Our complete list of essential wedding accessories for the bride, groom and wedding party
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Organising your wedding can seem like a never ended to do list with countless items you need to purchase and prepare. Your wedding accessories are a chance to add those special and unique details to your look, but can often be overlooked during the planning process. In order to ensure you take care of the smallest details read on and use this as a handy checklist. Here at Honeymoon Forever we will help you keep track of all the details that make your big day truly yours.
For the bride
Here at Honeymoon Forever we are obsessed with wedding shoes. They can be one of the first things you buy because you know your feet won’t change size, however far in advance you are planning your wedding. Ivory/white is a fabulous option but also consider blue (for your “something blue”) as something more unique. It’s important to think about where your day will be and to buy appropriate shoes. It’s no use buying stilettos for a beach wedding! Also try to find shoes that you won’t want to take off after 5 minutes. If you aren’t used to wearing heels then don’t choose the highest pair available, and definitely practice walking in them around the house before the big day. We love Irregular Choice’s quirky range of shoes, especially the bridal range. Their designs often feature a rounded toe shape which makes for a more comfortable shoe which still has so much wow factor!
Shoes by Irregular Choice
Alternative flat shoes
Unless you are an expert heel wearer then we recommend buying a back up pair of comfortable flat shoes for when your feet get sore but you want to carry on dancing with your guests. Something as simple as a pair of white flip flops can definitely work but we highly recommend Toms as they are so comfy.
It is so important to pick the right underwear. From bras to bustiers, shapewear to stockings, if you want to look your absolute best then what goes under the dress is just as important as the gown itself. Of course you should buy your gown first as you cannot guarantee what style of underwear will suit the dress you finally choose. There are so many choices of wedding lingerie; from plunge styles to retro long-line bras, you can find something to work with the style and material of every dress. Finding the perfect bra depends on the size and shape of the woman, the dress and of course your preferences. For a backless dress you’ll want to look for a backless corset or basque or maybe a multiway or strapless bra. One of the most popular designs would be a balcony bra, as most have detachable straps and are very comfortable. In terms of colour most brides aim to match their dress’s colour if it’s white or ivory but depending on the material of your dress, a bright white could actually be quite visible so cream shades are more suitable if you’d rather avoid practical but less glamorous nude. Some brides might not even need a bra. It depends on your size and the dress you’re wearing. For example, a fitted boned bodice will give more support. However if you have a larger bust you will need some support. Definitely bring your lingerie to the fittings, unless your dress has a fitted corset or basque in which case you will only need the pants. Dress fitters can also look at sewing your lingerie into the dress, especially for tricky necklines, so you don't have to worry about flashing your bra as you say your vows!
Ceremonies differ, vows are often unique, but the tradition of the wedding band has survived through the ages and is a traditional symbol of eternal love in many cultures and religions. These days the traditional simple gold wedding band isn’t the only choice as wedding rings come in many different designs, widths, weights, shapes and sizes, the trick is choosing the one stunning enough for you to adore for a life time. And that comes down to your personal choice. Here at Honeymoon Forever we make it our mission to help you find the best wedding rings possible.
Choosing the metal for your wedding ring is a good place to start. There are numerous metals available, all with different properties and styles that make some more suitable than others. After you’ve decided on the metal, you need to consider if this new wedding ring will complement your engagement ring.
Both rings will be worn side by side for the rest of your life, so it’s important that they sit well together. (You may also decide to wear your wedding band without your engagement ring if your profession requires or you prefer a simpler look.) You may have never considered the profile of the ring before, but you’ll begin to see subtle differences once you compare the styles side by side. You may decide to choose a shaped wedding ring, often referred to as a curved or fitted wedding ring. These come in a range of designs including a delicate curve, a pronounced Z-shape or a cut-out in the ring. Even if you don’t need it to be shaped, consider the ring profile – you’ll be able to choose from court shape (rounded on the inside and out), flat profiles (completely rectangular), D-shape (flat on the inside, round on the outside) and more.
