Is there anything more elegant, sophisticated, and downright dreamy than wedding updos?! Here at GWS, our answer is no, there’s not. From classic chignons to braided buns, it’s a look that’s guaranteed to be timeless.
And not only are wedding updos totally swoon-worthy, but they’re extremely practical, too. With this timeless look, your strands will stay perfectly placed and photo-ready — from your first kiss to your very last dance. Bring on the close-ups!
So if you’re ready to say “I do” to the perfect wedding updo, keep scrolling for our favorite designs for every bridal aesthetic, including a few DIY tips and tricks!
Green Wedding Shoe’s product selections are curated and/or tested by the editorial team and GWS community. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. Please consider shopping through our links if you would like to support GWS!
Should you choose a wedding updo or wear your hair down on the big day?
Whether you choose to rock a chic wedding updo or keep your locks down on the big day will ultimately come down to your personal aesthetic, as well as the overall theme of your wedding.
Wedding updos are classic, timeless, and endlessly elegant. They pair beautifully with glamorous accessories like bridal tiaras and sparkly pins, and they’re perfect for formal weddings and elegant evening ceremonies.
On the other hand, loose and flowing frocks have a more relaxed and free-spirited vibe than wedding updos. If you’re saying “I do” at a boho beach wedding or a casual outdoor ceremony, then you may want to forgo the bobby pins for a more effortless and natural look!
Another factor to consider is the time of year that you’re tying the knot. Wedding updos keep your locks pulled back and out of the way, which can be a lifesaver in the hot and humid summer months. Plus, this sophisticated look will put your bridal makeup center stage — and keep your strands in place even as you’re breaking it down on the dance floor!
Are there specific gown types that look best with wedding updos?
While you can rock a wedding updo with any gown, there are a few types that look best with this elegant ‘do. Since updos keep your locks off your shoulders, they look especially gorgeous with strapless dresses and wedding gowns with fun and unique necklines.
For example, if the top of your wedding gown has a pretty detail that you want to show off — such as a scalloped halter neckline or embellished straps — then an updo is a no-brainer. The same goes for backless gowns. With an updo, that bold open back can have its moment in the spotlight!
Should you DIY your wedding updo?
If you’re thinking about DIYing your wedding updo, it’s important to consider how complex you want your look to be. While some wedding updos may be too complicated to DIY, there are tons of simple looks that you can easily recreate yourself on the big day. All you need is a bit of practice and the right tools to work with your strands — ie: tons of bobby pins, a strong finish hairspray, and a nourishing serum for that wedding day shine!
Certain accessories also make it easier to DIY a wedding updo. By adding a statement embellished piece or a dreamy botanical halo to your look, you can keep the rest of your design simple. Practice creating the perfect low bun, then let your accessories do the rest!
Can a wedding updo work with any hair length?
While wedding updos are easier to pull off with longer locks, this look still works with any length!
For longer looks, you have free rein to create as simple or as complex of a wedding updo as you want. Play around with boho braids, elaborate twists, or voluminous chignons to get the statement updo of your dreams!
For shorter looks, a sleek and simple wedding updo is the way to go. Use a pomade stick to slick back any shorter strands, and keep plenty of bobby pins on hand for flyaways (bonus points if they’re embellished!). A little creativity will also go a long way to keep your tresses in place — so don’t be afraid to try out a stylish comb or tight French braids!
To help you achieve your ultimate wedding day look, we’ve rounded up the best updos for all lengths and bridal aesthetics. Plus, we’re also sharing a few styling tips and tricks for the DIY babes — let’s get into it!
1. Unique Pearlcore Wedding Updo
Looking for wedding updos that stand out? One word: pearls! Adding pearl pins to your tresses will instantly elevate any updo, whether you’re keeping it simple with low bun (like the bride above) or going glam with complex twists.
