You did it! You found the perfect dress for your wedding day, and you can’t wait to wear it on one of the most special days of your life. But wait—there’s one small thing. Your dream dress has a unique neckline, and you’re not sure how to wear your hair to best complement the dress, your face shape, and your personal style.
Whether your dress is a glamorous old-Hollywood gown with a sweetheart neckline, a boho-chic beachy lace moment, or a modern and sleek column dress with a minimalist feel, there’s a hairstyle to suit any neckline and vibe. All you need is a little inspiration and some pro tips from an expert stylist.
Before embarking on your journey to the perfect wedding hairstyle, envision how you want to feel on your day and think of images and moments that inspire you. "This should be your princess moment where you feel the most beautiful," says hair expert Britt Dion. "[I ask brides,] 'When did you feel most beautiful? When you look at pictures, what do you gravitate towards, and what imagery do you find beautiful?' That gives us a starting point." Once you have an idea of your overall aesthetic, you can fine-tune your look and land on a style.
According to Dion, no detail is too small for your wedding stylist. "I spend the first 15 to 30 minutes [of a consultation] just discussing their wedding. Any information about the actual wedding [is helpful]—where it is, is it a big sit-down wedding that should be more formal?" she explains. "Sometimes people get lost in their dress and their hair doesn’t necessarily match their environment." Where you’re getting married is just as important as what you’re wearing. Think about the weather if you’re getting married outside, too—wind, humidity, and rain can all impact how your hair looks and feels on your wedding day.
Of course, the dress is a majorly important deciding factor, too. Dion advises thinking about every aspect of the dress: Where does it fall on your body? Is the neckline a sweetheart style, straight across, or asymmetrical? Is it low in the back and do you want to show that off? Is your dress more casual or more formal? Each aspect of your gown will play a role in creating your bridal beauty look, so make sure you have photos handy to share with your stylist.
You should also be sure to tell your stylist what you don’t like. If you hate wearing your hair up or don’t feel comfortable with anything "too perfect," be sure to let them know.
Need a little inspiration for your wedding-day hairstyle? Check out these gorgeous dresses and the hair looks that make their equally beautiful brides really shine on their special day. These are some of the best hairstyles for any dress neckline.
If you want a touch of glitz, add some pizazz via an accessory or sentimental piece of jewelry. "Accessories are huge and have been huge for a while," Dion says. "If you’re doing something really chic and classic, I would add some glitz to it, maybe a family brooch that can be placed in your hair, a tiara, [or] single pieces of jewelry."
Don't underestimate the power of a sophisticated headband or heirloom hair accessory—both can elevate your wedding-day look. Plus, certain accessories can also be tied into the aesthetic of your dress.
This style gives you the best of both worlds: a little glam and a little bit lived-in and natural. It shows off the dress while giving you the ability to wear your hair down if that’s how you feel most comfortable.
Long and Loose
You can wear almost any hairstyle with a classic strapless dress, so don’t be afraid to experiment or go with your gut. If you like wearing your hair long, loose, and casual, it can be a beautiful contrast to a more elaborate gown.
Sweetheart, V-Neck, or Plunging Neckline
Nothing complements a romantic sweetheart or V-neckline like glamorous old-Hollywood waves. It’s a timeless look that works for long and mid-length hair and can be super-sculpted for a vintage vibe or a little undone for a modern look.
Undone Braided Updo
Braids have become a mainstay of wedding hairstyles, and for good reason—they truly look great with basically every dress neckline and style! We love how a slightly undone braided updo lends a touch of romance and nature to a simple and classic V-neck gown and a high neckline.
If your neckline is low, make your hair go high! We love a voluminous yet slightly undone pony for a casually elevated bridal look.
Loose Waves or Curls
A plunging neckline can have a throwback, retro '70s feel when paired with voluminous loose curls. If you love a sexy, tousled look, this is the style for you.
Hollywood Starlet Waves
Go for the glamour with a timeless look that will make you feel like you’re walking the red carpet. Old Hollywood–style waves let you wear your hair down and create a romantic vibe that won’t compete with your dress.
If your off-the-shoulder dress has a bohemian, hippie vibe, lean into it with a flower crown style. We also love a flower crown when paired with a more sculptural or modern dress for an element of surprise, like this bridal look.
Keeping your hair up means all eyes will be on your stunning shoulders. A classic chignon updo is a great choice for more formal events.
Wearing your hair at the nape of your neck, whether sleek and chic or perfectly undone, is a beautiful option to pair with an asymmetrical dress neckline. It shows off the unique neckline and allows you to get creative with your jewelry.
Half Up, Half Down
Wearing your hair half up, half down gives you the opportunity to play with your hair a bit throughout the day and show off different aspects of the dress. You can pull it forward for the ceremony and toss it back for the party—it’s totally up to you!
When deciding on a bridal hairstyle, be sure to keep the weather in mind as that may influence the type of hairdo you choose. Rain, humidity, and wind are all factors to take into consideration, especially if you choose to wear your hair down.
High or Halter Neckline
If your dress has a high neckline or detailed back, you’ll want to ensure your hairstyle works with it. Pulling your hair up in a classic updo, either at the top of or at the crown of your head, lends a classic princess vibe.
Low Braided Ponytail
Ask your stylist to mix braids and curls into your ponytail for an intricate yet effortless look. Be sure to keep a few loose pieces framing your face to complement the high neckline.
If your vibe is less formal, try a full, high ponytail for a sexy, fun, and modern look that shows off the dress and you. Add volume at the crown for a statement-making style that’s so ready to hit the dance floor.
Romantic Low Updo
A slightly undone low updo dials up the romance and allows you to wear your hair pulled back while still framing your face with a few pieces, if you prefer a more casual hairstyle. It looks gorgeous with any gown but adds extra interest to a high neckline dress.
How do I decide which hairstyle to pair with my wedding dress?
You may want to try out a potential hairstyle (or hairstyles) before your big day to see how it matches up with your dress. A wedding hair trial is a great way for you to see your dream 'do in action alongside your makeup and any accessories that you plan on wearing down the aisle.
Should I seek a hairstylist to help decide?
Once you've narrowed down hairstyles and gathered inspiration, a wedding hairstylist can step in and make suggestions. If you have your wedding dress already picked out, then they'll be able to recommend hairstyles that complement your gown.