Wedding Traditions: The History of Wedding Jewelry

July 18, 2017 by Kiesha Joseph

Ever wondered about the backstory related to the jewelry brides wear on one of the biggest days of their lives? Well, you’d be happy to know that the history of wedding jewelry is a pretty interesting one. Many of the wedding traditions were created with specific reasons in mind, including the type of wedding jewelry worn by brides.

Remember the traditional saying that a bride must have “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”? Well, cute little rhyme dates back to the folklore of 19 Century English times and has historical significance. According to history, it’s purpose is all about fertility, good luck and, of course, wedding rites. Gold ornaments are often used to express all of these factors.

Wedding Traditions – The History of Wedding Jewelry: How It All Began

These days, when it comes to wedding jewelry, the main focus is placed on the bride’s and groom’s rings. Wedding rings are traditionally exchanged as the vows are said during the nuptials.

Wedding Traditions: The history of wedding jewelry dates back for centuries.

The history of wedding rings dates back to the 1500s. Couples would get engaged and purchase Gimmel rings. These interlocking rings would be divided, one for the bride to wear, the other was worn by the groom.

This was the couple’s way of announcing to the world that they plan to get married. During the wedding ceremony, the groom would remove his half of the Gimmal ring. He would then place it on his bride’s finger as a symbol of unity.

The History of Wedding Jewelry: Men’s Wedding Bands

According to the history of wedding jewelry, it wasn’t until the late 19th Century when men started wearing wedding bands in the U.S. And, it all started as a marketing campaign directed at ladies. The goal was to encourage men to also take part in the symbolic act of wearing a symbol of unity after the nuptials are over, just like the brides.

Only about 15% of the men of the Depression days wore wedding bands. Many believe this was due to the financial hardships many suffered during that time. But, that number increased to about 80% by the post-World War II era. Today, during the 21st Century, this tradition continues here in the U.S. Many other countries have stuck with the tradition of just the bride wearing a wedding ring after the ceremony.

The History of Wedding Jewelry: The Bride and Her Wedding Ring

When it comes to planning that big day, the bride focuses on her wedding ring as much as all the other aspects of the wedding. Their pride that comes with showing off your new engagement ring when people say, “Let me see your ring.”

This piece of wedding jewelry is a symbol of your fiancé’s love for you. So, it’s important not to put all your focus on the size of the diamond as a symbol of money and status. Instead, be grateful for the groom’s devotion to becoming your husband.

Diamond wedding rings for women set in white gold.

These days, more brides are breaking away from traditional wedding jewelry in efforts to make unique statements. They want their individuality to shine when planning their weddings and picking out their wedding rings.

Many brides consider themselves queens and princesses. So, they turn to tiaras to accent their wedding gowns. Antique tiaras give you something to place in your daughter’s hope chest to pass down to her later.

The History of Wedding Jewelry: Religious Commitments

Based on past wedding traditions, many couples these days choose to incorporate their commitments to religion or spirituality into their wedding rings. There are numerous contemporary designs that allow you to incorporate these traditions in your ring’s design. You can integrate crosses, rosaries, the Star of David, scrolls or any other spiritual or religious symbol within the design of your wedding ring.

There are also pieces of wedding jewelry that keep with tradition and aren’t worn by either the bride or the groom. In some cases, brides will give their maid of honor and bridesmaids gifts to wear on the day of the wedding. These jewelry gifts may be earrings, bracelets, necklaces, even charms.

You may even want all the ladies to wear matching bangles or cuffs with religious adornment. These will help you add your own personal touch to the feel of the wedding. Plus, these are lifelong keepsakes that will always remind the ladies of your beautiful day.

Customize for a Non-Traditional Look

Just keep in mind that your wedding ring doesn’t have to be so traditional. If you’re hoping for something traditional, go with the usual diamond engagement ring and wedding band set. But, even though keeping in mind old wedding traditions, if you want something unique that shows off your style and flare, there are other types of wedding rings on the market.

Check out this freshwater pearl wedding band for women.
Check out this freshwater pearl wedding band for women. Isn’t it simply stunning?!?!?!

The Pearl Source helps brides create amazing looks with very fashionable and trendy wedding ring designs. You can also have your wedding jewelry custom designed to showcase your spirituality and individuality.

Check out the pearl wedding band for women above! The Pearl Source can custom design a beautiful wedding band made of pearls just for you!

Shop Pearl Wedding Jewelry Now

Kiesha Joseph
Follow Me

Kiesha Joseph

The Pearl Source Content Manager at Content Marketing Geek Corporation
Kiesha Joseph is the Managing Content Editor for ThePearlSource.com, a leading online pearl jewelry website offering high-quality pearls at affordable prices. Kiesha is a Content Marketing Geek who enjoys educating her audience on a broad range of topics, including trends in marketing, SEO, jewelry, fashion, celebrity style and more.
Kiesha Joseph
Follow Me