With your big day approaching, chances are you’re leaning on your girl gang for support, advice, and just to vent over wedding frustrations. (How can that caterer be booked already!?) But when it comes to your bridesmaids, you’ll need to give them direction for their day-of look including bridesmaid hairstyles. You’ve probably already picked their dresses and flowers, but it’s the finishing touches that will round out the feel of your ceremony.
Let your girls know what accessories they should (or shouldn’t) wear and how you’d like them to style their hair and makeup. Hairstyles make a statement about your overall wedding vibe. A row of matching chignons says formal and polished, while mix-and-match updos and flowy waves is a bit more boho-chic. You may also decide to let your bridesmaids wear their hair however they feel most comfortable.
Whatever you decide, be clear about your wishes, and your besties will be happy to acquiesce. Let them know if you plan on hiring a professional or if they should go for styles they can do themselves. Or, maybe you have a friend who is talented with a curling iron — ask if she minds helping with the other girls. Take a look at these bridesmaid hairstyles to help inspire your big day.
Sleek Updo Hairstyles for a Formal Affair
If your wedding is black tie or in a more formal venue like a country club or church, you may want to consider a traditional updo. These sleek styles will keep your bridesmaids’ hair off of their shoulders for a more elevated look. Consider having your girls wear similar looks or mixing and matching for subtle variations. Or, pick a more extravagant look for your maid of honor.
Pulled-Back Bun With Braid
This sophisticated style puts a modern twist on the classic bun. Best achieved with long hair, leave out a section of hair to braid and wrap around your twisted bun, then pull out some face-framing pieces and curl. A professional hairstylist can also execute this look with short- to medium-length hair by braiding shorter pieces around the bun.
Updo With Soft Curls
When it comes to bridesmaids hairstyles, nothing looks more classic than a pile of curls pulled into a chic updo. Soft curls are pinned at the back of the head with several face-framing pieces falling to the front.
Classic French Chignon
Vive la France. Nothing says chic more than Parisian styling and the age-old chignon. Wear as a soft twist at the nape of the neck or in a big, bouffant-like statement at the crown of the head, as pictured here. Keep the front of the hair slicked back for more formality.
Exaggerated Top Knot
A big bun spells wedding-day glam while keeping your bridesmaids’ hair off of their shoulders. Fake fullness by using extra hair ties to make small ponytails, then wrapping the bun onto itself. Finish this sophisticated look with a tiara, hair piece, or comb.
French Braid Undercut
Business in the front, party in the back. A French braid adds extra style underneath an updo. Then, small pins hold curls at the top of the head.
Curly Side Ponytail
Keep hair sleek in the front with a deep side part, then slick it back into a side ponytail. Lots of curls give this look fullness, which is perfect for longer hair.
Shabby Chic Hairdos for Your Boho Wedding
If your wedding involves mason jars, baby’s breath, and burlap, then these bridesmaids hairstyles are for you. From messy buns to loose and flowing hairstyles, the idea is to keep things from looking too perfect. Add natural flowers to tresses for an outdoor wedding, or bring the blooms indoors year-round.
Half-Up Braid With Flower Crown
Boho bashes beg for flower crowns, like this soft baby’s breath style. A soft fishtail braid gets hair out of the face, held in place by a headband of white flowers. Let the rest of your hair hang half-down in loose waves.
A mix of braid and twist techniques gives this low bun a shabby-chic, effortless look. The idea is to add lots of texture and hanging front pieces for a result that’s polished without being too perfect.
Imperfect Top Knot
A trendy top knot gets a boho twist with loose pieces hanging all around. If you have fine or shorter hair, fake this look with a doughnut to wrap your hair around for fullness.
Deep Side Part With Loose Waves
A deep side part and loose waves create flower-child charm for a boho wedding. Use a one- to two-inch curling iron and alternate the direction in which you curl your hair. Curl the whole head and let it cool, then run your fingers through your locks to loosen any tight curls. Then, set with texture spray.
Braided Bridesmaid Hairstyles for Every Ceremony Style
Braids are a trendy way to create unique updos for every wedding style. Formal? Keep the hair sleek and in neat braids. For more casual affairs, braid with lots of texture and loose pieces. Either way, the result adds visual interest that your bridesmaids will love.
Medieval-Style Multi-Braid Technique
This Khaleesi-inspired look takes cues from Game of Thrones. Best executed by a professional stylist, smaller braids weave their way into a thick braid hanging down the back. Small braids at the crown are worked into a large braid at the back of the neck.
Perfect for coarse and thick hair types, the whole head is braided in cornrows then pulled into a high bun that’s pulled to the top of the head or to the side. Bring colored extensions to add a fun twist to this timeless look.
Side Braid With Flowers
For thick hair, a side braid is a classic choice. Part down the middle, braid, and pull to the side. Accessorize with flower stems or pins.
French Braid Updo
This classic wedding hairstyle takes your timeless French braid and tucks it under to create a polished updo. Anyone who can do a French braid can achieve this look. Braid the hair all the way down, then use bobby pins to secure the “tail” underneath.
Though not technically a braid, a bubble ponytail puts a modern spin on your traditional braid. Simply pull your hair into a half-up half-down ponytail, then add more hair to each ponytail, securing with a thin elastic. Gently pull apart each “bubble” for volume.
Messy Updo With Braid
This milkmaid crown braid updo is easy to achieve without the help of a stylist. Simply braid hair into pigtail braids, leaving a few loose pieces at the front. Wrap each braid across the head and secure at the other end with bobby pins. This look is best for long hair.
Perfect for long hair or all hair lengths with extensions, a fishtail braid creates volume and style. It looks difficult to create, but it’s easy to learn how to fishtail braid by watching a few videos online.
Retro Looks for Timeless Wedding Style
If you’ve ever poked fun at your parents’ 1980s wedding photos (puffy shoulders and all), you know that some trends don’t age well. A great way to ensure your wedding never goes out of style is to go for classic retro looks. These vintage-inspired hairstyles are as timeless as your love for your almost-spouse.
Side Swept Curls
A deep side part and full curls creates 1940s Hollywood style. This look is great for curly hair and medium hair lengths. Curl hair all the way to the ends and sweep to one side.
Side Swept Curls for Short Hair
Similar to side-swept curls for medium hair, this look is perfect for natural curls and short-haired bridesmaids. Make a deep side part, pile tight curls atop the head, then use pins to pull it to one side.
Pin Curled Updo
Create tight pin curls and secure them at the back of the head for a timeless retro look. Add sprigs of baby’s breath and fresh flowers for an ethereal effect. Secure with hairspray.
Choose Bridesmaid Hairstyles that Reflect Your Wedding Vibe
Your bridal party’s look says a lot about your wedding style. Perfectly formed matching chignons symbolize a formal affair, while mix-and-match updos and flowing waves exude a more laid-back aesthetic. Think about the statement you want to make and then have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to be firm with what you want, or to ask your gal pals for their input. They love you, so they’ll be thrilled to rock whatever bridesmaid hairstyle makes you happy.