Brides, Let’s Chat About Wedding Hair

Thinking of wedding hairstyles, these adjectives should come to mind: natural, refined, soft, elegant and fresh. Yet so many styles end up hard, tight, severe and most of all, COMPLICATED. Why so complicated, people? It’s like the minute a girl puts on a white dress, 17,000 pincurls and 8 cans of hairspray appear out of nowhere.

With that in mind, I’ve created some Hair Thursday Rules for Wedding Hair:

1. A bride’s hairstyle should never resemble a fried calamari appetizer, a peacock or a platter of curly fries. What’s that you say? You need examples? Well, have at it.

2. High and tight updos can result in a super severe look- many times making a bride appear older than she really is. (Quelle horreur!) Lower and looser is the best bet for a fresh and youthful look.

photos courtesy of instyleweddings.com and brides.com

3. Hair adornments should be kept to a minimum. A couple of little flowers here and there or an elegant antique brooch can be positively lovely…however, a gigantic rhinestone tiara? NO. I love the adornments in the following photos.

photos courtesy of theknot.com

4. Most importantly, be yourself. Don’t let your stylist/mother/sister/friend tell you what you should do. Hell, don’t let me tell you what to do either. Remember, it’s YOUR day. Have fun! Just like in Singles, be the Super You. (Is it ridiculous that I quote that movie on a weekly basis? Do you realize it came out 17 YEARS AGO? Holy shit, I’m old.)

With these rules in mind, I’ve scoured the internet for some fun, fresh and lovely wedding styles. Maybe one will be right for you! (Click on a specific photo for info.)

We’re not quite finished with weddings yet. Our next Hair Thursday participant just happens to be a bride looking for her perfect hairstyle…will I get it right? THE PRESSURE. Check back on Monday to find out.

  • Heather

    May 7, 2009 at 6:58 am

    I just forwarded this to my neice, who is getting married next year. Please, Hay-zoos, no tiaras!

  • Nothing But Bonfires

    May 7, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Ooh, this is so timely! I’ve been fretting about what to do with my hair. Of course, I’m sort of hoping it’ll magically grow ten inches in four months so I can have some terribly romantic updo, but I think that might not happen….

  • pseudostoops

    May 7, 2009 at 7:17 am

    What surprised me in my own personal wedding hair saga was how hard it was to persuade the hairstylist to step away from the hairspray/crunchy curls/one zillion pins. I actually had THREE hair trials. Each time I said “simple low, loose chignon” and showed them a picture. Each time I ended up with hair that looked like a stick-on bow from a Christmas present. It was frustrating, to say the least.

  • jessica

    May 7, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Ooh Sarah, this brought back memories. When I got married my hair was short and I just wanted it loosely curled, kind of 50’s retro without being too uptight. It was impossible to find a stylist who didn’t want to force my cropped locks into a crunchy twisted, slicked back up-do. One greased my hair so thickly with pomade I looked like I’d stuck my head in a vat of Vaseline.

    I ended up doing my hair myself.

  • Ashley

    May 7, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Ah, yes…. I had the same problem when I went for my hair trial run. I just kept looking in the mirror at my hair and saying, “It looks too bride-y” My aunt (not a hair dresser) and I ended up doing it and I love the final look. My advice is, Still look like yourself. confession: I did wear a tiara attached to my veil, but in my defense it was small!! :)

  • Suz

    May 7, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Oh THANK YOU. After a few failed trials resulting in Shirley temple ringlets I’ve decided to do my own hair for my wedding…because no one was willing to DO soft and loose.

  • Darcey

    May 7, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Nothing But Bonfires – I know it might go against Whoorl’s anti-complicated rule, but have you looked into clip-in hair extensions? I bought some of the Jessica Simpson/Ken Paves “HairDO” ones for a photo shoot recently, and loved them. The best part is if you get the 100% human hair ones, you can cut & color it to better match your natural hair – just make sure your stylist has experience with them. Heck, I didn’t even find them hard to put in myself, and at the end of the evening, didn’t spend hours trying to get all the bobby pins out! :)

    PS – I bought mine from a reputable seller on eBay and paid $150 for the 21″ fall (the longest one they sell in human hair) – which is about 50% cheaper than I saw anywhere else online. Feel free to email me for other details.

  • Kerri Anne

    May 7, 2009 at 8:15 am

    I love! this, because having been a bridesmaid in a wedding or three, and then having been married myself not so long ago, I was always flabbergasted by the women who wanted to look NOTHING LIKE THEMSELVES on their own wedding days.

