Winter weddings are exceptionally dreamy. A white wedding dress pairs perfectly with freshly fallen snow, while faux fur coats and warm cocktails add to the chic, cozy vibe. Brides who choose to have a winter wedding are in luck when it comes to deciding on their bridal hairstyle; the cooler weather helps extend the life of the style, so you can go from ceremony to sendoff without your hair falling flat.
With the weather on your side, winter weddings are a great opportunity to go big and bold with a statement bridal hairstyle. While the dropping temperatures may preserve your intricate 'do, the infamous volatility of the season could pose a few styling hurdles.
"As hard as this may be to hear, many brides plan their wedding style from the comfort of their laptop, often times many months prior to the actual wedding day," says bridal hair expert Michelle Campbell. "Sometimes we notice brides can get fixated on one look that may not be ideal for the unpredictable weather forecasts during winter months when it’s best to go with the flow of inclement weather. A Hollywood glamour wave would no longer be suitable in an outdoor wedding venue while snowflakes fall from the sky and wind blows in sideways. This look is not sustainable and offers no longevity or style insurance to the bride." But fear not, wintry brides-to-be, there are still numerous wedding hairstyles that can stand up to the icy elements and leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy.
Meet the Expert
- Michelle Campbell is the owner and lead stylist of Love Is in the Hair, a Lake Tahoe based on-location bridal hair and makeup service.
Ready to get inspired for your winter wedding? Here are some of our brides’ favorite winter wedding hairstyles.
A Regal Topper
Winter weddings are all about opulence so there's no better time to rock a regal headband. The heavier silks of the season create a robust base for the extra glam and won't pale in comparison. This pearl headband is exquisitely elegant in its quintessential bridal aesthetic, but don't hesitate to get creative with this moody season. Crushed velvets and jewel-toned silks can look absolutely divine topping a wintry coif.
Simplicity speaks volumes. This New Orleans bride requested a low-maintenance low bun for her bridal hair, inspired by a Tracee Ellis Ross red carpet look. "I wanted to feel comfortable on my wedding day and not worry about my hair," she says of her elegant braided bun. For a super sleek and shiny style, use a high-hold hairspray like Got2Be Glued Blasting Freeze Spray to tame flyaways.
A Crown of Curls
Channel your inner ice princess with this regal bridal hairstyle, complete with the frosty touches of crystal hairpins nestled between the curls. This show-stopping 'do is lush with the natural texture of the curls, bringing a lovely richness to the overall look. And that pearl-embellished cape? Say no more.
A Polished Updo
Updos are a popular bridal hairstyle year-round, but winter brides, in particular, prefer the style because you can wear a coat without ruining your hair. While boho-inspired updos are big in the summertime, we suggest going with a cleaner, classic updo once cold weather strikes. For fuller updos, experiment with adding extensions for extra volume and hold. "Extensions offer super powers to any desired bridal style," echos Campbell.
Extensions have been known to hold curls far longer than natural human hair and offer curl support to existing hair.
Beautiful Blow Out
Live your long-haired princess fantasy by leaving your hair down for a winter wedding. Start with a blow-dry to add volume and then add some loose waves with a large barrel curling iron. The colder weather will help set the curls and hold them in place through all the sleigh rides and reindeer games.
A French Twist
A timeless french twist is the epitome of age-old elegance atop a long-sleeve wedding dress. Keep it clean and classy by leaving your bangs or a few face-framing layers out in the front, but none in the back. Fit for a princess, this bridal hairstyle is the picture of refinement.
A Deep Side Sweep
This low bun is perfectly at home in a snowy, winter wonderland. The otherwise sleek style is given a dose of femininity with a deep side part and sweeping bang. We love how it beautifully frames the face, mimicking the curve of the neckline.
A good blow dry gives the hair an added dose of volume (pro tip: use velcro rollers!), which is always important for the longevity of your wedding day hairstyle. To achieve this look, prep the hair with a volume-enhancing blow dry mist before setting it in rollers for at least an hour. Undo the rollers and finish off by curling individual sections with a 1 ½ or 2-inch curling iron.
A Playful Pony
We love a bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed bride. "The high pony is one of the most requested winter wedding looks that we are loving," says Campbell. "This look is so fresh and yet can add so much sophistication, it can be sleek and smooth or full and romantically tussled. Plus, it’s almost bulletproof for any winter weather."
A Minimalist Bun
This soft and chic low bun is simply stunning. The face-framing pieces in the front add some body and movement to the bridal look, accentuated by a bouquet of cascading orchids. This is a gorgeous option for shorter hair lengths or finer textures.
Dried Floral Accessories
This voluminous low bun looks soft and pretty adorned with dried blooms. We love that the dried florals amplify the wintry aesthetic, whereas fresh, out-of-season flowers may have seemed inconsistent. The contrast of the dainty buds against the glamour of the pearl-drenched cape and matching lehenga is absolutely striking.
