Okay, so you're not walking down the aisle (this time), but there's honestly no better position to be in. As a wedding guest, you have the perfect excuse to get all dressed up, get in on the photo booth action, and snap selfies all night long, without any of the pressure.
Considering you'll be 'gramming the night away, your hair needs to be as on point as your outfit. Whether you're dressing up your go-to LBD or slipping into a formal gown, the hairstyle is key. We tapped Suave Celeb Stylist Jenny Cho for her tips on perfectly pairing your hairstyle with every dress type. Whether you’re going all-out with a backless dress or keeping it conservative with a high neck, here's all the inspiration you need for a look that’s sure to make a serious entrance—without showing up the bride, of course (because you also don't want to be that girl).
If you picked out a completely backless style, you'll want to show it off—don't go and cover it with rows and rows of mermaid-length waves. Cho says, “the backless element is the focal feature—an updo can add drama for that over the shoulder shot.” In other words, keep all the attention where it belongs, on your back.
The look: Classic Ponytail
Who said ponytails couldn’t be formal? The secret is to make sure there’s not a hair out of place. Spritz your style with a strong-hold hairspray, and don’t forget to hide that hair tie with a strand of hair.
The look: Double Buns
What’s better than one messy donut bun? Two messy donut buns. To create a tousled texture, work a texturizing spray from roots to tips and style with a few face-framing tendrils. Before the wedding, just be sure to make a craft-store run and pick up some black velvet ribbon. Tie a few tiny bows and use bobby pins to secure them on your ‘do.
The look: Sculptural Topknot
This is an elevated approach to the hairstyle you wear almost every day anyway, but with a dressed-up twist. Pile in the bobby pins to keep everything in place all day (and night).
The look: Flower Embellishments
Bring the romance with this braided style sprinkled with flowers. Honestly, the star of this style is the blooms, so feel free to switch up the braid placement any way you like before pinning flowers (faux or fresh) to your hair.
The look: Embellished Headband
Never underestimate the power of a really good hair accessory. No matter how bad you are at styling your hair, or how simple your dress is—there’s nothing a statement headband can’t fix.
The look: French Twist
The French twist is the ultimate wedding-guest hairstyle. It goes with almost every dress style (especially the plunging neckline) and boasts a certain je ne sais quoi. Wear it alone or embellish with a pretty hair accessory.
The look: Half-Up
Something about this pumped-up pony has wedding-guest vibes written all over it. Some artful teasing (and teasing, and teasing) at the crown and a feminine bow will make you the best tressed at any wedding.
The look: Loc Pony
We told you a simple ponytail has the potential for wedding-day greatness, and we’re especially swooning over this wavy loc look. Just be sure to start with a setting mousse to hold your waves in place and add extra moisture.
The look: '30s Waves
Use your short hair to your advantage and try a Great Gatsby-esque finger wave. It feels feminine, yet edgy and so sophisticated. Just make sure you have plenty of hair gel on hand when creating this look
The look: Slicked Back
With a tightly wound bun sitting behind your head, there’s no better time to go all-out with your makeup and accessories. Just make sure you don’t have a single hair out of place. Use a hairspray-soaked toothbrush to tame even the shortest, thinnest strands.
The asymmetrical neckline is all about balance. For example, if you’re wearing a one-shoulder design, try sweeping all of your hair to the opposite side. If your asymmetrical design boasts a ton of volume or embellishments, pull your hair back as to not compete with your dress.
The look: Clipped Back
This hairstyle is more than just an opportunity for a cute barrette placement; it’s the ultimate hair hack. When your hair is lacking a certain something, swipe one side back and position a pretty hair clip. Et voila!
The look: Retro Pony
There’s no better way to show off your perfectly winged cat eye (or an interesting neckline), than sweeping your hair back into a cute, retro-looking pony. Use a round brush to flip the ends out, and you’ll instantly transform yourself into a 1950s Barbie doll. A dressed-up hair bow helps with the illusion too.
The look: Center Part
A center part is the best way to strike a balance in seconds. If you’re rocking a head of gorgeous goddess locs, simply push them back and behind your shoulders for a romantic, effortless look. Add a balm to refresh locs and add shine.
The look: Ear Tuck
A vintage-inspired wave and deep side part looks amazing on every hair length and has the power to elevate the look of any dress you decide to throw on. Enlist the help of hot rollers (just like grandma used to) for a soft, yet defined wave pattern. To balance a single-shoulder dress, create a deep side part opposite the busy sleeve, and tuck one side behind your ear.
Welcome to the most versatile neckline of all. Strapless styles leave the neck and décolletage completely exposed, which give you free rein to style it up any which way your heart desires. However, Cho admits blowouts are her favorite pairing for strapless designs. “A soft blow dry with some bounce is elegant and always be a timeless compliment to a strapless look.” She also adds, “having your hair down, but pushed behind the shoulders is an elegant way to show off the cut of a strapless, while still keeping the hair down.”
The look: Disco Volume
There’s no doubt a ‘70s-inspired wave is A Look, but something about it also feels effortlessly cool. Pump up the volume and define your curl pattern with a diffuser attachment and work through your curls with a boar brush.
The look: Classic Blowout
You can never go wrong with a fresh blowout and some soft curls to add a bouncy, hair-flowing-in-the-wind look. Part your hair down the center, and add tons of volume to your hair with a large-barreled curling iron.
The look: Halo Braid
You’re going to a wedding; the name of the game is romance, and there’s nothing more dreamy and romantic than a boho crown braid and face-framing tendrils. If you have slippery hair, a dry shampoo (even on clean hair) will provide plenty of grip and add volume to braided hairstyles.
The look: Box Braids
There’s nothing like a set of fresh box braids to get you in the mood to dance the night away. Wear them long and pushed forward, or show off your neckline when you push them back, behind your shoulders. Just be sure to massage a hydrating oil into your scalp and edges to moisturize and refresh your braids before the big night.