wedding necklace and hair accessories

How do you accessorize a wedding?

Now that you’ve found your gown, the next step is choosing the finishing touches. Find our advice on picking the perfect accessories here.

Sure, your wedding dress may be the star of the show, but the right accessories will elevate your look and add a personal touch (or three). But between jewellery, shoes, veils and other pieces, there can be a dizzying amount of choices to make, and you don’t want to go overboard. So before you buy anything, read our top style rules for accessorizing your wedding dress.

Having the perfect dress for your wedding day is just the beginning of the whole ensemble. The right accessories will bring your look to a whole new level if chosen correctly. Choosing between jewellery, shoes, belts, veils, and other accessories can be a confusing and challenging task. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some simple rules to follow for accessorizing on your wedding day.

Listen to the gown

Just as red and green perfectly complement each other, some metals look better with certain colours. When pairing accessories on your wedding day, it needs to go with the colour and style of your dress. Just a few tips, a wedding staple is pairing ivory with gold. The gold’s brightness does great in highlighting the ivory. For off-whites, rose gold, silver, and pearls do the trick. Whites work best with silvers. Because of how bright golds can get, try not to mix it with a gown that’s already bright. On the other hand, if your gown already has beading, use jewellery that is the same shade like them. Jewellery by Muru can provide you with some great choices of jewellery that you can pair with your gown.

Consider Your Décolletage

Pairing your neckline style with the proper adornment can add character to your wedding gown, or even highlight a unique feature. 

If your dress is a sweetheart or strapless, skip the necklace and focus on an elegant pair of chandelier earrings instead. Wear clear crystal for a sleek look, or add punch with a hint of colour. Try using a meaningful gem, like your birthstone, or pick a hue from the flowers in your bridal bouquet. If you’re going for a flirty, fresh look, include two or three small fresh or silk flowers in your hair to add a soft, organic feel. Vintage elegance more your style? Pay homage to the past with an art-deco-style bracelet or some roaring twenties–inspired feather barrettes.

Got a V-neckline going on? Whether you opt for a pendant or choker, this style begs for a little décolletage decoration. A thin chain with a simple pendant, like a locket, is an elegant way to accessorize, while pearls (single- or double-stranded) are always a classic choice. If you’re going for a more decadent look, a crystal choker or statement necklace with matching earrings could be the perfect combo.

And if your gown is halter (or reverse halter), think about what’s best for a shoulder-baring style: Skip the necklace and focus on dressing up your tresses. Headbands are a great way to add panache to your wedding updo, be it a sleek bun or loose ponytail. But if headbands aren’t quite your style, try adding some sparkle to your hair with intricate crystal hairpins. If you’ve got a curly mane, five to seven hairpins are the perfect number, while brides with thinner locks (or shorter hair) need fewer—just two or three pins will do the trick.

Decide on your hairstyle first before choosing accessories

Decide on your hairstyle first before choosing the accessory to put on it. Some hairstyles look better on some people compared to others. For example, if you go for an updo, you might want to wear earrings that bring more definition to your face. On the other hand, if you want to go for wavy hair, you might want to get dangling earrings just so it is still seen. Another thing is that it’s not a rule that all brides have to wear veils. You can choose to place a fascinator, hairband, or tiara.

Know your veils

Since another wedding staple is wearing veils as an accessory, if you opt to follow this stride, there are some things that you must keep in mind when choosing a veil. First, your veil has to match the precise shade of your gown. Colour blocking will be very important for your whole look, especially in photos. Second, be very wary when deciding on the style of your veil. For example, if your dress has a lot of beading or lacing, you might want to stick with a simpler veil to complement your gown. 

On the other hand, if your gown is simple, you might want to choose a veil with embroidery or beading. Third, you have to consider your body type. For example, a long veil will have an elongating effect if you have a petite body frame. For taller brides, an elbow-length veil will do.

Match Your Metals

You may not realize this, but some metals look better with certain dress colours. As a general rule, ivory is best paired with gold since it highlights the creamy tint of the fabric. For a pure white dress, choose accents in silver or platinum or with pearl detailing—gold may clash with brighter white hues. You can have your pick with a diamond-white gown—this barely off-white colour looks amazing with yellow gold, rose gold, silver or pearls. If the dress you chose is already embellished with beadwork, let that dictate the colours of your accessories. For example, if your gown has gold beading, pick a necklace, bracelet or earrings with a gold base. 