Aside from metal and shape you may want to consider other details such as adding stones or engravings to your band. If you can’t find bands you both love from a reputable quality high street jewellers such as Goldsmiths who have a beautiful range of engagement rings, wedding bands and other wedding jewellery (and at the time of going to print have an amazing sale on with up to 50% off), you might also consider having your rings made bespoke. This isn’t also as expensive as it may sound. We had our wedding bands custom made by Coo who allowed us to make part payment towards the cost of our rings with unwanted gold jewellery, our families kindly donated some broken and unwanted pieces which made a huge difference. Many jewellers will accept this so do ask when looking for your rings. If you’re in or near London taking a trip to Hatton Garden will be well worth it. Set up a few appointments to get some quotes and go from there.
Wedding bands by Coo
Wedding ring box by Clouds and Currents
Sure, your wedding dress may be the star of the show, but the right accessories will elevate your look and add a personal touch (or three). You may not realise this, but some metals look better with certain dress colours. As a general rule, ivory is best paired with gold since it highlights the creamy tint of the fabric. For a pure white dress, choose accents in silver or platinum or with pearl detailing—gold may clash with brighter white hues. You can have your pick with a diamond-white gown—this barely off-white colour looks amazing with yellow gold, rose gold, silver or pearls. If the dress you chose is already embellished with beadwork, let that dictate the colours of your accessories. For example, if your gown has gold beading, pick a necklace, bracelet or earrings with a gold base. However, also consider matching your metals to your engagement ring and wedding band. Whilst mixing metals may work for some brides depending on your own unique style as a general rule matching your metals will create a more cohesive look. Accessories add a unique touch to your look—which we love—but one too many can be downright distracting. Before you start buying, take an inventory of your gown's standout features and then base your choices around them. If your dress has an ornate neckline, opt for a pair of drop earrings instead of a necklace (that might look too busy). For a gown with a simpler style, try a bold statement necklace. When it comes to earrings, take a cue from your hairstyle. If you're leaving your hair down and over your ears, small studs or drops will do. But for an updo, you might want something a little more dramatic, like a pair of chandelier danglers. It's always a good idea to avoid designs that closely mimic the embellishments on your gown—you don't want to look too matchy-matchy. Although it's a special day, don't stray too far from your normal style. If you rarely wear jewels, there's no need to drown yourself in diamonds on your wedding day. The goal is to look and feel like the best, most beautiful version of your regular self.
Bracelet by Monica Vinader
Here at Honeymoon Forever we are obsessed with the delicate style of Monica Vinader, who's pieces are perfect for layering, they have a beautiful range of rose gold pieces and even a modern mens range (recently seen on Gareth Southgate) and they currently have an amazing sale on.
The veil is the iconic bridal accessory. From flirty birdcages to regal cathedral-length styles, there's no shortage of options. But there are a few things you should keep in mind as you narrow down the type of veil you plan to wear. First of all, you'll want your veil to match the exact shade of your gown (colour blocking is better left to your day-to-day look). And be mindful when choosing a style—if your dress has a lot going on, stick with something simple that won't steal the spotlight. If showing off the back of your dress is a must—say, you have gorgeous embroidery or beading—choose a sheer veil rather than one with two layers of tulle. Lastly, Consider your body type: Longer waltz or floor-length veils will elongate a petite frame while mid-length styles, like fingertip or elbow-length veils, can visually cut you in half, making them a better pick for taller brides. Short styles, like a birdcage or bandeau, work for all shapes and sizes and lend a fun, retro vibe to your gown.
We adore the ‘Barely There Skylar veil’ from Britten which is a stunningly simple veil without gathered fabric at the top (a style which can be hard to find).
Are veils not really your thing? Or does your veil style allow for a little something extra? From hair combs to fascinators, there are plenty of other ways to top off your look. Choose your hairstyle before you pick your accessory, since some types will look better with updos than others. A flower crown, for example, is best with loose locks. You should also consider your hair type—dainty accessories may be perfect for fine hair, but won't be as noticeable in thick waves. Most importantly, make sure whatever you pick feels secure while you're moving around.
