50 Braided Wedding Hairstyles We Love

Searching for an elegant, fuss-free wedding hairstyle? Try one of these pretty braided 'dos fit for every kind of bride

brides in Colorado

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KRISTIN SWEETING PHOTOGRAPHY; HAIR BY KATIE BE AND SHEAR ABBY

Straight, wavy, curly, natural—if there's one thing all types of hair have in common, it's that they look crazy good with a braid (or braids). This classic hairstyle has experienced a resurgence in interest in recent years, and stylists have responded, offering tons of new ways to rethink the simple plait so that it's wedding-worthy, from soft and romantic to classic wedding hairstyles with a modern twist.

"Braids are the first thing I think of when a bride wants a hairstyle that's special, whimsical and fun," says celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims. "Plus, you have the major bonus of taking your hair down after the reception and having these gorgeous waves throughout your hair for any post-wedding festivities—or the flight on your way to the honeymoon the next day. Braids are unique, but totally timeless too. You won't look back at your wedding photos in 20 years and regret having a braid in your hair, no matter what style you choose."

We've searched high and low for some of the prettiest braids, so whether you're looking for a wedding hairstyle that's light and romantic or on the hunt for something a bit modern, we're certain there's a braided look out there that's perfect for you.

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Simple Braided Headband

Jillian Mitchell Photography

This sweet, simple braided headband would please any kind of bride and works with practically any style of wedding dress. The beauty of this style of braid is how it's so composed and also so understated—you could be the belle of the ball (or just heading to the beach).

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Relaxed Fishtail Braid

Courtesy of Caroline Grace Booth

Hairstylists and brides love fishtail braids for their versatility. This particularly undone style mixes a loose fishtail braid with random twists for a relaxed appearance, which includes sectioning out loose strands of hair to frame the face.

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Undone Milkmaid Braid Updo

Thickly Braided Undone Updo

 Photo by Mayfield Photography; Hair by Caitlyn D of Lux Beauty & Bridal

Whether you're planning a beach wedding, destination wedding, or a beautiful summer afternoon wedding close to home, this undone braided updo is incredibly versatile. Also, can we talk about how much we love the lush volume of this look, and all of it's wispy strands...?!

To make a braid look fuller, gently pull apart the strands to give them more width—or you can sprinkle on a little volumizing powder.

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Crown Braid au Naturel

Braided updo natural hair wedding couple

Gaby J Photography 

Okay, how much do we love this look, which is such a fresh take on the classic crown braid? We can see it already: This carefree wedding hairstyle would look so fab paired with a fashion-forward but ultra-chill bridal look, such as a breezy jumpsuit or two-piece, midriff-bearing ensemble. (Destination wedding locale optional.)

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Asymmetrical French Braid

Classic french braid curly hair

Courtesy of Hair Romance

Classics are classics for a reason and the French braid is one of those looks. Always so elegant and equally versatile, this beautiful style is suited for all hair types and textures. We love it as it's pictured here, in a subtle but still perceptible asymmetrical weaving that celebrates these gorgeous natural curls to the fullest.

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Half-Up, Half-Down Braids and Waves

Half up, half down bridal hairstyle with braids and jasmine flowers

From the double, overlapping braids to those loose wavy locks, there's so much we love about this relaxed bridal hairstyle. But what we love even more is the versatility of this look, how amazing it would be on brides with all sorts of hair colors and textures—especially with pretty little flowers tucked in among the plaits.

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Braided Chignon

Braided chignon updo

Jen Huang Photo

A chignon looks good on just about everyone, as this classic updo is all about elegance. Keeping the whole look soft and relaxed—plus the addition of that beautiful braid—gives the updo a romantic, modern twist.

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Grecian Goddess Braid

short bridal hairstyle with braid wrap across back of crown

Photo by Blue Rose Photography

You don't need ultra-long locks to rock a beautiful wedding hairstyle where braids are the focus. Shoulder-grazing locks with ultra-gentle waves, plus a wraparound braid, is so Grecian goddess—especially when paired with a one shoulder gown.

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Side Swept Multi-Strand Braid

Four plait long side braid

Courtesy of Paige Christensen

While the classic braid has three plaits, it is possible to up the ante. A four-plaited braid, such as pictured here, can have a much more textured feel than traditional braids. (And that's also exactly why we love it.)

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Full-Volume Teased Out Fishtail Braid

Courtesy of Heidi Marie Garrett

So much body! Unless you've been gifted with ultra-thick, ultra-long locks, the secret to creating a fishtail braid with such incredible fullness is extensions—which will help carry that volume all the way through—and to tease, tease, tease, of course.

