You've searched for the perfect hairstyle for your wedding day for months and even have hundreds of inspiration photos saved on Pinterest and Instagram. But perhaps you haven't nailed down your style yet. If you're still deciding on the best hairstyle for your special day, consider an effortless side hairstyle. Not only are these styles simple, but they look elegant and playful, too.
We know that some side hairstyles look extra formal, but not all side hairstyles are the same. “It’s really about keeping it looking effortless in my opinion,” celebrity stylist Juan Carlos Maciques says.
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According to Maciques, the more done up the style looks, the more unappealing it is to the eye. “Hair needs movement for it to look young and fresh,” he notes.
From braids to glamorous curls, there’s a 'do for every bride. Ahead, see our favorite 23 side hairstyles for your wedding.
Gathered Hair With Tendrils
Hair gathered at the nape of the neck and pinned to the side is a traditional wedding hairstyle. Take inspiration from this bride and leave tendrils out to frame your face.
These natural-looking waves sit elegantly on the shoulder. Start by creating subtle waves in your hair, then place your hair to the side to show it off. This hairstyle is great for brides with longer hair, and it pairs nicely with drape earrings.
Minimal Wispy Hair
If you love ponytails like us, then you'll love this hairstyle. For an easy and effortless style on your wedding day, have your stylist gather your hair into a low side ponytail that grazes your neck. You can add wispy pieces of hair that frame your face, or add volume to the ponytail at the crown of your hair.
Loose Pin Back
Wearing your hair down with loose and natural waves is as effortless as it gets. Instead of having your hair fall in your face, use a clip or pin to sweep a section of hair to the side. Not only does it create a beautiful look, but the subtle pin will hold your hair in place.
A side part creates a natural hairstyle. The part pushes your hair over to the side that you favor and creates a glamorous look. To finish the look, curl your locks and then brush the curls out for added drama.
Want more details? Use a large and shimmering hair accessory to add a chic element to your hair.
Glamorous Side Bun
Glamorous hairstyles can be effortless too. For a look full of drama, opt for a side bun with volume. The best part? This style doesn't take long to complete.
A plait is one of the prettiest bridal hairstyles. On your big day, have your stylist start with a plait that has curled pieces of hair. Then, gather some hair into a bun and leave some parts out of place. The double hairstyle mixed with the unkempt pieces of hair makes this side hairstyle effortless and whimsical.
Although there's a lot of buzz around if side parts are still considered "trendy" or not, we say always go for the side part. Have your natural curls fall over to the side for your wedding day.
Don’t underestimate the effortlessness of long layers. These layers add dimension to your hair, and it’s eye-catching when gathered to one side.
Tight Bouncy Curls
Keep your curls tight for a classic bridal hairstyle. Then, layer them over to one side. No accessories are needed for this finished side hairstyle—it looks stunning on its own.
A half-up and half-down hairstyle is effortless without looking, well, effortless. This style gathers your hair into a low ponytail and lets the rest of your hair down. To elevate this classic look, keep your hair at the side instead of gathering at the back of your hair—finish with big and bouncing curls.
Romantic curls are a wedding-day staple. Choose this classic style, but elevate it by making it a side hairstyle. Part your hair and then have your curls rest at that part. It will add dimension to your hair and frame your face.
Chic Side Chignon
Is there anything better than a chignon? Honestly, no. For your wedding day, a chignon is chic. Have some fun with this style by leaving the low chignon at the side of your head with loose strands of hair.
Let your curls be the star of the day with this hairstyle. Opt for old-Hollywood curls that are sure to stand out. Have your hairstylist use a side part to add volume and then create voluminous curls. Then, use a dainty pin for your hair to pin a few pieces of hair back out of your face.
Natural Beach Waves
Beach waves will never go out of style. If you're not sold on glamorized curls, then try loose waves that have no structure to them and have the waves fall to the side. You can decorate your hair with wedding pins or fresh flowers to add detailing.
Be sure to use a beach wave spray to help texturize the hair.
Double Braided Ponytail
What’s better than one braid? Two! The braids are an excellent way to add modern elements to a traditional bridal ponytail. The braids help to create structure and face-framing details. Have the braids lead into a side ponytail with loosely curled ends. This style is excellent for brides with medium or short hair.
To create a design-based side hairstyle, use parts in your hair to create a pattern. This bride parted her hair into three sections to make a fun side design. The rest of her hair was then gathered over to the opposite side.
Twisted Fishtail Braid
Like Maciques noted above, the more movement the hair has, the better. This style is full of movement. The loose twist that leads into a side fishtail braid, mixed with wispy pieces of hair, looks stunning.
Use your natural twists to create an effortless hairstyle. The twists transform a simple style into an elevated wedding look.
Loosely Pinned Side Updo
Updos are a bridal staple and have a lot of room to play around with. Instead of assembling your hair into a high style, choose to have the updo sit at the side of your hair. You can pin curls or have your hair gathered into a traditional updo.
Simple and Sleek Braid
We love traditional hairstyles, especially braids. Although effortless and simple, braids create a beautiful look for any bride. Braid your hair to the side and let it rest on your shoulder, and let pieces of hair fall throughout the day.
If you're a bride with shorter hair, your options for a side hairstyle are endless. Pin your curls up towards the side that you favor, but leave some hanging at your neck. Add a tiara or embellished bridal headband to complete the hairstyle.
Voluminous Natural Side Style
For a truly effortless look on your big day, wear your hair naturally. With a natural look, you don't have to worry about having your hair done up, and you can truly enjoy the day. To add more to the hairstyle, volumize some of your hair to the side and accessorize with a large, fresh flower. The touch of nature adds a bright and fun detail.
How long does hair have to be for a side hairstyle?
While longer hair lends itself well to side braids, buns, and half-up, half-down 'dos, a side hairstyle can be created with short hair. It can be as simple as a side part or accentuating one side of your head with a flower, hairpin, barrette, or bow.
Should I hire a hairstylist for my wedding day?
This is totally up to you and your comfort level with doing your own hair. That said, many side hairstyles are on the trickier side, so it's worth hiring a pro if you're not 100 percent comfortable assigning the task to yourself. It's one less thing to stress about on your big day.
How much time should I budget for having my hair done?
It varies from bride to bride, but plan for 60 to 90 minutes. Typically, the more intricate the look, the longer it will take. If you're also getting your makeup done, double that time.