Your wedding day is the one day in your life that you want to be absolutely stunning – gorgeous for your groom and your guests. But, also remember, you are also going to have a very busy day and need to add a touch of practicality to your wedding attire with the perfect bridal purse.
There are a few necessities that you will want to have close at hand when preparing for your reception, more photos (ugh!), after dancing the night away, or when making your spectacular exit.
One way to be practical and gorgeous is to carry a bridal handbag. They are both beautiful and sensible for today’s busy bride.
Your Bridal Purse Style
After the wedding ceremony, when you head to your reception to share food and fellowship with family and friends, you will be relaxed when you have packed dental floss (how embarrassing to have something stuck in your teeth for wedding pictures), an extra splash of cologne, and all the items you will want/need for wedding and hair touch-up.
Wedding purses, or bridal handbags come in all shapes, sizes, colors and looks Many have just enough space to carry small personal items such as touch-up makeup, deodorant, a comb or brush, toothbrush and paste, handkerchiefs or tissues, and suite keys.
Other brides like their cell phones close at hand, carry a special memento, need sunglasses for outside moments, lotion for dry skin, or keep cigarettes within easy reach. These brides need more purse room. A larger purse can still look bridal and accessorize your total wedding look. It really is all about selecting a purse that fits your needs and style.
Types of Bridal Purses
Most bridal handbags are petite and easy to carry. They can be lavishly decorated with beads, crystals, ribbons, lace, and other embellishments. Or they can be plain and simple. Usually made of materials such as satin, nylon, silk or polyester, they provide a small haven that makes the bride feel more comfortable knowing her necessities are close at hand. Think of it as your bridal security blanket.
There are three basic style of bridal handbags.
Clutch Bridal Purse:
Clutch purses are small, and may not have straps which means the bride will have to have at least one hand fee to carry her clutch with her – or ask the MOH of carry it when changing from ceremony to reception venue.
If you are considering a clutch purse, be sure that you check the size, particularly if you plan to carry your cell phone. Not all phones fit nicely into the average clutch purse.
Potli Bridal Purse:
The potli originated in India and has been a wedding staple for brides for centuries. The potli bag is cloth – often from the same fabric as the wedding dress, with the same or complementing embellishments. It is a simple pouch affixed with a drawstring for opening and closing the bag. With potli popularity growing, designers are adding tassels, mirrors, beads, rhinestones and sequins to match any wedding look. Potli works particularly well with vintage and romantic gowns.
Structured wedding handbags have a firm bottom and a clasp. They are often to a clutch, with the addition of the clasp. One of the most versatile bridal bags, structured bags are available in a variety of sizes, styles, handle types and lengths. They can have decorated handles and often offer detachable shoulder straps.
Structured wedding purses are created from virtually any fabric type and can be simple or fancy with elegant designs and embellishments. They also come in a wide range of colors, so pick your favorite color as an accent and add a little zing to your wedding look.
How to Accessorize with Your Bridal Purse
Your bridal handbag is one of your most useful wedding accessories. Choose a purse that matches or complements your wedding attire. If you are using lots of pearls on your dress, for example, carry the pearl theme through to your purse.
- Focus on a single embellishment or design from your gown and carry it through to your purse.
- Match your purse to your shoes. (A very old adage my Momma taught me, but it really does work with wedding accessories.)
- Choose a bridal handbag that complements your bridal style and your figure.
- Pick something that is easy to handle, not too large
- Your purse is an accent and should complement, not detract from your wedding dress. Look for something that will accent and blend with your overall look, unless you purse is the WOW of your wedding. How about using your purse to add Something Blue?
- Don’t allow your purse to dominate your wedding photos. Most brides don’t include their purses in wedding photos, but you may want to get a snapshot of it with other accessories.
- Look in the mirror before you buy. Focus on how the purse affects your total look. Try it with your dress and make sure the total look is pleasing.
- If your Mom is insisting on having you use her wedding dress on your special day, consider having it transformed into an elegant wedding purse, the ringbearer’s pillow, ribbons for your bouquet, or all of the above.
Angelina’s Bridal Purse
Angelina, the bride at one of my recent weddings, had her Mom’s dress transformed into her wedding handbag. She surprised her Mom by having a similar purse made for her, with both of their wedding dresses included in the design. Mom was speechless and has a treasured memento of both wedding days. It was one more teary-eyed wedding for me.
Your Bridal Purse and Your Body Style
Petite or Short Brides
We short brides need to be aware that width adds to our short look. The petite bride should avoid bridal purses that are very broad. Select a bag that’s longer vertically than wide. Now don’t get carried away. Keep the proportions in line with your size and the look will make your body look longer too.
Make sure your wedding purse is not too long nor hangs very low The overly long look draws guests’ eyes downward and you will look even shorter.
Skip the oversized bags and if you want a strap, think shorter rather than long.
The soft edges of a small to medium sized round shape bag clutches are perfect for petite brides. Vertical shaped bags made from, smooth, light fabric will also complement your size and style.
Slim Body Brides
Brides with slim bodies with waist, shoulders and hips of similar size, need a purse that supports the illusion of curves on your long, lean frame.
Avoid boxy purses, purses that are too big, wide or oversized and select those that follow the shape of your body, and rest on your natural waist.
Clutches that can be tucked under your arm are an excellent choice for this style of bride.
Avoid cross body bags and those with long straps.
Anything that rests on or below your hips will over-accent your height and slim shape.
Brides with lots of curves should avoid round bags and especially those whose shape slouches. A slightly structured bag gives you a more refined look. Very small bags will also make your body look larger in contrast to the bag.
If you have an ample bustline, stay away from under-the-arm clutches, shoulder bags and cross body bags. They make your top appear wider and you look heavier.
Finally look for a purse that will lay flatter to your body
These brides carry their weight in their hips and thighs. They should look for bags with shorter straps that hang high on the body.
Look towards structured purses for a slenderizing look and avoid those who are more free flowing, have folds or tend to slouch, especially when they hit in the hip area.
It is best to stay away from any purse that adds size or bulk to your hips and thighs if you carry your weight in the lower regions
Top Heavy and Thick Waist Brides
These brides should choose a bag with a longer handle to avoid focal points around the bustline or mid-section.
If you are wearing a simple wedding dress, a hip length crossbody purse could be an excellent option because the diagonal strap across your body creates a slimming effect across your bustline and waist.
So, there you have it, a quick guide to selecting your perfect wedding purse. Of course, these are guidelines and there may be other factors to consider when selecting your bridal purse. If you have a purse that you love or has special meaning to you then use it and enjoy it.
The future mother-in law at a wedding where I officiated, was beaming from ear to ear at the bridal shower. She presented her soon to be daughter with an extravagant wedding purse, she had spent months selecting.
I am being more than kind when I share that the purse was not a match for the bridal style. The bride, Staci, never missed a beat when she graciously accepted the gift and promised her mother-in-law that she would be sure that every guest knew that the special gift was from her.
What a classy bride. Staci placed her relationship with her MIL ahead of her own preferences and made sure her MIL felt appreciated. Then she made she included the purse in a special photo of her and her MIL at the wedding, and only carried the purse briefly on her wedding day.
Thanks to all the brides who read our unique (and sometime quirky) ideas.
Do you have your own ideas you would like to share? We would love to hear from you. After all you are the real wedding expert. When we use your idea in a future article or book, we will give you credit for it.
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