With spring around the corner, it's almost time for wedding season to commence! If you're a naturalista who'll be saying 'I Do' in the coming months, be inspired by these ESSENCE readers who rocked their coils and curls on their wedding day.
Wedding Date: February 5, 2011 Wedding Location: Atlanta "I wanted to stay true to myself and have a style that was both timeless and unique. I wanted to show that natural hair and locs can be elegant and compliment my wedding style. I got my hair done the day before my wedding, and it lasted all the way through my honeymoon, which was a major plus!"
Tanya Tatum Swift
Wedding Date: October 1, 2011 Wedding Location: Jersey City, NJ "The journey to accepting my natural hair has been filled with both joyful and painful experiences. I chose to wear my hair in its natural state as a symbol of triumph for not only marrying a man who loves me without conditions, but also as a celebration of the amazing woman I continue to blossom into."
Gwentilyn Freeman Oliver
Wedding Date: July 28, 1973 Wedding Location: Portsmouth, VA "On one of the most important days of my life, my natural hair was a representation of a person who was proud of herself and her heritage! Because the temperature during July is in the 90s and the humidity makes it feel like it is close to 1000, what better or more picturesque style could there be other than natural?"
Wedding Date: October 22, 2011 Wedding Location: Detroit "My wedding day hairstyle was inspired by my need to be different and not have a typical wedding updo. I loved how vibrant the color looked when I put on my wedding dress. I felt like a princess all day."
Natasha M. Bing
Wedding Date: December 04, 2010 Wedding Location: Tampa, FL "It is said that cutting your hair low is a start to a new beginning, and a new beginning indeed it was on this very special day—the day I married my best friend. For some people, beauty is portrayed as having long hair, I wanted it to be known that beauty is not just defined by long hair or curly hair, but short hair shows confidence and courage to do what others dare not do and still be beautiful inside and out."
Wedding Date: September 29, 2012 Wedding Location: San Diego, CA "I wanted to look regal and cultural without deviating from my natural hair. I decided on a traditional Eritrean Albaso braiding style found on brides in that country. Natural hair is dependable and resilient; it was never affected by the hot, humid weather. It remained just as beautiful as it did when I walked down the aisle to meet my husband."
Tamika Maria Price
Wedding Date: Tamika Maria Price Wedding Location: July 8, 2011 "I was searching and searching for the perfect hairstyle for my wedding day after doing the big chop about 6 months prior. After not finding a style I loved, I realized that there was no other option but to embrace my natural beauty and rock my natural hair. I felt beautiful and, best of all, it was a stress-free hairstyle that I wouldn't have to worry sweating out on the dance floor with the man of my dreams."
Steffany A. Baptiste
Wedding Date: October 30, 2010 Wedding Location: Paterson, New Jersey "I loved that my hair was curly, tropical and princess-like. My locs looked the best that day. I wanted my hair to be out of my face yet full. I have a lot of hair and truly did not want anything tight during such an important and stress-free day."
Wedding Date: June 10, 2012 Wedding Location: Philadelphia "I was inspired to shave my head and wear henna after seeing a beautiful picture in the ESSENCE book A Better Than Alright Journey, written by the singer Ledisi, who is one of my clients. I'm a hairstylist and I've been wearing my hair natural for over 20 years. It was great to have my hair shaved because it was such a hot day and I didn't have to worry about my hair."
Wedding Date: November 10, 2012 Wedding Location: Birmingham, AL "I wanted something to fit my 'Old Hollywood Glam' theme wedding. My loctician, Sharifa Wip, was a big help with my inspiration as well. I love the fact I can still be myself regardless if my hair was loc'ed or not. Locs can also be elegant and glamorous, too!"
Stacey Pelton Owens
Wedding Date: May 26, 2012 Wedding Location: Bahamas "I discovered the pipe cleaner set from Chescalocs on YouTube a couple of years ago and love using this method to curl my Sisterlocks. I thought the look would be perfect for my Caribbean destination wedding so I created a partial updo to make it more formal. I loved that my hair was an accessory in and of itself; I didn’t even want a veil to cover it up!"
TaJuanna M. Taylor
Wedding Date: May 19, 2012 Wedding Location: Vieux Fort, St. Lucia "My wedding day hairstyle was inspired by my desire to be absolutely care-free and representative of my everyday self. I wanted to be able look back at my wedding pictures and say, 'Yep, That’s T!' What I loved most about wearing my hair natural on my wedding day was how connected I felt with the island atmosphere that surrounded me. Even with the ocean breeze whirling around my face, every curl landed in its perfect place."
Wedding Date: July 30, 2011 Wedding Location: Richmond, Virginia "In October of 2010, my dad was in chemo. Because he's my everything, I decided to shave my head. I visited him the last week of October and when he saw me he said, 'I love your hair, don’t change it.' My dad lost his battle to cancer a week later."
Wedding Date: October 7, 2012 Wedding Location: Hollywood, Florida "I met my husband shortly after I did the big chop. At the time I was feeling very self-conscious. His first words to me were 'I really love your hair' and for the four years that we have been together, he has continually encouraged me to embrace my natural beauty, whether that be expressed through my hair, clothing, makeup or diet. I loved wearing my natural hair on my wedding day because I felt truly beautiful when I saw his expression when I first walked down the aisle."
Wedding Date: July 18, 2009 Wedding Location: Houston "I've been wearing my hair natural for the last 15 years. It's also the way I wore my hair when I met my husband. On my wedding day, getting my hair done only took 15 minutes in a barber's chair. I didn't even have to worry about sweating it out on my wedding night!"
Wedding Date: April 20, 2012 Wedding Location: Gainesville, AL "My veil inspired my wedding day look. I wanted my hair up, away from my face. I liked that my veil showed some of my hair from the front and lots of detail when turning to the side. My husband loves my hair! He was just as excited to see how I'd wear it as he was about seeing my wedding dress. I love that he loves my hair as much as I do."
Wedding Date: November 11, 2011 Wedding Location: Brooklyn, NY "My natural wedding day hairstyle was inspired by our jumping the broom ceremony. By jumping the broom, we recognized the strength of marriage formed within the hearts of our ancestors. I wanted to ensure that my hair reflected the natural character, depth and strength of the locs that I was born with, unchanged."
Photo by Max Luger
Amelia R. Foster
Wedding Date: November 10, 2011 Wedding Location: Rio Mar, Puerto Rico "I saw the wedding style I wanted in the ESSENCE Hot Hair Fall 2011 edition a few months before my wedding, and because we were having a desination wedding, I knew the style would be perfect! This style made me feel like a queen, plus my husband loved it!"
Wedding Date: May 22, 2011 Wedding Location: Toronto, Canada "I went to a natural hair salon to get an idea of how they could style my natural hair for my wedding day. After spending almost $100 and waiting for nearly 6 hours in the salon, I was not impressed. My husband suggested I do my hair myself, which I did. I was up at 5:30am on my wedding day two-strand twisting my hair. I was extremely happy with how it turned out!"
Denise B. Young
Wedding Date: June 30, 2012 Wedding Location: Philadelphia "I knew it was going to be hot on my wedding day, so I wanted to wear my hair up, and I also wanted to show off the back of my wedding gown. As I was walking down the aisle, I could hear my wedding guests saying, 'Wow, look at her hair!' and it made me feel beautiful!"