15 Wedding Manicure Ideas Beyond The French Nail

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A nice manicure is essential for your wedding day, because guests will be looking at your hands all day. Your ring (and ring finger) will be the focus of hundreds of photos. Traditionally, brides chose a French nail for its elegant simplicity. Many modern brides find the French nail, with its white tip and neutral base, to be too mundane for their big day. Get inspired by these 15 wedding manicure ideas to try something bigger and brighter than a French manicure for your wedding day.

15. Do Your Something Blue

portrait of beautiful girl with strasses on the face

You’ve got old, new, and borrowed down, so why not make those nails your something blue? From deep navy and midnight blues to pastel robin’s egg and powder blues, there are so many pretty blue hues to pick from. Blue nails combine a classic tradition and a modern hue for brides.

14. Layer on the Lace

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Adding lace over a solid-color nail complements a lacy wedding dress and adds a touch of elegance to wedding-day nails. Simply paint your base coat, then add one layer of top coat. Apply craft lace (which you can find at any fabric or craft store) over the wet top coat to stick it to your nails, then trim the lace when your nails dry.

13. Glitter the Tips

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Update the French manicure by painting your nails a solid color (say, one of your wedding hues). Then add a complementary or contrasting glitter color to the tip only. The extra sparkle will catch the light in those ring photos.

12. Stay Cheery With Sunburst Nails

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A sunburst on your nails delivers a fun pop of color and an upbeat feel that’s perfect for your wedding day. Polish your nails with a base coat. Then add nail stickers or nail tape to create the signature sunburst shape. Paint in the exposed nail with the accent color. Glitter works well in sunburst nails, but you can select any two colors you like.

11. Wear Your Heart on Your Hand

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A heart-shaped nail decal can be a fun way to add a small accent to any different nail polish color and embellish the romantic vibe of your big day. Add a heart decal to just one nail, or to each nail. Paint your base coat and allow it to dry, then attach the decal to the nail bed wherever you like.

10. Add Shine With an Ombre Glitter Effect

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Adding glitter over a neutral blush or pale pink hue offers a sparkly look that’s elegant, refreshing, and modern all at once. To get this effect, paint the base coat and allow it to dry. Brush on a light glitter layer all over, then follow up with a dense glitter coat on the top of the nail to get the ombre effect.

9. Say It With Flowers

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Adding flower nail decals in a complementary color can be a fun way to highlight your wedding colors without using a bright color on every nail. Paint your nails in a light blush or neutral tone, then add flower decals in a fun color. The decal will help the nails pop and add a modern touch without distracting from your dress. 

8. Monogram It With His Initials

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If you’ve created custom monogrammed napkins, wedding favors, or other accents, consider monogramming your nails to continue the trend. A professional manicurist can easily do this for you. Or you can monogram your own nails using letter nail decals. Leave the thumb and pinky finger nail, then add one of his initials to the index, middle, and ring fingers.

7. Polka Do It

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In bold or pastel hues, polka dots are an easy way to jazz up your nails. Paint two coats of your base coat, then allow it to dry. Use one end of a toothpick or a cotton swab to dab droplets of your contrasting color over the base coat. Seal the entire mani with a top coat.