Traditionally, Indian brides don a brightly colored and heavily embroidered veil called a dupatta over their heads and shoulders, as well as jewelry along their hairline known as a tikka. But while these accessories served as symbols of modesty and wisdom in the past, modern brides have since put contemporary twists on these traditional styles—mostly, through their hairstyles.
From jasmine flowers woven through thick fishtail braids to bohemian mermaid waves paired with sheer, saffron red dupattas, there’s a hairstyle to match every hair length, lehenga type, and personality. And the endless possibilities make this beauty to-do an exciting task for any Indian bride.
Ahead, 18 gorgeous Indian wedding hairstyles inspired by real brides.
Small and Sleek
If you really want your jewelry to shine, keep your hairstyle simple with a sleek bun. The extreme side part makes the look more done-up.
For a timeless look, an elegant French twist never fails. It’s a refined style fit for any chic bride, and it pairs perfectly with an outfit like this one that has lots of bright, dynamic colors and distinct prints.
This bride’s highly patterned dupatta and dramatic tikka, also known as a matha patti, do all the work. She masterfully enhanced her natural hair with some curls, adding some beautiful texture to this look that’s really more about her expertly crafted dupatta and jewelry.
Blow out your hair with natural waves and pin a long jasmine garland on the side for a casual look. This bride’s style proves less is more—and we’re all for it. To put her large tikka front and center, she elegantly pinned just a few front pieces of hair back.
For the most traditional Indian brides, a thick braid with jasmine woven through it is the look that never fails. The sleek style allows the bride’s earrings and gold hairpieces to shine, while the thick braid will undoubtedly inspire your guests to gawk at your style as you pass by them down the aisle.
Bump It Up
It can be hard for an Indian bride to do a half updo that still highlights their jewelry and makes it easy to pin a dupatta on the head. But if you choose not to wear a dupatta this is the look for you. The face-framing pieces of hair twist outward ever so elegantly—just enough so that the tikka still shines.
Inspired by the pink roses on her sheer dupatta, the bride showered her low chignon in matching ones to bring out the pink in her lehenga. We especially love her choice to pair pink and green—it's a classic Indian color combination as green represents new beginnings and pink symbolizes purity.
A bright pop of flowers underneath your dupatta is a great way to add some flair to the back of your look.
An elegant side part offsets the loose waves coming out of this effortlessly chic bun. If you have long hair you want to show off but still keep out of your face, this is a great look to consider since it both frames the face and brings attention down to your gorgeous blouse.
The only thing making this long, fluffy braid more ethereal is the bride’s gold tikka along her side part. The hair along the bride’s part is flipped outward to draw attention to her face, keeping the focus on the bride’s heavy jewelry up top.
A waist-grazing, feathery braid is a great way to add texture to the look of the lehenga, too.
Flowers are symbols of good luck and prosperity for traditional South Indian brides. Covering the braided hair with florals immediately creates an idyllic, and, unsurprisingly, jaw-dropping look.
For her at-home Sikh wedding, this bride sported a stunning oversized bun. A lovely look that combines glamour, sophistication, and effortlessness in one!