36 Stunning Braided Hairstyles We Love

brides in Colorado

PHOTO 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 plaits, 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 for you.

Keep scrolling for our pick of 36 gorgeous braided hairstyles

01 of 36

Twisting Updo

Bride in groom in green suit embracing

Photo by Clean Plate Pictures; Event Planning by Ben Knox; Hair by Jade Staton

Like an abstract work of art, this bride's braids give some contemporary oomph to a traditional updo. Not a single ounce of natural volume was wasted in the dimensional, twisting design of the braids—bringing enough character to complement the floral-themed two-piece bridal set. (Not to mention those statement earrings!)

02 of 36

A Triple-Braided Feat

Bride and groom embracing in golden light

Photo by Roberta Facchini Photography; Event Planning by Giusy D’Ambrosio; Hair by Mantas Tautvaisas

We see you, boho bride! Soft, ultra-long locks cascade whimsically, accented by a veil of multiple braids. The crown is gathered into three tiny, parallel braids that could not possibly be better suited for a night of dancing barefoot along the Italian coast.

03 of 36

Wrapped Bun

Bridal portrait

Photo by Chi-Chi Ari Love

Long braids need not sit all on their own. This bride wrapped hers into a sophisticated top knot with a refreshing twist courtesy of the multi-braid texture. This is a great way to elongate the neck if rocking a higher neckline ensemble.

04 of 36

Waterfall Braid

Bride with waterfall braid embracing groom

Photo by Kaity Brawley; Event Planning by Avec Moi Event Planning & Design; Hair by JLC Salon

By definition, a waterfall braid features loose strands that cascade from the plait in a waterfall-like effect. We can't help but love how gorgeous these soft waves are paired with the dramatic cascading braid blending seamlessly into the waves. (So much poetic aquatic imagery for one 'do to carry!)

05 of 36

Floral Fishtail Pony

Fishtail braid with floral adornment

Photo by Kaylee Chelsea Photography; Event Planning by Novelty Events; Hair by Tiara Evans & Janet Miranda 

We love the idea of adding a punch of intricate braiding to an ultra-sleek ponytail for that added visual intrigue. This simple fishtail gets an extra dose of boho romance with face-framing tendrils and a floral swag that molds to one side of the head. And that's how you bring in a little bit of vintage sweetness to a modern-day wedding look.

06 of 36

Minimalist Braided Knot

Bride and groom kissing in garden

Photo by Julia Kaptelova; Event Planning by Wow-Wedding; Hair by Olga Goncharova

Create a minimal (yet totally trendy) knot by weaving a two-strand braid into the hair and fastening with clips or pins. This look is such an exquisite blank canvas—it's strong and sophisticated all on its own, but it would also look so pretty with intentionally placed embellishments. We recommend injecting some of your own personality and making it all your own.

Use pins or clips that match your hair color to seamlessly secure the coif.

07 of 36

Dressed-Up Milkmaid Braid

Milkmaid braids

Photo by 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 oomph. We love the addition of a stunning jeweled headpiece, which makes this oh-so sweet and demure braid instantly wedding-worthy.

08 of 36

A Braided Faux Hawk

Bride with braided faux hawk and groom

Photo by T&S HUGHES PHOTOGRAPHY

Cool-girl brides, take note. This braided faux hawk makes a serious statement. We love how it's paired with a classic chignon and intricate dress for added elegance. (This beaming groom is a fan for sure.)

09 of 36

Crown Braid au Naturel

Braided updo natural hair wedding couple

Photo by 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.)

10 of 36

Simple Braided Headband

Bride with halo-braided bun

Photo by Jillian Mitchell Photography

This sweet, simple braided headband would please any kind of bride and works with practically any wedding dress silhouette. The beauty of this 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. Plus, it offers an adorable mini-me option for those lucky flower girls.

11 of 36

Half-Up, Half-Down Braids and Waves

Dutch side bride

Photo by OLIVIA MARKLE 

From the Dutch side braid to those loose wavy locks, there's so much we love about this relaxed bridal hairstyle. But what we love even more is the multitude of options offered by this look. You can continue the plait to the back in a true crown formation or just let it hang loosely from there for a little boho aesthetic.

12 of 36

Undone Crown 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 beautiful summer afternoon nuptials 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 its wispy strands?

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

13 of 36

Braided Chignon

Braided chignon updo

Photo by Etcetera Photography; Event Planning by Providence and Planning; Hair by Kohnur; Floral Design by Milieu Florals

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. It's also a stunning wind-proof option for those easy-breezy outdoor ceremonies.

