Wedding Day Manicures: How to Get Your Nails in Shape for the Big Day

May 13, 2021
Mary Honkus
By: Mary Honkus | by L'Oréal
Your Ultimate Wedding Day Nail Guide

With a lengthy list of pre-nuptial to-dos, wedding nails can easily go overlooked. Trust us when we say that your manicure will get a lot of attention on your wedding day. To help you nail the look (pun intended), we asked Essie celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders to help create the ultimate wedding nail handbook. Ahead, find intel on how to get your nails in tip-top condition before you walk down the aisle, plus get some major wedding manicure inspiration. 

Two Months Before Wedding

We know that wedding planning can be stressful, and if you tend to manage all that stress by biting your nails or picking at your cuticles, now is the time to stop. For some people, simply keeping their nails painted is enough to make them think twice before ruining the polish. This is also about the time you want to start getting regular, weekly manicures. These maintenance manis will help keep your nails in shape for your wedding day. “During this time, you can ensure your wedding nails and cuticles will be at their maximum health, and you can audition some nail colors, too,” says Saunders. 

One or Two Days Before Wedding

This is when you want to get your wedding manicure and pedicure. Be sure to buy your own bottle of polish and bring it with you to your appointment. This way, if you have any unfortunate chips happen post-mani, you have the color on hand for touch-ups. Better yet, Saunders strongly recommends getting an almost indestructible gel manicure that should last through your honeymoon. 

Find Your Perfect Wedding Nail Style

To find your ideal nail color for the big day, Saunders recommends using your wedding colors and personal style as a guide. “If you have an accent color highlighted in the décor, then match your nails to that,” says Saunders. “It brings continuity to your beauty look.” While you may not want to go all matchy-matchy with your table linens or bridesmaids’ dresses, you can tie in your colors in a more subtle way. “Match your wedding nails to the brightest color in your bouquet, or the softest,” which is  another way to mesh your mani with your wedding vibe. Find some inspiration for the ultimate “I do” mani below.


A simple French manicure complements any wedding style. Upgrade the look with an abstract, wavy white line to make this mani even more memorable.


For a seriously eye-catching mani, skip the pale pinks and whites and paint your nails with a bright, but dramatic deep red nail polish like Essie Tug At The Harpstrings.


If you’re interested in something a little more intricate and dreamy, look no further than these delicate butterfly nails. This mani combines the classic elements of a French manicure with some subtle nail art.


Make a statement with extra bling. Choose a neutral base color, like a light pink then layer on the works — glitter, gems and nail art.


You don’t have to be confined to neutral nail polish shades for your big day. For a look that’s super trendy, try creating a French manicure with a navy blue polish like Essie Booties On Broadway for a sophisticated pop of color.

Photo: @karinailsyou

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