The music starts. You take your first step and it feels as if you’re floating. The walk down the aisle on your wedding day is the one dreamy moment you’ve played over in your mind a thousand times. All eyes will be on you, and the silhouette you create when you enter the room.
What makes a picture-perfect bride? You must match your curly coif with the style of your wedding gown, says curl expert Christo of New York’s Christo Fifth Avenue salon.
It’s a critical step in creating the overall look on your wedding day. In fact, Christo says he always asks to see a bride’s dress before even considering how to style her hair.
Here we provide several sensational style options to match the five most-popular dream dresses. Whether you envision a wedding day steeped in elegant tradition or dazzling drama, you’ll find a solution that best suits you!
Allover beaded lace gown with empire waist from David's Bridal
STYLE: A Renaissance dress with a raised waistline placed just below the bust, while the rest of the gown flows freely to the hem.
BEST SUITED FOR: Curly
This captivating gown is reminiscent of the Victorian era. (Think of Ang Lee’s movie “Sense & Sensibility.”)
“This is my favorite dress for naturally curly hair, because you can leave a lot of curls showing,” Christo says. “You can wear your curls either tied back or loose, and it’s very romantic.”
If you choose to wear your hair half-up, half-down, Christo suggests taking small sections of curls — starting from the temples and then ear to ear — and tie them into small knots (as you would a rope). To sprinkle in more romance and innocence, adorn the ‘do with baby’s breath or miniature roses.
“You can also add extensions for a more dramatic look, as long as they match your hair texture,” Christo says.
Wedding Gown Style #15454 from Christina Wu
STYLE: A traditional, fairy-tale dress with a fitted bodice and full skirt. Think Cinderella!
BEST SUITED FOR: Curly
This enchanting gown also offers several style options for curly brides, especially those with long, textured tresses, according to Christo.
“The ball gown is more dramatic, so you can create more drama with your curls,” Christo says. “You can go with big hair because the gown is full on the bottom. If the dress is over the shoulders and you’re showing the back a bit, leave the hair down, and you can even add extensions. If you choose a high neckline, put some of the hair up and create big, glamorous curls.”
Or, opt for a modern French twist, allowing some curls to peek out from the back and around the face.
Style #7108 from Simone Carvalli
STYLE: A dramatic dress that hugs your curves from the bust to the knee, then flares out to the hem.
BEST SUITED FOR: Wavy to Curly
This alluring gown looks best with hair in beautiful waves, letting them flow like the sea’s cascading currents.
“This dress is very romantic, allowing for a lot of movement,” says Christo, noting that brides with tighter curls may want to consider softening the spirals into waves.
His style suggestion? Create a little height at the crown, gather one side of your loose curls or waves and sweep them back with a flower, then let it be!
Consider a richly fragrant, beautiful bloom like a wild gardenia, calla lily, magnolia, or the ever-romantic rose.
Y11109 - Jewel Dress from Sophia Tolli
STYLE: A classic dress that is fitted around the bust and flows out to the hem, resembling the shape of an uppercase A.
BEST SUITED FOR: Straight to Wavy
You can also wear this dress with curly hair, but you’ll want to simplify your texture, Christo says.
“This dress always looks best when the hair is pulled up,” he says. “If you leave your curly hair down, you’re taking a style that’s very simple and you’re making it very busy. If you have tight curls, loosen them up a bit with a curling iron.”
Christo suggests positioning the hair off the face into a side-swept, loose ponytail or pulling it back into a bun (with a few curls peeking out) and accessorize! If you have wavy hair or loose curls, use a curling iron all around and then tuck small groupings of curls away from the face.
Another option? Create a ponytail at the crown, then loop the hair in a chignon around the ponytail. Add a simple, beautiful flower, and you’re done!
Style #1847 from Casablanca Bridal
STYLE: An elegant sheath dress that hugs the body from the neckline to the hem.
BEST SUITED FOR: Straight to Wavy
If you chose this body-contouring style, remember that less is more when it comes to creating a magnificent mane.
“This is another simple style so the hair shouldn’t be busy," Christo says. "It should be completely off the face. If you show too many curls, it will look enormous compared to the dress!”
Instead, he suggests gently pulling back your textured tresses with a side or off-center part, then create a twist, a simple ponytail or a low bun. Add a touch of elegance with natural flowers — or a little glitter to spice it up a bit.
Planning tips for curly brides:
- No matter what curly style you choose, make sure your hair is healthy for that all-important day. Use a deep-conditioning treatment every week, consistently, to add moisture and prevent split ends. And, make sure you head to the salon for a great cut and touch-up color, if needed.
- Don’t stray too far from your everyday style. This is not the time to experiment! “Don’t blow-dry your hair straight and put it into a bun, if it doesn’t represent you,” Christo warns. “Don’t do something on your wedding day that is not you, where you look like a whole different person. Remember those pictures will stay with you for the rest of your marriage!”
- Most important, don’t put your hair last on your wedding to-do list. “Your hair is one of the most important elements of your wedding day,” Christo says. “Invest time and money to do a trial session, it’s very important to have style options to choose from.”