Mother of the Bride Hairstyle Ideas

From short pixie cuts to long waves, there are many age-appropriate styles for mothers of the bride and groom.

By Jennifer Prince

Mother of the Bride Hairstyle Ideas
Photo by Kimberly Florence Photography

The First Look ✨

  • Mothers of the bride should treat themselves on the wedding day and hire a stylist to do their hair.
  • Have a consultation, consider a fresh cut, and redo your color to prep for the big day.
  • Taking supplements, using a hair serum, and eating right can also help your hair be at its best for your child’s wedding.
  • Look to modern-day style icons, such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Lucy Liu for mother of the bride hairstyle ideas.

Weddings are an exciting time for the couple as they finally get to say, “I do!” However, it’s also meaningful for the couple’s loved ones—especially those who have known them since birth. As the mother of the bride (or groom!), you deserve to feel gorgeous on the big day, too. From a fabulous dress to flawless wedding hairstyle and makeup, a lot goes into curating the perfect look. Although you may think that finding an age-appropriate, workable style seems impossible, here are 12 mother of the bride hairstyle ideas for the perfect wedding day look.

Should I Hire a Stylist to Do My Mother of the Bride Hairstyle?

Chances are that you will probably be involved in a lot of the planning process. Even if you aren’t intricately involved in pre-wedding plans, it will be an emotional time. Instead of trying to fix your own hair, hire a professional. Quite often, salons and on-site hair artists can accommodate several people. Therefore, hiring a stylist may be more economical than you think. Then, get in on the pampering on the day of the wedding.

However, be sure to do a consultation before the wedding day. Show your stylist a photo of the dress you’re wearing. Then, chat with them ahead of time about your hair goals for the big day. As the mother of the bride (MOB) or groom, you will be in a lot of photos. Getting your hair professionally styled will have you looking and feeling your best at the wedding.

Part 1: 10 Mother of the Bride Hairstyle Ideas for the Big Day
Part 2: Ideas for a Fresh Mother of the Bride Hairstyle
Part 3: How to Have Healthy MOB Hair for the Big Day
Part 4: Celebrities to Watch for Mother of the Bride Hairstyle Ideas

10 Mother of the Bride Hairstyle Ideas for the Big Day

10-Mother-of-the-Bride-Hairstyle-Ideas-for-the-Big-Day-Unsplash Photo Credit // Unsplash

Classic Chignon

If you have medium length hair or long hair, a chignon is a beautiful wedding hairstyle for mothers of the bride and groom. Either keep it sleek and straight or have your stylist create waves to add texture and dimension. Hair is typically secured into a low bun at the nape of the neck. However, if you prefer, place the bun higher on the head. Chignons and buns are also perfect styles for adding hair accessories. Another plus is that they keep their style through humid conditions and as you dance the night away.

Slick Pixie

If you have short hair, test out a pixie style. Either get the haircut or mimic it by having your hairdresser carefully slick and place strands. This short hairstyle looks beautiful with bangs that are swept up and to the side. Another option is to add a clip or barrette in the front for an element of bling. If you have longer hair, slowly transition to a pixie cut if you don’t want to make a quick change.

Half-up, Half Down

Even if you have a short bob, you can wear your hair in a half-up, half-down style. Just like the name of the hairdo, the front half of the hair is placed in a barrette or secured with bobby pins. The length of the hair is left to flow down the back. You can add a comb to further secure and divide the two sections while adding a bit of interest to this MOB style. Additionally, the secured portion can be twisted or placed in a small braided bun as an alternate technique.

Down and Natural

Whether you have straight hair or highly textured, curly hair, think about showcasing your natural look. Work with your stylist to add shine to your straight hair. Conversely, if you have curls, talk to your hairdresser about enhancing them for the big day. Giving your natural look a chance to shine can do wonders for your overall mother of the bride look.