Big, Bouncy Curls
Shoulder-length hair looks polished and sophisticated in a bouncy style. "Your stylist has an understanding of how hair will wear throughout the day and into the night—longevity is the key to styling success," says Campbell. "We're not styling hair for the very moment we finalize the style but rather to last the entire day and well into the evening. That might mean the hair style looks fuller or move voluminous than you’d prefer at 10 AM but by 4 PM the style is hitting optimum performance level and will look exactly as envisioned for the ceremony and into the reception."
Go for glamorous curls over beachy waves by running the curling iron all the way through the ends of the hair and holding the barrel horizontally. For added staying power and bounce, set each tendril in pin-curls.
Leaning into the whimsical winter theme, this bride added a hairpiece adorned with a delicate design of icy crystals for her chilly Chicago wedding. The ultra smooth chignon makes for an exquisite contrast to the soft fur wrap, while the glistening detail looks like it was touched by the ice queen herself. Tuck into any updo to add some sparkle to an otherwise simple style.
Soft, Shiny Waves
If loose waves are your signature style, update it for the winter season by ensuring the texture is glossy (over matte and beachy), and set it with a strong hold, shine-boosting hairspray. The best part? This low-key, stress-free style only gets better as the night goes on and the waves relax.
Can’t decide between a sleek updo or cascading curls? Meet halfway with a half-up, half-down 'do. Great for brides with thick hair, this style shows off natural texture while securing the bulk of the weight back and out of sight. Incorporate twists, braids, or accessories to elevate this storybook-inspired style.
The hottest winter accessory? Flakes of freshly fallen snow. "There’s nothing more romantic than snowflakes on a braided bridal crown or down a boho fishtail braid," says Campbell. "The reason braids work so well during stormy winter months comes down to insurance of the style and versatility. The style will not be compromised as the snow melts, the hair dries, and the events proceed."
Her Majesty's High Bun
A regal updo pairs perfectly with a wedding dress featuring a high neckline. The elegance of the macramé lace is echoed in this beautiful, voluminous bun with a slightly off-center part. We love how the height of the updo draws the eye upward elongating the demure neckline.
Down the Center
Let's hear it for symmetry! There’s something about long, tousled waves with a middle part that looks ultra-chic. Add balance to an intricately beaded dress with this simple style that makes it look like you just stepped out of a fairytale.
Smooth and Sleek Bun
With a winter wonderland as your backdrop, why would you want to distract from such an awe-inspiring view with an over-the-top hairstyle? This bride's crisp, minimalist long-sleeved wedding dress pops when paired with a smooth and sleek low bun. Pearl studs and a floor-length veil complete the frosty vision.
Modern Matching Buns
These impossibly pretty updos go together like cocoa and marshmallows. The bride on the left is wearing a more classic and romantic version of the traditional bridal bun, while the one on the right is a little more twisted and messy in the most gorgeous way. Both styles keep their hair out of their faces and photograph beautifully from every angle.
This bride wore a dark-colored fur over her wedding dress and kept her hairstyle smooth, sleek, and simple. She romanticized the look with a sweet ribbon, adding another layer of rich texture to her sumptuous attire. Silk or velvet ribbons are an easy way to play up a hairstyle, either by tying around a bun or weaving into braids.
A Swept-Back Loop
Tying the knot in colder weather conditions allows brides a lot of freedom and flexibility in hairstyles, so why not literally tie a knot? A low loop at the nape of the neck looks exceptionally refined without being too serious. We love how this bride decided against a traditional part, and swept all of her back instead—showing off her beautiful features and balancing out the high neckline.
A Matching Moment
'Tis the season for double bridal buns! These brides chose complementary crystal accessories to accentuate their updos. On the right, a twinkling halo wraps the bride’s bun in a cool embrace, while the bride on the left rocks a delicate arrangement of marquis crystals placed just above the ear.
Now this is a dimensional 'do. Thick braids pump up the volume on the traditional bridal chignon, creating a vivacious style that we can't get enough of. We love the spiraling tendrils that were intentionally left out to soften the look.
There's something oh-so poetic about lovely spirals flowing in the wind. Both of these brides went bold with their self-proclaimed "big hair" for their wintry elopement in Brooklyn. We love how their gorgeous curls seem to soften the seasonal chill in the air.
Iced Out Glamour
Glistening gems spice up any wintry wedding look. The more whimsical the style, however, the more enchanting the appeal. Add a little magic to your loose and lovely updo with a twinkly tiara or icy crystal-like hairpins.
What hair accessories work best for winter wedding hairstyles?
While you can wear practically any hair accessory for a winter wedding, we prefer sparkly headbands and hairpins, velvet ribbons, sumptuous headbands, and crystal barrettes that speak to the spirit of the season.
Should I wear my hair up or down at my winter wedding?
Updos or free-flowing styles are all great options for your winter wedding. It ultimately depends on the type of celebration you are hosting, the neckline and silhouette of the dress, and what you feel the most fabulous wearing.