26 DIY Wedding Hairstyles You Can Totally Pull Off—Trust Us!

You've got this.

Newlyweds pulling each other in for a kiss

PHOTO BY KAITY BRAWLEY; EVENT PLANNING BY AVEC MOI EVENT PLANNING & DESIGN; HAIR BY JLC SALON

You style your hair every day. (Some days you even do it more than once!) That’s why you—yes, you—are highly qualified to DIY wedding hairstyles. All you need is some inspo and a little practice, and you'll be able to master that wedding-day style just in time for the big day.

Your wedding will be the priciest party of your life. It's basically a universal truth. Between the venue, catering, and all of the little details, it's easy (almost scarily so) to realize you're suddenly over budget. But you can save hundreds by doing your own hair on your wedding day. Sure, it could be a little nerve-wracking to take charge of your 'do. But, as we said before and will probably reiterate again, practice makes perfect, and styling your own wedding tresses is easier than you think. Try a braid, a bun, or bouncy waves. When in doubt, recruit a bridesmaid for help or filter through the whole bridal crew until you find the one that learned how to french braid at summer camp (new bridesmaid criteria alert!).

Here are 26 easy-to-master wedding hairstyles you can totally do yourself.

Minimalist Knot

Bride and groom kissing in garden

Photo by Julia Kaptelova; Event Planning by Wow-Wedding; Hair by Olga Goncharova

Simplicity doesn't have to be boring. This minimalist knot is not only sophisticated and chic, but it's also super easy to recreate on your own. Depending on the style of the desired knot and your braiding skills, pull all the hair back into a three-strand plait or two-strand twist at the nape of your neck. Then, twist into a bun and secure with clips, easy-peasy.

Pulled-Back Bangs

Bride twirling in nude frilly wedding dress

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography; Event Planning & Design by Beth Helmstetter Events; Hair by Kelsey Morgan Hair

Ooh la la! This elegant styling will up the ante on any loose hairstyle, whether you've got actual bangs or not. We'll get to creating the perfect loose wave in a bit, but this Parisian-inspired coif works on any hair texture from smooth and straight to ringlets a plenty. Part hair down the middle and section off the pieces closest to the face. Brush them back (sparingly use hairspray for some hold) and under the curtain of hair on each side, and secure in place with bobby pins to amplify the volume at the crown.

Smooth Lob

Smiling bride in blue lengha

Photo by Flora & Fauna; Event Planning by Tall & Small Events; Hair by Seven Salon

A smooth, bouncy lob like this will require some blow-dry dexterity (but don't panic—we're here to help!). Begin by working a bit of smoothing cream into slightly damp hair. Section the hair into horizontal layers and begin blow-drying the bottom tier. Start at the root with a round brush under the hair, guiding the shape of the style, and the dryer nozzle pointing downward on the shaft. Work your way up through the layers as you dry each one, setting with a cool blast.

Finish off with a straightener for extra smoothness and gloss. Don't forget to gently roll it inward toward the bottom for that bodacious curve.

Naturally Textured Ponytail

Bride in ponytail and birdcage veil

Photo by Kelly Giarrocco; Event Planning & Floral Design by Lum Eventos; Hair by Natasha Bello Kosoko of Glow by Tasha; Veil by Pronovias

We love when a bride embraces their natural texture, and when it comes to a ponytail, you probably already know what works best. To elevate that go-to pony for the big day, smooth it all back to the crown of the head, making sure there are no bumps or strays. If your hair requires a little product to combat the elements, don't be afraid to use it—especially for a destination wedding. Tightly secure in place and fluff up the glorious texture of the ponytail to amplify it even more. To hide the elastic, pick out a section of hair from the bottom of the ponytail, wrap it around the base, and pin in place for a seamless look.

Ribboned-Off Braid

Photo by Volvoreta Bodas

For this casual-yet-romantic vibe, not every hair has to be perfectly in place. To re-create, apply styling cream through the strands right out of the shower and let the hair completely air-dry, then mist with a light-hold hairspray before you start braiding. Begin at your ears (or at your temples if you want more tendrils around the face), pull hair back, and create a french braid. Secure with a hair elastic and velvet ribbon.

Long, Loose Curls

Photo by Sasithon Photography

Long, loose curls can look just right for the big day. To get this polished look, prep damp hair with a mousse for body and bounce and a styling cream for shine. Fully blow-dry then fire up the curling iron. If your hair holds a curl easily, use a large barrel; if it doesn’t, go with a smaller barrel to account for the curl dropping. Working from roots to ends, spiral sections around the barrel and leave there for 10 seconds. Finish with hair spray.

Side-Parted Glam

Smiling bride in lace gown holding green bouquet

Photo by Atmosphere Fotografia; Hair by Tom Perdigˆão

For a slightly more glam, silver-siren approach. Take the same curling technique as before and add a sultry side part, sweeping a curtain of hair over to cascade around one side of the face. Smooth the thinner section of hair (below the part) backward and secure in place with pins. Replace minimalist bobby pins with a glittery hairpiece for an extra-glitzy 'do.

