Wedding planning is time for decision-making! To some it comes naturally, others struggle with figuring out whom to invite and what colour bridesmaids’ dresses to order. And while some of those decisions come more easily I always hear the same dilemma: should I wear my hair up or down for my wedding day?

It’s possible that the answer will be obvious to you: you’ve tested both through many evenings and nights out, and you know exactly what you want. But if you’re in any way like me you’ll find pros and cons for both! Ultimately, the decision comes down to three factors:

  • What kind of dress are you wearing?
  • What type of hair do you have? 
  • What wedding look do you think suits you best?

What Kind of Dress Are You Wearing?

While pinning different hairstyle ideas on Pinterest you might want to hold off making the final call until you say yes to the dress. It is true that different necklines can work better with one or the other type of hairstyle. Ailbhe went with a stunning heart-shaped neckline for her princess dress, and it just called to show off her beautiful blonde curls by Hair by Shauna Lawlor.

Aoife, on the other hand, picked a dress with a higher neckline for her winter wedding. The style, combined with the fact that it was a wet and stormy day, meant that she went for a tight updo decorated with her favourite flowers. Aoife’s hair stayed in perfect shape for the whole day, even though we’d spent over an hour walking the streets of Dublin in the middle of a storm!

christmas wedding in dublin grafton street christmas lights
wedding updo for shorter hair

What’s Your Wedding Season?

The weather will actually play quite a big part in your decision. A lot of brides I photograph choose to wear their hair down during the summer months but for autumn and winter weddings updos are still more popular. The reasons are pretty obvious: you want your hairstyle to last well into the night, for 8 or maybe 12 hours. You also want it to endure all sorts of conditions, especially in Ireland’s changeable climate. And if you’re worried about rain think wind! Irish wind tends to pick up in no time and change the look of any down-do in a matter of minutes. If you don’t mind a romantic adventurous windswept look, then go for it! If, however, you are after a more refined and elegant look, an upstyle is certainly a safer bet.

What’s Your Hair Type?

A lot, of course, depends on your type of hair. Hazel has such incredible thick locks that it would be a crime not to show them off on their wedding day. Hazel’s hair had structure and curls in the morning. The second photo was taken just before the call for dinner, 6 hours later, and the hairstyle looks more natural and loose but I still didn’t see a single strand out of place for the whole day! She looked absolutely amazing. (Hair by Aisling Hamill)

Clare, on the other hand, has finer hair that went into a perfect up-do for her dynamic Dublin wedding. It also draws attention to the fine detail on her dress.

wedding upstyle for short blonde hair

If you’re still in two minds there’s always the half-up option. I see it as one of the most popular choices these days. It’s great when you still want to show off those curls but want to keep your hair away from your face! I have to say, it’s a godsend for group photographs on a windy day. It also means that there are no pins digging into your head and you can party all night without having to worry about them flying everywhere!

Rebecca: Hair by Martina King

What’s Your Favourite Hairstyle?

Then there is, of course, personal preference. When it came to my own wedding day, I was in two minds for a long time. I normally wear my hair down – I’m absolutely useless at styling my hair so a quick blow-dry is the best I can do! I’d love to say that I have lush locks that go in perfect curls and waves. Only it would be a gigantic lie! My hair takes absolute ages to curl, only to last for all of 30 minutes before it takes the perfect shape of “blah”.

So as much as I wanted to rock those Hollywood waves, on my own wedding day I went with a safe updo. I’m glad I did – the wind ended up being strong enough to knock over the lanterns in our outdoor ceremony! I can’t even imagine what my hair would have looked like by the time I got to the top of the aisle! Also, my husband always says how much he likes to see me with my hair up so he was certainly happy!

A few years later, however, I did get a chance to try both hair up and down during a styled shoot my husband and I did with my friend Jasna Pasalic. I couldn’t believe what Mags from Upstylefunk Hair managed to do with my mess of hair and the perfect curls that ensued. I will be honest though and say that she had to fix it a good few times while we were taking photos, and that only lasted an hour! And while I do prefer the hair-down look I love the volume in my updo. Which do you think suits me better?

So, if you’re still in two minds: listen to your intuition but don’t ignore such objective factors as your hair type and the weather. When in doubt, hair up is always the safer bet. Thankfully, there are a lot of really cool ways to pin it and really wow your partner! Don’t forget about accessories: flowers, hairbands, hairpieces – it’s all good! Scroll below for some inspiration. 


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