The Perfect Hairstyle for Every One of Your Pre-Wedding Parties

From the bridal shower to your rehearsal dinner

Updated 10/23/18
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Photo by Lauren and Abby Ross

Sure, you probably have some idea of what you'll want your hair to look like when you're walking down the aisle. But what about all of the pre-wedding parties you have lined up on your schedule? From the engagement party to the bachelorette party and the bridal shower to the rehearsal dinner, there are several celebrations on the horizon, and just like you'd never wear the same outfit to all of them, you'll probably want to switch up your hairstyle too. Luckily, we have the perfect hairstyle ideas for every one of your pre-wedding parties.

“It is so important to make sure that your hair makes you look and feel great throughout the entire wedding process,” says Lauren Thompson, New York–based stylist at Nunzio Saviano Salon. “If that means planning out your routine, spending a little bit more on your color, or [getting] a chemical treatment to make sure your hair is perfect, then do it if you’re able to!”

There is certainly no shortage of wedding hairstyle inspiration out there, but when it comes to the celebrations before, you might not have as much to go on. That's why we turned to these celebrity stylists for their top recommendations for what works—and what’s in style—for each wedding party on your itinerary.

Engagement Party

bridal hairstyle half up half down

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

You can expect a ton of mingling at this event, which tends to be the first gathering of friends and family in celebration of your impending marriage. Since most of what you’ll be doing is meeting and greeting, celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons, recommends opting for a style that gets your hair away from your face, so you’re not getting caught on other peoples’ earrings or clothing. “For a really pretty look that works for both formal and casual parties, I’d recommend doing a partial up/down look. Either pin the hair on the top of your head back to get it off your face, or, using this same section, create a braid in the back,” he says. “For looks like this, I like to use the Paul Mitchell Express Ion Unclipped 3-in-1 Curling Iron to add some texture to the hair."

Photo by Michael and Carina Photography

Photo by Sally Pinera

Laura Murray Photography

Bachelorette Party

LL Style Photo

If you’re hitting up a major city like Vegas or the Big Apple for your bachelorette party, your look might call for an all-out red carpet–worthy hairstyle. But if you’re attending a more laid-back bash—say, at a spa or in the mountains for hiking—you can opt for a look that requires far less maintenance. For a hairstyle that fits the best of both worlds, Fitzsimons recommends a super sleek, high pony. “It’s a fashion-forward style that will look totally chic with your outfit for the evening, but also hold up if you’re in for a long night,” he explains. “The trick to this style is to blow dry the hair completely smooth. I like using the Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Frizz Blowout Butter for heat protection and extra smoothness, as well as my Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer which is super powerful and dries the hair in a flash!”

bride and groom

Photo by Davy Whitener

Jana Williams

reception entrance

Photo by The Hons

Bridal Shower

Michelle Pullman

The dress code for bridal showers can vary, depending on the venue or activity your bridal party has planned. To play it safe, Laurie Heaps, L.A.-based celebrity hairstylist, suggests going with a braided hairstyle. “For a more casual look, you can opt for a textured side braid. For more volume and style, you can quickly wave your hair with the Chi Lava Pro Spin 'n Curl before braiding,” she says. “Pull hair all to one side to create a tight three-strand braid, securing with a clear elastic, and then gently pull and pinch the braid apart to loosen it.” For some added softness, you can gently bring a few curls forward to frame the face.

Brandon Lata Photography

Billie Jo and Jeremy Photography

Rehearsal Dinner

Amina Touray

Since everyone you’re seeing at the rehearsal dinner will be in attendance at the wedding the following day, it’s best to create a hairstyle that’s the total opposite of what you’ll don on the wedding day, according to Fitzsimmons. “Most wedding-day looks involve texture, curls, or updos, so most people can probably go with a down style to differentiate from their wedding hair,” he says. Try a straight, down 'do that's heavy on the shine, or even a trendy Kim Kardashian–inspired style. “Wet looks are super trendy right now, so consider a slicked back wet look (à la Kim Kardashian) with just the slightest texture," says Fitzsimmons. "It can look really chic, but edgy.” He recommends using a mousse to blow-dry your hair back and finish with a lightweight oil, like NatureLab Tokyo’s Perfect Hair Oil which will add just the right amount of shine. “Just remember to start small and build up so you don’t have to wash your hair because of overusing!” he adds.

Kat Borchart/TheLicensingProject.com

Dancing

Photo by Marcus Meisler

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