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Wedding Hairdos and Updo Styles

Updated on April 2, 2014
relache profile image

Raye loved playing dress-up so much that she went on to study costume and makeup for her BA, then got an MFA in surface design.

Elegant Accents

A white rose and some ribbons add sophistication and elegance
A white rose and some ribbons add sophistication and elegance

The Most Nervous Hair Day In The World

If there's one day when women really worry about their hairdo, it's on their own wedding day. Almost universally, brides tend to want a hairdo that is not their everyday hair style. Not only is this one of a woman's most formal occasions, it's also one of the most photographed.

A lot of women have their hair done by someone else for their wedding. Frequently this is a professional hairdresser or stylist, but especially with the way the economy is going and given how expensive wedding are anyway, more often moms, aunts, sisters, daughters and friends are getting called upon to lend their hair styling skills and know-how.

It is my hope that this lens helps you find something beautiful to do with your hair, something you (or you and a friend) can do and skip the expensive salon or stylist. That way you can feel beautiful, relax and enjoy your special day just a little bit more.

Congratulations, and I wish you the best for your wedding!

Yellow/pink roses and some leafy fabric ornaments can be fun
Yellow/pink roses and some leafy fabric ornaments can be fun

Tuck in all the ends and use a fancy barrette and this updo would be perfect for a bride or bridesmaid!

Hairdo Glossary

A Ponytail is when all the hair is gathered together at one point on the head, fastened at that point and then let to fall freely from there.

A Bun refers to when the hair is wound up into a small, compact knot or twist and then fastened so that none of it falls free or sticks out.

A Chignon refers to a specific type of bun hairdo. The hair is first gathered into a ponytail. Then the ponytail is wound clockwise around the fastening, and the ends are tucked under the bun that forms. This shape is then pinned in place with hair pins or hair sticks.

A French twist is a hairdo that rolls the hair up on the back of the head. The ends can be tucked under (classic French twist) or left sticking out (modern French twist).

When you backcomb, tease or rat your hair, you take a length, pull it somewhat taut and then gently comb against the direction of hair growth. This can add a lot of volume to a hair style but it's also tangling and damaging when done heavily or frequently.

A few sprigs of baby's breath can be just the touch you want.
A few sprigs of baby's breath can be just the touch you want.

How To Do A French Roll Updo

Updo Add-Ons

One you pick an updo or wedding hair style, the next question becomes "how do you want to adorn your hair?" A lot of women like to have some sort of accent added to their updo, or as one friend of mine put it, "the wedding head jewelry."

Options for including in a wedding hairdo:

Flowers - Adding a floral accent to wedding hair is one of the most popular options and it can run from a tiny sprig of baby's breath to a headpiece in full bloom. Check to see if the florist providing the flowers can get complimentary blooms to your hairdresser so that the hair accents match the bouquets.

Circlet or headband - These run the gamut from plastic to metal, from plain to rhinestone-encrusted, from fabric to flowers. Keep the style of your dress in mind, especially if you are doing something with a period look, as you'll want your hair style to compliment your dress and not look mismatched across decades.

Tiara - For women who wish for a fairy tale wedding, there's nothing that says "princess" or "queen for the day" than a tiara. Again keep your dress and hairstyle in mind. I tend to think brides should wear tiaras that are more demure than what you see on beauty pageant queens. Depending on your budget, the jewels could be glass, crystal or genuine gemstones.

Veil - Whether or not you wear a veil is really a personal choice. They can be any length from just above the shoulders to something that trails along on the floor behind you. Whichever the case, make sure to wear it around the house before the big day so you can learn to a) keep it out of your face and b) how not to step on it or get it caught in doors if it's long.

One Bold Hair Ornament

One bold flower can be a lovely dash of color
One bold flower can be a lovely dash of color

Holy Hairdo, Batman!

Check out this 1960s Bridal Hairdo which won 2nd prize in a contest in England.
Check out this 1960s Bridal Hairdo which won 2nd prize in a contest in England.

Tips and Tricks for Better Wedding Hair

Here are some suggestions for making doing your wedding hairdo less stressful!

Haircut and/or Coloring - If you're going to cut or color your hair ahead of your big day, make sure to do anything major about two weeks ahead of the wedding date. This allows your hair to get over any of the shock of cutting it and lets it relax into the new style. Any color adjustments will look more natural after a few weeks and there will be time to fix any off-colors should anything go wrong.

Washing - Slightly dirty hair styles much better than pristinely clean hair so wash your hair the night before the wedding and then get it styled as is on the wedding day.

Supplies - One of my best friends almost had her wedding day hair plans fall apart when she forgot the special "hair rat" that she needed to poof up her hair. Luckily she had a clever hairdresser who faked the needed accessory, but it stressed everyone out terribly just hours before the wedding. Have all your necessary hair pinnings and supplies gathered up in a bag and clearly marked so that you don't forget them!

