When future-queen Kate Middleton stood next to Prince William, all eyes went right to the ring. Was she wearing a brilliant, ten-carat sparkler from Tiffany? Or Harry Winston? Kristin Farrell? Lorraine Schwartz? Jean Dousset? Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry?
No, Kate was wearing the late Princess Diana’s engagement ring, the sapphire and diamond ring we all remember from when the world was first introduced to the young Lady Diana upon her own engagement. Prince William, who certainly had every type of engagement ring offered to him, explained that the ring was very special to him, Kate was very special to him, and giving this ring to her was a way to combine the two and also have his mother’s presence even more fully at the wedding. No one could question that. And overnight, the idea of giving a family ring to a bride caught on like wildfire.
The trend of incorporating heirloom jewelry into wedding plans was soaring long before Prince William popped the question, but now it’s really a hot trend. Using family rings and precious gem jewelry as-is, or bringing them to a jeweler to re-design into a new fashion, is an ultra-popular wedding choice for both budget reasons and as a sentimental way to honor ancestors and keep family tradition alive. I wrote about it in my book Your Wedding Your Way, which is all about personalizing your big day by giving traditions a twist.
Other ways to include heirloom jewelry in your wedding plans:
- Attach a family heirloom brooch to your bridal gown’s sash bow, as seen on bridal design runways
- Attach a family heirloom brooch to your gown’s bodice or strap in a stylish manner
- Wear heirloom earrings or a necklace as part of the bridal ensemble for the ceremony
- Change into bigger, more dramatic family jewelry for the reception as a day-to-night fashionable Look #2
- Attach a gemstone brooch to the bouquet handle
- Change up your wedding gown from the ceremony to the reception by removing the train and jacket, and adding a sparkling brooch to the newly-added, colorful sash at your waist
I love this idea: suggest to your mother that she wear her own mother’s heirloom jewelry during the big day, so the two of you can match with your symbolic bling!