One our favourite pieces is the ‘India’ hair vine by Debbie Carlisle. Debbie creates so many beautiful designs so definitely check out her website as there's something for everyone.
India hairvine by Debbie Carlisle
A stylish cover-up is a must if you're getting married during the cooler months or at a house of worship that requires you to cover your shoulders (and your dress doesn’t). From boleros to capelets and fur stoles, the options are endless. (Bonus points: It makes for an easy transition look between your ceremony and reception.) The key is to choose one that strikes the perfect balance with your gown. Simple, understated styles can be paired with more embellished cover-ups, like a beaded capelet with scalloped edges or a bold sequined or feather bolero for added personality. For already ornate gowns, try a more minimal accent to avoid looking too over the top. A delicate lace jacket, sheer tulle cape or a chiffon wrap will keep you warm without competing with your gown. Another option? A classic cardigan, the perfect complement to a rustic or more laid-back affair. If you need to venture outside between locations or for photos then it’s a good idea to have something on hand.
A bridal garter is likely the only piece of lingerie you’ll ever have removed by your husband and then flung gleefully into a rapt crowd. Whether this wedding garter tradition makes you laugh or cringe, it’s still going strong. And even brides that don’t embrace the garter toss sometimes wear a garter nonetheless as a sexy addition for their wedding night. Consider your dress before you decide whether or not to wear a garter, if it will create an unsightly bulge underneath a fitted gown then it’s probably not worth it but if you do decide to go for a garter then it can be a great way to incorporate your “something blue”. For beautiful handmade garters crafted in the UK check out The Wedding Garter Company.
A bridal handbag is usually an after thought or even non existent as bridesmaids or mother of the bride are given the responsibility of carrying those essentials. But depending on the details of your day (perhaps you’re eloping just the two of you or are moving around multiple locations and need to have your lippie on hand) it might make sense for you to have your own bag and there’s no reason why it can’t be a statement piece in itself. There is a style out there to suit everyone.
Looking for a super-simple way to add a bit of personality to your wedding dress (and help create the illusion of curves)? Add a belt or sash. Just because your dress doesn't come with one, doesn't mean it won't look great—a fashionable fastener is an easy way to customize your gown and change its look without having to make expensive alterations. And whether you go with a classic satin sash or metallic leather belt, it will give your dress an instant upgrade. The key to choosing the right waist-cincher is to find one that works with your body type. Thin belts are best suited to short torsos, while wider belts work well with longer ones. If you're an apple shape, think about a beaded or heavily embellished belt to flatter your midsection. If you're petite, a belt with V-shape appliqué will elongate your body. As a general rule, stick with a style that's no more than three-inches wide—you don't want to overpower the rest of your gown. This won’t be for all brides (I actually ended up ditching the belt which came with my dress as I preferred a simpler look with clean lines) but it’s something to consider depending on your dress style and body type.
For the groom
Of course every groom is unique and has their own unique style but in most instances you will want to be looking for a leather lace up shoe. Black is a safe choice for most suit colours. Regardless of whether you’re wearing a suit, tuxedo or morning dress, if your formalwear is dark in colour (excluding navy) then black shoes are a good choice. For navy or blue suits, a medium-to-dark brown should be worn. This shoe also suits a more casual outfit, like chinos, a shirt and braces. Other colour varieties are also available if you’re working this casual look, from burgundies to deep greens. Just because something is traditional, it doesn’t mean you have to do it! If you're not the type of groom to dress up then why not pair your outfit with a box fresh pair of your favourite trainers. It’s not unheard of for a groom to wear Converse or Vans on big day and if that's your style then embrace it!
There are actually an impressive variety of shoe styles out there. While these aren’t your only options, these are the most common – and best looking – types of wedding shoe.
Oxford: Also known as the Balmoral, this shoe features closed lacing and is the most formal of all lace-up shoes. It’s a truly classic style that is most recommended by experts for a groom.
