When it comes to your wedding day, it’s easy to overthink things. Sure, it’s one of the biggest days of your life (gulp), but that doesn’t mean you can’t take it easy on at least some of the details. When you already have enough to stress over, taking the less-is-more approach to your wedding-day hairstyle is the way to go. Enter: the bridal ponytail.
Just hear us out. Ponytails get a bad rap for being basic, and while they may be our go-to on lazy days and trips to the gym, that doesn’t mean we can’t elevate the style. Trust us; it just requires a little strategy. And besides, when every detail of your day is planned to a tee, a laid-back wedding ponytail is the perfect way to strike a balance. Think of it this way: You won’t have to wake up extra early in order to make it to the altar on time. (You’ll thank us when you don’t have to pack the concealer on those dark circles.) It’s time our beloved ponytail gets the credit it deserves. If you’re thinking the sporty style isn’t wedding-day appropriate, think again, because we have the photos to prove it.
Ahead, find 30 wedding ponytail updos that are pretty enough for your big day and beyond.
The Braided Low Ponytail
The perfect middle ground between a minimalist low ponytail and a textured plait. This bride gives the sporty 'do a romantic contrast with a feminine ball-gown silhouette and a statement earring.
The Glam Ponytail
Channel your inner Grecian goddess with a low, understated bridal ponytail that's fuss-free yet still glamorous. Whether you pull back sleek, straightened locks or curled hair, the result will be equally polished. For a high-impact finish, play up your look with gold hoops or a set of sparkly bridal hairpins.
A Looped Ponytail
This architectural spin is just as elevated and chic as it is sleek. We love how this bride didn't let her shorter lengths detract from a sophisticated wedding ponytail. The looped ends create the loveliest visual without sacrificing structure.
Elegant Loose Ponytail
As opposed to a slicked-back style, opt for loose, romantic strands. This style has everything you could want: the structure of a traditional pony with the added allure of volume and wispiness.
The juxtaposition between the volume in this bridal ponytail and the shiny, slicked-back front is as playful as it is unexpected. Better yet? This style is pretty reception-proof. It will stay put as you dance the night away.
A Pearlescent Low Ponytail
While updos are perfect for showing off a neckline, nothing complements an intriguing low back quite like a wedding ponytail that cascades along with it. “The deep V in the back of my dress was so beautiful, especially framed with the ethereal cape. So, I wanted a hairstyle that would complement, not hide, that,” recalls bride Heather. This low, sleek ponytail was further elevated by pearly pins for a stunningly curated look.
A Short and Sweet Ponytail
Who said you need long lengths for a bridal ponytail? A cropped cut doesn't mean you can't have a special, stunning style for your walk down the aisle. Plus, adding the veil underneath is a fabulously fresh and modern choice.
A Metallic-Wrapped Ponytail
Sometimes all it takes is a sparkly accessory to perfect a pony. A metallic wrap around the base of your ponytail is our favorite wedding-day hack for the modern bride.
A Low Minimalist Ponytail
This bride's loose bridal ponytail is the very essence of minimalist chic. The pairing of the simple staple with the softness of the veil is nothing short of heavenly.
Nothing says boho quite like an eclectic braid detail. A French braid adds an unexpected bohemian touch to this dance-floor-ready ponytail. The voluminous waves are the perfect way to complete the 'do.
Bump up a high bridal ponytail by teasing the bottom strands for some enviable volume and keep the front pieces super sleek for a glam aesthetic. Work in a little hair cream, and voilà! This look makes for some stunning profile shots.
A Relaxed Ponytail
Don’t overload guests with visuals. Let your gown and pretty face and maybe a knockout accessory like this bride's regal headpiece take center stage with a relaxed wedding ponytail.
Part fishtail braid, part sleek pony, this romantic 'do is ideal for bohemian brides looking to soften their wedding look. For added visual interest and a bit of vintage appeal, adorn your bridal braid with fresh florals and let a few face-framing tendrils hang loose.
A Sparkly Side Ponytail
Give an unfussy side pony a dose of glam with a subtly sparkly hairpiece. The off-center placement of this beautiful pin not only emphasizes the asymmetric updo but adds a little something extra as you turn your back.
A Floral-Wrapped Low Ponytail
How sweet is this style? This Detroit bride gathered a low bridal ponytail of loose waves at the nape of her neck and decorated the locks with foraged flowers from the morning of her wedding.
