While searching for the dress can be a challenge, finding the right hairstyle for a wedding can be just as frustrating. According to a Pinterest x Zola 2023 Wedding Trends Report, searches for ‘long hair wedding styles’ are up by 50 percent, because no one wants their locks to be too flat, frizzy or all over the place. We asked seven hairstylists (who’ve all worked with some of the biggest stars, FYI) to share the best wedding hairstyles for long hair. Whether it’s for a black tie event or an outdoor destination wedding, we found 45 fantastic options, from updos to ponytails.
45 Wedding Hairstyles for Long Hair to Rock in 2023
From chic updos to cascading curls
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.
Meet the Experts
- Ashley Streicher is a celebrity hairstylist and a R+Co collective member. She’s also the co-founder of STRIIIKE, a beauty salon in California. She has a decade of experience in cutting and styling hair. Her previous clients include Mandy Moore, Rachel Brosnahan, Sarah Paulson and Kiernan Shipka.
- Tommy Buckett is a lead stylist at Marie Robinson Salon. He’s known for creating chic and versatile looks, and his work has been highlighted in national publications including Allure, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Glamour, Vogue, New York Magazine and T: The New York Times Style Magazine. His celebrity clientele includes Felicity Jones, Elisabeth Moss, Jennifer Garner and Michelle Monaghan.
- Jennifer Korab is a celebrity hairstylist and owner of Renaissance Salon in New Jersey. She has over a decade of experience working in commercial, runway and editorial spaces. She is certified in all coloring techniques, haircutting and hand-tied extensions.
- Sarah Potempa is a celebrity stylist and co-founder of The Beachwaver Co. She is known for designing the first-ever rotating curling iron, the Beachwaver, and uses the tool to create waves for her clients. She has also worked on editorial shoots for publications such as Vogue, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue and Vanity Fair. Her celebrity clientele includes Camila Cabello, Jennifer Garner, Ana de Armas and Lea Michele.
- David Cruz is a celebrity hairstylist and brand ambassador for Colorproof. He specializes in runway and editorial, and you might’ve seen his work in New York Fashion Week and the Met Gala, as well as in Vogue, W Magazine and Elle Magazine. His previous clients include Alexandria Daddario, Kristin Chenoweth, Chrissy Teigen and Hilary Duff.
- Larry Sims is a celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of Flawless by Gabrielle Union. He has over two decades of experience doing editorial, red carpet and brand campaign looks. He has a long list of credits including Vogue, Allure, Essence Magazine and Elle. His previous clients include Janet Jackson, Zendaya, Regina King, Kerry Washington and Tracee Ellis Ross.
- Matthew Collins is a celebrity hairstylist and global styling ambassador for Dyson. He has 17 years of experience, specializing in cutting, coloring and styling. His work has been featured on award shows, and in fashion shows and editorial photoshoots. His previous clients include Mandy Moore, Kristen Bell, Camilla Mendes and Chloe Bennet.
- Matthew Curtis is a celebrity hairstylist and a beauty professional for Sola Salons. He’s also a salon owner at Matthew Curtis Salon in England. He specializes in runway and bridal looks, and has experience with hair extensions, color and styling. His previous clients include Kelsey Parker, Eva Longoria and Megan Blake Irwin.
- Becca Raziuddin is a hairstylist, cosmetologist and director of artist education at Blo Blow Dry Bar in Los Angeles. She served as a lead stylist for numerous New York Fashion Week shows including Bronx and Banco, Princess Polly and Vogue.
1. Intricate Topknot
The traditional topknot is fine, but behold this year’s trendy intricate updo. The loosely stacked sections give the bun more dimension and height. Start with a high ponytail and divide the tail into small pieces before pinning them in different directions for a chic finish.
2. Ballerina Bun
“This bun is a variation of a classic chignon,” says Cruz. “There is a lot of wiggle room with this look. You can wear it low and less structured for a softer look or you can go high and light like a ballerina, especially if you’re going to really dance at your reception.” For a sleek finish like Vanessa Hudgens, Cruz suggests using a brush to pull it back and applying a styling wax to slick it down.
