Whether you’re the bride or a guest, we’ve found the best wedding hairstyles for long, medium and short hair, and you can even do them yourself - promise!
Oh, we love wedding season. The outfits, the happy couple, the celebrating and, of course, finding wedding hairstyles to suit your look and most importantly your hair length and type. Because it’s all very well scouring social media for a style you love, but if it doesn’t work with what you’ve got then you’re only going to get frustrated and annoyed. Definitely not what wedding season is about.
We picked the styling brains of celebrity hairstylist, Lisa Laudat - she did Michelle Keegan's amazing wedding hairstyles - to get her top tips on how to get wedding hairstyles - whether that’s bridal hairstyles or hair looks that will work if you’re a bridesmaid or a guest - spot-on this season.
Wedding hairstyles: how to choose
“If you don’t know where to start, I always tell clients to think about their outfit first,” says Lisa. “What you’re wearing can really help steer how you style your hair. I look at the neckline, what’s happening at the back and any other details because you don’t want you hair to be fighting for attention with your dress. For example, if you’re wearing something with a high neckline, wearing your hair up can work really well to create a clean and sharp silhouette. If you’ve got delicate straps or a lower neckline, having some hair falling around your shoulders might create some nice detail.”
“Then it’s a good idea to think about what kind of wedding it is you’re attending as that might also dictate certain elements. If it’s a destination wedding or has more of a boho feel then a looser, less structured look works brilliantly. If it’s a city wedding or has a black-tie dress code, then you might want to think about something a little more polished and sleek.”
Wedding hairstyles: hair length and hair type
Whilst we don’t believe in beauty ‘rules’, when it comes to hairstyles there are always going to be certain looks that will work better depending on your hair type , hair length and hair texture. “I always advise, especially if you’re doing your hair yourself, that you work with your natural hair texture as much as possible because it makes everything so much easier,” says Lisa.
“If you have naturally straight hair that doesn’t hold texture for long then, unless you’re prepared to put in some serious prep work, look for a style that works with straight hair - an amazing, structured ponytail for example. If you have gorgeous curls, use them! Pinning back a few of them with some amazing hair clips might be all you need to do. Low effort but maximum impact.”
However, there are always some tweaks and cheats that can be done for hair length. “Updo’s work best with a bit of length,” says Lisa. “You don’t need super long hair, but at least shoulder length, but of course you can add in some pieces - and there are some amazing ones out there now - and this will help add some volume and fullness to a style.”
15 of the best wedding hairstyles
Wedding hairstyles for short hair
1. Side sweeping waves
Simply create a deep side parting and then loosely tong the length of your hair for a soft wave.
2. Embellished waves
Short hair and accessories are a match made in wedding hairstyles heaven so lets yours do the talking. And short hair doesn't mean you can't have any styling. Even short hair can have a wave or curl run through it if you fancy it.
3. Half up twist
Take a medium-sized section from each side, twist and secure at the back. If you're a bridesmaid then add some of the flowers from your bouquet too (just ask the bride first!).
4. Low slung bun
Shorther hair lengths will struggle with updo's, but that doesn't mean you can't go for a low do instead. Gather all your hair and secure in a bun at the nape of you neck. And don't worry about any hair that comes loose, it just makes it look better.
5. Short and sharp
Show off the sharpness of your short hair by wearing it completely poker straight. It requires minimal effort and creates maximum shine.
Wedding hairstyles for medium length hair
6. Hollywood waves
Classic, elegant and easy to do - promise! You need to start by blow-drying your hair so the lengths are smooth but you have a bit of lift at the root - a medium-sized round brush is your friend here. Then take 2cm sections of hair and starting a thrid of the way down, tong the rest of the hair length. Before your hair cools, use a soft bristle hairbrush to smooth the hair and watch your Hollywood waves appear.
6.Volumised ballet bun
Depending on the thickness of your hair, you may be either able to wrap two ponytails around each other to create this look, Kim Kardashian's hairstylist, watch Chris Appleton's amazing hair hack which shows you exactly what we mean. Or if your hair is quite fine, you may want to call upon the hair services of a hair donut to give your bun some oomph and bulk. We love the loose and unstructured style of this look so try not to go too tight and ballet-like with it.
7. Side braid
Now, we're not saying this look won't need practising but once you've perfected your plaiting skills then this is an easy one to do yourself. Keep your sections of hair fairly chunky and keep them loose for a more relaxed look.
8. Face framing bends
If you never overly style your hair, then a wedding - whether it's yours or someone else's - is not the time to start. You want to feel and look like yourself after all. Instead, opt for some simple face framing bends. If you're a dab hand at blow-drying then you can create them that way, otherwise place your straighteners at the point you want your hair to bend, wrap your hair round them, leave for a few seconds or until the hair feels warm and gently remove.
9. Tumbling curls
Whether you are naturally curly or you love adding some serious bounce to your hair then why not show off amazing curls by letting them hang down in all their glory. For just a hint of detail you can take a couple of curly strands and secure them together and accessorise with whatever takes your fancy.
10. Wedding ready ponytail
Elevate your everyday ponytail into something worthy of a wedding hairstyle. To do this secure your hair into a ponytail and gently lift the hair at the crown to create some serious height. Then tong the length of the pony and if you're feeling really fancy, keep one section of hair loose to then wrap round and hide the hairband.
Wedding hairstyles for long hair
11. Supersized fishtail
We know what you're thinking: a fishtail braid by yourself is impossible. We are here to tell you that it's much easier than you think, especially when you have long hair. To make things more manageable, tie your hair into a low ponytail. Then divide your hair in half. Now, the braiding begins. Take a small section of hair from the outside of the left section and add to the nearside of the right. Next, take a small section from the far side of the right section and add to the near side of the left. You are crossing the strands over one another. Keep repeating and you will see your fishtail form. Braid the length of the hair and secure with another band. You can then either cut the top band away or keep it in place if you think it will give your style more security and longevity.
11. Long and loose waves
Sometimes by keeping your hair simple, you allow everything else to shine and if you are the bride and it's you're wearing a veil and/ or tiara - why not let that be the star of the show? How often do you get to wear one of them without fancy dress being involved after all. To give something for your veil to be secured onto all you need is a half-up pony and then either add some loose waves to the length of your hair.
12. Straight and sleek
Aside from a sweeping of serum to create lots of shine and tame any flyaways, keeping hair long and completely straight has to be one of the easiest styles to do yourself that still looks 10/10.
13. Sleek ballet bun
Secure your hair in a high pony and straighten the lengths to make sure it's completely straight. Wrap the hair round the base of the pony to form the perfect, sleek ballet bun.
14. Adorned chignon
The beauty of a chignon is it can be as structred or messy as you like. When doing your hair yourself, we suggest you with a looser, more boho vibe like this. Start by securing your hair in a ponytail and then pin the lengths of hair however you please. To add a hint of wedding polish, finish with an accessory - flowers, pearls, crystal hair slides...whatever works for you.
15. Micro braids
Keep things relatively simple by creating a couple of thinner braids throughout your hair. You may need some hairspray or serum to hand to keep the hair as neat and tidy as possible, but the effect is gorgeous.