85 Elegant Wedding Hairstyles for Contemporary Bride

If you’ve ever been to a wedding, you’ll know that there are so many decisions that go into the big day. For brides, hair is top on the list after the dress, the ring, and the venue. But some wedding hairstyles tend to look dated, too over-the-top, or simply too overdone. How can you combine modern trends while still making something fit for a bride? Here are some options for you:

• Play down the accessories. Not every wedding hairstyle calls for 80’s-level glitz and glam, especially when curated for down-to-earth themes and potentially-chaotic outdoor venues. Pearls and pastels can be just as elegant as crystals.
• Go out-of-the-box with color. Weddings aren’t just white anymore, and your accessories don’t have to be, either. Even if you do choose a white dress, you can add some colored hairpieces into the mix.
• Opt for a down-do. Up-dos have been the bridal staple for centuries, but down-dos can be just as majestic. Whether the hair is long or short, curly or straight, simply find a way to keep the hair out of the face. Voilà: a down-do work for you.

The tips above are just the beginning. Here, we’ve collected 85 bridal hairstyles that are modern, elegant, and perfect for you or your loved one to wear down the aisle.

#1: Low Braided Bun with Pearl Accents

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Braids make an elegant addition to any bridal hairstyle and add flavor to the traditional bun. The loose waves added here to give this style a relaxed and enchanting touch. A pearl-colored crown, which contrasts beautifully with dark hair, makes the look fuller and more luxurious.

#2: Curly Bun with Sprigs of Holly

The curly bun is perfect for brides with thick, long hair. Taking the hair back in pieces adds dimension to the look, while also giving it a laid-back feel. Small floral accessories help showcase the bun and the bride, without being too flashy. Although this style works on all hair colors, bright blonde highlights show the intricacies of the look.

3. Loose, Traditional Low Bun

The low bun is an effortless style for any bride or bridesmaid. Opting for a looser look, as shown here, showcases the face while maintaining wedding-level elegance. A floral comb strikingly contrasts with dark hair, while also bringing out caramel and blonde highlights.

4. Curly, Winding Braids

Long wedding hairstyles are among the latest trends. Winding braids are a modern take on a classical look, keeping tresses out of the face while maintaining the volume and movement of long, flowing hair. Ombre colors and woven-in accessories also make this bridal style the center of attention.

5. Messy Twists with Floral Accents

This whimsical bridal hairstyle is perfect for free-spirited brides. Smooth, twisted knots make this a polished look, while loose curls and baby’s breath show the bride’s fun and spirited side. Ombre highlights add depth to this hairstyle, as do touches of caramel and platinum blonde.

6. Large Bun with Lots of Lace

The teased bun is a red-carpet style that has made it onto the bridal scene. A controlled pouf near the crown of the head adds volume, while also giving the look a rock-and-roll edge. A large, lacy headpiece truly makes this a bridal hairstyle, tying the look back to the gown.

7. Low Bun with Loose Waves

A center-side park and loose waves make the perfect bridal hairstyle for women who want to showcase their face. Chestnut waves around the face highlight the eyes, the cheekbones, and the jawline. Meanwhile, an up-do makes the perfect venue for diamond earrings and jeweled chokers.

8. Veiled Bun

A classic look, the veiled bun has remained a popular wedding hairstyle into the 21st century. The bun adds volume to the veil, removing the necessity for excessive tulle. Embellished combs and barrettes give the look the feel of a full headpiece, without the need to purchase one.

9. High, Pulled Twist

In the world of bridal hairstyles, the pulled twist is the messy bun’s high-maintenance cousin. Individually pulled sections give the style an extravagantly scaled look, while not detracting from the classic bun’s polished shine. Accessories make the style the bride’s own, but almost never distract from the look’s main feature.

10. Feathered Mane

If there was a wedding hairstyle for rebellious souls, this would be it. Sleek tresses are tied behind the bride’s head to create an explosion of cascading curls, with a teased crown giving extra “umph.” Feathered earrings and accents are unique additions that help this style steal the show.

11. Enchanted Princess Curls

A large-barreled curling iron can be a secret weapon in creating some of the most stunning bridal hairstyles. To achieve this look, curl the whole head and loosely pin some hair at the bottom of the crown. Flashy accessories aren’t needed here – large curls create a halo effect that will most certainly catch anyone’s eye.

