Thanks to the stunning weather, beautiful foliage, and pumpkin spice everything, autumn is—understandably—one of the most popular times of the year to say “I do.” With holidays dedicated to celebrating friends, family, and joy, it makes sense why couples would want to tie the knot as the leaves start to fall.
If you’re invited to, or are having, a celebration from September to early December, there are a few seasonally-influenced checklist items you’ll need to consider. Case-in-point: your hairstyle. When selecting a fall wedding hairstyle, you’ll want to ensure that your chosen look is not only appropriate for the venue and formality, but also for the time of the year, too.
We’re breaking down everything you need to know about selecting a fall wedding hairstyle, so that you can celebrate the season with confidence and style.
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Whether you’re the one saying “I do,” standing up by your bestie’s side, or simply celebrating the couple as a guest, selecting a fall wedding hairstyle takes a bit of thought. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when choosing a ‘do that’ll hold up to anything that autumn throws your way.
Naturally, your fall wedding hairstyle will differ depending on whether you’re the bride, a bridesmaid, a host (such as the mother of the bride or mother of the groom), or a guest. Naturally, if this is your wedding or you’re hosting the celebration, a more elaborate style is appropriate; whereas, if you’re a guest, you won’t want to upstage the bride with an elaborate updo. If you’re a bridesmaid, it’s a good idea to check with the bride to see if she has a preferred style before you tell the stylist to go to town. Some brides prefer their entire party to wear matching or similar hairstyles (such as low buns or half up half down). If the bride doesn’t have a preference, consider the below—and be mindful of how the bride is wearing her hair—so that you look stunningly appropriate for the celebration.
The wedding setting plays a major role in selecting a fall wedding hairstyle for a variety of reasons. First of all, if the celebration is taking place outside, it’s especially important to be mindful of the weather. Fall months can still get rather warm—especially in southern regions—so heavy extensions or wearing your hair down might not be the best option if you’ll be facing warmth or humidity. On the flip side, some areas have especially cold or windy weather in the fall, which could make some style options that include free-flowing locks harder to set.
Not only should you consider the weather and venue type, but the style of the venue too. Curls or a half-up option would fare well at a barn wedding, while a glamorous updo would be fabulous in a castle venue. Intricate bridal hairstyles would look spectacular at a boho wedding or in an industrial setting.
Formality is a big component when selecting your wedding attire, but it also plays a role in your fall wedding hairstyle too. Updos, elaborate braids, sparkling accessories, and elegant ponies are usually best reserved for more formal occasions, while simple braids, buns, or even wearing your hair down are lovely choices for more casual fall weddings. Here are a few fall wedding hairstyle options broken down by formality:
A casual celebration—sometimes called “come as you are”—is just that: casual. Clean, brushed, and styled hair as you would wear for going to a nice lunch or dinner is perfectly acceptable in this formality. If you want to add some fall flavor to your look, incorporate a festive clip or hat for an autumn vibe.
A semi-formal or dressy casual celebration is a step up from casual, so think of it as if you were going to a nice brunch, date, dinner, or interview. Consider adding a few loose waves, changing up your part, or pulling one side back with a barrette for a quick, yet elevated take on your everyday style. While this isn’t the time for an updo, a fresh blowout or low bun are some great, elevated options for a cocktail event.
A formal fall celebration calls for a special look. A sleek low ponytail, half-up, half-down with curls, curled dreadlocks, or defined curls pinned back will all elevate your look for a more elegant event. To incorporate some fall vibes, add in jewel-toned clips, fresh florals, or even opt for lowlights instead of highlights for a darker, fall look.
The most formal of occasions, a black-tie or white-tie affair is the perfect time to up your elegance and opt for a fancy fall hairdo. Thick, intricate braids with fall leaves tucked in, artfully twirled bun with sparkling clips, colored cornrows twisted into an updo, and sleek, straight ponytails are all appropriate for any opulent autumn celebration.
Themes are always a fun way to add some uniqueness to a wedding, and we love when people lean into the chosen celebration theme. If you’re the bride, consider an accessory or headpiece that leans into the theme—such as a shell clip for a beach wedding or a feather headband for a glam Gatsby wedding—or a style that exudes the vibe, such as dramatic curls for a black-tie wedding or braids for a Palm Springs celebration.
What you wear to a fall wedding will greatly determine how you want to wear your hair. No matter your role in the celebration, you want a style that pulls your entire day-of look together instead of distracting from the overall aesthetic. Consider the neckline of your attire (higher necklines typically look great with hair pulled back or sleeked up), the overall style of your look (more formal or elaborate outfits call for more formal fall hairstyles), and the rest of your day-of accessories.
Finally, hair type and length are maybe the biggest factors that come into play when selecting a fall wedding hairstyle. That being said, don’t feel like you can’t achieve a style if your natural length or type doesn’t allow it. There are plenty of options such as weaves, wigs, and extensions that can give you extra length and different texture options. However, before opting for a wig, extensions, or an elaborate ‘do with a whole bunch of pins, it’s a good idea to do a trial run, since some people find the extra weight on the head hot and/or uncomfortable. Just as you would with new shoes, give a new style a practice run before rocking it on a special occasion.
