I have a little story to tell. Bear with me, there's a prize for those who make it to the end.
I was sitting in the fabulous, elegant The Wolseley restaurant, on London's Piccadilly, a few years ago with a work colleague who was about to get married. This girl was a cool chick: a poised, intelligent, self-made career woman with confidence and style.
At that time I was writing a regular etiquette column in Brides, so I asked her if there was anything I could counsel her on - perhaps an interfering mother or a jealous sister, or a miserable bridesmaid that needed to be fired, fast?
"Yes!" she said, slamming her teacup down. "My nail polish - it's keeping me up at night." Errr, come again? I laughed - loudly, a proper, hearty laugh - "Good God I simply can't find the right ballet pink in Mayfair!" I mocked, flailing my hands. Blank face. Stone-cold blank face. She was not amused.
"I'm wearing a £14,000 couture gown and hand-made shoes from Prada's atelier in Milan," she deadpanned. "I am not, I repeat NOT, wearing a mediocre, off-the-rack nail polish that's been used on dozens of other nails." Oh. Oh my. Was she a lunatic bridezilla gently losing the plot? Was she stringing me along in the biggest gag of the morning? Or was she completely, totally right?
I sort of think that, perhaps, forgiving the heady, heavy madness of wedding perfection, she had a point. If you've chosen to have a day that's shaped, sewn, seamed and silhouetted to within an inch - no, a millimetre - of your soul, then why shouldn't you command the same standards of your manicure - which will be scrutinised by every guest who demands to see your beautiful engagement ring.
I wish I'd had a good answer for her back then. At the time all I could muster up was "Madonna wore OPI Italian Love Affair when she married Guy Ritchie - she's the Don, just go for that." But today, I'd have pressed a note in her hand with the words Palette London scribbled on it.
BIG DAY BRIDAL MAKE-UP IDEAS
Bespoke, couture nail polish has arrived. Colour-matched to any fabric, swatch, paint chart, crayon or photo, hand-mixed by expert colourists and delivered to your door. This is what Palette London do, and they do it very, very well. Luxurious formulas, beautifully presented and coordinated with a top coat in your choice of matt, gloss or pearl. Should you be looking for a nail polish that's every bit as personalised as your outfit, I don't think there's anything else quite so insanely decadent as this. Obviously, you'll need to have it applied by a masterful manicurist who can come to your home or wedding venue… but I'll keep that for another column.
Palette London's Bespoke Nail Polish Service is priced at £75 (for 3 products including base coat, colour and top coat) and £50 (for colour alone); available at www.PaletteLondon.com/bespoke