4. Low Bun
Here, Meghan Markle shows us that low buns will always be a timeless look for any formal setting. “The low bun is an elegant updo and incorporates all of your hair into a smooth, chic style,” says Potempa. “Plus, updos are great for weddings. It keeps the hair in place all night and will generally be less affected by wind, humidity or dancing!” To recreate the former royal’s look, the pro suggests a hot air brush to “smooth the hair while adding volume to the root.” Then, use some mousse and tie the hair into a low ponytail before twisting and wrapping it around the elastic band.
5. Box Braids Bun
Box braids can be so versatile and this hairstyle rocked by Tessa Thompson is proof. Leave a few braids out and wrap the rest in a chic top bun.
6. Quiet Luxury Bun
Understated elegance, here we come. “It’s a sleek and polished low bun, where the bun is gently twisted with a piece of disconnected hair to add a bit of softness to the look,” says Collins. The “quiet luxury” style will need a smoothing cream and volumizing mousse for a defined finish.
This ‘70s hairstyle is a great option for a wedding. Use a comb and a texturizing spray to build volume throughout your hair. Next, twist sections of hair at the nape of your neck and lay them against your crown before securing the end with bobby pins (or a banana clip). To elevate the look, leave a few tendrils out for a more casual style.
8. Classic Chignon
“A low or high chignon is a timeless, elegant look. It’s a great option for the bride who wants to wear her hair up,” says Korab. The pro suggests a styling cream, which will help keep your updo soft, smooth and sleek for the big day. Let’s not forget to add a few decorative pins or flowers to really bring the look together.
9. Braided Topknot
Want to combine two favorite styles together? Just follow the steps of a regular top bun but wrap small braided sections to get J.Lo’s red carpet look.
10. High Loose Bun
“This look is a classical take on the traditional bun with face-framing pieces all around,” says Sims. “It’s an easy, carefree way for brides to look put together and keep their hair out of the way, white still allowing for accessories like veils and crowns.” The key here is the curly tendrils, which can be done using a curling wand. The stylist also suggests applying some edge control to tame any flyaways.
11. The Ballroom Bun
You don’t have to be a professional dancer to rock this hairstyle. Curtis introduced “the ballroom bun” during New York Fashion Week and it’s a trendy look you need for the main event. First, use a flat iron to add texture to your locks before creating two ponytails (one at the nape of the neck and one at the crown). Curtis recommends applying a volumizing spray and begin rope braiding the two ponytails before wrapping them around the hair tie and pinning them in place. Don’t forget to adorn your gorgeous bun with pearls, fancy bobby pins or a silk ribbon.
12. French Twist
We're no stranger to French beauty and this elegant twist is proof. As Raziuddin explains, the hair is prepped using a flat iron before applying a styling cream (or gel) to start shaping the look. Once you twist your locks inwards, the stylist adds, "The remaining hair in the French twist is teased and placed into an elegant bun on the crown of the head. You can also choose to style this look in different variations. For example, you may want side pieces of hair out or everything slicked back."
13. Glam Waves
“This hairstyle is the classic Hollywood waves from the ‘20s. The wave pattern is uniform and it has a beautiful sheen throughout the hair,” says Potempa. “Glam waves are amazing for weddings because they are a classic. It also requires a lot of prep and setting, which helps them last long for your wedding day.” Here’s Potempa’s salon secret: After applying a heat protectant spray, use a curling iron (like the Beachwaver Pro 1.25) and apply it at the end before curling them under for the swoop pattern. “Secure the look with silver pins to set the hair, and once it’s completely cooled, use a bristle brush to smooth the hair into waves,” the stylist explains. “Then use a hair serum to add shine and lock everything with a hairspray.”
Similar to box braids, cornrows give you the freedom to make it your own. Play with rows, length and colors for the wedding. To elevate your style even more like our girl Zendaya, add some accessories (like beads and gems) to really make a statement.
Despite what Gen-Z says, a side part can make a huge difference to your hairstyle. Similar to Quannah Chasinghorse’s look, move your hair to the side and pay more attention to defining your tresses.
