Wedding hair used to be all about the updo—and while there are several variations on the style that still work, these days, nearly anything goes. Whether you're having a courthouse wedding or a black-tie affair, you'll find a hair look to suit the mood in our following list.
Our list includes styles that work on short hair (like an accessorized pixie), as well as long (think romantic half-up waves)—and everything in between, naturally. A big occasion warrants celebration and your hair shouldn't be something you have to worry about day-of. So, we spoke to experts for their tips on how to achieve the looks and ensure they stay put through dinner and dancing.
Meet the Expert
Keep reading for 30 of our favorite wedding hair looks.
By loosely pulling strands back into a relaxed, twisted bun (go for mid-height), Jasmine Tookes easily shows off her neck, profile, and gorgeous jewelry. (Which, we might add, is great for those wedding photos). We're equally in love with her impeccable cat-eye.
- Pull hair back into a mid-level ponytail, pulling a few strands out to frame the face.
- Secure the ponytail with an elastic, and wrap the ends of the ponytail around the elastic to form a bun and hide the hair tie.
- Use a curling iron to curl the loose strands at the front.
- "At the end, if you still need a bit more control, or want the look to be tighter to the head, I add some Oribe Silverati Pomade ($39) and smooth the sides away from the face with a toothbrush or nail brush," notes Rubenstein. "Yes, the cheapie little nail brushes they use to clean your nails during a manicure, like a toothbrush but bigger. I use them all the time for smoothing hair and taming flyaways."
Virtually effortless, we're partial to Lupita Nyong'o's diamond-encrusted take on the bun.
- Pull hair up and back into a voluminous ballerina bun.
- Wrap the ends of hair around the base of the bun, pinning it into place.
- Leave it bare, or wrap it with an elegant ribbon.
Business in the front, formal bridal party in the back, we say "I do" to Diane Kruger's braided hairstyle.
- Separate hair into two sections, and divide each of those into three sections to create a French braid.
- Cross the rightmost strand over the middle strand to make it the new middle strand, adding some hair to the far right strand as you go, then repeating on the left until you reach the end of the hair.
- Continue around the head, putting as much hair into the French braid as you can, then tie a regular braid with the remaining hair.
- Take one braid and wrap it into a low bun and do the same on the other side, to create low bun pigtails.
We love the way Jaimie Alexander's naturally curly texture complements her pinned-back locks. This is an easy wedding hairstyle—especially if you have chin-length (or shorter) tresses like Alexander.
- Add wide-barrel curls all over the head, then gather hair into a pony.
- Twist the ends a bit as you put it up to help guide the hair and add extra volume.
- Pull hair into a loop by wrapping the pony around, some hair in a loop on the final pull through.
- Secure and spritz with hairspray.
If you're looking for a wedding hairstyle that's both classic and low-maintenance, channel model Jourdan Dunn's red carpet look with cascading curls and two effortless twists joined easily at the back of your head.
- Starting on dry hair (even day-old works), use a wide barrel curling iron to create loose waves, brushing them out with your fingers.
- Take two sections of hair, on either side of the face and pin back in a half-up style, twisting them away from the face.
Going for a boho bridal look? Make like Laura Harrier and opt for a low, loosely curled ponytail with face-framing curls. It's simple, romantic, and effortless to achieve.
- Beginning on dry hair, use a wide-barrel curling iron to create loose waves.
- Pull hair back into a low ponytail, securing with an elastic.
- Pull two pieces of hair out from the ponytail, so that you have face-framing sections.
For an effortlessly chic wedding hairstyle, opt for loose, lived-in curls. Extra points if you channel Chanel Iman's covetable just-above-the-shoulder bob—whether you go for the cut or simply pin it from underneath.
"This is my go-to wedding hairstyle for every hair type and texture because the look is universally flattering," Vaccaro says. One part romantic, one part fairytale, (Beauty and the Beast, in particular), Alicia Vikander's gorgeous Academy Awards look is an easy-to-pull-off hairstyle for the big day.
- Pull a top section of hair into a ponytail, securing with an elastic.
- Take the end of the ponytail and wrap it around the elastic, pinning it into place so that it forms a bun.
- Spritz on a texture and shine spray.
Accessorized Half-Up, Half-Down
Take a cue from Brie Larson and let a show-stopping hair accessory take center stage. She keeps the rest of the hairstyle simple with a smooth, shiny length and barely curled ends for the epitome of elegance.
