Every bride wants to look amazing on her wedding day! Along with your gorgeous dress, stunning hair and makeup, and that excited glowing energy, the perfect bridal accessories will help you look and feel your absolute best!
Since you’re having a destination wedding, you have to over-prepare so you don’t leave anything at home. I’ll give you a quick checklist of all the bridal accessories you’ll need for the big day! But read on to learn more tips, tricks, and ideas to style your wedding attire from head to toe.
And keep in mind:
You don’t need every accessory on this list. Pick and choose which works best with your wedding style. Now let’s get started.
What Bridal Accessories Do You Need for Your Wedding Day?
- Veil, Crown, or Headpiece
- Engagement Ring
- Wedding Band
- Belt or Sash
- Bridal Underwear
- Shapewear or Slip
- Wedding Shoes
Here Are Some Basic Rules to Remember When Choosing Your Bridal Accessories
1. Don’t Overdo It
When shopping for wedding accessories for the bride, first consider the features of the wedding dress, and then work to complement them. You don’t want to go overboard! And you definitely don’t need ALL of the accessories I listed above. It’s going to look busy if you have a tiara, and a veil, and long dangly earrings, and a necklace, and a sash, and… Well, you get the point. Just don’t overdo it.
If you have an extravagant dress with sparkles and beading, you want to highlight that, not overpower it with a ton of flashy accessories.
If you have a simpler gown, then you can dress it up with more ornate wedding jewelry. But make sure it all flows together.
2. Don’t Get Too Matchy-Matchy
You want everything to flow nicely and complement each other, but you don’t want all of your bridal accessories to be exactly the same. Add a little variety, and don’t be afraid to have a little fun. You will look amazing no matter what!
3. Choose Your Metals Carefully
The colors of your accessories should complement the color of your wedding dress. Some metals actually look nicer with certain colors than others.
- Gold will look better with an ivory dress because it will pick up the creamy tones in the fabric. But gold may clash with brighter white tones.
- To complement the warm tones in a champagne-colored gown, go with gold accessories. Or choose burnished silver and rhinestones will help to create a more antique/vintage look.
- Silver, platinum, or pearls will look better with a pure white dress.
- Rose gold looks nice against a blush wedding gown as you’ll pick up those soft pink hues.
If your dress already has beading or embellishments, you should use that color for your bridal accessories.
There you have it! A few basic rules to help you out when you’re shopping for your wedding accessories. Now let’s go through each of the accessories one by one, starting from the top.
Accessorize your hair with a veil, crown, or headpiece
Before you decide which type of accessory to use in your hair, you should already have your dress. Remember, you want to complement your dress, not cover it up or overshadow it with your accessories.
You should also have an idea of how you’d like to wear your hair on the big day. Some accessories look better with updos, while others look better with long, flowy locks. Your hairstylist will be able to help you out with ideas if you’re unsure what will look best.
While a veil is the most common bridal accessory, many brides are ditching it altogether and choosing a flower crown or headpiece instead. And I must say, that’s a great choice for a beach wedding!
Let’s talk about this timeless bridal accessory, and then you can decide if another option is better for you.
The wedding veil is one of the most popular wedding traditions. But at this point, most brides have forgotten about the tradition and decided to focus on the stylish appearance instead. Veils are beautiful! There’s no doubt about that. When you’re wearing one, you’ll surely feel like a queen!
And let’s be honest:
Your wedding day is probably the only day that you’ll be able to wear something so dramatic. But does it make sense to wear a veil to a beach wedding?
Should Your Wear a Veil at Your Beach Wedding?
The weather at the beach can be unpredictable. There could be clear skies one minute and dark rain clouds the next. But one thing seems to remain constant: the wind. If you’re getting married on the beach, you should be prepared for windy conditions.
I think you can see where I’m going here…
Those long, flowy veils don’t always work so well for beach weddings, especially on a windy day. The veil will be flying all around, either covering up your face or pulling on your hair. You won’t be comfortable. And that will show in your wedding photos and wedding video.
So what should you do?
Bring the veil for photos! You can attach it for the photo session and then take it off again before you head to the ceremony. That way, you still get all those amazing photos, but you don’t have to be battling your veil throughout the day.
