If a traditional white wedding dress doesn't really feel like you, you'll be pleased to know that this classic hue is far from the only option you have—it's easy to find a wedding dress in ivory, cream, or Champagne, but options in shades of blush, lilac, baby blue, and other neutral pastels are now readily available, too. Some brides prefer a look that's even more non-traditional than that: Think a gold sequined sheath, a navy printed ball gown, or a dark red lace tea length dress, and bridal fashion designers are delivering with unique, colorful options that'll suit any woman's style. If you've selected a wedding dress with a bold color or pattern, it can be hard to find the right accessories. That's where our experts come in. "The bottom line," says Nicole Haase, vice president of merchandising at ModCloth, "is to feel confident when all eyes are watching you marry your best friend."
If you've always planned to wear a veil, choosing a bold wedding dress doesn't mean you have to change your plans. The length or detailing on a veil can give a traditional gown an added pop, while an heirloom veil passed down through your family can soften a more modern look. But you do need to be more discriminating when pairing a veil with a bold dress, says Haase: Take into account the length and material, and decide whether you want your veil or your dress to be the statement piece. BHLDN stylist Lindsay Love agrees: "With dresses in richer colors like red and navy, a veil may prove distracting from the overall look," she says. "Instead, opt for a complementary statement earring or elegant hair comb."
Though many brides choose neutral wedding shoes to complement a traditional wedding dress, there's no hard-and-fast rule that says you have to; plenty of women prefer a bright red heel, a "something blue" stiletto, or a crystal-embellished sandal. "Classics like black, nude, or subtle metallic hues are the best way to complete the look," says Love, and she adds that this true whether you're pairing them with an ivory ballgown or a plum-colored fit-and-flare. Whatever you choose, says Haase, make sure they fit: "I would opt for shoes that are comfortable given the amount of standing and moving a bride typically does throughout the evening," she says. "You don't want to be uncomfortable or get blisters on your special day."
Choosing your jewelry is also a matter of personal preference. If you've selected a wedding dress because it calls up a specific look, then your jewelry can help create that moment, says Haase. "This depends on the style for the bride, " she says. "Are they classic and would opt for simple pearl earrings, are they more romantic and would opt for filigree jewelry, are they going after a specific period, like the 1920s, and would go with Art Deco elements?" But as with a veil, you want to make sure you're not trying to put too many statement pieces into the same look. "I tend to lean toward silver, soft gold, crystals, and pearls to complement a dress of any color," says Love. "If the bride is investing in heirloom-quality pieces, this also increases their wear-it-again potential."