Accessories should accentuate, enhance your look, give it a little story but not be so overwhelming they become the centerpiece itself. Remember, on the wedding day it is all about you and your wedding, your vows, your love; fashion can wait a hot minute. You will be the centerpiece today, not a designer, not a specific necklace. Contemporary weddings feature everything from dramatic full-on silk veils to flowers or fascinators instead of a tulle train. And brides are mixing and matching accessories to change gears on their bridal dress to create a unique flow from the ceremony to the reception: pulling off the veil and putting on a dramatic or feature piece of jewellery can transform a pristine bridal look into something more sensual and glamorous.
CHECK THAT YOUR METALS AND COLORS DON’T CLASH
No, jewellery, even great jewellery, does not go with everything. Ivory and gold do go but gold and pure white - tacky. If you are going to wear a pure white dress, choose silver or platinum and pearls. Diamond and off-white colors suit yellow, rose gold, silver or pearls - but not platinum or regular gold.
CHOOSE YOUR VEIL CAREFULLY
Veils now come in so many shapes, sizes, textures, fabrics, styles it has been hard to define what a veil actually is! It is traditionally a piece of fine material worn by women to protect or conceal the face and was supposed to show the virgin bride’s modesty before her husband claimed her and revealed her as his own publically. However, it has, along with values, adapted its form to take anything from the chirpy, retro-feel bandeaus, blushers, birdcages to the silken, satin, tulle and lace varieties in any shade or shape, from the traditional and formal ballet, and cathedral styles to the halo and mantilla. Some are sexy little delicate netboxes and intricate mantillas while others are fifteen feet cathedral lengths.
THE VEIL COLOR SHOULD EXACTLY MATCH THE SHADE OF THE GOWN
You really can’t wear an ivory gown with a pure white veil or vice versa.
Piling on accessories is a really bad idea; keep it simple. There is no need to have a tiara, veil, necklace, earrings, sash….it will ruin your whole look and clutter the dress and your overall style. Don’t have a thick or doubled up veil if you want the detail and embroidery to be noticed. Remember: long veils make shorties look taller while short veils (waist or elbow length) make you look shorter. Very short boxy veils work well regardless of your height and will add a funky tone to your outfit.
HOW YOU WEAR YOUR VEIL MATTERS
If you pin it above your head, it produces a classic vibe as well as volume. If you pin it below your chignon or updo, it gives a more contemporary feel. Also, ensure you can unpin it easily after the ceremony or for the reception.
CHOOSE A LIGHT FABRIC IF YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED IN THE SUMMER OR A WARM CLIMATE
Tulle is the lightest (and cheapest) fabric for a veil. If you choose silk, lace or satin, in high summer or tropical climates, it will become quite heavy and sweat-inducing! Consider this when choosing your veil as you will be standing and walking with it for an hour or more.
NO VEIL? CHOOSE SOME SWEET HAIR ACCESSORIES
A pretty comb, delicate flowers, daisies-on-pins (if you are going for a rustic, romantic or outdoor wedding) are ideal for fine hair but can be drowned if you have thicker hair which suits pearls-on-pins better.Prior to the wedding, test trial wearing them around the house for a couple of hours to ensure they don’t fall out!
MAKE A STATEMENT WITH JUST ONE DRAMATIC ACCESSORY
Just one main featured accessory can dramatically define the whole tone of your dress - choose an embroidered or beaded belt, a classic satin sash or a sash in a dramatic color which coordinates (or clashes!) with your color palette, one piece of bold jewellry.
CHOOSE YOUR SHOES FOR STYLE AND COMFORT
You need to look great but you also need to be comfortable. The heel type is critical for how your hem will hang so try on different heels with your dress. When you have selected your heel, look for high quality, natural materials for your shoes. It is best to shop for shoes at the end of the working day when your feet are more swollen. Make sure you wear in your shoes around the house a few weeks before the day and check any areas which blister. To ensure comfort, buy insoles, strap stickers, heel grips or the self-stick moleskin. If your shoes are just too delicate to host an insole or grip, use a spray, wax or cream that will provide anti-inflammatory pain relief to keep your feet happy.
CONSIDER A SHRUG OR WRAP IF YOU HAVE A FALL, WINTER OR OUTDOOR WEDDING
You may have an elegant gown but you can’t throw on a coat when it gets chilly later on! Look for some covering for your shoulders and back which won’t smother your dress and still ensure you look demure and bridal. There are a range of shoulder shrugs, white crotcheted shawls, feather boleros, delicate lace jackets, tulle capes, knitted silk shawls, scalloped satin capes...be creative and, if you have a simple, elegant silhouette, you could make the wrap a featured piece to transform your outfit later on.
CHOOSE YOUR NECKLACE - OR BRACELET - TO SUIT THE CUT AND STYLE OF YOUR DRESS
A v-neck dress will suit a simple thing chain with a single pendant (birthstone or locket or pearl), a row of white or raw pearls. If it is a very simple dress, you could rock a crystal choker or more dramatic jewellry. If your dress is more vintage in style, you could have one piece of dramatic Art Deco jewellry like a bracelet or some feather barrettes as in the flapper era.
DON’T CLUTTER THAT JAWLINE WITH THE WRONG EARRINGS!
If you are having your hair down, avoid dangling or dramatic earrings; instead, use some discreet studs or simple pearls/sparkling stones. If you have an updo and no necklace, you could wear some drops or larger earrings that hang down.
GET YOUR RING BEARER CUSHION IN THE SAME COLOR AS THE BRIDE’S DRESS
If you are having your dress made, get the ring bearer pillow made from the same fabric. The size should depend on how high the ringbearer is - it shouldn’t be so big it makes the little boy (or dog) look like they are overwhelmed with some mighty burden! Also, the cushion should have the necklaced fake rings tied on with ribbons. Try to avoid pins as they have a tendency to fall out. The job of the ringbearer is to deliver the necklace of fake rings to the best man who puts it in his pocket and later takes out the real rings.
CONSIDER GETTING YOUR CAKE KNIFE ENGRAVED
There are a range of knives - from a simple serrated carving-knife style to the traditional serrated cake server. Consider the overall theme of your wedding and the style of your cake before choosing. Getting both your names engraved on it is one way of stamping the moment and keeping a memento of the symbolic cake cutting - seeing as the cake won’t last!
SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE...AND SOMETHING SEXY!
The garter is still a discreet but significant feature of bridal attire. If you are going for the traditional style, a simple white silk fabric or ribbon garter will do with some light blue embroidery. A vintage theme would require a soft lacy style, maybe with an Art Deco embellishment whereas a contemporary style could be unique and distinct, fun, modern with an unexpected color combination. Retro may have bos, hearts, buttons. Don’t worry about it crumpling your dress silhouette; you can keep the garter off during reception and, just before the garter toss, sneak off to put it on. If you want to add ‘something old’ to your garter, you could sew on a bead or ribbon or some little family heirloom.