Over the course of the summer lots of weddings filled our Instagram feed, but none we saw seemed to be quite as much fun or filled with as many interesting and stylish jewels as the nuptials of Ashley Davis and James Williams. We are thrilled Ashley agreed to share her wedding jewelry diary with us on The Adventurine in this special post.
My husband and I met in the most unlikely of places—Las Vegas, where no one seems to be looking for anything serious. To quote Rihanna, “we fell in love in a hopeless place.”
And we owe it all to jewelry. As an editor for National Jeweler, I travel to Sin City annually for a number of trade shows, which placed me, a New Yorker, in front of him, an Angeleno, who made regular trips to Las Vegas with his friends as young men from Los Angeles are wont to do.
Two years later we were both New Yorkers, engaged and not at all looking forward to planning a wedding. So, in a full circle moment, we decided to elope in Las Vegas, with just a few family and friends to witness it.
Since Vegas is a city in which anything goes, we knew the city’s hedonistic attitude would be an excuse to have exactly the over-the-top yet insouciant nuptials we’d most enjoy, catered exactly to our tastes. Think lots of champagne but no cake, a cheap Elvis ceremony but super luxurious attire, specifically, in my case, piles of fabulous jewelry.
For maximum glamour I wanted to wear loads of diamonds, as in a so-many-diamonds-your-grandmother-thinks-it’s-in-poor-taste amount of diamonds.
To achieve the look, I layered a generous helping of Suzanne Kalan chokers bedecked with baguette-shaped diamonds set slightly askew in the designer’s signature “Fireworks” style.
Next I added one of Jacquie Aiche’s classic “Shaker” necklaces featuring sweet, bezel-set round diamonds, some of them dangling, to provide a layer of sparkle at the collarbone and channel some of the designer’s free-spirited cool (as I had been doing poolside in the days leading up to the wedding, courtesy of her body and hand chains).
I topped it off with an Oscar red carpet-worthy diamond rivière necklace and drop earrings from Material Good, the luxurious downtown Manhattan shopping mecca for lovers of rare watches and high-wattage jewels.
The Material Good “Wave Diamond Drop Earrings” I wore feature a curving line of pear-shaped and round brilliant diamonds totaling 3.27 carats. The “Small Graduated Diamond Necklace,” meanwhile, boasts 10 carats of round brilliants that hit just above my dress’s neckline.
Speaking of the dress, when searching for the elusive look I didn’t have a clue what I was looking for until I found it. It was via Elyse Walker that I discovered London-based Fannie Schiavoni, maker of metal dresses worn by the likes of Ashley Graham and Bella Hadid.
Though the designer crafts her chainmail-esque attire predominantly in stainless steel, I was instantly smitten when I saw one of her brass versions plated entirely in 18-karat yellow gold. Gold is my favorite color and what’s better than draping yourself in 18-karat head-to-thigh? Now that I know firsthand, I can confidently say nothing.
As a nod to bridal tradition I decided to incorporate a little white lace into the look, but more in the vein of a contemporary Madonna à la “Like a Virgin” than, say, a customary veil. I found just what I wanted in Gianvito Rossi’s cream lace and leather thigh-high boots, which perfectly echoed the kitsch of our ceremony venue, the iconic A Little White Wedding Chapel.
Despite my best attempts at keeping our Vegas elopement unemotional and unabashedly fun, some traditional sentimentality crept its way into the festivities by way of my late father’s wedding band, which my mother brought for me to carry during the ceremony. Ultimately, I appreciated the symbolism of honoring my parent’s marriage as I embarked on my own.
Above, it’s pictured with my engagement ring, which I picked out myself: an antique old mine cut diamond gypsy band ring from my go-to antique jewelry seller The Moonstoned.
Instead of carrying my father’s wedding band in my purse, I ended up stringing it on the Jacquie Aiche “Shaker” necklace I wore so I wouldn’t lose it. I love how that transformed the ring into a prominent piece of my bridal outfit, showing up distinctly in lots of the wedding photos.
For my own wedding band I turned to one of my favorite designers, Brent Neale. Among other signature jewels, she’s known for her contemporary take on gypsy bands, utilizing her excellent eye for color to fashion them in a variety of different gemstone combinations. She had the brilliant idea of pairing my gypsy band engagement ring with a custom gypsy band of her own design as its wedding ring counterpart.
It features an emerald—my favorite gemstone because of its luscious green hue—and two light blue sapphires.
I’m also wearing my simple Catbird gold midi ring, one of the pieces of jewelry I consider lucky and never take off, especially not on my wedding day.
In case I ever forget to wear my engagement ring or wedding band, I won’t be without symbol of my eternal love. After our ceremony, replete with Elvis officiating, my new husband and I welcomed family and friends back to our hotel suite at The Cosmopolitan, where a tattoo artist was ready to dole out wedding favors in the form of fresh, permanent ink.
My husband and I picked out the matching tattoo design we wanted beforehand—a set of interlocking rings. Our guests partook in diminutive diamond, lightning bolt and sunset designs, among others.
In lieu of any actual wedding décor we customized a very Las Vegas-esque neon sign that reads “Stay Gold,” a tribute to our favorite song by rap duo Run The Jewels. It felt like a very appropriate culmination of our jewelry-themed wedding day and it serves as a lasting memory back home in our New York City apartment.