Wedding Hair Dos and Don'ts

David Tutera, celebrity-planner and wedding guru, shares his wedding-day hair wisdom.

Is there any beauty bummer worse than the classic bad-hair day? Smudged makeup can be fixed with relative ease, but frizzy, flat or flyaway hair? That’s a different story, and it’s certainly a scenario you want to avoid on your wedding day. So be prepared. Be very prepared. Here are some guidelines.

wedding hairstyles dos and fonts

I Dos for Hair

1. Have a hair trial! The session should allow enough time for you to try three different hairstyles. Be sure to bring your headpiece (or photo of it) along. Book your stylist four to six months ahead of time, and have your trial four to six weeks prior to the wedding.

2. Speak up! Explain the style of your wedding and reception to your stylist, and bring a photo or sketch of your gown. Ask him or her to suggest looks that will harmonize with the overall feel of your wedding.

3. Be open to suggestions. You may think you want a cascade of rolling waves, but don’t pass on the opportunity to try, say, a low, loose chignon, or some clip-on extensions. Go on—it’s only a hair trial,
and you may be pleasantly surprised.

4. Take pictures as you go. Bring a friend to your trial, and have her take photos of all your options from every angle. Be sure to capture the front, profile, back, even how your hair looks from above. The goal is to have every side be your “best side,” since you’re sure to be photographed from every angle on the big day.

5. When scheduling your hair appointments for your actual wedding day, add a cushion of time so no one (you or your bridesmaids) will be “fashionably late.”

6. Do wear a button-front shirt or dress for your day-of styling. That way, when you change into your wedding dress, there is no pulling of shirts over your finished hairdo.

I Don'ts for Hair

1. Don’t assume your regular stylist is best for your wedding. The go-to hair pro who cuts your hair every six weeks may not be well versed in wedding ’do’s. If this is the case, get referrals from recently married friends.

2. Don’t assume anything when it comes to the language of hair. Bringing in images will help your stylist identify what you want. Terms like “big bun,” “soft waves,” “sophisticated,” and “chic” mean different things to different people, so comparing visuals can be the best way to communicate.

3. Beware of tendril-overload. A few flirty tendrils around your face can look romantic as long as there are only a few and they are not too long. Too many strands can cast unflattering shadows on your beautiful face.

4. Don’t neglect the neckline of your gown. Whether it’s strapless, one-shoulder or sweetheart, the top of your gown is a key shape to keep in mind when it comes to choosing your hairstyle. A full-on updo may feel (and look) too bare with a strapless dress.

5. Don’t hide your highlights. When highlighted hair is pinned into an updo, a chunk of dark hair is revealed beneath. Break up the solid color by having extra highlights applied at the under layers of your hair if you plan to go with an upswept style.