Small, decorative adornments placed here and there highlight fullness of this stunning look. Besides florals, we also love the idea of gemstone- or pearl-tipped hair pins or bobby pins tucked in throughout.

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French Braid Crown

<p>Bride and groom at altar</p>

PHOTO BY PHOTOGRAPHY BY KLC; HAIR BY MARISSA OUTLAW OF THE BEAUTY BOOTH

Regal, romantic, and timeless—we love a crown braid. This bride's look is simply perfection, styled as an elegant French braid that finishes in a carefully tucked updo underneath her cascading veil.

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A Tugged-Out Braided Updo

Instibraid on Instagram

Can your updo be all braids? In one word: Absolutely. This gorgeous look is a combination of inverse braids and fishtail braids that were pinned into an updo and finished with an arcing, offset hair accessory that makes the braids the focal point (and looks oh so pretty).

To create this full-volume look, plump up a braid by adding texturizing spray and gently tugging at the edges until it's at your desired width—or, consider adding extensions.

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There's No Such Thing as Too Small a Braid!

<p>Hushed Commotion Hair Accessory</p>

Courtesy of Hushed Commotion / Lindsay Madden

One option for brides with a tousle of beautiful curls? Gather them in with a delicate comb accessory and ask your hairstylist to finish the look by braiding a small plait towards the nape of your neck for a bit of Marie Antonette-inspired elegance.

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Celtic Braided Romance

Half-Up Half-Down Celtic Braids

 Photo by Glitter & Twigs; Hair by Babu Hair & Beauty

We're swooning over this bride’s half-up half-down wedding hairstyle, where glossy curls are topped by two thick plaits that are finished in a flower-adorned Celtic knot. So sweet and romantic!

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Wraparound Dutch Crown Braid

Courtesy of Audra Wrisley

For a relaxed yet elegant wedding hairstyle, ask your stylist to fashion a dutch braid as a braided crown, piled high on the top of your head—no further adornment or accessories (and certainly no tiaras) required.

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Loosely-Plaited Straight Braid

Tessa Barton

The simplicity of this loosely-plaited straight braid has all sorts of The Princess Bride vibes, when actress Robin Wright is still a maiden on the farm, awaiting the return of her beloved Westley. Could a bridal look possibly get any easier—or any sweeter?

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Waterfall Fishtail Braid and Bun

Courtesy of Katelynd McDonald

By definition, a waterfall braid features loose strands that cascade from the braid in a waterfall effect, and we love how beautiful these soft waves look paired with a waterfall fishtail braid, which is finished in a simple bun pinned at the back of the head.

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Relaxed Braided Updos Two Ways

Brides kissing

Photography by Kristin Sweeting Photography; Hair by Katie Be and Shear Abby

We love the synergy of the hairstyles of these two lovely brides, which are each so unique, but also so complimentary—isn't that a perfect metaphor for love and marriage? Look closer, and in some ways, they're variations of the same look: a pretty braided updo that's gathered into a low knot in the back, framed by bangs and/or some delicate stray wisps. Just goes to show how versatile braids can be!

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Double-Layer, Half-Up Braided Crown

Sunglow Photography

To achieve this less-is-more half-up braided style, start by having your stylist create a double-layer braided crown that wraps around the top half of your head. The rest of your hair can hang free—straight, as shown here, or curled for a more glamorous look.

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Natural Texture Side-Swept Braid

loose side braid with berries and flowers

Photo by Anna Roussous 

We always love when a bride embraces her natural hair texture, and with a look like this, who cares about a few flyways or a bit of frizz? This long, side-swept braid is even prettier with the addition of waxflowers and textural elements such as these pink pepper berries.

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Relaxed Halo Braided Updo

bride

Photo by Heirlume Photography

How heavenly does this bride look, with face-framing wisps of hair and this relaxed halo braided updo? We love the easy, natural beauty this whole look exudes, while still feeling so wedding-day ready.

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Crown Braid With Fishtail Finish (& Daisy Crown)

Hybrid Braid With Daisy Headband

Photo by Kayla Fisher 

Can you ever have too many braids, really? (Probably not.) We love the combo of a crown braid that finishes as a fishtail braid, which would look so gorgeous at pretty much every wedding, anywhere, in any season—imagine switching out this daisy flower crown for a gorgeous winter shawl, or giving the whole look a fall-hued effect.

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Polished Pony Braid

<p>couple during ceremony</p>

Photo by Jenny Fu, hair by Sexy Hair stylist Arlene Martin

Starting with a clean middle part and sleek tresses, this bride could have gone in just about any direction for her hairstyle, including a classic French twist or low chignon. But we love that she chose a polished pony tail braid, which feels modern but still relaxed—and shows off those gorgeous statement floral earrings.