Try a birdcage, flyaway, or elbow veil instead. Shorter styles will be more manageable. Or opt for a flower crown or headpiece instead, which I’ll get into soon enough!
If you still love the idea of wearing a veil on your wedding day, don’t worry. A lot of beach brides wear one and they look stunning! Here are a few tips to help you choose your veil.
Choosing A Veil
- Consider the style of your wedding dress. If you have a low back or dazzling beading that you want to show off, then you don’t want to cover that up. Choose a sheer veil that still allows you to show off the styling of your dress.
- Don’t steal the spotlight. If you have a “wow” dress that you want to highlight, don’t overpower it with a flashy veil. The focus should be on you (and how beautiful you look in your dress), not on your veil. Keep it simple.
- Then again, consider your personality and your wedding style. If you’re an extravagant bride that likes to push boundaries and go over the top, then you might as well go all out on your wedding day! Simple may not cut it for you.
- Keep your body-type in mind. Short styles like a bandeau or birdcage veil work for all body types. If you have a petite frame, a waltz or floor-length veil will elongate your frame. If you’re a taller bride, mid-length styles will work best for you.
- What type of bride are you? If you’ll be moving around, constantly chatting with your guests or hitting the dance floor, you may be uncomfortable with a long, flowing veil. Another style or a completely different accessory may be better for you.
Crowns, Tiaras, and Headbands
Have you already decided that veils aren’t your thing? Don’t worry, you have a few other options to make sure you look absolutely stunning on your wedding day. Flower crowns or headbands are a great style to tie in your beach wedding theme and show off your carefree nature.
Or you can go in the complete opposite direction with an elegant jeweled crown or tiara. Choose this if you really do want to feel like a queen on your wedding day!
Flower crowns are certainly the more popular choice for a beach wedding in Punta Cana. But it’s totally up to you! Choose what makes you feel the most beautiful. It is your wedding day after all.
When selecting your crown, tiara, or headband, be sure to try it on and make sure it fits correctly. Move around, shake your head back and forth, and walk around. You can even dance a bit! Whatever you need to do to make sure your crown doesn’t slip off. It should fit comfortably on your head.
Here’s a little inspiration for you:
If the veil is not your thing and a flower crown seems too laidback for your wedding day, an elegant headpiece may be your best option! Your headpiece (like the rest of your bridal accessories) should complement your wedding dress.
If you have a simple gown, your headpiece should be fairly simple. And if you have an elaborate gown with fancy details, your headpiece should follow suit.
Also, consider your hairstyle and your hair type. A dainty headpiece will get lost in thicker hair, while a large headpiece may look too overpowering with thinner hair.
A lot of brides choose to wear a headpiece and a veil, and then they’ll take off the veil after the couple’s photo session. That way you still look amazing during the reception, but you’ll be more comfortable since you won’t have to worry about your veil all night long.
Here are a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing:
Now that we’ve got your hair decorated, let’s move on to your ears.
When it comes to choosing the earrings for your wedding day, take a tip from your hairstyle and from your other accessories. If you’ll be wearing your hair down, small drop earrings or studs will look great. For an updo, you can wear something more dramatic to really make your face shine. Long, dangling earrings look stunning with an updo.
And remember this tip from above:
All of your bridal accessories should tie well together, and should not overpower one another.
Don’t forget about your wedding dress. (Is that even possible?) If your dress has a high neckline or a ton of intricate beading and styling, consider a simpler style of earrings. If your dress is simple, spice it up with some fancier, flashy earrings.
Here’s some earring inspiration:
When it comes to choosing a necklace for your big day, it’s all about the neckline on your dress. This could easily be one of the bridal accessories that you skip. Here are a few tips:
- If you’re wearing a halter style dress, you won’t need a necklace. This goes the same for high necklines. A necklace is just not necessary.
- Going strapless? You can wear a shorter necklace or a choker to help create height. Chokers are coming back in style (and no, they’re not those stretchy plastic things you remember wearing back in middle school). You can also choose to wear chandelier earrings with a strapless gown and skip the necklace completely.