12. Teased Side-Part

Those wanting simpler up-do for their wedding will fall in love with a teased side-part. Simply tease the hair with a comb before pulling it back, and voilà! For a softer look, curl the hair and softly twist it into the main up-do.

13. A Crown Fit for a Queen

Crowns and tiaras have featured in bridal hairstyles for centuries. Today, they still add charm and elegance to the classic high bun. Well-chosen crowns are especially useful in bringing out the bride’s eyes, dress, and jewelry. They tie an ensemble together while also adding regal charm.

14. Fingered Waves

Popular in the 1920s, fingered waves have come back on the wedding scene. While they turn out the best in shorter hair, they can be incorporated into a longer looks. Small, bejeweled accessories keep this bridal hairstyle from looking too stiff.

15. Braided Twists
Twisted braids are the perfect wedding hairstyle for those wanting a Game-of-Thrones effect with a modern edge. To achieve this style, curl the hair with a large-barrel curler and twist sections beginning at the crown. Pin the twisted sections in loose braids using large clips or barrettes.

16. Smooth, Veiled Spirals

Most authorities will tell you that loose curls are the way to go in long bridal hairstyles. Tighter curls, however, look beautiful in dark hair with blonde or caramel highlights. When styled with the right amount of product, long spirals support both modern bridal trends and a full-length veil.

17. Wrap-Around Braid

No crown? No problem. The wrap-around braid is a bridal hairstyle that makes you look like royalty even without the added jewels. This look has the added benefit of being relatively low-maintenance. You can execute it flawlessly in a matter of minutes by simply braiding your hair at the part, then tucking it into an up-do.

18. Soft, Natural Curls

Organically-minded individuals will fall head-over-heels for this wedding hairstyle. Long-haired brides can rely on their natural waves, adding just a few curls along the way. An earth-toned hair accessory ties the look together, while hinting at the style’s effortless simplicity.

19. Wild Spirals

Tight curls are beautiful on their own, but they’re even better in a braid. Low-backed gowns pair wonderfully with this eye-catching bridal style, which suits blondes and brunettes alike.

20. Fishtail Crown

Two crowns!? Why not? This wedding hairstyle begins with a fishtail braid, and only gets more impressive from there. The braid wraps around the head, creating a compact look that makes any gem-encrusted crown the center of attention. Brides will want to wear this style with embellished gowns, or with a low-cut dress that showcases their face.

21. Teased-Up Half-Back

Today, teased hair works well beyond rock concerts. This bridal-style begins with large curls and ends with lots of hairsprays, with more than enough combs along the way. Tying the hair at the base of the crown keeps the style out of the bride’s face, while a crown adds a bridal touch.

22. Peek-a-Pony
Brides with naturally smooth, shiny hair are particularly fond of this wedding hairstyle, which consists of an easy ponytail spilling out of an elaborate headpiece. A faux-hair tie makes the ponytail-less tight, while small waves add just enough volume. This look works especially well on dark-haired brides, whose locks make headpieces pop.

23. Tousled Half-Pony

The half-pony makes a wonderful wedding down-do for the medium-haired bride. To perfect this look, curl the whole head using a large-barreled iron. Then, pull the upper layers together at the base of the crown. Embellished accessories help to showcase the piece, and light teasing gives this look a halo effect. On dark hair, red and caramel highlights make this style really pop.

24. Ancient Roman Goddess

For weddings with a neoclassical touch, this bridal hairstyle is the way to go. Begin with a French braid down the center of the skull, releasing some hairs to create a teased effect. Twist the braid into a bun at the nape of the neck. A golden crown with floral touches recalls ancient Rome, as do natural-looking make-up and a simple, cream-colored gown.

25. Pulled-Through Braided Pony

The pulled-through pony evokes simpler times, even on the bride’s big day. Three braids meet in a low pony that is pulled through once, then held in-place by cleverly-arranged flowers. Choosing a colorful palette for this hairstyle will recall days-gone-by and remind everyone that the woman walking down the aisle isn’t a little girl anymore.