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Festival-Inspired Pigtail Braids

Courtesy of Kayley Melissa

Anyone who says that pigtail braids are too casual for a wedding look clearly hasn't seen some of the incredibly stylish braided piggies that have been a staple of summer music fest fashion for some years now. Plus, there's such versatility to pigtail braids, which can be woven and decorated, too, in so many fun but functional ways. If this is your vibe, we say, go for it!

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Dressed Up Milkmaid Braid

Courtesy of Jordan Voth

A milkmaid braid has all sorts of rustic, countryside feels—but that doesn't mean it can't be dressed up with some bridal style. We love the addition of a stunning jeweled headpiece, which makes this oh so sweet and demure braid instantly wedding-worthy.

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Peekaboo Fishtail Braid

Evelyn Alas Photography

Talk about boho romance: This bride snuck in a delicate fishtail braid to add texture (and a hit of surprise) to classic romantic waves framed by a delicate crown. We love how the style shows off her gorgeous earrings, too!

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Draped Crown Braid Plus Curls

Courtesy of Katherine Dalton

While typically crown braids are woven fairly tightly, this relaxed, half-up half-down look is achieved by keeping the plaits of the braid more loose and also intentionally letting a good portion of strands remain loose, too (in the style of a waterfall braid). Barrel curls finish the look, for a softly romantic effect.

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Braided Embellished Pony

braided ponytail wedding hairstyle

INSTAGRAM / @WEDDINGHAIRCOMPANY 

We love the high-low effect of this braided-updo-turned-ponytail, which is all the prettier for the delicate floral embellishments, which trail alongside the braid from start to finish—calling attention to that beautiful braid, even as it cascades into a froth of loose curls.

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Five-Strand Waterfall Braid

Kristin Ess on Instagram

We love the wash-and-go appeal of the long bob, which is perfect for a low-key rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch. But for the actual walk down the aisle, consider breathing new life into your short hairstyle with a gorgeous five-strand waterfall braid and barely-there waves.

Prepping hair with with a curling iron gives naturally-straight hair a volume boost and also preps the hair for the soft bends of the braid, too.

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Natural Waves With Wrapped Fishtail Braid

Free-Flowing Waves

Photo by Shane and Lauren Photography; Hair by Kelly Jones Makeup & Hair; Florals by Seascape Flowers

From her leather moto jacket and glorious bouquet to her half-up, half-down hairstyle—natural waves anchored by a wrapped fishtail braid—we love everything about this bride's rocker-meets-boho style.

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Headband Plus Peekaboo Braid

Bridesmaid with floral headband and headband braid

Katherine Dalton

We love the idea of pairing a beautifully-fashioned headband with a peekaboo headband braid, which does double-duty as both fashion and function, helping to keep that accessory in its place and also keeping those baby hairs at bay.

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Knotted Updo and Fishtail Braid

Courtesy of Aurora Braids

Can't decide between a braid or a knotted updo? Well, who says you can't have both? A sweeping fishtail braid adds definition to the bottom-half of hair, while two picture-perfect knots keep hair perfectly in place all day—and all night long, too.

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Shoulder-Grazing Side Braid With Florals

Bride with shoulder-length side braid hairstyle

 Photo by Blaine Siesser

Just because you don't have down-to-there locks is no reason to shy away from braided wedding hairstyles—case in point, this ever so slightly undone side braid, which looks oh so pretty finished with delicate blooms tucked here and there and a few loose pieces to frame the face.

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Easy Fishtail Braided Updo

Arina B. Photography

For a boho bride, we love the look of this no-fuss braided wedding hairstyle. Leaving the front and sides of your hair minimally styled—except, perhaps, for a strand-smoothing blowout—start with a fishtail braid at the top of the crown that is incorporated (along with the rest of your strands) into a low side bun or updo.

This versatile style would look amazing on so many brides with all sorts of hair lengths and textures; bonus points for creative accessorizing, with greenery or otherwise.

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Classic Halo Braid Updo

<p>lace wedding dress halo braid hairstyle</p>

Photo by Sasithon Photography, Hair by Sarah Spratt

Timeless, sweet and oh so gorgeous, we love how the lines of the plaits are woven together to show off both the bride's hairstyle's sumptous texture and her hair's color tones—as well as to be framed by the gorgeous lace back to that gown.

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Side Fishtail Braid With Headband

Bridal portrait of bride with bangs, headband, fishtail braid, red lips

Amy Nicole Photography

How to channel your inner siren? How about pairing a classic fishtail braid with thick bangs and pouty red lip—plus a bejeweled headband and a bridal gown with a sweetheart neckline? We're getting serious bombshell vibes.

