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A woman’s hair is her crowning glory. It says a lot about her, her style and 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. I hope you find this useful!

Wedding Hairstyles for the Classic Bride

traditional ballerina bun wedding hairstyle with dainty flowers, lace gown by Marchesa. Photo by Cristina Ilao. www.cristinailao.com

1. Ballerina Bun

For brides who want to go for the timeless style, nothing can beat the perfect ballerina bun. Among the 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 it’s set in the morning, you can forget about it 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’s 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 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 low chignon wedding hairstyles with living coral enamel hair vine accessories. Photo by Cristina Ilao www.cristinailao.com

2. Twisted Chignon

This is my favourite bridal hair style because it has the magic to make any bride 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.

Bonus Tips:

  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

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

3. Clean Updo

It doesn’t matter whether you’re sporting Audrey Hepburn’s mini fringe or Anna Wintour’s full signature bangs. Bangs demand attention. Plus, they 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.

loose beachy waves soft curl with mini bangs a la Audrey Hepburn. classic relaxed bridal look. Photo by Cristina Ilao www.cristinailao.com

4. 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.

Bonus Tips:

  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 the Bride with Long Hair

soft and relaxed beachy waves wedding hairstyles for brides with long hair. Photo by Cristina Ilao www.cristinailao.com

5. 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 is no better time to flaunt them than on your wedding day. Get that dreamy look and finish it with a gorgeous bridal veil.

loose and relaxed French braid with fishtail accessorised with living coral hair pins. Photo by Cristina Ilao www.cristinailao.com

6. 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 different looks. Take your hair down after the ceremony and show off your luscious waves during your reception.

Bonus Tips:

  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.

I hope you found this useful! I’m excited to know if you decided to follow any of my tips. Send me an email if you did or comment below if you have any more wedding hairstyle suggestions. If you’d to be notified the next time I share wedding planning tips like this, then please join my email list, and let’s stay in touch. Speak soon!

Much love,
Cristina x

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Hairstylists:
Ballerina Bun – Emily Artistry
Twisted Chignon – Maxine Wilson
Clean Updo – Emily Artistry
Soft Curls – Brigitta Danastri
Beachy Waves – Vicky Medhurst
French Braid – Vicky Medhurst

* All photos by Cristina Ilao Photography

London wedding and editorial photographer

Meet cRiSTina

Born and raised in the Philippines, Cristina is an award-winning international wedding photographer currently based in London and Newcastle, UK. She is known for her fine art approach and light and airy photography style.

Throughout her career, Cristina has worked with distinguished television celebrities, leading UK fashion influencers and international brands, cementing her place in the UK and extending her reach to a global client base. Cristina has been featured by Nikon Europe,  Yahoo Style UK, and some of the most notable international wedding and photography magazines.

Her work has taken her to some of the most beautiful places in the world including the USA, France, Malta, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Greece, and the Caribbean just to name a few.

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