While living in Japan, I got hooked on nail art in a big way. It was a great way to connect with the junior high students I was teaching English, and a nice way to spend Sunday nights as I prepared for the week.

While I sported some pretty funky and even whacky designs (see below), nail art does not have to be like that. There are some subtle, more subdued colors and patterns that would look beautiful on your wedding day, bachelorette/shag or at an event or party going up to the big day like a shower. I went for a good old french manicure, but it would have been very fun to have a trendy nail design for the day. Perhaps a little bit dating, but it would be a fun way to talk about the trends of the day in the future when looking back on photos!

A glitter gradient with nude, subdued colors for a little bit of trend [via Glitter and Nails]

Embellished metallic deco nails with stud details [via HailNails]

Playing with matte features could be fun, including matte peach colors with gold detailing in the pattern of your choice [via VolatileVarnish] or with matte and shiny alternating (ie: pretend this is in white, pale pink, blue or whatever color you want to wear) [via The Beauty Department]

French Twist: I love this Chanel inspired nail job – and think it would be beautiful to do as a twist on the French manicure classic, if you changed the pink to clear or baby pink and the black to white. [via Miss Lady Finger]

Half moon manicure [via Hey, Nice Nails]

A statement nail with paler or nude colors – either a glitter, lace detailing or textured nail with “caviar” treatment. (Confession: a full set of caviar nails kind of creeps me out! Am I alone here?) [1 via Lacquer and Lattes, 2 via Nail Rouge, 3 via Lauren Conrad]

So there you have it, 9 different ways to experiment with nail trends on your wedding day! Please share your favorite in the comments if it wasn’t included! As a bonus, here are some of the nail designs I did myself in Japan. Too much time on my hands? Maybe…