Say ‘I do’ to these gorgeous ‘dos.

By Melanie Rud Chadwick
Updated May 15, 2019
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When it comes to wedding hairstyles, one look never fits all. Not only do you want to consider what feels most comfortable and most like you, but other factors come into play—the location of your wedding, your dress, and the overall vibe of your big day. Not to mention that it’s also important to think about your hair length and texture when coming up with wedding hair ideas. Ahead, top stylists share nine of their favorite bridal hairstyles that offer something for every hair type and taste, from beachy waves to chic updos and everything in between.

Dressed-Up Ponytail

If you’re a ponytail kind of girl, there’s no need to stray too far outside your comfort zone on your wedding day. With just a few simple tweaks, a ponytail can become a gorgeous bridal hairstyle. “Perfect for medium to long hair, this is also a great option for the bride who wants to keep her hair out of her face as she dances the night away,” says hairstylist Brittan White.

Make sure your hair has a little texture to begin with to keep the overall look soft and ethereal. White likes using Amika Brooklyn Bombshell Blowout Spray ($25; and rough drying with a round brush, then using a large-barreled curling iron to add in a loose wave. Pull it into a low ponytail, creating a knot around the base to dress it up and add visual interest. The finishing touch? A pretty hair accessory, like a pin or broach.

Braided Updo

If you want to wear your hair up but still keep the look modern, try incorporating braids into your updo, suggests White. Create three or four different braids, then coil and wrap them together into a style that still comes across as totally effortless. Plus, sweeping your hair off your back and neck is the perfect way to showcase a gown with an intricate neckline.

Bonus: Take down the braids the next morning and your hair will be left with plenty of texture and body, perfect for your wedding brunch. Simply mist on a little bit of dry shampoo, like Missio Coconut Cleansing Powder ($24;, to freshen up your locks and boost volume.

RELATED: 3 Braided Updo Hairstyles That Are Actually Easy (Video)

Short & Tousled

“People might think you’re limited when it comes to wedding hairstyles for short hair, but that’s not the case,” says White. (So stop stressing about growing your hair out in time for the big day!) First, create some texture. Ask your stylist for air-dried, tousled hair, with straighter ends so that it doesn’t look too done, suggests White. Then, add an accessory. Even a simple pearl barrette, like the Jennifer Behr Gretel Barrette shown below ($152;, instantly transforms this from everyday hair to bridal hair.

Intricate Updo

For a glamorous and sophisticated look (hello, black tie wedding), this glamorous updo can’t be beat. “It’s a chic bridal hairstyle that keeps your hair out of the way while still looking polished,” says Elizabeth Tulipana, owner of Anticipation Events in Chicago. To recreate it, gather hair into three ponytail sections, one starting at the crown of the head, one in the middle and lower neckline, in a mohawk row, says April Cason, a stylist at Bob Steele Salons in Atlanta. Take each ponytail and separate it into two loose strands, then wrap them around each other, creating a loose knot. Work your way to the ends, then wrap around the ponytail into a bun and secure with bobby pins. Repeat the same technique on the middle and bottom ponytail until all three ponytails blend together.

Beachy Waves

“Wearing your hair down with waves is a go-to look for brides who want to look like a picture-perfect version of themselves,” says Chicago stylist and salon owner Renee Feldman. Slightly more casual, it’s also ideal for more low-key affairs, think destination or beach weddings. Plus, it’s quick and easy to create. All it takes to score this bridal hairstyle is a big bouncy blowout and a curling iron set, says Feldman. Finish with a hefty dose of a flexible hold hairspray, like Suave Professionals Flexible Control Finishing Hair Spray ($3;, to ensure your wedding hair stays flawless from the start of the ceremony to the very end of the after party.

RELATED: How to Create Effortless Beach Waves (Video)

Half-Up Knot

When you want to keep your hair out of your face but still want to show off the length, a half-up style can’t be beat. If your hair is naturally straight, add in a loose wave. “This is super versatile because you can pull the top half back, either with loose braids or twists, and it also creates the perfect base if you want to use an accessory,” White says. And if a few pieces start to fall out near your face, don’t stress. “The trend in bridal hair is all about it being loose and messy and undone,” she adds. 

Vintage Bob

“This feminine, sophisticated look is timeless and perfect for brides who want to wear their hair short,” says Feldman. Polished curls are accentuated with a deep side part, playing up the retro feel.

Ribbon Headband

The focus is less on the actual style and more on the standout accessory here, meaning it works well with any kind of low ponytail, bun, or braid. Simply wrap a ribbon around the crown of your head and secure in back with a bow. Choosing a velvet option keeps the final look feminine, yet sophisticated enough that it doesn’t come across as juvenile. As far as color goes, “you can match the ribbon to your bridesmaids’ dresses, your groom’s tux, or go for an unexpected pop of color,” advises White. (Your “something blue” perhaps?) Keeping the hair smooth and sleek ensures this pretty accessory stands out, so play up that effect with a shine spray, like Kenra Shine Spray ($18;

Twisted Half-Up

Another half-up option, this bridal hairstyle works well on medium hair that’s shoulder-length or longer. Full curls throughout the lengths are contrasted by smoothness up top and simple twists on the sides pulled back from the front. “This twisted section is also the perfect place to add a veil,” notes Feldman.