“I love doing bridal hair because wedding days are such joyful times,” says Kate Bryan, the Raleigh, North Carolina, hairstylist
behind the beloved Small Things Blog. “It’s such an important day to feel your prettiest.” In seven years as a professional stylist, Bryan, 26, has done her fair
share of brides’ hair—including her own (along with that of her maid-of-honor sister and her junior bridesmaids). “I swept
it half-up and pinned it in place. It was surprisingly simple,” she says.
For other DIY-minded brides (or their wedding-party members), Bryan walks us through the steps to create three equally simple but striking looks. All three work best for hair that is at least long enough to hit your collarbone. (For a bride with shorter hair, “work with your stylist to create subtle new ways to style it,” says Bryan. “Maybe consider a delicate headband or a clip. The focus will be on the accessories since your hair is short, so have fun with those!”) Bryan recommends doing a run-through at least once before the big day to get the steps down; allow 30 to 40 minutes for each style. As for choosing the style that’s right for you, consider what, if anything, you are wearing on your head. “If the headpiece is dominant or a very important part of your bridal style, I’d recommend making the hair work around it,” says Bryan. “But if you find a hairstyle you prefer, I’m sure you can find a veil or headpiece that can work for it!” (See 12 real-life brides’ wedding hairstyles.)
See pretty party hairstyles created exclusively for Real Simple by Kate Bryan.