Nail art: The elaborate wedding's final frontier

Back in a much simpler time, brides only had one nail polish option.

The ubiquitous French manicure. Pale pink on the nail bed, white along the tip, it perfectly disguised discoloured nails without overshadowing the ring/dress/ENTIRE DAY.

But those days are behind us, friends. French manicures, while being a good fall back option, can seem a little dated. Brides are now looking to their dress and even their cake for nail art inspiration. Think jewelled feature nails and opalescent caviar nail art. So just when you thought you had enough Pinterest wedding folders, along comes another Big Day beauty decision to make.

From subtle shimmer and bows to something blue, to pressed lace, these looks are enough to make you want to shelve go-to wedding polish Essie’s Ballet Slippers and pick up a gold glitter pen instead.

Since we’re talking glitter and bows here, nail art can escalate into cutesy, tacky territory very quickly. Remember, your spirit animal is not a serial denim Bedazzler.

The trick to nailing (see what I did there?) nail art is the same as getting your makeup right – do a trial run well ahead of the day. Because while everyone will be looking at you, there will be a lot of emphasis on your rings, which are on your fingers, which have nails.

Even if nail art, while pretty to look at, isn’t your thing, there is one huge upside to wedding manicures that didn’t exist before. Since the invention of gel and shellac manicures, there’s no threat of spiralling into full-blown chipped nail-induced meltdown like there was six years ago… in October… when I got married. For example. Ahem.

To save you from further Pinterest-induced RSI injuries, we’ve rounded up our favourite bridal nail art looks below. Enjoy.


Would you rock nail art on your wedding day? What look would you go for?