Three beauty experts give us the lowdown on wedding manicures

Once that ring is on your finger, your hands will be the star of the show. Time to delve into all things nail related, says Nicole Conner

As a bride, you know your hands will be the centre of attention throughout your journey to tying the knot. From that first pic showcasing your engagement ring, to placing the band symbolising commitment on your finger, your nails will be visible to all. It’s no wonder, then, that you’ll be wanting them to look their best. Let’s find out how…

Glazed donut nails by House of NAF!
Chrome looks great over nude colours, as this set from Glasgow’s House of NAF! demonstrates

Put your hands together

So, when should your nail journey begin? Jasmin French, owner of the chic Edinburgh salon of the same name, advises brides to have their nails tended to three times before their wedding set is applied. “This allows us to work out what suits you best and gives the natural nail a chance to grow,” she explains. “We also have time to test out colours to see what suits your skin tone.”

Gemma Walker, nail tech at Stirling’s Honey & Violet Salon, agrees: start three months before the big day and get infills every three weeks. “Using BIAB in particular will ensure your nails are in excellent condition and gives them a chance to grow if you’re looking for a bit of extra length without extensions,” she says. If you’re opting for a simple gel polish, pop in for an appointment a couple of days before the wedding, no maintenance required, Gemma adds.

Honey and Violet Weddings nails
Looking for some alternative bridal nails? Navy Beauty, based in Honey and Violet Salon, offers two beautiful looks

Better with BIAB

As a former acrylic-nail addict, I (like most of the manicure-getting population) have made the switch to BIAB, aka ‘builder in a bottle’, and for good reason: the gel product aims to be as long-lasting and hard-wearing as acrylics, but without doing any damage to your nails.

If you have BIAB, it is best to get your infills done ideally no later than a couple of days before the wedding, says Gemma. “This means they’ll be lovely and fresh while minimising any risk of damage.”

At Jasmin French, it is recommended that you soak off any manicures prior to doing the final set: you may get a build-up over time that makes the nails thicker than usual, so removing any existing gel will make things look fresher.

Left: French manicure by Jasmin French; right: Star-detail nails by House of NAF!
Left: A timeless French mani by Jasmin French; right: Celestial-themed nude nails by House of NAF!

What’s trending?

The classic French manicure remains a firm favourite among brides, but following Hailey Bieber’s viral glazed-donut nails, requests for chrome is up, according to House of NAF! in Glasgow. This looks especially good over nude colours, and adds a little something special to your nails without taking away from the look of the dress.

Lead educator Eilidh stresses brides shouldn’t feel pressured by current trends, however: “You still need to feel like yourself, so keep things classic – this isn’t the time to try something new,” she advises. “And remember, sometimes less is more. It’s all about the ring.” She adds that alongside chrome nails, it is also popular for brides to get little gemstones or pearls added to their manicures.