Plus, this look is a super easy to DIY! Pull your tresses into a simple twist at the nape of your neck, then tuck these pins into your strands, from the top of your head to the bun. It’s giving us major mermaid vibes, and we couldn’t be more obsessed!
2. Curly Topknot With Pearl Dotted Bow
How sweet is this wedding topknot?! Perfect for a summer wedding, this updo keeps your luscious locks off your neck — without feeling too formal or traditional. And complete with a pearl-dotted bow, it’ll give your entire look a trendy touch!
While this ‘do would work with any texture, we’re especially digging it for curls. Get the look by twisting your strands into a loose topknot on the crown of your head and securing it with bobby pins. Be sure to leave out some face-framing strands for that relaxed look!
3. Beachy Braided Wedding Updo
While wedding updos have a reputation for being super formal and traditional, this isn’t the only option! This boho chignon is here to prove that updos can be laid-back and relaxed, too.
We love how the wavy texture shines through with this beachy look, giving it a softer vibe than a tight, slicked-back bun. But the real star of the show is that loose side braid, perfect for a relaxed boho wedding or beach ceremony!
If your locks is on the thinner side, use some texturizing spray after barrel-curling your locks. This will give it volume that lasts all night!
4. Whimsical Botanical Wedding Updo
We’re suckers for whimsical flower crowns, and we love how this elegant wedding updo complements the dreamy look!
Perfect for a garden wedding or outdoor ceremony, this updo is soft, relaxed, and gorgeously nature-inspired. All the twists and turns of the look give you plenty of space to tuck in a few dainty botanical pins. Weave them in and out of your chignon for that “just ran through the meadow” look!
5. Elegant Embellished Low Ponytail
This wedding updo is truly the best of both worlds. It keeps your locks in place and pulled off your face, while still giving your curls their moment in the spotlight. We’re in love!
Recreate this look by slicking back your curls in the front and fastening them at the base of your neck. Wrap a few strands around the knot to hide your ponytail holder, and keep the rest of your locks loose and curly. For a little extra bling, you can also add a glamorous rhinestone chain!
6. Classy + Voluminous Wedding Updo
For a classic look that feels gorgeously bridal, you can’t go wrong with this voluminous high bun! With tons of texture and volume, it has a regal vibe that’s timeless. We also love how this bride kept a few strands loose to frame her face and give this ‘do a modern touch.
Wondering how to pair a veil with your wedding updo? By styling it under your bun, you can achieve a timeless look, without covering up your gorgeous tresses.
This stylist has a great tip for nailing the look: “Make sure you have a good tease cushion below your bun, scoop it in & tuck her down!”
It’s our favorite bridal accessory: veils! Here’s a list of our favorites to help you complete your wedding day look.
7. Feminine + Flirty High Ponytail
We are always here for a high pony moment, and this example is perfect for a sleek and classic wedding updo! With a little volume on top and loose curls throughout, it gives the timeless look a feminine touch.
Plus, there’s something about a ponytail that feels extra flirty and fun on the big day. Make yours stand out by teasing the locks at the top of your head (for extra volume) and using a single-pass curling iron to get those soft and loose curls!
8. Relaxed Wedding Updo for Sculptural + Tight Curls
As much as we love a super intricate updo, sometimes you just want to look and feel like yourself for your walk down the aisle. And that’s where this relaxed low bun comes in!
The perfect DIY option, this wedding updo is a breeze to do. Just gather your curls at the base of your neck, leaving out a few strands by your face, and pull it into a loose, barely-there bun. You can even pull out a few extra curls in the back to get that effortless, unfussy look.
P.S. While we love how low-maintenance this look is, we do recommend using a leave-in conditioner to keep your curls fresh, shiny, and bouncy all day and night. This spray is made with castor oil, rosemary, and aloe for a hydrating shine that smells amazing!
9. Fun Feather + Botanical Wedding Updo
For a wedding updo that makes a statement, take some notes from this whimsical bride! We LOVE that botanical + feather headpiece, which matches her blossoming white bouquet. It’s such a unique and ethereal alternative to a veil or sparkly clip!
