaid.

A Dress with an Illusion Neckline

When the fabric comes high up your chest whether it’s chiffon, lace, or embroidered lace, the earrings become more important. Most of the time, necklaces tend to snag with the sheer fabric too, so better opt for studs, drop earrings and bracelets instead. Long diamond earrings with matching tennis bracelets are sweet and subtle for a bridesmaid’s look.

For a Spaghetti Dress

If you want an elegant look, think of dainty diamond or gemstone jewelry like studs, drop earrings, necklace, and bracelet. You might also think of simple stud earrings matched with a necklace with a delicate charm or unique pendant. The same jewelry is perfect for a spaghetti dress worn with a sheer cap sleeved bolero, creating the regal Queen Anne look.

For a Sweetheart or V-Neckline

These flattering necklines will look best with stud earrings and a necklace with an architectural or teardrop pendant. If you can, opt for a smaller pendant for a narrow plunge, and a larger pendant for wider “v.” Also, opt for a necklace that doesn’t compete with the neckline—not too long or too short. If you don’t want to look over-the-top, opt for jewelry pieces that are somewhere between statement and minimal.

For a Boat Neck Dress

The classic neckline draws the focus on your face and collarbones, so think of a collar-length necklace with dainty pendants such as a solitaire diamond to complete the look. Studs and drop earrings will look great too, but make sure they don’t compete with your necklace design.

For a Halter Dress

A high neckline eliminates the need for necklaces, so focus on your earrings, bracelets, and hair accessories. Dangling earrings are great for drawing the attention to your face without detracting from the dress, but you may also go for classic studs. If you need some inspiration, think how Meghan Markle matched her halter gown with her jewelry. If you’ve got an elegant updo hairstyle, complete your looks with hair accessories.

For a One-Shoulder Dress

The asymmetry of this neckline might be tricky to accessorize, but you’ll never go wrong with a pair of drop earrings and bracelets. The neckline itself serves as the focal point of your dress, so skip the necklace that will only look odd with the imbalance. However, you should choose jewelry designs that won’t detract from your dress details.

Things to Remember When Choosing Your Jewelry

Here are the main tips to keep in mind when choosing your jewelry:

Think of your complexion when choosing fine metal jewelry.

How to choose white bridesmaids dresses

What works with your skin tone?

Different metals can illuminate your natural skin tone, bringing out the best in your eyes, hair, and skin color. If you’ve got cool undertones, opt for platinum, silver, or white gold jewelry that will give you a radiant-looking complexion. On the other hand, women with lightly tanned or olive skin will look great in yellow gold. If you’ve got a warm Asian skin, classic gold and rose gold will bring softness to your complexion.

You don’t have to match your jewelry with others.

Bridesmaids wearing similar dress

Same color and fabric but different styles and jewelry

Back in the day, it was tradition for each bridesmaid to wear the exact same style. Nowadays, the bride typically picks a color and material for the dress, leaving her bridesmaids to choose a style that suits them. The same thing goes for jewelry, as there is no written rule that you should match yours with other bridesmaids’, unless the strict wedding theme calls for it. The key is to opt for a unique design that makes you standout.

Stick to the wedding theme.

Bridesmaids

Different styles unified by the same theme

Once you’ve got the dress picked out, it’s time to bring the look all together. Usually, a bride will give her bridesmaids a theme to work with, which will let them reflect their own taste while staying within the guidelines. Staying in jewelry choices like pearls or metallic accessories can help unify the wedding theme—and will avoid dealing with any sudden surprises.

If the bride will be wearing a vintage choker, the bridesmaids could wear vintage earrings to create a unique look that works together aesthetically. If she’s wearing a sparkly headpiece, the bridesmaids can go for a similar clip in their hair without overshadowing the bride’s hair accessory.

While a bride with a chignon hairstyle will look best in dangling earrings, her bridesmaids wearing their hair down will look more flattering in studs. Floral hairpieces and crowns are stylish for garden weddings but have the bride’s approval first! 

Consider your dress color, design and hairstyle.

Bridesmaids wearing similar dresses

Find ways to stand out yet look cohesive

If all the bridesmaids will be wearing the same dress, unique jewelry pieces will allow your personality to shine. While platinum, gold, rose gold and silver jewelry pieces are timeless, why not consider gemstones to match with the color of your ensemble?

You can also go monochromatic when choosing your jewelry, like wearing sapphire earrings with a light blue dress, or an amethyst pendant necklace with a lavender dress. If you want a classic, sophisticated look, you could never go wrong with diamond or pearl jewelry.

Find jewelry that complements both your hairstyle and your neckline. For updos, earrings always look beautiful. But if you’re wearing your hair down, then they won’t be seen as much. In this case, opt for bracelets or a small necklace (again, subject to the neckline).

Your choice of jewelry should not overshadow the bride.

Bridesmaids with blue dresses

Show your style but never overshadow the bride

In a wedding, the special attention always goes to the bride and groom, so avoid stealing the spotlight with your jewelry. It’s better to stick with the less-is-more approach when it comes to accessorizing, which means chandelier earrings, bib necklaces, layered necklaces, arm bracelets, ring stacking, and costume jewelry are out of the equation. There are lots of occasions where you can make a fashion statement, but not as a bridesmaid at someone else’s wedding.

Opt for jewelry pieces you’ll likely wear beyond the occasion.

Bridesmaids wearing classic jewelry

Choose pieces with life in them

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and pearls never go out of style. If you want something more personal, think of jewelry pieces with your birthstones or even a monogram in them. Fine metal jewelry whether it’s platinum or gold gives a luxurious touch to any outfit. If you want to look subtle yet sophisticated, silver and stainless steel jewelry pieces will take you from parties to weekends and beyond. This will make your jewelry an investment, one that you can wear again and again.

The Color Theory and Bridesmaids’ Jewelry

Color wheel

If you still remember the basic rules of color theory, consider them when coordinating your jewelry with the bride’s ensemble. If you’re new to color combinations, start with monochromatic, achromatic, and analogous hues.

  • In monochromatic color scheme, the colors are based on one color, and differ in its tones and shades. For example, wear an emerald necklace with a light green dress, or aquamarine jewelry with a navy dress.
  • The achromatic hues are simply a neutral, colorless scheme—black, white and gray. You can never go wrong with diamonds or pearls to wear with your gray or black dress. Also consider gemstones like obsidian, onyx, or opal to match with your gray ensemble.
  • If you want to get a harmonious look without being too monotonous, go for analogous colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel. For example, go for purple gemstones like amethyst, chalcedony, and jasper to match your blue bridesmaid’s dress.
  • If you want to create a vibrant look, go for complementary colors or colors that are directly opposite each other on the wheel. If you’ve got a blue dress, think of gold jewelry pieces or orange gemstones like topaz, sunstone, amber, and garnet.
Bridesmaids picking the right jewelry

Wrapping Up….

Hopefully this guide has given you the tips you need to find pieces of jewelry that look perfect with your ensemble. Whenever you’re in doubt, you can always ask the bride as it’s her special day, after all. Wearing color-coordinated bridesmaids’ dresses might be a long-revered tradition for weddings, but unique jewelry pieces will allow you to express your personal style and stand out from the crowd.

JamesAllen Engagement Rings