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The Best Nail Colors for Brides

Move over, Ballet Slippers.

The Best Nail Colors for Brides

Some brides choose to eschew the gel manicure before their wedding for a few reasons. You can’t touch it up if just one itty bitty corner starts peeling up at, say, the rehearsal dinner (you can’t not mess with it), post-wedding there’s no real easy way to remove gel polish, and if you’re going on a two-week honeymoon, you don’t want a tired paint job accompanying you. But the pros of gels are undeniable (especially for a day as big as, well, a wedding): shiny, long-lasting results that even the roughest of hands have a hard time chipping. Whichever route you choose, we’ve rounded up some of the dreamiest shades—from nude and lavender all the way to candy apple red—to make picking a color a lot easier. Just start testing shades well enough in advance so you can see what works best for your skin tone, try to get a manicure one to two days out, and bring a kit of cuticle oil, hand cream, and an extra bottle of polish with you.




The obvious choice for most brides, it’s not distracting, and it elongates the look of hands—like nude shoes elongate legs. We broke down a guide for finding a sheer color that suits your skin tone best here.

Polish:OPI Nail Polish in Inside the ISABELLEtway
Gel:CND Shellac in Powder My Nose
Polish:Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Color in 167 Ballerina




A step up from the standard sheer, pale pink adds a bit more substance to nails while still keeping the look very pretty and clean. Creating the perfect canvas for showing off your sparkly new wedding band.

Polish:Essie Nail Polish in Tying The Knotie
Gel:CND Shellac in Romantique
Polish:OPI Nail Polish in Sweet Heart




Lavender is a great middle ground for those who kind of want to paint their nails blue—especially whose undertones look best with cooler shades as opposed to pink. A light wash of lilac looks very ethereal when paired against a white gown.

Polish:Dolce & Gabbana Beauty Liquid Nail Lacquer in Lilac Rose
Gel:Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Color in All Chalked Up
Polish:Essie Nail Polish in St Lucia Lilac




If you just aren’t into the whole pink-and-pretty thing, a really classic shade of candy apple red works nicely, and it’s seasonless, working just as well for winter as summer. Bonus points for the fact that red nails really let diamonds shine.

Polish:Chanel Le Vernis Nail Gloss in 530 Rouge Radical
Gel:OPI GelColor Polish in Big Apple Red
Polish:Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Ruby Doo




Glitter FTW. This may be a bit unconventional, but glitter nails will let all those princess vibes come out (it is your day, after all). You can go for a full opaque nail or add some subtle gold accents (like stars!) against a clear base.

Polish:Butter London Boho Rock Collection in Lushington
Gel:OPI GelColor Baroque...But Still Shopping
Polish:Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Polish in Stone Jungle

Part of the series:

Wedding Week

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