From ancient times to today, cultures around the world have celebrated wedding unions with wedding jewelry traditions. These customs offer a unique option for couples looking to infuse their wedding with beauty and personal meaning.

Greek brides and grooms still practice an ancient Greek wedding tradition of wearing Stefana – Greek wedding crowns. Traditionally, the crowns were made of vines, leaves and flowers joined by a ribbon symbolizing the couple’s unity. A modern Stefana is typically made with pearls, gold, sterling silver and crystals, reflecting a popular trend in head jewelry.

Example of the wedding crown - Stefana.

Stefana Wedding Crown

The Irish Claddagh ring is named after a small village outside Galway, Ireland, and is a Celtic symbol of friendship, love and loyalty. When worn as a wedding ring, the Claddagh is placed on the left ring finger with the heart facing the wrist and the crown pointing outward, symbolizing that the bride or groom’s heart is taken.

Irish Claddagh Rings

Irish Claddagh Ring

In India, the Mangalsutra is a sacred necklace made of black beads believed to provide protection from evil. An ornament, often made of gold or diamonds, completes the piece. The groom will tie the bride’s Mangalsutra around her neck symbolizing the couple’s unity and devotion.

Mangalsutra necklace from India (Corbis)

Mangalsutra necklace from India

Whether or not you have Irish, Indian or Greek roots, these traditions can be incorporated in your wedding day with a modern twist. Have you considered including wedding jewelry traditions from your cultural heritage, or any other cultures, on your wedding day?