Wedding Pearl Wearing Guide

Choosing pearls for a wedding party is a loving task. Jewelry that extra bit of frosting for each member of the wedding party--an elegant finishing touch. You'll need to think about the overall wedding style as well as the needs of the wedding party. Factors such as pearl size, color and necklace lengths all come into play.

Pearls are the timeless classics of every woman's jewelry collection. A girl's first pearl is usually her first piece of jewelry and becomes the foundation of her jewelry wardrobe as she matures. They are often passed down from one generation to the next.

From Mother to Daughter, Grandmothers to their granddaughters and Aunts to their nieces, family are heirlooms dating back generations and can symbolize a girl's past, present and future.

A woman's pearls then become a symbol of her growth into adulthood as well as her new role with a family of her own. This is why pearls are so appropriate for the bride and her entire wedding party.

Following are a few tips to choose the prefect wedding pearls.

Wedding Style

First of all, consider the overall wedding style. Will it be held in a cathedral or on a beach? Will the ceremony be very traditional and formal or casual? The bride and her party's jewelry are best when matched to the style of the wedding.

Formal Weddings

For more formal weddings, choose larger, rounder white pearls. Traditional single, double and triple strands with matched bracelets and stud earrings will be appropriate.

Casual Weddings and Non-Traditional Weddings

Jewelry for less formal weddings can incorporate more colors and design elements. Look for colors to match the bridal party's dresses and theme. For example, choose pink pearls for a spring garden wedding or black pearls for an Avant Garde or ultra modern ceremony.

You can also wear pearls for very non-traditional weddings as well. Pearls in every color, size and shape are available in the jewelry marketplace. Pick pearls to match your theme or color.

Pearls for the Wedding Party

Next, let's think about how the entire wedding party can be perfectly adorned with pearls for the big day.

Mothers and Grandmothers

For Moms and Grandmas on both sides of the wedding party, larger pearls, longer and multiple strands are very appropriate. As a woman ages, she is best suited by larger pearls, so seven millimeters is the starting point. Also, the starting length range is 18 inches. Generally about a 22 inch strand is recommended.

As for color, this will depend on Mom and Grandma's tastes. Most often white is most preferred. However for Moms and Grandmas with an extra flair for color, pinks, lavenders, blacks are also available. It is their day to celebrate their child and grandchild so, let them express themselves too.

Remember to give Mom and Grandma their pearls early so that they will have time to coordinate their wedding day attire--generally, two to three months in advance.


Pearls are also the perfect bridesmaids' gifts. These pearls should be worn at the ceremony. Typically, smaller pearls at shorter lengths are best. Pearls in the six to seven millimeter range are most appropriate.

The bride does have a choice of color of pearls. She can choose traditional white for her bridesmaids or match pearls in pale pastel colors to their dresses. For spring and summer weddings, think about fresh and lively colors, and for fall or winter weddings, look for darker and jewel toned pearls.

Traditional lengths of 16 to 20 inches are most preferred. However, the pearl strand or pendant should fall at least one inch above or two inches below the neckline of the bridesmaids' dresses.

As the dresses will be chosen by the bride well in advance, she should have ample time to prepare matched necklaces as bridesmaids' gifts. The rehearsal dinner will be the appropriate occasion for these gifts. To distinguish the maid of honor, she can wear a different color, slightly larger or longer pearls.

Real cultured pearls are a very nice "Thank You" gift for bridesmaids. They are real gemstones and can be worn for special occasions later on.

Flower Girls

Flower girls' jewelry can be a smaller version of the bridesmaids. Since most flower girls will sprout inches within months, a longer necklace is very appropriate. Pearls in the five to six millimeter range at about 14 inches will fit most young flower girls.

They can match the bridesmaids or can be slightly different in color and size. Flower girl jewelry can also be just a bit more fanciful with more colors and variety. Think about drop shapes or off round shapes.

The rehearsal dinner is also a great time to give flower girls their wedding jewelry gifts.

Fathers, Groomsmen and the Groom

Today, pearls can also be worn by the men in the wedding as well. Pearls can be worn incorporated into tie tacks, ascot pins, cufflinks and shirt studs.

Small five to six millimeter can be set into shirt studs and matched cuff links. Button shaped and half or blister pearls with a flattened side will set nicely into these wedding accessories.

The color of the pearls can be determined when the clothing and accessories for the men are selected. To blend in to a white shirt, white pearls can be used. For a nice contrast, black pearls. Also, if there is a theme to the wedding, specific colors are also available to match.

To distinguish the groom and his best man, they wear different color pearls as well. Also, think about matching members of the wedding party. The best man and maid of honor can be matched in pearl color and size.

Men's wardrobe for a wedding is also selected well in advance so; the pearl accessories will be an excellent gift for Dads and Groomsmen at rehearsal dinner.

The Bride

The bride herself should have the largest and best pearls for her wedding day. Her necklace should reflect her personal style as well as her wedding.

The size of the pearls should be relative to her frame. The starting pearl size is in the six to seven millimeter range for an average sized bride--at approximately 5'5" tall and weighing about 130 pounds. Then, size up or down depending on the wearer. Also, take into account the bride's age. As a woman matures, larger pearls are more appropriate.

The length of her necklace should fall at least one inch above or two inches below the neckline of her dress. The average length is about 16 to 18 inches for above the collar and 22+ inches for below.

The bride has several choices for color. For traditional weddings, white is most appropriate. However, if the bride so chooses, she can wear any color she desires. Also, if there are pearls on her dress, the color should match the jewelry as well.