Finishing Touches

Layer these looks into any type of wedding.

There are some details that transcend style to give any wedding a finishing touch—and subtly remind your guests that this isn’t just any party. These ideas are perfect for any type of celebration, from the grand gala to the intimate family affair.

Bradford & Sara Harris, September 2018, Williamsburg

Photo by Katelyn James Photography

The Ultimate Accessory

Nothing says “bride” like a veil—and they are big-time back in style. There are multiple lengths to match any dress or wedding theme. Avoid #veilfail by practicing with it before the big day and fluffing it gently so it floats naturally for photos. (Not feeling the veil? Consider a lacy cape for all the romance but none of the headache.) 

Christian & Amanda Brumbaugh, May 2019, Manakin-Sabot

Photo by Allison Kuhn Creative

Hang It Up

The wedding dress photo is a classic, so make it as pretty as possible with a personalized hanger. Custom dress hangers come in a variety of styles, so choose one that works with your dress. Sets labeled for the maid of honor and bridesmaids are widely available, too. 

Kevin & Mary Cate Ferguson, June 2019, Richmond

Photo by Justin Hankins Photography

Pretty in Pants

As much as you love your wedding dress, you might not want to wear it all night. More brides are choosing pretty but practical pants for their after-party outfits—and even for the big event. You’ll be happiest wearing an outfit you love, so feel free to (literally) follow suit. 

Karl & Meghan Hermann, June 2019, Leesburg

Photo by Kait Winston Photography

Snazzy Sneakers

Reception shoes are definitely a thing—and they range from stylish sandals to snazzy sneakers. (We even know a couple who opted for Birkenstocks!) Some brides, figuring their dress hides their feet anyway, simply wear sneakers all day! 

Jordan & Leah Barker, June 2019, Harrisonburg

Photo by Candice Adelle Photography

Ready Robes

For a bridesmaid gift they can truly wear again, consider a getting-ready robe or romper. Team Bride will be stylish, comfortable, and gorgeously Instagrammable during hair and makeup prep. 

Michael & Elizabeth Armstrong, March 2019, Richmond

Photo by Meghan McSweeney Photography

Grand Finale

It’s tempting to party all night—but as the hosts, you need to wrap up the event. A dramatic exit will signal the reception’s end and give you a great photo op. Sparklers have long been the go-to; for something fresh, try confetti party poppers, bubbles, or mini pom poms in your wedding colors. 

Jake & Katherine Giesen, November 2018, Madison

Photo by Tall and Small Photography

Dog of Honor

If you want your dog to be there for your special day, plan ahead: Make sure your venue welcomes furry friends, put someone in charge of it (in some cities you can hire a wedding pet attendant), and let your pal practice wearing any flowers or decorations ahead of time.


This article originally appeared in our February 2020 issue.

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