style guide

5 Ways to Wear Flowers in Your Hair Without Looking Like a Festivalgoer

A knotted updo with lilacs and peonies.
A knotted updo with lilacs and peonies. Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

Coachella may well have killed the garland crown. Luckily, hairstylist Gareth Bromell of the Marie Robinson Salon, with the help of L’Atelier Rouge florist Caroline Bailly, has five alternative ways to incorporate blooms into your wedding do.

Peonies in a Twist (top photo)
The knotted updo has a messier, more undone effect than the classic pinned-up style. To work with that vibe, and to make sure the look isn’t deliberate or fussy, Gareth Bromell went for a slightly askew placement of these lilacs and peonies. As for sourcing the flowers, Caroline Bailly says the florist doing your other arrangements should be more than willing to throw in a few extra blooms free of charge.

Illustration: Cecilia Carlstedt

Dreadlocks and Daisies
A chunky braid over one shoulder could easily look like a hippie cliché if paired with a flower crown. Instead, Bromell says he would attach narcissus, forget-me-nots, and daisies to floral wire and tuck them directly into the braid. Since dreadlocked hair is thick and textured, he adds, the flowers should stay put; for fine and straight hair types, he recommends prepping with a texturizing spray such as EVO Mister Fantastic Blowout Spray ($25). Just make sure to ask your stylist to avoid spraying after the flowers are applied, since it can damage the delicate petals.

Illustration: Cecilia Carlstedt

Poppy Waves
The goal with this look is scattered and random, says Bromell — anything more than about five blooms will overwhelm the hair. (Though you’ll want to ask for double that amount from your florist in case any flowers fall out while you’re dancing.) These bright-orange poppies are particularly flattering for brunettes, adds Bailly.

Illustration: Cecilia Carlstedt

Feathery Chignon
For a more subtle touch of floral, Bromell suggests affixing a wispy flower such as peach astilbe to a comb and sliding it into a low-positioned chignon. Bailly calls the effect a modern alternative to the vintage crystal barrette.

Illustration: Cecilia Carlstedt

Floral Fascinator
This perch of café-au-lait dahlias, Juliet roses, and begonia leaves, which plays off a flapper-inspired bob, “conjures those opulent cocktail hats of the 1920s,” says Bailly. For a more showy floral arrangement such as this one, share inspiration photos and a swatch of your dress fabric with your florist and ask for a test design, which you can then take to your hair trial. “Treat this arrangement like a veil or hat,” says Bailly. Try it on before you commit.

*This article appears in the Summer 2016 issue of New York Weddings.

5 Ways to Wear Flowers in Your Hair