Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eskimo kisses and wedding jewelry.

Photo credit: Martin Dallaire

I am not sure exactly what we were doing in this photo, but I like it because it captures a giddy-happy candid moment after the ceremony, right in the middle of all the group picture taking. I love how the background is all magical and out of focus, and I also must admit that I like that you can see my jewelry well. I think this might be the only photo we have that shows the earrings clearly. Which was not a surprise, since I wore my hair half-down, but I like the glimpse here. Especially since I put a lot of effort into my jewelry.

I realized the other day I didn't really talk much about my jewelry. I had searched and searched for something that I felt would look right with the dress and level of formality of the evening. I thought about pearls and decided against them because I wanted something atypical. I looked at all sorts of department stores, and was discouraged by the over-priced jewelry which all seemed to be going for the faux vintage look anyway. So I decided I could probably find actual vintage jewelry cheaper at a little antique shop. So I went over to an antique shop in Andersonville, in Chicago, and in about 15 minutes found a rhinestone necklace and pair of earrings that I liked. Simple enough for my taste (which was actually hard to find!) and authentic vintage; I think the owner said they were from the '30s or '40s? I liked them, but after trying them at home with my dress, they didn't exactly feel right and my mom was worried that the necklace wasn't special-looking enough. From the Tennesee, she went on a search to try to help me find something and started sending me pictures in emails of things I might like. And I kept searching too, mostly online. I scoured etsy, but most of the things I found that I liked were either out of my price range, or too casual/trendy for the look I was going for. Finally I went to Vintage Underground in Chicago. I had heard about this place from a google search back at the end of July and had an inexplicable feeling/hope that "my wedding jewelry" was there waiting for me. Weird, I know, but that's how I felt. Even so, I wanted to wait until S was in town so we could go together (because we like looking at vintage stuff) and things got busy with the move and all the DIY invitation making, so we found ourselves literally driving out of town on the way the Canada at the beginning of September, making a quick stop at Vintage Underground with my car packed full of all my belongings that weren't on the moving truck.

Boy, am I glad we did. They had some traditional looking wedding jewelry, but I described what I was going for and they pointed me in some other directions. Then the man went to the back room and came out with a necklace he had that was broken. When I saw it, I thought...I think this is it. It was gorgeous and incredibly unique. He said it was about 75 years old or so, and I could tell he really liked it and didn't really want to part with it. The only problem was that the chain was broken; the man was planning on repairing it and then charging an expensive price for it. We asked how much it would be "as is," and the price was do-able. Very reasonable for jewelry, just more than what I had anticipated spending, which was almost nothing! But my dress and shoes were both well under budget, so I got it and a pair of earrings that coordinated well. Both had the same tear-drop shape and the same kind of black stone sparklies in it. The earrings also had a dark red stone in them, which was perfect since we were both wearing dark red shoes. The earrings weren't vintage though; they told us that post backings are a relatively recent thing. So I bought the jewelry, then later took the necklace to our jeweler in Qu├ębec who also did my engagement ring and our wedding bands. He put on a new necklace chain that I picked, and aged it to match the vintage feel of the pendent. I have never for a moment regretting getting this jewelry. I love it and wear them regularly, and it is a fabulous feeling to wear it, knowing that this was the jewelry I wore at our wedding.

And I will add that while I was deciding on the jewelry, S managed to find a retro watch he liked and decided to get for kicks. He wore it for the wedding too, and now wears regularly. You press a button and the time lights up on the screen in red. It's pretty funky and interesting.

Photo credit: Martin Dallaire
Happy with our cool vintages purchases, we got dinner, took one more trip to Swirlz for some going-away cupcakes, then drove away from my sweet home Chicago.


  1. Oh I love that top photo so much. You look so happy.

    What a great story about your wedding day bling! I so love vintage shopping - dangerous! That watch sounds fun too.

  2. Your wedding jewellery is absolutely beautiful! And that photo... it's so genuine. You can almost feel the happiness. I can only hope I get gorgeous pictures like that at my wedding!