14 of 36

Braid-Accented Waves

Bride feeding groom cake

Photo by Etcetera Photography; Event Planning by Providence and Planning; Hair by Kohnur; Floral Design by Milieu Florals

We love a multifunctional 'do and that beautifully braided chignon we just mentioned has all the versatility. After her classic ceremony, this bride let half of the coif down for a whimsical half-up, half-down alternative at the backyard reception—complete with beachy waves courtesy of (you guessed it) the original braid. Talk about really letting your hair down!

15 of 36

Side-Swept Multi-Strand Braid

Bride with side-swept braid

Photo by BONPHOTAGE

While the classic braid has three plaits, it is possible to up the ante from there. A four-strand plait can have a much more textured feel than its traditional counterpart and also adds a little bit of majestic flair. (And that's exactly why we love it.)

16 of 36

French Braid Crown

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

PHOTO 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, woven as an elegant French braid that finishes in a carefully tucked updo underneath her cascading veil.

17 of 36

Side-Swept Twist

Brides touching noses

Photo by Clarkie Photography; Event Planning by Heather Freedman of Delmar Events; Hair by Glam Squad

For a more laid-back iteration of the style, this bride opted for a loose twist at her Los Angeles wedding. In lieu of a tight braid, the relaxed twist adds asymmetric volume (and face-framing) before wrapping into a side-swept knot. A few pulls of strands here and there add an effortless feel and fuller look overall.

18 of 36

Loosely Plaited Straight Braid

Braid with baby's breath

Photo by WENDY LAUREL

The classics have withstood a multitude of trends for good reason and with the stunning simplicity of this braid, bedecked with a smattering of baby's breath, we can definitely see why. Could a bridal look possibly get any easier—or any sweeter? If a DIY style is what you're after, we deem your search complete.

19 of 36

Relaxed Braided Updos Two Ways

Brides kissing

Photo 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 complementary. (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 some delicate stray wisps.

20 of 36

Polished Pony Braid

<p>couple during ceremony</p>

Photo by Jenny Fu; Hair by Arlene Martin of Sexy Hair

Starting with a clean middle part and sleek tresses, this bride could have gone in just about any direction for her hair. But we adore how she chose a polished ponytail braid, which feels modern but still relaxed. Not to mention, shows off those gorgeous look-at-me pearl earrings.

21 of 36

Box Braids

Brides with flower crowns

HOBO_018 / GETTY IMAGES

This bride let her shoulder-grazing box braids free in a sophisticated lob shape. (And one that stunningly grazed that intricate neckline, too.) Topped with a wild crown of greenery and blooms, she was every bit the blushing bride.

22 of 36

Draped Crown Braid

Draped crown braid

Photo by 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 on the looser side. A good portion of strands was also intentionally left free similar to a waterfall braid. Barrel curls finish the look, for a softly ethereal effect.

23 of 36

Classic Halo Braid Updo

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

Photo by Sasithon Photography; Hair by Sarah Spratt

Timeless, sweet, and absolutely gorgeous, this plait shows off both the hairstyle's sumptuous texture and the bride's color tones. Looking to tuck a few flowers in there? This tight plait creates quite the precious vessel for those adorable buds. Plus, it's beautifully framed by the gorgeous lace back of the high-neck gown.

24 of 36

Loose Fishtail Pony

Laughing bride and groom in front of floral arch

Photo by Erich McVey; Hair by Beauty by Stacey 

We can't help but swoon over this fishtail braid that finishes as a carefree pony. A humble bridal ponytail may seem unexpected with the drama of this dress (and sleeves!) but we find the juxtaposition to be quite refreshing.

25 of 36

Floral Fishtail Braid

Braid with Flowers

Photo by Kristen Kilpatrick

An effortless fishtail braid 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. Get creative with buds that match your bouquet, your surroundings, or hold special meaning to you.

26 of 36

Braided Bun

Bride with crystal embellished braided bun

Photo by Twah Dougherty Photography; Event Planning by Eleni & Co. New York; Hair by Mia Farah Beautique 

Smooth, glossy locks look oh-so polished in a chic updo. This low, braided bun is further elevated by the ultra-glam halo surrounding it. We love the hint of sparkle against the bride's dark hair at this industrial Long Island wedding.

27 of 36

A Ribboned Plait

Bride walking away with braided hair in ribbon

Photo by Volvoreta Bodas

No need to overdo things when a simple braid can be positively charming. This bride's sunny locks were twisted back into a half-up, half-down style with the ends adorably wrapped up in velvet ribbon. We're absolutely obsessed with how the bride's natural texture shines through, adding a beautifully boho feel to the overall look.

28 of 36

A Customary Plait

Bride with jasmine flowers in braid

Photo by EDWARD WINTER FOR READYLUCK; HAIR BY BOHO HAIR SALON

Maanasa wove a whole lot more than just her ample strands into this lush braid. She laced in several ancestral traditions and nods to her South Asian heritage with customary jewelry and sweet-smelling jasmine flowers. If you weren't naturally blessed with such fullness, teasing can help achieve similar volume and provide a good grip for any special accessories you choose to tuck into the plait.

