It’s nearly here, your big day. You’ve had your final dress fitting, hair & make-up rehearsal and you’ve finally decided on a bejewelled headpiece. But have you thought about the little details that can truly complete your bridal look? With all eyes, and cameras, on the rings during the ceremony, having perfectly manicure nails is an absolute must for your wedding day.Choosing a style for your bridal nails can be overwhelming, especially if you decide to go with acrylic or press on nails; the shape options alone are vast. For a handy guide to nail shapes and length, read nail artist Lisa Johnston’s informative article here.

Once you’re ready to start decorating your nails, whether that’s doing it at home yourself, or going to your local salon, you need to decide what look you want to go for. Full, over the top bling or just a hint of sophisticated sparkle? We’re going to be looking at the different ways to decorate your wedding nails, focusing on how to make them sparkle using a range of crystal embellishments.

Flatback rhinestones

Rhinestones, also known as flatback crystals or diamantes, are a fantastic embellishment for all types of nail art, as they come in a myriad of colours, shapes and sizes. The most popular nail art rhinestones for wedding nails are Clear and AB crystals in sizes SS5 – SS10. With these smaller sizes you can create beautiful intricate designs, or just add a few if you prefer a subtle sparkle. See how talented nail artist Lisa Johnston has used Preciosa Clear rhinestones to create these pretty motifs, by simply using Crystal Fix nail glue, and applying them to the nail before curing. And by placing silver caviar beads in between each stone, she has instantly brought a neat finish to the design.Crystal shapes

If you’re looking for your wedding nail art to stand out a bit more, try using crystal shapes to create a bespoke pattern. Shaped rhinestones tend to have more facets which offer a bigger sparkle, and they are versatile too, you can use them individually or as part of a larger design. Here, Lisa has applied the Preciosa navette to her nail, forming a natural floral image – a popular choice for brides.Pearls

Another best selling embellishment for bridal nails is the flatback pearl. These have a smooth pearlescent finish, and are a great addition for a bride who likes a more subtle manicure. White, cream and ivory are the most popular colours, but a hint of pink also looks beautiful if it can be tied into your flower bouquet. Pearls look beautiful on their own but really come to life when combined with flatback crystals, and this is a very popular look for brides on their big day.Crystal dust

A technique that is commonly used in nail art, is to create a statement nail – this is usually a fully covered nail, whether it’s rhinestones, glitter, or another embellishment. For a truly luxurious and expensive looking statement or feature nail, you can use crystal Faerie dust to entirely coat the nail. Crystal Faerie are tiny shards of Preciosa crystal, that are so fine they resemble glitter. Each individual piece of crystal gives off an amazing sparkle, so when you have hundreds of these on your nail, the effect is stunning.Creating a feature nail

Another way to create a feature nail is to apply a large shape, then surround it with smaller rhinestones. In the example below, Lisa uses a Preciosa crystal heart shape and outlines it with clear rhinestones – this creates the effect of a diamond ring, just beautiful.Want a more subtle sparkle?

Not all bridal manicures have to be laden with bling, you can still have just a touch of sparkle if you prefer a subtle sophisticated look. Popular designs such as a floral or lace effect, can be elevated by adding just one or two embellishments to highlight them. This is where the tiny ss5 rhinestones or 2mm Zodiac pearls come in handy.Looking for wedding inspiration?

If you’re still unsure about how you would like your wedding nails, there are lots of ways to get inspired. Take a look at what the experts are doing – our go to nail artist Lisa Johnston has a fantastic social media presence and is always showing the latest trends and techniques in the industry. Check out Lisa’s shop and dedicated Bridal Gallery for more info.

Wedding & bridal