Find out the dos and don'ts for your 'do on your friend or family member's big day!
Everybody loves a good wedding, but deciding how to wear your hair can be a source of unnecessary stress on your special day. What with the rise of non-traditional weddings and relaxing of certain conventions, these days working out how to do your hair as a wedding guest can be trickier than ever.
With that in mind, we’ve put together some of the most popular wedding guest hairstyles depending on wedding theme and formality, from classic black tie to more unconventional boho-chic.
Read on for wedding hair ideas and a few tips on etiquette so that regardless of venue, you never look under or overdressed.
Wedding hats: what's appropriate?
When it comes to headgear, the authority on British etiquette Debrett's says: “While it’s true that a hat can elevate an outfit from ‘garden party’ to ‘elegant wedding,’ many women simply prefer not to wear one – whether for comfort, taste, or because they want their outfit to do the talking."
Today, while traditional wedding hats aren’t as popular as they used to be, they can still take your outfit to the next level. Just be sure to take them off when indoors and spritz some of our Volume Lift Lightweight Hairspray to keep those tresses looking full and not flat.
Black tie wedding guest hairstyles
“Black tie” first came into force in the Edwardian era as the default evening look, and is the formal dress code for a social function that starts after 6pm. Black tie is usually for weddings held later in the day, although take note: there should be no hats or headpieces worn after this time.
Hair should be well groomed. Think of the words ‘dressy’ and ‘finished,’ and aim for short, slick side partings, barrel tonged waves, ballerina buns and hair up.
Hats should be replaced with hair accessories (try pearl or Swarovski barrettes), because when wearing a formal dress, you don’t want an oversized hat spoiling the silhouette.
Black tie wedding guest hair ideas
If you have short hair, try a minimalist slick-down for a neat, model-esque look. For a flawless finish, apply Frizz Ease 100% Shine Glossing Mist to target static frizz and flyaways.
If you have medium length hair, opt for the super slick side part (try flat irons for polish), and use Frizz Ease Extra Strength 6+ Effects Serum to ensure a frizz-free day.
If your locks are long, try a barrel tong wave or a classic Hollywood wave, and style with Frizz Ease Forever Smooth Blow Dry Styling Spray for ultra-refined locks. Top it off with a dainty metallic hair crown or headband.
For tips and tutorials on wedding guest updo hairstyles, especially for those in the bridal party, read our article on easy bridesmaid updos. Or, for a summer black tie wedding, visit our article on summer updo hairstyles that’ll also help keep you cool.
'City slicker' wedding guest hairstyles
City weddings are usually super chic and elegant affairs. The reception venue for an urban wedding can vary, and may take place in a hotel, upscale club, restaurant or even a local pub. As a result the dress code depends time and place, but you can usually afford to go a little trendier and less formal than black tie.
City weddings usually take place indoors so if you’re wearing a hat, this will need removing to avoid being seen as rude. If you’re not a wedding hat person, you could try elevating your hairstyle with some elegant hair clips, silver bows or bands that have interesting metallic tones.
City wedding guest hair ideas
If you have short hair, semi-styled is the way to go. Use a tong and our Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum to inject a wave and a certain polish to the ends.
If you have medium length hair, go for a slick bob or lob and straighten for glass-like shine with Frizz Ease Perfect Finish Polishing Serum for a fashionable, urban vibe.
And if your hair is long, try accessorising with clips, either worn loose or in an updo. If adding clips to thin hair, don’t forget to texturise with Moisture Barrier Intense Hold Hairspray, as they can have a tendency to slip out.
Country wedding guest hairstyles
Country weddings are the time to celebrate all things rustic, vintage, and a little bit shabby-chic. In recent years, a lot of country weddings have gone down the rough-and-ready route of being held in barns or fields, but they can also be more grand affairs in a marquee, stately home or country hotel.
Styles differ depending on the couple’s taste, but generally speaking country weddings are a little less traditionally formal than black tie or city weddings, meaning you can be more liberal in your dress and hairstyle. If you’re in a marquee, think about using natural or faux flowers in your hair, weaved into a half-up, half-down style. If it’s in a stately house, draw inspiration from iconic vintage or art deco styles for polish and poise.
Country wedding guest hair ideas
If your hair is down to your temples, try swooping it up in a quiff. Apply a small amount of hair gel to damp hair before combing your upwards. Spray Forever Smooth Blow Dry Styling Spray evenly and use a blow dryer to blow the quiff into shape.
For medium length hair, try an exaggerated side part, which looks chic and edgy at the same time. Comb your desired parting with your fingers, then use Fine to Full Blow-Out Spray for additional volume.
And if you have long tresses, twist or plait hair and roll into a low messy bun makes for a lovely option for a relaxed updo hairstyle.
Boho wedding guest hairstyles
“Boho” style, short for “bohemian”, is all about being unconventional and non-traditional, while still channelling a seemingly effortless elegance. Boho weddings have become extremely popular in recent years, especially among free-spirited and creative couples. Etiquette wise, you definitely don’t need to worry about formality.
A lot of Boho-style weddings take inspiration from romantic mythical and fairytale settings. Boho is about “rule-breaking” so don’t worry about hair being perfect. It’s all about the fly-aways and letting your hair down. Flowers, pearls, braided hairstyles, Grecian crowns, and ribbons – anything goes.
Curly hairstyles for wedding guests
With a long day of ceremonies and receptions in store, for curly-haired wedding guests frizziness is a huge nemesis – particularly as a lot of boho weddings take place outdoors. Activate defined curls and defeat frizziness with our Frizz Ease range for curly and wavy hair.
After preparing your curls with Frizz Ease Dream Curls Shampoo and Conditioner, apply a small amount of Dream Curls Curl Defining Crème for a salon smooth finish. You’re good to go!
Boho wedding guest hair ideas
If you’ve got short hair, pixie cuts can be left undone and fluffy. Or, if you’re growing out a shaved head, then gently spike and apply hairspray for volume.For medium length hair, wavy bobs are the order of the day. Keep everything in place with Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Intense Hold Hairspray.
If you’re working with long tresses, you could try a messy top knot, half-up, half-down with a roll or plaits or even surf-girl waves. Anything that moves goes perfectly with the relaxed vibe. Spritz on some Fine to Full Blow Out Spray for volume.
Hopefully we’ve supplied you with enough wedding guest hair ideas for you to make an entrance while keeping to the dress code. For more wedding hair tips, check out our article on bridal hairstyles to try this year. Ultimately, as far as etiquette goes, our main piece of advice would be to try not to upstage the bride – she certainly won’t thank you for that!