Sideswept Bangs

Sideswept bangs are less of a commitment than a half-up, half-down style. One idea is to use a comb or barrette to clip your bangs to the side. Doing so offers a beautiful effect. Conversely, if you have long hair, secure one side of your locks behind your ear. Doing so will keep flyaways out of your eyes while dancing and during photos. Then, either have your stylist use invisible bobby pins or a statement hair accessory to hold the hair in place.

French Twist

The French twist is a classic hairdo that remains a staple style for mothers of the bride. Even if your hair is on the shorter side, your stylist can pin sections into a twisted fashion. Front pieces can be left out for a more relaxed look. However, your hairdresser can also create a sleek style by pulling sections tightly.

Styled Bob

Many moms keep their hair in a stylish bob hairstyle. Whether you have shorter hair or it’s a bit longer, add volume and depth to your usual style. Add curls or waves, and use a texturizing spray to lift your hair. Your stylist can use products and tools to create the perfect, long-lasting look for the wedding day. Adding a clip close to the ear can keep shorter bobbed sections away from your makeup.

Sleek and Straight

If you have curly hair, try a straight style for your mother of the bride hairstyle look. First, blow-dry your hair straight, and then use a flat iron to flatten the hair shaft further. If you will be in humid conditions, such as the beach or a rainy environment, have your stylist add a protectant to keep locks from frizzing. Having a sleek, straight style is a fabulous way to change up a curly haircut that you already love.

Hollywood Glam Waves

Pin curls, secure waves, and volume are all en vogue for weddings. A stylish mother of the bride or groom can wear these styles with confidence. Shoulder length and longer hair work best to mimic the Hollywood glam styles of the 1930s. However, you can incorporate upswept bangs into shorter hairdos for a bit of old Hollywood style.

Combination Style

Work with your stylist to create a unique mother of the bride look. They may draw inspiration from your gown, wedding ring, or even facial features to create the perfect look. Combining styles, such as adding glam waves to a half-up, half-down style, or adding side-swept bangs to a gorgeous bob is a way to express your personality on the big day.

Another option is to add braids and twists to any of the above styles. Small sections can showcase twists of hair. Conversely, your stylist can add a small braid to the front of the hair to stylishly keep it out of the way for the evening. Take a variety of inspiration images to your hairdresser as they may be able to incorporate a few of your favorite elements into one fabulous style.

Ideas for a Fresh Mother of the Bride Hairstyle

Ideas-for-a-Fresh-Mother-of-the-Bride-Hairstyle-PexelsPhoto Credit // Pexels

Everyone loves a good makeover. Many TV shows feature segments where someone has had the same style—clothing, hair style, and makeup—for years. The audience is always wowed when the transformation takes place. If you need a freshening up, there is no better time to debut a whole new style than the wedding day. Even if you don’t need to do anything drastic, work slowly towards a unique style. By making slight changes, you can feel like a new person at your daughter’s wedding.

Get a New Haircut for a Fresh Wedding Day Look

Every mother of the bride and groom should freshen up their style close to the wedding day. However, perhaps you need to rethink your decades-old ‘do totally. Sure those Farrah Fawcett waves were all the rage in the ‘70s (ok, admittedly, those are on their way back in style), but maybe it’s time to bring your hair into this century.

Talk to your hairdresser about an updated style that will work for your everyday life; however, don’t forget to chat with them about your wedding day look. Your stylist can suggest a few in-between styles to get you to your hair goals for the big day. A fresh cut will look fabulous, and you’ll shine in the photos for decades to come.

Freshen Up Your Color Before the Big Day

Has your hair long turned gray, and you are still coloring it dark? Gray is totally in style. As a result, both celebrities and regular folks are letting their hair go gray. It’s a stunningly beautiful look as a MOB to show off heads of silver, white, or salt and pepper hair. Maybe it’s time to think about letting your hair simply go to its new natural color.

