• Kimberley

Magical winter wedding hairstyles - 16 bridal updo’s & halfup-halfdown inspiration for winter brides


I know we have only just had our summer holidays and I am busy with styling brides for the Autumn. But if you are getting married this Winter now is the time to start thinking about your wedding hairstyle and getting your trial booked in.


I love a winter wedding. There is something magical in the air. Add in some woolly throws, twinkly lights and candles and I am there! Enchanting, rustic, vintage, boho themes - I’ve seen them all and each is as wonderful as the last. Hair styling for a winter wedding as always depends on your dress neckline and the theme you are going for. But the biggie to consider in the UK is the weather! It can be rainy - like heavens open rainy, windy and cold. And you don’t want your hair and makeup looking anything other than picture perfect, especially as you have gone to a lot of trouble to get to this point. So in this blog I have thought back over some of the most magical winter weddings I have been involved with along with some new inspiration for you whilst catering for the worst the weather can throw at you!


My top three considerations when thinking about a winter wedding hairstyle are your:

  • Wedding Dress style - high neck long sleeves and are you using throws / stole / cape / wraps;

  • Wedding Theme - winter wedding, rustic, boho, magical etc;

  • Wedding Venue - indoor/outdoor weather - wind, rain, snow.


Your wedding outfit

A lot of winter brides choose their wedding dress to match the time of year - long sleeves, button backs and high necklines along with a cape, stole or shrug to keep warm while walking down the aisle and having their pictures taken outside. If you are considering wrapping anything around you, it is important that this is taken into consideration when choosing your hairstyle.


The hair sits above the woollen wrap in this snowy winter wedding. Source: Style Me Pretty


If your dream wedding hairstyle is a low chignon or bun either at the side or the back, the bottom of the bun may rub against your stole. This will make your hair look messy and weaken the hairstyle enough to cause it to loosen or fall out. It can also feel bulky to have everything in one place. You can still have a bun, but you just need to make sure that it is high enough so that it doesn’t rub on what you are wrapping around you. And make sure you let your wedding hairdresser know that you’ll be wearing something over your shoulders so that they can make your hair high enough. Having a trial is important because you might find that the higher bun isn’t what you were looking for and you will need to try out several positions to make sure you get the look you were aiming for.




Perhaps you have chosen a high necked dress which buttons up the back or has a lovely fabric or detailing that you want to show off. Then there is a practical as well as a beautiful point to consider. Hair gets tangled in buttons. For some reason it just does, it always finds a way! That plus you have a beautiful backed dress and will want to show it off. So going for an updo is something I would recommend to my brides who have chosen this look. For inspiration take a look at my previous blog on the most beautiful bridal updo’s which has lots of pictures along with some tips.

Updo’s on high necked dresses go well, elongating your silhouette.

Buttons and detail aside high-necked wedding dresses tend to look best with a high hairstyle that elongates your neckline. Adding height to your hair can achieve an elegant look giving a longer silhouette and showing off you and your dress perfectly. You can soften the look by leaving a few curls or strands of hair loose to frame your face. I love this look as it is so romantic!


I love this fashionably cosy winter wedding style above from the Junebug weddings blog. The soft messy bun with a braid to pull the hair off of the face looks so pretty.

In this style I have swept up a lot of long hair into a high bun and left some tendrils of hair around the face to soften the whole look. Very Cinderella! Below some sparkle has been added to this messy updo to finish the style off perfectly. The crystal and pearl bridal hair comb accessory can be found at Enze Bridal on Etsy.


If you want to have your hair down then perhaps consider a half up half down hairstyle or one that is swept to the side which will keep your hair from your face and can be fixed in place just in case it is windy. That way your hair won’t be continually flying across your face for your photographs.


The boho hairstyle above was created for a winter wedding with the hair swept back from the face in a relaxed half up half down style. The accompanying flower crown is the perfect choice for this bohemian look using seasonal flowers and berries. The full range of photos from this boho wedding can be found on the Junebug wedding blog.

