45 Engagement Nail Ideas Perfect for Proposals & Photos

Anticipating a ring? It's time for the ultimate manicure.
Engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock
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by
Carli Brennan
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Carli Brennan
The Knot Fashion Contributor
  • Carli writes freelance fashion articles for The Knot.
  • Prior to The Knot, she was the style section editor at Her Campus Media and launched the Fashion Institute of Technology chapter of Her Campus.
  • Carli’s passion for the wedding industry stems from her time as a bridal consultant and her previous internship in a bridal showroom.
Updated Nov 01, 2023

Whether you are expecting a proposal soon or are recently engaged, it's important to make sure your engagement nails are on point to complement your new bling. While many to-be-weds opt for a classic neutral nail style, you shouldn't feel restricted when it comes to crafting an Instagram-ready nail look. Pops of color and design elements will add personality you should express yourself in the nail style that makes you feel your best. Got an inkling that your bestie is about to get engaged? Send her your favorite nail inspo as a subtle nudge to book a manicure. She'll be ever so grateful.

Rhinestone Glam

Rhinestone glam engagement nails inspiration
Photo: Vivian Marie Wong

A dusting of tiny rhinestones adds just enough sparkle to this engagement nail look while creating a perfect complement to your new ring.

Dark & Dramatic

Dark and dramatic engagement nail inspiration
Photo: The Little Nail Kitchen

Who says you can't have black engagement nails? This dark, moody design is perfect for goth brides. It's also the perfect subtle nod to the spooky season if you are getting engaged around Halloween!

Elevated French

Thin double lines french manicure engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Samira Radmehr

This fun twist on the classic French manicure is a welcome update. Thin double lines and an almond shape elongate the fingers for an elegant engagement nail style.

Punchy Neon

Neon pink and blue french tip engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Samantha Jade

If you're still embracing Barbie style, why not extend that to your engagement nails? This punchy pink and blue rendition of the French manicure is perfect for brides looking for a fun, unique engagement mani.

Pastel Shimmer

Pastel shimmer engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Nailed by Brandy

This dreamy pastel look is giving Taylor Swift "Lover" vibes. We love the mix of shimmery pastel nail polish with sparkling rhinestones.

Groovy Baby

Groovy pastel engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Dalis Evangelico

Colorful, groovy nail art is a perfect choice for vintage-loving brides. We love the hint of silver that will perfectly play off the sparkle of your new bling.

Pearly Whites

Pearl embellished engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Glam Nails by Jay

Pearls are a glamorous addition to any engagement nail look. If your ring features actual pearl details (see: Ariana Grande), this stule is a no-brainer!

Subtle Sparkle

Tiny gold gemstone french manicure
Photo: Harriet Westmoreland

We're obsessed with this simple but glamorous manicure. Tiny gold gemstones create a shimmering version of a French manicure that's sure to draw compliments as it highlights your bling.

Zebra Mani

Zebra print engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Her Beauty Lounge

As far as we're concerned, animal print is 100% a neutral. This bold zebra manicure is perfect for any bride whose wardrobe exclusively consists of black and white.

Sunny Sunflowers

Sunflower french manicure engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Isoleil

Florals, for your engagement nails? Groundbreaking, actually. This cheerful manicure features a subtle sunflower design that adds just enough color.

Sculptural Silver

Sculptural Silver engagement nails inspiration
Photo: Jeanette Flores

Silver is having its moment in the spotlight. These sculptural nails will perfectly match your white gold, silver or platinum engagement ring.

Hawaiian Tropic

Shimmery hawaiian engagement nail inspiration
Photo: JoJo

Expecting a proposal on an upcoming tropical getaway? This hibiscus and palm tree nail art is the perfect choice. Plus, the shimmery pink color will perfectly complement your joyful glow.

Trendy Motifs

Trendy motifs engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Kamry Rausch

Fashion-forward brides are going to love this trendy nail art idea. A mix of checkerboard, strawberries, and flame motifs come together for a statement-making engagement mani. Make it your own by sharing your favorite designs with your nail tech for a totally unique style.

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Warm Marbling

Neutral marble engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Nail Art by Queenie

This warm-toned, marble-inspired nail art is perfect for a fall engagement. You could even mimic the style with your favorite colors for your own unique spin on the style.

Pastel Florals

Pastel floral engagement nail inspiration
Photo: NailArtNoob

Sweet pastel florals are a fun twist for an engagement manicure. You can rock this nail style year-round by switching up the colors to match the season's blooms.

Silver Dollar

Silver french tip engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Trophy Wife Nail Art

Holographic silver is a welcome twist on the usual French manicure. We especially love an elongating almond shape on this glamorous nail style.

Green with Envy

Metallic green french tip engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Nails by MH

Metallic green is the perfect unexpected pop of color for your engagement nails. We love how the French tip and star details add just enough pizazz to an otherwise neutral nail look.

Soft Daisies

Pastel yellow daisies engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Samantha Jade

Everything's coming up daisies for this stunning nail art look. Bright yellow floral motifs are the perfect sunny touch for your manicure and your special day.

Blended Ombre

Blended Ombre engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Shelethia Tre'Nae

This blended ombre nail is a fresh take on neutral engagement nails. It's the perfect mix of an ombre nail and French manicure and a daring enough style that won't soon date.

Extra Olives, Please

Olive green engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Static Nails

If bold nail art isn't your thing, opt for a chic olive green manicure for your engagement. The lush color is so chic for fall, plus it's the perfect complement to a celebratory dirty martini.