Less Is More

You don’t need a veil, tiara, earrings, necklace and a sash. Accessories add a unique touch to your look—which we love—but one too many can be downright distracting. Before you start buying, take an inventory of your gown’s standout features and then base your choices around them. If your dress has an ornate neckline, opt for a pair of drop earrings instead of a necklace (that might look too busy). For a gown with a simpler style, try a bold statement necklace or fascinator. When it comes to earrings, take a cue from your hairstyle. If you’re leaving your hair down and over your ears, small studs or drops will do. But for an updo, you might want something a little more dramatic, like a pair of chandelier danglers. It’s always a good idea to avoid designs that closely mimic the embellishments on your gown—you don’t want to look too matchy-matchy. 

Match your jewellery to your dress

Did you know? Certain metals work better with various shades of white and ivory. Gold accessories can highlight an ivory hue while silver or platinum accents complement a bright white dress. If your wedding gown has beading already on it, then let that set the tone for the accessories you choose. Pick a necklace, bracelet, or earrings with the same metal base — be it silver, rose, or yellow gold. Remember: Less is more when it comes to jewellery, but don’t be afraid to have fun!

Think about your neckline

Be mindful of your wedding dress neckline when thinking of highlighting key areas, like your décolletage. Let’s say you’re wearing a strapless gown or sweetheart neckline: trade the necklace for a pair of elegant earrings. This keeps the focal point on the dress and helps frame your face. Want more? Add some silk flowers to your hair for a more fresh feel, or some vintage pins and finish with an art-deco-style bracelet to complete the look. You can even add a pop of colour. If you’ve got a V-neck dress, definitely decorate your décolletage. A simple pendant or locket is an elegant way to accessorize, maybe incorporate a family heirloom or pearls, or go for a statement piece, like a crystal choker or bib necklace with matching earrings. For a halter style dress, don’t worry about the accessorizing the neckline. A romantic updo hairstyle with hair accessories will do the trick. Add some sparkle with a floral-inspired headband or crown, or try some crystal pins to pull back some of your locks and show off your shoulders (ahem, and gown).

Keep the shoes comfy

While we love a fabulous pair of shoes (shop them here!), don’t forget that your wedding day is going to be a busy one and dealing with angry feet should be the least of your worries. Don’t let a pair of perfect stilettos ruin your first dance! If you’re used to high heels, then find a pair that feels right for you, and if you’re not — go with some sleek flats, wedges or sandals. You could always get both and change shoes for the reception. Add a pop of colour, or a “something blue,” by choosing a brightly coloured pair, or think back to your metals and other accessories to match a more traditional gold or silver pump or flat.

Consider a cover-up

A must-have accessory if you’re getting married during the colder months or will be in a church setting that requires covered shoulders, and a cover-up can come in many forms. From boleros to capes, fur stoles to wraps, it depends on the dress for finding the right fit. You may want to spice up a simple gown by adding a delicately beaded caplet or other embellished bolero — choose something that suits your style. Otherwise, pick a long-sleeved lace topper, jacket or sleek chiffon shawl to balance an already ornate wedding dress and avoid competition between pieces.

A stylish cover-up is a must if you’re getting married during the cooler months or at a house of worship that requires you to cover your shoulders. From boleros to capelets and fur stoles, the options are endless. (Bonus points: It makes for an easy transition look between your ceremony and reception.) The key is to choose one that strikes the perfect balance with your gown. Simple, understated styles can be paired with more embellished cover-ups, like a beaded capelet with scalloped edges or a bold sequined or feather bolero for added personality. For already ornate gowns, try a more minimal accent to avoid looking too over the top. A delicate lace jacket, sheer tulle cape or a chiffon wrap will keep you warm without competing with your gown. Another option? A classic cardigan, the perfect complement to a rustic or more laid-back affair. 

Top It Off

Are veils not your thing? From hair combs to fascinators, there are plenty of other ways to top off your look. Choose your hairstyle before you pick your accessory since some types will look better with updos than others. A flower crown, for example, is best with loose locks. You should also consider your hair type—dainty accessories may be perfect for fine hair, but won’t be as noticeable in thick waves. Most importantly, make sure whatever you pick feels secure while you’re moving around. 

Think Beyond Jewelry

Looking for a super-simple way to add a bit of personality to your wedding dress (and help create the illusion of curves)? Add a belt or sash. Just because your dress doesn’t come with one, doesn’t mean it won’t look great—a fashionable fastener is an easy way to customize your gown and change its look without having to make expensive alterations. And whether you go with a classic satin sash or metallic leather belt, it will give your dress an instant upgrade. The key to choosing the right waist-cincher is to find one that works with your body type. Thin belts are best suited to short torsos, while wider belts work well with longer ones. If you’re an apple shape, think about a beaded or heavily embellished belt to flatter your midsection. If you’re petite, a belt with V-shape appliqué will elongate your body. As a general rule, stick with a style that’s no more than three-inches wide—you don’t want to overpower the rest of your gown. 