Conversely, you may be unhappy with your natural hair color or want to cover up gray roots. Have your stylist color your locks close to the wedding date. If you’re going to try a new color, do so well before the big day. Giving the updated shade a test run for a few weeks or months will provide you with confidence, especially if you’re doing something significantly different.

Consider Temporary Extensions on the Wedding Day

If you have your eyes on a lush updo, but are currently sporting a short bob, consider extensions. Your hairdresser can add additional hair to lengthen your hair for the day of the wedding or longer if you so choose.

Chat with your stylist about your style goals. As a result, have them place extensions that match the texture and color of your mother of the bride hairstyle. Just remember that extra hair will add weight. If you are dancing or will be in windy conditions, such as at the beach, ensure that the extensions are placed securely.

Add Hair Accessories to Your Finished Mother of the Bride Hairstyle

While you’re selecting your mother of the bride gown and jewelry, don’t forget about hair accessories. You won’t be wearing a veil, tiara, or crown, but there are so many other options. Embellished bobby pins, combs, and barrettes are appropriate for women of all ages and stages of life.

Adding a hair accessory is also a perfect way to update an everyday style if you aren’t making a change. Hair embellishments are beautiful in hair of any length. From a pixie cut to long locks, consider adding an accessory to your mother of the bride style.

How to Have Healthy MOB Hair for the Big Day

How-to-Have-Healthy-MOB-Hair-for-the-Big-Day-PexelsPhoto Credit // Pexels

Part of aging is learning how to take care of yourself at various stages. Your facial regimen has probably changed, and your eating habits may be slightly different than they were in your 20s. However, have you changed your hair routine? If not, you may want to consider prepping your hair to look its best on your daughter’s big day.

Start Taking Supplements to Encourage Healthy Hair Growth

Depending on your hair goals, choose a supplement that will get the job done naturally. Look for ones from reputable companies that contain protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C. Collagen is also excellent to encourage healthy hair. Additionally, collagen is fabulous for your skin, nails, and joints. Finally, look for chewable supplements or gummies for maximum absorption.

Massage Serum into Your Scalp

The act of massaging your scalp will stimulate the follicles and encourage hair growth. Either gently use your fingers, or purchase a scalp massager. A serum will also hydrate your scalp and deliver essential nutrients to the hair shaft and follicles. Not only will your scalp feel great, but you will help your hair grow longer and stronger.

Eliminate Harsh Chemicals from Your Hair Routine

Although you may want your hair squeaky clean, how you cleanse your hair makes a big difference. Eliminate products that contain parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. Instead, opt for something made of natural ingredients. Just like you should avoid consuming chemical-laden foods, you should also consider what’s in your hair care products.

Eat Cleanly

Building off the above concept, the famous saying that “you are what you eat” reigns true. Build better skin and hair from the inside out. Of course, supplements help, but eating more fruits and vegetables and lessening processed foods will do wonders. Side benefits are that you will feel better and possibly maintain a healthier weight. Treat yourself to a sweet or salty treat as you crave them. However, choose natural foods for the bulk of what you consume each day.

Find an Easy, Heatless, Everyday Hairstyle

There’s a reason that many companies sell heat protectants for your hair. Using a flat iron, hairdryer, and curling iron or wand can wreak havoc on your locks. Keep split ends, dryness, and brittle hair at bay by finding a heatless style. Try air drying your hair or testing out heatless curls to avoid subjecting your hair to heat. Also, consider washing and rinsing your hair with cold water. You don’t have to expose your body to frigid temperatures, but it can do wonders to save your hair.

Wash Your Hair Less Often

Everyone’s hair is different, while some folks can get away with washing their hair once a week, others need to wash theirs more often. Gauge your hair and how oily it gets to determine what frequency is best for you. Also, see if a simple rinse will do or if you actually need to use shampoo to remove buildup. Sometimes quickly conditioning or simply wetting your hair will do the trick.

