Dazzle on your big day: 5 tips for accessorizing your dress

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By Kelly Smith

     So, you have finally found the dress of your dreams- it’s love at first sight.  Suddenly, your ever-so-helpful salesperson makes a beeline for their treasure trove of shiny baubles, wrist candy and statement pieces that I would only wear to a costume party.  The eager staff begins to overwhelm you with enough sparkly tiaras to accommodate nearly every Disney princess plus a gaggle of said princesses’ friends.   This is YOUR wedding so no one should be pressuring you on how to look on your big day.  Sometimes, you do need some opinions because it can be confusing given all of the choices out there so it’s best to bring a friend or someone that knows you well.  Here are some ideas to steer you in the right accessory direction:

* Don’t impulse buy— It’s probably best to not buy your accessories at the same place / time as your wedding dress.  This will only make you feel pressured and most likely will lead to the wrong look.  Think of it this way; anything that you will be wearing on your wedding day will be a major purchase.  This includes not only your dress but also your accessories such as, shoes, necklace, earrings, headpiece, even your choice of undergarments.  There’s no rush as accessories don’t usually require months on back order like some wedding gowns do, so take your time and relish each and every purchase- remember, you’re choosing accessories- this is supposed to be fun so take your time!

* Accessorize minimally— You want your gown to be the showstopper so accessorize in the spirit of “less is more”.  Now, I know it can be tempting to want to seize all that is sparkly and bride-worthy but you should really choose pieces that compliment, not clutter your look.  If you have a very sparkly Cinderella-esque dress (as I did) then it’s best to only showcase one statement piece such as a tiara (again, as I did).  On the opposite spectrum, if you have a simple sheath then you may want to add a pop of sparkle around your neck in addition to one or two other pieces such as a bracelet or a headband. 

* Show your personality– If Grandma is forcing her pearls on you, even though you’ve never been a real pearly girl, it’s ok to decline them, respectfully, of course and the same can be said for the mothers of the bride or groom. Your accessories should reflect your personality and only yours so don’t feel obligated to appease family when making these choices. 

* Veils, trains, and gloves, oh my! — These are all great accessories to consider for your upcoming runway debut, um… I mean nuptials but do be aware that it’s never a good idea to throw all three of these in the mix.  Generally speaking, trains and gloves are fine but keep in mind that these are usually reserved for very formal weddings.  Veils, on the other hand are almost always appropriate but are best if custom made, otherwise you can be stuck with a forced headpiece or tiara connected to that veil that may start to lose its’ appeal as the time leads up to your wedding day.  

* Budget-savvy bride— Let’s be honest, a beautiful bride is a happy bride but a broke bride, not so much.  If you and your fiancé will be footing the bill for your special day then you need to set and stick to a budget.  This is a good idea no matter who will be dolling out the cash for your one glorious day of bridal bijoux and it eliminates any unnecessary family fights that go hand and hand with weddings (come on, what’s a wedding without a little family dust-up over petty details?)

      At the end of the day, you really are your best critic.  Stick to what looks and feels natural on you and you can’t lose.  My best advice is to hit the high road right after you pick your dress; otherwise, you run the risk of being decorated like a mannequin by the sales staff that possibly does not have your best interest at hand.  Happy wedding day to all of you beautiful brides to be!