Since hair lengths and types are some of the biggest factors that come into play when selecting a fall wedding hairstyle, it’s a good idea to learn more about your specific hair type. Below, we’re outlining different hair types to give you a few fall wedding hairstyle ideas based on your exact, current look.
Straight hair can be fine and fragile or coarse and thin, but the key here is that it’s curl-resistant and doesn’t naturally curl. If your hair is wave-free when it dries naturally, it’s probably straight. Here are a few of our favorite fall wedding hairstyles for straight hair:
If your hair has a little body to it when it dries naturally, yet it doesn’t fall in full curls, it’s probably wavy. Wavy is one of the most common hair types, and it can consist of both fine and thin to coarse and frizzy strands. Check out some of our favorite fall wedding hairstyles for wavy hair:
Curly hair consists of everything from loose curls to corkscrews, and when dried naturally, it’s more defined than casual waves. Here are some beloved fall wedding hairstyles for wavy hair:
Kinky hair showcases natural, tight, and Z-angled coils. Check out some of our favorite kinky hairstyles for fall weddings below:
Whether you rock your natural locks or incorporate extensions, hair length plays a major role in a fall wedding hairstyle. Luckily, it’s one component that’s surprisingly easy to workaround. Not only are there tons of options for every length, but thanks to fresh cuts, artfully placed pins, and extensions, weaves, and wigs, getting your hair to an ideal length for a fall wedding has truly never been easier. Here are a few of our favorite fall wedding hairstyles for a variety of hair lengths:
Short hair for fall weddings is chic, classy, and easy to dress up. Here are a few different styles to consider:
Hair that falls anywhere between your collarbones and your shoulder blades is considered medium length. Here are a few of our favorite options for fall weddings:
Long hair, which is any length past your shoulders, gives you tons of options by way of style. Here are a few of our favorite looks for fall:
If you’re the one saying “I do,” it’s a good idea to have a trial hair run before the big day. This will give you an idea of not only how your style will look with the rest of your outfit, but how it will hold up in the fall weather. Make sure that you take plenty of pictures, do a few dance moves, and try on your hair accessories to ensure that your look will last throughout the duration of your event.
Nowadays there are plenty of places to find hairstyle inspiration for a fall wedding. From Instagram to Pinterest to wedding websites (like this one!), fall wedding hairstyles can be found in a variety of places. It’s a good idea to pull together a few different options and chat with your stylists to select a fall style that’ll complement your day-of look and hold up in the elements.
Depending on the type of event you’re attending or hosting, your fall hairstyle is the key to pulling the look together. And since themed events are becoming much more popular, it’s a fun idea to lean into the vibe. Here are a few popular fall wedding themes and how to style your hair accordingly:
Fall is the time of decadence, which is why many couples choose to have a Gatsby-style event in the autumn. A vintage hairstyle such as pinup curls or a sleek bob for a roaring ‘20s or vintage celebration is a must.
Fall is usually the start of holiday-themed events, so consider adding some seasonally-appropriate florals, glitter, or hats to your look to celebrate the season.
Tropical weddings are popular in the fall since they’re not as hot as during the summer months, but you still need to be wary of heat and humidity. Consider wearing long hair up in a loose bun or ponytail, or weave into a braid or two to keep it off your neck. You can even tuck a fall flower behind your year for a beach-meets autumn touch.
Boho fall weddings—whether in the desert, the mountains, or the forest—are increasingly gaining popularity. And since most of these events take place outdoors, we suggest a hairstyle that pulls your locks away from your face, such as a low bun or braid.
One of the best ways to really add to fall celebration style is with wedding hair accessories. Clips, pins, flowers, and foliage turn an ordinary look into a seasonal masterpiece, no matter the formality, hair type, or event. Check out a few of our favorite fall hair accessories that’ll elevate your seasonal look:
If you’re attending an outdoor event, we especially love moody, fall-colored florals. Tuck them behind your ear or weave them in your braids for a natural way to turn up the elegance on your wedding hairstyle.
Hair combs can easily be incorporated into any formal wedding hairstyle, and luckily they come in a variety of options from rich jewels to shiny golds to florals. Not only can combs easily be added to almost any hairstyle, but finding an option that matches your day-of look is simple.
If you’re the one getting married, why not turn up the drama with a crown or tiara? Select a moody style with rich gems for a fall look that’ll feel both special and seasonally appropriate.
It’s a wonder what a few perfectly placed pins can do, especially to turn an ordinary look into a formal one. Select some sparkly or themed pins, pull your hair back on one or both sides, and secure it to keep the hair off your face and showcase your love of the season.
When it comes down to choosing your fall wedding hairstyle—no matter your role in the celebration—there’s a lot to consider. That’s why we make it easy at Zola. Order accessories, coordinate with your gown, find your vendors, select your inspo, and pull it all together in one place. So, whether you’re saying “I do” or just watching the love story unfold, Zola will help you check off all the boxes so that you can celebrate in style.