Some­thing Bor­rowed

What to do with Aunt Maud’s pearls and other jew­ellery eti­quette ques­tions an­swered by Elis­a­beth Attwood

Malaysia Tatler Wedding - - CONTENTS -

A guide to mak­ing the most out of your bri­dal jew­ellery

How much should a groom spend on an en­gage­ment ring?

The com­monly quoted fig­ure is two months’ salary but whether it’s more or less, the amount should in­di­cate a groom’s com­mit­ment to his bride.

Does it have to be di­a­monds?

They are the con­ven­tion for en­gage­ment rings but other stones such as sap­phires (see Kate Middleton) are per­fectly ac­cept­able and can be more imag­i­na­tive. The shape of the bride’s hand should also be con­sid­ered—and her taste. Yel­low gold used to be the stan­dard set­ting; white gold, plat­inum and even rose gold are worn these days.

Can I have two en­gage­ment rings?

If an en­gage­ment ring is ex­tremely pre­cious or large and dif­fi­cult to wear, some women have a sec­ond one for ev­ery­day wear.

Which fin­ger should I wear it on?

This varies around the world. In Eng­land, it is the third fin­ger on your left hand. In other parts of Europe, it’s worn on the right hand, same fin­ger. Mar­ried cou­ples wear the wed­ding band un­der­neath the en­gage­ment ring (brides of­ten wear it on their right hand dur­ing the cer­e­mony).

Who buys the wed­ding rings?

Rather sweetly, tra­di­tion­ally the bride pays for the groom’s ring—and the groom the bride’s.

Should the groom wear a wed­ding band?

Prince Wil­liam fa­mously doesn’t. Other men wear one on their lit­tle fin­ger with the fam­ily signet ring. Men’s wed­ding rings ap­par­ently be­came pop­u­lar dur­ing World War II as a sym­bol for sol­diers to re­mem­ber their beloved. These days, it’s a mat­ter of per­sonal choice.

Who holds the rings dur­ing the cer­e­mony?

The best man is re­spon­si­ble for bring­ing the rings to the ser­vice. He can hand them to the vicar or cel­e­brant, or some cou­ples have a ring bearer to do the job—of­ten a child who holds them (tied) on a cush­ion.

Do I have to wear Aunt Maud’s ghastly pearls?

If a well-mean­ing rel­a­tive of­fers you an an­cient piece of jew­ellery for the day that you’d rather not wear, ac­cept it gra­ciously. With a bit of thought you can clev­erly in­cor­po­rate it dis­creetly—such as in the hem of your gown (some­thing bor­rowed), in your bou­quet or even on the top ta­ble dec­o­ra­tion. Rather than sniffily dis­miss­ing some­thing you wouldn’t have cho­sen, think of the joy it will bring your rel­a­tive when they see it.

Can I wear di­a­monds on my big day?

Ab­so­lutely. Pearls are also tra­di­tional. If your gown is sim­ple, frost your­self up—but avoid the Princess Bar­bie look if your dress is heav­ily em­bel­lished. Asym­met­ri­cal neck­lines don’t need com­pli­cat­ing with a neck­lace.

Is it ac­cept­able to wear con­tem­po­rary jew­ellery?

Of course, but be mind­ful that those ear cuffs could date your pho­to­graphs that you’ll keep (and dis­play) for­ever.

What comes first—the dress or the tiara?

If you are wear­ing the fam­ily heir­loom, bring your tiara with you when you choose your gown. On your big day let the tiara do the talk­ing rather than ear­rings or a neck­lace.

Watch your back…

You will be fac­ing away from your guests through­out the day so if your dress is back­less, con­sider a back neck­lace. This con­tem­po­rary look works with a clas­sic style, if you choose di­a­monds or pearls. Think about the back of your hair as well—a vin­tage brooch looks fab­u­lous twisted through an updo.

Who buys the brides­maids’ jew­ellery?

Eti­quette sug­gests the groom pays for a spe­cial some­thing to say thank you to the best girls, and jew­ellery is a smart choice. Ush­ers should be thanked too; cuff­links might be nice.

Can I change my jew­ellery for the re­cep­tion and for go­ing away?

Why not—es­pe­cially if you are wear­ing a dif­fer­ent out­fit.

The last word.

Wed­ding jew­ellery should be time­less and give you a gen­uine thrill—worn on an­niver­saries, bor­rowed by friends and even passed down to your own chil­dren. Jew­ellery is the one thing from your wed­ding you’ll al­ways be able to wear and it will bring back a bou­quet of bliss­ful mem­o­ries, so it’s worth some care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion.

Illustration PAULINA ORTEGA

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