DOs and DON’Ts Of Bridal Hair – A Complete Guide

It’s been three years now since I left the world of hairdressing. I specialized in wedding hair and I still dabble, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on hair for “the big day”.

DO Be Yourself

You want your groom to recognize you as you walk down the aisle, don’t you? If you’re low-maintenance, always wearing a pony-tail type of girl, make sure your wedding hair reflects that. Something simple and tasteful that still represents you. Unless of course, your dress and the theme are over the top, go for it! If you’re used to spending more time on your hair on a daily basis, then by all means go with a more detailed style or accessory. 20, 30, 40 years from now, you don’t want to look back at your pictures and ask, “What was I thinking?” Stick to your comfort zone. Chances are your dress will follow your usual sort of taste, so your hair should too.

DON’T Be Afraid Not To Use Your Regular Stylist

Whether you’ve been going to the same stylist since pigtails or just for the last few cuts, don’t feel pressured to use them on your big day. They should be honest with you if wedding hair is not their strong suit and maybe they’ll even recommend someone else at their salon. Ask your friends for suggestions. Look online. If your wedding venue is out of town, do research, or be prepared to pay extra for your trusted stylist to travel. A lot of stylists will consider coming to your home, hotel or wedding venue and there are many companies that specialize specifically in weddings with a portfolio available to back up their work. Another option is a session-stylist, someone who typically styles for photoshoots and film, they know how to make a style last and look fabulous from all angles.

DO Bring Pictures

Bring pictures! More than once, but not a billion. It wouldn’t hurt to bring a shot of your dress as well. Photos will help you explain what it is that you would like, especially when it’s hard for some of us to put visual cues into words. A good stylist will be able to pick up on a reoccurring theme in your photos and blend them all into something that works for you, whether it’s sleek and elegant or soft and romantic.

DON’T Be Too Drastic

If you usually wear in-your-face color or Crayola brights, consider toning it down just a bit for your wedding. Although you love your pink chunks or dramatic red right now, you might grow out of it in a few years but your wedding photos will not. As an example, blogger Elycia has had her hair every color of the rainbow, but for her big day, she decided an awesome white-blond was the way to go. Natural-looking or solid vibrant color is best and timeless, in my opinion. (Don’t forget, rule #1 be yourself!)

DOs and DON’Ts Of Bridal Hair - elyciabridalhair

DO Have A Trial

A trial run is a must, in my opinion. Your stylist will be able to tell you if the look you’ve picked is unrealistic due to your hair texture, length, etc. This is when you’ll get to see all those thoughts, ideas, and magazine pulls put into action. Maybe you’ll realize it’s “just not right” or maybe the stylist will have a better idea. Either way, a practice run is a sound idea. If you’re trying your dream bridal hair for the first time on the day of your wedding, there’s a lot less time to change your mind if it turns out that the look you wanted just doesn’t suit you. Make sure you also bring any hair accessories or a veil to your trial.

DON’T Be Cheap

You get what you pay for. I say this all the time. This doesn’t mean you have to shell out a week’s pay for your style. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Do you really need the ritzy salon? Is that what you want? What you can afford? If you’re trying hard to save, think about trying some up and coming talent. Perhaps a junior stylist or call a beauty school and ask if they have promising students that might be interested. Usually, they’ll be more than willing to come to the location of your choosing and price their services fairly. (Don’t forget to offer them photos from your photographer for their portfolio.) Furthermore, if you would prefer or insist that all of your bridesmaids (and family members) look their best and have their hair done professionally, consider chipping in. Costs can really add up quickly for the wedding party and this often causes friction and stress. Be honest when booking appointments about what sort of style they’re each looking for, or if they have very long or short hair. Salons will probably be willing to charge accordingly, instead of booking the mother-of-the-groom for an $80 updo when all she would really like is a sleek blowout.

DO Leave Yourself Time

The last thing you want is to be stressing, eyes glued to the clock rather than your beautiful self. Leave lots of time for complicated ‘dos or style emergencies.

DON’T Leave Colour To The Last Minute

Especially if you do your own color, make sure you leave plenty of time to correct any mishaps. You never know what might happen, even if you’ve done it the same way, “a million times”. The night before is not the time to freshen things up with a dash for drugstore dye. Considering it’s such an important day, it’s the best possible time to leave things to the professionals. Consider it an investment in yourself. Make sure your roots are touched up, highlights fresh, ends trimmed. I suggest a week to a week and a half before the big day.

Do It Your Selfers

Practice makes perfect, as they say. Doing your own hair is not out of the question. Just make sure not to attempt too ambitious a style and practice often before the big day so you won’t have any last-minute frustrations or panic. Invest in some quality styling products. Don’t forget hairspray and shine products, to look your best. There are lots of hair tutorials on the webs. This one is my all-time favorite. You can find loads of inspiration online.

DON’T Wash Your Hair

Most stylists will ask that you not wash your hair on the day of your wedding. A day-old blow-dry is the best texture to work with for wedding styles. Confirm this with your stylist though, and make sure you pass along the news to your wedding party as well. Flat-ironing your hair before it is styled will cause curls to fall out as well. Consider going to your stylist the day before for a good round brush blow-dry, your hair will be coiffed for the rehearsal and prepped properly for the style the day of the wedding.

DO Bring Your Accessories Or Veil

Have your stylist put these in for you. They have the know-how and experience to make sure accessories stay securely and comfortably from vows through pictures to the last dance. Don’t wait until two minutes before you walk down the aisle. You’ll find yourself scrambling for pins and everyone around you will be too nervous already.

By the way, a lot of these “rules” can be applied to your wedding makeup as well!

Where did you find your bridal hair inspiration?


With all the buzz of birdcage veils among brides today, it seems as though the look has now transcended to the red carpet. At the premiere of the movie Grey Gardens, actress Drew Barrymore was head to toe old Hollywood glamour, wearing a vintage nude-colored Alberta Ferretti gown, birdcage veil with jeweled hairpieces, and a bejeweled Roger Vivier clutch.

Ladies looking to recreate a similar look for their wedding should take inspiration from the hairstyle, complete with marcel waves and hair candy. Although, the dark plum lip stain might be a bit much for most brides (not many can pull it off!), consider wearing a lighter-hued lipstick, which will look equally as fitting.

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