Wedding Manicure Dos and Don'ts

Whether you opt for subtle soft pink or bold and glittery, these bridal beauty tips will help you totally nail your wedding day manicure.
by Amanda Elser
Bride with pale pink nails holding a bright bouquet
photo by Brett Loves Elle Photography

Picking your wedding day nail polish is only half the battle when it comes to getting a perfect bridal manicure. There are going to be a lot of people looking at your hands to catch a glimpse of that pretty new ring, so do yourself a favor and follow these dos and don'ts to prevent any major blunders.

Do Test Multiple Shades

You try on more than one dress (most of the time), why shouldn't you try on more than one polish? Certain shades look better on different skin tones—for example, if you have an olive skin tone you should test drive a poppy red polish with blue undertones instead of pink for a flattering shade.

Do Buy More Than One Bottle

Once you've found your perfect shade stock up. One for the salon, one for your wedding day emergency kit and one to pack in your honeymoon bag. When you need to fix a chipped nail fast, you'll be happy you spent the extra cash.

Don't Get a Gel Manicure More Than a Few Days in Advance

Gel manicures were the best thing to happen to bridal nails since Essie Ballet Slipper. Instant dry time and chip-free for weeks—it's literally a dream come true. But after a few days, gel manicures start to lose their luster. Get them done only one or two days before your wedding to avoid any wear and tear.


Do Maintain Your Nails at Home

Nail technicians are good, but they're not miracle workers. You can't come to your appointment with chewed-up fingernails and destroyed cuticles and expect Instagram-worthy nails in an hour. If you know you're an avid nail biter, make a conscious effort to kick the habit in the months leading up to your wedding. Also, avoid peeling broken nails and picking at hangnails—that's how infections start.

Do Bring Your Own Bottle to the Salon

Even if the color you picked is a salon staple, it's always good idea to come prepared with your own bottle of polish just in case your color isn't there or the bottle they have is old.

Don't Try Nail Art if You've Never Tried it Before

We're all for a fun nail design, but if you're not usually a "glitter and appliqué" kind of girl, your wedding day isn't the time to experiment with nail art.

Don't Forget Hand Cream

It's amazing what moisturizing your hands can do for your pictures. Massage cream into your cuticles and knuckles before your photographer takes close-ups of your bouquet or ring for instantly younger looking hands.

Don't Freak Out Over a Chipped Nail

It's bound to happen and really isn't the end of the world. Use the tip of the brush to fill in the hole, then let the polish dry for 30 seconds. Next, brush on a second coat of polish and finish with a thin clear top coat.


Want the perfect pairing of nail polish for your ring? See our suggestions here.

If you want to go more subtle, find your flawless shade of nude polish here.

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