    I mean, pretty hair? Yes, of course! Looking like you just teleported down the aisle from your high school prom? No, no, no.

  • Kristin

    May 7, 2009 at 8:16 am

    My wedding hair is one thing I would have changed from that day. I wish I would have listened to my husband when he said he likes it down. But, on the other hand, we got married outside and the day was extremely windy. I’m talking my veil was flying straight to the side as I waited to walk down the aisle.

  • Nic

    May 7, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I love it. My favorite rule is NO GLITTER because seriously, this isn’t your junior high formal.

  • Amanda

    May 7, 2009 at 9:24 am

    I tried the whole “grow your hair out” thing as soon as he put the engagement ring on my finger…

    This was in late November. By May my hair had grown from my standard chin length bob to my shoulders and I hated it. I decided that I wanted to look like myself on my wedding day and since I never have hair longer than an inch or two below my chin, I lopped it off that May and wasn’t sad a bit with how my final bride hair turned out.

    My hair dresser tried two styles, straight and lightly curled and we went with pulling half up, lightly curled and fastened a jeweled comb in it since I wasn’t wearing a veil.

    So my advice? Don’t sweat the hair, just look like yourself. :) Well, maybe a more done up version of normal, but you know.

  • Jackie

    May 7, 2009 at 9:52 am

    My sister wore so much make up and had the craziest hair on her wedding day, I hardly recognized her. Why is subtlety and the whole ‘less is more’ theme is always lost when it comes to brides and weddings?

  • Iheartgreen

    May 7, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Can I add one more rule? The less fake hair the better. (Umm, no offense if you had fake hair at your wedding.)

  • Cee

    May 7, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I can’t STAND curly fries hair. It seemed like every girl in school had this look for dances, prom, etc etc. So tacky!

  • kate

    May 7, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Calimari or curly fries?! Oh my god, you make me laugh!

    Singles was 17 years ago?? Uggghh. I’m older than you, but that movie was/is one of my secret favorites.

  • Aleks

    May 7, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Ooh, good topic. My grazing-the-shoulders hair wasn’t quite long enough for one of those low, loose buns, which I so coveted. But I think my stylist did a pretty good job getting it up: http://bit.ly/qEs1Y. I loved my hair accesory especially: http://bit.ly/ngHMT.

  • Caroline

    May 8, 2009 at 2:48 am

    Loving the post. Can’t wait to see more on Monday!

  • ellbee

    May 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Hmmm… I have riotously curly hair that at the time of my wedding fell halfway down my back. I had a formal gown with a sweeheart neckline and a choker necklace of heirloom pearls so I chose a full up-do that made the most of my curly fry curls. Did it take a zillion bobby pins? Yes, but a more relaxed style looked odd with the dress and necklace. I understand the rebellion against prom hair, but I think a structured updo done well is exqusite with the right dress.

  • Amy

    May 8, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. My mom (who is a floral designer and focuses on weddings so she sees a LOT of brides) always says that a bride should stay close to her normal style and-gasp!-look like herself (but better, obviously). She’s also sick of 100% calla lily bouquets and color-coordinated flowers the exact color of bridesmaid dresses, so I end up listening to her opinions since she can’t very well tell her clients. Which is too bad, because my mom’s got killer taste.

  • Jessica

    May 9, 2009 at 8:39 am

    For my wedding I did my own hair. I was very laissez-faire about the whole thing. I curled it and put it half up. Although I did wear a tiara. (I am a goddamn princess!)

    When I went to the hair salon, my stylist, whom I love, did my hair like a my-little-frickin-pony. It was like one pin curl away from looking like it had been put up with a banana clip. That was when I did it my ownself. And I don’t regret it one bit. I looked like me.

    I also did my own makeup. And I didn’t choose my bridesmaid dresses, just the color. And you know what? Everyone was happy, and I didn’t lose any sleep about it. I got to focus on the good stuff, and my bridesmaids knew better how to dress and primp themselves than I did.

  • Lauren

    May 9, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more. At my salon, we do tons and tons of wedding parties every week and I love it when a bride chooses something amazing like your examples above.

    Brides should never look like how they did at prom!

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  • tera Stephens

    May 12, 2009 at 8:20 am

    if your advice was taken by all brides, i may be willing to actually do bridal hair! i run from clients that say wedding!!

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