Once upon a time, every engagement ring uploaded in all its twinkling glory to social media featured a diamond centre stage. Maybe it had several Diamonds. Maybe an unusual cut. Maybe it was a family heirloom (#thanksgranny). But always Diamonds.
However, times are changing. Many brides-to-be, and their brave partners, are going for bold. Yes, this Tatler guide to the best engagement rings does feature a LOT of white Diamonds. But there are also Diamonds in green, yellow and pink, as well as a sprinkling of Emeralds, Sapphires and even a jazzy Blue Topaz ring, designed by Kiki herself.
“Buy jewellery you’d love to wear again”, Kiki advises. “To buy it just for one day seems a bit silly. You’ll wear it for life – you won’t wear your wedding dress or the shoes but you can always carry something special for the day in terms of jewellery.” A well-considered choice can also become a lovely, sentimental gift. Either the bride can pass her jewellery down to a daughter or daughter-in-law or, as Kiki suggests, “it’s really nice for mothers of the bride to buy earrings for themselves. Twenty years later they can give them to their daughter and say ‘I wore these on your wedding day’. It’s very special to be able to pass it down to the next generation. Never buy something that’s wacky or bling – if it’s very pretty and simple it will always stand out.”
Individuality is the bridal buzzword. Kiki has noticed that “more and more brides are not doing the traditional white – and it’s nice to have something a little bit different.” She has always believed in women wearing jewellery that best suits them, rather than settling for whatever is said to be ‘on trend’. Season after season she makes innovative use of gemstone colours that span far wider, and brighter, than white Diamonds. Brides-to-be can browse online, at Kiki McDonough in Sloane Square and at luxury wedding store The Wedding Gallery. “Our jewellery is now in The Wedding Gallery in Marylebone. It’s such a good idea; you can go there and organise everything for your wedding under one roof – they have the most beautiful things for brides and for the mothers of the brides too.”
The move towards statement wedding jewellery is no doubt inspired by the vogue for wedding dresses that are anything but traditional (and we have Queen Victoria, who started the trend in 1840, to thank for the ubiquitous white dress). Wedding oracle Brides reported a number of colourful numbers on the runways in the latest wedding dress collections, “from Cinderella-blue ball gowns to shimmering gold numbers and of course, a colour that’s almost a wedding classic now – blush pink”.
The popularity of pink – no doubt given a boost by ‘millennial pink’, which peaked last year – has extended beyond dresses. Morganite has become ever more sought out when it comes to wedding jewellery and Kiki says brides-to-be browsing her jewellery are becoming more adventurous, citing Morganite, Green Amethyst and Blue Topaz “as lovely, and more unusual, choices. Baby pink or peachy Morganite is always great. Amethyst can look incredibly pretty. Blue Topaz is perfect if you need ‘something blue’ – keep it pale, light and wearable for the future.”
For bridesmaid gifts, jewellery is also a great option, especially if it’s something they can wear post wedding – bracelets are perfect because you don’t have to guess their size. These white or yellow gold bracelets each feature a White Topaz and a charm.
Kiki, of course, designs jewellery featuring gemstones in almost every colour of the rainbow but brides-to-be can also find a large selection of Diamonds and Pearls in modern, stylish settings. According to Brides, pearls are THE accessory trend that’s coming back strong, not just in earrings but headpieces, rings and embellishing dresses, too. Kiki designs “a lot of Diamond and Pearl earrings, in all shapes and sizes, because they’re classic, and look beautiful.”
Pantone’s 2018 Colour of the Year couldn’t be further from pearl; it is “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade” – quite. If Ultra Violet floats your boat but you’re into a slightly subtler look, you’ll love these – Lavender Amethyst has long been a favourite of Kiki’s.
So it’s official. Adding a splash of colour to your bridal look is the way to go (and your wedding photographer will thank you for it).Back to KiKi Stories