Loafer: ‘Loafer’ is actually an umbrella term for an assortment of slip-on shoes. While many variations of the loafer aren’t suitable for a formal occasion, you can find a few elegant styles that can really work with your wedding outfit.
Derby: This shoe is similar to the Oxford, but features a closed lace that creates two flaps wrapping around the shoe’s tongue. Not suitable for formalwear, but would suit a more casual look if that’s the theme of your wedding.
Make sure you give your shoes a good polish for the wedding, especially if you’re wearing an old pair. Trust us, dusty shoes really will ruin your entire ‘Bond’ look. If you do shine your shoes, make sure there’s no polish residue left on them – we doubt your bride will be happy if you tar her dress with black polish after you kiss her at the alter. If you’ve invested in a brand new pair, before the wedding, be sure to wear your shoes around the house for a few days after you buy them – this way you’ll soften and break them in, which means less chance of sore feet and blisters on your big day. Also remember to scuff the soles a little so you don’t slip. Also keep in mind that if you’re kneeling at the altar, the entire crowd will be able to see the soles of your wedding shoes, so make sure you’ve remembered to remove labels and price tags.
Shoes by Bertie at John Lewis
No gents it’s not cool to just sling on any old pair of pants on your big day! Your bride has probably made an effort with her lingerie so you should take pride in your undercrackers for your wedding day/night. With the proper comfort, fit and support, the right undergarment makes a man feel stylish from the inside out. First of all, it’s ultimately about comfort because boxers that ride up your thigh all night will be a P in A when you’re trying to break it down on the dance floor. Give your wedding briefs or a similar pair from the same brand a test run before the big day to ensure maximum comfort. And don’t forget to practice your dance moves in them too. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did. Your new bride will be pleased to see you put in a little extra effort for your wedding night if you have a new pair of boxer briefs on underneath your suit. You don’t have to stray from your usual style or do anything wild but new and clean is a very good start!
And don’t forget socks, we suggest picking a pair of socks that pop or have some flare. That way, when you’re wearing a solid suit the socks show off a hint of your creativity and personality. Bonus points if your socks match your jocks (or at least coordinate nicely).
Tie/Bowtie & pocket square
In the last couple of years groom’s suit trends have evolved from the more traditional tails, to sharper suits with structured tailoring and more colour.
As result the formal cravat is less in vogue, creating an opportunity to wear a tie that better suits your sense of style. Here are a few of the more common options:
Bow-ties - A classic; bow ties are authoritative, commanding and straight up sexy. Try a velvet number to look suave or choose from an array of colours, textures or a fun print to suit your own unique taste.
Black ties are usually reserved for evening receptions but can look distinguished during the day too.
We love the huge range available from Mrs Bow Tie. Their bow ties come in a range of styles and we especially love the self tie versions so you can rock the undone bowtie look when it comes to late night dancing. Check them out for a huge range of bow ties, ties and pocket squares in every colour and design imaginable!
Cravat - Cravats are effortlessly stylish and are great for the more sophisticated groom. Larger than ties, wearing a cravat will add a vivid splash of colour to your wedding photographs. As an added bonus, cravats are great for winter weddings as they can keep your neck warm on a chilly day!
Tie - Ties are probably still the most popular choice for neckwear. Consider matching the colour of your tie to the bridesmaids or stand alone with your own signature shade! There are so many materials to choose from; wool, cotton, linen, knitted but if in doubt, silk is a wedding day winner.
Skinny Tie - Best suited to stylish grooms who know their own minds; skinny ties look fashionable and relaxed for day time ceremonies. Lithe grooms suit this style best as the skinny tie balances out their chest proportions.
A classic watch is most certainly the order of the day, after all if there’s one day you need to be on time this is it! Timeless in design (pardon the pun), a traditional choice will accompany both a simple or complex suit with maximum impact. If you don’t already have a watch that’s suitable then this is the perfect time to invest in a timepiece that not only will finish your wedding day look perfectly but will last for many years to come.