Dreamy Florals

Pastel floral engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Telsey Wright

For brides-to-be looking to incorporate trendy mismatched floral bridesmaid dresses into their weddings, this floral manicure is worth a look. Gorgeous floral nail art adds a feminine, cottagecore-inspired charm to your engagement nails.

On Point

Metallic blue point french tip engagement nail inspiration
Photo: The Little Nail Kitchen

These metallic, pointed nails are a daring look for bold brides-to-be. The futuristic metallic blue is particularly fetching when paired with a white gold or platinum ring.

Yin & Yang

Pink heart yin and yang engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Trophy Wife Nail Art

This kitschy yin-yang heart design manicure is perfect for Valentine's Day, but can also be rocked year-round. Contrasting shades of pink and red prove a statement-making duo.

Barbie Pink

Pink glitter engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Vivian Marie Wong

The Barbie pink trend isn't going anywhere, and neither is this glamorous pink manicure. A pointed nail shape and pink ombre glitter should send a signal to any particularly dense Kens.

Sage Green

Sage Green engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Alexis Bui

Sage green is one of the top trending colors for 2023, and that extends to your nail color. This abstract design is perfect for leaning into a soft pop of color for your engagement nails.

Silver Sparkle

Silver sparkle outline engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Dalis Evangelico

A shimmery silver outline is the perfect engagement manicure to really make your ring stand out. After all, you can never have too much sparkle.

Opal Shine

Opal french manicure engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Harriet Westmoreland

An opal-inspired French manicure is equal parts classic and fashion-forward. Consider it the 2023 upgrade to your tried and true French manicure.

Nearly Nude

Nude minimalist engagement nail inspiration
Photo: JoJo

Keep your ring the center of attention with this pink-toned manicure that practically screams "engagement nails". Neutral-colored nails are an always-chic option for minimalistic brides.

Mini Pearls

Mini pearls shimmery engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Nail Art by Queenie

This pearl-studded manicure capitalizes on one of 2023's biggest jewelry trends. Shimmery polish and artfully placed pearls add a touch of whimsy and glamour to your nail look.

Pink & Purple

Pink and purple french manicure engagement nail idea
Photo: Dalis Evangelico

An alternating pink and purple French manicure is a youthful, fresh rendition of a classic. Take inspiration from this style with any of your favorite colors to make it your own.

Perfect Pastels

Pastel double layer french manicure engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Trophy Wife Nail Art

This pastel-toned French manicure is subtle but makes a huge impact. We love the alternating preppy shades of pink, green, white, and peach.

French Almond

French almond engagement nail inspiration
Photo: JoJo

You can never go wrong with a classic French manicure. When done on an almond-shaped nail, it creates the illusion of longer, slender fingers.

Red Nail Theory

Sparkly red engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Stefanie

We've all heard about the viral TikTok red nail theory and this sparkly red manicure takes it up a notch. The fiery shade is given a glamorous update thanks to a sparkly topcoat but you can pair any solid manicure with some sparkle for a megawatt shimmer.

Western Flair

Brown cow print engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Telsey Wright

Planning a Western-inspired wedding? This cute cow-printed manicure is the perfect engagement look to rock at your bachelorette party, especially if you're headed to Nashville or Austin.

Paint It Black

Black flower engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Dalis Evangelico

Black nails don't necessarily have to have a dark or gothic vibe. This adorable flower-dotted French manicure is a bold yetlovely choice for your engagement nails.

Fresh French Manicure

Thick white french manicure engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Nail Art by Queenie

If you love the classic look of a French manicure but want something a tad different, this one's for you. Add some thin lines in parallel to the French tip for an artistic addition to a classic.

Colorful Swirls

Colorful swirl french manicure engagement nail inspiration
Photo: The Little Nail Kitchen

The colorful swirls on this pointed mani give it a 70's paisley-inspired flair. You could even switch up the colors to represent a rainbow for a subtle nod to Pride.

Seeing Stars

Colorful star engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Trophy Wife Nail Art

A few colorful stars are a welcome addition to any neutral mani. Try opting for a metallic shade of gold, silver, or rose gold to match your ring.

Chrome Hearts

Pink chrome heart engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Vivian Marie Wong

This fierce manicure is giving us heart eyes. Chrome pink nails with a statement-making design provide a strong entree to your bridal era.

Celestial Glam

Navy blue and gold celestial engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Trophy Wife Nail Art

Wear the night sky on your nails with this star-studded manicure. You can opt for either gold or silver against a navy blue backing, depending on the metal of your ring.

Sweet Shimmer

White shimmer floral nails engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Vivian Marie Wong

Shimmering daisies are a sweet, feminine choice for engagement nails. The pointed nail shape makes this delicate style extra glamorous.

Baby Blues

Baby blue wavy french tips engagement nail inspiration
Photo: The Little Nail Kitchen

This baby blue star-embellished mani is giving total Cinderella vibes in the best way. Let the azure tones act as your "something blue" on your big day.

Chic Square

Milky white square engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Harriet Westmoreland

This rounded square neutral manicure is a timeless style for brides who love the look of a classic manicure. Plus, it will never clash with your outfit.

Oceanic Ombre

Blue ombre engagement nail inspiration
Photo: Nailed by Brandi

This holographic, shimmering mani lends a certain aquatic vibe to your engagement nails. We love the deep blue ombre and almond shape.

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