Wedding Jewelry!

It’s strange for me to be so excited about the jewelry. I almost never wear any jewelry in my day to day life. I don’t even put in earrings except on rare occasions. So you’d never know it to look at my geeky self, but I LOVE over the top, ridiculous costume jewelry. Gaudy? Yes, please. That’s what I’m going for. I want to feel like a queen, nay, a goddess!

The only piece of jewelry here that is “real” is my engagement ring and even that is very cheap compared to the usual cost of such things. I’ve just never felt comfortable owning nice jewelry. I don’t want the responsibility in case I lose it.

But I had a lot of fun picking out these pieces for my wedding, most of them from ebay!

#1: Bangles! You’re never fully dressed without your bangles. That’s what the girls in my bharatnatyam class used to tell me. I often shock people with being bare-wristed at events. Ooops. It’s hard for me to remember that I’m supposed to put on jewelry. Also, I have extremely tiny wrists and usually have to buy child sized bangles. I’m not sure how well these are going to stay on me.

#2: The “necklace set.” I’m making a weird face there. Just trying to hold the tikka on while I take the picture with my other hand. Luckily my wedding hair style gives the hooks plenty to hang onto and I won’t have to worry about it falling off.

Individual elements of the set:

Necklace. I probably need to make it a little tighter and closer against my neck. I love the red and gold with the flower-like shape in the center. Luckily my dress’s embroidery ended up having both gold and silver elements so my jewelry will match okay.

The tikka is something I bought separately from the necklace. The necklace set came with its own forehead drop, but I wanted the pieces that go down the sides of the face too. You can see that the metal is a slightly different tone from the necklace, but I think it’s close enough!

The earring match the necklace set and dangle pretty low. I was only able to get one of them in for this photo shoot! My mother is allergic to metal and I seem to be mildly allergic too because my ears get very bothered by having earrings in. The other side is puffy and bloody now from me trying to get the other earring in! I’m going to need to wear some heavy earrings in the days leading up to my wedding to make sure the holes are big enough to work.

#3: The Mangala Sutra. I’m so looking forward to wearing this necklace every day for the rest of my life. This is traditionally the equivalent of a wedding ring for Hindus. The pendant is usually connected to the family in some way. I just got one that I thought was beautiful. During the ceremony, Brad will place this around my neck.

#4: Toe rings. Another symbol of marriage for women is silver toe rings on the toe next to the big toe. Because gold is considered a pure metal, it is only worn above the waist. Below the waist jewelry is all silver.

#5: Anklet. My future mother-in-law is the jewelry expert in my life. She found this bell anklet from her trip to India many years ago and gave it to me to wear at the wedding. I will jingle like I do at bharatnatyam!

#6: The wedding band. It’s hard to see the detail with my iPod camera, I’m afraid. It really matches my engagement ring perfectly. This was another find by my future mother-in-law. It’s an old family ring of hers.

And actually, I don’t think I’ve shown you the engagement ring itself…

I’m not a big fan of diamonds (even though it is my birth stone), but again my future mother-in-law gifted me the central diamond from a pair of earrings of hers. We brought it with us to a jewelry store, me and Brad and his mom. It was a really nice experience to get to share with her. We picked this clearance priced setting!

Oh yeah, I’m feeling excited. I think I am going to feel BEAUTIFUL the day of. I just have to be careful not to try to wear all of the jewelry, every kind of jewelry! With this much of it, though, I think my cousin who is a makeup artist will be able to put a very strong look on me and have it work.

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About Ambaa Choate

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.


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