Saturday, June 29, 2013

They are Married! Part Three: The Bride's Jewelry

"Here comes the bride!"

So we have made it to the bride's jewelry, at last!    As with the bridesmaids' jewelry, we came up with multiple plans before we settled on the final design and materials.   One thing we agreed on from the start--there would be pearls!   

I purchased multiple strands of beautiful white freshwater pearls
 (9mm, Baroque and 6mm, Potato) for the bride 

Then I added high quality white opaque and clear faceted Czech crystals in a variety of sizes from several sources.  Some were used in the bridal set.  Others were used for the bridesmaids.  I tried twisting strands, though again, without much luck.  We considered six strands, then brought the number down to three.    Even at three, I realized that the necklace seemed heavy for fastening with a ribbon.  

I went back to Jenna and we discussed the necklace wrapping clear around her neck in strands instead.   By now I had a better idea of how much a well-designed clasp could make a difference in how nicely the necklace would hang.  So I went hunting for the perfect clasp for a 3-strand necklace.   

As in pieces described in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, 
I found exactly what I was looking for at LilysOffering on Etsy.
The back of the necklace uses a solid sterling silver connector clasp.

Sterling silver bead caps were also used on the ends on each strand.  Because of my great fear that one of these heavy strands of beads might break, the bride's necklace was double-crimped on each end and covered with silver crimp covers.

Each strand was a combination of pearls and crystals, in graduated sizes. The smallest sizes at the neck, and the larger size beads on the longest strand.  The bead patterns were each different but complementary.  


I wasn't completely sure I had done well, until my niece tried it on the week before the wedding.   I feared the patterns were too busy.  But she looked absolutely beautiful in it even in her white t-shirt and jeans,  and then I knew all would be well!

I had sent her several earring samples electronically to view, and we both like the same pair the best!  

Bride's earrings in progress.

And finally, we came to the bracelet.  You would think we could finish this up easily, but no... We had decided early on that I would make a wire cuff bracelet with beads woven through and around it.  I had made two of these some years ago in different colors, but when I tried it this time, I just couldn't seem to get the wire to shape and harden as I envisioned it.  Not at all happy with my start, I went reconsidered the design.    I reconsidered numerous designs!

And I finally decided that a bracelet to echo the design of the necklace might be the best thing of all.   We consulted, agreed, and I sent photos of sterling silver bracelet clasps in such a variety I thought it might be a pain for her to decide.   But guess what?  In moments, she chose one of my absolute favorites again!  

(Sorry, you get my arm as a model here for a moment!)
I learned this is known as a "box clasp."
It seemed very secure and so in line with our beads and design,
neither of us could resist this one!

It's solid sterling silver with 2 side clasps, and a pearl within a bezel.
I found this beauty at LGKJewelrySupplies on Etsy.

At the bride's request, a few purple beads were added to the middle row of the bracelet.  The other beads were pearls, clear and white Czech glass crystals.

So, while Jenna and I knew what the jewelry would look like, it was secret to the rest of the world until the wedding day!

The bride's jewelry packaged for her wedding day!

And still, there was one more surprise for me!

One thing I never considered in all of this was the impact the dim romantic side lighting would make.    While it made photographing challenging...  (Most of my photos are blurs.   The Mother of the Groom has kindly let me share these pictures below with you...)   The lighting did have the most magnificent effect on the jewelry itself!

I never expected such sparkle!  

The bride, Jenna (left) with one of her bridesmaids, Meg (sister of the groom)!
Lovely young women in every respect!

And here is the ready bride, just waiting for the ceremony to begin!
So radiant, so lovely, and such a joy!

I will thank you all once more for supporting me during this time of preparation, for reading along here and sharing my joy that things turned out, and for your wishes that the bride, Jenna, and her husband, Jake, share a life filled with much happiness!

These are beautiful young people, very special to me, and it meant the world to get to create jewelry for their special day.      And you all are wonderful friends!   I'm so glad you were willing to share this with me too!

Best wishes always,


Image Credits:

Jewelry photos by Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl's Jewelry, 2013.

Wedding photos by Mindy Kissner, 2013.  Used by permission.

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Anonymous said...

Magnificent job Sharyl! I've loved all of the pieces you've shown in this series of posts! Hope you're very very proud of yourself!

Unknown said...

Stunning pieces on that beautiful bride. Blessings to the new couple and all that love them!

Norbel said...

Sharyl, I truly enjoyed this story, beginning to end. Jenna is a beautiful young woman, and she Rocked! your jewelry! :) All of it is beautiful! I don't believe I have ever seen a pair of crystal earrings I like as much. Simply beautiful. I know Jenna is very special to you and your family. There's so much joy in watching the young ones as they grow and then be a part of their adults lives. I do hope you also realize what a treasure YOU are to her. Spending many, many months on this project, fretting over each and every single detail from beginning to end, pouring your heart and soul into designing and creating such lovely pieces for a once in a lifetime day, is way above and beyond what many would ever even consider doing. Take a bow, Sharyl, and pat yourself on the back. You deserve abundant accolades for all you have done. Congratulations. . . . . . . .to You! :)

Tanya said...

Oh .. wow. All of the jewelry you have shown in your past few posts have been gorgeous, but I love the bride's set. She is really a lovely bride!

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

Norbel's comment was so on target, I'll just second her sentiments. Great job, Sharyl!

Work Of Our Hands said...

very nice

Carole M. said...

a very lovely post Sharyl; you jewellery items a spectacular and I do love the crystals interspersed with the pearls

baymoondesign said...

The necklace and bracelet are stunning as is the bride! You must have glowed with pride when the wedding party came down the aisle. Well done!

Unknown said...

Ms. Sharyl totally awesome finish, your niece looked all sparkly, you could tell she loved it.



Unknown said...

I think Norbel has said it for all of us. This has truly been special for me, getting to read about the entire process. Your niece is just beautiful, and your jewelry reflects that in such a perfect way. You are truly a special lady!