Many beaders I know got their start making beaded wedding jewelry. When I heard how Rebecca Campbell created the Filigree Drops (from the book, Create Jewelry: Crystals) for her sister's wedding, I knew I wanted to share her story with you. I hope you enjoy Rebecca's story as much as I did! —Michelle Mach, Beading Daily editor
Bridesmaids Rebecca and Elizabeth
pose with the bride, their sister Rachael. My sister Rachael and I had been emailing jewelry ideas back and forth for months. When I saw the photo of the Filigree Drops, I thought it was very "Rachael" and she agreed! The color of the crystals was gorgeous with the turquoise sash of her wedding gown. I also made Rachael’s necklace and bracelet, my own jewelry, and earrings for my other sister, Elizabeth. But I didn't stop there!
The morning of the wedding, I ended up making several aunts and a friend a pair of earrings. I had gone out the week prior to the wedding to help my sister with the final wedding details. I took all of my beading materials with me, thinking I’d have plenty of time to make Rachael’s jewelry. Of course, with a wedding, there’s always way more to do than you think. When the morning of the wedding arrived, I still hadn’t strung a single bead! At some point, I just had to stop what I was doing and sit down and make the jewelry. I’ve always said I work well under pressure, so I had my game face on!
Rachael and her dad. Anyway, various family members were coming and going, helping with all the last minute preparations, and there I was in the middle of the kitchen feverishly making the bride’s jewelry. I do like pressure, but even I was stressing myself out. This jewelry was to be Rachael's "something new"—and it was her wedding day—so I wanted her to absolutely love it.
I sat there in deep concentration, asking opinions of aunts, uncles, and cousins as they meandered through the kitchen on some sort of wedding-related mission. I tried to ask Rachael which beads she wanted for the bracelet. "I trust you," was her only response. What a great compliment—but what a lot of pressure! In the end, she loved it and had so many compliments on it. And I had several requests for earrings as I sat in the kitchen. Aunts and friends would casually ask, "Hey, my dress is brown. Can you make me something to go with that?" I’d only brought beads in the palette of my sister’s wedding, so everyone ended up with a variation on the bridal jewelry, but it was fun, pressure and all!
Meet the Munroes,
Rachael and Ryan! Nearly everything in the wedding was handmade, not just the jewelry. My mom's sister made the ring bearer’s pillow from my mom’s old handkerchiefs and sewed teal satin ribbon and Swarovski crystals onto Rachael’s veil. Rachael and Aunt Rose created the Birds of Paradise centerpieces, which represented the first flower my dad ever gave my mom.
The wedding took place in my dad’s backyard in Pennsylvania. Rachael and Ryan got married in the gazebo my dad built after our mom passed away. It was a very personal, sentimental ceremony with only 50 people. The pastor who performed my mom’s funeral service performed the wedding ceremony. With my mom and dad's wedding song playing, Rachael came in through the back gate of our yard and walked into the gazebo with my dad. There wasn't a dry eye in the place.
Making Jewelry with Beading Daily
How to Make Earrings: Five Free Jewelry Projects
This free earrings ebook, Making Jewelry with Beading Daily: How to Make Earrings: Five Free Jewelry Projects, includes five earring patterns that use a range of techniques (simple stringing, wirework, simple metalwork, seed bead netting and fringe) and a variety of materials (silver, copper, seed beads, crystals, pearls, gemstones). Both beginners and more experienced jewelry makers will find at least one beaded earring design that will inspire them to catch the handmade earring craze!
Rebecca Campbell is the managing editor for Interweave Press books. Her original beading designs have appeared in Stringing.
Filed under: Pearls, Crystals, Beaded Beads, Bead Making, Stringing, How To Bead, Seed Bead Patterns, Bead-weaving, Earring Making, Beaded Wedding Jewelry, Bead Crafts, Beaded Jewelry Design, Beads, Jewelry Making, Beading Daily