The most important thing you will wear to your wedding is your gown. That is a fairly obvious statement, but when you see brides who overdo the accessories, you realize that the importance of the dress can be overlooked.
There is nothing more elegant than a simple white gown. With the design and thought that goes into wedding gowns, there is very little you have to do to complete the look. Still, tradition steps in and most brides will want to add a veil or headpiece. Some will want to wear jewelry as they do on other special occasions, and some brides will want sleeves added to their gowns. These are the kind of accessories that you will want to consider. Just use care that they do not minimize or take anything away from your gown.
Sleeves can be added to most strapless dresses that will not detract from the original beauty of the gown. It can be as simple as inch-wide ribbon or as elaborate as a full sleeve. Listen to the tailors and salon attendees to help you know what kind of sleeve can be added without overshadowing the style of your dress.
The traditional veil is worn to shield the bride from her awaiting groom. They can be short about chin length, or elbow length. Some fall to your fingertips and cathedral veils fall to the floor. The veil you select needs to work with your dress and definitely not against it. If the back of your wedding dress has interesting detail, you do not want to cover it up with a cathedral veil. In this case, a short veil may be the answer. If your dress is dramatic, then the drama of a cathedral veil may be just right or it may compete. Just be sure you start with the dress and then move to your veil. Also, remember that veils come in different shapes, so you will want to try them on to see which one works with your dress and the shape of your face.
These lovely adornments are worn alone in your hair or in conjunction with your veil. They can be simple floral combs or something as elaborate as a crystal encrusted tiara. Headbands made with seed pearls, or perhaps crystals and rhinestones, are a simple way to control your hair while looking special. The concern is that you choose something that does not draw away from your dress. It should offer a nice eye-catching touch, but should never be the first thing your guests notice. The dress needs to carry the day.
Color can add some interest to the dress, but most brides will want to keep it at just a touch of color. Adding a sash at the waist can complement your dress, but too much color will draw eyes from the dress and straight toward the color.
Jewelry is a great way to add sparkle to the neckline or around your wrist. The complexity or simplicity of your jewelry will depend on the style of your dress. If you have a simple strapless dress, go for something more elaborate, like a crystal and rhinestone graduated necklace. It will not detract from the neckline, but will enhance it. If, however, your dress has a busy neckline with stiff taffeta ruffles or flowers, then your jewelry should be something simple like a drop necklace. If you're not sure what is appropriate, a simple strand of pearls is always safe. Another good idea is to choose a necklace with a pair of matching earrings.
Footwear should be barely noticeable as the bride walks down the aisle. Closed-toe shoes, peeking out from under the hem, should be the same color as the wedding gown. If you prefer a sandal, something strappy would be attractive, but it's best to use a subtle shade of nail polish on your toes.
Wraps and Gloves
These classic accessories can serve a purpose, but need to be chosen carefully. To create a modest look for a church ceremony, try a satin jacket with three-quarter or short sleeves over your strapless gown. Then when you hit your reception, shed the jacket and show off your shoulders. Jackets are also available in lace for a romantic look, as well as a short, off-the-shoulder version. Just as when choosing a veil, choose the dress first and then the wrap. Gloves can add some elegance to sleeveless dresses. Stretch satin white gloves rise above the elbow and come plain or with some sequin embellishments. Gloves also come in a gauntlet style (no fingers), which allow you to put on your wedding band without having to remove your glove. They are available with ruching and without depending on the style of your dress.