25 Expert-Approved Wedding Hairstyles for the Big Day

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25 Expert-Approved Wedding Hairstyles for the Big Day featured image
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Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life, and whether you’re a hands-on, DIY kind of person or opt to lay the responsibility in the hands of professionals, planning a wedding takes a lot of time and consideration. While the venue, menu, guest list and more tend to take up a lot of the planning budget, how you look and feel on the big day is arguably the most important part.

In both photos and memories, your wedding day will live forever, so you want to make sure your hair and makeup are absolutely perfect for the vibe you’re trying to achieve. Picking a hairstyle you won’t regret in 10 years is no easy feat with how quickly trends shift nowadays, but ahead, expert hair-stylists and celebrity hair gurus share their favorite wedding hairstyles.

Featured Experts

  • Paul Labrecque is the creative director, master stylist and colorist Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa
  • Johnny Lavoy is a celebrity hairstylist who has worked with A-listers like Rosie Perez, Miranda Lambert and more
  • Christin Brown is a celebrity hairstylist and curl expert

The Best Wedding-Day Hairstyles

From updos to loose strands to extensions and hair accessories, here are some of our experts’ favorite wedding hairstyles and even some of the products they use to ensure the looks last all night long.

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Floral-Accented Updo

Labrecque says chignons and updos pair well with backless gowns. To kick things up a notch, try adding dainty florals throughout the style to match your bouquet or wedding vibe.

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Hollywood Waves

One of Lavoy’s biggest tips for wedding day hair is to avoid “trendy” styles and opt for something classic and timeless, like Hollywood Waves. “Try to avoid trendy hair,” he says. “Remember while you might feel great that day, I have found that some trendy hair doesn’t age well. Pictures last forever and the last thing you want is to look at your pictures years from now and have someone say ‘OMG look at your hair,’ so I always say stick to timeless hairstyle like some lush Hollywood waves.”

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Bombshell Blowout

If you like the idea of Hollywood waves but want something a little fuller, opt for some soft curls with built out volume, Labrecque explains. In Labrecque’s experience, you can add volume to soft, wedding-day curls with a ponytail piece and invisible bead extensions to help add height and volume while keeping the look soft and light—perfect for a beach wedding.

A bombshell blowout is also one of Lavoy’s favorite wedding-day styles. We’ve been seeing big, voluminous bombshell blowouts all over the red carpet lately, and if you’re looking for something classy yet sexy, its the perfect style for your wedding day, too.

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A Low Pony

“Who wouldn’t like a pony when you’re young and have beautiful skin and gorgeous hair,” says Labrecque. Whether it’s a low pony or a “power pony,” a voluminous, pulled-back look never goes out of style.

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Sleek and Straight

There is something so chic and eye-catching about a simple, sleek, straight blow out, and as Lavoy and Labrecque emphasize, timeless and classic is best when it comes to wedding-day hair. If humidity and other hair-bending elements are not of concern, consider going with straight, silky tresses for an effortlessly glamorous look.

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Braided Styles

If you’re not looking to add accessories like flowers, beads or charms to your hair but want something a little more elevated, Labrecque explains that adding braids to wedding day hair is a great way to make a classic style more interesting. Whether the braids are featured in a loose hair look or are part of a chignon or updo, the cross-hatched technique adds the perfect amount of “wow.”

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Half-Up Hair

Like Labrecque and Lavoy assure, timeless is best when it comes to wedding hair, and a chic half-up half-down is a great option for wedding hair. If you want to elevate the style, try opting for a deep side part and add something like a jeweled barrette to the side of the head to spice up the look and avoid predictability.

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Classic Chignon

One of Labrecque’s favorites, a chignon is a timeless wedding hair look, whether you’re the bride, a bridesmaid or even a guest. Great for formal weddings or for events in the warmer months, a classic chignon style keeps your hair out of your face and off your neck, making it also a staple style for dresses where you want the neck and décolletage to be exposed and shine.

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Loose, Beachy Waves

Whether you’re getting married on the sand or just want to channel that care-free, beachy energy, loose waves area a great wedding hair option. Easy enough to do on yourself, using a thicker barreled curling iron and some hair spray will help you create lived-in, loose waves that last all night.

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Baby Buns

Almost like an elevated take on a space bun, experimenting with baby buns is a great way to take on a more eccentric, youthful, fun look that is sure to turn heads and makes for the perfect accessory for a cool-girl wedding.

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Medium-Length Deep Waves

“I was in the wedding hair industry for 14 years in Santa Barbara as well as out of the country and I’ve had the experience of doing such a wide range of styles,” says celebrity hairstylist and curl expert Christin Brown, “Some of my favorite styles to do on shorter to medium length hair is an old Hollywood style—some version of a deep wave can be a classic and elegant style that translates amazingly on the person getting married or anyone attending.”


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Natural Texture and Foliage

For clients with textured hair, the assumption is typically that they have to do something totally out of the ordinary for a wedding, but as Brown explains, Sometimes a beautiful wash and go style with some extra adornments or living fern (yes, fern) in the hair can be absolutely stunning.”

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A Curly Loose Bun

Adding texture to an updo is a great way to create dimension and a more laid-back, “boho” vibe for your special day. Instead of slicking the hair back into a tightly gathered bun or chignon, curly the hair tightly and then loosely gathering it above the neck makes for an effortlessly messy yet chic style.

