To carry or not to carry. That is the question.

Many brides today wonder if they should carry a handbag. Why not just shove everything you need into a tote bag and give it to someone in the bridal party or the mother-of-the-bride to carry? In some cases I would say that this is justified as a practical solution for all the things women tend to carry around, even brides. However, I also think that a lovely handbag is a compliment to your wedding attire whether you are wearing the traditional white gown, suit or other. In fact, a bridal handbag is perfect for complimenting and rounding off your wedding ensemble. And, it’s great for photos!

You'll find these and many other lovely handbags on my Pinterest board.

You’ll find these and many other lovely handbags on my Pinterest board.

The bridal handbag began as a practical, functional item. In Italy, for example, brides would carry a purse into which cash donations from guests would be placed.  Today, it can also have a practical function. Today’s modern bride can place her lipstick/lipgloss, phone, eyeglasses, medication, facial tissue, etc. in her handbag – just make sure it’s not bulging! But, consider your bridal handbag to also be a great accessory item. And, if you match your handbag to the theme of your wedding, it can play a very important supporting role.

This blog post is all about bridal handbags. You decide if you need or want to carry one, but, once you see what is available, especially on-line, I know you’ll want to include a handbag. At the end of this post is a link to my Pinterest board on handbags. I’ve included samples of handbags for all wedding themes, from Traditional, to Shabby Chic, to Goth/Steampunk, to Festive for New Year’s Eve, to Victorian, to Vintage, to Rustic.

Match your handbag to your ensemble or theme. Above left: a peach satin and black clutch perfect for a goth/steampunk wedding. Above right: A lovely clutch for a winter wedding. Below left: If you are a shabby chic bride with a spring/summer wedding this bag might be just right for you. Below right: If you'll be celebrating your wedding at New Year's this glitzy bag is perfect.

Match your handbag to your ensemble or theme. Above left: A peach satin and black clutch perfect for a Goth/Steampunk wedding. Above right: A lovely clutch for a winter wedding. Below left: If you are a shabby chic bride with a spring/summer wedding this bag might be just right for you. Below right: If you’ll be celebrating your wedding at New Year’s this glitzy bag is perfect.

You’ll notice on my Pinterest board that not all handbags are white nor are they all a clutch style. This because I’ve seen many brides who do not wear traditional white including brides in a rainbow of coloured dresses and suits. Remember that the white dress does not necessarily suit everyone and you do not need to wear a white dress if you do not want to. There are so many options for today’s bride, so please do not limit yourself by pressure from the wedding industry or what you see on television or on-line. Most important is to have what you wear an expression of yourself. However, I always advise brides to remember to have a trusted person  give you feedback on your choices for your dress, your hair and make-up, etc.

Don’t be afraid of having a handbag that picks up on your colour theme. For example, your handbag can compliment the colour of your bridesmaid dresses. There are lovely pastels for spring and bright colours for summer 2013 and darker tones for fall 2013 (see the Monique Lhuillier collection for ideas). If you, yourself, are going for colour, there are even more options for a handbag. (Designer Vera Wang is showcasing red and plum-red wedding dress for spring 2013 or designer Maggie Sottero )

Spring 2013 bridal colours from Vera Wang,

Spring 2013 bridal colours from Vera Wang, Maggie Sottero and Enzoani.

Always choose your handbag after you’ve decided on your dress and if you’re planning for your handbag to be part of the photos make sure you have a manicure!

My Pinterest board includes many items from Etsy, an on-line market place for handmade and vintage items. I also like Belk which features designer handbags and accessories at discount prices including Micheal Kors. If you like the lovely beading of handbags from India or other Asian/Middle East countries, go to ArtFire MyBatua or thefnd for some really good deals as well.

Fabulous evening/bridal handbags from Artfire and

Fabulous evening/bridal handbags from Artfire and MyBatua.

If a vintage inspired handbag is what you’re looking for there are some real beauties at Vintage Styler.

The vintage inspired oyster shaped handbag is one of my favourites. You can find may vintage or vintage inspired bags on the on-line especially on Ebay.

The vintage inspired oyster shaped handbag is one of my favourites. You can find may vintage or vintage inspired bags on the on-line especially on Ebay or Weddingo.

I hope you enjoy my Pinterest Board To Have and To Hold and choosing a fabulous handbag for your wedding!

All the best! Jordin

Advertisements