The majority of hairdressers will tell the mothers of the bride not to wash their hair the day of the wedding. Natural oils not only help your hair grow but can also tame frizz. Plus, recently cleansed hair will not hold a style as effectively as dirty hair. Dirty doesn’t mean filthy, rather it simply means that it was washed over 24 hours prior to styling.

Celebrities to Watch for Mother of the Bride Hairstyle Ideas

Celebrities-to-Watch-for-Mother-of-the-Bride-Hairstyle-Ideas-Instagram Photo Credit // Instagram

Of course, the mothers of the bride and groom come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Whether you’re a younger MOB or are possibly even a grandmother, there are age-appropriate styles for you. Several celebrities are aging gracefully, and they serve as fabulous inspiration for your mother of the bride style.

Sarah Jessica Parker

Although Sarah Jessica Parker hasn’t been a mother of the bride yet, she and her husband Matthew Broderick have children in their late teens. But, of course, Parker has served as a style icon for decades with her role in “Sex and the City.” From fabulous updos to quirky hats, she knows how to rock a fantastic look. Parker is definitely one to watch for mother of the bride hairstyle inspiration for ladies with long hair.

Oprah Winfrey

Everyone seems to have grown up with Oprah Winfrey. After all, even former middle schoolers went home from school and caught “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” In addition to her philanthropic efforts, Winfrey now owns a magazine and interviews other celebrities. Her hair has changed throughout the ages, but Winfrey has perfected it all. From tight ponytails to loose curls, she is an icon to follow when styling natural MOB hair.

Helen Mirren

Gorgeous at any age, Helen Mirren is a style maven from head to toe. She’s also the epitome of aging gracefully while maintaining a sophisticated persona. Like many mothers of the bride-to-be, Mirren tends to keep her hair short. From adorable bobs to styles bordering on pixie cuts, Mirren offers outstanding inspiration. If you’re a mother of the bride in search of a gown, check out her fashion sense, too.

Lucy Liu

First of all, it’s hard to believe that Lucy Liu is in her early 50s. Fans of the TV show “Ally McBeal” and the movie “Kill Bill” will remember her well. Liu is fashion-forward with her hairstyles and has worn everything from short, straight bobs to long, wavy hair. She can also pull off a side or back ponytail, chignon, and fauxhawk effortlessly. Liu’s red carpet looks are the perfect inspiration for the bold mother of the bride.

Selma Hayek

Like many MOBs, Selma Hayek knows how to show off her features well. Hayek’s hair is styled so that it doesn’t cover her face, allowing her gorgeous eyes to take center stage. From flawless waves and straight locks to adding headbands and wearing ponytails, Hayek is definitely one to look to for inspiration.

Diane Lane

If you love to wear your hair down, take a peek at Diane Lane’s hairstyles. Although she has worn her hair up here and there, her go-to is a soft, wavy shoulder-length style. Even when she does clip her hair back, it’s done in a way to show how healthy her hair is. Lane also tends to keep her locks away from her face to show off her timeless beauty.

Vivica A. Fox

Vivica A. Fox has tried it all. Braids, ponytails, updos, and long locks are in Fox’s repertoire of gorgeous styles—all of which can inspire hairstyles for the MOB. Her constant smile and bright outlook are reminders of how wonderful you should feel on your child’s wedding day. Fox also has impressive fashion sense, so peek at some of her gowns for inspiration, too.

Zola: Your Destination for Mother of the Bride Hairstyle Ideas

As the mother of the bride, the wedding day is sentimental, after all, your little one has grown up! Recalling your own special day and all of the wedding planning that went into it will flood you with emotions as you watch your daughter do the same.

Yet, do it all while looking and feeling your best. Zola has all the advice you need to choose your gown, figure out your duties, and give you fabulous tips on how to create a DIY hairstyle. From engagement to the wedding day, Zola can help your daughter plan the perfect day. Therefore, let Zola guide your decisions on helping the wedding day—and your mother of the bride look—be the best that it can be.

Find Your Wedding Vendors at Zola, All Pre-Screened for You