26. Scalloped Bun with Lace

Scalloped buns are one of the latest trends in hairstyling, at weddings and beyond. The style begins with a traditional bun, with pieces pulled smoothly and set intentionally. The result is a multi-dimensional up-do that makes the bride stunning from all angles. Lace accessories are a perfect finishing touch, especially when paired with a lace gown and pearl earrings.

27. Long, Pinned-Back Curls

This wedding hairstyle appeals to brides with long, fine, naturally curly hair that doesn’t like to play by the rules. Conditioning curls with coconut oil and pulling them out of the face ensures the bride stays the center of attention, even when her hair says otherwise. Statement jewelry also draws attention to the bride’s face.

28. Pendulum Bun

Long, thick hair works best with this style, which consists of a low bun that hangs off the nape of the neck, rather than being attached to it. On dark-haired brides especially, braids and textured curls help to add dimension to this wedding look. A light makeup and minimal accessories help balance the heaviness of the style.

29. Defying Gravity

You could say that this wedding hairstyle shows the bride’s standards: high. Hair is teased at the scalp then pulled into a high bun that is, again, teased. Hair extensions add volume to the look, especially for brides whose hair isn’t especially thick. See-through gowns and heavy makeup make the entire ensemble as daring as the hair itself.

30. Wavy Half-Twist

For brides and bridesmaids alike, half-twists are an easy wedding hairstyle that suits almost every hair color and texture. Bouncy curls make the style more fun, while colorful flowers can hint at the bride’s playful, childlike nature. Argan or coconut oil keep the style looking smooth and intact.

31. Rosy Twist with Baby’s Breath

The past five years has seen every bride doing the twist – with their hair, that is. This side-twist pulls hair smoothly away from the bride’s face. Blush-hued flowers pull out the skin’s pink undertones, while green distracts from any unwanted red tones. Baby’s breath subtly carries the eye down to the gown, reminding everyone of the big day.

32. Springtime Spirals

Bright highlights and bouncing curls are the highlights of this springtime bridal style, which ties into a marvelous braided bun at the base of the head. A pink flower crown accentuates the pink in the bride’s skin, making her more blushing than ever before. This look is perfect for outdoor weddings and light, flowing gowns.

33. Fall-Flowered Fantasia

A low braided bun sets the stage for this autumnal bridal hairstyle. Green flowers and a rose bring out the “new life” symbolized by marriage, but thistles and other hard-rooted flowers add a darker hue. These additions bring out the violet undertones in dark hair and mirror the crisp fauna that arrives later in the year.

34. Bumped-Up Veiled Bun

Teasing at the front of the scalp is perfect for a mid-height bun. A styled bun makes for a more elegant bridal hairstyle, especially when paired with an eastern-style veil. The veil’s embroidery ties beautifully to the gown, while its sheer material reveals the style’s intricacy.

35. Low Flipped Pony

When choosing a heavily-styled gown, it’s best to go with a simpler bridal hairstyle. The low flipped pony is normally a casual look, but quickly becomes a formal up-do when teased an adorned with shimmering jewels. A colorful makeup palette also goes well with this style.

36. Scalloped Braided Bun

A braided side-bun is a lovely wedding hairstyle. Scalloping the braid and the bun add fullness to the look, as well as a modern edge. Floral accessories weave seamlessly through this style, as well, making it a wonderful match for a wedding full of flowers.

37. Big, Styled Bun

Large buns such as this one normally involve lots of product and hairspray, but there are many brides who can pull off this high-maintenance style. Teasing and hair pieces maintain the look’s fullness, while a simple veil ties it to the rest of the bridal ensemble.

38. Large, Plaited Bun

A color-matching net is the secret to this wedding hairstyle, which is ideal for brides with very long, very thick hair. Minimal accessories, such as pearl earrings and an unembroidered veil, keep this style the centerpiece of the bridal ensemble.

39. Swooping Waves

This lightly-teased wedding style moves with the bride as she waltzes down the aisle. Loose braids and strategically-placed pins and combs give this look all the strappings of an up-do without the structure. Caramel highlights really make it pop, especially when added to dark hair.

