Vintage Wedding Ideas Inspired by Handcrafted Engagement Rings June 17, 2016 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog

Beach Wedding

As wedding planners and soon-to-be newlyweds well know, creating the ideal wedding starts with the perfect source of inspiration. For many, this might be a special memory or a unique piece of history, something that uniquely defines the individuals and relationship at the center of the occasion. As unique vintage styles add depth and beauty to weddings, from rustically elegant ceremonies to glamorous vintage receptions, handcrafted engagement rings can be a remarkable source of inspiration.

Setting the Tone

The timeless nature of vintage design has found its way into a variety of weddings, and as you plan your special day, it’s important to identify the tone you hope to set for the occasion. Since, aside from your spouse, your wedding ring is likely to be the only thing to stay with you for the rest of your life, this is the perfect place to start when planning your wedding aesthetics.

flowers for weddingJust as vintage engagement rings can serve as the cornerstone of an overall design scheme, the venue can also help dictate the atmosphere on a large scale.

Depending on your sense of style, you could aim for the sleek, shimmering appeal of 1920’s glamour (ideally suited to Art Deco architecture and jewelry design) or the elegantly opulent turn-of-the-century feel (ideal for lavish estate weddings and Edwardian jewelry).

Cohesive design and decor, from the perfect engagement ring to the picture-perfect wedding venue, can create a harmoniously unforgettable impression.

Antique Engagement RingFinding Your Ideal Color Story

When creating the color palette for your wedding, a sense of coherence is key. While deep, rich colors tend to characterize fall and winter weddings, muted pastels juxtaposed with brilliant hues are a better match for spring and summer events. Gemstones found in vintage and handcrafted engagement rings are the ideal place to start for developing your color story. Here’s a short (and by no means complete) list of some of the top choices for color elements by season.

Spring: For the spring season, channel tones of the natural world, inspiring freshness, liveliness, and peaceful romance.

– Sample Colors: lilac grey, champagne pink, buttercup yellow, teaberry, ivory, lavender, leaf green, coral, muted orchid

– Flowers: peony, hydrangea, ranunculus, magnolia

– Gemstones: champagne diamond, coral, aquamarine

Flower on hand and engagement ring

Summer: Summer weddings can beautifully capture the vividness and brilliance of the warmer months.

– Sample Colors: celadon blue-green, tangerine, amaranth pink, pistachio, camel, vibrant turquoise, soft lemon, chartreuse

– Flowers: delphinium, alstromeria, freesia, garden rose, gerbera daisy

– Gemstones: white diamond, emerald

Fall: Like spring weddings, autumn occasions may call for a lush palette reflective of the transitional season through vivid references to changing foliage and brisk weather.

– Sample Colors: deep amber, rust red, royal blue, toffee, sage, deep amethyst, gold, slate grey, scarlet

– Flowers: calla lily, leucadendron, chrysanthemum, celosia

– Gemstones: sapphire, grey diamondCouple Kissing at wedding

Winter: For winter weddings, crisp hues along with luxe textures and tones set the stage for dramatic, deeply romantic visual styling.

– Sample Colors: antique white, blush, silver, ice blue, mahogany, strawberry red, ashwood, teal blue, charcoal, wintergreen

– Flowers: cymbidium orchids, amaryllis, nerine, anigozanthos

– Gemstones: Burmese ruby, onyx, white diamond

Certain tones, like sugar white and mint green, play especially well with vintage themes across a range of seasons. Whatever your aesthetic, keep it fun: selecting details like candles, table arrangements, invitations, and more can be a pleasure once your perfect color palette has been determined.

Rare Victorian RingComplementing the Perfect Dress

As many a bride or bride-to-be will admit, the search for the perfect dress is a once in a lifetime experience, but often holds an overwhelming amount of choices. Rather than going in blind, consider choosing a dress based on the style of the engagement ring. This simple trick can help to create a gorgeous visual effect, and can help avert countless hours of perusing the wrong styles of wedding gown. Again, a sense of overall coherence can guide you from the overarching mood to the smallest detail. Here are a few of the major types of vintage and handcrafted engagement rings to guide your inspiration.