The first thing to consider is your personality. You will wear this watch many times over many years so it needs to be something that speaks to your personality and own personal style. It should also make sense for your interests and lifestyle. Whether you’re an outdoorsmen or a techno-geek, your choice of watch should consider these interests, given the fact that they present different demands for timepieces.
There are of course endless choices on the market but do consider matching the strap to the rest of your wedding outfit, if going for a leather strap, choose a shade similar or complementary to your shoes (a black leather watch strap with brown leather shoes is not the one) or a metal that complements your wedding band (don’t choose a titanium watch if you have a yellow gold wedding band).
Brides if your groom doesn’t already have a great watch to wear on your big day then it makes an excellent wedding day gift. A fine watch often lasts from generation to generation, so it’s well worth investing a few extra pounds to make sure your gift is as memorable as can be. Moreover, every day he wears his watch in the future, he will remember that you cared enough to put time and effort into buying him something special. Such a gesture will still be important to him long after the cake and decorations are gone.
Depending on your shirt you may need or want cufflinks and if you don’t already have a suitable pair to complement your wedding day look then this is the perfect time to invest in a new pair (brides – this is also a great wedding morning gift for your hubby to be or for the groomsmen).
Most men will know that cufflinks ought to match a shirt, but with the plethora of options available it can be tough knowing which are the most appropriate. The first step is being aware of your closure type. Different closures affect the fitting of your shirtsleeves as well as your ensemble’s overall appearance. With so many closure types available, it would be sensible for one to assume that each closure corresponds to a different level of formality. However, with the exception of silk knot and fabric cufflinks - which are typically worn at informal events - this is generally not the case. Names such as ‘bullet back & toggle’ or ‘whale back’ simply refer to the specific way in which that cufflink is fastened and each is suitable for most occasions. The ‘bullet back & toggle,’ for instance, is the most common type as it tends to be the most secure and easy to fasten. The ‘bullet,’ or small metal cylinder, is suspended between two posts and turned ninety degrees to secure. Other types include the ‘ball return’ that provides a looser fitting than the bullet back and is simply slipped through the shirt buttonhole via its fixed backing. The chain link cufflink, which is the most traditional closure, is typically comprised of two rectangular pieces of metal suspended between a thread of chain. Each cufflink, regardless of its closure, will vary in formality depending on the material or pattern of its ornamental discs. Traditionally, cufflinks should be simply designed and not overly ornate. They are meant to accentuate your dress ensemble and add to it a sense of formality, but not overshadow it.
Something in some way personalised is a nice touch as long as you avoid the novelty tacky route. No matter how much you love golf, golf ball cufflinks have no place on your wedding day. Keep it classy gents!
Cufflinks from NotOnTheHighStreet
Over the last couple of years (and possibly linked to the success of hit TV show ‘Peaky Blinders’) pocket watches have become more in vogue. There is something ridiculously cool about having a bit of chain looping between your buttonhole and pocket and it’s a great keepsake of your wedding day or way to incorporate a loved one who’s passed away. Brides this another accessory which makes a great gift. If you are looking to source a vintage pocket watch then your best bet would probably be to check out eBay or Amazon online and of course get yourself around some local car boot sales and antique fairs. There are also some websites out there selling brand new pocket watches in classic and contemporary designs, just as with wrist watches there’s a watch to suit every budget.
These days, men’s fashion has seen a distinct revival of and fascination with 20th century culture, class, and style. Think fedoras, moustaches, speakeasies, and, yep, suspenders or as we Brits call them braces. We are proponents of this sartorial revivification. Braces are classy. Braces are comfortable. Braces are what your wedding wardrobe needs. OK you don’t “need” them but if you like the style then why not?! These days, you can find everything from super skinny to excessively wide when it comes to suspender straps. For a classic look on your wedding day, choose a pair with standard measurements such as 1.25” – 1.5”.
