Wedding Advice, Wedding Tips

How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Hairstyle and Hair Accessories

Whether you have long, short or in-between hair, there are so many options for your wedding look. From modern to sweetly romantic, there’s a style for you.

(5 minutes to read)

Your first consideration should be your comfort—you should still look like ‘you’ on your wedding day. If that means you have short hair, then rock it. If you have purple hair, don’t change for a day. There are options for every bride, every style and every type of hair.

Talk to your hairdresser a few months before the big day and make some decisions about what you want to do. If you want extensions or to go significantly darker or lighter, these changes take time to do while ensuring your hair remains healthy. Chat to them about what you want, and consider:

  • Your wedding dress neckline
  • Jewellery you intend to wear- a statement necklace or earring set may require your hair up to get the full effect
  • Any veil, brooches or hair accessories you’re considering
  • How you normally like your hair; up, off your face, or do you usually wear it down?
  • Style of the wedding; modern and stylish or classic and elegant?

There are a few basic hairstyle options, and they all have endless variants.

Classic updo – Chignon

Chignon is a French word that literally translates to ‘hair bun’, but in Western countries, it means that a chignon is low on the nape of the neck and a ‘bun’ is on the top.

You can go in two directions here. Think Princess Kate and Audrey Hepburn, classic and sleek. It can be worn low, at the nape of the neck or twisted to one side. It’s a sculpted, elegant look that can be quite dramatic.

Or, you could opt for a more feathered, soft look too. With loads of volume, movement and texture, a more casual, modern look will suit almost anyone.

You can incorporate deep side parts, fringes, volume at the crown or sweeping waves, it is up to you. A bun is also a great way to pin up dreads if you don’t want them loose.

Beautiful loose curls

Beach ceremonies, boho chic weddings, sleek modern romantic looks—loose curls are a bride’s best friend. From chin length hair to long, Rapunzel-esque locks, curls are effortlessly stylish and suit a range of looks.

You can pin back one side with a brooch/ clip, drape back into a loose braid or pinned chignon, or leave the curls to be your crowning glory as they are.

The half-up, half-down look is a great alternative; keeps the hair off your face, provides an easy place for a veil or hair accessory to be placed, and can be as formal or casual as you like. You can use a waterfall braid or a sleek side part depending on the look you want to achieve.


Braids have been the go-to for a whimsical, youthful look since the time of Shakespeare. They’ve been modernised from Juliet’s look, and encompass anything from a sleek architectural look to a messy, side-part, braid-crown look. Braids give an extra sophisticated touch to sleek hairstyles or create a structured fishtail braid.

Historical or themed hairstyles

Pin-up barrel curls, a 1920’s finger wave, a 1960’s bouffant; if you like it, you can wear it. There are no rules except that you must be comfortable and happy with it. Some hairstyles are difficult for hairstylists, so make sure you have a trial first.

Wedding hair accessories galore

Your wedding day is the perfect time for some sort of hair accessory. There are so many options to suit your style.

Veil options

There are a variety of styles of veils. What you choose will affect your hairstyle. A long veil needs to be very firmly attached.

  • Blusher/ birdcage veil goes in front of your face
  • Elbow-length stops at your elbow
  • Fingertip veil drops to where your hands are
  • Walking veil drops to mid-calf
  • Chapel length is between 200 to 230cm long and gives you a small train
  • Cathedral length is anything longer than a chapel length

Hair brooch

If you have short hair, or want something other than a traditional look, a hair brooch is a gorgeous option. This gives you the option of choosing something that perfectly matches your style, whether it’s a sleek 1920’s look or a traditional jewelled flower spray that gracefully drapes across your hair.

Bride Jo, from Auckland, with a gorgeous hair brooch. Photo credit Talia Stephens from Take My Photo


For a sweet look, fresh flowers in your hair are perfect. From an elaborate flower crown through to a touch of baby’s breath woven into a braid, this is a great way to incorporate colour into your hair and tie a theme together.


If you’ve dreamed of being a princess, you’ve probably had a dress-up crown or tiara. Your wedding day is the perfect day to let your inner princess shine. There are plenty of tiara options, from traditional ones that are perfect paired with a princess gown, to simple, small nods to a tiara that sits perched atop your head.

Tips for the big day

Ask your hairdresser if you should wash your hair on the day of your wedding, or the day before. Generally, slightly ‘dirty’ hair is easier to work with, but an oil slick isn’t a good look either.

Don’t rush your hair or makeup on the day. Leave plenty of time to get ready and leave time in case something goes wrong. You want to be pampered and look your best- stress and drama do not help.

In your wedding handbag, have a mini can of hairspray and a few bobby pins for any touch-ups.

With a bit of forward planning with your hairdresser (or a few trials runs if you’re DIY), you can relax on the day, knowing your hair will be perfectly what you want.

You need to trust your hairdresser completely! Hair by Hush Hair, Christchurch, photo Paul Tatterson

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