1. Prep time
Just as you get in shape for your wedding day, do the same for your nails. Start prepping your nails three months out, says Brianna Michelle, makeup artist and founder of Brianna Michelle Beauty in Las Vegas. Michelle recommends taking vitamins to help strengthen the enamel, nail bed and cuticle. Instagram star Nina Park (@ninanailedit) recommends moisturizing your cuticles with coconut oil or cuticle cream.
Don't forget to give your hands some TLC too. Use a buffing exfoliator at home to remove dead skin and moisturize your hands. That way they'll look silky smooth for pictures.
2. Choose your shape
You can groom your nails into so many different shapes and lengths that it might be hard to choose one. “Length of nail is a personal choice,” says Melinda Home, creative event director at AE Events in Boston.
It's good to try out different styles and see what feels comfortable. Stick with the classic square or oval nail, or try something trendier like a squoval. "Coffin nails are really trending," says Michelle.
3. Neutral and polished
Classic manicures tend to be neutral, with nude, blush or soft pink tones. “Nowadays there are so many great nail polish lines that have nudes for every skin tone,” says Park. Pairing it with white accents can also make your hands stand out.
4. A splash of color
An increasing number of brides are breaking with tradition and adding a pop of color to their nails. Choose carefully, though, since these will be captured forever in your photos.
5. Add an accent (ring) finger
If color on all your tips is too overwhelming, you can paint just your ring finger in a different color or add glitter to it to make it stand out against the rest of your hand.
6. Sparkle and shine
Adding rhinestones or crystals gives a 3-D effect that’s really popular, says Michelle. Or, you can spice up a French manicure by swapping white for a gold, shimmery polish.
7. Silver chic
Silver polish is a way to add a bit of shimmer and glamour while also staying relatively neutral. Plus, it’s a great complement to the new bling on your finger.
8. Wrap them up
Nail wraps can be an easy way to give you a wide range of design effects. "Just make sure you or your nail tech dries out and preps the nails properly beforehand and always cap the tips!" says Park. She also recommends topping them with a gel coat for staying power.
Whatever you choose, try it out beforehand to make sure you're in love with the look. "I always recommend that brides should go to a salon and do a test," says Michelle. Set your trial appointment about two months ahead of the big day to ensure you have time to change your mind.
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