Victorian Jewelry
Back of wedding dress

Victorian jewelry is characterized as vividly diverse and multifaceted, often echoing Queen Victoria’s personal tastes. Early Victorian jewelry was a bold, expressive reaction to Georgian rationality and relative modernism. During Victoria’s long mourning period after Prince Albert’s death, deeper dark colors and materials such as onyx gained popularity. Though, the later Victorian era saw a resurgence in opulent, maximalist romance with many jewelry pieces referencing Renaissance or ancient Roman mythology.

Openwork filigree diamond engagement ringThe ring: Romantic flourishes dominated the vintage engagement rings of this era, and are fully on display in this breathtaking Victorian Era engagement ring, featuring 26 old mine cut diamonds as a luxuriant bouquet surrounding an old cushion cut diamond at center.

The dress: Cinched waists, full skirts, heart-shaped necklines, and lace detailing are a few of the celebrated elements of this classic and coveted style profile.

Additional elements to consider: invitations with rich cursive fonts, ornate centerpieces, delicate floral china, gilded accents in venue decor, cameo brooch boutonnieres for groomsmen.

Edwardian Jewelry

Edwardian style is defined by the rising popularity of the diamond, and much of what we now consider to be ideal design for vintage engagement rings emerged during this era. In other designs from architecture to fashion, the Edwardian Era introduced an element of restraint to the ornate stylings of the Victorian Era without compromising its dedication to luxury. Regal and sophisticated, Edwardian engagement rings are prized for their historic innovations in design and an authentically timeless appeal.

Art Deco 1920s CarThe ring: An exquisite example of Edwardian design, the Edwardian style Old European engagement ring highlights the bold, precise refinement for which the era is known with a halo of openwork filigree and diamond accents.

The dress: Royal-looking empire waists are the go-to for this aesthetic. Long sleeves, elegantly squared necklines, and lace or pearl detailing are also brilliantly par for the course.

Additional elements to consider: antique lace accents for floral arrangements, stringed instruments, intricate embroidery, vintage polished wood, lace dress details and gloves for bridesmaids

Art Deco Jewelry

Art Deco Style Engagement RingThe famous Art Deco movement came on the heels of Art Nouveau, and sought to capture the spirit of forward-looking innovation with bold lines, simple shapes, and clean, striking patterns. Architecturally, this style is ideal for lavish indoor settings (think Jay Gatsby’s mansion) as well as avant garde, industrial, and urban locales.

The ring: Art Deco jewelry is characterized by glamorous, resplendent detailing and bold geometric angles. These features are exemplified by this Art Deco style diamond and sapphire ring, a paragon of handcrafted engagement rings, showcasing an old European cut diamond in a setting of vivid French cut calibre royal blue sapphires and old mine prong-set diamonds.

Antique Edwardian Engagement RingThe dress: Flapper-style dresses are a clear match for the Art Deco aesthetic, but contemporary gown designs that favor clean, simple lines as well as continuous length and elegant draping are also a natural complement to this style.

Additional elements to consider: champagne coupe glasses (champagne towers encouraged), diamond decor accents, live vintage-style band, 1920s style shoes for the bridal party

Discover the Perfect Ring for the Event of a Lifetime

The perfect inspiration for a vintage-style wedding can originate with a single extraordinary piece of jewelry, and we invite you to begin your search with the singular collection of vintage engagement rings at Estate Diamond Jewelry. To arrange a viewing or to inquire about a particular item or arrange a visit to our Fifth Avenue showroom in Manhattan, please contact our knowledgeable staff. Whether you aspire to create a glamorous vintage aesthetic or a timeless, turn-of-the-century fairy-tale wedding, we look forward to helping you discover the perfect source of inspiration.

What does your dream wedding look like? Have any vintage wedding ideas to share? Let us know in the comments.