Keep It Comfy

No outfit is complete without the perfect pair of shoes—and your wedding day look is no exception. Of course, you’ll want a killer pair to go with that gorgeous dress, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on comfort. Don’t forget: You’ll be standing for long periods of time, and you don’t want to be cringing in pain before you’ve even hit the dance floor. While shopping, consider the height of the heel (obviously the taller you go, the higher the pain potential), the type of straps and the material. Your feet need to be well supported (think: ankle and toe straps over slip-ons) to avoid instability. Look for high-quality natural materials. They’re infinitely more comfortable than synthetic ones and are also a lot more durable, meaning you’ll be able to wear them again.

For the best fit, go shopping at the end of the day, when your feet are swollen from activity, and give yourself plenty of time to break in your new kicks before the wedding. Wear them around the house a couple of weeks prior to the day, noting any areas that are prone to blisters. To make your shoes more comfortable, consider buying moleskin, heel grips, strap stickers or gel insoles designed specifically for heels. Are shoes too strappy to conceal an insole or grip? Pick up a spray, wax or cream that protects against friction or provides anti-inflammatory pain relief to keep your feet happy.

Stick to What You Know

Although it’s a special day, don’t stray too far from your normal style. If you rarely wear jewels, there’s no need to drown yourself in diamonds on your wedding day. The goal is to look and feel like the best, most beautiful version of your regular self. 

Strapless. Cap-sleeved. High-collar. Just a few necklines present in today’s bridal fashion, sitting comfortably next to an even wider array of wedding dress lengths, cuts, and shapes. Finding your dream bridal gown is a truly magical moment – but one that, of course, comes second to the day it is worn.

To complete the look, some brides may choose to accessorize as they would in everyday life (but, elevated – of course). Much like the style of gown, the options for jewellery can seem endless. Your bridal stylist could help you start visualizing jewellery on the day you find your dress. This way, you can see the whole look, and if you find a veil that same day as well, it will help ensure your entire wedding day look is what you always imagined.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of our favourite accessory types that pair well with three popular bridal necklines – the classic boat/bateau, a strapless sweetheart and a feminine v-neck. My advice to brides: keep things balanced! If you go bold in one area, keep it simple everywhere else. Otherwise, you run the risk of letting your accessories steal the show, rather than accentuate you in your beautiful gown.

Classic Boat Neckline

The classic lines of a boat/bateau neck are simple while undeniably flattering. A bateau neckline follows the natural curve of the collar bone and can be either a solid fabric or illusion such as lace. This neckline does provide full coverage than others, so keep jewellery from the neck and above as simple as possible. Heirloom designs play nicely, as they complement the timeless nature of the dress, while not being too flashy or attention-grabbing. A mid-length drop earring will elongate your neck, especially if you have chosen to tie your hair back off your shoulders. Or, forgo jewellery altogether and consider a delicate hair comb.

Sweetheart Neckline (strapless)

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the strapless gown—a fan favourite, giving brides a near blank canvas to experiment with accessories. Consider jewellery pairings – a drop earring with a bangle bracelet, multi-strands of pearls or a bold pendant necklace, for instance. The sweetheart cut, in particular, gives a perfect shape for a necklace that comes to a point, further elongating the neck and chest, as it leaves the collar exposed. Choose something that falls a few inches above the top of the dress, leaving a bit of breathing room for each to have their moment. That being said, feel free to play with a bib design or options are endless; multi-strand necklaces, modern bib, simple pendant or even pearls go great with a strapless dress. A mid-length drop earring that frames your face will give way to a linear illusion towards the neck. Lastly, an embellished cuff may make the perfect statement if paired alongside simpler jewellery, like a small stud. Again – it’s all about balance!

Feminine V-Neck

Whether it’s a plunging neckline or a more modest cut, the V-neck has gained popularity for framing a woman’s figure oh so well. Embrace that natural shape and stay away from busy necklaces that could compete. Decorate your decolletage with a thin chain or ‘Y’ shaped drop necklace with a simple pendant or strand of pearls to elongate the neckline further. Otherwise, opt for a simple knot stud earring paired with a delicate bracelet or bangle set.

Accessories are important and can pull your entire look together. You should also consider some non-traditional enhancements such as ruffles, flowers, feathers, or embroidered fabrics.

One great idea is to wear a satin (ribbon) bow and streamers down the front or back of your gown for a classic look. A touch of colour in the ribbon can also be used to tie in your bridesmaids’ colour or the colour of your mother’s gown.

Remember, you are trying to achieve a total look – whether it’s a royal blue designer shoe or an antique tiara in Cloisonne that is a family heirloom. All of your accessories should compliment you and that beautiful wedding gown that you have chosen for your romantic, special day.

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