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Fishtail Braid

“For super long hair that sometimes has a hard time holding a curl, my go-to is a fishtail braid,” says Brown, “Not only can it save time and the uncertainty of the style holding for hours, but it looks impressive because of how intricate it is. Using some sort of dry shampoo like Oribe Dry Shampoo ($52) can really help to provide grip and texture with this style.”

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Slicked-Back Puff

Another one of Brown’s favorite styles for brides or wedding guests with textured hair is “a slick style that blossoms into a puff at the top,” emphasizing the clients natural texture. Brown adds that, to amplify this style, one can add barrettes and other adornments depending on the vibe of the function.

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Low, Messy Bun

If a classic chignon isn’t quite your style but you still want a look that keeps your hair off your face and neck so you can party with no restraints, try a low messy bun. By pulling out some strands in the front and allowing the hair pulled into the bun to have texture and movement, a low messy bun can be a great wedding event style.

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Statement Headband

Whether you opt for pearls, flowers, feathers, crystals, foliage, lace or any of the dozens of other options, a statement headband is the perfect way to dress up any wedding hair look, no matter what vibe you’re going for. Endlessly versatile, headbands can compliment an updo or flowing tresses, so the world is really your oyster.

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Exaggerated Side Part

While the internet may have decided that side parts are “cringe,” an exaggerated, dramatic side part takes on a whole new life and serves as a perfect style for the big day. While you can fold a heavy side part into an updo or a fully-down style, the part is especially complimentary to big, relaxed waves—it helps create that old-Hollywood starlet aesthetic.

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Sharp Middle Part

If you just can’t get behind a side part, though, a sharp middle part is just as elegant. Whether you part the hair down the middle for a low chignon or to leave it down straight or curled, a perfectly-defined middle part adds an air of sophistication to any wedding hair look.

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Wrapped Fishtail Pony

While we often associate a ponytail with a casual look, there are plenty of ways to elevate your pony to create a chic, wedding-ready style. Wrapping hair around the facet of your ponytail to disguise the hair tie and then fishtailing the hair in the pony is a great way to add an interesting and extravagant detail to your party pony.

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Barely-There, Tousled Waves

If extravagant isn’t your style, there are plenty of options for creating a wedding day hairstyle that helps you feel confident and special without being too over-the-top. For a sexy yet simple, lived-in look, opt for some ever-so-slightly bent waves with a tousled finish for that fresh-off-the-runway, model vibe.

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White Bows

As we all know, bows are so back, and they also make the perfect wedding-day hair accessory. Whether you want to go for white to compliment your gown or with a pop of color, adding a satiny bow to your hanging strands is a great way to channel that soft, coquette energy on your big day.

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Long, Fluffed Braids

While our experts have already shown how braids can add interest and dimension to an array of updos, you can also create a stunning wedding style with one, long braid. By swooping all the hair to one side, braiding the strands down and then gently pulling on the plaits to help give them volume and texture, you can find yourself with the perfect rustic, relaxed wedding hair ‘do.

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Over-Wrapped Chignon

As our experts have noted, a chignon is classic and timeless, but there are also ways to add some extra pizazz to this tried-and-true wedding day style. By wrapping the top layer of hair over and around the bun instead of folding it in, you create an artistic, sophisticated take on the chignon. Add a lace appliqué and voila!

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Baby Braids

If you want to have your hair away from your face without committing to a full up do, baby braids on the top layer of your hair are a great way to dress up a hair-down look. By braiding just the front pieces of the hair back into a half-up half-down style—fastened by your choice of barrette or similar accessory—you can have all the benefits of having your hair out of your face for the big day while still letting your strands run free.

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Wedding Day Hair: Tips for Styling

While many people opt to have professionals do their hair for the wedding, some brides will choose to style their hair themselves for the big day. Whether you’re worried about humidity or curls staying put, Lavoy has some expert products lined up for nailing your wedding day hair.

For humidity, I love Color Wow’s Dream Filter ($24),” Lavoy begins. “This product will not only keep the frizz away but also give your hair a beautiful shine. Redken Thermal Sprays ($27) are great for hair that has a problem holding curl, and they have both a light and a strong for different hair types. For finishing, I am a big fan of L’Oréal Paris Elnett ($27). It’s great for hold and combating humidity but it’s also brushable without loosing the hold.”

“I have three big tips for wedding day hair,” says Brown. “First just because you heard once that ‘dirty hair’ holds a style better doesn’t mean that you should necessarily show up having not washed your hair in a long, long time. If you have naturally curly hair, you can go a few days after washing and yes, you’re going to have amazing wedding day hair because there’s volume, definition, and movement. But, if you have straight hair, day two hair is a better move. Even if you washed it on the day of the event, we as stylists still have products to give us the boost we need to make the style amazing.”

Brown continues, “If you don’t like the style when it’s all said and done, say something and say it with kindness. Instead of pretending to like it, tell your artist that you would like to make an adjustment and let them do it for you. There’s nothing wrong with needing to make a switch up! Give the stylist a chance to get it right—any great stylist would welcome notes.”

Finally, Brown’s third wedding day hair tip is simple: have fun. “A lot of us feel that because it’s such a ‘formal’ event, we’re unable to find exploration within the hair styling process. If you’re use to having your hair down all the time, think about how can you add a slight variation on it. If your hair is up all of the time, consider how can you change just a little bit of it to where you’re still you, but you took a tiny risk that opens up your beauty world. I love this tip because as an artist, I really love to show people the side of themselves that’s still there and always been there, but maybe needed a little healthy push.”

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