Wedding jewellery can be fun, lightweight, colourful and not necessarily in gold. Here’s how

“It took me a long time to develop this line,” says Harini Rao of Hearth Treasures, referring to terracotta jewellery pieces she designed for weddings, inspired by temple jewellery. You read it right. We are taking about terracotta and not gold, diamond or platinum. Hyderabad’s burgeoning appetite for luxury is unquestionable. The number of jewellery stores stands testimony to that. But there’s also a sizeable, growing segment of people experimenting with statement jewellery pieces in terracotta, silver and silver plated with gold.

Invitees and family members of brides in particular, are picking up these jewellery options for smaller functions associated with weddings. Occasionally, there are orders for gold-plated silver jewellery for weddings as well. These pieces come in handy for destination weddings, when one doesn’t want to risk travelling with precious jewellery. “I’ve designed for a few weddings, where orders were placed for gold plated silver jewellery — vankis, vadiyanam, neck pieces, earrings, bangles and pendants. Any jewellery piece that exists in gold can be done in silver too and it would work out much cheaper,” says Sumisha of Treasure Chest. Sumisha has also designed children’s jewellery and says, “With children, the sizes keep changing as they grow. I’ve had many parents who don’t want to buy gold and prefer silver for children.”

Elders don’t really frown upon terracotta or silver jewellery making it to the ‘it list’ of the bridal trousseau any more, say these jewellery designers. Bhargavi Sameeran of Sangama, who gets her line of silver and brass alloy jewellery pieces designed by karigars in Kolkata and Mumbai, agrees: “People are experimenting with neck pieces and earrings. Most of these designs are inspired by traditional kundan and temple jewellery. The paisley motif is an all-time favourite. Kundan and meenakari work are popular,” she says.

Harini recently designed a haram with a string of gold-coloured paisleys in terracotta.

“I encourage people to pick up colours like dull gold, red and green that will go with many South Indian outfits,” she says. Mangoes, elephants, peacocks, Durga and Ganesha often find representation in her jewellery.

Often, jewellery designers double up as stylists, helping their customers match their jewellery with their outfits. “When women come to me with heavy saris, I suggest they wear lighter neckpieces. Long chains in Bengali style, like what Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai wore in Devdas, are ideal for heavy outfits,” says Bhargavi.

As Harini sums up, “There’s no point in keeping your jewellery in lockers forever. You need to have a few easy-to-use pieces. Alternative jewellery also allows you to have customised pieces to match different outfits.”