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Something Old,
Something New

How to accessorize six brides (and one groom) in modern takes on an ancient tradition




TODAY’S WORLD may be hurtling forward at breakneck speed, but two traditions remain rock-solid: marriage and the engagement ring. No matter their age or generation, modern bridal clients want to stamp their own personalities on their wedding jewelry. That includes millennial brides and grooms, LGBTQ soon-to-be spouses and the second-time-around (or late-blooming) brides of Gen X.

By definition, a bride or groom who wants a unique style all their own cannot be neatly defined ahead of time, even by the three esteemed jewelry fashion experts we’ve recruited to write this story. But what our fashionistas can do is help us to understand the mentality of the modern bridal consumer and open our minds to the possibilities available to them as clients and to you as jewelry salespeople. For only when you understand the client can you sell them the jewelry that will make their wedding day as special as it can possibly be.


The Ultimate Bridal Jewelry Guide: 7 Bridal Customer Types (and What to Sell Them)

The Vintage Romantic

Her “something new” is based on something old or borrowed. She reads Jane Austen novels and looks to films such as Shakespeare In Love and Young Victoria for inspiration. Her idea of the perfect wedding is expressing her love by writing her own vows with a few quotes by Keats thrown in for good measure. Her gown is the finest of French or Italian embroidered lace, which shows just enough décolletage so that she can wear her most prized possessions—her antique and vintage-inspired jewelry. — Story by Beth Bernstein

1. Ileana Makri

When it comes to necklaces to accent her intricate lace bodice gown, The Vintage Romantic chooses styles that are simple, feminine and inspired by past eras.


18K yellow gold necklace with dangle baguette diamonds.

2. Jade Trau

Single drop earrings with an antique-inspired starburst pattern will add just that bit of sparkle around the face without detracting from the bride’s own beauty on her wedding day. The Vintage Romantic bride loves the bygone era of the subtle shimmer of diamonds by candlelight.


18K and diamond single drop starburst motif earrings.<

3. Gigi Ferranti

Not every Vintage Romantic opts for a center stone engagement ring. Some prefer an art deco-inspired wide eternity or half eternity band with colored gemstones. It has the more streamlined modernity for which jewelry of the late 1920s and early 1930s was known.


14K yellow gold, diamond and pink sapphire Gianna ring.

4. Megan Thorne

When the Vintage Romantic looks for an engagement ring, she is searching for something that is reminiscent of old world craftsmanship and diamond or gemstone cuts of the past.

Price on request

18K yellow gold scalloped bezel Prima ring with cushion-cut diamond.

The Ultimate Bridal Jewelry Guide: 7 Bridal Customer Types (and What to Sell Them)

The Late Bloomer

She’s independent and self-aware. She’s had significant long-term relationships but had never found a man she wanted to “put a ring on it” until her later 40s/early 50s. Her dress is streamlined simplicity to allow her jewelry to shine. Her bridal pieces will evoke the meaning behind the commitment of sharing the rest of her life with her true love. — Story by Beth Bernstein

1. Ruta Reifen

There is nothing like double drop earrings to wear with the femininity of a tea length dress with a lace embroidered caplet or the subtle sophistication of a pair of wide white trousers and shimmering top on this bride’s wedding day.


14K blue topaz, pale green sapphire and morganite.

2. Polly Wales

A modern take on antique chains with padlocks, this necklace radiates an exuberance similar to the joy that the Late Bloomer feels.


Couer De Fantaisie padlock and handmade gold chain, both with rainbow sapphires.

3. Foundrae

This is the ring that says it all with a little humor and some sparkle. It looks equally beautiful alone or stacked with other bands.


18K gold and blush champlevé enamel “If Not Now Then When” band ring with baguette diamond center.

4. Erica Molinari

If you don’t get married until your 40s or 50s, you might prefer to stack two or more meaningful bands rather than invest in an engagement ring. Or the Late Bloomer might choose to wear this thin floral band, which is leaning against the stack, with her other ring. It features an Oscar Wilde quote: “Who, being loved, is poor?”


Rings in 18K gold with Italian or Latin phrases and quotes enameled on the inside.


The Ultimate Bridal Jewelry Guide: 7 Bridal Customer Types (and What to Sell Them)

The Edgy Bride

Expression through outward appearance has always been important to her, but she never connected with traditional fashion norms, especially when imagining her wedding day. She wants to be true to herself but also a bit experimental when it comes to her style. She connects with unexpected pieces that have an edgy vibe. — Story BY LIZ KANTNER

1. Little H

Pearls may be commonly worn by brides, but this pendant is anything but ordinary.


Tahitian Grotto pendant with black diamonds (2.70 TCW) and Tahitian keshi and drop pearl in 14K white gold.

2. Melissa Kaye

Black diamonds are not common when it comes to wedding day style, so the Edgy Bride is drawn to them. These earrings are sleek and add some surprising sparkle.


18K gold and pavé earrings with black and white diamonds (2.22 TCW).

