Before: The Hairdo

21 Nov

Just doin’ the ‘do

Braids. Sadly a bit hippy-go-free-free for our wedding theme.

This week I have been at the hair- dresser for the first time since the wedding, and thought this would be an apt opportunity for the next chapter of before-and-after blog posts… this time on my wedding day ‘do! So how did I decide my wedding hairstyle? And how did it turn out?

(Note: These photos are from my own inspiration boards kept during my engagement, and I didn’t make note of the links. If these pictures are of you or from your website, please say so in the comments and I’ll be more than happy to give you photo credit!)

The Logic
The main rule I had for my wedding hairstyle is that it should not be anything like how I look every day; I wanted to feel special on our special day. I have wavy, shoulder-length hair that I every day part on the left, comb flat, and pull back into a bun at the nape of my neck. As such, the more I looked online for pictorial inspiration for wedding hairstyles, the more sure I was that any kind of bun would simply feel too blah for the biggest day of my life. However, the reason I always wear my hair up and out of my face every day is because it’s practical: it doesn’t blow around, get in the way of eating, or make my neck feel warm or itchy. So, what to do?

Throughout the engagement, I grew my hair and didn’t get any cuts, so that whatever hairstyle I settled on I would have the maximum tresses available to me! I looked for online hair inspiration (both on bridal websites and just plain old Googling), and quickly realized that I wanted to have a fairly uncommon style, so that I didn’t just look like every other bride. I wanted “wow” factor! I also concluded early on that I wanted my hairdo to look different from my normal style whether seen from the front, side or back. For the front view I decided on loose waves framing my face (to contrast my usual “stern librarian” look) and some volume, since my hair is always pinned back and flat. For the sides, I considered several styles with braids and twists, but I concluded braids weren’t formal enough for our “formal elegance” wedding theme. And, lastly, I knew I wanted loose curls for the back. Anything else seemed too stern for a wedding look!

The Contenders

Gorgeous side ponytails… but where are the veils?

A stylish side ponytail was considered early on, and – although gorgeous – I noticed that the brides with that style never wore full veils (or any veil at all in some cases) in the pictures. I had already purchased a waist-length veil, and was desperate to wear it as I didn’t feel I looked very bridal without one! I figured an off-center ‘do like the side pony would not suit a symmetrical veil, and – with regret – crossed it off the list of contenders.

Turning up the volume!

I then got fixated on the aforementioned idea of volume, and developed a girl-crush on this half-up/ half-down look. Once again, this contendor was ruled out… this time by a matter of function over fashion: my satin wedding dress is very heavy and I had big plans for burning up the dancefloor, so the last thing I need is my hair being out, warm and itchy on my neck. Sweaty bride is not a good look!

Loose curls for the win… but too unstructured at the back for me.

For a long time this Taylor Swift up-style was taking the lead, but the back just seemed too messy for my tastes. Yes, I wear my hair neatly all the time (and, so according to my own rule, should pursue a different style on the wedding day) but I don’t want to look back at my wedding pictures and wonder what that bird’s nest is on my head.

The Winner
I was reaching the end of my hairdo tether (I think there’s a Rapunzel joke in there somewhere!) when I took one last internet trawl for inspiration for my locks. Then I stumbled across it. The One.

This was it! The search was over! Soft waves around the face, volume on top and on the sides, a neat little braid, a twist, tidy curls at the back, and it was mostly sitting up off the neck! And also, I’ve never seen another bridal hairdo like it. Perfect! My hair is naturally very wavy and friends were pleading me to wear it out for the wedding, so by being somewhere between an up-do and a down-do I would keep everyone happy. I ran the top hair candidates by a bridesmaid to be doubly sure, without me telling her which style I was leaning towards, and she also picked The One. Sold!

So how did it turn out? Was I happy with my hair choice? Tune in next week for part two… After!

How did you decide on your wedding day hairstyle? Did you have particular factors or criteria to take into consideration?


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