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Shopping for wedding shoes

The material of the shoe should match the fabric of the bridal gown as closely as possible. The design of the shoe should complement the design of the gown, perhaps decorated with the same details as the dress. A proper fit is critical to comfort. She should purchase a half-size larger shoe to wear on her wedding day and consider selecting a second style shoe that she can switch into during the reception celebration.

To break in her bridal shoes before the wedding, the bride should wear her shoes during the week before the wedding, wearing them around the house on carpeted floors for a few hours each day.

To avoid tripping on slippery floors in her wedding shoes on her wedding day, the bride can lightly apply fine sandpaper to abrade the smooth finish on the soles of the shoes.

Selecting bridal hosiery

The stockings should complement the style and fabric of the wedding gown, and vary according to sheerness, sheen, and pattern. Patterned hosiery is available in many designs as well as small, simple motifs positioned near the ankle. The bride should choose patterned hose with plain, silk pumps and opt for simple hosiery to accent an ornate shoe. For the appropriate color of hosiery, the bride should obtain a very sheer stocking that best matches the fabric of her wedding gown in white, ivory, or nude.

Headgear for the bride and her maids

In addition to the traditional veil, there are hats, headbands, floral wreaths, and combs.

Choosing the wedding day jewelry

The standard rule related to bridal jewelry recommends understated, simple, classic, and conservative themes. Most brides wear fewer, more formal pieces of high-quality wedding jewelry.

The bride's jewelry, along with her other accessories, should reflect the formality of the wedding celebration. A small, informal wedding calls for simple jewelry, while a large, formal wedding calls for more elaborate jewelry. Certain pieces of jewelry are considered more traditional than others. Diamond stud earrings suggest elegance, along with classic pearl necklaces and bracelets. Pearl jewelry -- a symbol of purity and innocence -- is the most popular choice by brides.

Different types of pearls and pearl necklaces used in wedding jewelry

The most prevalent types of pearls are cultured pearls, deep-sea pearls, and freshwater pearls. Cultured pearls are the most common variety of pearls, produced by modern technology which inserts an irritant into the oyster to stimulate production. Deep-sea pearls are the naturally produced pearls. Freshwater pearls are found in rivers and lakes, characterized by an irregular shape and color with an intense luster.

The various lengths of pearl necklaces include the dog collar, choker, princess, matinee, and opera. A dog collar is made up of several strands of pearls stacked up on the neck. A necklace that rests at the base of the throat is termed a choker. A princess-length necklace rests above the bustline. A matinee-length necklace rests below the bustline. An opera length necklace falls around the waistline. A lavaliere is a pendant on a necklace.

Matching bracelets and gowns

Bracelets can be worn with sleeveless, short-sleeved, and three-quarter sleeve gowns. It is possible to combine a bracelet with gloves as a dramatic accessory worn over tight-fitted gloves. A watch can be worn as an unusual antique or family heirloom, but most watches are not appropriate wedding jewelry for the bride or her maids.

Choice of earring

A button earring accentuates a round face. A dangle earring widens a narrow face. A square earring adds interest to a long face.

Appropriate jewelry for bridesmaids

Most bridesmaid ensembles can be enhanced with earrings and perhaps a necklace or bracelet. All maids should wear the exact same jewelry.

How gloves are distinguished

Gloves are classified by length, measured by the number of inches, or buttons, the glove reaches above the thumb. The most popular lengths of gloves include one-button, two-button, six-button, eight-button, and sixteen-button. A one-button glove stops just below the palm and is worn with long-sleeve gowns. A two-button glove ends at the wrist and is also known as a wristlet or gauntlet. A six-button glove falls below the elbow and is also known as a quarter-length glove. This style best accents a short-sleeve gown. An eight-button glove reaches to the elbow and is worn with short-sleeved dresses. Also known as opera-length gloves, the sixteen-button glove reaches to the top of the arm. It is typically worn crushed, or gathered, and looks best with sleeveless or strapless wedding gowns.

Gloves can be made of kid leather, silk, matte cotton, crochet, and sheer. A bride should choose a matching color glove to her wedding gown. White gowns dictate a white glove, while an ivory gown is paired with ivory gloves. The bride should wear her gloves for the processional and replace them following the marriage ceremony. She should wear them while greeting guests in the receiving line as well as dancing the special dances at the reception.

A special consideration for the bride wearing gloves is the exchange of wedding rings. If she is wearing short gloves, she can simply remove her gloves and pass them to her honor attendant. Brides who opt for long, elbow-length gloves typically open the seams of the ring finger and tuck the fabric inside to expose the ring finger. The bride should remove her gloves while eating at the reception, to prevent the possibility of any food stains on the gloves.

The bride's use of a handbag

Most brides will use a handbag on their wedding day, but will never carry it down the aisle. The handbag is carried by the bride's mother or honor attendant. Handbags are most often made of fabric or lace. Specialty bags may feature pearl and metallic trims. A bride wearing kid gloves may opt to carry perpetuate the look with a small leather handbag.

Carrying a handkerchief

Many brides receive a handkerchief as a bridal shower gift from an older female relative. The color should be white or ivory, and the bride's initials can be embroidered to personalize the practical accessory.

Proper undergarments with the bridal gown

The proper undergarments will enhance the bride's figure and improve the fit of her gown. A corset is a strapless bustier that fits to the waistline is appropriate. A merry widow is a corset with slightly longer length and garters to hold stockings. Although some bridal gowns are constructed with the appropriate petticoat attached inside, many brides will want to purchase a petticoat to provide the desired fullness. Brides interested in achieving a voluminous skirt may wear two petticoats.