If you have any doubt that fashion dictates everything you wear, carry and use to decorate on your wedding day, just take a look at your parents’ and grandparents’ wedding pictures. See the frill-front shirts on the men? How do you like the mini skirt and knee-high boots your mother wore? Your grandma may have kept her bouquet of silk roses … imagine, not using fresh flowers for such a special occasion. Well, just as with wedding gowns, bridal accessories are fashion items that fade into and out of popularity according to the whims of brides the world over.
1. The groom – A loving, devoted husband-to-be is the all-time favorite must-have bridal accessory! Without him, you’d be standing at the altar twiddling your thumbs!
2. Your bridal party – Ok, so technically, people are not bridal accessories but you really need your best supporters by your side on your wedding day. With so much to remember, so many small tasks to take care of and the occasional bridal meltdown, your sisters, cousins and best friends are essential. And besides, you need someone to carry your Bridal Blush lip-gloss!
3. A tiara – Royal weddings have a way of infiltrating into our own more ‘common’ nuptials. Keep an eye on Prince William of England; when he ties the knot, you can bet that whatever his bride wears or carries will be the fashion for at least the following year. Tiaras make every girl feel like a princess for a day. They are bridal bling at its best. From the sparkly tiara comes the idea for the hairstyle, the veil, the earrings and even the neckline of the dress. Some are encrusted with Swarovski crystals, others are festooned with a rainbow of different colored stones. Yours could even be your Mom’s family heirloom.
4. Hairpins – These tiny little bridal accessories are as important to your overall look as your gown itself. If your hair will be up for the day, you’ll need pins to keep it in place. Decorative hairpins will look much better than plain, generic ones. They can feature crystals, pearls or enamel-painted flowers and you can even have them custom-made to suit your dress.
5. Lingerie – Even though your groom is the only person who will really see what you wear under your dress, lingerie is one of the more important bridal accessories because it helps your dress to look right. No bride wants a VPL – visible panty line – on her wedding day! Keeping your bust looking perfect is the job of your bustier, bra or corset. Above all, though, your lingerie should be comfortable because you’ll be in it for hours!
6. Shoes – Well of course, unless you get married on the sand at a beach, you’ll need shoes. But what’s in fashion for this year? First things first: you need to take into account your height compared with your fiance’s, the kind of ground you’ll be walking on (think garden wedding) and how much comfort you want. You don’t want your big day ruined by excruciating feet. Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Vera Wang all have stunning styles perfect for weddings but if your budget is a little less substantial, stick to feminine sandals with beautiful embellishments. Wear your wedding shoes in a few times before the day.
7. Jewelry – Bling is the thing. This year, bridal accessories tend more towards glitzy and feminine rather than subdued and low-key. Go for an outstanding piece and don’t overdo the look by wearing matching earrings, necklace and bracelets. Choose either stunning earrings or a choker or necklace.
Thanks to the Internet, you can buy a lot of your bridal accessories online and have them shipped to you. But there’s much to be said about going shopping with your best girlfriends and buying everything you need between cocktails, lunch and cappuccinos.