My friend Radha K. is a wonderful person and our friendship goes far back. When she first came to know that I make jewelry, she ordered a necklace for her niece's birthday, and I had only one day to make and deliver. She liked my work and ordered custom made jewelry for her later on. She used to tell me which beads to use, what kind of spacers, how long it should be, how to make them etc. Later, she started trusting my designs and loved those too. First and foremost, she is a great friend and wonderful, kind human being who has good sense of humor and capacity to understand people and their situation.
For her son's wedding she wanted to give handmade jewelry as gifts to her family members, cousins, friends and their daughters too. When she approached me with the idea, I thought she was asking my advice on what kind of jewelry would be good to give to the guests, but when she asked, “How long will you take to make them?” I was really surprised. I knew I could make them, because I have the experience of making jewelry for almost 16 years, and I have participated in many arts and crafts shows, as well as doing home shows. I knew this was going to be a big order, and I was moved by my friend's trust in me and my work. If she didn't like my work, she never would have asked me to do this. It was really a boost to my confidence, and we started planning how to move forward.
Radha K. came up with the groups: elder women, family members, bride's family members, friends, young girls. Then, we picked the beads from genuine gemstones, freshwater cultured pearls, Czech fire polished beads which come from Czech Republic (these beads are not only beautiful but they never lose the colors, designs, shining etc.) and normal glass beads. Then, according to age, we decided the length of the necklaces and what kind of pendants will look good with those necklaces. I ordered pendants that come from India, I went to NJ to buy the pearls and some Indian pendants, also I ordered different kind of pendants with nice designs.
Radha wanted the necklaces to have gold plated spacers and bead caps to give the jewelry an Indian look. After everything was planned, I started ordering the beads, gemstones, spacers, crimp beads, bead caps, jump rings, and clasps (as she wanted everything gold plated) from the websites I always order. The marriage was in June. I started working in March, and the work continued until the last minute. She gave me the list of the names for whom I was making. Whenever I went to Radha's house to discuss or clear doubts, she talked about her friends and family members, so I felt like I knew them when I was making the pieces.
For young group girls and women she wanted me to make necklaces with the first letters of their names as pendants. She wanted these letters gold plated as well so glued them to Mother Pearl pendants to make them stand out. I matched the pendants to the beads I was using, and they looked beautiful.
I enjoyed making every single piece. Most of them were necklaces, but for a few people, she wanted matching bracelets. All the pieces were ready about two weeks before the wedding. I packed and labeled each with their respective names. Then, Radha thought it would be nice to have the information of the beads printed as small cards or on paper and put along with the jewelry. So we made those, giving the information related to the beads. For example, with Amethyst, we researched its meaning and the healing properties of the gemstone etc. For pearl necklaces I gave the information of the pearls, as well as the colorful beads with bead caps, what kind of pendants, I used etc. For most of the pearl necklaces I tried to match the pendants of gemstones or other pendants with the colorful beads. It gave a beautiful look to the necklace. For all the necklaces I also made a beautiful bead hanging which shows beautifully at the back of the neck.
After delivering all the jewelry, I kind of missed the jewelry I made. It was a bittersweet moment to part with all the jewelry I made for so many days. Some of the pieces became my favorites. I’m going to make them again and make them available on my website. As I said, I totally enjoyed making each piece and taking pictures, from the beginning to the end of the whole project. It made me very happy. I never had any kind of anxiety, because if you like what you do, it makes you so happy. As Radha is a very good friend of mine, when I was making the jewelry, it felt like we were involved in the wedding preparations. I made the pearl necklaces close to the end, and my daughter, Spoorthi, had spring break so she helped me make them.
I was going to relax little bit, and then Radha called and asked me how I was feeling. When I said, I’m just trying to relax, she asked, after relaxing in the weekend, whether I would be able to make a few more necklaces for people who RSVP’d late. How can you say no to such a sweet person? Again, we started planning which beads to use and whether I have enough beads or not. I ended up making four more necklaces: two Pearl necklaces one with a lot of bead caps, one two-layered red coral necklace, and one Turquoise necklace without a pendant.
When I thought I was finished, I delivered all the necklaces. Then, I got a call that the bridegroom's fancy glass pearl necklace broke when he was trying it, so they asked me to fix it. I couldn't say no to Radha's request, so father and son came with the piece. When I saw it, it was an enormous, three-layered necklace. I ended up having to take it all apart and restring the entire necklace in the same design. They said it was okay if I change the design a little bit. I told them I would do it and bring it with me to the wedding. I took pictures of the piece, to keep the same design, took it apart, and remade it with new bead wire and crimp beads.
We went to the wedding and delivered the bridegroom’s necklace. It was such a nice feeling to see the bridegroom wearing it for the wedding and looking so handsome. I met some of people whose names I already knew from my list of making jewelry and had conversations with them. They were surprised to know I knew about them, and I told them that, 'Radha is a good friend of mine and she talked about you.' I didn’t want to ruin the surprise by telling them that they were going to get jewelry made by me. I met the bride’s family and immediately recognized everyone in the family. I introduced myself to them as a friend of Radha and talked to them. I really had so much fun in the wedding.
After the wedding was over, I wanted to know how the guests responded to the jewelry, and Radha said most of them liked it very much. Some of them came over to her to personally thank her for giving them such beautiful handmade jewelry. Some even said they never wanted to part from them.
I have to thank Radha for trusting me and giving me the opportunity to make such a huge variety of jewelry. I can’t say how much I enjoyed the whole project. When you make for such a good friend, it gives so much satisfaction and happiness.
If you like the jewelry I made for the wedding, and if you like any designs, you can order those and I will definitely make it for you. I have posted some pictures of the jewelry in the category, Custom made wedding order. You can take a look, and if you want anything, order away!