Nothing screams bridal stress like wedding hair. Choosing the right hairstyle for your walk down the aisle could possibly be the single most obsessive part of your wedding, next to finding your dress, the cake, choosing bridesmaids and the menu. You've probably pored through more magazine pages and Web sites than you care to admit to find a perfect style that matches everything about you and your wedding. It's a hairstyle you'll never wear again, something that speaks about who you are mixed with the wedding day glamour reserved for you and your spouse.
Adding flowers to a wedding hairdo has been a popular choice among brides ever since Queen Victoria sported a wreath of orange blossoms in her hair when she married Prince Albert in 1840. Flowers are feminine, expressive, and bring color and depth to a bride beyond the bouquet and wedding dress. When thinking about wearing flowers in your hair, there are many things to consider. Are you an up-do kind of bride or do you want a flowing, natural look? Flowers can be incorporated into virtually every bridal look. Using flowers that can stand up to your hair as well as time and the weather will offer an effortless yet elegant air. Before you tiptoe through the wedding tulips, here are 10 ways you can successfully fit a bloom or two into your 'do.
The most elegant flowers to wear in your hair may not even be fresh flowers at all. The art of floral beading originated in Europe in the late 1400s, finding its way to the United States as early as the mid-1800s. Floral beading is a timeless and elegant way to create flowers with small glass beads. Beads are strung on wires in various colors and patterns, and then shaped to resemble flowers of all types. Crafters create gorgeous flowers attached to clips and barrettes for brides, and will even custom make a piece to complement your dress. Beaded flowers will never wilt, discolor, stain or blow away in the wind!
Braids for brides are all the rage. Braids make for wonderful wedding hairdos because of their ability to be sleek and stylish or messy and bohemian. All of these looks can be completed with a few flower blossoms placed throughout the braid. Choose small flowers that won't overtake the braid, such as spray roses or lily of the valley. For a more dramatic look, add a single chain of flowers to the braid. Colored flowers in a braid allow you to continue your wedding color theme in the back of your hair, so it won't take away from your bouquet.
A Single Stem
For a more modern wedding hairstyle, a single flower with the stem in your hair is a bold choice. A sturdy yet delicate flower will make a statement without overpowering your look (or, your head)! Blooms such as orchids, daisies or freesia will hold up well in your hair without making you look like you brought the florist down the aisle with you. Try a calla lily for a sleek statement. Larger and more structured flowers can even rest on your ear, or be attached to your hair invisibly, giving a look of effortless floral elegance.
If you want a more structured look of flowers, try wearing them arranged on a headband. Headbands, either a soft, wrapped band or the harder, shaped variety, work well for brides with all types of hair. Women with straight hair or short haircuts may especially appreciate headbands if they can't put their hair in an up-do. Opt for one or two larger blooms or an arrangement of smaller flowers, such as baby's breath or spray roses. The beauty of this is that you can add other accessories to complete the look. Crystals and gems give added glam to a headband, while a bit of lace gives a romantic air without being too dramatic. You can also have the flowers go completely across the top of your head, giving a bohemian vibe, or just on the side, reminiscent of stylish '20s flapper girls.
In Your Veil
While a veil is a traditional wedding accessory, it doesn't mean it has to be plain. Adding flowers to your veil can bring a subtle flair to your ensemble. Think about outlining the edge of your veil with daisies or other white blossoms. A flowery veil brings a more casual and romantic vibe to your wedding. A birdcage veil, a veil with a piece of millinery netting that's shaped to delicately frame your face, was popular during the 1920s and has been making a comeback. It often incorporates decoration on the veiling itself or around the area where it secures to the comb. This brings a more retro look to your hair. Finally, using the comb that attaches the veil to your hair can be accented with blooms such as gardenias, to keep the veil in place with a feminine touch.
A Frilly Fascinator
A British Royal wedding and Diamond Jubilee in the past few years has influenced wedding styling across the pond. British-style hair accessories called fascinators have been all the rage for brides-to-be. Fascinators are constructed pieces, either on a large barrette or headband, and can contain everything from flowers and feathers to beads and lace. They're traditionally worn on the side of the head, and range from classic and chic to completely over the top. If you're considering a flowery fascinator, choose a medium-sized single blossom, such as a peony or poppy, as the focal point. Since fascinators generally take some work to construct, the flower will most likely be silk, so there's no worry about wilting.
Like their braid or bun counterpart, ponytails for brides have also been a popular as an alternative up-do. A ponytail can be worn low on the neck or higher up on the head, either sleek and crisp, or wispy and more casual. Since the hair is loose in a ponytail, you can add flowers in a comb or barrette where the ponytail meets your head, or even on the ponytail holder itself.
A Blooming Chignon
A chic look for brides is a structured bun, or chignon, that can be worn low on the neck or higher up on the head. Flowers can add to this classic look by placing either one or two blooms on the side of the chignon, dispersed around the hair, or lining one side of the circle.
When it comes to positioning the flowers, hairpins fastened along the stem work best, whether you're working with a single large flower or clusters of smaller blossoms. When working with smaller individual flowers, pierce the center of the flower with a small hairpin (choose a beaded variety) and stick it directly into the hair. This will ensure the flower -- and the look -- will stay put.
A Playful Clip
Hairclips and barrettes can be your best friend when planning on a flowery hairstyle for your wedding. The possibilities are endless, because both fresh and silk flowers of all shapes and sizes can be fastened to clips, barrettes and hairpins. A single, large flower such a gardenia will make a sultry statement in your hair. A clip with a branch of flowers, either short and sweet or cascading down your hair, also brings a lovely touch to wedding hair.
The boho flower crown is a feminine and whimsical alternative to the traditional bridal veil, and is the current hottest wedding hair look. If you're a bohemian bride going for a romantic wedding, a flowery garland or crown made from fresh flowers accentuates your look. You can go for an ethereal, pure white crown to match your dress, bring out subtle tones from your bouquet with soft-toned blooms, or pop some serious color from flowers that will really turn heads. This is a creative yet easy look, since your tresses can be worn down, in a loose braid or a messy ponytail. Natalie Portman just said "I do" with a delicate flower crown, giving this look a serious celebrity endorsement.
Take a look at this photo album to see all of our style suggestions for the unique and unexpected style bride!
- Bellasugar. "Brides and Beauty Through the Ages." (Aug. 8, 2012). http://www.bellasugar.com/Wedding-History-7911053?slide=9
- Glamour. "Wedding Hairstyles: Long V Short." (Aug. 8, 2012) http://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/beauty-and-hair/hair-trends/2011/01/wedding-hair-hairstyles#!image-number=1
- Lowder, J. Bryan. "What's Up With the Up-Do?" Slate. April 29, 2011 (Aug. 12, 2012). http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2011/04/whats_up_with_the_updo.html
- Martha Stewart Weddings. "Beaded Flowers." Spring, 2003. (Aug. 12, 2012) http://www.marthastewart.com/268845/beaded-flowers
- Martha Stewart Weddings. "Fresh Flowers For Your Hair." Spring, 2003. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/226359/fresh-flowers-your-hair
- Panych, Sophia. "Hair Ideas: How to Wear a Fascinator (Without Looking Stupid). Allure. June 19, 2012. (Aug. 12, 2012) http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/blogs/daily-beauty-reporter/2012/06/hair-ideas-how-to-wear-a-fascinator-without-looking-stupid.html