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WEDDING

How to Accessorize Your Wedding Dress (Tips and Tricks)

Groom kissing bride's forehead

Less is more – we’ve heard it many times before. But does it mean that we should shy away from accessories entirely? Of course not! In fact, accessories are a great way to make any outfit your own, which is especially important on your wedding day.

You need accessories to help you stand out, while exuding an effortless elegance.

How, you ask?

Let’s dive right into it.

accessorizing your wedding dress from head to toe

Tips to Help You Choose the Right Wedding Accessories

The key is to create a balance and not get carried away. We know it isn’t always easy with the myriad of options available out there. So, before we fill you in on the different ways you can accessorize on your special day, let’s first start with a couple of tips as a guide.

The Dress is the Statement Piece

Bride accessorizing her wedding dress

The most difficult piece to choose in your wedding ensemble is the dress. Now that you have your dress, let it have its day in the sun and pick accessories that will compliment and not clash with it.

If your dress is heavily embellished with lace or beading, keep accessories to a minimum. Consider a veil or gloves with matching embellishments instead.

If you are going for a minimalist look like a crisp white dress with a high neckline such as bateau or halter, skip the necklace as not to overcrowd the area. Instead you can pin a dainty hair accessory on or carry an eye-catching bouquet. Resist the urge to pile on things that may look great individually but not necessarily do any good for your overall look.

Stick to One Color for Metal Jewelry

Brides's hand with ring on it

Different metal colors can create a clashing look.

Your engagement and wedding rings are likely made from common shades of metals such as silver, yellow, white and rose gold. You can use this as a starting point to match all other jewelry you plan on wearing such as earrings, a necklace, or a bracelet.

  • Gold jewelry goes best with ivory colored dresses as it picks up the cream undertones.
  • Silver or white gold will look stunning against brighter white hues.
  • Pearls will compliment almost any dress shade as it is a great reflector of light.

If your dress is embellished with beading, try to match your accessories to the shade of the embellishments. This means that it’s not such a good idea to match a gold bracelet against a dress with silver embellishments, unless of course you want to wear it for sentimental value or like the clashing look.

Highlight Your Best Features (or Conceal Unwanted Ones!)

Bridal dress with belt

Use accessories as a way to attract attention to your best features. A statement heel worn with a tea length dress is a great way to highlight your legs.

On the flipside, you can accessorize to cover up any flaws or insecurities as well. For instance, wearing a belt or sash on your waist cinches it in and tucks away any unwanted bulge, while lace gloves or detachable sleeves can mask some otherwise noticeable scars.

Do a Test Run Before the Big Day

As Cher prepared so vigorously for her first date with Christian in the movie “Clueless”, so must you on your wedding day! Why not steal her clever tip and take polaroids since mirrors can be deceiving indeed? Or show your completed ensemble to a friend or two as well because  you may have been too engrossed with wedding planning and need someone else’s fresh eye to point out if something doesn’t look quite right.

Inspiration from Head to Toe

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at accessorizing from head to toe.

Headpieces

Wearing a unique headpiece is an experience in itself and is quite a visual treat for guests on your wedding day! Feel free to choose from these well-loved accessories you can wear on your head when you say “I do!”:

Wedding Veil

Indian bride
Bride and groom kissing

The veil is a classic wedding accessory that gracefully cloaks brides all around the world. There is a rich tradition behind the wearing of the veil – from the belief that it protects brides against evil spirits, to being a symbol of fertility and virginity.

Regardless of your beliefs, wearing a veil has become somewhat a rite of passage. Many brides turn to a veil to feel like a real bride, saying that the moment they put on their veil was when they felt that they were getting married.

Veils come in a range of lengths from a short birdcage style to cathedral, and in different colors and materials as well from nylon to chiffon, and silk. If you want to know what type of veil will suit your dress, read our detailed guide on types of veils.

Tiaras

Bride wearing tiara kissing groom

Nothing makes a girl feel like a princess like a sparkly tiara does. This is the accessory of choice for royalty, after all! You need not have the riches of a real princess to wear one though, as designers have kept up with the demand and you can score a tiara for less with pieces using semi-precious gemstones, Swarovski crystals, rhinestones, and more. Wear it with your ballgown dress and your hair in an elegant bun for a truly opulent look.

Flower Crown

Bride and groom kissing in sunset

A wreath of flowers or greenery delicately resting over a bride’s head exudes a youthful, free-spirited vibe, unmatched by other accessories. Fresh flowers are great, although artificial blooms and foliage are becoming increasingly popular due to its flexibility and longevity. Wear a flower crown to liven up a flowy dress in a simple silhouette. You can wear your hair down in loose waves or add some braids to embody a bohemian, free-spirited vibe.

Adorn your Neckline

In ancient Egypt, people believed that evil spirits entered the body through its orifices. Thus, ornaments were worn around their necks, heads, nose, and ears to protect and cure ailments. It later evolved to contain gemstones and other precious materials to demonstrate wealth and high social status. Ornaments like earrings and necklaces are worn today in a more decorative fashion, and donned day-to-day or during special occasions – and weddings are no exception.

