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

Updated 07/11/17

Courtesy of Kristin Ess

If there's one thing short, long, curly and straight hair all have in common, it's that they all look crazy-good with a braid. Braids experienced a resurgence the last couple of years — and with tons of new ways to rethink the classic plait – from soft and romantic, to classic with modern twist — they are officially here to stay!

"Braids are the first thing I think of when a bride wants a hairstyle that's special, whimsical and fun," says 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 day photos in 20 years and regret having a braid in your hair, no matter what style you choose."

That being said, we've searched high and low for some of the prettiest braids, and although it was quite hard, we've managed to narrow down our top plaits. So, whether you're looking for a style that's light and romantic, or on the hunt for something a bit modern, there's a braid for you. Ahead, you'll find 61 swoon-worthy plaits fit for any wedding.

01 of 50

Relaxed Fishtail

Courtesy of Caroline Grace Booth

Caroline's gorgeous creation is perfect for the romantic bride. The style mixes a loose fishtail braid with random twists for a relaxed appearance. Finish the look by bringing out loose strands of hair to the face.

02 of 50

Zig-Zag Dutch Braid

Courtesy of Barefoot Blonde

Barefoot Blonde's zig-zag dutch braid can be easily achieved in a pinch. Start by separating hair into three parts, weaving from the crown, and stopping mid-way before the ends. For extra, oomph, add a minimal pin or pretty blossom.

03 of 50

Half-Up Half-Down Fishtail

Courtesy of Katelyn McDonald

Beach brides, this one's for you. As opposed to a traditional half-up, half-down 'do, weave a small fishtail braid using only a section of the crown, and secure with silver or gold pins.

04 of 50

Two-Strand Milk Braid

Courtesy of Blonde Chic

A two-strand braid gets a major upgrade with this style.

05 of 50

Wavy Crown Braid

Courtesy of Barefoot Blonde

Use your hair as a crown! Simple twists instantly perk up signature beach waves.

06 of 50

Two Braids Are Better Than One

Courtesy of Balayage Braids

Two braids are better than one. Create a simple fishtail braid at the front of hair, while weaving a two-strand braid in-between for a stylish optical illusion.

07 of 50

Dutch Crown Braid

Courtesy of Audra Wrisley

Relaxed yet elegant, use a dutch braid as a crown (or headband) for a no-fuss finish.

08 of 50

Waterfall Braid

Courtesy of Katherine Dalton

A waterfall braid adds instant volume, in addition to looking pretty darn good on a long set of locks.

09 of 50

Floral Fishtail

Braid with Flowers

Photo by Kristen Kilpatrick

An effortless fishtail braids gets a touch of romance with small flowers in-between strands.

10 of 50

Loose Fishtail Pony

Courtesy of Monika Ottehenning

We can't help but swoon over this style. A plush fishtail braid stops mid-way before the ends for a carefree pony.

11 of 50

Updo Side Braid

Courtesy of Kristin Ess

Can you believe this braided updo was created with a bob?! Simple yet totally trendy, minimal brides will love this one.

12 of 50

Two-Strand Meets Dutch Braid

Courtesy of Kayley Melissa

Time to nix the simple side braid! Combine two-strand and dutch braids for an edgier look. If you're unsure where to start, start by dutch braiding the bottom half of hair, while weaving a two-strand braid at the top layer of strands.

13 of 50

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.

14 of 50

Teased Out Fishtail

Courtesy of Heidi Marie Garrett

So much body! To achieve a fishtail braid like this, we recommend adding extensions to the bottom-half of hair, and tease, tease, tease! Of course, don't forget the flowers!

15 of 50

Knotted Fishtail Braid

Courtesy of Aurora Braids

Can't decide between a braid or a knot? Why not have both?! A sweeping fishtail braid adds definition to the bottom-half of hair, while two picture-perfect knots keep hair out of place all night long.