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Dreamy Boho Braids

Courtesy of Twist Me Pretty

This half-up half-down style, which features an ultra-loose two-strand braid and a pair of fishtail braids, is a dream for brides looking to channel some serious boho vibes. The wraparound fishtail braids are all but begging to hold some kind of floral crown or greenery wreath, don't you think?

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Loose Fishtail Pony

Courtesy of Monika Ottehenning

We can't help but swoon over this fishtail braid that finishes as a carefree pony, and how perfectly the style is framed by the stunning open-back lace bodice of the dress—no other adornments required.

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French Braid Bun

Zoe Lonergan

This low bun, complete with a classic French braid, screams garden wedding. Complement the simple look with a pale-hued flower or sparkling accessory.

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Floral Fishtail Braid

Braid with Flowers

Photo by Kristen Kilpatrick

An effortless fishtail braids gets a touch of romance with small flowers tucked into the plaits. Baby's breath—which symbolizes everlasting love—is a timeless choice, but other florals that could also work include jasmine, orchids, spray roses, even sprigs of greenery.

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Side Braid Bun

Rylee Hitchner

This chic bun gets a hint of cool thanks to a chunky side braid that's so gorgeous with her natural waves. Keep the style neat for a classic effect—as this bride has—or, if you're looking for something more modern, go for a chignon with more of a slightly undone effect.

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Multi-Braided Pony

Kristin Ess on Instagram

Toss your preconceived notions of ponytails aside—they're no longer meant for just the gym (or bad hair days). We could totally see this multi-braided look at a casual beachfront or rustic wedding coming soon to a destination near you.

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Minimalist Braided Knot

Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Create a minimal (yet totally trendy) knot by weaving a two-strand braid into hair and fastening with clips. We love that this look is such a blank canvas—it's strong and sophisticated all on its own, but would also look so pretty with the perfectly placed embellishments.

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Figure Eight Braided Pony

Figure eight fishtail ponytail

Sarah Potempa on Instagram

We love the idea of adding a section of intricate braiding to an ultra sleek ponytail for that added wow factor. This particular technique is based on a classic fishtail braid where there are even more overlapping strands involved—hence the "figure eight" pattern.

This versatile look would be stunning paired with all sorts of wedding dress styles, from the ethereal to the chic and modern. Such a sleek hairstyle also shows off lace detailing and other bodice embellishments beautifully.

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Pulled-Through Braid

Courtesy of Twist Me Pretty

A pull-through braid—named so for the technique stylists employ, to pull the sections of hair through each section, to create this tiered effect—is a perfect look for brides who don't want to sacrifice volume but still crave a more structured style. Tuck in a few delicate florals or greenery (or a few pearl-adorned hair pins) to cover those hair ties, and you're good to go.

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Barely-There Braided Bun

Kristin Ess on Instagram

There's something so wonderfully wild and free about this casual (but so very cool) bridal hairstyle that's all about this bride's natural hair texture and a few barely-there braids, which finishes in a messy bun.

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Three-Strand Fishtail

Courtesy of Katelynd McDonald

Romantic waves get a pick-me-up with a simple three-strand braid at the crown, which is pinned behind a voluminous fishtail braid.

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The Trifecta Braid

Courtesy of Maggie Hancock

With so many techniques woven into one look, this braid is truly something—and it might just be the something that you're looking for, if you're more of a walk-to-the-beat-of-your-own-drum kind of bride. We'd love to see it pictured at a rustic chic wedding, where a couple might be just as likely to be wearing cowboy boots as dress shoes.

To recreate, start by weaving a waterfall fishtail braid on one side of hair, while simply twisting the other as they meet; add a tighter fishtail braid to the center of hair, knot towards the end, and finish with a simple three-strand braid.

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Tousled, Braided Pony

Toussled ponytail

Danielle Rose Cook 

Making the case for how more can be more, this tousled, braided ponytail is a bohemian bride's dream, thanks to tons of volume and ultra-romantic plaits. This storybook wedding hair is straight out of an enchanted forest.

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Bombshell Braided Updo

wish upon a wedding cake cutting

Photography by Nyk + Cali; Hair by One 10 Beauty

Do brides who choose braids have more fun? Well, one thing's for certain, we absolutely love the sweet vintage vibes of this bold Nashville bride, who rocked fuchsia pink hair on her wedding day! A few loose strands frame her face, while further back, her braided 'do wraps around a delicate floral, lace, mesh, and ribbon hair accessory. SO gorgeous!

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