As if you weren't stressed enough over choosing a wedding dress, wedding hairstyle, and the perfect shade of lipstick, your wedding nail polish is also an important bridal beauty detail you can't forget to check off your to-do list. After all, your hands will be in the spotlight on your big day, from carrying your bouquet down the aisle to the exchange of wedding bands to your first dance. But with a beautiful sea of colors to choose from—like muted lilac, colorful confetti, and barely-there nudes—the process of selecting just the right shade of wedding nail polish can be a bit overwhelming. That's why we turned to the pros!
Brides spoke with our favorite nail experts, from Jin Soon Choi to Côte's Leah Yari, about the most stylish nail hues to rock on your wedding day. Below, see the best wedding nail polishes to wear, according to the pros.
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Leah Yari, CEO and Co-Founder of Côte
As Leah Yari, CEO and Co-Founder of the chic non-toxic polish brand and nail salon Côte, says “Nothing complements your new bling better than the perfect manicure”. For the contemporary, she suggests Côte's No.122, "a blend of rich nude tones for a clean, polished look.”
For the classic bride, “We love how the sheer pink tones of No.10 are clean, feminine, and just the right amount of color without grabbing too much of the spotlight,” Yari adds. And for the bride who is looking to draw a little extra attention to her hands, Yari recommends having your nail hue serve as your something blue with the pretty and powdery Côte No.118.
Jin Soon Choi
Jin Soon Choi, iconic nail guru and owner of JINsoon Hand & Foot Spas in New York City and polish brand JINsoon, says that your personality should play a part in picking your perfect wedding-day shade.
For the brides that have bubbly and outgoing personalities, Choi says to have fun—“but within wedding day boundaries.” She suggests trying “fun, colorful confettis like JINsoon Fab or JINsoon Dotty because they can be used alone or paired with sheers like JINsoon Dew, Muse or Pixie, which will make your nails colorful without upstaging your wedding day look.”
For brides that are more reserved, Choi explains that “angelic, fairy dust shades” would be perfect for their wedding day. Choi’s favorite combination is JINsoon Dew and JINsoon Mist. "They reflect the depth and introspective nature of the person wearing them and are delicate, lace-like, and the perfect topping of a wedding day ensemble,” she explains.
For the easy-going bride, Choi says to go for a classic shade, “like a classic nude or a light pink like JINsoon Pinky or JINsoon Muse.” Choi also notes that for a more experimental hue, she loves the idea of coral or hot red. Try JINsoon Winky or JINsoon Vanity for an unexpected pop of color. As Choi explains, “These shades conform to wedding-day expectations while being glamorous, like a classic Hollywood star look.”
Michelle Saunders James, Celebrity Manicurist
Celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders James (her clients include Kate Beckinsale and Mandy Moore) encourages brides to take inspiration from their actual wedding for their bridal mani. “I like to suggest that my brides use the color theme of their wedding to inspire their nail shade," says Saunders. "For example, flowers are an excellent guide. Are they neutral, pink, bright?”
Next, "Choose between a sheer or opaque formula,” instructs Saunders. "Both are trending, so you’ll be in fashion—but keep in mind that sheers are more soft and have less pigment, while opaques feel modern and have more depth,” she says.
Saunders's favorite opaque shades are in Essie’s Serene Slate collection: Mind-Full Meditation, an opaque nude beige; Press Pause, a light neutral dove gray; and Wire-Less Is More, a soft, dusky rose.
Deborah Lippmann, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Deborah Lippmann
For celebrity manicurist and nail brand queen Deborah Lippmann, the perfect wedding mani, “is one that is kept simple and clean, with a nude shade or a pretty pink; something that highlights the beauty of your engagement ring and gown.”
For brides that favor bold hues, Lippmann says they should consider a rose gold shimmer like Stargasm or a classic red like My Old Flame. Lippmann adds, “Nails can also be a great way to incorporate your something blue, in which case Above the Clouds (a full coverage powder blue shimmer) would be perfect. Especially for a beach wedding!”
Nadine Abramcyk, Co-Founder of tenoverten
Nadine Abramcyk, Co-Founder of tenoverten, a chemical-free nail salon (with locations in LA, NYC, and Austin) and polish brand says, “The most bride-worthy shade to wear is a neutral that compliments your skin tone. That way, your nails will look clean and classic and won't compete with your dress or bouquet in pictures.”
Abramcyk’s pick for the perfect wedding nail polish color is a milky hazelnut hue, like tenoverten’s Canal. “It is universally flattering and perfect for your wedding,” says Abramcyk.
Dineh Mohajer, Co-Founder of Smith & Cult
Dineh Mohajer, Co-Founder of cult-favorite nail brand Smith & Cult and beauty entrepreneur (she also founded iconic nail brand Hard Candy), has a shade just in mind for brides-to-be. “As a sucker for love, a wedding is the perfect occasion to romanticize every detail, including one’s fingernails of course,” she says. “The options are endless, ranging from classically elegant to bold and unexpected. Fauntleroy, an opaque muted lavender, is my ideal choice.”
Kristin Pulaski, Owner of Paintbucket Nails
Kristin Pulaski, owner of Williamsburg hot spot Paintbucket, prefers something pink with subtle pop. ”Bubble Bath by OPI, I recently wore it to my sister's wedding with a small gold stud on each nail and I couldn't believe the amount of compliments I received. It’s a perfect neutral hue with the most delicate hint of pink and gives major ethereal vibes,” explains Pulaski. For brides that love a hint of shimmer, Pulaski also adores Smith & Cult Sugarette. "It is the most gorgeous pearly, iridescent shade of white—but not too white.”