Some elements of the Cinderella wedding are downright obvious -- the extra-full ball gown, the elbow-length gloves. And let's not forget the pumpkin carriage that's sure to show up somewhere, whether it be the place cards, the centerpieces, or a giant prop piece near the entrance.
But with Princess weddings -- as with any other kind -- it's the details that make the difference, and getting those right often brings the bride the most satisfaction. Here are some suggestions for feeling that Cinderella magic right down to your glass-slippered toes.
No one will fault you for wearing a crystal-studded royal tiara and necklace set. But Cinderella herself wore something a little different. The Disney movie was created in the 50s, when headbands were all the rage, and Ella herself seemed especially partial to them. Even on her wedding day, she wore a sparkling headband right on the top of her crown, in the simple 50s style. A waltz or ballet length veil sat low on the back of her head, almost at the nape of her neck. Without much difficulty, you can still find a rhinestone-studded wedding headband today.
Cinderella's choice of neckwear was a little more timeless. Often, you'll see her don a simple one-stranded pearl choker. But it seems that her favorite adornment was the satin ribbon choker, which she wore in racy, Nicole Kidman-style black. You might not want to be as daring as Cinderella at your wedding, but the satin choker is fabulous, especially if you can purloin an antique ribbon from a beloved grandmother. Now you're the walking embodiment of elegance, and you have "something old" covered.
The Glass Slippers
It's common knowledge that you can get dramatic "glass slippers" (actually vinyl) for your royal stroll down the aisle. But glass slippers come in more casual, comfortable forms as well. Look for the open-toed variety, which give off all that fairytale spark, but leave your tootsies cool when it's time to dance the night away. Sure, Prince Charming might find these less useful as a bridal homing device, but he's already found his princess.
The Bluebirds of Happiness
Bluebirds played a major role in Cinderella's rise to the top, yet they usually get short shrift at a princess-theme wedding. Don't forget these perennial symbols of nuptial good luck at yours. A lovely way to include them is to track down a small bluebird keepsake charm or clip you can affix to your garter, toasting flutes or bouquet. Hallmark has one that simply glows. There you have it -- "something blue."
The Dove Release
You could argue that this isn't an accessory, but it's our article, so we're calling it one. Doves aren't the key characters in Disney's version that they were in the original Grimm story -- and thank goodness for that -- but they still define the moment when the prince and princess unite in marriage. For any Cinderella wedding, they're a must. But some "dove" handlers (the doves are actually white homing pigeons) have something more to offer the princess bride, such as ornate pumpkin coach carriages that double as cages. These can be placed near the altar for some romantic cooing action, then rolled down the aisle for a dramatic release once you've become husband and wife. For the biggest fireworks-like sensation, release the first two doves yourselves, but let pro handlers manage the rest.
The Guestbook Picture Frame
If you're true Cinderella aficionado, those full-color Walt Disney prints of the royal couple probably get your heart beating a little faster. Buy one framed with a large white matte. Or if you really want the signature frame but don't want the $150 price tag, buy the print separately and make a few patient trips to the thrift store. At a large one, you'll typically find a dizzying sample of frames and mattes you can usually get for pocket change. That's quite the return on something you'll love looking at for years.