13 Tips for Getting Wedding Hair That You’ll Feel Really Good About
Calling all brides who don’t want to be picking bobby pins out of their hair for days: You have to meet Teddi Cranford. The fashion-industry vet and founder of White Rose Collective in NYC’s East Village is all about making ladies look like themselves, just at their very best. Teddi gave us her tips for wedding newbs on everything from deciding on a lewk to the best drugstore hairspray.
1. THE GOAL IS YHBB (YOUR HAIR BUT BETTER).
“My aesthetic is the less-is-more approach. Every woman should look like the best version of herself. Whatever vibe you you try to give out every day, you should focus on that and just really pump it up on your wedding day. People often don’t realize how much work goes into even the most simple down hairstyle. Sometimes there’s two hours of prep work and maybe a couple of rows of natural-looking extensions just to make a version of your normal texture look really chic and special.”
2. GO ON FEW STYLIST DATES. (DON’T WORRY: YOU DON’T HAVE TO LEARN TINDER OR ANYTHING.)
“You have to vibe with your stylist. Have a consultation before a trial if you feel that’s necessary. If you’re not in a major city with a lot of options—or don’t have access to a stylist’s Instagram or online portfolio—meeting with them first can keep you from wasting your money and your time on a trial if it’s clearly not the right fit. Never settle for a stylist that makes you feel unsure.”
3. UNLOCK THAT PINTEREST BOARD!
“You should always schedule a trial and come in strong with your references. How far in advance you do your trial depends, but I’d say give yourself as much time as possible. I have a bride now that I’ve been talking with for a year. At her first trial, she came in with very strong references and wanted to approach her wedding like more of a runway. And then she went home with it and was just like ‘This doesn’t feel like me.’ So I had her send me new references, and I did new research to make sure we’re on the same page. And we’ll do another trial and keep going until she’s thrilled with it. The benefit of finding the right stylist—the one you click with—is that they’ll feel just as passionate about your day and nailing that look as you do.”
4. IF YOUR MOM IS DYING TO COME, LET HER.
“I recommend going to your trials solo, but if you need to bring someone, I always love when a mom comes in. I feel like it’s way better energy than a friend, even if it’s your best friend. I definitely don’t think that after a trial you need to show a million people your hair and get all their opinions. It’s about having that moment for yourself, so you know on your day you’ll be confident and can own it in front of your guests.”
5. PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN, BUT PHOTOGRAPHY ISN’T EVERYTHING.
“I think a lot of women can get talked into things because of the way something’s going to photograph, and that’s a load of shit. Yes, I’ll share tips about what photographs the best, but you’re going to be talking to people very closely face-to-face, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters the most. I attended one wedding, and I still to this day remember how much makeup the bride had on, instead of how beautiful she looked. Be yourself, through the lens and in-person. Don’t do something that’s not you.”
6. LOCATION REALLY MATTERS...
“So much depends on what kind of wedding you’re having, whether it’s outdoors and super romantic or more of an indoor city wedding. You want your hair to be cohesive with that. I had a client come in recently for a last-minute wedding at City Hall. She had blonde hair, and when I saw her, I knew we should do a beautiful big blowout and some super subtle soft waves, so it looked a little more classic and elegant and appropriate for City Hall. It looked like something she could have done herself but with a little something extra.”
7. AND SO DOES YOUR DRESS.
“I would never do a hair trial without seeing a picture of the dress, but the response it not always what you would think. If you’re wearing a really fancy dress then it can be nice to scale it back with more natural hair. It’s about balance and making everything, head-to-toe, work. You don’t want to be over the top.”
8. BE CAREFUL WITH THE TRENDY ACCESSORIES
“Coming from the fashion industry, I think of great fashion houses like Chanel as good examples of how to approach trends—styles come and go, but the most timeless ones have a similar vibe that lives on throughout the years. I love hair accessories, but you have to be sure you’re wearing the accessory, and it’s not wearing you. Imagine an Upper East Side, very chic woman who’s getting married at The Pierre in a flower crown. That just doesn’t make sense to me.”
9. CONSIDER HIGHLIGHTS...BUT ONLY THE SUBTLEST ONES.
“When a client comes in, I hone in immediately on their color. It can make a huge difference in photographs. If you have solid brunette hair, it can photograph as kind of a flat canvas or look a little wiggy, and some tones of blonde photograph oddly. Super-natural highlights photograph really well and add a little bit of that dimension and richness, whether you’re wearing your hair up or down. But I can’t emphasize enough that it should be subtle, like you’ve been in Costa Rica for a year getting sun. That’s always the type of color that I gravitate towards—it’s timeless.”
10. DON’T VEER INTO COSTUME TERRITORY.
“References are great, but you should never actually be trying to recreate what one of those styles looked like. For example, if a bride’s going for a sixties vibe, I might do a nod to that by making her hair really thick and full and adding a subtle tease at the back that doesn’t really look teased. It speaks to the look without taking too literal an approach.”
11. GO AHEAD AND HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.
“You should have fun with the beauty part of the day! If you’re paying somebody a ton of money to do your hair, you might as well take advantage. For my clients, I’m there all day, and we’re making adjustments as we go. It’s also about quick ways to make those changes so beauty isn’t taking up your whole day and you’re still having fun. A recent bride of mine had really curly, long hair—she wanted it to look down, but it was just too much in her face. So I did the most beautiful version of her day-to-day texture by blowing it out a little bit, and I pulled it back in a way that felt effortless, with a few bits around her face. So it still had this vibe of being down, but was actually mostly pinned-up for the ceremony. Then later on that night, she wore it totally loose at the reception. Both were beautiful, but I think when you’re walking down the aisle you want just a little bit more of a ‘wow’ moment.”
12. TRY OUT SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT AT THE REHEARSAL DINNER.
“Think about how you’re going to look at your rehearsal dinner (if you’re having one) and how that’s going to contrast with the wedding day. If you really want to do a strong eye or a major beautiful down hair moment but it doesn’t feel right for your ceremony, then emphasize those looks at the rehearsal. Just have fun with it!”
13. THAT SECOND-DAY HAIR THING IS A MYTH.
“I like everything to start fresh and clean so I know what I’m working with. I ask my clients to wash the day of with thickening shampoo, like Oribe, and a light conditioner. A really good thickening spray is important no matter how you’re wearing your hair because that’s the foundation of everything. If your stylist isn’t using a thickening spray, you’ve got nothing to support the curl or the updo, and there’s no way it’s going to last the night. Any thickening spray with a high amount of alcohol will work—I use Queen for a Day by Tigi or Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray. If I’m putting hair up, I like the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. Definitely don’t be afraid to use the thickening spray and the texturizing spray together. I love Elnett hairspray because it’s very light and it doesn’t go on heavy. It’s the jam.”
All images via @whiterosecollective