The hands of a bride may seem like a small detail on this big day, but they are actually the focal point of your union. They will welcome your wedding ring, hold your bouquet, clasp the hands of your loved ones, and most importantly, your husband's. All of this under the flashes of your wedding photographer... So, having a perfect manicure for this special day is a must. We give you 12 wedding nail ideas for an elegant and refined manicure.
I- Our tips for preparing your hands for your wedding :
- Hydrate and exfoliate your hands:
Here's a little tip for having perfect hands on the big day: remember to moisturize your hands frequently in the week leading up to your wedding. Extend the moisturizing up to your forearms to avoid any noticeable lines.
To prevent dead skin, you can also exfoliate. You can find exfoliating products in stores, such as the excellent hand scrub from L'Occitane en Provence or the one from Caudalie. Alternatively, you can make your own at home using a mixture of honey, sugar, and olive oil. Your hands are now smooth, soft, and perfectly manicured; it's time to slip on the wedding ring. ❤️
- Avoid nail biting
If you want a beautiful wedding manicure, it's essential to avoid nail biting so that your nail technician has some length to work with. For our most stressed brides, we have a few tips to help you stop biting your nails. Redirect your urge onto something other than your nails, like using a stress ball, for example. This way, your focus will shift, and you'll protect your nails. If distraction doesn't work, there are also bitter nail polishes available, like the one from ECRINAL found in pharmacies. You shouldn't have the urge to bite your nails after that...
- Avoid direct contact with water
Water softens your nails, making them more fragile. In our daily lives, we often find ourselves getting our hands wet. For example, if you're hand washing dishes, consider wearing gloves to prevent this issue. If you have a pool or plan to swim before your wedding, try to avoid getting your hands wet by keeping them out of the water.
- Schedule bridal manicure trials
If you want and can, schedule some bridal manicure trials a few months before your wedding. This will allow you to choose the nail shape that suits your nails best, determine the length that complements your hands, and try out different manicure styles to select your favorite !
- Plan your manicure appointment a few days before your wedding
When should you get your wedding manicure done? The ideal timing for a wedding manicure is 1 or 2 days before the big day. This way, you avoid any risk of chipping or cracking, and you don't give time for any nail regrowth to become noticeable.
- Pay attention to the shape of your nails
If you opt for a nail shape with pointed angles, such as square or stiletto, be careful not to snag your dress or hairstyle. It would be a shame to damage them...
II - Step One: Choosing the Shape of Your Nails
First and foremost, you need to choose the shape of your nails. There are six different nail shapes:
- Almond Nails
Bridal almond-shaped nails are an elegant manicure option characterized by a fine, tapered point, similar to the shape of an almond. This nail shape is often considered feminine and sophisticated. It's appreciated for its ability to visually elongate the fingers and make the hands appear more slender. Almond nails can be worn both short and long.
- Oval Nails
Oval wedding nails feature a gently rounded shape, resembling an egg. This nail shape is classic, elegant, and versatile. Oval nails have subtly rounded edges, making them softer than square nails but less tapered than almond-shaped ones. Oval nails are known for their natural appearance and, like almond-shaped nails, give the impression of longer and slimmer fingers. This nail shape is a popular choice for those seeking a classic and timeless look and can be worn in both short and long lengths.
- Stiletto Pointed Nails
Pointed bridal nails, often referred to as "stilettos," are a bold and distinctive nail shape that resembles a sharp, tapered point, akin to stiletto high heels. This manicure is often considered daring, dramatic, and avant-garde. Achieving the desired effect with stiletto nails requires some length, and they can be adorned with creative designs for an even more striking appearance. Stiletto pointed nails are perfect for those looking for an ultra-modern manicure and want to draw attention to their hands.
- Square Nails
Square bridal nails have the most classic and timeless shape, characterized by straight edges and an overall square shape. This nail shape stands out for its sharp, clean, and angular appearance, with 90-degree right angles at the corners. It imparts an elegant, simple, and crisp aesthetic to your hands.
- Rounded Square Nails
Rounded square nails are an elegant variation of the traditional square nail shape. This nail shape combines the straight edges characteristic of square nails with slightly rounded corners to create a softer and polished look. They can be worn in both short and long lengths. The corners of the nails are smoothed out to eliminate sharp right angles, making them more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. This type of manicure offers the perfect middle ground between the sharpness of classic square nails and the softness of round nails. It's ideal for those seeking a balanced and elegant appearance.
- Ballerina Nails
Bridal ballerina-shaped nails are a trendy and stylish nail shape. This nail shape features a rectangular base with upward-tapered corners to create a flat and slightly squared tip. Ballerina nails are appreciated for their clean and sophisticated appearance. This manicure strikes a balance between modern chic and classic understatement, making it a popular choice among nail art and manicure enthusiasts. Ballerina nails are often worn long but can also be shortened for a more understated look.
III- Simple Wedding Nail Options:
- Timeless White Wedding Nails
This first wedding nail design is the classic and timeless white wedding nails. It's the manicure of choice for all brides, and you can't go wrong with it. White embodies purity, elegance, and simplicity. It's the perfect choice for a bride who wants a timeless touch of sophistication on her wedding day.
Bonus: they will perfectly complement your wedding dress... ;)
- A Softer Alternative, Milky White Wedding Nails
If you like white nails but prefer something more subtle and less opaque, Milky White bridal nails will be the perfect alternative for you.
