There’s nothing more exciting than planning a wedding. And arguably, choosing the bridal outfit is the absolute best part of the entire wedding process. From the big elements like the dress or wedding wear, through to the perfect shoes, and of course – the jewellery.
Everything has to blend seamlessly and suit the bride’s style and personality…and be incredible in the photos, too. For decades (or longer) wedding pearls have been popular with brides. It’s not hard to see why. They’re timeless, elegant, and there’s a pearl to suit every bride out there. While other gemstones might be too gaudy or distracting, pearls fit right in with the bridal aesthetic.
But where did the wedding pearls tradition come from, and what exactly do they represent?
Why pearls are worn at weddings
Throughout history, pearls have always been considered a gift of love. This is one reason why they’re popular with brides. Another reason is that historically, pearls were reserved for the upper classes and Royals. They were incredibly expensive and hard to find as all pearls were natural, not cultured.
So, throughout history, pearls have always had a sense of prestige and luxury attached to them. It makes sense then, that they’d be the perfect fit for special occasions like weddings – probably the only day where every woman gets to feel like Royalty. During the Victorian era specifically, pearls became popular wedding jewellery. Since then, the tradition has remained and nowadays we not only see them as bridal accessories, but as adornments on gowns, veils, and sometimes even shoes too.
White pearls are a particularly popular choice for brides-to-be. Undoubtedly, this is partly because white pearls perfectly complement the majority of bridal fashion trends including the white or ivory gowns, classic and elegant hairdos, and generally muted makeup and accessories.
However, the symbolism and meaning of white pearls also comes into play.
What do wedding pearls symbolise?
White pearls are symbolic of purity, beauty, and innocence. They also symbolise new beginnings. Perfect for a couple about to start a new chapter together on their wedding day!
It might be surprising to some to hear that a few superstitions around wedding pearls still linger, and this has been known to put off some brides who want all the good luck they can garner for the big day! This mostly extends to pearls which are given as gifts because superstition says that you should always pay for pearls, even if it’s just a token amount.
Another reason that some brides are wary of pearl wedding jewellery is because pearls can be representative of tears. That said, tears don’t have to be bad luck. Anyone who has ever cried happy tears will know this! Some believe that pearls represent the tears she that a bride will shed. But this doesn’t mean that by wearing pearls, she’s condemning herself to a life of sadness. In fact, quite the opposite. Because the wedding pearls themselves represent the tears, they ward off any future sadness, so that the bride’s life and marriage itself will be happy and free of sorrow.
Read our blog for more information on pearl meaning and symbolism here.
What are the best choices for bridal pearls?
One of the best things about bridal fashion is that it has evolved so much over the last few decades. Whereas bridal style was quite set in stone only a generation or two ago, today’s brides are free to be true to their own unique style.
The perfect bridal jewellery depends completely upon the bride. A bride who has opted for a classic look with an A-line gown and simple, classic updo would look spectacular in a timeless pearl string necklace. A bride who fell in love with a bohemian chic dress and whose dream wedding is an intimate, relaxed affair might prefer a statement necklace with a baroque pearl.
A pair of pearl earrings are another beautiful choice for brides, and often make up one part of the ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ adage. A newly-purchased pair of pearl earrings can perfectly complement any given hairdo on the day, but a precious and pair passed down from a family member or close friend can have huge sentimental value on the big day.
Here at Lullu, we say that you should pick the bridal wedding jewellery that you fall in love with. There’s no rules around what brides can and can’t wear anymore, so pick a piece that will make you smile every time you look at it on your wedding day, and for years after as well.