Obviously, a wedding ring is the one piece of jewellery inextricably associated with a wedding day. A ring is a symbol of eternity, of commitment without end one s married life to come encapsulated in an unending gold circlet. Jewellery, in other words, that is designed to adorn not just one s nuptials but the whole of a new life. Bridal tiaras, by contrast, highlight only the day itself. That s not a failing , as though bridal tiaras were somehow less important in the language of wedding jewellery than the ring: on the contrary, without bridal tiaras, the story the ring is supposed to tell has nowhere to start. Wedding rings tell a story about married life. Bridal tiaras start that story, by telling their own tale about the wedding.
What one thing does a bride wear that is uniquely associated with her wedding? The dress? Not completely: a wedding dress is symbolic of the day, true, but only as part of an ensemble. Without the rest of the outfit, a wedding dress is still just a dress. With a veil, a wedding dress becomes part of a complete uniform designed both to enhance and conceal beauty it s the veil that allows bridal wear to combine titillation with chastity, purity with ownership. A veil is the ultimate symbol of the marital union. Once it is drawn aside, the bride is kissed and the union is complete. Bridal tiaras, anchoring and drawing attention to the veil, are the piece of wedding jewellery in which the meaning of the day reposes.
A bride s choice of bridal tiaras, then, is paramount to the success of her outfit. Bridal tiaras must be chosen to harmonise with the fabric of the dress and the veil; bridal tiaras must be selected to subtly draw attention to the veil; and, of course, bridal tiaras should allow the bride to feel that she is the princess, marrying her prince.
It s no coincidence that our fairytale ideal of a wedding Princess and Prince Charming, or humble girl brought to the estate of royalty by marriage and this staple piece of marital jewellery have regal connotations. To assume royalty from humble or virtuous beginnings, in the fairytale formula that we ve based our ideas of weddings on, is to externalise the purity of one s soul: and one s love. In essence, every girl that marries her prince is a princess because she s made queenly and beautiful by marriage. Bridal tiaras remind us of this when we see a bride walking down the aisle, her face wispily obscured by lace, it s the tiara that gives us the connection between the veil that is about to be drawn and the fairytale achievement of royal status.
Bridal tiaras aren t just beautiful pieces of jewellery that highlight the hair and face of the bride-to-be (though they do just that). And bridal tiaras are not simply the one piece of jewellery a girl gets to wear in her life that unequivocally allows her to be a princess (though they do that too). No bridal tiaras are the distillation of everything the ring stands for: unity, commitment, forever. Bridal tiaras symbolise the moment of unveiling, when everything the wedding ring encapsulates is about to start. As such, bridal tiaras deserve a place in the lexicon of marriage every bit as prominent as the ring. Without bridal tiaras, there would be no moment of transformation and without a moment of transformation, the wedding ring would be meaningless.