40. Relaxed Splendor

A loose high bun gives all the feel of a lazy weekend morning. A loose, high, scalloped bun, on the other hand, projects the essence of a bride on her wedding day. Minimally-adorned gowns call back to the look’s informal origins, while feathered earrings provide movement.

41. French Twist

The French braid is making a comeback, as if it hasn’t been here to stay. This bridal-style consists of a scalloped French braid that cascades into a wavy ponytail. Fiery red or auburn hues work well with this look, as does a smokey eye.

42. Minimal Touches

Sometimes, a simple bun is all that’s required to make a bride feel beautiful. Tied at the nape of the neck and embellished with silver accents, this wedding hairstyle dances a pretty pas de deux with tutu-inspired gowns.

43. Modern Royalty
By modern bridal standards, the tight, high bun is a conservative wedding hairstyle. Adding a crown and veil over the bun, however, provides an extravagant effect. Strong eye makeup packs a powerful punch, as well, especially in the form of a smoky eye and a sculpted brow.

44. Triple Threat

This wedding hairstyle is the pulled-through ponytail, but for long-haired brides. Pearl accessories within each twist help guide the eye and are especially useful when paired with low-backed gowns. This style doesn’t require a lot of product, either: coconut or argan oil can maintain a sleek, smooth shine.

45. Faerie Queen

Brides and bridesmaids with fine, straight hair look best in this wedding hairstyle, which adds a large flower crown to a simple half-pony. Yellow-blonde highlights bring out cream-colored flowers. Colored flowers can make the look more dramatic, a must for forest-themed weddings.

46. Doric Adornments

Winter weddings call for Christmas-y colors. A bridal style that mixes gold and white mirrors traditional wedding colors, while also reflecting the warmth that the holidays bring. Pearl earrings and a forest-green makeup palate add subtle elegance while hinting at the spirit of the season.

47. Festival Chic

A small flower crown in a half-up-do is the wedding hairstyle of choice for brides who want to dance the night away. Loose waves and blonde highlights add a sun-kissed touch to this summery look, as does an open-backed gown with floral lace. The flowers can be changed to match the season, or the wedding’s color scheme.

48. Fashionable Filigree

Bridal hair accessories are mostly headpieces and barrettes. This economical wedding hairstyle opts for individual flowers, real or fake, braided into the hair. While potentially more time consuming, such a process allows for more creative freedom and more striking outcomes.

49. Banded Bouquet

A small bouquet can turn any wedding hairstyle into a masterpiece. Small strips of lace help to support the flowers, as well as to draw the eye to the front of the head. White lace works best on brides with dark hair, for the colors contrast to bring out the lace’s intricate details.

50. Eyes for the Side
Wedding hairstyles with side accessories are idea for brides who want a subtly head-turning look. Medium-sized barrettes, such as this one, add flair to an otherwise-sleek up-do, while larger barrettes have a more dramatic appeal. This style also has the advantage of working with a vast array of themes and color palettes.

51. Big Blooms

Large, light flowers give bridal hairstyles a bounce. A sleek and simple style makes these flowers pop, as does a makeup palate that matches their petals. Small earrings and a traditional bust prevent this eccentric hair choice from distracting from the bride’s face.

52. Barred Back

For brides who want a down-do, a floral barrette works to keep hair out of the way. Bright highlights on dark hair makes this uncomplicated style move, as do subtle waves. While perhaps not the first choice for a wedding, this bridal look transitions stupendously to the reception.

53. Side Spirals

This whimsical wedding style has sprouted from the marriage of a large-barreled curling iron and thick, loose braids. Caramel highlights work to accentuate the style’s many layers. Small, woven-in flowers guide the eye between the hair and the gown, whose pink hue gives the ensemble a fairytale feel.

54. Tamed Mane

Low-maintenance brides will approve of this low-maintenance look, which is perfect for outdoor weddings in any kind of weather. Finish off lightly-sprayed, large curls with a floral comb, and the look is complete. And if the bride doesn’t want to let her hair down at her wedding, this style works for receptions, as well.

55. Curled Back

The large bun is as timeless as it is elegant. To add a touch of modernity and texture to this wedding hairstyle, curl the top layers of the hair and pin them back separately. Fastening the top curls with a small, floral pin emphasizes the look’s delicateness, especially when paired with a lacy gown.

