Weddings: Looking Forward/Looking Back

Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori

Dr. Lori Verderame

by Dr. Lori Verderame

It’s wedding season again. Summer weddings all their glory usher in brides in white dresses, towering cakes, and flowers galore. No matter the couple, there are some mainstays when it comes to weddings such as designer dresses and heirloom jewelry.

Dress Up

You know the designers’ names: Vivienne Westwood, Marchesa, Randi Rahm, Rivini, Vera Wang, etc. Brides in 2018 are looking forward in their dress selections. Today’s brides are choosing daring dress designs complete with wedding gowns in basic black and eye-popping red. Floral prints, sequins and over-the-top applique work are all the rage replacing traditional white dresses covered in pearls and lace. And for the very daring bride, she’ll be wearing pants or even short-shorts down the aisle instead of a ball gown.

While everything new might be the case when it comes to wedding gowns, some parts of a wedding are all about the old and the borrowed even if the wedding gown is new and possibly, blue. That’s right, today’s brides are turning their backs on the ultra-contemporary, new, and unusual options in the realm of wedding jewelry. Brides and grooms are accepting gifts of bling or borrowing family heirloom pieces from Grandma and Grandpa that harken back to the styles of yesteryear.

Brides are choosing engagement rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces that look back about one hundred years ago to the Art Deco era of the roaring 1920s. Large central set stones –everything from diamonds and citrines to emeralds and sapphires–are trending in engagement rings. And, if a bride wants a traditional diamond, it better be big and cut like a cushion or in a round, oval, or square manner. These stunningly oversized rings are what gave statement rings their name.  And, a statement they do make. Asymmetrically cut stones are out and standard symmetry is in. To top off the grand engagement ring are diamond-encrusted inserts and eternity bands that can be worn alone and still speak volumes about a couple’s love and devotion.

For the big day, lavalier pendants of diamonds and crystals set in white gold and platinum filigree showing the glitz and glamour of the early 1900s adorn the necks of today’s brides, bridesmaids, and brides’ mothers and guests. To match the drop pendant lavaliers, drop earrings are the choice of most brides this season.

Drop earrings, to match the drop pendants of lavalier necklaces, are popular too. Most of them recall the black/white color scheme of the Art Deco movement while adding large stones for impact in floral designs or repeating geometric shapes.

When it comes to wedding dresses, new is cool but if you are looking at accessories for the neck, wrist or ears, the words that describe wedding jewelry this season are heirloom, vintage, and antique.

Dr. Lori Verderame is the author, Ph.D. antiques appraiser, and award-winning TV personality who appears on History channel’s #1 show about history’s longest running treasure hunt, The Curse of Oak Island. With a Ph.D. from Penn State University, vast museum and appraisal experience, Dr. Lori provides appraisals and expert consulting services online. Visit or call (888) 431-1010.


  1. Dr. Lori’s headshot (on file)
  2. Wedding jewelry
    Photo credit: Photograph staff of