‘The June bride hears the song
Of the spring that lasts all summer long.’ — Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
The wedding season is approaching! When it comes to what is called “boho style”, the modern bride has many options for going beyond the tried and true, breaking with tradition, and finding the perfect wedding jewelry that expresses her unique style.
This blog post will highlight just a sampling of the wonderful array of choices out there from indie jewelry designers, and peek briefly into why today’s trend is now calling for a unique, personal, and curated style when designing the dream wedding.
I have fond memories of working with brides, but in a different capacity! Years ago I had a wedding cake and catering business. I baked from my own licensed kitchen, and enjoyed the excited design and brainstorm sessions spent with brides while planning their dream cake. This time of year, when the sap begins to stir in the trees, and the spring melody of birds begins to return, I recall how things began to stir in the wedding business, as well, and the calls and consultations began to flow in.
Now that I’m making jewelry, I still enjoy being involved in the wedding process whenever possible.
“I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds, and bowers:
Of April, May, of June, and July-flowers.
I sing of maypoles, hock-carts, wassails, wakes,
Of bridegrooms, brides, and of their bridal cakes.” — Robert Herrick
Why are spring weddings traditional? Why does the idea of a June bride persist? It may sound quaint to many today, but, amazingly, the fairy tale image of a radiant June bride is still alive and well. Yet its origins are less romantic than one might suppose!
‘It is often cited that the popularity of a June wedding in European tradition is because bathing was much less frequent during middle ages than in modern times. During this time period bathing was thought by many to increase the chance of disease so nobility tended to only bathe monthly or a few times a year. The peasant class might only bathe once a year, if that often and that bath usually happened in late spring. So it made sense to marry in June because people would have smelled better for their weddings. Brides also carried bouquets of fragrant herbs and flowers to help keep everything smelling sweet.’ — quote from Brombergs.com
Thanks to Hollywood and Broadway, plus a few poets, this less-than-darling picture of a June bride was put behind us, and the romantic notions gained momentum.
Today, an entire industry has formed around the allure of a romantic wedding. As spring approaches, the bridal magazines roll out the latest and more gorgeous offerings in dresses, shoes, venues, cakes, jewelry, and more, so that prospective brides can begin to plan the day of their dreams.
Instagram, and other forms of social media, now play a huge role. This is good news for brides who are looking for the unique and hand-crafted touch for their wedding ensemble, and good news for the small business jewelry artisan, as Instagram has become an economical way to advertise.
‘More than half of engaged couples read wedding blogs like WeddingWire.com and StyleMePretty.com on a daily basis, says Liene Stevens, founder of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based wedding market consultancy The Splendid Collective….About 60% of brides are actively planning their weddings through their mobile devices, and 71% of couples have accessed TheKnot.com from their smartphones.’ — from a marketing research website
In spite of, or perhaps because of, a mega industry that has sprung around every minute detail of wedding planning, many modern brides are preferring a non-traditional wedding, deeper meaning, curated content, and less wanton spending.
If this modern bride is shopping for jewelry, as she likely is, this goal can’t be achieved in a big box jewelry store. In fact, the most basic definition of “boho”– relevant to this discussion in considering the possible tastes of a boho bride — can be summed up as the Cambridge Dictionary does:
‘A person who is interested in art, music, and/or literature, and lives in a very informal way, ignoring the usually accepted ways of behaving.’
In “Curated Weddings—The Next Big Thing?” the style blog Arrow and Twine considers the vintage movement that began a new resistance to wedding excess. The movement led to today’s ‘curated wedding’.
‘Traditions can go hang if the bride and groom aren’t keen, and the format and tempo of the day are now a completely brave new world. In a word, couples are now, more than ever, making considered choices over each of the elements of their wedding in order to provide an ‘experience’ for their guests, instead of replicating the styles they see in print and online wedding hubs. Welcome to the age of the curated wedding.’
Jewelry wishes for the modern bohemian bride can vary widely, and run the gamut from a minimalist single exquisite pearl, to an elaborate handmade Egyptian influenced bib style embroidered beadwork that incorporates grandma’s garnet brooch.
That’s more good news for artisan jewelry makers—they can often fulfill these individualized, personal wishes!
It might be that the bride and groom are influenced by traditions that are of intense value to them, and they plan a wedding that harmonizes with their desire to respect the earth and its eternal rhythms.
Bead artist Estelita Chiles, of Anchorage Alaska, and @newfanglednorth , can help with that desire! She crafts with an eye on her heritage and past, and polishes and carves her own walrus tusk pendants using techniques passed down from generations of carvers. Then it is finished with a beautiful hand-stitched bezel using tiny seed beads. As she expresses it,
“newfangled north… represents a unique style of modern beaded jewelry, inspired by people, places, culture, and experiences.” — Estelita Chiles
Diamonds and pearls are traditional, and still beloved. But since we’re talking non-traditional, what bride wouldn’t look gorgeous in this moonstone and crystal quartz necklace by Paty of vidajewelrydesigns?
The multi-wrap chunky bracelet has become very popular, and here is where pearls can really make a statement! This bridal version, crafted by Paty, is made from baroque pearls in shimmering shades of silver, champagne and cream. The bracelets are shown with the bride’s choice of coordinating single pearl necklace and baroque pearl earrings.
Perhaps a crown of raw, moon-charged quartz is what the bride desires. Look at this stunning example, incorporating both quartz and pearls, from crownsandwreaths.com (shop opening again in 2019):
Or a one of kind, hand-sculpted ring, created from conflict free diamonds. Specimental has jaw-droppingly gorgeous handcrafted rings.
Jewelry designer Lolonyo @lb_beads creates pieces that are vibrant, diverse, and warmly personal. As she describes her work:
“I want every piece to be unique and have a story to tell.” — Lolonyo
What I love about her art is that all of her pieces are unique and individual —no repeats— but each bears their own distinctive name. Here are four, any of which would make exciting options for the bride who wants to bring a sense of art and individual style to her wedding:
When it comes to romance, the jewelry designer that readily comes to mind is Sophia of @madrinasofia77 . Her exquisite pieces evoke a dreamy past, storybook romance, and classic moods, yet her work is still very much trending with today’s styles.
Wearing “something borrowed” often means a snippet of lace from Grandma Maureen, or a pearl bracelet from Aunt Ruby. But if such isn’t available, the soft, feather-weight or lacy hand stitched beaded pieces from my own line of jewelry at Heartwish might fit the need. My pieces are crafted to invoke a vintage mood, a feeling of softness, and often incorporate yesterday’s pearls or rhinestone jewelry from someone’s grandma’s jewelry box. Something “borrowed”, if you will! (click on “Bridal Boutique” in top menu to shop available jewelry)
Personalization is a wonderful touch, and here is a beautiful example of how to do it without using initials! Designer Lena James, at lenajamesdesign.com creates these exquisite bar necklaces that are customizable with the bride’s birthstone, and choice of silver or gold.
These unique, artful pieces aren’t screaming “expensive”, but they do radiate that statement of design, individual style, curated art, and the cachet of handmade that a boho bride is seeking.
If you, as a jewelry designer, would like to attract this sort of exciting, romantic, and emotionally charged (in a good way!) commission, here are some suggestions for hashtags to use:
For more hashtag ideas, visit The Wedding Playbook .
So hello, new “June bride”—we’re excited to get to know you!