Fishtail Braid

Bride in lace robe with fishtail braid and floral crown

Photo by Kaylee Chelsea Photography; Event Planning by Novelty Events; Hair by Tiara Evans & Janet Miranda; Floral Design by Irises Designs

Consider the fishtail braid the cooler, more mermaid-y sister of its traditional french counterpart. To create a fishtail, all you have to do is reduce the french braid from three strands to two. Divide all the hair in half to create two distinct sides. Pick a thin strand from one side, pull it across, and feed it into the alternate side, tucking it underneath. Continue the process, alternating sides, until you've reached the end of the hair and secure as with any other braid.

Old-Hollywood Waves

Bride in retro waves putting on earring

Photo by Lisa Poggi; Event Planning by Exclusive Italy Weddings; Hair by Styles by Omar

Smooth, shiny, old-Hollywood waves are an absolute dream but can seem a bit scary for a DIY approach. Have no fear, here's how to get that glamorously distinguished crinkle all by yourself. Choose which direction you want the tresses falling in and, with a one-inch wand, curl all the hair in that direction. Let cool and gently brush out. Place hinged barrettes (aka salon clips) above and below the arc of each remaining wave to define, and set with hairspray. Remove clips just before the big reveal.

Braided Side Bun

Brides hugging and smiling at each other before woodland backdrop

This rustic and whimsical style couldn't be better suited for a laid-back outdoor wedding. To achieve the look start by adding a styling cream to damp hair before blow-drying. Once dry either curl the hair or work with its natural texture, depending on preference. Now that the foundation is prepped, side-part the hair and begin french braiding so the plait hugs one side of the head. Secure the ends before rolling and tucking them into a neat twist or spiraled bun. Fasten in place with pins, and don't hesitate to play with it to achieve the desired looseness.

Waterfall Crown Braid

Newlyweds pulling each other in for a kiss

PHOTO BY KAITY BRAWLEY; EVENT PLANNING BY AVEC MOI EVENT PLANNING & DESIGN; HAIR BY JLC SALON

While the hero piece of this ethereal side-swept style may look like a waterfall braid, it's actually a variation on a crown braid that will achieve that thickness. As with other woven coifs, start with hair that has a bit of grit in it by way of a missed wash or some added styling cream. Curl to achieve the romantic waves of your heart's desire (this will add more hold, too) and part the hair where you want the braid to start. Similar to the braided side bun above, french braid down one side all the way to the back of the head and secure in place. Remember to leave tendrils and sections of hair out of the braid from the get-go to create that waterfall-like appearance.

Edgy Dutch Braid

Bride and groom in white hugging

Photo by Gaby J Photography

If you're working with a shorter cut and tons of natural texture and curl, consider this cool-girl dutch braid. A dutch braid is just an inverted french braid but the technique results in a much more dimensional, puffed-out plait. Start by sectioning off the hair that you don't want in the plait. You'll be braiding the remaining locks in a similar manner as you'd create a single, french-braided pigtail. Start with three strands, but instead of crossing each strand over the other, cross under to create the inverted look. Continue for the entire length of tresses and then secure in place beneath the curtain of cascading hair.

French Twist

Bride in multi-colored lengha having veil put on

Photo by Raquel Reis; Hair by Tina Lenoble

A sophisticated french twist is as elegant and timeless as they come, especially paired with a chic high neckline. Start with smooth hair that has a bit of grip. Sweep all of the hair to one side and vertically stack bobby pins from the base to the crown to keep the hair in place. Take all of the hair (as if creating a ponytail) and tightly twist upward close to the head, mimicking a rope. Tuck any remaining ends into the top and secure in place with u-pins and bobby pins.

Looped Bun

Smooth, looped bun

Photo by Kate Headley; Event Planning by Julie Vieira of Vieira Events; Hair by Hair and Makeup by Claudine

This polished style may look complex, but its difficulty rating is actually quite low. And by that we mean: If you can do a ponytail, you can definitely achieve this. So let's start by doing just that; pull all of your hair back at the nape of the neck into a sleek, low pony. As you go to secure it in place, don't pull the hair all the way through, so you end up with a smooth loop rather than a long tail. Take the ends spilling out and wrap them around the base, over the elastic, and pin in place. Et voilà!

Fairy-Tale Tuck

Groom kissing bride on cheek

Photo by Sally Pinera

If you're dreaming of a whimsical headband or tiara moment, this style is for you. Begin with a loose ponytail secured just below the nape of the neck. With your fingers, create a small pocket by separating the hair above the ponytail base. Roll the ponytail upward and into the pocket. Secure in place, add a topper of your choosing, and free some face-framing tendrils to up the romance factor.

