Wedding planning is a whirlwind, and some parts of it are more fun than others. Paring down the guest list? Probably not your favorite task. But finding your dream wedding gown? That likely ends up a little higher on the list.
Now that you have a wedding dress that makes you feel like a queen, it's time to put the finishing touches on your wedding day look -- that means finding the right accessories to complement it. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when you start to look for bridal accessories.
1. Stay True to Your Style
Of course, on your wedding day, you want to look like a princess -- that's probably a bit different from your everyday appearance. But, you also want to look like yourself. After all, you'll enjoy the photos from this day for the rest of your life. After you choose a wedding dress that fits into your specific sense of fashion, start scouring the internet and bridal boutiques for accessories that also suit your style.
2. Keep It Simple
On a similar note, you should fight the impulse to go totally over the top with your wedding-day accessories. What's trendy now won't necessarily be trendy 20 years from now, and your wedding photos might go from heart-melting to slightly embarrassing. If you have any relatives who fell prey to the big hairpieces of the '80s weddings, then you've probably experienced this phenomenon firsthand.
3. Find Matching Metals
You don't necessarily need to match your bridal accessories to your engagement ring and wedding band exactly, but this is a good place to start. In general, jewelry metals fall into three categories: platinum, gold and sterling silver. Of course, there are also more modern metals, like rose gold.
Use whatever metal your rings are made of as a jumping-off point to pick the rest of your jewelry. For instance, if you have gold rings, you could probably get away with silver earrings, but rose gold earrings would clash.
4. Dress Up in a Cover-Up
If you're getting married in the autumn or winter, you have one extra bridal accessory to think about: a cover-up. If you have a simple dress, a faux fur wrap, or a chic shrug could add a little flair to it and keep you warm at the same time. Complement your bridal look with a shawl, a shrug, a cozy piece of faux fur or another creative cover-up.
5. Get Creative with Shoes
When it comes time to choose the shoes you'll wear on the big day, you might be tempted to go for a simple pair of white heels. But consider this -- your gown is going to cover your shoes for practically the entire day. So why not have some fun with your footwear?
For example, you could make the shoes your "something blue," swap heels for a pair of cute sneakers or find a pair of booties with a bright pattern.
6. Consider Your Neckline
Depending on your neckline, you may want to wear a necklace on your wedding day -- but not necessarily. If the neckline of your dress is rife with beading and lace accents, a necklace might add too much visual noise. However, if you have a classic sweetheart neckline, pick a simple necklace to accentuate the cut. If your dress has a straight neckline, feel free to go a bit bigger and pick a statement piece instead.
7. Know Your Gown Color
Whether you're choosing a necklace, earrings or a cuff bracelet, you should consider the exact hue of your gown when you select it. Not all gowns are simply "white" -- there's champagne, ivory, traditional bright white and many other options. Figure out which category your dress falls into, then choose jewelry accordingly. For example, a bright white gown will look best with light metals like platinum, but it may clash with gold.
8. Make Sure Jewelry Meshes
You might choose to accessorize with something other than metals -- such as pearls -- and that's fine, too. Just keep in mind that everything should go with your dress. If you opt for a simple, chic and elegant dress, statement jewelry probably isn't the way to go. You want to complement the style of your dress with equally sweet and simple accessories. However, if your ballgown is totally over the top, then your jewelry should be, too.
9. Don't Forget Your Updo
Brides no longer only decorate their earlobes and their décolletage -- they also jazz up their updos. Bridal vines, tiaras and bridal combs are just a few ways contemporary brides embellish their hair on the big day. Whether you plan to get an elaborate updo or leave your curls down to flow freely, think about incorporating a bridal hair accessory. There are nearly endless options to suit any taste.
10. Keep Your Venue in Mind
You have one last thing to consider when picking your bridal accessories: your venue. The venue doesn't need to be the make-or-break factor if you really love a piece of jewelry, but it can be part of your decision-making process. Again, if the venue is over the top, you can free to go in the same direction with your dress and accessories. If it's simple and casual, then keep your wedding day look in the same general vein.
Now that you have the tips you need to pick out the perfect bridal accessories, there's only one thing to do: get shopping. Just remember, you can choose to keep it simple -- or not -- because this is your day.