20 Gorgeous Hairstyles for Engagement Photos

From chic buns to loose waves, there's an option for everyone.

bride and groom posing for engagement photos

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

Getting engaged is only the beginning of a long journey leading up to your big day; and among the multitude of things that will be on your to-do list, scheduling your engagement photos is an important action item. Your engagement photos will likely be used for your save-the-dates, wedding website, and elsewhere in your celebrations, so putting time and effort into capturing the best images is of the utmost importance. What's more, along with deciding on what to wear for this moment, you also have to decide how you'd like to style your hair.

Luckily, an engagement shoot is not as formal as traditional wedding photos, so you don't have to wear your hair the same way you would for your nuptials (though some brides do book their hair and makeup trial on the same day as a test run for their desired bridal look). Oftentimes, many brides go for a more relaxed yet sophisticated appearance, but ultimately, this choice is personal and there are no beauty rules to follow. No matter your engagement hairstyle, it should make you feel confident and help you leave your photo session with portraits that you'll love for a lifetime.

For those searching for a bit of inspiration, we've put together some of our favorite hairstyles for engagement photos below. Take a look, maybe try something new, and don't forget to smile!

01 of 20

Swept-Up Bun

bride holding flowers with a bun in her hair

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

If you want a high bun that doesn't look like it belongs on a ballerina's head, try this sweet and simple swept-up bun. Instead of putting your hair in a ponytail and wrapping it around the base, pin your hair in the shape of a bun near the top of your crown. You can also leave out your face-framing layers for a more undone and effortless look.

02 of 20

French Braid

Melissa's DIY beaded hair accessory in her braid

Photo by Lauren Baker Photography

Brides with long, thick hair would look great in a French braid. It keeps your hair out of your face, which makes for better pictures if your engagement photos are outdoors. After braiding, pull your hair outwards from the center of your braid to get that voluminous look.

03 of 20

A Loose Bun With Pearls

back of a bride's head wearing a low bun

Photo by Brogen Jessup

This low, loose bun has a ton of volume and texture at the crown, and a few loose curls near the front of the face to soften the entire look. We especially love the micro-pearl hairpins which are a delicate finishing touch.

04 of 20

Big, Bouncy Waves

bride with large bouncy hair waves

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

Textured waves with tons of volume are always a good idea. Pro tip: Hit your curls with a spritz of shine spray, like this one from Color Wow, to make your hair look super glossy and healthy.

05 of 20

A Bedazzled Headband

bride wearing a bejeweled headband

Photo by Deborah Ann Photography

A headband is a versatile accessory that can keep hair out of your face, or add an extra element of style to your engagement photoshoot. Follow this bride's lead and opt to wear a minimalist jewel-encrusted piece, or go big with a headband that features oversized crystals.

06 of 20

Full Fringe

bridal portrait

Photo by Pablo Laguia

Let's face it, bangs are an accessory all on their own. To ensure a good bang hair day, blow dry them into place and freeze them with a lightweight, but strong, hold hairspray like this one from Kenra.

07 of 20

Textured Beachy Waves

bride and groom wedding portrait

Photo by People Photography

Beachy waves are a great hairstyle for a more low-key bride-to-be. If you have naturally wavy hair, save yourself some time by only curling a few pieces of hair near your face. Be sure to then pull at the ends of each strand immediately after curling to get that beachy, perfectly tousled look.

08 of 20

Braided Low Ponytail

Loosely Plaited Straight Braid


We love this romantic take on the traditional low pony. Your photographer will inevitably get some shots of you and your partner from the back, at which point this style will be front and center.

09 of 20

Fishtail Half-Up, Half-Down

fishtail braid

Photo by Indiee Fox

A half-up, half-down style allows you to show off your length without having to worry about getting your hair in your face. What's more, this fishtail braid across the crown is so much fun and adds depth to the look.

10 of 20

Voluminous Low Pony

bridal portrait

Photo by Laura Memory Photography & Videography

Brides with thick, long hair should definitely show it off in their engagement photos by way of a ponytail. This low pony has so much volume at the base of her head, adding dimension and shape to her overall look.

11 of 20

Flowery Updo


Photo by Chi-Chi Ari Love

Natural curls look amazing in updos because they hold their shape and add plenty of texture to the hairstyle. As seen above, this bride also added flowers to her hair for a feminine, delicate touch.

12 of 20

Piecey Bun

bride and groom kissing

Photo by Katherine Ann Rose

This natural-looking low bun is perfectly messy, with pieces falling around her face and from the center of the bun. To achieve this easy-going, elegant look, loosely gather your hair around the base of your neck, twisting it into your desired bun shape. As you style your hair, it's okay if some pieces fall out as that is what will give it that undone look. Don't overthink it. Just pin it, spray it with hairspray, and you're good to go.

13 of 20

Chic High Pony

bridal portrait

Photo by Hannah Forsberg

Ponytails used to be the ultimate lazy girl hairstyle, but not anymore. Take this low-maintenance style up a notch by slicking the front of your hair with a high shine, high hold gel, and wrapping your ponytail with a strand of your own hair.

14 of 20

Curly Lob

bride smiling with red lips and curly hair

Photo by Liz Fogarty Photography

Lob (or long bob) hairstyles look lovely when curled, as seen in the above photo. This bride went for a more traditional ringlet curl, which gives her hair a very vintage feel, but it can easily work for a modern-day photoshoot as well.

15 of 20

Sleek High Bun

bridal portrait

Photo by Margherita Calati

High buns have a flattering face-lifting effect, which makes them a great hairstyle for engagement photos. Pro tip: Don't forget to use an edge control gel to lock down your baby hairs at the base of the hairline.

16 of 20

Pinned Up Curls

bride looking to the side with pinned up curls

Photo by Mashaida Co.

Many brides are embracing their natural curls, and there are some styles, like this one, that you can only do if you have curly hair. To get this look, pin your curls against your head and add a few sparkling hairpins to make the look feel more bridal.

17 of 20

Naturally Straight

bride getting ready

Photo by Megan Robinson

Some brides with straight hair are tempted to curl their locks into an unnatural style, but this bride proves that straight hair can be stylish all on its own. Part your hair down the middle for a chic, boho-inspired look.

18 of 20

Short and Sweet

bride with short hair with a hairpin

Photo by Picture Me & U

Short hair is already easy to style, but if you want to elevate your everyday look, add a floral hairpin as this bride did here.

19 of 20

Deep Side Part

bridal portrait

Photo by Shelly Anderson Photography

A deep side part is a perfect style for a low-maintenance bride-to-be who wants an effortless engagement photo moment. To get this look, curl your hair and place it all to one side, then brush out the curls for an added boost of volume.

20 of 20

Voluminous Half-Up, Half-Down

bride and groom kissing

Photo by Sydney Noelle Photography

This elegant look has everything: volume, texture, and gorgeous cascading waves. We love that the half-up portion is pinned in place, rather than braided or held up by a hair tie, giving it an ethereal floating quality.

  • How should I wear my hair for an engagement photo?

    It's entirely up to you to decide how'd like to look in your engagement photos. Some brides prefer to wear their hair up and out of their face, while others prefer to sport loose waves or curls.

  • Should I get my hair done for engagement photos?

    It depends! If you hate doing your hair (or know you're not comfortable with hairstyling), you may want to call in a professional for some assistance. However, if you're a hairstyling pro and you know how to get the look you want, by all means, save your money and do it yourself. As we mentioned earlier, some brides choose to use their engagement photos as a test run for their bridal hair and makeup look, which is also an option, especially if you're still deciding how you want to style your hair on the big day.

Related Stories