16 of 50

Two-Strand Waterfall Braid

Courtesy of Heidi Marie Garret

Classic yet fun, a two-strand waterfall braid adds a playful touch to the traditional bridal bun.

17 of 50

Pulled-Out Fishtail

Courtesy of Shauna Elizabeth

Plush fishtail braids are clearly a thing. For a personal touch, add small flowers (or jewelry) in between strands.

18 of 50

Three-Strand Side Braid

Courtesy of Fresh Lengths

For brides with natural hair, add a cute three-strand side braid to an otherwise traditional updo.

19 of 50

The Trifecta Braid

Courtesy of Maggie Hancock

This braid is truly something. 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.

20 of 50

A Romantic Twisted Braid

Courtesy of Katelynd McDonald

Twists are anything but basic in this gorg updo. Add a pearl accent (or a pretty blossom) for a decorative touch.

21 of 50

Milkmaid Braid

Courtesy of Jordan Voth

Liven up a milkmaid braid with a stunning jeweled headpiece (or flower crown).

22 of 50

Waterfall Fishtail Bun

Courtesy of Katelynd McDonald

Perfect for summer weddings, add a waterfall fishtail braid, weaved into a small bun, to soft waves.

23 of 50

Teased French Braid

Courtesy of Emily Rose Hannon

Emily's never-ending platinum locks are totally swoon-worthy in this two-strand creation.

24 of 50

Side Swept Four-Strand Braid

Courtesy of Paige Christensen

We're head over heel for Paige's side swept four-strand creation.

25 of 50

Half-Up Half-Down Boho Braid

Courtesy of Twist Me Pretty

Twist Me Pretty's half-up half-down style, which features two-strand and fishtail braids, is a dream for Bohemian brides.

26 of 50

Minimalist Braid

Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Create a minimal (yet totally trendy) knot by weaving a two-strand braid into hair and fastening with clips.

27 of 50

Pigtail Braids

Courtesy of Kayley Melissa

A go-to for the casual brides, opt for Kayley's festival-inspired braids to make sure hair stays in place while you're on the dancefloor.

28 of 50

Simple Knotted Braid

Courtesy of Balayage and Babes

A simple knot adds tons of style to soft waves.

29 of 50

Pulled-Through Braid

Courtesy of Twist Me Pretty

A pull-through braid is perfect for brides who don't want to sacrifice volume for a slick back style.

30 of 50

Double Milkmaid Braid

Courtesy of Kristin Ess

A milkmaid braid with a modern twist, add a second braid next to the original for depth.

31 of 50

Small Textured Braid

Kristin Ess on Instagram

For a modern take, loosen it up a bit: Stretch out ringlets into a soft wave, pancake your braids for added texture and embrace a few flyaways. This dreamy style is bound to make your wedding hashtag go viral. "This is a happy compromise of having your hair down, but two loose side braids keep most of your hair out of your face," says Sims. "Second-day hair helps sustain the longevity of your braids, but if time isn't on your side, a texture spray will do the trick." Top it off with a sparkly hair accessory to add to its ethereal effect.

32 of 50

Barely-There Braided Bun

Kristin Ess on Instagram

There's much to love about this style: the undone texture, the messy bun, and the barely-there braids. "The braids of today are all about embracing your natural texture, allowing it to have a few flyaways and frizz to give it that cool factor," says Sims. "

33 of 50

Gorgeous Five-Strand Braid

Kristin Ess on Instagram

We love the wash-and-go appeal of the popular 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 rumpled curls and a gorgeous five-strand braid. "Wrapping all your hair around a curling iron sets a great foundation for the braid," says MacKenzie. "It helps encourages the soft bends of the braid, especially if you have naturally straight hair."

34 of 50

Multi-Braided Ponytail

Kristin Ess on Instagram

Toss your preconceived notions of ponytails aside—they're no longer meant for just the gym or bad hair days. "This look is great for the outdoorsy bride who wants something easy and romantic or the sporty bride who's used to having her hair out of her face," says Sims.