18. Side Part with Voluminous Curls
Another side part style you should definitely consider for the big day. “This look puts long gorgeous locks front and center with a deep side part and big voluminous curls,” says Sims. “The side part enhances the look because it adds volume and elegance.” While a curling iron and heat protective spray is the way to go, Sims notes heatless curl methods (like socks or curlers) work just as well to mimic the look.
19. The Fawcett Flip
Another '70s hairstyle that blew up this year is also a top contender for wedding season. Unleash your inner Farrah Fawcett by combining a voluminous blowout with some curtain bangs. To achieve those large barrel curls, apply hot rollers or use a curling iron away from the face and brush them out for the va-va volume.
20. Beach Waves
A destination wedding calls for beachy waves. Use sea salt spray and scrunch it through your locks for a tousled yet textured look like Blake Lively’s.
21. Tucked-In Fringe
Let your fringe take the backseat at the party and tuck it behind your ears. Similar to Lila Moss’s look, add some small tendrils (or baby hairs) in its place.
22. The Polished Blowout
“There are many exciting styles taking over right now, and it feels like there are two opposite ends of the spectrum,” Buckett shared while chatting with us about hair trends. “On one hand, you have very polished looks like the voluminous blowouts that have been taking over these days. You also are going to see the return of super sleek straight hair.”
23. Voluminous Blowout
This hairstyle is for the curly and coily gals out there. Here’s a salon secret: Aim your diffuser near the scalp and use a pick (or your fingers) to lift at your root for a voluminous look.
This slicked-back style offers red-carpet readiness for your big day. Run a lightweight styler through your strands that adds softness and shine to your tousled hair.
25. Flipped Ends
Once you part and straighten your hair, your ends are the main attraction. As Collins explains, the hair is blown out to give a soft flip up at the end. To mimic the style, the stylist suggests a styling tool (like the Dyson Airwrap Multi Styler) to use on the ends. He adds, “Once done, pin the sides back and behind the ear. Then, backcomb the top for volume and use a texture spray to give it definition.”
Half Up/Half Down
26. Side Twists
If you’re looking to keep hair away from your face, here’s a dance-proof hairstyle to rock for the wedding reception. Part your hair in the middle before grabbing each section, twisting them inwards and away from the face. Finally, pin them back for a half up ‘do that won’t get away from your sweet moves.
27. Half-Braided Half-Down Curls
28. Braided Half-Up
If you have straight or wavy hair, this half up is the way to go. “Half-ups are great for weddings because they help get the hair out of the face and help show off dress details and jewelry, while also staying mostly down, which is a preference for a lot of people that rarely wear their hair up in general,” says Potempa. The stylist also mentions accessories such as florals, barrettes and gems can elevate the look. Note: Hairspray helps lock in the style and keeps the braids intact for the big day.
29. Half-Up with Loose Waves
This hairstyle offers a soft, romantic look that’s ideal for the bride-to-be. “This look is elegant and timeless,” Korab tells us. “It’s also great for long and thick hair—though you can always add hair extensions to achieve the look.” First, prep the hair with mousse before dividing your hair into two sections. Once the top is secured by bobby pins or a snazzy claw clip, focus on the other half. Korab recommends using a 1-inch styling tool to curl your ends before applying hairspray, which should be light and flexible to set your curls.
30. Foundation Ponytail
A fountain ponytail gives the illusion of a longer length, taking the traditional pony up a notch. Whether you have naturally wavy hair or not, this half-up hairstyle will give you long, flowing locks. If you want to rock Rihanna’s look, add a lightweight gel for shine and definition.
31. Low Ponytail
High ponytails shouldn’t get all the fun. This low ponytail is a great choice for the black tie wedding you’re attending. Just apply some gel and use a brush to smooth down the sides to minimize any frizz from showing up at the event.
32. High Ponytail
If you want to show off your length, this high ponytail should be on your radar. Brush your hair towards the crown of your head and secure it with a stylish scrunchie. To get the signature hair flip like Amanda Seyfried, add hot rollers or use a round brush to curl the ends. One more thing: Hairspray is going to be your best friend for keeping flyaways at bay.
33. Rope Ponytail
Upgrade a traditional braid with a double twist. It takes less than a minute to recreate—just section your ponytail before twisting it down and securing it with an elastic band.