The Practice Run - If you are looking for a hair stylist for your wedding, you'll want to do that about three months before the ceremony so that you can be sure of getting someone who has their schedule open for when you need them. Be sure to meet with your stylist or hairdresser a few months to a few weeks before the wedding and do at least one test run of the actual wedding hairdo. This lets you know exaclty how much time you'll need on the busy day, it lets you check to make sure the 'do is really what you want and allows you and the stylist to work out any potential problem issues with the style.

Did you do an updo for your wedding? Share your tips and tricks!

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    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      At one of my friend's weddings, the bride forgot her hair "rat" (a foam shape used for building an undo with) and her hairdresser saved the day by using a plastic bag stuffed with spare curlers!

    • reagu profile image


      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      I remember the chaos during my youngest sister's wedding. Had something to do with her hair not staying up. I saved the day because I had some rubberband in my car.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The hairstyle is awesome! love it so much

    • mysisters profile image


      8 years ago

      Great Hub. These hairstyles are simply beautiful! I love the look of the first updo pictured with the white rose and ribbon.

    • profile image

      L a d y f a c e 

      9 years ago

      Very comprehensive! I'm out to a lot of functions and can usually count on finding myself online at the last minute trying to find something new and appropriate to do with my hair. Thanks for this info :)

    • TheWeddingSecret profile image


      9 years ago from Bath, UK

      Thanks for this - some beautiful hairstyles

    • Brenda Jackson profile image

      Brenda Jackson 

      9 years ago

      Thank you for this collection of interesting tips. I am sure they will inspire many women to try an updo with the help of their mother or a friend.

      I also like the way you've built up your Hub. Will think about this when I write another one myself.

    • Research Analyst profile image

      Research Analyst 

      9 years ago

      Wedding hairstyles are so elegant and can be so elaborate at the same time.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I have an appointment with the hairdressers today - will be sure to schedule the test run - very helpful. I have a veil and that concerns me - will I be able to wear it gracefully - the clutz that I am!

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      9 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Great hub. I will be linking to it. Thank you for the hair styles

    • nikki1 profile image


      9 years ago

      thanx for sharing. Very informative.

    • mysalontools profile image


      9 years ago

      being able to do your own wedding hairstyle can really save you money

    • kezan98 profile image

      Kerrie Giles 

      9 years ago from UK

      I love this hub, it's given me so many ideas. Thanks

    • Priyanka Swamy profile image

      Priyanka Swamy 

      10 years ago from Concord, CA

      I usually like the simple styles like a chignon, but some of the photos you have are really great too.

    • Paula Andrea, MA profile image

      Paula Andrea, MA 

      10 years ago from www.mode of cosmic

      Well written hub loaded with a lot of useful information. I agree that the pictures were stunning. I espeically liked #6.

    • profile image

      Married Guy 

      10 years ago

      One of the things I think Brides overdo is hairspray.. Ever go to hug one and your head sticks to their hair..

    • J_Eds profile image


      10 years ago from Blackpool

      I love the roses in the last photo!

    • profile image

      Updo Princess - Jen 

      10 years ago

      Great hub - love the layout and photos!

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S Jain 

      10 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      The hairstyles are wonderful.

    • Amber90 profile image


      10 years ago

      I love the pics but you made some great points in this - the french roll up is my favorite. I enjoyed this very much. The batman one is pretty interesting - i wouldn't be caught dead like that lol

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      My dughter is getting married in a couple of weeks and we've been looking for a soft & elegant updo. This style is PERFECT!

      Being a hair stylist, I've been having a hard time finding good photographs of hair updos & found this one to be beautiful. Thanks

    • my-hair-tools profile image


      11 years ago from Ohio

      lots of great tips, wow thanks! photos really add alot!

    • singingmommy profile image

      Candace Green 

      11 years ago from OKLAHOMA

      Wow! I love the updos. I love how they intwine flowers. I need to try this for Valentine Banquet

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      wow, I love the hair :) very stylish

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Thank you that's great. A lot of things can go wrong on your wedding day, but beware of the hair as unexpected things might happen. Be prepared and do your research.

    • Fitter profile image


      12 years ago

      Really great hairs! Batman styled is lol :)

    • bookwise profile image


      12 years ago from Marinette

      Thanks for all the lovely photos and great ideas!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      The hairdo's are missing one thing, a bird!

    • profile image

      retarded rugrat 

      12 years ago from Surrey

      This hub is fantastic! I'm getting married next year and have been looking for some hairstyle ideas for myself and my Bridesmaids!

      Fantastic write up!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      great page!

    • hedgeek profile image


      12 years ago from Low Earth Orbit

      Excellent write up, i've pointed my niece to this hub. she's getting married soon and is looking for ideas for her hair.

    • glassvisage profile image


      12 years ago from Northern California

      The pictures make this hub really great!


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