Vintage jewelry, which is defined as jewelry that is over 20 years old but less than 100 years old, is known for its rich detail, elaborate diamond arrangements, intricate settings, nature motifs, and contrasting elements like metals or gemstones. Vintage jewelry comes with a story, so wearing it is like invoking a piece of history on your wedding day while looking effortlessly timeless, classy, and elegant. No matter what theme or look you’re going for, there’s vintage jewelry that will be the perfect accent. Here’s our top tips for how to source and choose the right pieces for you.
The first place you should look for wedding jewelry is within your family. This would also tick off that something borrowed box, so you’d really be making headway on your wedding checklist. Ask your mom, your aunts, your grandmother, family-like friends or your fiance’s family if there are any special pieces they’d be happy to let you borrow. You don’t really get more special or meaningful (or budget-friendly!) than wearing a family heirloom.
Finding the right jewelry for your wedding can feel like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. Try making it an adventurous or even a bonding experience for you and your bridesmaids by exploring what’s in your own backyard. Pick a date when everyone can go with you to reputable local vintage shops you’ve maybe never gone to before. Like bar hopping, but vintage jewelry shop hopping!
Even if you don’t find anything that calls out to you, take advantage of the knowledge of these shop owners by asking them questions about what they know about vintage jewelry — things you should look out for, or even other places nearby you could look. There may even be local estate sales with hidden gems. To find these, look in your local classifieds or use a search database like Gsalr.com to find local events.
Bid For It
Another wonderful place to look for authentic vintage jewelry for your wedding is an online auction house. If going this route, it’s important that you do your research and make sure you choose a reputable auction house with a jewelry specialty, such as Invaluable and their jewelry lots, that offers high-resolution images and documentation for all the pieces of jewelry they sell.
Many times, finding the perfect authentic vintage piece of jewelry can be a challenge — the size may be off, it may not match the rest of your look, or there may be unfixable damage to a key part, like a missing diamond. We know that when wedding planning, time and efficiency is crucial to your sanity. If your search leaves you feeling overwhelmed and disappointed, don’t give up — just modify your search parameters.
There’s nothing wrong with compromise, and vintage-style jewelry is a truly wonderful option for brides to consider. Modern jewelry pieces inspired by vintage style are often so well made that even expert appraisers struggle to tell the difference. These pieces are either exact replicas of specific vintage pieces, or they are designed with an era’s themes in mind, reflected in a modern way. While not authentic, vintage inspired jewelry is no less fine or beautiful.
In the end, it’s your wedding day, your wedding look, and you need to love it. What you wear and incorporate into your special day should ultimately be a reflection of who you are, so let that be your guide when putting your finishing touches into place.
Images via StockSnap, article in conjunction with Invaluable.com.