41 Gorgeous Half-Up, Half-Down Wedding Hairstyles

Bride with half-up hairdo

Unsplash | Design by Zack Angeline

Of the myriad wedding hairstyle ideas floating around on your Instagram feed, half-up, half-down wedding hairstyles are the ones to save. Romantic, modern, and impossibly pretty, these are beauty looks that will never go out of style.

"The No. 1 tip I tell brides when it comes to their wedding hair is that you want to feel like the best version of yourself," says Lorean Cairns, founder of Fox & Jane Salon. "Most of us wear our hair down on a daily basis, so a lot of times a full, fancy updo can take you out of your comfort zone. Half-up, half-down wedding hairstyles are that great compromise of wanting your hair lush and flowy around your face and shoulders yet still having key pieces out of the way so you're not fussing with it throughout the day."

While there are so many different ways to interpret the half updo to make it fit your personality and wedding aesthetic, there's still a timeless appeal to it. "You'll never look back at your wedding photos in 25 years and regret having your hair half up," says celebrity hairstylist Matt Fugate.

Meet the Expert

  • Lorean Cairns is the co-founder and CEO of Fox & Jane Salon Group, Skin Habit, and Little Lion Salon. She is the author of Culture Fox and speaks across the country at industry events.
  • Matt Fugate is a seasoned celebrity hairstylist in New York City who has worked for countless stars and top designers. He writes editorials for style magazines, like Allure, where he and his hairstyles are regularly featured.

Scroll for 41 half-up, half-down wedding hairstyles for every type of bride.

01 of 41

Go Vertical

Bride with crown braid and groom


Flip the traditional half-up, half-down 'do on its, well, head by sweeping hair up and sideways instead of back. This lovely lady incorporated a plaited detail for some added edge.

02 of 41


Bridal portrait with rose gold hair comb


This stunner embellished her vertical half-up, half-down style with a sweeping floral barrette.

03 of 41

A Heavenly Finish

Bride with halo tiara


A half-up, half-down 'do and a gold halo headpiece gives a heaven-sent appearance.

04 of 41

Sweet Spirals

Bridal portrait

Photo by Ryon Lockhart Photography 

If our hair looked this good, we'd smile as big as this bride, too. We love the honeyed highlights adding extra brightness and dimension to the style.

05 of 41

Turn Up the Volume

Newlyweds embracing in the desert

Photo by Laurken Kendall; Event Planning by Mae&Co Creative; Hair by Sarah Wittaker from Sarah W Hair Design 

Injecting tons of volume at the crown creates a gorgeous shape for a half-up hairstyle, ensuring your portraits will look anything but lackluster.

06 of 41

A Floral Affair

Bridal hair with florals

Photo by Melissa Marshall 

This half-up, half-down wedding hairstyle is blooming with beautiful florals. Here, the blossoms are nestled directly into the securement of the hair completely masking it.

07 of 41

Quintessentially Cute

Beaming bride


The quintessential half-up, half-down wedding hairstyle: Long, cascading locks and just a few pieces pulled back from the face.

08 of 41

Grecian Inspiration

Wedding hairstyle with braids and curls

Photo by Michael and Carina Photography

Braids and curls and gilded hairpieces, oh my! "This Grecian-inspired hairstyle is all about shine factor and bouncy volume in all the right places," explains celebrity hairstylist Tommy Buckett.

09 of 41

On the Fringe

Bride and bridesmaids

Photo by Brittany Mahood 

Who said fringe gets in the way of a half-up 'do? Sweeping side bangs add even more dimension to a half-up, half-down wedding hairstyle.

10 of 41

A Woven Wonder

Bride with floral-adorned celtic braids


Instead of simply pinning back her tresses, this beauty had her hair woven into this romantic 'do of Celtic braids and floral adornments.

11 of 41

Bohemian Queen

Newlyweds embracing

Photo by Juan Trijillo of 4Events; Event Planning by Organización de Una Boda; Hair by Oui Novias; Headpiece by Suma Cruz 

This bride's elaborate headpiece is the crowning touch to her romantic, bohemian style. She even added thin braids both to secure her hair back and dispersed throughout the bottom half of the hair.

