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Formal Attire - Accessories

- Shoes, Veil, and Slip
- Jewelry, Hair, and Makeup

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Shoes, Veil, and Slip

The most basic accessories are often the hardest to choose. There are so many different styles of shoes, veils, and slips that a bride can go crazy figuring out which ones to wear. Help is on the way. By simply following these steps you will be able to pick out these accessories free of stress.

While some brides choose not to wear a veil or slip- all brides wear shoes. Brides' shoes can range anywhere from flip-flops to platforms and from tennis shoes to pumps. Every bride has her own style, and her own dress style. Try to find shoes that will complement your wedding dress and wedding theme. If you are wearing a simple dress at a beach gathering, you may just choose white beaded flip-flops. If you are wearing a ball gown for a winter wedding, pumps will be your best bet. If you are wearing a long dress and are more interested in comfort than beauty, tennis shoes are becoming a growing trend. No matter what shoes you choose, make sure you are comfortable in them. There is nothing worse than getting blisters on your wedding day. Also, if you are a "flats" kind of girl- don't go for the stilettos, you're just risking falling on your face on the most important day of your life.

A veil is a very traditional part of the wedding outfit. Even if you think you don't want one, try one on to just see how you'd look. Many brides end up getting a veil even after deciding not to just because it flatters everyone. There are a couple of guidelines for matching face shape with veil styles, but if you love a certain style, don't be afraid to get it. Veils are so sheer and billowy, it will be hard for people to tell that it "doesn't look good". One important guideline to follow is matching the veil with the wedding style. If you are having a casual wedding, you will not want to go for the cathedral-length veil. Another guideline to keep in mind is to keep you veil simple if your dress is ornate. If you have a simple dress, the veil can be simple or embellished. Just make sure you don't over-do the designs.

Some brides choose to wear a slip under their dress for two main reasons: to increase the "pouf" of the skirt or to protect the skirt from your legs (or visa versa if the skirt has scratchy seams). If you choose a slip to increase the fullness of your skirt, there are many different options out there. If you want a thinner look, or simply want to enhance a sewn-in slip, you should try a thin or medium slip which will add up to 4" of fullness. For a bigger look, try a full slip which can add up to 9" of fullness. To go all out, an extra full slip will add even more fullness, and a hoop slip (a slip with hoops at the bottom) will add the most fullness because it will keep its shape better than regular slips. If you are just using a slip for protection/comfort, you may just want to buy a one-layer slip from a department store, or try a thin slip.

Once you get these basics taken care of, you'll be able to focus on more detailed accessories like jewelry and makeup. No matter what accessories you choose, make sure they coordinate not only with the wedding style, but also with your own personal style so that you can feel great on your big day.

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Jewelry, Hair, and Make-up

While not everyone will notice your basic accessories (slip, shoes, etc.) everyone will notice your jewelry, hair, and makeup. These items are often what brides spend the most attention on getting perfect. They may buy several necklaces, try a dozen hairstyles, and buy gobs of makeup before find the perfect look. Try these tips that will save you time and money.


One of the most important accessories is your jewelry. The necklace you wear will often be the second thing guests notice after your dress. As with all accessories- make sure your jewelry matches the style of the wedding and your own personal style. Often brides will choose a piece of jewelry that complements their headpiece or the beading on their gown. Many brides simply choose a pearl necklace. Pearls are very traditional for weddings and are often seen at celebrity and royalty weddings. You can choose to invest in a strand of real pearls, or maybe you just want a one-time-use necklace made from artificial pearls. Either way, you're going to look great- pearls look wonderful on any woman and with any style.

Make sure your necklace matches your wedding dress- for example: a choker doesn't look very good with a low neckline and would be better with a jewel or boat neckline. Also make sure that your earring coordinate with your necklace- many stores sell matching sets, which make your job easy. If you don't buy a matching set, just make sure that only one item is obvious- if you want long draping earring, try a simpler necklace.


Your hairstyle will make a huge style impact on your overall look. One of the main problems with hairstyles is that some brides choose an extremely extravagant hairstyle that they will regret when they look at the pictures in a couple years. Your best bet is to keep it as simple as possible. Don't worry- simple does not mean boring. There are many beautiful styles that were common decades ago and will still be common years from now. How many brides have you seen with a French twist? What about a bun? There are many more styles to choose from that are all traditional and beautiful.

Try to keep these tips in mind when choosing your hairstyle: If your hair is thin, you may not want it pulled up into a do, for fear of it falling out. If your hair is very thick, it may be best to try to contain it, like with a braid or bun. If your hair is curly, let it be curly, now is not the time to experiment with straighteners- you may choose to emphasize the curls simply swirl them back into a loose up-do. If your hair is dead straight, try a French twist or another simple do that will detract from its straightness. If your hair is short, just leave it down- any attempt at an up-do will look ridiculously disproportioned. If your hair is long, great for you, you can do virtually anything- up, down, curls, braid, it all looks great.


Makeup is probably the hardest thing to decide on. Luckily, there is one major test to weed out inappropriate makeup- black and white pictures. Do a test run with several different styles of makeup and several different colors, have one of your friends or family take pictures of each look. Have the pictures developed in black and white and color. Now, go through the pictures and get rid of any styles that look horrible in black and white- this generally includes makeup that is too dark or too unnatural. Next, go through the remaining styles in color and compare and contrast how each style makes you look and think about how you feel looking at yourself in that style. Is it a good look for a wedding? Or would it be better at a dance club?

Usually, brides look best in very natural colors and minimal makeup. This doesn't mean just lathe on the lip gloss and walk out the door- it is still important that you feel like you look your best. If that means a little bit of blue eyeshadow, or a dark red lipstick, go ahead- it's your big day. Just remember the idea of looking at the pictures in a couple years- are you going to still be happy you wore that blue eyeshadow? Another important thing to remember is to not forget your own style. If you are a girl that only wears makeup a couple times a month, now is not the time to go all out with the eyeliner and blush. Try to keep your wedding day makeup looking like an improved version of your usual makeup style.

Every bride should look and feel her best on her wedding day. Make sure you do too. Choose only accessories that you feel comfortable wearing and that you feel would accentuate the feeling of that special day.


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