wedding hairstyles for every bride

A woman’s hair is her crowning glory. It says a lot about her, her style, and her personality. That’s why choosing a wedding hairstyle (and make-up!) is just as important as choosing a wedding dress. Wedding hairstyles complete the wedding look. It’s the cherry on top yet it’s often one of the decisions that brides leave to the last minute. Are you guilty of this? Well, whether you’re an eager planner or a last-minute crammer, I’ve come up with a handy list of the best wedding hairstyles for you.

wedding hairstyles for the classic bride

ballerina bun

If you want to go for the timeless style, nothing can beat the perfect ballerina bun. Among the bridal wedding hairstyles, this is possibly the most versatile. You can easily match it with almost any wedding look or dress you choose. It’s one of the most popular wedding hairstyles and for good reason. It’s great for carefree brides because it doesn’t involve a complicated styling process. Trust me, your hairstylist will love you for it. It also requires little or no maintenance at all. You don’t need to worry about frizzy or unmanageable hair. Once your hairstylist sets it in the morning, you can forget about your hair and enjoy your wedding day. You’ll look put together and fresh from your wedding breakfast all the way to your wedding after-party.

There are a lot of ways that you can make this style your own. You can modernise your bun by wearing hair accessories, vines and pins. These will add to the chic look and will also make it easy to attach your wedding veil. If you’re going for a romantic look, why not ask your wedding hairstylist to add dainty little flowers that match the blooms in your wedding bouquet. This wedding hairstyle is a great way to create a cohesive look and incorporate the wedding theme even in the small details.

twisted chignon

This is my favourite bridal hairstyle because it has the magic to make you look glamourous. It’s a fancier version of the classic wedding bun with a hint of romantic French chic. Chignon comes from the French phrase “chignon du cou” which translates in English to “bun at the nape of the neck”. Thus, the chignon rests at the base of the neck and is worn lower than the ballerina bun.

The chignon is more commonly used for formal weddings. However, like the ballerina bun, it has many variations to fit your unique personality. Whether you go for a braided chignon, a side chignon, or a messy chignon, this hairstyle is surely one to elevate your wedding look.

Twisted low chignon with living coral enamel hair vine accessories. Photo by Cristina Ilao www.cristinailao.com


  1. Buns and chignons work best on hair with medium thickness. Don’t worry if you have fine hair though. Your hairstylist might use a volumizing spray and possibly a hair donut to thicken your tresses. Thick hair will require many sturdy pins and a strong hold spray.
  2. Start with “dirty” or unwashed hair. Hairstylists usually advice against washing your hair on the wedding day. Clean hair may not hold its shape as much as unwashed hair does. If you’re worried about it being greasy, try using a dry shampoo. It works wonders!

wedding hairstyles for the fringed bride

clean updo

It doesn’t matter whether you’re sporting Audrey Hepburn’s mini fringe or Anna Wintour’s full signature fringe (or bangs). Bangs demand attention. And they can also look super chic if you know how to style them.

If you’re feeling practical, the easy option is to have your hair pulled back in a clean and polished updo. Let your soft wispy fringe gently frame your face. Then, keep the rest of your hair from getting in your way by styling it into a bun. A chignon or even loose braids will also work just as fine.

soft feminine bridal look with full voluminous bangs and wispy hair on the side wedding hairstyles, classic ballerina bun updo. Photo by Cristina Ilao www.cristinailao.com

soft curls

Imagine walking down the aisle with an effortlessly romantic fringe framing your face. Go au naturel or ramp up the volume by wearing big luscious curls. This style can make you look playful and free-spirited. It’s perfect if you plan to have a more relaxed celebration like an intimate destination wedding.

Close up portrait of asian japanese bride with natural neutral classic bridal make-up and curled short loose hair with bangs fringe wedding hairstyles | Shot on Film using Nikon F 100 and Fujifilm Pro 400 by UK light and airy wedding photographer Cristina Ilao


  1. Wash your bangs on the morning of your wedding and leave the rest of your hair untouched. Washing your bangs makes them bouncier and shinier. Just make sure to keep your hands off them so they don’t lose their volume or get greasy.
  2. Book a trial with your hairstylist so you can see if there’s a need for fringe adjustment. You’ll be able to find out if you need to grow them out a bit or have them cut a certain length nearer the wedding day.

wedding hairstyles for brides with long hair

beachy waves

The great thing about long hair is the flexibility it offers. You can choose from a wide variety of hairstyles and you can play with many options. Updos, half updos? Why not! Or better yet, just let your hair down and go for big soft waves. If you have long luxurious locks, there’s no better time to flaunt them than on your wedding day. Get that dreamy look and finish it with a gorgeous bridal veil.

brunette bride smiling while holding a spring summer bouquet with karge david austin english roses in pink and peach, neutral foxgloves and clematos handpicked from the garden; sweetheart neckline wedding gown with sequins and tulle full a line skirt; - Venue: Wollaton Hall Camellia House (cast iron glass house) in Nottinghamshire. Photo by London and Newcastle UK based Filipina fine art light bright and airy wedding and portrait photographer Cristina Ilao, more at www.cristinailao.com

half up, half down

Let your hair down but keep it fuss-free. If that’s how you like it, then this wedding hairstyle is for you. You can really focus on having fun on your wedding day with a half updo hairstyle. Whether you choose to keep it simple – gathered at the top and loose at the ends. Or a little flirty – with some delicate hair accessories on your crown and curled at the ends. This wedding hairstyle is one of the most versatile and popular among all the options. You get the feminine look with your long lustrous hair without it hiding your face.

Flower filled London Spring wedding fine art bridal portrait wedding photography faqs - Photo by Cristina Ilao

french braid

We’re not talking about the traditional tight plaits. Think of whimsical, fun, and relaxed braided hair. The loose French braid is a classic style with a modern twist. This hairstyle works best for more relaxed or intimate celebrations. It could also be a good option if you want to have different looks. Take your hair down after the ceremony and show off your luscious waves during your reception.


  1. Braids need grip to stay in place and keep their shape. Therefore, just like buns and chignons, braids work best with “dirty” or unwashed hair. If your hair is too clean and slippery, spray it with dry shampoo. It will work wonders when applied on both the roots and the length of the hair.

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