Bridal Hair Perfection - How to choose your perfect hair style and accessories

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For today's post, I've joined forces with Award Winning Hair Stylist, Chris Fordham, who has shared his top tips for planning your wedding hair style and choosing the perfect accessory. When it comes to your special day, it really pays to have a professional do your hair; they will be used to seeing their work on camera and will know how to achieve the best from your hair. Chris has a lot of experience of working with brides; not only is he a 4 times award winning Bridal Hair Stylist and Winner of 'Bridal Hair Stylist of the Year', So Glos Weddings have featured him as one of their top inspirational wedding Instagram accounts to follow - find all his details at the end of the blog! Now, over to Chris for some wedding hair advice...

(Side note: Pictures of hairstyles are taken from the Inspired Collection and are used to illustrate Chris' examples. You can see examples of Chris' work on Instagram and read about the Inspired Collection on the blog)

Bridal Hair and Accessories

So you’ve booked the big day, decided on the dress and now you’re wondering what on earth to do with your hair!! As a bridal hair specialist for over 20 years I’ve created hundreds of different looks for brides and bridesmaids and worked with all types of hair from luscious thick locks to finer and less voluminous tresses. I travel to venues across the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire styling bridal hair at stunning wedding venues and hold private trial appointments at ‘The Secret Salon’ near Stroud, the luxurious hidden idyllic salon.


I always advise that you start thinking about the look for your hair and make up as soon as you can, a year before may seem very early but you may want to grow your hair or change the colour which could take several appointments to achieve your new look.

Pinterest is a great way to save your ideas, I tell brides to just ‘pin’ any hair style that appeals to them, the important thing here is to not overthink it or presume that a style won’t work with your hair type or length of hair etc. you’d be surprised what we can create, viewing your board of saved hairstyles also gives me as a hairdresser an idea of your ‘personal vibe’, so whilst we might not copy an exact style you have chosen we can create a style based on looks that you have pinned and that appeal to you.

Short Hair

Brides often worry that short hair isn’t the tradition ‘Bridal’ look, but short hair needn’t mean dull and boring! If you’ve always dreamed of a messy up do for your big day you may be surprised at what can be created with shorter hair. A bob length style can be pinned up and styled in such a way that it creates the illusion of much longer hair put into an up do, almost an optical illusion! There’s also the option of clip in hair extensions which are completely undetectable and a great way to add additional length or even just to add more volume.

Short hair can challenge brides with the choice of accessory but it’s just a case of finding the correct method of fixing the headdress or accessory securely. Items with a spring type clip attached are often better than accessories with combs as they will hold into the hair securely where a comb may slip. It’s also advisable to have a small amount of backcombing placed into the hair for the clip to grab on to, if you find an item that you love but it has the wrong type of fitting it’s worth asking a designer if they can alter it, this is the beauty of buying a bespoke piece from a designer.

Spring clips, like sectioning clips, are a great way of securing your hair piece in place.

Spring clips, like sectioning clips, are a great way of securing your hair piece in place.


Choosing the right wedding hair accessory.

It can feel like a minefield out there with so many options available. Choosing a designer who creates their own work opens up options of having a bespoke piece created for you or a current design in their catalogue altered if you need it to be a different size. One very popular design that many brides are choosing is the hair vine, a headdress which is essentially a long wire design with beads, pearls or crystals (or a combination) twisted into the design. The beauty of a vine is that it can be worn in different ways and twisted around a hairstyle, this means that vines will suit a multitude of styles and looks!

" Elizabeth hair vine ", worn to the side

"Elizabeth hair vine", worn to the side

"Sophie" hair vine , styled around an up-do

"Sophie" hair vine, styled around an up-do

Individual pins with beads, pearls or crystals attached can be a beautifully simple and understated way to add a decorative touch if you don’t want anything too large, they can also be grouped together if you want a larger area covered and they are the perfect accessory for a bridesmaid or flower girl. And the long favoured headband type accessory is perfect for both long AND short hairstyles giving a very secure hold as it grips to the head at either side and can be gently bent to reshape for more comfort.

Group  hair pins  together or opt for a single statement pin

Group hair pins together or opt for a single statement pin

Tiaras  sit securely in your hair - perfect for brides who tend to fiddle with their hair!

Tiaras sit securely in your hair - perfect for brides who tend to fiddle with their hair!

Things to avoid!

When thinking about your wedding hair I would say that one important thing is to be flexible with ideas. I have so often been asked to create curls or waves on poker straight hair knowing full well this type of hair will drop the curl incredibly quickly. I will obviously advise suitable options for different hair types and hopefully a bride is open to different options. Most of the time people are happy to be advised by experts who know what they are doing and what styles will both suit your look and hair type, so be willing to listen and change your planned look, you will be pleasantly surprised at options you may not have considered for your hair type!

And lastly I would say that you must relax and enjoy the big day, so many brides say that their wedding day flies by in a flash and they wished they’d worried less in advance. The wedding morning and getting ready with your gang of bridesmaids should be the prelude to a wonderful day ahead and many years of happy marriage!

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About the author:

Chris Fordham is a 4 times award winning Bridal Hair Stylist and winner of Bridal Hair Stylist of the Year. He is based in the Cotswolds at The Secret Salon, near Stroud.