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12 Wedding Hair Ideas for Styles, Updos & Accessories on a Budget

By Casey Slide

wedding bride hairAs women, we can be very particular about our hair. We like it cut, colored, and styled to perfection daily. We can spend hours and a mini-fortune caring for it. It’s no wonder that a major element of a bride’s beautification process is styling her hair.

I am always surprised by how much it costs to get hair done at a salon. I have my sister-in-law cut my hair, and I love that she’s so good at it because it saves me hundreds of dollars a year.

But should you do your own hair on one of the most important days of your life? Are there other ways to save money on wedding hairdos?

Here are 12 ways to save on your wedding day by either doing your hair yourself or going to a professional.

Ways to Save Money on Wedding Hair

1. Do It Yourself
The most obvious way to save money on your wedding hair style is to do it yourself. But the key is to keep it simple. If you want a fancy up-do, styling your own hair is not the best way to save money. You will only end up frustrating yourself. Another option is to have a friend or family member style your hair if they have more experience.

If you decide to do your own, practice, practice, practice. You won’t have all day to get it right on your big day, so make sure you are comfortable with your abilities beforehand.

2. Go to Cosmetology School
Don’t actually sign up to be a student, but go to a cosmetology school’s salon to have a student do your hair. These salons charge significantly less than professional salons. That said, make sure you do a practice round and get the same stylist for your wedding day.

3. Get Some Accessories
To get inexpensive accessories, visit a craft store and buy hair combs and rhinestones to make your own. Even if you are not crafty, decorated hair combs are hard to mess up. Then, use these accessories as a focal point to take attention away from the hair itself.

4. Go to the Hairdresser
Many brides pay for a hairdresser to come to them on the busy morning of their wedding. Save money and take the time to go to the salon instead. Any hairdresser will charge considerably more to come to you.

5. Practice with Your Stylist
You will probably have to pay for a practice round with your stylist. But if the practice doesn’t go well, you shouldn’t have to pay for a second one. Demand that you get another practice for free! You don’t need to be a “bridezilla” about it, but be stern.

6. Don’t Go to a Full Service Salon
If you are not sure you want to go to a cosmetology school for your hairdo, don’t go to a full service salon either. Some salons are more like spas. They serve you beverages and give you massages, but you end up paying for all of the extras.

Stick with a simple salon. Your hair is what is important, not being pampered – although that is nice on your wedding day too!

bridal hair styling

7. Keep the Veil on
It’s very common for a bride to keep her veil on throughout the entire day and into the evening. Your hair will originally be styled with your veil covering it anyway, and there will not be as much pressure to have perfect hair. You only get to wear a wedding veil on your wedding day, so live it up!

To save money on a veil, shop online. You can get amazing deals at sites like Bridal Veil Creations where you custom build your own. Make sure to check out Esty as well. Making your own veil will also save you money. Get some tulle and rhinestones and have fun with it!

8. Grow Your Hair Long
If you grow your hair long and don’t cut it in the months prior to your wedding, you will have more options on your big day. Some of these options, like letting it hang down, may be far less expensive than a fancy up-do and just as beautiful.

9. Cut Your Hair Short
The flip side to growing your hair long is to cut it short. You may feel more confident styling it yourself if you have less hair to deal with. But test out the “short hair look” in advance to make sure you’ll be happy with that length for your wedding day.

Ultimately, go with whatever length makes you feel the most comfortable.

10. Prepare Your Hair
Get your hair ready to look great by using your favorite hair products and shampoos (e.g. organic homemade shampoos) leading up to your wedding. You can also try to curl your hair with Coca-Cola if you’re brave and think it might work.

Preparing your hair will help it become healthy and more maneuverable, and it’ll be less likely your hairstylist will suggest the use of strong chemical treatments.

11. Pay for Only Yourself
Bridesmaids may want their hair to be professionally styled, but it is more important for the bride to have perfect hair. If you can only afford one appointment, the bride should have the up-do and the bridesmaids can have the option to pay for their own. Depending on the number of bridesmaids you have, you can save hundreds of dollars by not paying for their hair to be styled.

12. Color Your Own Hair
If you regularly go to a salon to color your hair, start doing your own coloring at home. There are many products on the market that make home hair coloring quick and simple. There is no need to spend $100 to have your hair professionally colored when you can do it for a fraction of the cost. This goes for your wedding day as well.

Final Word

Next to the wedding dress and makeup, hair is the most important and most talked about element of a bride’s wedding day look. Take time to really think about whether doing your own hair is something you want to take on, or if it is worth the cost for a professional to take care of it. While it is important to save every penny you can on your wedding, it’s more important to feel comfortable taking on an important task on an already stressful and busy day.

What did you do with your hair on your wedding day?

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Casey Slide
Casey Slide lives with her husband and baby in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for a prominent hospital in Atlanta. With the birth of Casey’s son in February 2010, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Casey’s interests include reading, running, living green, and saving money.

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  • http://humbleville.com Humble Laura

    Hi Casey,
    Great ideas about how to save money, even on the biggest day of your life! People can spend so much on their hair, by going to fancy salons, getting highlights, lowlights, perms, whatever. Want to know what I do? I let me husband trim my hair every 3 months or so. Daring, I know, but I save nearly $120 a year by letting him do it.
    Thanks for sharing your wedding hair wisdom!
    Humbly Yours,
    Humble Laura

  • http://humbleville.com Humble Laura

    Hi Casey,
    Great ideas about how to save money, even on the biggest day of your life! People can spend so much on their hair, by going to fancy salons, getting highlights, lowlights, perms, whatever. Want to know what I do? I let my husband trim my hair every 3 months or so. Daring, I know, but I save nearly $120 a year by letting him do it.
    Thanks for sharing your wedding hair wisdom!
    Humbly Yours,
    Humble Laura

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/featherfascinators Meredith

    I also suggest starting with Etsy. There are plenty of artists (myself and others) who offer inexpensive head pieces and veils that are perfect for weddings.

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