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There’s no shortage of decisions to be made before your wedding day: the dress, your hairstyle, a final makeup look. And while a nail polish color may be way further down on that list, it’s worth spending a little time pre-wedding to, “pick your color,” as they say at the salon.
After all, nothing makes a stunning engagement ring and new wedding band combo pop more than a gorgeous manicure. You can, of course, go with a classic nude polish, but there are also plenty of slightly more unexpected shades to choose from—think soft blues and lavenders that feel modern, but are still totally bridal.
Here, the best wedding nail polishes any bride is sure to love.
Olive & June MM
Inspired by Mandy Moore (hence the name), this a universally-flattering nude. Nude shades vary and may not flatter every skin tone, but somehow this one does, thanks to the perfect balance of toasted beige and pink undertones. Clean and natural, the understated effect can’t be beaten for the minimalist bride.
OPI You’re Full of Abalone
There’s no denying that anything white always feels very bridal, though when it comes to nail polish, full-on white can sometimes feel a bit too stark. That’s why we appreciate this multi-dimensional ivory. It still reads as white, though it has a pearlescent finish that shifts and changes tones as it catches the light for a gorgeous, prismatic effect.
It’s the ideal choice for the bride who wants a traditional mani…with a twist. Plus, the formula also delivers up to 11 days of wear and mirror-like shine, too.
Essie Ballet Slippers
Originally launched in 1982, this remains one of the most beloved nail polishes of all-time. Case in point: According to the brand, over 800 bottles are sold every day in the U.S. Talk about a crowd favorite.
The uber-popular soft pinkish-white-beige hybrid is also a staple for the Royal family, one of the few shades approved by Her Royal Highness, and the polish Megan Markle wore for her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry. While it’s opaque enough to completely cover nails, it’s still sheer enough to flatter a variety of different skin tones.
JINsoon Dolly Pink
Pretty in pink, indeed. There’s something slightly vintage and retro about this blush hue, which makes it a great choice for the ultra-feminine bride.
Still, despite the classically girly shade, it’s still sophisticated and not too child-like. And while the hue looks gorgeous swiped on nails, it would also make for a pretty pedicure shade.
Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Cool Kids
An apricot cream color, this nude is particularly pretty on deeper skin tones, though truly does work on everyone. Equally as pleasing as the shade is the formula, infused with an impressive list of 10 different ingredients that improve the health and strength of your nails, while also the upping wear-time and shine factor.
Another classic Essie shade approved by the Royal Family, Kate Middleton wore this sheer beige for her nuptials. Her manicurist layered with a soft pink hue from a British polish brand—to that point, this neutral does mix and match nicely with other shades. Ideal for any bride going for a natural look, this barely-there shade is soft and demure, though it also makes for a great base for a French manicure.
For brides who want to think outside the beauty box, this cool hue is a great choice. A perfect balance of subtle blue and gray tones, it can also pull double duty as your ‘something blue’.
The cream finish makes for opaque coverage, and while it’s definitely more of a statement than a traditional nude nail, it still comes across as a neutral that isn’t too out there.
Paintbox Nail Lacquer Like Dreams
Founded by longtime beauty editor Eleanor Langston, Paintbox is a staple on the New York City nail salon scene, known for unique and sophisticated nail art. Recently, they launched their own curated collection of polishes, which includes this stunner.
This whispery lilac has creamy white undertones that really make it stand out (particularly when set against darker skin), and is a great alternative for brides who want something other than beige or pink. Also nice: The formula is 10-free, as well as vegan, and cruelty-free.
Butter London Regal Red Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer
Take a page out of Hilary Duff’s book and forgo nude nails for a standout crimson hue, as the starlet did for her winter wedding. We especially like this deep, red wine shade for those looking to make more of a statement with their mani.
The formula is free of 8 questionable chemicals commonly found in nail polish, not to mention also has special polymers that make it ultra-chip resistant and long-wearing. It also boasts UV absorbers to ensure the burgundy color stays shiny and vibrant.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish Out of This Pearl
There’s no shortage of shades to choose from in this line, which also happens to be the best-selling at-home gel polish brand in the U.S We’re partial to this pearlescent, almost mauve-like pink—a top choice for any bride who wants a manicure that sparkles alongside her rings.
Chip-resistant and long-wearing, it works best when swiped directly onto nails (no base coat needed) and finished off with the brand’s Miracle Gel Top Coat.
What to Look for in a Wedding Nail Polish
The perfect nail color will complement your skin tone and effortlessly fit into your look on your wedding day. Many brides opt for light nudes and pinks, but it's up to you if you want to be a little bolder. Light blues and lavenders or dark, sultry wine colors can be great, too. Consider your wedding colors, the season your wedding is in, and your personal tastes.
Nail polishes come in a variety of finishes, from matte to creme to sheer. Which one you choose is entirely up to your personal tastes. However, a sheer finish is great if you want to go with a subtle pop of color that would be overpowering if it was opaque.
Of course, you don't want to see a chipped nail on your wedding day. Look for chip-resistant nail polishes and use a topcoat. Check to see if the nail polish has any extra nail-strengthening ingredients so your nails are absolutely flawless on your big day.