Trendy and sartorially daring widths fall in the 0.5” – 1” range. Finally, functional, heavy duty suspenders meant for hard work (or hard-core dancing) or men with heftier builds fall on or around 2”. Suspenders will look dapper with everything from the casual rustic wedding ensembles to that white tie celebration. Just be sure that the fabric of the suspenders either match or contrast the rest of your outfit. Or, if you’re wearing leather suspenders, it is a general rule that you should match these with your shoes. Also, unless your destination requires a coat or blazer, feel free to rock your suspenders sans-cover as you dance the night away. Let everyone know just how stylish you are.
Braces by Mrs Bow Tie.
If you don’t fancy rocking braces then you will certainly need a good belt, after all you don’t want to lose your trousers on the biggest day of your life. The Grooms belt may seem a rather insignificant accessory for his wedding attire, but choose the wrong one and it could seriously compromise an otherwise fantastic wedding outfit. If you don’t already own a good quality leather belt then this is the time to invest in one. Make sure it matches the colour of your shoes. Choose a plain belt approx. an inch and a quarter thick with discreet stitching and without any special motif. If you are wearing a watch then try to co-ordinate the watch strap or buckle with the belt buckle i.e. brown leather shoes and brown leather watch with silver buckle = brown leather belt with plain classic silver buckle. And last but not least make sure to try it on prior to the big day to make sure it’s the right size for your waist.
For the bridesmaids
If you are choosing your bridesmaids shoes then you need to start early. Finding shoes to suit the different tastes, sizes and ages of bridesmaids requires a lot of planning – visit plenty of wedding shows and use online research. You will find specialist bridesmaid ranges by designer brands but you should also consider high street brands which are ideal for bridesmaids to wear again after the wedding. If you’re on a tight budget, you could search the high street for shoes in a specific colour to match your bridesmaid’s dresses but an easier – and not necessarily more expensive option – is to have the shoes dyed to match. Shoe dyeing can cost up to forty pounds per pair but if you shop for discontinued styles during September you will find plenty of price reductions on dyeable shoes making this option more affordable. Also, if you’ve opted for a ‘standard’ colour – companies like Rainbow Club offer free dyeing to ten colours – perfect if you have lots of bridesmaids but still want a luxury look!
If you’re a bride who wants unique and different dresses for each bridesmaid, you may want to opt for individual bridesmaid shoes as well. A mix and match approach is perfect if you have many bridesmaids as it’s easier to find something to suit everyone! Source different shoe styles but in the same colour perhaps or even buy plain shoes in the same colour with heel heights to suit all and then use shoe clips to create a slightly different look for each bridesmaid. It really depends on how hands on you want to be, many brides give their bridesmaids a colour palette and then let them choose their own outfits including shoes, but that approach isn’t for all brides and if you have specific ideas in mind then Honeymoon Forever can help you find the perfect bridesmaids shoes.
Many brides choose to gift their bridesmaids a piece of jewellery to wear on the day. Choosing this depends of course of the style and colour of their outfits. As with choosing your own bridal jewellery consider the neckline of the dress, how they will wear their hair and of course their own style. Choosing the same item for each bridesmaid is the most practical route and a nice way to tie them all together, especially if you have opted to mix and match the dresses. If your bridesmaids are choosing their own accessories then it’s a good idea to give them a brief as to what kind of thing you like and dislike i.e. not to wear a statement necklace if you think it will overpower your own jewellery or not to wear a watch (it tends to look inelegant in photos and everyone can see the time on their phone these days so it’s not really necessary.) Also consider any jewellery that they won’t want to remove i.e. engagement rings and wedding bands. Ideally avoid mixing metals so if they have platinum rings don’t choose a yellow gold bracelet.
We love the Linear friendship bracelet by Monica Vinader which comes in a variety of colours and can be engraved.
There are countless hair accessories that can top off your bridesmaids look, from hair vines to floral crowns there is something to suit every style. As with your own style choose the bridesmaids hairstyles before you pick your accessory, since some types will look better with updos than others.
You may also want to consider:
Ring cushion or box for ring bearer/best man
Basket for flower girl
Hope this is helpful guys! If you need any help finding the perfect accessories for your wedding we can help - just get in touch. This is just one of the many services we offer.