14 March 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Colorful Bridal Tiaras

Seems like looking at the Cameo Tiara, as we've recently done, prompts a few common reactions, including this one: what a strange choice for a bridal tiara!
Cameo brides from Sweden, left to right: Princess Birgitta, Princess Désirée, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria
And perhaps it is; certainly we most often see brides sticking with all white tiaras in diamonds or pearls to complement their wedding ensembles. But the Swedish ladies are not alone in their selection of colored tiaras, so I thought a study might be in order. Follow along, and we'll figure out if you can make it work or not, okay? Let's go:

Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari (left) and Farah Diba (right)
Two examples we've seen here before come to mind: the second and third brides of the last Shah of Iran, Soraya and Farah. Soraya chose emeralds, while Farah went with the almost white but not really Noor ol Ain Tiara.

Princess Adélaïde of Orléans
Blue as a tiara selection makes some logical sense to those of us hailing from countries that follow the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" tradition. Princess Adélaïde of Orleans opted for a family sapphire tiara to top her Galliano gown when she married Pierre-Louis Dailly in 2002, and proved that a colored tiara needn't be the star of the show.

Bárbara Cano de la Plaza (left) and Laura Ponte (right)
Two brides presented two very different takes on the same sapphire tiara when they both married sons of Infanta Pilar of Spain. Bárbara Cano de la Plaza went the traditional route to marry Pilar's son Bruno in 2002, while Laura Ponte turned it upside down - literally - to complement her unconventional bridal outfit when she married Pilar's son Beltrán in 2004. Both borrowed the sapphire tiara from their new mother-in-law, who is the older sister of King Juan Carlos of Spain.

Mónica Martin Luque
Yet another colorful example comes from yet another wedding of one of Pilar's sons: Fernando Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón's bride Mónica Martin Luque wore a converted necklace of emeralds, diamonds and pearls for their 2004 wedding.

Clotilde Courau
Perhaps my personal favorite take on the colored stone bridal tiara is this one: Clotilde Courau's use of parts of the Savoy family's pink tourmaline parure when when she married Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy in 2003. Like the rest of what I've shown so far, this is very subtle. You have to get up close before you realize her tiara's not solely white - but there are other, bolder examples to follow.

Isabella Orsini (left) and Sibylla Ambler (right)
Aquamarines lend themselves well to larger stones which make a bigger statement on a white bridal background. Isabella Orsini opted for aquamarines when she married Prince Edouard de Ligne (and just in case you're thinking to yourself, "Hey, that dress looks mighty familiar..." - let the record show that she was married in 2009). Princess Margaretha of Sweden's daughter Sibylla Ambler did the same when she married in her mother's massive aquamarine kokoshnik tiara in 1997.

Princess Inés of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
For an even bigger statement, just get rid of the diamonds entirely. Such was the strategy of Princess Inés of Bourbon-Two Sicilies when she married Nobile Michele Carrelli Palombi dei Marchesi di Raiano in 2001. The bride wore a 17th century coral tiara which was a gift from her husband's family. (And though I find her tiara interesting enough, I'll also drop this tidbit on you: she's wearing her mother Princess Anne of Orléans' Balmain wedding gown from 1965!)

Philomena de Tornos
As usual, I've saved the biggest statement for last: pointy turquoise! Philomena de Tornos married Prince Jean of France in 2009 wearing Lacroix and a tiara used for a couple of centuries for brides in her family. I think it kind of works in a quirky way, but knowing the...erm...strong feelings some of you have on turquoise in tiaras, I'm looking forward to your thoughts.

So, what do you think...

Colored bridal tiaras: yes or no?

And just for fun, are there any brides you wish would've gone this route? I've always thought Crown Princess Mary should have gone for it and popped on her ruby tiara for her wedding day.

Photos: Zimbio/Daylife/Getty Images/Rex Features/Cover Press/Hola/The Royal Forums