29 of 36

Relaxed Halo Braided Updo

bride with milkmaid braids

Photo by Heirlume Photography

How heavenly does this bride look, with face-framing wisps of hair and a relaxed braided halo? The whole look exudes an easy, natural beauty while still feeling so wedding-day ready. If we weren't already convinced (we were) that a spritely crown or milkmaid braid could be elevated into adulthood, we certainly are now.

30 of 36

Woven Ponytail

Newlyweds kissing

Photo by RAW SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY; HAIR BY GAGA BEAUTY 

This ponytail is anything but lackluster. With a mega dose of volume, twisted sides, a thick braid, and glittering hairpin, this 'do is effortless and glam all at once. And check out how the subtle v-shaped back of the dress frames the ponytail drop so elegantly.

31 of 36

Braided French Twist

Bride and bridesmaid in emerald green

Photo by Stepan Vrzala; Event Planning by Mwai Yeboah of Love From Mwai; Hair by Blue Tooth Mafuta

A thick, side-swept dutch braid created the perfect foundation for the glittery, art-deco headpiece this bride wore to her nuptials in Rwanda. The dramatic plait sweeps back into an elegantly woven iteration of a french twist to beautifully complement the sparkly topper. Combined with that incredible emerald dress, this bridal ensemble makes a serious case for a colorful bridal theme.

32 of 36

A Woven Chignon

Bride and sister embracing

Photo by Stepan Vrzala; Event Planning by Mwai Yeboah of Love From Mwai; Hair by Amida Sama; Flowers by G Fresh Flowers

For her Zambia wedding ceremony, the bride chose a more ethereal vibe with a voluptuous chignon of interwoven plaits. The feminine 'do was aptly punctuated with a lush swag of blush and burgundy-hued blooms. In lieu of the aforementioned emerald silk and crystal headpiece, she opted for a traditional veil and frothy white dress.

33 of 36

Peekaboo Braid

Bride wiping away tears during vow exchange

Photo by Chi-Chi Ari Love

Talk about romance: This bride snuck in a delicate braid to add texture (and a hint of surprise) to a lovely updo for her at-home elopement in Brooklyn. And the hints of femininity and glam didn't stop there. With a posie of creamy florals tucked into the chignon and that exquisite birdcage veil, this bridal look couldn't be more picture-perfect.

34 of 36

Wraparound Braid

Bride kissing groom

Photo by Mel Barlow; Event Planning by Carole Grogan of Bright Blue Events; Headpiece by Sasha Samuel Jewelry; Floral Design by The Flower Lab

A wraparound braid and half-up, half-down style go hand in hand. Not only does the coif work on any texture and length of hair, it fits just about every bridal aesthetic, too. This model bride paired hers with long wavy tresses for a carefree and youthful vibe.

35 of 36

Braid Meets Ponytail

Bride with braid x ponytail combo

Photo by CHARLA STOREY 

A braid and a ponytail come together in a completely unexpected way. That is to say the ponytail itself isn't braided. Instead, the front ends are gathered back in a traditional French braid before blending with the bottom pieces into a classic ponytail with a few wraparound twists.

36 of 36

Plaited Structure

Bride in braided updo looking out of floral lined balcony

Photo by David Bastianoni; Event Planning by Sposiamovi; Hair by Alessandro Mancino

Can't decide between a braid or a knotted updo? Well, who says you can't have both? A sweeping braid adds definition to the profile before hugging an intricate chignon thats keep hair perfectly in place all day—and all night long, too. This type of romantic structure is an absolute must for the unexpected climate of a coastal Italian wedding.

FAQ
  • How long will hair and makeup take?

    Bridal hair styling can take between 60-90 minutes depending on the style, and makeup can take just as long. For bridesmaids, factor in 30-45 minutes for hair and an equal amount for makeup, per person.

  • Do bridesmaids need to have the same hairstyle as the bride?

    There's no etiquette suggesting that bridesmaids should wear the same hairstyle as the bride, or as each other for that matter! Consider your own expectations for the bridal party looks (and portraits) and dictate from there. Options included matching hairstyles for all, the bride having her own style but the bridesmaids matching, or each person choosing their own coif.

  • Should I hire a hairstylist?

    This depends on the type of hairstyle you are considering and the overall budget. More intricate designs will require the work of a professional (which comes with a professional price tag) while simpler 'dos can totally be done one your own. If opting for the latter, we recommend also weighing the time and stress it may add to your morning over the convenience of having someone else take charge.

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