56. Tsunami Bun

Layers and layers of bun wave over a veil. This wedding hairstyle’s resemblance to a tsunami is how it got its name. Bump up the front of the hair to accentuate the bride’s face. A silver or crystal hair accessory is a nice touch, especially for those with more glamorous looks.

57. Peek-a-Boo Crystals

A big bun often doesn’t call for a lot of accessories. However, small crystals and pearls add help to add a bridal touch. Put these accessories where the bun meets the scalp, so they reveal themselves as the bride moves about the room.

58. Island Feel

Roses and baby’s breath are the go-to flowers for bridal hairstyles. However, tropical and summer flowers have made their way onto the scene. Replace the lilies with hibiscus flowers for an even beachier look. Keep jewelry minimal and choose a bronze makeup palate that brings out the bride’s sun-kissed glow.

59. Feathered Chariot

Large headpieces complement high, smooth hairstyles. Usually on one side of the head, adding two creates a polished helmet effect. Feathered hairpieces maintain the softness of the bridal ensemble, as do curls at the temples.

60. Swoopy Sides

Low or mid-height wedding hairstyles normally leave a few loose strands at the front to give the bride a more natural appearance. Letting hair drape behind the head is another way to make this happen. An embroidered veil holds these tresses in place, but a decorative barrette can also work.

61. Glitters and Pearls

A multitude of large curls add flourish to the classic high bun, and a front bump adds length to rounder faces. An oval barrette pinned just below the bun makes this wedding hairstyle sparkle and makes the perfect match for diamond or pearl jewelry. Auburn hair allows light-colored accessories to really stick out.

62. Tri-Layered Braid

This bridal hairstyle looks beautiful on curly-headed blondes eager to prove that they have more fun. Three loose twists wrap around the head and meet in a side braid, embellished with sprigs of baby’s breath. Tease the front of this hairstyle to jazz it up.

63. Halo Top

Short-haired brides can’t always do elaborate up-dos, but they can certainly use accessories to their advantage. This sleek wedding hairstyle uses styled waves and a slight bump at the crown of the head, all pulled together by a thin, shimmering band. The choice of rose-gold brings out the pink in the bride’s skin, as well as her hair’s golden tint.

64. Banded Beauty

Long-haired bides who want a down-do can’t go wrong with an embellished headband. Curls and a small bump polish the wedding look, which is crowned by a silver-and-gold headband. Coordinating the makeup palate with the accessory is a great way to highlight the bride’s face.

65. Rosy and Green

Tight curls are the first step to achieving this bridal hairstyle, which is accentuated by a small, pink rose and fresh, green leaves. The choice of a side bun takes advantage of the hair’s natural volume. Natural highlights give this look a down-to-earth feel.

66. Veil Unveiled

When you go with a classic veil, it may be difficult to think of a hairstyle that’s both modern and elegant. This wedding hairstyle is a new take on the tried-and-true curls, but not coated in hairspray. Curl the bottom layers with a large-barreled iron, then add coconut or argan oil to smooth them into place.

67. Lace, and a Cascade of Curls

We often reserve large headpieces for up-dos, but they also work in long bridal hairstyles. Here, the hair has been set in loose curls, then pulled away from the face using a lacy headpiece. A low-backed dress and bouquet of lilies add a modern touch to a wedding style otherwise-inspired by bygone years.

68. Ice Queen

Crowns and tiaras have been popular accessories in bridal hairstyles for decades. However, they’re usually characterized by soft flowers and pearl accents. This sharp, tall, stunningly silver tiara is the non-conformist’s answer to a wedding tradition. An equally eye-catching necklace and jet-black hair augment the effect.

69. Sugarplum Frills

Most bridal headbands lay flat on the bride’s head, while we rely on the hair to take care of the halo effect. This headband, however, is a halo in itself. Soft sprigs of faux-pine give the accessory a woodsy feel, while light pink and burgundy bring out the soft rose hues in the bride’s skin. A light pink makeup palate truly completes the look, which looks fantastic with brown hair.

70. Lace and Beads

A large, low bun is another bridal hairstyle that, in recent years, has required some modern frills. This white hair accessory, with lace flowers and pearl-colored beads, is a minimalist alternative to flashy, sparkling headpieces. It’s the choice for brides who seek a more demurred style.