12 of 41

A Twisted Take

Ring exchange

Photo by A Heart String Co.

Twist some tresses away from the face to create this cool-girl style.

13 of 41

Go Retro


Photo by Christopher Velasco

We love the '50s vibe of this retro bouffant. The side-parted bangs are a nice added touch.

14 of 41

Delicate Buds

Braid with babys breath buds


This vertical braid is dotted with baby's breath. The little buds are tucked directly into the plaits, giving off the illusion of sprouting from the locks themselves.

15 of 41

Romantic Heights

Bridal portrait

Photo by Jamie English

Simultaneously modern and romantic, this style reaches new heights. Literally! Look at all of that exquisite volume.

Factor in the aesthetic of your wedding gown and the backdrop of your nuptials when choosing your style. While loose, effortless waves look at home on the beach, a sophisticated half updo accessorized with Swarovski crystal hair pins will instantly take on a more elevated appearance.

16 of 41

Long Lengths

Bridal portrait

Photo by Jessica Lorren Photography

"This is for the girl who's been growing out her hair forever for their big day and wants to show it off," Fugate says. "The flowy pieces framing her face add an approachability to it that is certainly not for the stuffy bride. This is always a great example of how a simple, sleek hair clip can elevate your look."

17 of 41

Green Goddess

Bridal hair

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle 

An adorably earthy and boho look. "I love the way you can throw a couple of greens from your bouquet to dress it up a little," Buckett says. "It feels very organic and not as matchy-matchy as flowers can sometimes look when they're used as a hair accessory."

18 of 41

Pull It Back

Newlyweds giving speech

Photo by Edward Winter of Readyluck; Hair by Blomedry

This pulled-back style lets the bride's beautiful face take center stage.

19 of 41

Bardot Beauty

Bridal portrait

Photo by Sawyer Baird Photography

"This half-up style has that Brigitte Bardot–like appeal," Buckett says. "All of her long bangs and front layers are pulled out of the 'do to make it sultry and charming."

20 of 41

Add Some Sparkle

Groom carrying bride through sparklers

Photo by Lauren Fair Photography; Event Planning by Tickled Events; Hair by Urban Beauty Loft

Full, formal curls and a sparkly hairpiece complete this pretty hairstyle.

21 of 41

A Soft Touch

Bride with braided waves laughing with groom


Loose, face-framing tresses add some softness to this romantic look.

22 of 41

A Ponytail Mix

Half-Up, Half-Down Ponytail Mix


For an unexpected look, blend a half-up style with an elegant ponytail. Simply gather the bottom pieces into a loose pony for a refreshing spin on the classic.

23 of 41

Crowning Glory

First kiss

Photo by Sara Lobla 

A flower crown makes for the perfect topper to this 'do as it mimics the natural drape of the hair.

24 of 41

Sumptuous Spirals

Curly hair with bright floral swag


These rich, luscious spirals were made for a half-up, half-down hairstyle. We think the look is endearingly natural and organic.

25 of 41

Barely There

Bridal portrait

Photo by Amanda K; Event Planning by Marjorie Burgarella of By Mademoiselle C; Hair by Brittain Monge

This bride pulled just a few thin strands of hair back, largely leaving the rest to fall around her shoulders, for a minimalist twist on the classic style.

26 of 41

Best of Both Worlds

Newlyweds with vintage car


Can't fully commit to a half-up, half-down hairstyle? This bride proves that meeting halfway can be just as stunning. She tucked her front pieces underneath, instead of pulling them back, to achieve a similar effect.

27 of 41

Liven Things Up

Newlyweds cutting cake

Photo by To The Moon; Hair & Makeup by Karuna

In a similar fashion, this style keeps the front pieces polished and secure but injects tons of volume at the crown giving those curls a vivacious feel. While this may not be your typical half-up 'do, it ticks many of the same aesthetic and functionality boxes.

28 of 41

An Unexpected Twist

Bride getting dressed

Photo by Madeline Broderick Photography; Hair by ONLO Beauty 

Instead of directly pinning her tresses back, this beauty finished off the style with a flourish: Each end gently twists, before sweeping downward into the rest of the hair.

