Tuesday, June 25, 2013

They are married! The Wedding Jewelry: Part One

Both bride and groom said their "I do's" in this lovely location 
at the wedding ceremony, Saturday evening, June 22.

But it all began way before then!   Before they gathered at 11am to begin their dressing, before the Friday night rehearsal and dinner, before the year-plus engagement, and even before that!   

Even planning for the jewelry, one small part, my small part, started nearly a year ago.    There were discussions regarding designs and materials, a mock-up necklace, and shopping for beads, wire, findings, and accent pieces.   

There was to be jewelry for the bride (my niece, Jenna), 5 bridesmaids, and 2 junior bridesmaids.   The colors the bride selected for the wedding were a deep purple and orange.    

File:RGV color wheel 1908.png
From Wikipedia

Did you ever consider how many shades of purple there really are?   Way more than I ever considered, I assure you!    In the Fall of 2012, I was busy ordering all the supplies I thought we would need.    For the bridesmaid necklaces, the bride and I had decided on ropes of purple pearls wrapped around one another going part way around the neck, then finished with long ribbons that would stream down the back.   There would be a few orange beads scattered among the strands.   It was the first decision made.   The bride's necklace would be in larger white pearls and a similar style,... but I get ahead of myself.   

The first sets of pearls that looked "just the right color" on my computer monitor to match the dresses turned out to look more a bright-pink once they arrived, and the "rethinking" began.    With the dresses solid dark purple, how would we ever make a good match ordering purple pearls to match?  Then a "light bulb" moment came, and we decided on purple crystals (which would reflect slightly different colors anyway) combined with white freshwater pearls.    And then, the worry, how to get the pearls the shape, size, color, quality and quantity we needed.   I heard my self say out loud, "If only I could see them first."   

And suddenly it occurred to me to visit one of our local independent bead stores,  

I walked in the door,  and I walked out with not only all the pearls I needed, but also what turned out to the perfect purple crystals for the bridesmaids!   What a huge relief that was!

I found these lovely connectors for the necklaces at what quickly became one of my favorite stores for sterling silver, LilysOffering on Etsy.

And I knew immediately where to go for our favorite, 
soft "Shabby Wrinkled Ribbons," 

Once I tried twisting these bead ropes though, I knew we had another bit of "redesigning" to do.  Perhaps because the bead section wasn't long enough, they wouldn't wrap more than once!   Not the look I was going for!   So, I tried this more simple design instead, and this is what we stayed with.  

By experimentation, I learned what worked well and what didn't
in making multi-strand necklaces hang properly.

You'll also see some loose space between the beads here.  I later filled these in with small decorative jump rings which made for a nice look.  And eventually got better with the crimping and crimp caps so that later necklaces had no gap showing.  Practice makes perfect (or at least much better)!

The bracelets were actually the first items I made.   While we considered other designs, memory wire won out for its ease of making so many bracelets and having one-size-fits-all.   I ordered dark purple and orange crystals and gemstones, believing that mixed together, they would blend.   A few ended up out of the color range, but most worked.  I added a little silver, mixed up the patterns on each, and added this charm on each end.


The spiral charms symbolize the journey of life.

It was satisfying to see this step finished!

And the last item made for the bridesmaids were their earrings.   They have the same basic look, but because  some prefer bigger/longer and others smaller/shorter, some dangly, others not, there is some subtle variety.  

Some variations on the bridesmaid earrings.

Some with larger beads.

Bridesmaid packages being prepared.

I was invited to the bridal party's wedding day preparations. 
Here, the bride, Jenna, is presenting the groom's sister, Meg, with her necklace. 

I came with my tools and beads, and back-up jewelry, just in case there were adjustments that needed to be made at the last minute.  What I witnessed instead was the bride presenting each bridesmaid her jewelry and helping each with her necklace. 

This was such a special part of the day for me, and believe it was for them as well!  The bridal party all looked so lovely!

We'll have more on the Wedding all this week!   Hope you'll be back!



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Carole M. said...

how beautiful a wedding it must've been; a lovely venue and wonderful photos. Your jewellery pieces you made Sharyl are simply divine; what a relief when you had that project conquered. Well done you!!

baymoondesign said...

I do know how many shades of purple there are because purple was one of my daughter's wedding colors. I learned pretty quickly to have some photos on my iphone of key purple elements in the wedding so that I could compare those purples to what I was considering adding to the mix.

Sharyl said...

Thank you, Carole! The wedding was lovely! It was a challenge photographing white and clear beads, but did my best!

Smart move, Kathy! Do you have your daughter's jewelry posted anywhere? You create such beautiful, romantic pieces. I would love to see them!

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

Wow, Sharyl! Great job as always. Purple is such a challenging color to match. Looks like the venue was very beautiful! Can't wait to see the reso of the photos.

aneri_masi said...

And this is how Sharyl became the crimp queen :)

I like the pearl and crystal combo and that ribbon is gorgeous!

And your niece is a total sweetie...which other bride would pay personal attention to others like this on her own special day! Only someone related to you ;)

Waiting for part 2!

Norbel said...

Sharyl, I had tears in my eyes going through the photos, for a number of reasons. The time, energy, effort and love you put into these pieces is beyond amazing. I truly love the design. I can picture what you initially planned, twisted, and that was a great idea as well, but they turned out beautifully! I so love the ribbon, and have a stash myself from the same seller that I'm just learning to use. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. What a wonderful gesture your niece made by presenting the jewelry to them and helping them put it on. A very special moment indeed, for you and for all of them. Congratulations! A huge job well done! Big hugs.

Unknown said...

Oh, what a precious post! You know I've been waiting for it. I so love the pic of her giving the necklaces. Everything turned out wonderful, and I can't wait to see more of the wedding party with their jewelry on. That was such a great idea on the earrings. And the flower connectors for the necklaces are just beautiful. Well done, my friend!

Stoodio57 said...

OH orange and purple with pearls!! The colors and designs are smashing- well done Sharyl!♥

Laren Dee Barton said...

Dear Sharyl,
I enjoyed the story-telling and the details so much! Loved how you managed problem-solving and being creative. Thank you for the sharing sources for metal findings and silk ribbon - all beautiful touches.

The idea of memory bracelets for all and earrings made to the personality of each gal was wonderful, and I love the color combo!

Your workmanship is beautiful and it is such a joy seeing all of this come to fruition after the months of preparation and planning. Just beautiful, Sharyl, thank you so much - cannot wait for Part II!

Laren :)

Sharyl said...

Thank you all for your dear comments! You'll have me sniffling soon! :-)

My niece is a real sweetheart, but I don't think I can take credit for that, Kashmira. I appreciate the implication for sure though! ;-)

Dianne/Sparkling Sisters Jewelry Supplies said...

What a wonderful story. The venue was gorgeous! And fantastic jewelry! I'm so honored I had a tiny part in such a wonderful event. Congrats to everyone!