31 beautiful wedding nail designs for every type of bride, from minimal to pearlescent, natural and more

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31 beautiful wedding nail designs for every type of bride, from minimal to pearlescent, natural and more

While wedding nail designs might not be at the top of your big day to-do list, they are something to consider before the morning of. Much like the wedding hairstyle or make-up you choose, bridal nails are a brilliant way to stamp your personality on the experience. Whether you like minimal, pared-back designs or are flirting with something more modern, there's a nail design to suit you and your aesthetic, some you might have never heard of. First, though, let's go over some healthy nail housekeeping.

When should you book your wedding nails manicure?

"If you want to grow them naturally, you’ll need around two months to get them to a good length," advises Amanda Lee, wonder and founder of Fitzrovia beauty salon, Iris Avenue. "Try and get manicures that strengthen and protect the nails so they can grow out without breaking. Our SOS Gel Manicure is great for this, as it provides up to three weeks of wear and keeps the nails strong.

"If time isn’t on your side, you can get nail extensions up to a week before the wedding. The closer to the wedding is better, so ideally up to three days before so there is no sign of regrowth," she advises.

Surprisingly, Lee also suggests a couple of wedding nail trials ahead of the big day, much like you would your hair and make-up: "You’ll be surprised at how the different nudes can look different on your skin."

Is gel polish better than normal for wedding nail designs?

It largely depends on your plans. Ashleigh Alli, founder of vegan nail polish brand Ashe London, suggests taking a look at the schedule before deciding. "Nail polishes are great for those of us unable to wear gel or who want more flexibility, perhaps even a change of colour for the evening outfit or pre-rehearsal dinners," she suggests.

If you are opting for 'normal' nail polish, though, give yourself a full day for it to be properly set. "Any nail varnish will take a good hour to be completely dry (no matter how fast drying it says it is)," says Alli. "Nail varnish can be touch dry in a couple of minutes but you will still run the risk of knocking them and smudging or denting your perfect manicure.

"I always recommend getting your nails done the day before as it gives them time to completely dry, as well as allowing enough time to fix last-minute disasters."

For durability and tighter time constraints, gel polish and extensions are instantly dry thanks to the curing process of UV light but will require more time for removal should you want to change colours or design.

How to strengthen weak nails before your wedding

Lee has a number of recommendations she makes to clients looking to improve the strength of their nails before their wedding. First up, cuticle oil. "When nails are dry, they are brittle and easily break. Applying cuticle oil twice daily will make a huge difference to your nail health as it helps keep nails flexible when exposed to pressure."

Lee also suggests avoiding submerging hands in water for long periods of time. "Water takes away the natural oils from our skin, so remember your marigolds when doing the washing up." Using gloves when washing up or otherwise soaking hands in water is a great tip for people with sensitive skin or skin that's prone to flare-ups when stressed.

The final non-negotiable Lee says is committing to removing your gel properly. That means no picking on the sofa or mid-Zoom. "Removal should be done gently, with no peeling or scraping action," she says. "Soak-off gel nails should 'crumble' away from the nail after being soaked."


31 wedding nail designs to save, screenshot and share

(Hearst Owned)
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1) Nearly nude

Intensely clean and minimal, a classic nude manicure is about as versatile as it gets when it comes to pairing your nails with various events and outfit changes.

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(lolo.nailedit@Instagram)
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2) Nature's calling

A fresh take on a white-and-nude manicure, this nature-inspired nail design is as chic as it is unique.

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(the_minimalist_manicurist@Instagram)
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3) Airbrushed French manicure

A softer iteration of the French manicure, this airbrushed design is a timeless way to update the classic.

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(katsclawz_@Instagram)
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4) Micro French

Another interpretation of the thicker French manicure, this style is elegant and understated, elongating the fingers and nails with beautiful effect.

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(manicuredbychristina@Instagram)
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5) Mother of pearl

Synonymous with a modern bridal aesthetic, pearl adornments instantly (and easily) elevate traditional nails.

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(manicuredbychristina@Instagram)
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6) Bejewelled bride

Pare back your festival nail ideas with delicately placed jewels for a luxurious, expensive-looking manicure.

