Our Pearls are featured in Martha Stewart’s Wedding Magazine!

Empress Pearl Necklace as Featured in Martha Stewart Wedding Magazine

Pearl Paradise’s “Empress” choker was recently featured in Martha Stewart Wedding magazine! According to the magazine, “Pearl Paradise’s pearl-and-diamond “Empress” choker upgrades big-day and everyday looks!

The choker was designed by Hisano and is composed of 10 full strands of true round, 4.5-5.0 mm white freshwater pearls. Complementing the pearls are four diamond and 14 karat gold spacers staggered throughout. The choker is finished with a diamond-studded, 14 karat bar clasp.

The choker is a one-of-a-kind piece but will be added to the website soon, most likely during either a holiday or Spring promotion. That is, IF our friends at the magazine send it back to us!

Edit 09/25
Oops! We take back the part about putting it up on the website at a later date. The necklace went the day the magazine hit the stands and now we have to recreate it for a short waiting list!

Empress Pearl and Diamond Choker

Our Bridal Pearl Jewelry

Jeremy and I finally had our American wedding last weekend, August 3rd, at Dos Pueblos Ranch in Santa Barbara, California!

I picked out my wedding dress in February right before we left for the Tucson shows. The dress has a silk chiffon ombre of beige layers and I wanted to have that ombre effect in the bridal jewelry as well as the decor. During the Tucson show, Pearl-Guide’s Caitlin William’s daughter Kether and I started looking for champagne colored briolette diamonds. Not knowing what the design was going to be, I’ve selected some dark brown diamonds and champagne colors. For months I pondered what to make and nothing came to mind. A good friend of mine told me I should think about it on the long flight to Hong Kong in June but I had no luck. A week before the wedding I finally got it. I chose to wear the natural colored exotic metallic pearls. Jeremy gave me the special metallic freshwater pearl as a promise ring a few years ago, and since then finding the metallic freshwater pearls have been a project of ours. I chose the warmer pink metallic drops that would complement the warm hue of the diamonds.

Putting together the briolettes was a challenge! Only a 30 gauge wire will go through the hole of the diamonds and I handmade the jumprings to be laser welded onto the chain. The earrings were sent to four different custom jewelers who specialized in laser welding and none of them were able to successfully weld or solder the jumprings. So three nights before we left for Santa Barbara, I took the diamonds out and wire wrapped them individually onto the chain.

Once the earring design was finished, creating complementing sets for the bridesmaids was easy! I wanted to keep everything simple and chose a bale from findings producer that had brown and champagne diamonds set to create an ombré effect like the drop earrings. I paired the pendant with drop metallic earrings on our classic setting.

For the groom and the two best men, I chose 10 mm Tahitan baroque pearls and made them into lapels to be attached next to the boutonnieres. I wanted to be very subtle but have a nice dark peacock color.

During our rehearsal dinner Jeremy surprised me with the most exquisite wedding gift, a natural conch pearl pendant.

Jelly bean shaped, pink conch pearls have been my favorite pearls since I’ve been working at PP. I even have a picture of a cluster of conch pearls on my business card. My wish came true when my husband found me this amazing pearl. The chatoyance is so clearly visible on the bottom portion of this pearl. Jeremy has explained to me that this pearl came pre-drilled when he purchased it. Takayas and Jeremy designed around it so that the pendant will look presentable front and back. The bale was derived from the love knot incorporated into our wedding bands. I will cherish this pendant (and my husband) forever.

Pearls at our Tokyo Wedding

When Jeremy and I got engaged, we couldn’t decide where to get married. Jeremy wanted to have a traditional Shinto ceremony in Japan and I was dreaming of wearing a gown, decked out with pearls.

Since we are not residents of Japan we decided to go ahead and do both: a Japanese wedding that doesn’t legally count and an American wedding that actually binds us as husband and wife.

We decided our wedding would be held at a shrine in Tokyo in May, 2012. The date to wed is so important to the Japanese culture. There is a luck calendar that shows all the lucky and unlucky days to get married. When I started searching for locations and dates back in January of 2012, I quickly realized that all the lucky dates falling on weekends were booked. Since June is the rainy season and July/August are terribly humid and hot I was strongly advised not to wed during the summer. Fall was difficult to leave work, as we have an important pearl buying trip to Hong Kong in September, so we decided on May 22nd, a Tuesday. Tuesday was Tai An Day, which is the most blessed day for a wedding and we hoped that May would still be sunny and not too hot for a wedding.

We rented a “King” size (that’s how the gown rental place called it!) kimono for Jeremy which is called the Haori Hakama. I went with a white kimono with bright red outer gown with beautiful embroidery of cherry blossoms. I also decided to go for the traditional wig with pearls and amber hair ornaments.

There isn’t much accessorizing in Japanese formal wear, but I had to wear pearls on my wedding day, so we decided to change into a suit and dress for our reception dinner.  I wore an amazing vintage-inspired hair piece made by my dear friend Michelle. The hair piece made from ostrich feathers, crystals and 6.0-7.0 mm, round freshwater pearls. The feathers were a warm, off-white color that perfectly complemented the freshwater pearls.
To go with my strapless featherly short white dress, I wore a seven-strand akoya pearl choker on a 14K white gold diamond clasp. I thought Japanese akoya pearls were most appropriate to wear in Japan.  I have a huge affinity towards small-size pearls. I love the intimate and delicate size of the tiny pearls. The necklace graduated in size from 2.5 mm to 5.5 mm. These pearls were very difficult to get. We asked one of our most trusted akoya pearl vendors who called in all of his resources and found few strands that were actually set aside for Mikimoto.  The strands were AAA quality with subtle rose overtones. I enjoyed making the necklace despite the rush of getting ready to fly to Tokyo. To complete the look I wore a single-strand bracelet and pair of 8.5-9.0 mm akoya studs.

My passion is not only in pearls but also in felting wool. I have been felting wool since I went to grad school and it is a huge part of my identity as an artist. I wanted to find a way to incorporate the two materials together. I took the gold lip shell that was donated for the Pearl-Guide annual Ruckus Pearl Party from Jewelmer and covered the inner part of the shell with felted wool. I also sewed felted balls that mimicked the warm ivory tone of white south sea pearls and attached them together as a ring holder. Jeremy did not see his wedding band nor the ring holder until the wedding day.  His delighted smile was priceless.

I used a gold-lip South Sea shell covered with felt to create a pearl-inspired, felted ring holder.