The Mother-of-the-Groom Diaries — Am I Too Old for Splashy Earrings?

A woman wearing a purple V-necked jersey gown with rhinestone embellishment. Photo by BF Newhall

This gown needs earrings. Big, blingy, look-at-me  earrings. Photos by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The long dress I was planning to wear to my son’s wedding needed earrings. Not a necklace. Not a bracelet. Not a glitzy ring.

woman wearing swarovsky ball earrings with pave crystals. Photo by BF Newhall

The pretty ball earrings with Swarovsky crystals from my jewelry box — too modest.

My gown needed earrings. Big, attention-grabbing, dangle earrings that would draw the eye to my face and away from the wobbly upper arms and neck. Away from the slumpy upper back. Away from the excess around the belly.

I needed earrings with a presence.

For minute I thought, who am I kidding? Aren’t I a little old for splashy? But then I thought — twenty years from now, when I’m a bona fide old person, I’ll want to be able to look at Peter’s wedding photos and think, “Gosh. I cut quite a figure when I was young.”

To make that happen I’d need earrings.

I started the search in my own jewelry box. I love the little balls studded with Swarovsky crystals I once gave to my mother — which came back to me when she died. But they were way too tiny and modest to do the job.

Also in my jewelry box — a pair of ring-shaped earrings embedded with crystals. They were bigger and more eye-catching, but the gold setting would clash with the silver brooch stitched to the waist of my mother-of-the-groom gown.

Clearly this was a job for Shopper Barb.

No time to waste. Off I went to the jewelry counters of downtown San Francisco. Here’s what I found.

Dangle earrings with three stones by Nadri. Photo by BF Newhall

Dangle earrings by Nadri. $78 at Macy’s. Nice but I want more splash.

Teardrop-shaped loop earrings by Nadri. Photo by BF Newhall

Loop earrings by Nadri, $88 at Macy’s. Still not showy enough.

Chandelier earrings by Kate Spade. Photo by BF Newhall

Chandelier earrings by Kate Spade, $198 at Macy’s. Too fussy.

Woman wearing Swarovsky Fit Silver Shade earrings. Photo by BF Newhall

Yes! Fit Silver Shade earrings by Swarovsky, $155. My kind of bling.


Barbara Falconer Newhall in purple knit gown wearing Swarovsky fit silver shade earrings. Photo by BF Newhall

Too old for showy? Not yet. Photos by BF Newhall

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  1. Very nice. I suggest some eyebrow pencil and keep your eyes smoky and dramatic. I really like your hair short. I don’t know if you color your hair but you could go just a shade darker, and just a touch shorter, and keep it shiny with a dab of styling product. I love the simplicity of simple earrings, with no other jewelry, especially since you wear glasses, as do I. Less is more!

    • Barbara Falconer Newhall says:

      Interesting. I’m just back from the hairdresser and my hair is a little darker and a little shorter. I like the idea of adding some shine. I’ll try it. Thanks!

  2. Mary Way says:

    Hi Barbara!! I think you picked the perfect earrings. You look mahvelous!! See you soon at the wedding.

  3. Reena Newhall says:

    You picked the best earrings – those are the ones I would have chosen for you. Also, your dress is a good color for you. Are you considering something small around your neck, perhaps a small diamond? Just a thought.

  4. You chose the best earrings! When is the wedding? You’re all ready now!

    • Barbara Falconer Newhall says:

      The wedding is coming up soon. I still have to shop for a rehearsal dinner dress. I want it to be festive.

  5. Love the bling! Love the dress, too!

  6. The earrings go well with the dress, especially with the pin on the dress. Looks like you’re having a great time gathering all the details for the wedding. So exciting! Everything will go well, you will look lovely. I remember well going through all this with our boys. I was just trying to look tasteful, not choose anything ugly. Knowing that I was not going to be the exact center of attention was a comfort.

    • Barbara Falconer Newhall says:

      Yes, I know. Nobody will be looking at me really. Except maybe, I’m hoping, my husband.

  7. cindy bailey says:

    Love this article.Have been going through the same frustration. Worse thn swim suit shopping, which I have not done for about 8 years. I too found that Lauren dress & put it on my short list. You look fantastic in it. Enjoy the wedding.

    • Barbara Falconer Newhall says:

      Thanks, Jan and Cindy. Thank heavens I don’t need a bathing suit along with everything else.

      • Christina says:

        Didn’t you hear about the pool party after the reception????
        … Just kidding. You look great!

        • Barbara Falconer Newhall says:

          Ohmygosh. If I fall in the pool/get thrown in, I’ll drown under the weight of all that bling.

  8. Jan Lippert says:

    Great earrings, you look wonderful.


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