71. Flat Tiara
Bridal tiaras traditionally go around a bun, or some other high hairstyle. This tiara works as a headband, which only accentuates the bride’s natural curls. Although it does rest flat on the head, the tiara’s placement near the front of the bride’s scalp still makes it available for all to see.

72. Blue Period

White hasn’t always been the staple bridal color, and recent years have seen the re-entry of color into the wedding wardrobe. This navy-blue headband accentuates the bride’s dark locks and goes beautifully with her baby-blue gown. Powder-blue eyeshadow also makes the look shine.

73. Let it Spill

We love it when brides pair a braided bun with a bunched veil and concentrated floral accents. The effect: a waterfall! Faux baby’s breath can be exchanged for roses, lilies, or other flowers and have the same appeal. This wedding hairstyle is easily as jaw-dropping as the bride herself.

74. Au Natural

There’s nothing wrong with embracing your natural hair – like this curly-headed bride – at your wedding hairstyle. A simple up-do keeps this wedding look from running wild, while an embroidered veil adds more than enough visual appeal. The grain-inspired bouquet adds a pop of color while stepping away from the norm.

75. Lovely Lilac

Pastel and pearl hues look lovely on dark hair, and these feathered accents prove it. Incorporating softer colors into bridal hairstyles is a wonderful strategy for dark-haired brides who wish to move away from the stark contrast of black and white. Colored gowns, too, keep naturally-fair skin from looking washed-out.

76. Carefully Crafted Crown

Heavily-styled waves are the cornerstone of this bridal hairstyle, which is topped off with a simple, jeweled crown. Dangling, jeweled earrings tie the look together, while tight, even spirals at either side of the head hint at the work that went into this portion of the wedding wardrobe.

77. Frosted Fabulousness

A large, crystal headband is the crowning glory of this bridal hairstyle, which begins with a braided bun. Teasing the bottom layer of the bun gives the style fullness, while a pouf at the front of the skull helps maintain its balance. Frosted hair adds dimension to the look.

78. A Fine Mess

Brides who prefer to go as natural will love this bun that errs on the messy side. A small, silver headband holds baby hairs in-place, while soft teasing at the front of the scalp accentuates the bride’s face. This wedding look is perfect for brides with thin, fine hair that refuses to stay put.

79. Pulled-Through Spirals

This long style features a pulled-through pony with large, tumbling curls. Teasing the style at the base of the skull gives it a crown effect. Small flowers, such as baby’s breath, help guide the eye and tie the style to the dress.

80. Flowing Palm Leaf

With elaborate bridal up-dos, it’s essential that hair accessories flow with the look’s curls and waves. This white hairpiece has a palm leaf effect, which allows it to taper into the bun and follow the hairstyle’s wave pattern. A hairpiece such as this one gives movement to an otherwise-stiff bridal hairstyle.

81. Silver Starlight

Silver accessories add shimmer to bridal hairstyles, and work best on brides with cool skin towns. These star-shaped flowers give this wedding look a celestial feel, and the bunched veil gives the up-do the essence of a shooting star.

82. Rose Crown

Large flower crowns give scalp-level volume to slicked-back or slicked-down wedding hairstyles. The red and pink roses in this tiara give a pop of color to the traditional white bridal ensemble. Large curls that tumble down the side of the face give this look a fairytale feel.

83. Flat Lace Tiara

Lace looks marvelous on dark hair, and we love it when brides rock lace with a down-do. Ombre highlights keep the color from falling flat. Evenly-placed, styled curls that begin lower on the head help give this tiara a smooth foundation.

84. Soft Swoops and Sharp Edges

Bridal hairstyles full of soft curls and subtle highlights are beautiful. Sharper accessories, like this pointed tiara, give them some edge. A bouquet of vertically-minded flowers and precisely-applied cat eyeliner make this wedding look stand out.

85. A Marvelous Middle Part

They say that if you can pull off the middle part, you can pull off anything. A wedding hairstyle with a middle part shows off the bride’s facial symmetry, in addition to framing the eyebrows and cheekbones. A large barrette on the side of the headsets the look off-center.