‘Non-wedding’ wedding hair – some inspiration

I’ve just returned from a beautiful country barn wedding up in Cheshire; the sun was shining, the prosecco was flowing and the bride looked absolutely stunning. Watching one of my best friends get wed, coupled with the exciting/scary knowledge that my own nuptials are less than a year away, has accelerated me into wedding mode. I’ve already bored you with some (many) of my favourite gowns but recently my thoughts have turned to another essential part of the wedding prep…. hair.

Gemma and Dave Photo credit: Nicola Thompson Photography 

This weekend, Gemma wore her hair in the simplest, loveliest way: loose and natural, the way she wears it every day. Which meant that even in her gloriously extravagant princess gown, she looked like herself on her wedding day. For me, this is what ‘wedding hair’ is all about; making you look like the very best version of you. And thankfully the heyday of the scraped-back Croyden face lift seems to be well and truly over, this year’s bridal shows awash with messy braids, flowing waves and loose knots. Given my boho wedding theme (and that my idea of an up do is a very messy bun, the fewer grips and less hairspray the better), I couldn’t be happier! Below, I’ve gathered together some of my favourite images and inspiration for ‘non-wedding wedding hair’…

Long and loose

Jenny Packham and Claire Pettibone sent their ‘brides’ down the runway with their hair loose and natural, romantic waves being the perfect complement to the flowing bohemian dresses.Wavy midsection at Jenny Packham

Claire Pettibone 2015

And off the catwalk…

Tiny plaitsLove the tiny plaits scattered through this messy down-do.

Messy headpieceTwig bandThis photo by Katerina Plotnikova is incredible. Getting twigs stuck in your hair never looked so good.

Loose curls


At Ines di Santo and Zac Posen’s 2015 shows, messy waves made way for retro glam curls, a more polished look that would work so well with a long silk vintage gown.

Zac Posen Spring 2015Zac Posen Spring 2015

Theia 2015

And then Theia (above) spoke directly to my ongoing quest for volume with OTT bouffant styling (by the way: if anyone else shares the depressing combination of fine, flat locks and an obsession with voluminous hair, you have to try this miracle in-shower product. It genuinely does work and it only costs a tenner).


Fishtail plaits, intricately twisted buns, cascading french braids – this summer, plaited hair is ubiquitous on Instagram, fashion/beauty blogs and anywhere there might be some sort of festival going on. With braids no longer restricted to the aisle, this has become a more natural look and the obvious starting point for a wedding up do.

Reem Acra Bridal Spring/Summer 2016 Runway ShowReem Acra parted hair down the middle into a single braid, with tiny pearls woven throughout – so beautiful!

Elizabeth Fillmore Spring 2015Thin braids interwoven into low buns at Elizabeth Fillmore.

Some more braided beauties

big braidNot suggesting denim cut-offs for the wedding, but this side braid is everything!

Plait hatUndone braidPart braidedPlaited bun

Loose ponies and messy buns

Not just for tennis, ponytails can absolutely work for brides too – just stay away from the aggressively slicked back buns of old. I loved Claire Pettibone’s low-lying braided interpretation with wispy stray strands, creating a vibe that was less sports field and more boho fairy (two pics below).

Messy pony at Claire Pettibone

Claire Pettibone 2015 - ponytail

Veronica Sheaffer Spring 2015Veronica Sheaffer Spring 2015

And off of the runways:

Twisted ponyTwisted ponytailBig pony

Hair pieces

Elizabeth Fillmore 2015Elizabeth Fillmore 2015

Ines di Santo 2015 headpieceInes di Santo 2015

Who doesn’t love a floral crown? That said, if full-on Midsummer Night’s Dream is a bit much, there are so many subtle options to choose from. I personally love the idea of a thin strand of ivy or leaves woven through a braid but a chain of small pearls would work just as nicely for a more glamourous look. Carolina Herrera dotted her Fall 2015 bridal ponies with oversized pearls, like fabulous baubled Christmas fairies, while Marchesa wove tiny diamante flowers through the models’ loose waves.

Carolina Herrera hair pearls Fall 2015Marchesa Fall 2015

Jenny Packham Fall 2014

Or for something more Gatsby, I still love the way Jenny Packham finished her up-dos in the 2014 shows – with silver floral headbands. There’s that low pony again…

Some more ideas from hours of Pinterest procrastination below.
Green leaf wreathGarland
The images above (and the featured image at the top of this post) are from Burnetts Boards, a dangerous rabbit hole of wedding ideas. I can lose myself for hours on this website. The styled shoots are incredible – I defy anyone not to feel inspired after browsing these!

flower wreathRue de SeineBig flower headpiecedaisiesHair pieceCristina y CesarIce crownBeauty in ShadowsLeaf bandKiss

So many choices and only one wedding ! Sigh…

Images from Pinterest and Spring/Fall 2015 bridal shows. Click on Pinterest images for original links. 


I’m a publisher working in Covent Garden and living in Woodford, East London, with my King Charles Cavalier JD, and my boyfriend Pete. I’m posting about London living – eating, drinking, seeing art, style and reading books. Anything and everything really…

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