- Sweep the top half of hair back into a half-up, half-down style.
- Add a fun accessory rather than an elastic, to add some glam to the look, twisting the hair around the barrette so that it becomes part of the style.
- Run a flat iron through the ends of hair, to ensure they stay smooth.
- For a similar silky finish, look no further than Verb's Ghost Oil ($18).
Blake Lively punctuates her romantic, imperfectly perfect updo with a jewel-encrusted pin at the base of her head and an ultra-thin headband for an extra touch of playfulness.
- Pull hair back into a ponytail, taking the end and winding it around the base of the ponytail into a loose bun.
- Pull a few strands haphazardly out of the look and around the face.
- Secure the style with a glam headband.
As the ultimate easy wedding hairstyle, we can envision Margot Robbie's loose, romantic braid walking down the aisle.
- Pull hair into a low ponytail and divide into three sections, forming a braid by crossing the outer sections over to the middle and repeating until you reach the bottom of the hair.
- Secure the bottom with an elastic and pull a few face-framing strands out of the braid.
- The style is meant to look undone (that's part of the appeal), but make sure any flyaway strands stay out of your face by finishing with a thin coat of Ouai's Texturizing Hair Spray ($26).
We'll take any chance we get to replicate Rihanna's stunning red carpet hairstyles. And this ultra-feminine half-up look is no exception.
- Use a wide-barrel curling wand to create loose waves throughout the hair.
- Create a half-ponytail by pulling back the top section of hair, securing with an elastic.
- Wrap one piece of hair around the elastic, securing with pins to cover the hair tie.
- Spritz a shine spray all over the hair.
Half-Updo With Bangs
If you have bangs, do like actress Felicity Jones and show them off with a simple, Brigitte Bardot–esque half-updo.
- Create a part from the tops of your ears, up, pulling the front section of the hair into a high ponytail, smoothing down the sides before securing with a hair tie.
- Take a small piece of hair from beneath the ponytail and wrap it around the elastic, to conceal the hair tie. Secure it with a pin.
- Set the look with hairspray.
True, this hairstyle might be slightly more complicated than some of the others, but with its mesmerizing bends and buns, we think Hailee Steinfeld's Oscars look is worth it.
- Pull hair up into a smooth, high ponytail.
- Separate the end of the ponytail into several sections, clipping each so you can work with one at a time.
- Taking one section, create a loop in the hair (think of it as a mini bun or knot), securing it into the base of a ponytail. Repeat on all the mini sections of hair until you have one updo comprised of several smaller buns.
Janelle Monáe has made twinkling hair accessories her signature when it comes to the red carpet—a match made in heaven with her closely cropped pixie.
- Spray a texture spray through dry hair, to create grit.
- Secure a jeweled or embellished headband over the top, using fingers to adjust hair as needed.
Bun With Veil
For a vintage throwback, add a retro-inspired veil to your wedding hairstyle. Here, Hailey Bieber keeps it modern with her slicked-back topknot for a simple, demure take.
- Pull hair back into a high ponytail.
- Take the ends of the ponytail and wrap them around the ponytail, so that hair covers the elastic and the look is reminiscent of a topknot.
- Secure a headband with a veil over the entire look.
Elegant and romantic, Jessica Chastain's low, bundled-up knots and braids would make for an easy, gorgeous wedding hairstyle.
- Pull hair back into a low ponytail.
- Separate the hair into three sections and start a braid, but keep it loose.
- Once the braid is finished, use your fingers to pull pieces of hair away from one another, so that the effect is very loose.
Keep your wedding look laid-back by accentuating loose, barely-there bends with a few strategic pins and a center part. This crystal-embellished set is perfection.
- Beginning on dry, day-old hair with a center part, use a straightening iron to create bends through the end of the hair.
- Pull the straightener down as you normally would, but pivot the tool 180 degrees away from your face and gently pull down straight through the rest of your hair once you reach the mid-shaft.
- Repeat for each section of hair and pin hair back with barrettes.
A tribute to Old Hollywood glamour, Andra Day's voluminous Veronica Lake–esque waves are easy and 100 percent swoon-worthy.
- Beginning on dry hair with a side part, separate one-inch sections and wrap them around a one and half-inch curling iron.