29 of 41

Budding Romance


Photo by Luna del Mar; Event Planning by Gold Leaf Event Design; Hair by Gambuti Robsin Hair & Makeup 

This bride brightened up her inky-hued, glossy locks with two pure white rosebuds.

30 of 41

Focus on the Face

Bridal portrait

Photo by Jen Ocken Photography; Event Planning by Leslie Campbell Weddings & Events; Hair by Beth Washington 

Model Brooks Nader pulled her hair upward before raking it back to draw the eyes up onto the face.

31 of 41

Glam Factor

Newlyweds exchanging vows in Hindu ceremony

Photo by Whitney & Aga for Our Labor of Love; Event Planning by SJS Events; Bride's Hair, Makeup & Styling by Susmita Patel of StylebySusmita

Feeling glamorous? Top off your half-up, half-down wedding hairstyle with a hairpiece. You can add a barrette to the gathering point in the tried-and-true fashion or opt for something that mimics the flow of the style, like this bride's jeweled chain and traditional maang tikka.

32 of 41

Au Naturel

Newlyweds in shades of mauve


This bride's natural spirals give this style so much added texture and personality. Embrace your hair's distinctive pattern for a bridal hairstyle that's entirely your own.

33 of 41

Make a Statement


Photo by Taylor Mccutchan; Event Planning by Roque Events; Hair by LaJo Studios 

Pull back thicker swaths of hair to mimic the look of a low ponytail without giving up that romantic sweep. Bonus: This looks incredible with a statement earring.

34 of 41

An Autumnal Dream


Photo by Mike Larson; Event Planning by Bash Please; Hair by Katie Nash Beauty; Floral Design by Marigold 

This beauty filled out her half-up style with roses in dusty tones that matched her dreamy autumnal nuptials in Napa. The look is sheer magic.

35 of 41

Braided Tendrils

Newlyweds Kissing

Photo by Mel Barlow; Event Planning by Carole Grogan of Bright Blue Events; Veil by Toni Federici 

Braid your locks backward for an added dose of interest to your style. This also creates a bit of an anchor to securely tuck your veil into.

Once you've decided on a fancy 'do for your big day, be sure to schedule a wedding hair trial with your hairstylist. Doing so will allow you to envision exactly how your half-up, half-down hairstyle will look—whether you pin it back with hairpins or rock a tiara.

36 of 41

Très Romantique

Bridal portrait

Photo by Rebecca Yale; Event Planning by Matthew Oliver Weddings; Hair by Ava Belle; Floral Design by Madame Artisan Fleuriste 

We repeat: Leave a few rogue tendrils out to freely fall around your face and create a romantic frame surrounding your features. This bride's results are positively angelic.

37 of 41

Asymmetric Crown Braid

Bride with puppy and crown braid


Here, a crown braid sweeps into a half-up style that's just as adorable as the tutu-wearing puppy—and that's saying a lot!

38 of 41

Finishing Touch


Photo by Maya Marechal; Floral Design by La Fabrique d’Etoiles Filantes 

This bride finished off her half-up 'do by swirling the ends into a bun rather than letting them hang down in a ponytail fashion.

39 of 41

Side Swept

Mother of the bride buttoning bride's dress

Photo by CARMEN SANTORELLI; Event Planning by Simply Sera Events; Hair by Kohnur Premier Bridal Beauty

This autumnal bride braided half of her mane back into a woven chignon and let the rest just flow about her features.

40 of 41

Just Add Water

Bridal portrait

Photo by Sara Richardson; Event Planning by Amy Abbott Events; Hair by Blanc Salon; Floral Design by Pina Hernandez

Beach babes, rejoice. Beachy waves look laid-back and fun in a half-up, half-down 'do.

41 of 41

Princess Moment

Bride with bridesmaids and designer

Photo by David Bastianoni; Event Planning by Horizon W.I.E

This particular hairstyle innately lends itself to a tiara. Doesn't the beautiful bride look every bit the princess?

  • How do you style your hair half-up, half-down for your wedding?

    Whether you're pinning it back or adding flowers to push your hair up, there are countless ways to style a half-updo for your wedding day.

  • What accessories do I need to style my hair half-up and half-down?

    Flowers or a headpiece can help you achieve an elevated half-up, half-down hairstyle for your wedding.

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