By Ashley Peters
There are so many decisions to make once that ring is on your finger and each is just as daunting as the next with hairstyles as no exception. Some ladies have dreamt about the way they would look on their big day for years and years whereas others have no clue as to what their style should be. While I’ll be the first one to say there is not one ultimate, end-all-be-all “perfect” style there is a style suited perfectly for you. Let’s look at a few factors and help you determine what style fits your needs and wants the best.
First and foremost is how do you want to see yourself on your wedding day? Like I mentioned in the intro some ladies envision this for years and others haven’t really given it a thought but neither is wrong. I ask my brides this question right off the bat because I want to see what buzz words they use to describe their wedding and to describe their bridal style. I know that a bride who says bohemian is looking for something very different than a bride who says glam. Now don’t base your choices off of one specific word but instead gather those words together to help paint an image of the type of look or the way you want to be seen. A bride to be could say romantic but from there could also say, “boho and ethereal” or could say, “classic and soft”. Both looks could be romantic but in very different ways. These words help make the intangible emotions feel more cemented in a visual world.
The next factor is how do you normally wear your hair? If you typically wear your hair down and flowing then putting your hair all up in a slick ballerina bun may be quite jarring. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting and trying something totally new but be aware that it may be shocking or even disappointing if it doesn’t conjure up emotions you had hoped for. It’s a new look and it’s foreign to you. Often in my experience as I find that brides tend to pick styles that are congruent with the styles they wear on a daily basis. Now if you’ve always dreamed of having your hair all up on your wedding day but typically wear your hair down there are ways to modify a style such as adding tendrils framing the face to soften the look and be reminiscent of a down look while still being up.
Another really big factor to consider is how much hair do you have both in density and length. I often refer to hair as raw material and certain styles require a certain amount of raw material so if your hair does not provide enough raw material you may want to consider extensions. Extensions just for the day of that can add length and volume. I tell my brides that all styles are possible if you allow me to work out the logistics which may include extensions. In fact about 70% of the styles you see on Pinterest, Instagram etc. include extensions but typically no one adds that disclaimer. It paints an unrealistic picture that this Rapunzel look was created with only the hair on her head. Instead think about it as extra material to create a desired look. You wouldn’t try to sew a coat with the same amount of fabric to make a shirt.
You may also want to consider the time of year or the weather wherever you will be getting married. What does your hair do with humidity? Does it poof up or go flat? Things like this are important to consider because certain styles definitely react differently with various weather like humidity. If your hair reacts poorly to inclement weather you may want to consider a style that is a bit more secure. The curls and twists can be locked into place accommodating a whimsical look that won’t be affected. There are ways to create a cascading style with a few wispy pieces that are out that give it the feel of a down do appearance while still being secure. A look with the security of an up style can wipe away worries that mother nature is going to throw curveball.
Perhaps the last thing to consider is the neckline of your dress. In reality a lot of this has to do with preference because really any style can work well with pretty much any neckline but it’s true the style can enhance certain factors of the dress. If the neckline has a lot of fabric and detail you may want the hair up and out of the way so that those details can be seen. If the dress is very busy or textured you could do a simple style to counter balance or a style with lots of texture and movement to really emphasize these features. Perhaps the neckline has a deep plummet in the rear with the open back which gives you a fork in the road of the style you choose. An updo with an open back adds to the drama and space between the fabric and the hair but perhaps you worried that’s too much drama for your great aunt and her modest ways. You could also emphasize the shape of the open back with a down style that almost points and shapes the same way as the fabric. There a some many ways to consider this as a contributing factor.
Ultimately it comes down to preference and your desires. Perhaps that’s hard to hear but it’s most importantly what you want. I know this can seem daunting and scary as many brides are afraid to make the “wrong choice”. I’m often asked what style would look good with this or what is the “right style” for this dress or for this wedding. There is no right style and there is no wrong choice. At the end of the day your happiness is all that matters. You are beautiful and a style that enhances your beauty is the perfect style for you.
Ashley Peters is an American based hairstylist, author and business owner. While many of her brides are stateside she is available for destination weddings worldwide. She is passionate about animal advocacy, connecting through travel, art and always learning something new. When her hands aren’t in hair you’ll find her on a hiking trail, with a good book or off on a crazy adventure with her husband, pups and soy vanilla latte in hand.