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(hardasnails_studio@Instagram)
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7) Pink chrome

Another modern twist on traditional nude nails, a chrome overlay is a gorgeous way to introduce metallic motifs without straying too far away from classic wedding nail designs.

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(iramshelton@Instagram)
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8) Rose tinted

Minimal brides, this sheer, ultra-natural manicure is for you.

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(byeleanorohara@Instagram)
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9) Seashell nails

Blending together pearlescence, iridescence and silver-white tones, this wedding manicure encapsulates glamour without being overbearing.

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(kimkimnails@Instagram)
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10) Pair of hearts

While you can adorn every nail with a miniature heart, opting for two digits only makes the design really stand out.

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(gel.bymegan@Instagram)
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11) Blushing bride

Another minimal wedding nail option, this sheer pink is subtle and stunning.

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(gel.bymegan@Instagram)
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12) Mirror Mirror

Add a little edge to your wedding nails with metallic tips, perfectly paired with a skin-matched nude base.

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(gel.bymegan@Instagram)
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13) Neutral glaze

Reminiscent of Hailey Bieber's glazed doughnut manicure, this natural-looking chrome is on trend but won't date.

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(gel.bymegan@Instagram)
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14) Mini-bows

For detail-oriented brides, these blink-and-you-miss-them bows are a beautiful finishing touch.

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(overglowedit@Instagram)
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15) Silver half-moons

Add a touch of sparkle to the tips and mids of your nails, using the half-moon near the cuticle to guide your placement.

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(gel.bymegan@Instagram)
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16) Minimal curves

Update a classic wedding manicure with organic lines in a contrasting colour. For such tiny little things, they make a world of difference to the final result.

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(manicuredbychristina@Instagram)
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17) French melt

If you're stuck between a rock (a classic manicure) and a hard place (a trending manicure), plump for something in the middle: namely, this hazy French melt.

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(lolo.nailedit@Instagram)
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18) Sheer nude

Sheer nude polish enhances your natural nails without covering them up completely. Think 'your nails on their best day'. Who wouldn't want that?

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(harrietwestmoreland@Instagram)
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19) Simple disco

One for the dancing queens, this carefully bejewelled manicure will catch the light (and your eyes) all night long.

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(manicuredbychristina@Instagram)
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20) Milk manicure

Imbue the traditional wedding white with a shimmering glow to create a beautiful milk-toned manicure.

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(iramshelton@Instagram)
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21) 20/20

Who says clear nail polish can't look as chic as a coloured polish? Focus on fine-tuning the shape and cuticle care to make it look stroke-perfect.

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(overglowedit@Instagram)
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22) Bridal blooms

A touching reminder once the bouquet's been thrown, this floral-inspired manicure brings the natural world that little bit closer. Heavenly.

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(iramshelton@Instagram)
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23) Modern matcha

Wedding nails likely bring to mind visions of tulle, pastel and white. Well, not in 2023. This soft matcha-coloured manicure is a pretty riff on the classic shades. In love.

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(the_minimalist_manicurist@Instagram)
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24) Soft pink

Somewhere between sheer and pigmented, this unpretentious shade bridges the gap between understated and standout.

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(manicuredbychristina@Instagram)
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25) Something navy

Consider a deep, dark nail colour for your wedding day, like this pooling navy manicure.

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(gel.bymegan@Instagram)
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26) Modern blue

Striking and eye-catching, cobalt blue is always a good choice.

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(lolo.nailedit@Instagram)
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27) Delicate details

Play with bows, pearls and other nail accessories for a femme, individual finish.

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(overglowedit@Instagram)
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28) Rich red

Smooth and indulgent, this red-wine-inspired wedding manicure feels relaxed, elegant and so very more-ish.

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(gel.bymegan@Instagram)
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29) Baby pink

Suited to brides and bridesmaids, this baby pink feels like an infectious pop of fun.

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(gel.bymegan@Instagram)
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30) Lilac dream

If matte pastels make you grimace, consider this chrome update, it takes the classic lilac from faint to flawless.

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(overglowedit@Instagram)
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31) Cherry pie

Simple and sweet, these cherries inject personality and fun to otherwise classic wedding nails.

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(kimkimnails@Instagram)

Prepare your camera roll, stunning bridal nails are incoming. Glean inspiration from these stunning wedding nail designs and bridal nails.