Let’s face it; when it comes to prospective bridal concerns, it’s all about the hair! Sure, there are more than a few other things to worry about (like everything!), but nothing says more about you and your dreams going forward than the perfectly chosen and coiffed hairstyle. Now, there are innumerable places (such as Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.) where you can view the latest, classic, or even obscure styles, but let’s be real here: the perfect hairstyle must be one that is perfect for you, and no one else! To achieve your own special look one must consider a variety of factors while avoiding potential pitfalls.
Now, a lot of women (and men too!) have a well-defined self-image that may or may not be accurate. Some of us have high foreheads, long noses, big ears, less than perfect cheekbones—you name it! In short, we may not always look like those beautiful models wearing those amazing styles shown in bridal and beauty magazines. This is where an expert—a professional stylist—comes in. To work successfully with such an expert, you must have or develop a high level of trust. Find someone to whom you can communicate your desires, expectations, and concerns. Do not assume that your current hairdresser (talented as she may be) is the answer; what you need here is a specialized bridal stylist. Ask around, check social media, and make sure whomever you select is a seasoned, well-practiced professional with excellent recommendations.
Once you select the perfect stylist—one who can accurately assess your appearance, needs, and special concerns—you will still have questions. Make sure they are the right ones! Ask:
Once your stylist has met all of your exacting criteria, it is time to get down to business!
There are a variety of specific looks that will complement short hair, medium length hair, and longer tresses. Indeed, the length of your hair will certainly limit—or expand—your possible choices, but be assured that there is a great look for every length of hair. Try to consider your overall theme: are you going for a formal, romantic look that screams updo? A classic, vintage look? Glamorous? Or, are you a casual, outdoorsy type who thrives on a more natural look? In making this decision, consider not only your specific facial features and hair texture, but your wedding dress as well. The goal here is to complement, not clash, with your gown. Example: if you are wearing a low neckline, long, down hair might work best; if the neckline is high, then pile it up!
As a rule, the more elaborate the dress, the simpler the hairstyle should be. Another consideration would be whether you will be using a veil. Your hairdresser will know best. Keeping this is mind, do not be distracted or annoyed by comments from family and friends (“that’s not formal enough,” or “in my day we wouldn’t dream of doing that!”). When conflicting opinions arise, go with your instincts. It is your wedding, your look, and you should be confident and comfortable with whatever look you select.
Image by Olenka Kotyk
Another factor to consider is the venue itself. If you are going to be married on a windswept beach, your hair could be affected; likewise, if your ceremony is on a dreamy tropical locale, it might be hot and humid enough to wilt even the best designed looks. Let the locale influence your choice. Outdoors? Think natural, flowing, or less formal. Indoors with air-conditioning? Then that carefully executed and intricate updo with remain intact. Just remind the groom to be careful with that veil!
Image by Tom Pumford
Remember, comfort is important! It is going to be a long day and possibly night, and you want to make sure the look you select will endure the dancing, partying, and general craziness of a fun wedding. As for accessories, make sure that your petals, barrettes, or tiara (if you’re that kind of girl!) matches the overall style of your dress. And, that they don’t poke, prod, or make you uncomfortable during the ceremony and reception.
Image by Tom The Photographer
So, with all this great advice. What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, quite a lot! Your natural, cascading hair turns frizzy in the rain; your upsweep comes undone, your extensions fall out, your bun unravels, your painstakingly crafted curls go straight. All of these “disasters” can be either prevented or fixed so long as you have done a trial, carry extra hair pins, bobby pins, and a super-strong mini can hair spray, engage your stylist for the duration of the day, and employ good sense and humor. Because, in the end, your wedding day is about you and how you feel; this is the day you should be laughing, sipping champagne, shedding tears of joy, and basking in the love of your spouse, family and dear friends.