30 Ponytail Wedding Hairstyles for the Modern, Romantic Bride

Bride with ponytail

Courtesy of @sandrabierens_bridal / Design by Zackary Angeline

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.

01 of 30

The Braided Low Ponytail

Bride in strapless a-line wedding gown, low braided ponytail, and statement flower earrings laughing while holding hands with laughing groom at the alter in front of officiant

Photo by JENNY FU; HAIR BY ARLENE MARTIN OF SEXY HAIR 

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.

02 of 30

The Glam Ponytail

Smiling bride with a cascading low wavy ponytail ponytail looking down while wearing white column dress with gold belt and cape sleeves

PHOTO BY ERICH MCVEY

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

03 of 30

A Looped Ponytail

Bride with short, slicked back, low ponytail looking out at ocean while waring illusion bridal gown

Photo by WHITE DIAMOND PHOTO  

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.

04 of 30

Elegant Loose Ponytail

Smiling bride with a loose, swept-back ponytail allowing bridesmaids to fan out her veil

Photo by Jamie English 

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.

05 of 30

Voluminous Ponytail

Smiling bride with slicked back hair and voluminous low ponytail standing in front of dried pampas grass in ivory slip dress with sheer overlay

Photo by Greg Finck; Courtesy of Alexandra Grecco

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.

06 of 30

A Pearlescent Low Ponytail

Blonde bride with pearl pins in low ponytail looking at surrounding greenery

Photo by We the Romantics; Hair by Adorne Artistry

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.

07 of 30

A Short and Sweet Ponytail

Bride wearing a short, bouncy ponytail and veil cascading underneath looking away

 Photo by JENN EMERLING WEDDINGS

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.

08 of 30

A Metallic-Wrapped Ponytail

Bride wearing eyelet robe while holding baby as hair stylist wraps gold metallic ribbing around her relaxed, low ponytail

Photo by SARA LOBLA 

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.

09 of 30

A Low Minimalist Ponytail

Bride in low braided ponytail and strapless dress kissing groom in white suit in front of boat-lined ocean vista

Photo by Betsy Newman

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.

10 of 30

Bohemian Ponytail

Smiling bride in low wavy ponytail with accent brand holding bouquet and touching foreheads with groom in black suit in front of ocea

Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography 

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.

11 of 30

Bumped-Up Ponytail

Bride in bright pink lehenga and voluminous high ponytail cutting flower-topped cake with groom

Photo by To The Moon; Hair & Makeup by Karuna

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.

12 of 30

A Relaxed Ponytail

Bride in loosely pulled-back ponytail and curled front pieces wearing multi-colored gemstone grown and orange lipstick

Photo by Cinzia Bruschini; Event Planning by Savvy Event Studio

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.

13 of 30

Flower-Adorned Fishtail

Bride in white lace robe wearing fishtailed ponytail accented with white flower crown

PHOTO BY KAYLEE CHELSEA PHOTOGRAPHY; EVENT PLANNING BY NOVELTY EVENTS; HAIR BY TIARA EVANS & JANET MIRANDA 

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.   

14 of 30

A Sparkly Side Ponytail

Bride in white lace wedding dress with cut-out back detail wearing side ponytail with sparkly hairpin

Photo by Cynthia Chung

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.

15 of 30

A Floral-Wrapped Low Ponytail

Bride with red hair wearing a loose, wavy low ponytail wrapped with flowers at the base and flower-embellished organza cape

Photo by Kate Headley 

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.

16 of 30

A Curly Ponytail

Bride with full ponytail of curls looking up while wearing birdcage veil and white strapless wedding dress

PHOTO BY KELLY GIARROCCO; EVENT PLANNING & FLORAL DESIGN BY LUM EVENTOS; HAIR & MAKEUP BY NATASHA BELLO KOSOKO OF GLOW BY TASHA

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

17 of 30

The Preppy Ponytail

Bride with a voluminous, bouncy, matte ponytail wearing straplless black and white dress smiling while dancing with groom in black tux and bowtie

Photo by Jana Williams 

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.

18 of 30

The Fabulous Fishtail Hybrid

Bride in lace crocheted wedding dress wearing hair in fishtail hybrid ponytail while holding bouquet and looking into the woodland

Photo by Monika Ottehenning

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.

19 of 30

A Timeless Centered Ponytail

Bride with blonde, wavy ponytail being zipped into sparkly strapless wedding dress by mom with pixie cut and black column dress

Photo by Natalie Bray; Event Planning by Tyler Speier Events; Hair & Makeup by Sharon Y Park

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.

20 of 30

A Wavy Ponytail With Veil

Bride in lace, long-sleeve wedding dress and wavy ponytail with flowing veil hugging smiling groom in burgundy wool suit

PHOTO BY CAIT N' HER CAMERA; Event Planning by Alexandra Kolendrianos

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.

21 of 30

The Knotted Ponytail

Groom in blue tux laughing while about to kiss smiling bride in lace long-sleeve wedding dress and knotted ponytail with sparkly hairpin

Photo by RAW SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY; Hair by GAGA BEAUTY 

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.

22 of 30

The Ultra-Low Ponytail

Bride with an effortless low, wavy ponytail and lace dress looking to the side as transparent veil is laid over her head and shoulder

Photo by Robin Harper 

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.

23 of 30

The Floral Embellished Pony

Smiling bride with two tiny roses tucked into loose ponytail zipping up beaded lace wedding dress while stepping out into lush Hawaiian landscape

Photo by WENDY LAUREL PHOTOGRAPHY; EVENT PLANNING BY COUTURE EVENTS; HAIR & MAKEUP BY MEILI AUTUMN BEAUTY

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.

24 of 30

A Ribboned Ponytail

Smiling bride with red lipstick looking down at multi-colored, long-sleeved wedding dress with sequins and flower embroidery. Her blonde hair is in a low, loose ponytail wrapped in pink satin ribbon

Photo by RED ASPEN PHOTOGRAPHY 

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.

25 of 30

The High Pony

Bride with a high ponytail and floral accent holding bouquet and touching grooms beard in the middle of a vineyard

Photo by DRAGONFLY PHOTOGRAPHY

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.  

26 of 30

A Dramatic Low Ponytail

Black and white portrait of smiling groom hugging smiling bride with lace dress and natural, voluminous hair pulled back into a low ponytail

Photo by Laura Memory Photography & Videography; Hair by Samantha Zengbean at Taji Natural Hair Styling

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.”

27 of 30

An Elegant Ruffled Ponytail

Brunette bride with white ruffles in ponytail smiling and dancing with mom in blue dress

Photo by Adriana Rivera; Event Planning by Sarah Troncoso; Hair by Elvira Sepulveda

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.

28 of 30

An Ultra-Long Braided Ponytail

Bride in white bridal gown with sweetheart neckline holding her with ultra-long braided ponytail in front of a tree-lined runway

Photo by Mo Davis Photography; Event Planning by Michelle Norwood Events; Hair & Makeup by Faces of Virtue

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.

29 of 30

A Tousled Ponytail

Bride in lace long-sleeved wedding dress with a tousled, waist-length ponytail and braid looking away

Photo by Danielle Rose Cook 

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.

30 of 30

The Double Ponytail

Bride with a tiered ponytail and open-back dress

 Photo by CHARLA STOREY 

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.

FAQ
  • What are some bridal ponytail options for short hair?

    Whether you have short hair or just fine strands, say no more! You can always ask your hairstylist to work in a few hair extensions for a voluminous ponytail or to add some extra length.

  • 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.

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