If you want to feature your alluring décolletage on your wedding day, decorate it sparingly. It’s best to wear your hair back in a bun or a half-up-half-down do and let these dainty accessories do its magic.

Earrings

Bride with accessories

Earrings help frame your face and elongate the neck. Longer designs like drop earrings or hoops go best with a strapless dress to draw attention to your neck. Go for subtle studs if you are wearing your hair down or if you are already wearing another elaborate accessory like a long veil or tiara. Follow our tip # 3 in choosing the color of metal you choose for your earrings to avoid a clash of shades in your ensemble.

Necklaces

Necklace on bride with white wedding dress wearing veil

Similar to earrings, necklaces are a great way to highlight your neck, collarbone, and shoulders. When it comes to choosing a necklace, it’s better to keep things simple – in fact, one rule of thumb is to not let it overlap with your dress. Here is a simple guide to picking a necklace that fits the neckline of your dress:

  1. Sweetheart necklines are one of the most classic and romantic styles for a wedding dress as it creates an illusion of a fuller bust. The shape itself draws attention, so a simple necklace with a small pendant will do to add just a bit of sparkle.
  2. Strapless dresses allow for bolder pieces as there is a considerable space exposed. Elaborate or not, pick a necklace which ends just above or at the same length as your collarbone to create a good balance with the space on your neckline.
  3. V-neck dresses are a great way to wear longer and layered jewelry. Wear a necklace with a pendant that falls right above the V shape to showcase this modern neckline.
  4. Halter necklines leave no room for exposure around your neck, so it’s best to skip the necklace for this style. It is, however, a great dress to wear a long pair of drop earrings or chandelier earrings to some flair in your attire.
  5. Bateau or Boat necklines runs horizontally to the shoulder points and doesn’t leave much blank space below the neck. It’s also best not to wear a necklace with this style as to not overcrowd the area. Wear simple drop earrings or classic studs instead to keep with the chic look.

Back Drop Necklace

Bride wearing backdrop necklace to accessorize her white wedding dress

Backdrop necklace by Davie & Chiyo. See it here.

Back drop necklaces look like regular front-drop necklaces but bring out the drama in the back. These are great to wear with low-back or bare-back dresses and streamline your figure.

Arm Candy

If your dress does not feature long sleeves, you have a chance at adorning yourself with other forms of jewelry around your arms and hands. Here’s what you can wear:

Bracelets

Unlike earrings and necklaces that are more obvious accessories, bracelets get a little less exposure. It’s an optional accent that draws attention to your dainty wrists and hands, but when overdone, can make you look like you’re trying too hard. Leave the stack of bangles you have at home and keep it simple.

Gloves

Girl wearing bridal gloves

Gloves are another accessory that has been worn by royalty as a sign of status and power. They are more commonly worn on formal occasions like coronations and other traditional or religious ceremonies.

The rule is – the longer the glove, the higher the level of formality. If you want to channel this regal flair in your wedding attire, you can have a bit of fun with wearing gloves as well. Shorter gloves can work with simpler lengths and silhouettes, while long gloves are best paired with a ballgown style dress for maximum impact.

You can also opt for lace gloves like these 

 that decorate your hands in a modern way without looking too much like stuffy gloves.

Rings

Unless you have rings that you wear for their sentimental value, we recommend that you don’t wear any other ring than your engagement and wedding ring on the wedding day. Let them have pride of place on your fingers for the day and don’t let other rings overshadow them. It is the symbol of your love and unity as husband and wife, so don’t be afraid to let them shine!

Wedding Sash

A wedding sash is a great way to cinch the waist and elevate the look of your wedding dress at the same time. If you want a more romantic, breezy look, go for a satin ribbon in an understated color like champagne or white. A sash will look great with an A-line silhouette, as it marks the separation of the bodice and skirt, emphasizing your waist. Meanwhile, bridal sashes also come in elegant crystals or rhinestones that are great embellishments to a sleek silhouette such as mermaid or trumpet.

Bride with satin sash

Satin sash by JV Gems. See it here.

Rhinestone sash

Crystal and rhinestone sash by Luna & Stone Co. See it here.

Shoes

Bride holding her shoes in her hand

Your shoes will take you from the aisle to the dance floor, so a comfortable pair is crucial! Pick a pair which is versatile yet speaks to your style.

Out of all the other accessories you can adorn yourself in during your wedding day, your shoes will stay with you the longest and will greatly impact your level of comfort on your special day, so choose wisely. If you want to know more about the different types of shoes you can wear on your big day, read our guide here.

Wrapping Up…

Picking the right accessories can effortlessly elevate your overall look. The most important thing to remember is that on your wedding day what should be taking center stage is – you… and your dress and accessories all should work to highlight you. Carefully picking the right accessories to suit your style and personality, not to mention your wedding dress, will do just that.

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