The Best Hairstyles for Every Wedding Dress Neckline
Now that you've selected a wedding dress, it's time to turn your attention to your hair. The best course of action? Don't treat your dress and your bridal hairstyle like they're mutually exclusive. Instead, your hair (however you choose to wear it!) should work complement and enhance your wedding dress. When the two are in sync, you'll feel like the best version of yourself—and you'll look it, too.
If you're someone who doesn't have a lot of hairstyle know-how (the majority of us!), it's difficult to know where to start, especially when it comes to putting together a cohesive look. We tapped experts, Nunzio Saviano, owner of the eponymous salon in New York City, and Temur, lead stylist at Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger, for their insight into choosing that perfect style. Their top piece of advice? The easiest way to ensure that your bridal hair works in tandem with your wedding dress is to go by neckline.
Here, we've rounded up several hairstyles that perfectly suit today's most popular necklines, including scoop, off-the-shoulder, and high neck. It's important to note that some necklines will give you more creative freedom than others. "Some dresses demand a certain hairstyle, others, like the strapless dress, do not," says Saviano. Click through to discover the hairstyles that work best with your particular wedding dress—they just might change your entire vision of your bridal 'do.
Strapless: Hair Down
"This neckline is a green light for anything. It's just about what is going to look best on you. I prefer the hair down, but wearing it up can look really beautiful, too," says Saviano.
Case in point? This sleek, pulled-back hairstyle keeps a jewel-encrusted headpiece from looking too over-the-top.
Strapless: Loosely Braided
For Temur, a strapless dress is all about flaunting your shoulders. This textural fishtail braid keeps hair swept back and out of the way without feeling like an updo.
Strapless: High Bun
This ballerina-inspired topknot gets the romantic treatment, thanks to subtle volume at the crown—and it looks even lovelier when paired with a strapless sweetheart neckline.
Strapless: Half-Up, Half-Down with Braid
A half-up, half-down style will keep your hair both out of your face and show off your gown's neckline. Dress up the signature style with a braid and sprigs of baby's breath.
Boat Neck: All Up
The boat neck, also known as a bateau neck, is best paired with an updo, says Saviano. "When your hair is down, it can almost make the dress look narrow, and when it is open like this it will really look beautiful when the hair is up," she explains. We agree. The horizontal neckline—meant to show off your neck, collarbone, and shoulder points—begs for hair to be kept up and away.
Boat Neck: Off the Shoulders
Temur also recommended keeping hair off the shoulders for this particular neckline. "Wearing too much hair down with this look isn't flattering—you aren't able to see everything you want to show off," he says. A voluminous style, like this bride's natural curls, flaunts the neckline beautifully.
Boat Neck: Side Bun
Balance out a low side bun with a lacy hair accessory (that doesn't distract from your collarbones!) on the other side.
Boat Neck: Sleek Pony
Make like this bride and pair an illusion bateau neckline with a sleek ponytail. Pro tip: Wrap a one-inch strand around the hair for a more polished look.
Boat Neck: Low Bun
Keeping your hair up and away doesn't have to mean piled on top of your head. This bride's low bun, complete with a romantic twist, is the perfect way to highlight a boat neck—without taking hair to new heights.
"Off-the-shoulder is such a romantic neckline, so you want to keep the hair very soft," explains Temur. "What's great about that is that you can keep it straight and sleek or soften it up with some waves or curls. It depends on the bride!" A side-swept style, like this one, feels impossibly romantic, especially with cascading curls.
Off-the-Shoulder: Piecey Updo
Since this neckline is all about soft beauty, you'll want to keep things piecey. "Pulling out a few pieces of hair at the front would be the perfect pair to this dress style," Temur says. We love how this bride did just that by leaving a few tendrils out of her sleek fishtail braid.
Off-the-Shoulder: Floral Accessory
Take notes from this bride, who pinned back her curls with an ethereal fresh floral headpiece. It perfectly matches her gauzy off-the-shoulder sleeves.