To give your statement hairpiece the attention it deserves, we recommend keeping the rest of your look simple. A classic middle part and low bun would be perfect for this look.
10. Timeless Meets Trendy Wedding Updo
If you, like the rest of us, totally fan-girled over Sofia Richie’s wedding, then why not recreate her classic look with this simple wedding updo? It’s sophisticated and timeless, while still feeling fresh and on-trend.
All you need is a classic center part and a slicked-back low bun to get the iconic look (plus, these dreamy pearl earrings). Bonus points if you take out your bun and rock a ponytail for the reception like Sofia did!
11. Chic Bubble Ponytail With Pearl Details
Looking for a little somethin’ somethin’ to make your high pony stand out? We are head-over-heels for this trendy wedding updo, with pearl wraps that create a “bubble” effect down the ponytail. (Just be sure to use clear elastic bands under the wraps to keep those bubbles in place.)
It’s such a fun look that will spice up any type of gown. Best paired with matching pearl accessories, like this elegant choker necklace!
12. Braided Wedding Updo With a Botanical Comb
Another simple way to zhuzh up your wedding updo: swap your tousled tresses for a braid! This look takes the whimsy to the next level, with a side French braid that cascades into an intricate braided bun.
This updo looks way more complicated than it is — start by French braiding one side of your hair down to the ends of your locks. Then wrap the braid around itself at the base of your neck (securing with pins) to create this fairytale-esque bun! Complete with a porcelain comb, it’s the definition of dreamy.
13. Curly Wedding Updo for a Backless Gown
When you want to show off your gorgeous backless gown, you need wedding updos that keep your strands up and out of the way. And this curly ponytail definitely understood the assignment!
We love how this updo pulls your locks away from your face and neck, while still looking loose and relaxed. DIY it by securing your tresses on the top of your head, then letting your curls fall forward over your crown. A little styling cream will go a long way to make this updo look perfectly imperfect!
14. Regal Fairytale-Inspired Wedding Updo
If there was ever a time to feel like royalty, it’s on your wedding day! Achieve princess vibes with this regal wedding updo, complete with a glimmering gold bridal crown. We’re picturing it with a dreamy ball gown for the ultimate fairytale look!
Pro tip: Since the headpiece is the star of the show with this wedding updo, keep your look simple with a center part and a few wispy strands by your temples.
The perfect finishing touch to your regal bridal look? A wedding crown or tiara! Here are a few of our favorites.
15. Sweet Low Ponytail With a Dainty Bow
When in doubt, add a halo! While this loose and relaxed wedding updo would look gorgeous on its own, we love it with a beaded halo. Not only does this add a little iridescence to the front of your updo, but it also looks SO gorgeous in the back, thanks to that dainty bow!
It’s such a feminine and glamorous look that can easily be dressed up or down for your “I do’s”.
16. Effortless Bridal Chignon with Loose Curls
Screenshot this wedding updo ASAP! The intricate yet effortless ‘do of our dreams, this dreamy chignon truly looks too good to be true. From the flattering volume to the loose curls, it’s checking off all the boxes for a beautiful, bohemian look.
And the best part? This updo goes with any and every wedding aesthetic! Rock it as-is for a laid-back beach wedding or dress it up for a glamorous black tie optional affair. Just be sure to use plenty of mega hold, non-stiff hairspray to keep it perfectly in place — even once you hit the dance floor.
17. Cute Messy Bun-Inspired Wedding Updo
We have a very loyal relationship with our messy buns. Comfy AND cute, they’re are go-to — and that doesn’t have to change on your wedding day!
With this summery look, your favorite messy updo gets a sweet wedding makeover. We’re totally smitten with the daisy pins and pastel silk ribbons. Kind of like a whimsical version of a veil! This wedding updo is perfect for a sweet backyard wedding or pretty garden ceremony.
