39 Pretty Wedding Day Updos To Inspire Your Big Day Look

A model presents a creation by Alexis Mabille during the Spring-Summer 2011 Haute Couture Collection Show on January 24, 2011, in Paris. AFP PHOTO/Francois Guillot (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images

The best 39 of our survey-search for ways you may not have thought to wear your hair on your big day

Classic French braid

Try it with its tail tucked between its legs, schwooped around to one side, or just hanging loose. Skunky highlights optional. 

Messy French fishtail

 

Dutch halo braid with side knot

A quickie request for pretty much any stylist or go ahead and do it yourself.

Cornrows

Contrary to recent whispers from the fashion world, the practice of securing hair in numerous tight, close braids has been around for, literally, millennia, perhaps since as early as 500 BCE. Bonus: it’ll hold up under extreme dancing conditions better than pretty much anything else. 

Crown of braids

This one calls for longer hair (or extensions) split into two low pigtails braided to their ends and then wrapped and pinned around the head. Anyone for edelweiss? 

Spiral braid

Image: Stilfehler/Wikimedia Commons

Bilateral French braids with pony

Just like you always wanted as a kid. Goes great with a long white dress OR a tux.

Large shell curl bun

 

Classic chignon

Image: jennadrudi/Instagram

Circumbraided donut bun

Circumbraided or not, it’s timeless and, since the advent of the sock technique, super-easy. (If you haven’t already been riding the sock-bun train, climb aboard immediately. Really. Don’t even wait for your wedding.)

Single fat braid bun

Nota bene: there’s no shame in turning to add-in hairpieces to achieve a single fat braid of this kind of singular fatness. 

Half-shell chignon with braided accents

 

Fishtail bun

No, not a new smug hipster brunch food.

Ponytail with side-swept bangs

 

Bouffant with wispy curls

 

Classic bouffant, pinned at the crown

 

Unclassic ponytail

 

Bilateral French braid with chignon

 

French rope braid writ huge

 

The occipital nest

Probably best to use other language to describe this to your stylist, but is beautiful, no?

Bouffonytail

Get it? It’s a PONYtail, but topped with a most excellent (and fancy!) bouffant.

Finger-waved chignon

Finger waves (whether they culminate in a chignon or not) are manifestly retro but not in that creepy, fetishistic way, and definitely DIY-able, too. 

Cascade braid

Image: lovemaegan/Flickr

Old-timey lady traveler

 

Upswept psuedo-pony

 

Lace braid

Image: Stilfehler/Wikimedia

Abbreviated bouffant

 

Topknot

 

Woven chignon

 

Gibson roll with a bouffant crown.

  

  

Para-triceratops

It’s hard to say in prescriptive terms exactly what’s happening here, but the effect is beautiful and clean and decidedly special-occasion and only a vaguely Jurassic.

Interrobang

Something glam for the shorter-tressed, and yes, I appropriated that name from the punctuationiverse.

Topiary

For brides who’re drawn to ice sculptures but, say, marrying someone who’s averse to ice. Prolly best to enlist a hair professional to undertake something like this on your head, unless you yourself are a hair professional. Or a landscaping professional. 

Ballerina bun

Don’t forget this one! 

Curly pinup

Curl hair (or just let it dry naturally, if that’s how your DNA rolls), pin it up and/or back and you’re done. 

Circumbraided bun

  

Braided topknot with bangs