Off-the-Shoulder: Braided Updo
A subtle braid adds structure to an updo, while floating curls bring that softness Temur loves for this wedding dress style.
Off-the-Shoulder: Half-Up, Half-Down with Flower Crown
Any half-up, half-down hairstyle suits this wedding dress neckline, but one topped with a flower crown feels like an especially appropriate pairing.
Dramatic Back: Side-Swept Waves with Braid
If you're rocking a wedding dress with an open back, be sure to keep hair away from the drama. "It's open for a reason," Saviano points out. If you want to wear your hair down, consider pulling it to one side—letting it hang in front—and elevating the look with a braid.
Dramatic Back: Chic Bun
For Temur, wearing a wedding dress with an open-back requires an updo. "There are so many ways you can go but a chic bun or pony at any length would work perfectly," he says.
Dramatic back: Under-Braid
Saviano has just one rule when it comes to this style: "The hair can't go over the fabric." If your wedding dress's back isn't entirely open—but is mostly bare—this is especially true.For a more modern look, opt for an under-braid style, which keeps hair pulled up.
Dramatic Back: Victorian Ponytail
A cross between a braid and a ponytail, this loose, soft style stops long hair from tumbling straight down your back.
Dramatic Back: Fishtail Updo
For open-back wedding dresses with intricate details, like lace, beading, or stitching, Saviano also recommends an equally-intricate updo. This fishtail style definitely fits the bill.
"For this wedding dress style, hair should be softly pulled back to show off the gorgeous V-neck on that special day," says Temur. "It doesn't need to be all up, but ensuring that the hair doesn't cover the neckline is essential." For the bride who doesn't want to commit to an updo, this side-swept, voluminous style is the perfect compromise.
V-Neck: Half-Up, Half-Down
When your curls are this pretty, you're just as obligated to show them off as you are to enhance your gown's neckline. Pull your hair into a half-pony and be sure to let several pieces free to frame your face.
V-Neck: Milk Maid Braid
A milk maid braid brings a bohemian feel to a classic neckline.
V-Neck: Side Braid
For thick-haired brides, a side braid ensures that your locks will remain off your décolletage, without looking harsh or pulled back.
V-Neck: Side Bun
A side bun works similarly, but is a better option for the bride who wants her hair entirely off the collarbone.
High Neck: Side-Part Updo
"A high neck wedding dress should be paired with pulled back hair to show off the neckline," says Temur. By keeping your hair away, like with this updo with a deep side-part, you'll keep all eyes on the fabric's pretty details.
High Neck: Wrapped Ponytail
Another way to keep the focus on the vintage-style neckline? A sleek ponytail.
High Neck: Center Braid
This fashion-forward, modern style is sleek on the sides, but voluminous up top. It's definitely flashy, but won't detract from or overwhelm a high-neck dress.
High Neck: Center Part with Headband
We love how this bride matched the laser-cut shapes on her wedding dress to the crystals in her headband.
High Neck: Braid-Wrapped Updo
A braided updo only enhances this bride's lacey, high neck look.
Scoop: Half-Up, Half-Down with Bangs
Temur's go-to hairstyle for scoop-neck wedding dresses is a half-up, half-down variation (we love how this beauty wore it, with bangs!). "This way, you can flaunt the neckline when you need to or push a few pieces into the front, too," he says.
Scoop: Faux Bob
If your scoop-neck wedding dress errs on the vintage side, a curly faux-bob—and a bold cat-eye—is an on-theme choice.
Scoop: Side-Swept with Twists
This bohemian wedding dress calls for a loose, twisted look. We'd add baby's breath or small buds for a free-spirited touch.
Scoop: Sleek Chignon with Veil
Pair a traditional chignon with a short veil to keep the classic vibes coming—a sleek center part will keep the look from feeling dated. Just be sure to arrange your veil behind your shoulders, so it doesn't interrupt the flow of the scoop neckline.
Scoop: Cascading Updo
This style pushes curls towards one side of the head and away from the feminine neckline just inches below.