This white wedding manicure gives the impression that your nails have been dipped in a layer of milk. In reality, the white polish is applied in a thin layer to maintain transparency, and a generous amount of top coat is added to enhance the shine. The result: beautiful bridal nails with a clean, elegant, and delicate appearance.
- Another Timeless Classic for Bridal Nails, French Manicure
The French manicure is a timeless choice for brides; it embodies understated elegance and sophistication. It creates the impression of well-groomed and clean nails, highlighting the bride's natural hand beauty.
Whether you choose the classic white French manicure, opt for a colored one (perhaps for "something blue"), or go for a subtle blend with a milky hue, it will perfectly enhance the beauty of your hands.
- Natural Nude Bridal Nails
Natural or nude nails are perfect wedding nail options for brides who prefer not to wear nail polish. This elegant and understated wedding manicure highlights the simplicity and natural beauty of the bride's nails. Nude tones range from pale pink to beige and are specially designed to complement each individual's skin tone. Nude nails create the impression of well-maintained and healthy-looking nails while remaining subtle and timeless. This manicure allows the bride to showcase her wedding dress and accessories without diverting attention away from them.
- Bridal Baby Boomer Nails
Another classic choice for bridal nails is the baby boomer. This manicure trend combines soft shades of pink and white to create a delicate ombre effect on the bride's nails. Typically, the nails are painted in a pale pink at the base and gradually blend into white at the tips, creating a smooth and sophisticated transition effect.
This wedding manicure pairs perfectly with all styles of wedding dresses, from the most minimalist to the most contemporary !
IV- Floral Wedding Nails :
- Bridal Nails with Floral Nail Art
What could be more beautiful than flowers for a bohemian or romantic wedding manicure? It's like an extension of your bridal bouquet on your nails. Imagine rose petals, daisies, orchids, and peonies painted in soft shades like pale pink, pure white, or gentle green for subtly colored nails.
If you're not a fan of colors, you can also opt for entirely white flowers. And for our more traditional brides still in search of their "something blue," why not go for nail art with pretty little blue flowers?
You can adorn all your nails with flowers or choose just one or two... Let your imagination run wild !
- Bridal Nails with embedded dried flowers
To take it a step further, there's a nail art technique using dried flower nail decorations for a stunning bohemian wedding manicure... Imagine beautifully manicured nails with delicate dried flower petals meticulously arranged and sealed to create a miniature garden effect. You can choose pastel shades or bolder hues depending on your preferences, wedding theme, or bridal attire and accessories.
V- Pearl-like or "Glazed Donut" Wedding Nails :
This latest trend in wedding nail designs goes by several names, including pearly nails, "glazed donuts," or even Hailey Bieber nails. All three describe beautiful nails with a pearly sheen resembling a pearl or the sweet glaze of a donut... Indeed, model Hailey Bieber popularized this nail art and has made it her signature since the last Met Gala.
This manicure with soft and light colors featuring beautiful reflections will be ideal for your wedding nails. A semi-transparent white or light pink base is dusted with pearly powder.
VI- Lace Wedding Nails :
Lace bridal nails are an elegant and romantic trend that evokes delicacy and refinement. This manicure is created using wedding nail decorations with lace patterns, creating a transparent and elegant effect. This captivating wedding manicure can be achieved using sophisticated nail art techniques to replicate the beauty of lace on your nails. The patterns can vary in complexity, from subtle and delicate to bold and detailed, depending on your preference. Lace bridal nails will perfectly complement a romantic or vintage wedding ensemble.
VII- Glitter and Rhinestone Bridal Nails :
Bride's nails adorned with glitter and rhinestones are the epitome of glamour and sparkle for the most special day of your life. Nails covered in a shower of shimmering glitter and sparkling rhinestones. This wedding manicure adds a touch of magic and enchantment to your bridal look. Glitter can be applied subtly for a delicate shine or more boldly for stunning nails. Glitter can be worn in various ways, covering the entire nail or arranged in a French or baby boomer style for a more understated effect...
As for rhinestones, they are wedding nail decorations that can be worn like tiny nail jewels, and they will look very elegant when sparingly placed on the nail's base.
VIII- Blue Wedding Nails :
You're probably already familiar with the wedding tradition "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." If you're not sure what it entails, we've written an article about it that you can read right here.
This age-old custom is still widely practiced today, and you might be in search of that famous "something blue" yourself. What if it could be found on your nails?
You can opt for a beautiful light blue or "baby blue" wedding manicure, covering your entire nail or in a French manicure style. You can also choose nail art options, incorporating touches of white with the blue or even recreate the "glazed donuts" look on a blue base!
IX- Celestial Bridal Nails
Last but not least, les ongles célestes. Vous vous préparez à un mariage étoilé dans une ambiance mystique au beau milieu de la voie lactée ? Alors cette manucure de mariage devrait vous plaire… Vos ongles seront recouverts d’une couleur claire comme du blanc, du rosé ou du beige parsemé de décoration d'ongles de mariage en fines étoiles argentés ou dorées. Une manucure raffinée qui vous emmènera au septième ciel.
Of course, you are not obligated to get a manicure; you can simply file your nails and leave them natural. ;)
To complete the adornment of your hands, especially your wrists, you can wear a beautiful bracelet. We offer a variety of options to suit every taste and style, including gold, silver, pearls, flowers…
Bridal manicure is one of the final steps in wedding planning. If you're wondering where to start with your preparations, we've written a comprehensive article on wedding planning along with a month-by-month schedule that you can download for free.