The Jeweler

Photo: Katie Murray

Mimi So of Mimi So New York

Which complements a gown best, earrings or a necklace?
There’s so much to think about. Are you wearing your hair down? Pulled back? If it’s an open neckline or you’re wearing your hair down, I love something that glistens around the neck, but earrings are important if you don’t have the neckline. Without something sparkly, you can appear flat—that’s why celebrities are always photographed with something shimmering around their face. Just keep the dress in mind, and don’t let jewelry become an afterthought.

Even for the bridesmaids?
You have to have a vision of how you want everyone to look. You need to think of the full picture: If you let the bridesmaids choose their own accessories, it won’t photograph well. If you start figuring out the jewelry piecemeal, or you don’t put too much thought into it ahead of time, they will look a little choppy in the end. And definitely get everyone the same piece of jewelry.

How much do brides tend to shell out on bridesmaids’ gifts?
Usually around $100 each, and it goes up from there. Most often it depends on how many bridesmaids are in the wedding party. Freshwater pearls are popular, as are pendants, wristlets with charms, or stud earrings. Try to find something they can wear again.

How blingy is too blingy?
It depends on the bride, but I’ve seen some weddings that are seriously blinging.

Any advice to guys out there who are starting the engagement-ring search?
I like to joke that if you’ve kept her waiting around for many years, you need to increase the stone size accordingly. But guys shouldn’t max out their credit cards—there’s always a beautiful ring, still very reasonably priced, for every woman. We want guys to feel like they’re the man, but as a woman, I understand that women want to feel proud of the ring. Sometimes it’s like I’m a therapist or we’re in a confessional booth. Everything comes out when a couple is ring-shopping.

Sounds like you’ve seen a lot.
We had one woman who asked us to engrave her telephone number inside her husband’s wedding band. She was afraid he’d leave it in a bar. He was cool with it; he just laughed it off.

Are you married?
Ten years!

How did your husband do with your ring?
Creating a ring for a jewelry designer is a lot of pressure. I told him four is a bad-luck number in Chinese, so it would have to be five carats. He said, “Don’t worry—it’ll be more like two.”

Two carats is nice.
He went for five. When he asked my father, a second- generation jeweler, for my hand in marriage, my dad said, “Show me the ring first.” Then I picked a dress that I thought made the jewelry look great.

Your bridesmaids must have been thrilled.
They were dying to wear my jewelry. But I was like, “You do not need a tiara! This is my wedding!”

consider the bracelet

“Think very carefully before choosing a bracelet: Make sure it won’t get caught in the veil or snag the dress.”
Photo: Courtesy of Mimi So


The Jeweler