Many engaged couples strive to find balance between a timeless wedding look and unique, trendy details, and hairstyles are no exception. From chic updos to romantic waves and modern pixie cuts, we’ve compiled some of the most inspiring tresses from real weddings and wedding shoots to help you find a look that is bridal-beautiful yet still feels like “you.”
Even if you’re not entirely sure how you want to wear your hair on the big day, you probably have a general idea of whether you’d like to have it up or down, grown-out or on the shorter side. Get started by selecting a basic category below!
Remember those shellacked buns that were all the rage during prom? Now brides are opting for a more effortless vibe with updos that are asymmetrical or have a more fluid shape.
If you have face-framing layers, leave them out to create an even softer look:
Photo by: Closer to Love on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly
Photo by: Ben Q Photography on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly
Oh-so-pretty updos take on more of an edge with fashion-forward accessories:
Photos by: Catherine Mead Photography on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly (left) / Happily Ever Borrowed (right)
Talk about texture! We’re swooning over these gorgeous ‘dos with height in the front and twists in the back:
Photos by: Sonya Khegay on The Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly
Photo by: Heather Kincaid on Southern Weddings via Lover.ly
Architectural twists perfectly complement an illusion neckline:
Photo by: Melissa Musgrove on Style Unveiled via Lover.ly
2. Ballerina Bun
Just like their namesake, these buns are graceful, poised and dramatic.
We love that the bride pictured below went for a lower style and the ‘maids bumped up the height of their ‘dos (we usually see the reverse at weddings):
Photo by: SugarLove Weddings on Polka Dot Bride via Lover.ly
This high bun-chignon hybrid is beautiful from every angle:
Photo by: Elizabeth Messina on Kiss The Groom via Lover.ly
If you’ve been blessed with thicker hair, start the bun below the crown to avoid overwhelming your face:
Photo by: Danielle Capito Photography on Style Unveiled via Lover.ly
If you’re choosing to wear a high bun, odds are that you’re not the shy type — add a dose of sparkle with a starburst-patterned hair clip:
Photo by: Ann-Kathrin Koch on Snippet & Ink via Lover.ly
Braided wedding hairstyles are hotter than ever and it’s no coincidence when you take into account the uptick in outdoor weddings and rustic-themed affairs. However, when styled the right way, they can also be used for more formal indoor settings as well.
Volume at the crown adds complexity to your basic fishtail braid:
Photos by: MangoRed on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly
Miniature braid buns play up this bride’s natural, rustic setting:
Photo by: Brett Heidebrecht Photography on Grey Likes Weddings via Lover.ly
Ask your hairstylist to start the braid closer to the nape of your neck if you want the look to be more versatile from the front:
Photo by: Rustic White Photography on Every Last Detail via Lover.ly
Photo by: Alea Lovely on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly
Coil all of the braids together and you’ve got a bun!
Photo by: Landon Jacob Productions on Southern Weddings via Lover.ly
Blink and you’ll barely catch these miniature braids woven into an otherwise classic hairstyle:
Photo by: Moss and Issac on Grey Likes Weddings via Lover.ly
The trick to amazing waves is longevity — they need to be able to stand up to hours of posing for photos, embracing loved ones and busting a move on the dance floor — so don’t be shy when applying product and bring hairspray to the reception for touch-ups.
Subtle ombré highlights add definition and frame your beautiful face:
Photo by: Kayla Adams & Co.
Photo by: Mango Studio on Inspired By This via Lover.ly
Unstructured, beachy waves make a lace dress feel fun and flirty (with or without the crown):
Photos by Ciara Richardson on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly
if you’ve been blessed with natural-born ringlets, by all means, play them up!
Photo by: Diana McGregor Photography on Style Unveiled via Lover.ly
A rosette adds a sweet touch to a half-up, half-down hairstyle:
Photo by: Closer to Love on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly
You can’t go wrong with sideswept waves:
Photo by: Silvana Di Franco Photography via Style Me Pretty
Pump up the volume at the roots:
Photo by: Brian LaBrada Photo on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly
If you’re inspired by vintage wedding details, borrow your hairstyle from a different decade, too, with curls and twists that would make any pin-up starlet jealous.
Side-parted hair in the front, curls in the back…
Photo by: Trent Bailey Photography on Grey Likes Weddings via Lover.ly
Photo by: Smallpigart Photography on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly
…Or feature curls on the sides:
Photo by: Danielle Capito Photography on The Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly
This bride’s curls are wrapped around a hairclip for extra prominence:
Photos by: Laura Hernandez Photography on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly
We love how this retro-styled bun is accented by a dramatic veil that was placed on the side, instead of directly in back:
Photo by: Laura Marchbanks Wedding Photography on Style Unveiled via Lover.ly
Love wearing your hair up but a traditional chignon is just too formal for you? Dress up a basic ponytail with intricate curls and twists.
Forget spin class or a meeting at the office — there’s no doubt that these ponytails are for the most glamorous day of your life:
Photo by: Driver Photo on Every Last Detail via Lover.ly
Photo on Inspired by This via Lover.ly
Tuck hair over one shoulder for a romantic effect:
Photo by: Nelwin Uy Photography on Bride and Breakfast via Lover.ly
Photo by: glitz and glam bridal on jessica via Lover.ly
Is it a bun? Is it a ponytail? We’re not entirely sure but what we do know is that we can’t wait to copy the styles pictured below immediately:
Photo by: Anna Campbell
Photo by: Life’s Highlights
So long, extensions — thanks to newly-shorn stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Pamela Aniston, minimalist pixies never looked so good.
We’re psyched to see more brides embracing them on their wedding day as well!
Photo by: Josh Dookhie on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly
Photos by: Set Free Photography on Every Last Detail via Lover.ly
Birdcage veils were practically made for shorter hair; add wispy bangs for flair:
Photo by: Brandi Smyth Photography on Munaluchi Bridal via Lover.ly
Tell us: Which hairstyle is your favorite?