18. Iridescent Braided Wedding Updo
The braids! The pearls! The matching earrings! Everything about this wedding updo is seriously to die for. With iridescent pearl beads woven into the sleek braided design, it’s equal parts bold and glamorous. If you’re looking for a wedding updo that will have jaws on the floor, this is the one.
And don’t forget to pair this look with some statement earrings!
19. Boho Braided Wedding Updo With Sparkly Accents
Another take on braided wedding updos, this look is more relaxed and laid-back. We love how perfectly imperfect the braid is, with strands randomly twisted and tucked for effortless glamour. It’s giving us all the Rapunzel vibes — especially paired with that princess-esque nature-inspired gown!
For a little extra sparkle, pair this wedding updo with these star-shaped pins. It’ll have your guests totally star-struck!
20. Sophisticated + Sparkly Wedding Updo
When you think of elegant wedding updos, this is probably what comes to mind. Timeless and flattering, it’s a classic for good reason! The pulled back look is formal and sophisticated, while the soft twists and face-framing curls give it an ethereal look that’s perfect for the big day.
And no classy chignon would be complete without a crystal-embellished comb to finish it off! So stunning for a glamorous formal wedding.
21. Vintage-Inspired Wavy Wedding Updo
Channel Old Hollywood glamour with this simple yet stunning wedding updo! It’s like a modern take on vintage-inspired finger waves, all wrapped up in an elegant low chignon. Perfect for a retro-themed wedding — or for anyone who feel like they were born in the wrong decade!
22. Cute Wedding Updo for “Wifey” Vibes
Show off your new wifey status with this chic wedding updo! We are totally obsessed with that fun “wifey” pin — it would make the cutest addition to your reception or after-party look (as well as your honeymoon!).
Plus, this twisted wedding updo is super easy to recreate. Just twist two front sections of hair and loop them around the base of your ponytail. Secure them underneath your pony for an effortlessly elegant look — and a great way to hide your ponytail holder!
23. Simple DIY Wedding Updo
Bridal headpieces have been having a serious moment lately, and they’re perfect if you’re looking for a simple DIY wedding updo (that still looks super chic).
With this pearl-dotted headpiece taking center stage, you don’t have to make the rest of your wedding updo too complicated. Just twist your tresses back into a pretty ballerina bun, and let the headband do the rest! Blair Waldorf would be proud.
Looking for a trendy accessory to take your bridal look to the next level? Channel Blair Waldorf with our list of most stylish wedding headbands!
24. All Natural Curly Boho Wedding Updo
For the boho babes, you want your wedding updo to feel like an extension of your personal aesthetic: relaxed, carefree, and totally one-of-a-kind! That’s the idea behind this simple look, which lets your unique and natural curls do what they do best.
Achieve the ultimate ringlets with this curl-defining cream, then let a few curls fall across your forehead for a soft, laid-back touch. It’ll complete your free-spirited bridal look, without distracting from your stand-out boho gown!
25. Celestial Braid Wedding Updo with Loose Wisps
For the couples whose love was written in the stars! Capture those ethereal, out-of-this-world vibes with this celestial wedding updo. We love love love the combo of the halo braids with the sparkly Milky Way-inspired pins. Dreamy would be an understatement!
Recreate this enchanting wedding updo by separating your locks into two halves and braiding each side. Then wrap the braids over the top of your head, securing them on the opposite side to create the halo effect. Add the starry pins and you’re pretty much golden!
26. “It Girl” Wedding Updo
The stylist behind this wedding updo named it the “It Girl” bun, and we couldn’t agree more! It’s effortlessly cool, with a relaxed look that still manages to be ultra elegant (and super sexy).
We also love that you can see this twisted wedding updo from the front, as opposed to a low chignon bun. You’re ready for your close-ups!
P.S. Looking for the perfect pearl pins to complete the look? We’ve got you covered!
