When you’re deciding on your look for your wedding day, you need to consider your wedding dress above all else. Once you’ve found that, you can decide on the rest of your look to suit your dress. The style and the detailing on your dress might mean certain hairstyles won’t work, or it might demand a particular style — for example, a 1950s style tea dress is always calling out for a retro hairstyle and a red lip.
We’ve put together a guide of ten timeless wedding hair styles and the dress styles and face shapes they work best with so you can be sure to pick the perfect wedding hair style to suit you, complete with expert advice from Amy Hawkins, from Amy Studio, a hair stylist with over 12 years’ experience in the beauty industry. Amy specialises in creating the perfect look for brides on their wedding day!
“This style is simple to create, and suits so many dress styles!” Amy reveals, “It can be a structured bun to suit your elegant venue, or more loose with curls for a more relaxed garden theme. You can add softness with fresh or silk flowers and a little bit of sparkle will work too. Fascinators are popular also for a more “Races” or "Cocktail" vibe. This style can be worn with a side or full fringe, soft curls around the front, or backcombed for added volume”. The side bun is a contemporary look ideal for cute and quirky brides.
A classic wedding hair style, the traditional up do looks perfection with a traditional wedding dress. “This look is best for people who like wearing their hair away from their faces. It may be a little harsh on a round or square face, but it’s great for small faces or inverted triangles to give some width to the top of the face,” Amy advises, “And add in a diamanté or pearl hair accessory for extra detail.” Top it off with a veil for the perfect bridal look on your wedding day. This look will show off elaborate necklines and jewellery, but would require professional assistance as it is quite complex!
Kate Middleton, possibly the world’s most famous bride, opted for this classic wedding hairstyle. You still have the feminine style of having your hair around your face, but some parts pinned back for added volume and elegance. Add a tiara for true princess bride style. “This is an easily worn style which will suit a bride who does not want to draw too much attention away from the dress. Using hot tongs or hot rollers will give best results for long lasting hair; however I do not recommend this style for anyone who doubts their curls lasting all day — fine, heavy or limp hair may need extensions. Also take the weather into account — extremely hot, slight wind, and rain will affect this style greatly!” Amy warns.
“This suits the bride with a fresh face, and a slick of eyeliner; someone who likes to keep their hair smooth and off their face — smaller faces will look super cute with this style! A more quirky dress like a rockabilly inspired wedding dress would work so well with this.” Follow Amy’s advice: “Backcomb at the roots for height at the crown and tie your normal pony (perhaps add some extensions) for a style that you know is going to last! For an extra edge to your pony add a quiff or some victory waves. Always cover that elastic, either by wrapping hair around it or adding some well placed flowers!”
“Ahh, the braid!” says Amy, “Simple but intricate, everyone loves to look at braiding. I always see the braided look with fresh flowers, quirky headbands or pieces of lace. These look amazing woven into the braid. Not so great for square or round faces, if this is the case keep it softer with some face framing fringes or layering”. If you’re a boho bride with a long and laidback wedding dress, then braiding your hair is the ideal wedding hairstyle for you. Plaits can work in an up do, if your dress has lots of pretty detailing to show off, or in a long fishtail braid worn to the side.
Vintage brides should consider a beehive for their wedding hairstyle. This backcombed beauty looks amazing with 1950 and 1960s style wedding dresses. When it comes to a beehive wedding hairstyle, Amy states: “Backcombing is a MUST! If you have fine or limp hair add some padding or plastic inserts for extra protection against flat hair. If you want a large French twist at the back and your lacking hair you can also add padding to wrap your hair around. Some kind of vintage glitzy hair piece will look sweet in the back or set in somewhere behind your fringe”
A more laidback take on the ponytail, this simple style suits a laidback, beach worthy dress. Gently curl the hair for texture. Alternatively, loosely plait the hair for a similar style. Wedding hair expert Amy suggests adding “fun headbands, fresh or silk flowers or a glitzy hair addition depending on your theme. This style is beautiful on a square or round face as you can use your fringe and some layering to add definition and softness to your face.”
“This is a very relaxed style which I’d only recommend for a girl who doesn't mind her hair flowing in the breeze,” Says Amy, “Be careful at a beach or garden wedding as anything more than a breeze will mean hair sticking to lip gloss! Extensions will help to keep your style locked in as they hold curls better than your natural hair. You can add small braids to the front of the face to add some structure and keep hair away from the eyes and mouth. Headbands, flower crowns, flowers, sparkly hair accessories can be added. This is great for hiding behind if you’re a shy bride!”
This look is sleek and classy, perfect for a statement dress. Think Carrie Bradshaw in the first Sex and the City movie, in her huge Vera Wang wedding dress. “A top bun says ‘confidence’,” remarks Amy, “This is the perfect choice for someone who can stand tall and likes a sleek look! It’s a great option for someone who is not a “hair person” or just wants to keep it simple as it’s such an easy DIY look”. Amy recommends using a hair donut to get the most out of this wedding hairstyle.
This wedding hairstyle will suit young and mature brides alike. “This style is so beautiful and an absolute art to create however is not so intricate that it draws your eye away from the main feature, your lovely wedding dress. If your hair is too plain with just a chignon add some flowers or some embellishment to match your dress! Keep the front softer with layering to frame the face if you have a round or square face, or sweep it all back”. Amy suggests this hairstyle may require a stylist, for a perfectly polished look. It’d work well with a vintage inspired dress with a pretty neckline.
Browse our wedding hair inspiration galleries for even more bridal hair ideas.