Seven Dos and Don'ts of Wearing a Hair Accessory on Your Wedding Day

No one wants a hair malfunction!

modern wedding hairstyles
Photo: Tetiana Photography

Thinking about adding a hair accessory to your overall wedding-day look? It's an incredibly popular choice-and one that the majority of bridal hairstylists would recommend. "Whether it's a small, diamond encrusted set of bobby pins or something major like a bird, a la Carrie Bradshaw, a hair accessory can be the perfect finishing touch you need for your wedding," explains celebrity hairstylist Kendall Dorsey. But they're not just for looks: While many accessories also happen to be beautiful, it's important to consider their practical applications. If you're wearing your hair down, a carefully-placed clip can ensure your locks aren't swinging over your eyes all night long. Should you prefer the look of an updo, barrettes and combs can help keep your bun in place. "Unfortunately, it's not always as simple as clipping on hair and voila, it looks perfect," Dorsey adds. "That's why it's best to consult a professional who will know how to balance your accessory with the rest of your look: your dress and its neckline, the other jewelry you're wearing, and the flow of the rest of your style."

He also points out that a stylist will be able to help properly secure your accessory into place so you can dance all night long without fear of a hair disaster. To ensure you as perfect at the end of the night as you did at the beginning, we asked Dorsey and other two other expert hairstylists to share the dos and don'ts associated with wearing a hair accessory on the big day.

Do: Bring your accessory to your hair trial.

Dorsey typically suggests that brides have their wedding hair trial on a day when they'll be going out afterwards, which gives them a chance to get a feel for how it will carry and move over the course of several hours. "Take this time to really see how you feel about your hair accessory. Was it too heavy? Did you feel like you were constantly fidgeting with it? Did it stay in place?" he asks. "Then, you can report back to your stylist and make any adjustments to ensure your hair is flawless from the ceremony until the very end of the reception."

Don't: Use your wedding as a time to experiment with a new look.

If you're normally an air-dry, low-maintenance type of woman, don't switch things up just because you're becoming a bride. In fact, Dorsey recommends staying away from a large, high-maintenance hair accessory if that's the case. "If you're all about playing and rock bold looks on the daily, go for it," he says. "You've already been well-conditioned to 'set it and forget it' when it comes to accessories." But if you think you'll be super aware of it all night, you might want to choose a more understated accessory instead.

Do: Coordinate your hair accessory with the rest of your look.

Just like you're making sure that your shoes complement your wedding dress, you should do the same for your hair accessory. "You will cringe every time you look at pictures if the hair accessory you wore clashes with your dress or other jewelry," says Dorsey. "For example, if you are wearing an antique gold hair crown, stick to the same finishes with your jewelry."

Don't: Mess with it!

"Your stylist worked hard to get your hair accessory placed exactly where it is supposed to be-and the rest of your hairstyle all revolves around that," says Dorsey. "One wrong move and your hairstyle could be toast." Simply put: Don't start playing with it.

Do: Properly secure the accessory and the hair around it.

"If too much hair falls out, the accessory could potentially lose its grip," warns Dorsey. For this reason, he likes to prep the hair with a texturizing product to add extra "grip to hair," then secure hair to the accessory with bobby pins (they make very small ones that work great for this, he adds). Last but not least, he finishes with a strong, flexible hairspray.

Don't: Let your hair accessory take the focus away from you.

"You do not want to wear a hair accessory that is so big or avant garde that it will leave people talking for the wrong reasons," says Lauren Thompson, New York-based stylist at Nunzio Saviano Salon. "With that said, try to steer away from accessories that are super trendy, as you do not want to look back on your wedding photos and regret wearing certain accessories." When in doubt, something subtle might be the best choice.

Do: Remember less is more.

"If your wedding day look is classic and understated, a floating hair accessory is the way to go," says Lauren Paglionico, founder of LRN BEAUTY. "These accessories complement many hairstyles and are great if your hair is on the finer side because they are not as heavy as traditional pieces."

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