There’s nothing a Brides editor loves more than fawning over photos from real weddings. Each and every week, we bring you five inspiring real wedding stories, all packed with jaw-dropping details and some of the most stunning snapshots we’ve ever seen of totally-in-love brides and grooms. And while we’re constantly obsessing over the unique decor and out-of-the-box venues, it’s always the bride who catches our eye. Nothing takes our breath away quite like a real bride. And who better to look to for some bridal style inspiration, especially when it comes to the ultimate finishing touch—your wedding hairstyle.
While celebrities strutting down the red carpet and hours spent scrolling through Instagram might be your go-to sources for hairstyle inspo, real weddings are actually the perfect place to start finding snapshots (and then sending them to your ‘maids for BFF approval, of course!) of bridal hairdos.
From pretty ponytails to the classic half-up, half-down style, these are the prettiest hairstyles real brides rocked for their “I dos.” And because they’re all straight from the pages of our Real Weddings section, you know these gorgeous gals pulled off their wedding-worthy looks IRL. That’s without the help of a celebrity’s glam squad!
Some of these wedded ladies wore their lush locks down in romantic, soft curls spilling over their shoulders. Others swept their hair up in chic and clean chignons for a totally timeless formal vibe. A few even incorporated unexpected hair accessories to elevate their big-day ‘do. So no matter your wedding style or whether your hair is curly or straight, long or short, you’re bound to be inspired by these ladies’ locks.
We’ve combed through (pun intended!) hundreds of real weddings and pulled the prettiest wedding hairstyles our gorgeous brides have worn down the aisle. See our favorites below and then save your faves and bring ’em along to your hair trial.
We’ll save you the Pinterest search. Your bridal hairstyle has officially been found!
When it was one of our fave wedding photographers’ turn to walk down the aisle, Jen Huang rocked a soft and romantic low updo.
Preston’s blond tresses were swept up in a sleek and smooth updo and finished with a minimalist, modern gold barrette.
Ali accessorized her custom Naeem Khan wedding dress (she did marry the designer’s son, after all!) with a perfectly undone half-up ‘do, featuring soft waves beneath an intricate, twisted style.
This bride’s full, voluminous ponytail is undeniably unique and totally glam.
Kea had her blond locks swept into a near-architectural low bun for her Parisian nuptials.
It was glamorous old-Hollywood curls for this blond-beauty bride.
Both of these beautiful brides rocked stunning styles on their big day. Rachel wore her blond locks in a chic, messy updo, while Brittany went with an intricately braided, faux-hawk-inspired ‘do.
When Stephanie married Raphael in South Carolina, she wore her hair in a whimsical, boho side braid.
Kelsey added a fresh sprig of andromeda to her multilayered updo.
Cate’s bridal ponytail was dance-floor ready, while her French braid added an unexpected boho touch.
It was tons of volume and elegant waves for this glamorous Cali bride.
This Miami bride twisted her locks away from her face for a half-up, half-down look that was totally effortless.
For her Colorado wedding, Devon pinned and pulled all of her hair to one side.
Stacy went with a classic half-up, half-down ‘do for her San Francisco wedding.
A flirty retro-inspired hairstyle was the perfect choice for this too-cool Brooklyn bride.
That shine, though! This bride’s slightly wavy, super-shiny locks nearly outdid the glimmer coming off her engagement ring.
This beachy bride rocked her natural curls and a punchy flower crown at her seaside South Carolina wedding.
With her blond tresses swirled into a classic chignon, this bride was ready for her formal ballroom wedding.
A whimsically beaded floral crown added a fresh youthfulness to this Colorado bride’ssoft curls.
Christine’s romantic bun was made even more so with the addition of a sparkly hairpiece.
Roana’s undone curls spilling over her shoulders were as natural as her Yosemite National Park venue.
A pair of dainty braids completed the beachy-wave ‘do of this Colorado bride.
A deep part and volume at the crown created a minimalist-chic look for this Long Island bride.
For her wedding to Eric, Vivian layered her curls in a full, messy bun that was equal parts romantic, effortless, and elegant.
For her romantic, rustic Wisconsin nuptials, Megan had a hairstyle to match, and she accessorized her wavy brown tresses with a delicate gold-chain hairpiece.
We’re sure no one was able to take their eyes off of this bride’s woven and braided bun as she was walking down the aisle.
The finishing touch on Lindsay’s chic and elegant bridal bun? A bit of sparkle and feminine florals.
With übershiny waves and a chic center part, this style was stunning enough. But the glam golden chain this Nashville bride added to her locks took the look over the top
As this beautiful southwestern bride demonstrates, sometimes all a gal needs is a beautiful blowout!
Kalisha chose retro finger waves for her vintage-inspired lob.
Anna studded her soft updo with white and green flowers for her D.C. wedding.
We’re digging the almost crimped style Ashley wore down the aisle at her Atlanta wedding.
Full curls are always a major hit. Just ask this Massachusetts bride, who sweetened the look with a whimsical flower crown.
Meghan’s side-swept chignon looked perfectly polished at her New York wedding.
A halo headpiece was just the thing to complete this bride’s loose, shoulder-skimming curls.
The wrapped chignon worn by this California bride couldn’t possibly be any prettier.
This is one cool Cali bride who’s definitely not afraid of a little color! Her brown curls were dip-dyed a bold blue hue for her walk down the aisle.
For a boho touch, this bride completed her curly, casual updo with bits of foliage and florals.
Jennifer pinned up a few tresses of her effortless loose curls to frame her face.
Caitlin completed her modern bridal style with large barrel curls in her long blond locks.
With her tresses in interlooping twists, Kristin accentuated her soft updo with gold beaded pins.
For her North Carolina wedding, Mallory wore her shoulder-length hair in side-swept curls.
With some curly tendrils and a gold hairpiece, this bride looked picture-perfect for her black-tie wedding.
Barely there curls and a center part were the perfect finishing touch to Ashley’s ’70s bridal style.
Sometimes the dress dictates the hair! Tenaya wore hers up in a soft style to show off her gown’s gorgeous open back.
Tousled touch-me waves completed this bride’s romantic wedding-day look.
An unfussy side ponytail fit Liz’s rustic country wedding to a T.
Tons of volume plus a sparkly headpiece equaled a princess-worthy style for this Brooklyn bride.
Big side-swept barrel curls looked ultraromantic on this rustic-chic bride.
This bride wrapped her locks into a sleek top bun for her California nuptials.
“I wore a pin that belonged to my maternal grandmother, who is no longer with us,” Diana said of the hairpiece she wore in her braided updo. “She was a very classy lady, and it was a beautiful piece of antique jewelry.”
Stefanie wore her blond tresses down and in loose finger-separated curls for her rustic, romantic celebration.
Both this bride and her bridesmaid rocked enviable ‘dos down the aisle. Bride Alexandra went with a messy, undone bun, and her MOH styled her tresses into a French braid and chignon.
The beautiful Rochelle styled her tresses into a texturized bun, accessorized with a couple of pretty pins, for her Martha’s Vineyard wedding day.