I created the above style with waves, curls and a loose braid to pull the hair away from the face whilst keeping a romantic and natural feel.

In this photo I am partway through an elaborate updo with braids, curls and twists on very long hair. But you can get the feel of what this would look like if it were kept half up half down. Also it shows how it can be softened with loose tendrils around the face.


Winter wedding hair accessories

Nowadays the time of the year doesn't always limit your choice of flowers as they can be shipped from all over the world. If you are opting for a seasonal theme then flowers can be more limited but there are still lots of natural options and greenery for winter flower crowns or sprigs weaved into your hair. If you do opt for flowers pick ones that will last well in the cold or radiator type heat - your wedding florist will be able to advise you.

A winter wedding is definitely the time for a touch of magic, glam and sparkle!

For a bit of glam I often advise going for a bit of sparkle in the hair such as crystal hairpins, combs, tiaras or hairvines which create a stunning winter look. They also bring a bit of light and shine lifting the hair in the winter light. If ever you were going to choose sparkle - now is the time!


I created a pleat in the shoulder length dark brown hair above. The crystal comb accessory added the finishing touch and really lifted the style. The wedding blog Something Turquoise suggests adding sprigs of greenery to a braid to create a christmas wedding look. I really like how pretty, rustic and natural looking this wedding hairstyle is. And it compliments the beautiful back of the wedding dress.


Whether you opt for a classic chignon, boho or modern look, your wedding hairstyle should complement your dress and be your crowning glory.


Photo from Something Turquoise via Qerida Valentina.


Your wedding venue and the UK weather

Outdoor winter wedding photographs are just enchanting. The winter light, early sunsets and the golden hour photographs will give such a romantic look to your photographs. So it is not surprising that most brides will want outdoor photographs. So let's deal with the weather biggie. You will need to think about the style you want versus the practicality of the weather and venue. If it is wet and windy loose locks are not going to last long and will fall quickly. Fine hair in particular does not do well and goes limp very quickly. It’s not all bad though. Because that all said, cool air can hold your hair in place much better than the summer months and the lack of humidity means frizz and sweat is at a minimum.


Green Wedding Shoes shared the above inspiration for a winter wedding warmly wrapped up in a lovely woollen tartan shrug. The soft tendrils of hair around the face and the gentle sweep to the side compliment this cozy romantic wedding look.


If the weather is concerning you and rain is likely then go for a stunning updo. You can create a romantic, elegant or modern look - there are so many options. A classic chignon requires little maintenance and having something swept back off your face and pinned in will give you the security that your hair will look as good at the end of the day as it did at the beginning. Of course you can always have some pretty umbrellas on standby!


This elegant clifftop wedding in Scotland is showcased via Style Me Pretty. The most lovely outdoor wedding setting with the backdrop of Scottish countryside and castles. Having the brides hair styled into a messy low bun with a few tendrils of hair to soften the look around the face ensured that the windy conditions didn't affect the hair and photographs.


Hair in the winter can become dry due to the weather and central heating. I usually recommend a couple of treatments in the run up to the wedding day to make sure that your hair is in the best condition it can be. And also don’t forget to get your colour topped up. Colour in the winter is great for adding some warmth in what can be cold light.

Your hairdresser should be able to help you get healthy, rich, shiny hair ready for those picture perfect photos like that below where I styled this lovely long hair to the side twisted and curled into a side bun updo.


Follow these tips and not even the weather will ruin your tresses! For more inspiration check out my Winter Wedding Pinterest board, Inspiration Gallery on my website and follow my Instagram and Facebook pages. And don’t forget that these styles can also be used for your bridesmaids too.


If you would like me to help you get your picture perfect winter wedding hair then please get in touch.


Kimberley


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Bridal Hair and Makeup by Kimberley  |  Professional wedding hairstylist and bridal makeup artist covering Bristol, Bath, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Devon, South Wales, the Cotswolds and the South West.  

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