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Wedding Hairstyles: The Long And The Short Of It

Updated on December 24, 2015

Deciding On Your Wedding Hair Style

Your wedding planning is in full swing. You've made all the major decisions. Now it's time to decide on your hairstyle for the wedding! It's a big decision with so many styles to choose from that it can be confusing. However, a bride I know is taking a smart approach you might want to consider to help in that decision, so your wedding hair is a hairDO and not a hairDON'T! She has started a few months in advance visiting local cosmetology schools, "trying on" different hairstyles, all at a discount rate!

It's a little known fact that many cosmetology schools let students practice on paying customers that come to their schools for services. If this makes you nervous, don't be. Students are supervised by an experienced instructor every step of the way, so you won't come out looking like Bride of Frankenstein instead of a beautiful bride! And the best part is, the fees are much lower than at regular salons. That way you can try on several different hairstyles until you find the right one for you. No bad wedding day surprises!

The Up-down Hairstyle

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Drastic Hair Style Changes...A Hair Don't!

Many brides make the mistake of deciding they want to drastically change their hair in the six months before their wedding. Let me assure you, this is a terrible mistake! For my own wedding, my mother's hairstylist said she would perm my near waist length locks for my wedding, "just to gypsy it up a bit", she said. I was picturing big loose ringlets cascading in beautiful spirals down my back. Tragic error on my part. What I got was a whole lot of burned hair and what wasn't burned stood up on the top of my head making me look suspiciously like I should have been named Fifi. Take my advice...leave your hair alone! If you want to add a few subtle highlights, fine, but otherwise, no drastic changes. You do want him to recognize you, right?

After the poodle perm fiasco, I then ended up cutting most of my hair off to get rid of all the burned places. Fortunately,my fiance loved the shorter look on me! Unfortunately, I had already had my picture for the newspaper and my bridal portrait made with LONG hair. My future mother-in-law, from the planet I Don't Have A Clue, strongly suggested I have all those pictures re-shot. Obviously, she wasn't paying for the photography!

Amazing Wedding Hairstyles

Long Hair vs. Short Hair

What used to govern your wedding look is whether your hair was long or short. No more! With so many different hair pieces and extensions, you can easily go from short to long hair in the snap of a hair clip. The question is: should you? It kind of goes back to the drastic change thing we were just talking about. If your fiancé, friends, and family all know you with a pixie cut and you show up on your wedding day looking like Beyonce or Taylor Swift, it's not really YOU. For your wedding day, you want to look like YOU. Just a more gorgeous, more special you.

Just because you have short hair doesn't mean you can't make your hair look fabulously romantic for your wedding day. Try doing some finger waves, or pin curls, or add some volume with styling gel. Or you could just slick it all back and add a bun hairpiece. A change, but not a drastic one as long as you don't go overboard on the size of the hairpiece. Also, there are tons of beautiful hair accessories like combs or tiny jeweled clips, even sparkly bobby pins that would look awesome in short hair.

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Up Or Down?

One of the hardest decisions many brides face who have longer hair is whether to wear it in an updo or long and loose. Again, this is a special day and if you wear your hair long and down every day, maybe you might want to change it up a bit for the big day. Or perhaps an updo feels a little unnatural or extreme to you if you wear it down all the time...how about what is called an up/down? This is where the sides and crown of the hair are all pulled up on the back of the head while the rest of the hair is hanging down is soft waves or curls. It's very pretty and depending on the tiara or hair accessories you use, it can look very casual or very formal.

The Classic Updo

Many brides just can't resist the allure of the updo and it's true, they can be gorgeous. Nothing says elegance quite like hair piled high atop the head or in a classic chignon. however, as my friend found out, this is definitely one that needs to be tried out way ahead of the game. At the cosmetology school where she went for her first "try on" hairstyle, they slicked all of her hair straight back, then fashioned huge curls on the crown of her head. The look was too severe and the bride didn't like it at all, not enough romance, not the way she envisioned it.

This is when it really pays to have a file of pictures you have pulled from magazines, the Internet, etc., so you can show your stylist what you have in mind. You can't just leave yourself at their mercy or trust that their vision of a beautiful bride is your vision as well.


Wedding Hair Accessories

Make sure when you go to get your hair done, you bring along your veil, tiara, or headpiece. You need to see what the two look like together, because your perfect hairdo may not end up looking so perfect with your veil. If you're not sure what you're wearing in your hair until AFTER you decide on your hairstyle, that's OK, too. Your hairstylist may have some suggestions for hair accessories to go with your special do. How about scattered tiny gemstones throughout the hair or tiny butterflies clipped here and there? Rhinestone headbands look great in short or long hair as do sparkly or feathered hair clips. How about peacock feathers in a comb clipped into the side of your hair for a peacock themed wedding?

Wedding Tiaras...And The Winner Is...

If you're like most women and never won a beauty pageant in your life, but still always wanted to wear a crown, a tiara may be for you. But let's talk about tiaras a little bit. Tiaras come in a wide variety of styles and price ranges, There are tiaras ranging anywhere from $20 to in the 10's of thousands of dollars. Hey, you're not the Queen of England here, so try not to get carried away and think you need to wear real diamonds on your head unless of course, you are related to a royal family in some way. In that case, I say knock yourself out!

The important thing with a tiara is fit and comfort. Tiaras can be horribly heavy after a short wearing time and many of them have a comb to attach them to your head. It's going to be hard to appear to be the smiling and gracious bride when you have what feels like a length of barbed wire digging into your brain! So try your tiara on and wear it around the house for a few hours to see whether you're going to be able to tolerate it that long. Make sure your loyal subjects at home bow occasionally to help you keep in character!

You Look Mah-velous!

Regardless of what hairstyle you choose for your wedding day, wear it! Don't let it wear you! You want all eyes to be on you for the right reason, not because you dyed your hair red for your wedding or are wearing the equivalent of an Indian headdress on your head! Make it natural enough to reflect you and your personal style, elegant enough to pay homage to your special day. And remember, stay away from those perm rods!


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