3. Anthony Lent

For the Edgy Bride, the engagement ring needs to be distinctive. This ring is extra special because the skulls represent an artistic reminder of mortality and the promise of ‘‘Til Death Do Us Part.”


Memento Mori engagement ring in 18K yellow gold and platinum with diamonds.

4. Spinelli Kilcollin

Not your typical wedding band, this ring is actually three rings connected as one and can be worn in different ways to create a truly original look.


Sterling silver, black rhodium-plated silver and 18K yellow gold with gray diamonds.

The Ultimate Bridal Jewelry Guide: 7 Bridal Customer Types (and What to Sell Them)

The Modern Groom

When it comes to the Modern Groom’s wedding day look, the details are what make it unique. He is inspired by his father or grandfather and their timeless accessories, yet he wants to add his own flair. He wants to feel comfortable, but he knows that since this is a big day, he needs to add simple yet special pieces to complete his style. — Story BY LIZ KANTNER

1. Furrer Jacot

The most important decision a Modern Groom will make is his wedding band because it will be worn daily. He wants one that is simple but has some unique details and a sleek, contemporary look.


18K white gold and carbon ring.

2. Tateossian

Cufflinks are a detail to the Modern Groom’s look that might seem dated, but they are important to making the suit feel personalized. They pull the whole look together!


Sterling silver cufflinks with tiger’s eye inlay.

3. Oris

A watch is a staple to the Modern Groom’s look. It’s also an important purchase because he will wear it time and time again to future special events.


Big Crown ProPilot watch in stainless steel with brown leather strap.

4. Todd Reed

Adding a bracelet is the flair that will set the Modern Groom apart from his father and grandfather. This unique touch will make him feel like he’s owning his look.


Sterling silver bracelet with patina and raw diamond bead (0.35 TCW).


The Ultimate Bridal Jewelry Guide: 7 Bridal Customer Types (and What to Sell Them)

The Pride Brides

The number of same-sex cohabiting couples in the U.S. who are married has nearly doubled since the U.S. Supreme Court granted them that constitutional right. Many Pride Brides have different fashion styles but will often incorporate both an LGBTQ symbol as well as something of their partner’s — be it initials, birthstone, name, or otherwise — into their wedding day jewelry, giving their marriage a little added color. — story by BARBARA PALUMBO

1. My Story Fine Jewelry

As a symbol of the union that this bride and her significant other are about to make permanent, she’ll be wearing a gold pendant engraved with both of their initials and birthstones.


14K yellow gold customized diamond, citrine, and peridot dog tag initial pendant (chain not included).

2. Temple St. Clair

This bride has dreamed of walking down the aisle, and now she intends to dress up her gown with some sass.


18K gold triple drop Tolomeo earrings with diamonds, rubies, tsavorites, and sapphires.

3. Erika Winters

She defines a new age of traditionalism by wearing a classically-styled diamond ring given to her by her beloved as a wedding gift.

Price on request

Handcrafted Caroline halo ring with round diamond center made in 18K soft-finished yellow gold.

4. Chopard

Because traditional rings aren’t her thing, this bride-to-be instead wears a whopper of an engagement watch adorned in the colors of the rainbow as a representation of her dedication to both the woman she loves and the person she is.


18K rose gold Imperiale Joaillerie timepiece with 581 rainbow-hued sapphires (47.98 TCW).

The Ultimate Bridal Jewelry Guide: 7 Bridal Customer Types (and What to Sell Them)

The Second Timer

Having already experienced what she refers to as her “trial marriage,” the Second Timer bride knows exactly what she doesn’t want when it comes to her relationships and her wedding day fashion. She is relaxed, confident, and excited about the chance to have fun this time around, but don’t be fooled: she still fully intends on being the belle of the ball. — STORY BY BARBARA PALUMBO

1. Erica Courtney

Now that she’s a little older and a lot wiser, the Second Timer wants a ring that will represent her lust for life.

Price on request.

18K yellow gold Nirvana ring with a 6.34-carat rose cut diamond center accented with diamonds (3.34 TCW).

2. Buddha Mama

The Second Timer bride feels strongly that getting another chance at “happily ever after” is both rewarding and liberating, and the earrings she’s chosen to wear on the day she takes her vows are ones she purchased for herself as an act of that belief.


Twirling 20K yellow gold dangle earrings with diamonds (3.90 TCW) from the Auspicious collection.

3. Gabriel & Co.

On the eve of her nuptials, the Second Timer’s soon-to-be stepson (whom she adores) presented her with a gift she could wear on the day of her wedding: a diamond bracelet.


14K yellow gold bezel style tennis bracelet with diamonds (0.71 TCW) from the Hampton collection.

4. Penny Preville

Opting to wear her engagement ring on her right hand after the ceremony, this experienced bride has chosen a more traditionally-styled wedding band for her left, because she believes both rings — which tell different stories — should stand on their own.


18K yellow gold En Pointe stacking band with round brilliant-cut diamonds.



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