A Curly Ponytail
If you've got beautiful, voluminous curls, then we say flaunt them. It doesn't matter what your curl pattern is, they'll always look luscious pulled back into a flirty gathering. This bride embraced her natural curls by rocking a fluffy wedding ponytail with a strapless gown and birdcage veil.
The Preppy Ponytail
Never underestimate the power of a clean, high bridal ponytail. We can’t think of a better way to show off the details on the back of your beautiful gown. The volume and texture of this particular wedding style give the sleek 'do a slightly undone and sexy edge.
The Fabulous Fishtail Hybrid
A plush fishtail braid stops midway before loosening into a carefree pony. We love how this style accentuates the stunning back of the dress, creating a cohesive completed look. This pair is a match made in heaven.
A Timeless Centered Ponytail
We may rave about ultra-high and super-low ponytails, but a well-centered style is just as timeless. Securing a wedding ponytail right at the crown provides ample bounce without sacrificing a classic look.
Wrap a piece of your hair around the ponytail elastic to conceal it and elevate the look.
A Wavy Ponytail With Veil
Need more convincing? A centered height looks equally gorgeous with a billowing veil (an option that may not translate with a sky-high ponytail) and still provides some lengthening to a long-sleeved wedding dress or more demure neckline.
The Knotted Ponytail
This unquestionably cool style may be a bit deceiving in terms of effort. We see a twisted half-up gathering flowing into a thick rope braid (to achieve that knotted look) and being secured several inches above the bottom for a boho feel. We'd say this look is well worth the effort though.
The Ultra-Low Ponytail
This bride's ultra-low pony hits right at the nape of the neck creating an alluring juxtaposition between the sleek crown and teased-out strands. This style adds just enough of a disheveled charm to freshen up the otherwise soft and romantic dress.
Don't be afraid to play with different textures and finishes on your ponytail. The same style in a matte or super-glossy finish can completely change the look of the 'do.
The Floral Embellished Pony
Dot your wedding pony with a few buds of a romantic bloom for an ethereal effect that will look effortlessly gorgeous. We love matching the blooms to your bouquet or the native flora of the setting.
A Ribboned Ponytail
All you need is a feminine ribbon to take this simple bridal style up a notch. Make it even more eye-catching by choosing a satin ribbon in a statement shade or sumptuous texture.
The High Pony
There's something about a panache-packed high ponytail that's both chic and sophisticated. We adore how this bride pulled back her gorgeous curls into a stunning wedding ponytail—she even added some flowers and a veil for extra flair.
A Dramatic Low Ponytail
Go big or go home! We love a bride who not only embraces her natural texture but flaunts it with pleasure. “I love my natural hair and wear it proudly so I knew I wanted a more dramatic version of my own hair,” bride Deborah says. "The ponytail gave me nice volume but also allowed my face to shine through.”
An Elegant Ruffled Ponytail
Fluffy white blooms give a youthful ruffled effect to this bride's sweet ponytail. While tucking small flowers into a bridal 'do makes for a lovely accent, this showstopper doesn't play a supporting role. Its stand-out texture shines from every angle, making it a stunning complement to a more simple wedding dress silhouette.
An Ultra-Long Braided Ponytail
Eternal classics like a sleek hairstyle and streamlined wedding gown offer room to play with other details. This beautiful bride upped the ante on her glossy crown with an ultra-long braided ponytail for the New Orleans nuptials. If length isn't your hair's strength, extensions can be used to add on the inches.
A Tousled Ponytail
This tousled, braided ponytail is a bohemian bride's dream, thanks to tons of volume and ultra-romantic plaits. Not sure which bridal ponytail is right for you? Look to the style of your wedding dress and venue for inspiration. While a bohemian wedding gown and rustic setting may call for a tousled ponytail, a more streamlined ball gown would look gorgeous styled alongside a sleek pony.
The Double Ponytail
Two is totally better than one. That's exactly why we adore this multi-tiered approach to a ponytail-half-up hybrid. If you're after some princess vibes for your big day, this may be the contemporary way to go.
What are some bridal ponytail options for short hair?
Should you hire a professional hairstylist to achieve a wedding ponytail?
While you can certainly do it yourself, some wedding ponytails may require a bit more finesse than you're used to. If you're unsure, we recommend scheduling a wedding hair trial. This is especially helpful if you plan on dressing your bridal ponytail up with sparkly clips, flowers, or ribbon.