- Once each section is curled, gently pull fingers through the curls to soften the look, and brush through with a fine-toothed comb.
- Repeat all over the head, then secure one side of the hair in a barrette.
Imaan Hammam demonstrates that curly natural texture is the epitome of pretty for red carpet appearances, and in our opinion, the walk down the aisle.
- First, ensure hair is properly moisturized.
- Let natural curls dry, well, naturally, by air-drying and applying a smoothing cream once mostly dry.
Show off your cheekbones and flawless makeup application on your wedding day by opting for a sleek high ponytail like Joan Smalls. (We think it would be especially pretty if your dress is strapless.)
- Pull hair back into a high pony, smoothing the tops and sides.
- Secure with an elastic, then wrap one small section of hair around the elastic, to hide it.
- Finish with shine spray.
The wet look has turned from an avant-garde style to something far more common. As it often crops up on the red carpet, it only makes sense that it would make its way to the chapel (or courthouse, as the case may be), too.
- "To create the wet look, I start with dry detangled hair," Rubenstein says.
- Now, it's time for the product. "I start at the nape of the neck and work my way up, running product through section by section. My favorite product to use for this is Oribe Rough Luxury Molding Wax ($39)."
- Use a comb to thoroughly coat the hair with product.
Zendaya's retro finger waves are one part edgy and one part elegant and would make for one easy (albeit totally chic) wedding hairstyle.
- Beginning on freshly washed and conditioned hair, apply mousse or gel all over the head. R+Co's Motorcycle Flexible Gel ($28) will keep things intact.
- Using a comb, make an S-shape in the hair, keeping a finger in the groove of the shape to keep hair in place.
- Repeat all over the head. Let dry.
A classic for good reason, this bouncy look is sultry and sophisticated all at once.
- "Twist sections back after lightly teasing and collect them one inch below the highest point of the head," Vaccaro says.
- "Criss-cross bobby pins to secure and have fun with a hair accessory to cover pins and elevate the look," he adds.
- "Leave out face-framing pieces for added softness. Finish with Glamsquad's Get Set Strong Hold Hairspray ($39)."
What every woman is craving right now: a healthy, bouncy blowout that is super smooth and shiny," Vaccaro says, noting, "Product and brush are key here."
- On damp hair, apply mousse or spray and run a round brush through hair, aiming a blow dryer on the hair as you go.
- "For fine hair, get your hands on Glamsquad's Full Effect Volumizing Mousse ($28) to give your hair that long-lasting body you crave," he says. "For thick hair that reacts to humidity, I love Kerastase's Fluidissime Anti Frizz Spray ($39) to spray all over. "
- "As far as brushes, natural boar bristle brushes will give your hair shine and are the best for smoothing out dry, frizzy strands," Vaccaro adds.
Side-Parted Glossy Waves
This look is excellent for bridal beauty and looks gorgeous when paired with a bold lip.
- Part hair to the side.
- Using a wide-barrel curling iron, curl the hair in sections, moving the iron toward the face for the retro look.
- Finish by smoothing with a serum or oil and plenty of shine spray.
A low chignon with face-framing strands is easy and chic, making it a go-to style for everyone from those heading to a nighttime event to brides on their big day.
- Pull hair into a low ponytail, keeping some sections of hair around the face loose.
- Secure hair with an elastic, then wrap the end of the ponytail into a loose chignon, pinning the hair into place.
- Moving to the tendrils near your face, run a wide-barrel curling iron through to create a loose wave.
Those with short hair can impart romance into their style by simply air-drying and using a quality texturizing product.
- Let hair air-dry.
- Apply a root-lifting product like Kenra Professional Dry Volume Burst ($18), working it into the hair with fingers.
- Use a comb to slick down any errant hairs and put the look into place.
Short hair gets the glam treatment with a blowout and some texture.
- Starting on damp hair, sweep your pixie to the side to create a loose side part.
- Use a comb like Mason Pearson's Fine Tooth Comb ($28) to comb hair into sections then begin blow-drying, using a round brush to amp up the volume.
- Finish with a texture spray.
This casual, undone look is perfect (and perfectly doable) for wedding season.
- Start on dry hair, sectioning the hair, and using a 1" curling wand to curl hair towards the face while holding the iron horizontally.
- Once curled, spritz dry shampoo at the roots, and flip hair upside down before lightly back-brushing for added volume.
- Finish with hairspray.