27. Twisted Low Ponytail With a Statement Headpiece
The perfect low ponytail, but with a charming twist (literally!). Elevate your wedding updo by twisting two front collections of strands and pulling them back into a low pony. It’ll create a photo-worthy look on the sides of your head that looks way more complex than it is!!
Finish this wedding updo with some beachy curls, loose strands in the front, and that ornate statement headpiece. So dreamy!
28. Chic Wedding Updo for Brides With Bangs
If you have bangs, updos are the perfect look to help them shine on the wedding day. We love the balance of this bride’s twisted tousles with her straight bangs. It creates such a striking look that’s guaranteed to turn heads!
Create the texture in this wedding updo by loosely French braiding your locks, then twisting it into a relaxed bun on top of your head. For your bangs, a smoothing spray will keep them looking sleek and in place up until that very last dance!
29. Glamorous French Twist Wedding Updo
This wedding updo is kind of like a modern take on a French twist, and we are HERE for it. Perfect for any length, this ‘do gathers your tresses in an asymmetrical form down one side of your head, instead of pulling all your strands together in a single bun.
The result? And elegant and glamorous updo fit for the red carpet — or the wedding aisle! Give it an extra dose of sparkle with this beaded vine.
30. Whimsical Wedding Chignon
Unlike a bun, a classic chignon is created by simply tucking your locks up and under itself, rather than wrapping around a ponytail holder. This creates a more formal and elevated look that’s MADE for “I do”s. Case in point: this gorgeous wedding updo!
For a whimsical twist on the classic look, design your chignon around a statement accessory, like this botanical piece. We’re in love!
31. Playful Party-Ready Wedding Updo
A wedding updo that gets the party started? Say no more! This look is bright, bold, and totally unique, perfect for a playful elopement or anyone who wants to have a little fun with their locks.
We also love how this bride matched her updo to her wedding makeup. Such a cute idea if you’re rocking a bold hue on the big day!
32. Twisted Wedding Updo With a Pearl Comb
As you may have noticed by now, we LOVE pearl accessories for the big day, and this is another one of our favorite ways to incorporate the trendy look into your wedding updo! As a bonus, this pearl-adorned comb is soooo easy to incorporate into your look. It’s a small detail with a big impact!
Speaking of easy: this simple wedding updo is a DIY dream. It’s a classic twist bun, and it actually looks better with a few imperfections. Keep some strands loose for a spiky loook that’s super on-trend!
33. Elegant + Classic Loose Wedding Chignon
If you love the classics, this is the wedding updo for you. Elegant and flattering, a low chignon is ALWAYS a good idea. So timeless!
Pull out a few strands around your face for a more laid-back look, or keep your chignon tight and structured for a sophisticated vibe.
And don’t forge to add a nourishing serum to your tresses for lustrous shine that lasts all day (and night)!
34. Crystal Embellished Wedding Updo
It’s all about the little details with this wedding updo! We love how the crystal embellishments add the perfect subtle sparkle to this elegant low bun. If you want to add a little bling to your wedding updo but don’t want to go all out with embellished pins, look no further!
35. Nature-Inspired Simple Wedding Updo
And last but certainly not least, we’ll leave you with this gorgeous whimsical wedding updo! We love everything about this ethereal look, from the loose swooping bun to the blushing pink colors of the botanical piece.
Match these blossoms to your bridal bouquet for a nature-inspired look that will have all your guests swooning!
Complete Your Wedding Look With Our Most Popular Guides
Creating an unforgettable bridal look is one of our favorite parts of the wedding planning process, and choosing the ultimate updo is just the start! Here are a few more guides to help you complete your look:
If you still haven’t said “yes” to the dress, we’ve got you covered with our ultimate wedding gowns guide — including a few of our current favorite looks! And no gown would be complete without a gorgeous pair of shoes to match….here’s our guide for finding the perfect pair.
Which of these looks are you planning to try? Let us know in the comments below!