It seems the mandatory, "over-styled, wedding-day hair" rule has been overturned (goodbye hot-rollers and big, crunchy curls!). Wedding 'dos now span the gamut, with even Kate Middleton going for a more relaxed, hair-down choice for her royal nuptials. But even the most laid-back of ceremonies still calls for something special. So, when it comes to picking a gorgeous-yet-wearable wedding hairstyle, don't assume you have to stick to one of wedding season's tried-and-trues, like the basic French twist, the traditional chignon, or the oh-so-tired updo with curly tendrils. To help keep your wedding-day options fresh (and quell any bridezilla tendencies), we rounded up four inspiring and easy-to-replicate looks that mix elegance with edge—perfect for your big day or any wedding on your calendar this summer.
1. The Boho Braid—
This half-up mix of French braids and flowing locks may have been created for the runway by stylist James Pecis for Moroccanoil, but its relaxed beauty effortlessly transitions to a natural, organic wedding hairstyle. Start by spraying hair with a touchable hairspray that works well with heat, then blow-dry away from the face and with an upward motion to give the hair some lift. Next, slightly backcomb at the top of the head, teasing a bit more along the front of the hairline, and add more hairspray. Create two French braids on each side of the head, starting at the temples. Angle the braids toward the middle-back of the head, and continue braiding until they meet. Secure braids together, then let the rest of the hair cascade freely. Finish by adding a texturing spray to the unbraided hair.
From left: Rockaholic Styling Groupie Texturizing Spray Pomade, $11.39, available at Target; Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray, $21, vist Moroccanoil for locations; Nanette Lepore fall '11 images courtesy of Morrocanoil.
2. Romantic Rockabilly—
The pompadour-meets-the-French twist with this retro-inspired, piled-high 'do. To get the look, follow Redken stylist Giovanni Giuntoli's tips and prep the hair by applying styling cream to the roots and through the ends to add body and texture, and blow-dry. Next, fold all of the hair—except for the front section two inches from the crown—into a French twist. Curl small sections of the front two inches with a one-inch barrel and pin each up in place on top of the head. Finish the look with hairspray.
From left: Redken Shine Flash 02 Glistening Mist, $17, visit Redken for locations; Hot Tools Gold 1" Curling Iron, $31.99, available at Ulta; Kerastase Mousse Volumeactive, $37, available at Kerastase; Kenneth Pool '11 images courtesy of Redken.
3. Pony Up—
Add a sense of playfulness to any wedding ensemble with a bouncy, natural ponytail—it may be simple, but the soft volume at the crown keeps it glamorous. Start with a bouncy blowout (apply a volumizing styling cream to damp hair), or leave your natural wave. Tease hair at the crown and spray with hairspray—Giunoli recommends tailoring the height at the crown to your face shape. Next, gather the hair into a pony and wrap a one-inch section around the elastic (secure underneath the ponytail with a bobby-pin). Mist with a shine spray for a glossy polish.
From left: Redken Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray, $16.50, visit Redken for locations; Suave Professionals Vibrant Shine Spray, $3.49, available at Soap.com; Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream, $31.80, visit Moroccanoil for locations; Amsale fall '11 images courtesy of Redken.
4. Soft Focus—
Amika hairstylist, Michael Dueñas, created this soft, romantic side-bun for the Lela Rose resort '12 show, but it also translates perfectly into a wedding 'do. Start with clean, dry hair, and spritz on styling spray designed for hold and volume, then blow it out a bit using a soft-bristle brush. Next, take a small section of hair, twist it lightly, then wrap the entire twist around the barrel of a clip-free curling-iron. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat throughout the rest of the hair. Once the curls have cooled, comb through with your fingers, then gently gather hair into a loose side-bun and pin. Use your fingers to create a soft texture around the face by taking a few strands that frame the face and rub them between the thumb and index finger. Finish by spraying a small amount of shine spray into the palm and smooth it lightly over the hair. Click here to see what to wear to a wedding
, assuming your not the bride
From left: Amika 19mm Tourmaline Clip Free Curler, $139, available at Amika; Amika Obliphica Finishing Shine Spray, $24, available at Amika; Living Proof Full Root Lifting Spray, $26, available at Sephora; Lela Rose resort '12 images courtesy of Amika and David Nicholas.