Chances are you’ve seen tons of hairstyles in blogs you’ve perused and bridal magazines that you’ve purchased. You might even have an idea of what you’d like done with your hair for the wedding day, but before you get your heart completely set on it, we encourage you to take a few things into consideration; mostly what you have to work with, and the image that you’re trying to achieve.
First off, take a look at what you have to work with. You need to make sure the hairstyle you choose matches your facial shape and structure, and that your hair texture will allow for the style you want. I’ve always dreamed of having soft-flowing curls for my big day, but with my hair being super thin and refusing to hold a curl for more than 10 minutes, I know it’s never going to happen.
If you have a long face…
Wearing your hair long and down will just make your face look longer. Piling your hair on top of your head will also elongate your whole head, and draw all attention to the enormous oval atop your neck rather than to the entire gorgeous ensemble.
Try to add fullness around your ears and cheekbones to make your face rounder rather than longer, or a bit below your ears if you have a long neck and want to wear your hair up. A wispy, flowing style can also help, and if you have a pointy nose like me, consider adding bangs or a side part with an illusion of bangs; it will draw attention away from your nose.
If you have a round face…
Body and curls surrounding your face will just make it look that much rounder. Try adding fullness either on top of your head or below your chin line to help elongate your face. Also try to avoid styles that are too tight and slicked back, as this can also draw attention to the roundness of your face.
If your face is more square…
Try not to draw attention to your chin line. If your hair is in a bob cut, you’ll want to find a way to pull your hair away from your face to help smooth out your features. You can also add width around the ears or atop your head. Soft and wispy styles can also add a nice balance to your strong features; unless you want to call them out! Short, sleek pixie styles can be quite striking if you have a strong jaw and cheekbones!
If you’ve got a heart-shaped face…
You look fantastic with chin-length styles and wispy bangs or layers framing your face. Choose a style that creates a fuller look under your ears or, if your hair is longer, create fullness at the nape of your neck.
Now that you know what styles will look good with your face, you need to find one that will also compliment the dress you’ve decided to wear. If you haven’t bought a dress yet, you’re not ready to finalize your hairstyle.
Is your dress simple and classy with clean lines and minimal (if any) embroidery or embellishments?
Go with a simple and classic hairstyle to match! Depending on where you want to add fullness, you can style your hair in a simple bun or a classy French twist, half-up with curls cascading down your back, or locks flowing down around your shoulders. You can consider wearing a hair accessory as well, but be sure to get honest feedback from multiple people before you commit to wearing it.
Did you fall in love with a princess or ball gown style of dress?
You’ll want to go with something a bit tighter, sleeker and closer to your head for your hairstyle. The silhouette that you’re creating with your dress is sleek up top and curving out to a full skirt at the bottom. If you have big hair on the top of the silhouette it will only compete with the fullness of the skirt and look off-balance.
Is your dress strapless or have spaghetti straps?
If you’ve got the hair for it, consider wearing it down and flowing, or even half-up. Not only does it look soft and romantic to have hair brushing your bare shoulders, it also helps you avoid those awkward headshots where you look naked since you can’t see the dress! That doesn’t mean you can’t wear it up (and depending on the skirt, sometimes you’re better off wearing it up), but if you don’t have a full skirt, consider a very soft and loose up-do.
Is the neckline of your dress portrait-style, or do you have a high neck in front or back?
Then you’ve gotta pull your hair up and off your neck and shoulders to show off the dress! Keep the style simple and without accessories or embellishments if there’s a lot going on with the design and fabric of your dress. If aside from the neckline it’s a pretty clean and simple look, consider a messy and soft up-do, or a hairpiece that won’t try to compete with your stunning neckline.
Did you go with a bohemian-style dress, or a simply and flowing style?
Keep your hair simple and flowing to match it. If your hair is super sleek or in an overly-stiff and product-filled style, it will compete with the romantic and flowing look of the dress. Soft and curly locks, imperfect and loose up-dos, or a soft and casual half-up style will work best with this dress.
Did you go for a mermaid or trumpet silhouette dress?
Go for a style that will add either height or volume. A mass of curls atop your crown looks stunning, or a large soft bun at the nape of your neck; both look stunning with your form-fitting gown.
Maybe you decided on a gown with a unique, embellished or asymmetrical neckline?
Style your hair up and off of your neck and shoulders; the focal point of your dress is the neckline, so don’t cover it up or choose a hairstyle that will compete with it! A soft bun (side bun at the base of your head, if the dress is asymmetrical), French twist or simple sweeping up-do will guarantee that guests ooh and awe over how gorgeous you look in your gown!
Did you choose a style that you think will look good with your face and your dress? Have a trial run with your hairstylist, then go home and put your dress on (or schedule your hair to be styled on the same day as a dress fitting). Make sure to have someone take pictures of you from all angles (including some top-down pictures) so you can get a true glimpse of how you’ll look on the wedding day!