When it comes to weddings, tradition (usually) takes the cake. That’s why when we sat down with Swarovski‘s creative director Nathalie Colin (above, right) to talk wedding jewelry, we were surprised at the unexpected ways she thinks brides should accessorize. Colin, a seven-year Swarovski veteran, is responsible for giving the storied brand a modern makeover while staying true to its heritage, and this is exactly the same take she has on weddings. “I think of course there are some traditions, you should wear something old, something blue, something new, and something borrowed,” Colin says, “But there are some very interesting things you can do.” Read on for the surprising ways you can wear jewelry on your wedding day.

A backwards necklace
“I like very much the idea to wear [necklaces] in the back (above, left). As a bride, maybe you want to have the hair up and you have a very nice décolletage so it’s really nice to wear something to adorn your back,” Colin says, adding that since you aren’t actually facing the audience, having the pendant of the necklace in the back gives your guests something to look at. “It’s nice to have something in the back so it doesn’t contrast with the dress but is still a surprising feminine decorative element.”

A brooch
“I think brooches [like the one below, left] are great to adorn a dress that can be very plain. You can put the brooch in a more unusual place, at the waist or on the shoulder,” Colin says. “Why not in the back if you have a v-cut in the dress? You can adorn it in the V in the back. I think it’s quite nice.”

SwarovskiCourtesy

In your hair
“There’s also a big trend for hippie style, more cool dresses, loose, loose hair, so I think that you can wear actually a necklace in the hair,” the Parisian designer says, adding that she is designing a flower crown intertwined with a Swarovski necklace for her step-sister’s upcoming nuptials. “So you have the flowers and have a little bit of shininess wrapped in the branches.” Colin’s favorite type of necklace for this? One with a removable pendant (like the one above, right).

An anklet
“The other thing we try is to wear some of the bracelets at the ankle,” she says, adding that this look is best for brides who are wearing shorter dresses or dresses with a high-low hemline (perhaps like Olivia Palermo’s recent gorgeous wedding look).

Above all, however, Colin notes that it’s important not to veer too far away from your personal style on your wedding day. “I think you have to stay true to who you are, in any case in life, because when you don’t dress the way you feel you will look disguised and it’s horrible to see a bride who doesn’t look like it’s really her.”

Feeling inspired by slightly offbeat wedding accessories? Check out our gallery of veil alternatives!