Wedding guest hair is hard to get right—these are the 8 looks I recommend pulling inspiration from in 2024

Find lots of inspo here

Wedding guest hairstyles
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There's nothing quite like wedding season—seeing your favourite people get married, getting together with friends, new swishy dresses, and as a beauty gal, trying out those wedding guest hair and make-up looks in my Saved folder. Whilst there's lots of inspiration out there when it comes to wedding beauty—from wedding hairstyles and wedding make-up to wedding perfumes, there's not a ton on wedding guest hairstyles.

But it's not always easy to get right. Come summer, you want something low fuss enough that's not going to make you hot, and come autumn you need something hardwearing and windproof. And, as we well know, the British weather isn't always so predictable. That's where I—and the help of a hairstylist—come in to help. Save these 8 hairstyles for both your summer and autumn weddings. Plus, shop the accessories you need, and follow these tips to nail each style.

1. Top knot

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A photo posted by hairbymichellesultan on

If you lean on the naturally warmer side (read: if you're sweaty) then getting all of that hair scraped off your face and neck is the way forward during a summer wedding, especially if there's an outdoor element. This look by Michelle Sultan is proof that a simple topknot can be the most elegant style out there. Bellissima’s hair ambassador and celebrity hairstylist, Alicia Dobson, recommends using a bungee bobble (a single piece of elastic that hooks on either end) and hairspray to create that high bun, then for face-framing, leave two strands of hair at the sides. "This style is also great if you want to wear a fascinator on your head to accessorise your outfit," she adds.

2. Bantu knots

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Bantu knots are a beautiful hairstyle, like the one created by Michelle Thompson here. The style not only looks great ,but it also keeps hairs off your face and neck, making it particularly great for those hot summer or destination weddings. You can add your own style with the use of accessories, matching them to your outfit.

3. Half-up, half-down hair

A post shared by Alicia Dobson

A photo posted by hairtohelp on

The classic half-up, half-down hair is both casual and elevated. For this style, Dobson waved the ends of the hair creating that tousled look and pinned up the top of the hair leaving those two front strands to give it lots of movement and frame the face.

4. Ponytail

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If you're someone who doesn't want to spend hours on their hair or, frankly, aren't that great at it (join the club), then you can never go wrong with a simple ponytail. The trick here is to wrap a few strands of your hair around the hair band and secure it with a hair grip to elevate the look instantly.

5. Bouncy blow dry

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A classic hairstyle is, of course, the bouncy blow dry, which Dobson notes being a popular choice during winter. Although you can wear this any time of the year, it's definitely one that works best in the cooler weather—particularly if you have long, thick hair, simply because of how sweaty it gets! To get the best blow dry, I always recommend heading to the salon because there's honestly nothing quite like it. But otherwise, your best bet is the good old classic rollers to achieve that voluminous finish.

6. Plaits or braids

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If you're a little more experienced (or have a talented friend or stylist on hand), doing a plaited or braided hairstyle is a great style to wear as a wedding guest. There are almost limitless possibilities when it comes to braiding and plaiting. This is the hairstyle route to go down if you don't want to have to worry about redoing your hair at all throughout the night.

7. Bows

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You can elevate any style with a humble bow, and you can chop and change the accessory to fit the season. Gingham and florals are particularly cute for spring/summer, whereas velvets and dark shades look fabulous in autumn/winter. It could be a half-up, half-down style or a simple pony like the one pictured here.

8. Headband/scrunchie

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And you can't go wrong with a headband or scrunchie (like this one from Scrunch By Staise) to any hairstyle. If you're wearing your hair in a slicked-back style with your scrunchie or hairband, Dobson recommends carrying a small touch-up comb, pins and even fly-away gel to easily fix any stray hairs throughout the long day.

Beauty Contributor

Tori is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor for Marie Claire. She has written for various titles, including Allure, Glamour, Elle, Refinery29, Brides, and more. Currently training to be a nail tech, Tori is a total nail enthusiast and always has time to talk all things nail art. When she’s not writing about beauty and testing products, Tori can be found walking her rescue dog Pip, drinking great coffee, and eating as many croissants as humanly possible.