Funeral Jewelry Etiquette
Can You Wear Jewelry to a Funeral?
Yes, you can choose to wear jewelry for a funeral, but in most cases, restraint is the key to accessorizing for a funeral or celebration of life. Wearing funeral jewelry that is subtle and modest shows respect not only to the deceased but to their family. When you dress for a funeral, you should be thinking about the family and loved ones of the person who passed away and how to commemorate them.
However, not every funeral is the same. Consider the following questions when deciding what commemorative jewelry accessories to choose with your funeral attire:
- What are you wearing?
- How formal is the funeral?
- How well did you know the deceased?
How to Choose Jewelry for Funeral Occasions
Depending on cultural background and traditions, funerals can have different attire etiquette to follow. The tradition for most funerals in the United States is for mourners to wear clothing that is dark blue, black or another dark color. This is not true for every cultural background or religion, where sometimes white is the color of mourning and bright colors are considered rude. Other traditions do not permit mourners to wear any jewelry for funeral attendance (except, perhaps, a wedding ring). You may want to ask the funeral home or a friend of the family of the deceased if you have any questions about attire or funeral jewelry etiquette based on the culture and traditions the deceased and their family may have.
Appropriate funeral jewelry to wear with a black dress or suit includes elegant and subtle pieces. Pearls can be a good option. Small sterling silver, gold, or jeweled pieces are also usually a fine choice if they are not distracting. Religious jewelry, such as a simple cross, would also be appropriate. But, it’s best to avoid any jewelry that might swing, clank together, or cause a disturbance to others. Leave the big, clunky jewelry at home and err on the side of subtlety when selecting jewelry.
Some funerals may be much less formal than others. The family might suggest that mourners wear special attire that was a favorite of the deceased. For example, wearing golf clothes to remember an avid golfer or wearing bright colors to a celebration of life. In this case, you may choose what jewelry to wear based on those suggestions. You should still dress modestly and avoid excessive or overly showy jewelry. Leave off anything that might make noise, light up, or be too flashy.
Your relationship with the deceased could help you decide what jewelry to wear. If the deceased was a close friend and you know that she loved a pair of your earrings, this may be the perfect time to wear them. Antique funeral jewelry that was a gift from the departed can also be a wonderful way to show how much you’re thinking of them.
You may also want to consider what you know the departed might have liked. If you know that the person loved animals, a pair of subtle paw print earrings could be the ideal memorial jewelry to wear, or even a silver or gold animal tie pin or cufflinks might also be appropriate. Don’t overdo it – you still want to be respectful of the situation and not draw undue attention to yourself.
Funeral Keepsake Jewelry
Funeral keepsake jewelry is a great way to customize a piece of jewelry to commemorate your loved one. With so many options, you can add engraved names, dates, quotes, or even images. Since customizable pieces can often take longer to produce, they’re designed to be worn after the funeral to honor the deceased.
Keep in mind that funeral keepsake jewelry can come in many forms and can even carry ashes after a cremation. Our guide to filling and sealing cremation jewelry can help you learn how to care for your pendant. Carrying a portion of ashes may not appeal to all, so a simple design that reminds you of your loved one’s personality, hobbies, or lifestyle is also a kind gesture.
Funeral jewelry can include anything from earrings, necklaces, bracelets, or rings. Consider creating a bracelet with themed charms that remind you of your lost loved one, selecting monogram pendants for a necklace, having a quote engraved onto a pendant, or even having your favorite photo engraved onto a piece of jewelry. There are even cremation rings designed to hold 1 cubic inch of cremains.
One way that people choose to memorialize their pets is by incorporating bits of their hair or fur into funeral keepsake jewelry. Horsehair can be woven into bracelets and necklaces, and some services even offer to turn your furry friends’ ashes into mock diamonds. Although we don’t offer these services, we can create engravable key chains or pendants with pet photos and even have guides on how to create a beautiful pet memorial garden to reflect or grieve your lost pet.
While nothing can replace a lost loved one, customizable funeral jewelry can be a remarkable work of art that can be kept close to your heart in commemoration.