- Pair a v-neckline with a thin-chain pendant necklace or a strand of pearls to create a classic look. If you want a more bold look, a crystal choker with matching earrings may be the way to go. Or skip the necklace altogether if your dress already has a lot of embellishments.
So what do you think? Are you going to wear a necklace on the big day? Here are a few photos, and I’ll let you be the judge.
When choosing a bracelet for your wedding day, you’ll want to keep it simple and delicate. You don’t want to steal any focus from your dress or your wedding ring.
Long-sleeve dresses aren’t super common in the Caribbean, but if you decide to rock the long sleeve dress, you can skip wearing a bracelet.
For any other style of dress, a simple tennis bracelet will look spectacular. If you want to go for a more bold look, opt for a glittering diamond or sparkling gold cuff bracelet.
If you’re a more boho bride, consider an upper arm cuff instead. Etsy has a ton of beautiful and very creative options.
Now, let’s keep it going on the list of bridal accessories. Moving down the body, let’s talk about the rings!
The wedding ring is the most universally accepted symbol of marriage. And rightfully so. This is the one bridal accessory that you’ll continue to wear long after the wedding day has come and gone. When choosing your wedding band, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- Do you want your wedding band to match your engagement ring?
- Do you want a simple band or one with detailing or jewels?
- Will the metals on yours and your fiance’s rings match?
- Do you plan on wearing your engagement ring and wedding band together most of the time?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start shopping for your rings!
Remember you’re looking for a ring that you can wear every day of your life, so consider your lifestyle when trying on rings. If you have an active lifestyle or work with your hands, you may prefer a simpler style. If you’re used to wearing rings in your daily life, then you may choose to go with a bigger, bolder style.
Whatever ring you choose, I always recommend purchasing extra insurance to cover ring sizing, adjustments, and cleanings.
On your actual wedding day, I recommend keeping all the rings together (preferably in the bride’s room). You can bring a cute, custom wedding ring box or dish to display your rings in the getting ready so we can take lots of photos. Here are a few ideas:
Belt or Sash
Moving on down, we’re now at your midsection. If you want to add a little bit of personality to your wedding gown, a belt or sash is a great option.
Some dresses already come with one built-in, but if not, it’s super easy to add on. Just talk to your seamstress, and they’ll be able to help you out.
The key to choosing a belt or sash is to find which one works best with your body type.
- Wider belts will look better with a longer torso (don’t go any wider than three inches), while thin belts look best on short torsos.
- A v-shape belt will help to elongate a petite body. If you have more of an apple shape, consider a heavily embellished or beaded belt to really flatter your midsection.
A belt or sash is not necessary, but they do help to add an instant upgrade to your dress. Just remember, you don’t want to overpower the rest of your wedding gown.
Bridal Accessories For Under Your Dress
Any ideas of what to wear under your wedding dress? A bra, panties, and garter are the starting point. But it’s really going to depend on your wedding dress style and your body type.
You want to look sexy but feel comfortable. Remember you’ll be in your dress for about 12+ hours. You’ll have to go to the bathroom at some point during the day. And you’re getting married in Punta Cana so it’s going to be hot and humid. Comfort is key!
Let’s start from the top and make sure your girls are locked in tight.
Bras, Bralettes, and Corsets
No one wants to be worried about accidentally flashing their guests on their wedding day. What a nightmare that would be! You want to feel secure and contained. And you definitely don’t want to keep adjusting your dress throughout the day. A proper fit is so important!
Luckily, most dresses have the cups sewn in already, so you won’t need to bother getting another bra. If your dress doesn’t have cups, however, your seamstress can add them in very easily.
If you don’t feel like that’s enough support for you, you can always wear a bra, corset, or bustier. Corsets and bustiers are amazing at flattering your figure, but they are not the most comfortable. Especially in hot and humid climates. If this is the style you choose, make sure it’s loose enough that you can breathe and move around comfortably. You don’t want to be that bride that passes out at the altar…
Depending on your dress, you’ll have to decide which style of bra works best for you.
- A strapless bra will work best with a strapless gown. If you have this style, jump and dance around at your fitting to make sure nothing slides down.
- For a backless dress, consider wearing a sticky bra. Just make sure it will stay on if you’re sweating.