34. Braided High Ponytail
Elevate your high ponytail with a braided one instead. Choose between a French or Dutch style and don’t forget to lay down your edges for a nice touch.
35. Baby Braids
Baby braids are a nice addition to any hairstyle. These face-framing pieces can turn a regular look into a playful style for the upcoming wedding.
36. Fishtail Braid
This secure, sturdy braided style is a must for summer weddings, or celebrations in a tropical climate. Let your stylist work on the plaits or watch a helpful tutorial to perfect your braiding skills.
37. Bubble Braids
The bubble braids look has been trendy for quite some time and it still hasn’t lost its momentum for wedding season. Start with a high ponytail and use snazzy scrunchies (or elastic bands) to create as many “bubbles” as your heart desires.
38. Inverted Braid
“I love a classic braid on super long hair, but instead of braiding inward, try flipping it outward,” Streicher told us in a previous PureWow story. “This creates a more voluminous braid that you can pull apart to make even bigger. I like to use a root teasing spray to create some texture and hold while braiding.”
39. Low Ponytail
Let your curls do all the talking on the big day. Once you brush down the front, wrap the rest of your hair in a low ponytail and add a mousse to define your natural pattern.
While this hairstyle is a great choice for protecting your hair at night, it’s also a great option to rock during the day, too. Gather your curls at the crown and let it cascade around your hairline like Yara Shahidi. And if a few curls fall down, even better.
41. Low Pigtails
Despite public opinion, this adorable hairstyle isn’t only for the flower girl. This look can show off long, curly locks—just don’t forget to lay down your edges.
42. Curly Fro' Hawk
This curly hairstyle is edgy yet stylish for the wedding season. Divide your hair into sections and use hair ties to keep them in place. Here’s a trick to getting volume like Zazie Beetz: Use a wide-tooth comb or hair pick to fluff out your curls.
43. Disco Curls
Hello, disco queen. This hairstyle is a great transitional look from the morning wedding to the dance floor. Apply a curling iron (or curling rods) and gently brush through each section to loosen your pattern.
Whether you’re rocking a bun, ponytail or half-up, half-down, a bow is a chic addition to the look. The length and/or fabric is entirely up to you, depending on what you’re wearing.
A headband can turn your regular sleek hairstyle into a fashionable statement. Bonus points if you have it match your wedding guest dress.
How to Choose Your Wedding Hairstyle
When it comes to choosing your wedding hairstyle, the panel of experts shared their tips on securing the right one for you.
- Take the theme into consideration. “It’s important to choose one [a hairstyle] that suits the full vibe of the wedding,” says Korab. Ask yourself, is this a black tie, garden-inspired event, or a tropical wedding? The dress code can help you decide which hairstyle to rock for the celebration.
- Pick a hairstyle that complements your dress. “An updo allows you to show off the top or back detailing of your dress, while leaving your hair half up or all the way down [may be] a more comfortable option,” Potempa says. “Then there are braids, twists and other styles that can reflect your personal style."
- Keep your accessories in mind. Cruz adds, “If there is a veil, where do you want it placed? Be sure to have someone assigned at the wedding and reception to help you take off the veil to minimize any hair mistakes later on.”
- Choose comfort over trends. If you’re the one getting married, it might be tempting to pick a look without considering how it will make you feel on the big day.“[Your] wedding day is so personal. Your hairstyle should be something [that makes] you feel comfortable and not add more stress to your day,” says Sims.
- Think about your face shape and hair type. From straight to curly hair and oval to round shape, these factors can play a big role in your decision.“Consider your face shape to help determine which hairstyle best complements your features,” adds Sims.
- Book a consultation with your hairstylist. If you have a designated hairstylist for the wedding, Cruz recommends scheduling a consultation with them before the big day. “When you set up a hair trial with your hairdresser, be sure to bring pictures of your dress from the fitting, so they can see what you're wearing and how it looks on you,” he says. While bringing pictures of celebrities and models can be helpful, be open-minded if your hairstylist has a personal suggestion. “They have likely seen and done dozens of weddings and can make really great recommendations that will make your hair look amazing for your special day.”