35 of 50

Off-Center Braid

Kristin Ess on Instagram

Contrary to what you might think, you don't need down-to-there layers to inspire a gorgeous wedding hairdo; a short hairstyle is just as versatile. Take this wavy lob, for instance, which was amped up by ruffled, slept-in waves and an off-center braid. "Then punctuate the look with a vintage star comb and it instantly feels rustic and special," says Johnny Rackleff, stylist at Marie Robinson Salon.

36 of 50

Figure 8 Braided Pony

Sarah Potempa on Instagram

If you already have straight hair, congratulations: You're halfway to getting this pretty fishtail pony. "This is similar to a fishtail, but you keep one piece going over and under, while adding hair, in a figure eight pattern," says hairstylist Sarah Potempa.

37 of 50

Braided Chignon

Instribraid on Instagram

A chignon looks good on just about everyone, and this loose style is a modern take on the classic bun. "The way the braid gathers at the base of the neck makes this look so interesting," says Ouidad expert, Chadwick Pendley. "After parting your hair, begin to braid working from the front to the nape of the neck. Then, continue the braid until all hair is braided. Fasten the rest of the hair loosely into a twisted chignon. Try to keep the loose feel of this look to maintain its soft and modern finish."

38 of 50

A Fresh Twist On The Fishtail

Instibraid on Instagram

The most innovative braids don't have to be the most complicated. Sometimes it's about adding a few tweaks to a classic. "For a more casual boho look, take a small section from above your ear and create a fishtail," says Sophie Rose of Instibraid. "Secure in the back of your head with bobby pins and pull it apart for a thicker braid. Loosen it up to the point where a few pieces start falling out--like you slept on it. Then, style the rest of your strands in beachy waves and a few floral accents."

39 of 50

A Tugged-Out Braided Updo

Instibraid on Instagram

Go all-in on the trend by plumping up a thin braid with texturizing spray and gently tugging at the edges until it's at your desired width. "Or add extensions to get the most voluminous look," says Shir Ben-Zikry of Instibraid. "This hairstyle is a combination of inverse braids and fishtails that were pulled across the back of the head and secured into an updo. Pull out pieces of hair from the front of your face in order to frame your face in a flattering way."

40 of 50

Loosely Pulled Together Braid

Tessa Barton

The simplicity of this loosely pulled together braid makes it feel that much sweeter.

41 of 50

Braids Within A Braid

Lovedale

Braids within a braid, wispy locks, and a gorgeous flower crown would make any boho girl's dreams come true.

42 of 50

Floral Side Braid

Michelle Gardella

A surefire way to make your side braid stand out? Add oversized blooms and some lightly curled locks to the look for an extra romantic finish.

43 of 50

Thin Braided Crown

Feather and Stone Photography

Unusual accessories — like these bundles of pink berries — make this beloved braided crown something equally sweet and unique.

44 of 50

Hidden Fishtail Braid

Evelyn Alas Photography

Here, the bride snuck in a delicate fishtail braid to add texture to classic romantic waves.

45 of 50

Double-Layer, Half-Up Braided Crown

Sunglow Photography

Achieve a half-up braided style by creating 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.

46 of 50

Side Braid Bun

Rylee Hitchner

This chic bun gets a hint of cool thanks to a chunky side braid. Keep the style neat — like this bride has — for a classic effect. Looking for something more modern? Go for a "messy" (read: loose, not sloppy) chignon.

47 of 50

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.

48 of 50

Wavy French Braid

Jose Villa

A fuss-free French Braid is ideal for an outdoor wedding. Plus, the flower crown helps this look nail the ethereal vibe.

49 of 50

Off-Center Fishtail

Arina B. Photography

For a boho bride, we love the look of this fishtail style. Leaving the front and sides of your hair untouched, create a fishtail that leads into a simple side ponytail or bun.

50 of 50

Simple Braided Headband

Jillian Mitchell Photography

This sweet, simple braided headband would please any kind of bride and any kind of dress.

Related Stories