- For a plunging neckline, it’s best to have your cups sewn in. There are some bodysuits that offer plunging necklines, but I find them very difficult to go to the bathroom in. I’d also recommend sticky tape or boob glue (this one’s my favorite) to keep the girls locked in place.
Shapewear & Bodysuits
If you want to keep everything tight and in place, shapewear is a great option. It will give you that smooth, silky look underneath your dress. Depending on your body type, style, and preference, you can choose minimal or maximum coverage.
Keep in mind, you’re adding an extra layer underneath your dress that is probably going to be pretty tight. Will you be comfortable wearing that all day long? Will you be able to go to the bathroom? Make sure you have a plan for when the day comes. You may need an extra pair of hands to assist you in the ladies’ room. Isn’t that what bridesmaids are for anyway? (Consider giving them a thank you gift for all their hard work.)
Moving on down, let’s talk about your underwear. Your dress is going to play another major factor here. If you have a flared out waist (like a ballgown or a-line gown), you can pretty much wear whatever style of underwear you want. Maybe even sneak in your something blue down there.
But if you have a more fitted dress (like a mermaid or sheath style), you’ll have to be more selective. Seamless panties may work, but be sure to try them on with your dress to ensure they actually are completely seamless. Thongs work here too, but if you’re not a thong person, your wedding day is not the time to try one out.
You’ll also want to think about the color. Nude-colored panties will be nearly invisible underneath your dress, while lighter colors (and even white) may be easier to see.
Again, comfort is key here! Choose what makes you feel sexiest, but also that you can be comfortable wearing throughout the day.
The garter is one bridal accessory that you can choose to really show off your personality. Whether that’s leopard print or polka dots, a sexy black or that something blue. Have some fun with it!
Most garters are one-size-fits-all, but definitely still try it on before the wedding day just to make sure it fits. You don’t want it falling off, or worse, cutting off your circulation.
That’s it for underneath your dress! Now let’s talk about the shoes you’ll wear on your wedding day.
Are you even wearing shoes on your wedding day? Tons of brides decide to go barefoot for their beach wedding. And why not? Punta Cana has some of the softest sand in the world! You might as well sink your toes in!
If you want to wear shoes on your wedding day, keep the sand in mind when making your decision. High heels and tall wedges won’t work well on the beach unless you lay down a wooden platform to walk on.
If you’re getting married at a big resort (like the Hard Rock), you’ll have to walk a lot to get from one place to another. And you don’t want to be that bride who’s complaining about her feet before the day has even begun.
Sandals, barefoot sandals, flats, and sneakers are all great options for wedding shoes to wear on the big day. Check out this post to Find the Perfect Shoes for your Beach Wedding.
Extra Bridal Accessories
Once you have all the main accessories listed above, you can add in some extras to spice up your day or add a little personality. Here are some options:
- A handkerchief to wipe those tears away.
- A small clutch or purse with some extra lipstick, tissues, and safety pins.
- Don’t forget to get your nails done. Chipped nail polish is not a good look.
- A jacket or cover-up in case you get cold. I’d say this is only really necessary for an indoor reception at a resort where the AC will be pumping.
- Spritz on a special perfume for your wedding day. Years from now, you’ll be transported back to that day whenever you catch a whiff of that memorable scent.
- Don’t forget a nice hanger for your dress. You don’t want to display that gorgeous gown on a cheap plastic hanger.
- Last but not least, don’t forget about those getting ready accessories. Here’s a whole list of tips to help you Prepare for Your Getting Ready.
There you have it! You’re now decked out in bridal accessories from head to toe. I’ll leave you with a few reminders to help you prepare for the big day.
First, remember that accessorizing does not mean that you need to wear every possible accessory on this list. Choose the right pieces for your body type and your wedding gown style, and you will look amazing!
Next, try not to get overwhelmed when choosing your accessories. (I know it’s easier said than done.) Just take your time. Even if you find one piece of jewelry that you absolutely love, that’s enough.
Finally, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Your bridal accessories should be a reflection of you and your personality. Don’t choose anything that you won’t be comfortable wearing.
You want to be happy and feel marvelous on your wedding day. Confidence is the most beautiful accessory of them all!