Wondering How to Wear Your Hair on Your Wedding Day? Here's How to Decide.

Don't know a chignon from a French twist? We'll help you find your wedding hairstyle.
maddy sims the knot associate editor
Maddy Sims
maddy sims the knot associate editor
Maddy Sims
Former Associate Editor
  • Maddy is a Brand and Social Content Manager at Birdy Grey, and was a former associate editor at The Knot.
  • Maddy has written for several different publications, including HUM Nutrition, Insider, Bustle, Real Simple and Apartment Therapy.
  • Maddy has a Bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and a Master's degree in health, science and environmental reporting (both of which are from Northwestern's Medill School of Journa...
Updated Jan 05, 2021

If you've already started planning your wedding, you're probably aware of the sea of decisions you'll need to make along the way, including the predicament of how to choose a wedding hair 'do. Should you wear your hair up or down? What about waves or a sleek bun? Maybe you've been coming across hair and makeup inspiration, and the possibilities feel overwhelming. Wherever you stand in the decision-making process, we've got your covered with our five best tips for choosing the perfect wedding day hairstyle. Once you've narrowed down the perfect day-of look, work with a professional hairstylist to bring your vision to life.

1. Coordinate With Your Outfit and Overall Wedding Style

Good news: All that planning you've already done can help you decide your wedding day hairstyle. The formality of your attire, your choice of venue, and the general wedding vision are great starting points to help you choose wedding hair. First and foremost, your tresses should complement your gown (not compete with it). If you're rocking a chic, modern ensemble like a pantsuit or a sculptural dress, ask for a sleek ponytail, an effortless low bun (a la Meghan Markle) or a smooth blowout. Brides going for a more relaxed, rustic look (think: a lace sheath, high-waisted two-piece or an off-the-shoulder boho number) might consider wearing their hair in loose, natural curls. To give it your own personal flair, add in braids, small blooms, a flower crown, a delicate headpiece, or tie it back in a half-up style leaving a few wispy pieces to frame your face. More of a ball gown bride? An updo like an ethereal chignon, elegant French twist or soft Gibson tuck will show off your dress, and it will help accommodate a show-stopping veil (all while you dance the night away).

2. Find Inspiration Everywhere

If you're not sure how to choose a wedding hairstyle, you've come to the right place. We suggest following hairdressers on social media and saving your favorite pictures. Don't forget to add any magazine pages and favorite red carpet looks to your inspiration board as well. While celeb inspiration is a plus, we recommend scrolling through Real Wedding photos to find stunning hairstyles actual brides have rocked on their wedding day. If you have a go-to hairstylist, consult them to start brainstorming the perfect look. And if you don't have a favorite pro, ask around for recommendations and check out The Knot Marketplace for real reviews and imagery.

3. Show Off Your Shine

Having shiny hair is one of the most important aspects of your wedding day hairstyle since you're going to be taking so many photos. The good news for those with naturally sleek tresses is that straight hair tends to look glossier by nature, so showing off its texture is a must with your style. Keep in mind that any flyaways from dry air or static will automatically ruin the effect, so combat this dilemma (which is especially common in the winter) by rubbing a dryer sheet directly on your hair or spraying your tresses with anti-static spray. Curly hair is prone to brittleness and dullness, so add some texture into your hairstyle, whether you decide on loose curls with braids or a slightly messy updo. Massage moisturizing conditioner into your tresses before styling and use a shining serum to add gloss and keep frizz at bay.


4. Work With Your Length (Or Consider Extensions)

Your wedding is your day, which means you should wear whatever hairstyle you want. If that means you need to get some extensions to achieve the look of your dreams, go for it. If you want to work with what you've got, we also have you covered. But how do you choose a wedding hairstyle suitable for your length? There are tons of romantic, sophisticated and glam options for short-haired brides (even braided hairstyles if you're looking for them). The fine-toothed headband or minimal barrette look, which works for modern, classic and vintage styles, is a great alternative for fuss-free brides with super-short or pixie-cut hair. Those with longer locks will have more options, whether it's an updo—a wise choice in the summer or something more full-bodied for the winter. Want to show off your length by wearing your hair down? There are tons of options for you to choose from too.

5. Think About Your Headpiece

Are you going to be wearing a veil, a flower crown, a dazzling tiara, or some other bridal headpiece on your wedding day? Find an effective way to attach it to your hair(before the morning of your nuptials) with the help of your professional stylist. For example, wide-toothed combs don't work particularly well with straight and fine hair (but you can replace them with finer, less heavy combs). And you don't want to find out your vintage crystal and pearl comb won't stay put the morning of your wedding. Go to a wedding hair trial to make sure that your headpiece will work with your tresses. While wavy and curly hair are better suited for headpiece-staying power, you can work with your stylist to figure out how to make it stay all night—no matter the texture. Don't forget to check and see if you like how your hairstyle looks without the accessory it in case you choose to remove it for the after-party.

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