"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck."
I like the quote above by Emma Goldman. She was an international anarchist in the first half of the 20th century who was eventually deported back to the Soviet Union for her radical activities, including speaking out on birth control and war. Now back to less inciting/insightful topics...
I'm just not that into dress shopping and haven't had the time, but I can tell you that the wedding dress I will most likely end up wearing will have little to no lace, beading, satin, or embroidery, and the veil will most likely be no longer than the reach of my arms. That doesn't mean that I'm not drawn to those characteristics or that I prefer a plain ensemble; I'm just leaning towards a very clean, whipped cream-y look.
I may be stalling on the dress, but I've known which jewelry I'll be wearing for a while now. I knew I wanted to wear pieces that would not detract from an elegant bridal aesthetic, but had to have interest and character; something to anchor the vanilla frothiness of a big white gown. Hence, my wedding jewelry is what I would call "classic with a twist," and is neither relegated to nor defined by the wedding.
The earrings are clear quartz gemstones dangling from cultured pearls and a post of diamond-shaped black onyx. I favor the chic combination of black and white in a simple design. (I photographed the jewelry against a spread from the September/October 2011 Manhattan magazine for visual effect.)
I'd skip a necklace and go for more dramatic earrings if my dress had a bateau or halter neckline, but for a strapless or v-neck gown, a 16-18" necklace can be really pretty and make you feel less exposed. I plan on wearing a white topaz line necklace, also known as a tennis necklace. It's short and basic enough not to be too much, but I love the genuine brilliance of the gems.
The earrings and necklace are still fairly standard, so my bracelet is the most unusual piece I'll be wearing. It has 3 rows of cultured pearls with a toggle clasp of sterling silver, and a centerpiece of mother-of-pearl, black onyx, white topaz, and spinel stones.
But of course, the most important and meaningful jewelry of the day will be our classic wedding bands. The bands were ordered a while ago and are currently in safe keeping. My wedding band matches my engagement ring, which has a traditional round diamond. I believe what rings and rounds represent to be very special -- the circle as a timeless symbol of everlasting love.