Classic Hairstyles

Martha Stewart Weddings, Volume 12 2000

Upswept styles have long been favored among brides, who appreciate their elegance, versatility, and low maintenance. What's more, an upsweep best reveals the bride's face, so guests can glimpse her eyes and smile as she walks down the aisle.

To Consider
Your wedding-day hairstyle should not only flatter your face, it should also be in keeping with your overall look. Consider all the elements -- your height, dress, veil, and headpiece. If you have chosen a tiara, for example, don't wear a low chignon or a braid, because the headpiece and your hair will pull the focus in opposite directions. If you're wearing a short, bare slipdress, and a sculpted upsweep seems a bit too formal, consider letting a few tendrils loose around your face and neck to soften the effect. In order to feel the most comfortable, you'll also want a look that isn't too different from your usual style. Try to incorporate bangs, if you have them, and your usual part -- side or center -- into the upsweep.

Choosing the Perfect Style
Schedule an appointment with your hairdresser at least one month before the wedding; try to pick a day when you have a prenuptial event or plan a date with your fiance because you'll want to test how the style feels and holds up. Bring your veil, headpiece, and earrings, a photo of your gown, and some photos of styles you like. Once you've found what works, your stylist will arrange your hair as it will look on your wedding day. Bring along an instant camera to take photographs from different angles. Study the photos, and refine the style: Should the back be flatter? Do the sides need more width? Have your hairdresser work through these problems now to avoid any last-minute crises. Now the only thing you'll have to remember before revisiting the hairdresser on your wedding day is to wash your hair the night before instead of the morning of the wedding; freshly-washed hair can cause static.


Hairstyle Gallery
Bun
A sprinkling of ceramic roses softens the look of this chic style; the bases of the hairpins are secured under the bun.

Chignon
The classic chignon used to be arranged to resemble a figure eight, but today's loose styles are arranged either high on the head or at the nape. Here, pearl and diamante hairpins add sparkle.

 

French Pleat
The elegant French pleat, or French twist, has a streamlined silhouette and lends itself to just about any headpiece. It has numerous variations -- softly rolled with pieces framing the face, high and tight like a ballerina's, or uneven with a few wisps sticking out like feathers. Here, a formal, high upsweep is created by backcombing the crown and sculpting big barrel curls above the tightly rolled pleat.

 

Tiara
Instead of a crown of curls, this French pleat features a backcombed "baby beehive" -- a delicate, high-domed coif, which is the perfect setting for a tiara.

Braid
A lush braid pulled back from the face and wound around the back of the head is quite dramatic, drawing attention to the jawline and ears. Instead of wearing a hairpiece, the bride can decorate the braid, weaving it with satin ribbons, studding it with pearls, or scattering tiny flowers throughout it.

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