Pin Straight

Newlyweds in white in front of field

Photo by A Sea of Love

Sleek, pin-straight hairstyles exude a strong energy and are especially striking with clean, minimalist ensembles. To achieve the look, apply a smoothing cream and heat protectant to slightly damp hair and blow-dry as straight as possible. (Use a paddle brush or round brush depending on the texture.) Now bring the heat: Section the tresses into horizontal layers—so you can work from the bottom up—and glide over each one from root to end with a straightener. For added shine, massage a little hair oil into your hands and run through the locks.

A Bridal Bun

Photo by Sara Lobla

Don't ever underestimate the bridal power of an understated bun. Start with hair that's a little lived in (aka unwashed). Sweep into a secure ponytail and mist with hairspray, before twisting and wrapping the hair into a bun. Anchor with bobby pins. If a bun sponge helps your technique, make sure it’s not too oversized and that your hair is long enough to fully cover it. Finish with another thorough blast of hairspray to keep even the most rebellious tresses in place for hours.

Braided Topknot

Bride with braided top knot putting on earring

Photo by D'Arcy Benincosa; Hair by Cutler Salon

Confidence, that's what we get from this bold look. Showcase those beautiful features by smoothing hair back into a tight, high ponytail. Don't be afraid of a little hairspray here. Add some dimension by weaving the ponytail into a simple, three-strand braid (or get more creative with it!) and securing at the bottom. Swirl the ponytail around the base of the pony into a coiled bun and pin in place.

Voluptuous Topknot

Groom kissing bride

Photo by Christina McNeill; Event Planning by Ruby & Rose; Hair by Dreamcatcher Artistry; Floral Design by Lambert Floral Studio

Want to pump up the volume on that last look? Start with volumizing hairspray and tease the hair at the roots before sweeping it back into a high ponytail. Continue with the aforementioned braid but keep it loose, and further pull it apart (slightly) for a thicker plait. Coil the braid into a relaxed bun and pin in place. For more fullness, gently tug around the hairline and pull some pieces out at the temples. Don't be afraid to play a little with this one, it's a relaxed look for a reason.

Brushed-Out Barrel Curls

Smiling groom hugging smiling bride from behind

Photo by Jenn Smith & Co.

If you're looking for soft volume and ample amounts of body, bookmark this style immediately. Prep the hair as you would for loose curls and grab a curling iron. The key to barrel curls is the angle you hold the wand: Make sure to hold it horizontally while the curls set. Once cool, lightly spritz with hairspray and gently brush out for a soft and bouncy 'do.

Tousled Waves

Portrait of bride and groom

Photo by Kelly Brown; Hair by Sabrina Rana; Floral Design by Of The Flowers

If barrel curls are classic and retro, tousled waves are spritely and ethereal. Both romantic coifs start out the same way, but you'll want a curling wand for this. If you only have a curling iron with a clip, wrap the hair over the clip for the same effect. The angle of the wand will also make a big difference. Instead of holding the hot tool horizontally to create c-shaped curls, hold it vertically to create s-shaped waves. Once cooled, add texturizing spray over and between layers and use your fingers to slightly muss up at the roots for a cool-girl effect.

Pinned-Back Tendrils

Newlyweds touching noses and smiling

Photo by Tailor James; Hair by Adorne Artistry

Want to dress up those tousled tendrils you just mastered? Free your face in the most artful way by first creating a center part. Sweep the hair back from your face so it skims just above the ear and secure in place with bobby pins that match your hair color (or barrettes that add a little pizzazz). Don't pull the hair too much, the goal is to keep things soft not tight.

Braided Trifecta

Bride and groom in all white embracing in golden light

Photo by Roberta Facchini Photography; Event Planning by Giusy D’Ambrosio; Hair by Mantas Tautvaisas

Princess waves with a bohemian twist? Check! Lay down the foundation for this style by creating long, loose waves. Starting at the top of the temples, pull the hair back to create a french braid before securing it in place with an elastic. Now section off the hair between the temple and the top of the ear to create a thinner french braid parallel to the first. Secure in place with an elastic and repeat on the alternate side. Free some waves around the face for a heightened sense of romance.

Wrapped Ponytail

Bride zipping bride up into dress

Photo by Hailey Pierce Photography; Event Planning by Keely AF Events; Hair by Cedar Hair Studio

This wrapped ponytail is unlike any other, and that's because it takes a little from the classic chignon technique. Start with loose waves (you're a pro by now). Instead of creating the ponytail first, begin by sectioning off the front pieces of hair as if creating a half-up, half-down style. Clip them up or to the side so they're out of the way for now. Pull the remaining tresses into a low ponytail and secure with an elastic. Brush out those front sections you set aside and smoothly drape them back, crisscrossing just above the ponytail. Pin in place and wrap the long ends around the base of the pony, hiding the elastic. Secure the wrapped hair and finish off with hairspray.

Bouncy Ponytail

Bride in ponytail and sunglasses

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography; Event Planning by Grit & Grace; Hair by Hair and Makeup Artistry by Claudine

For a more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed approach try a sportier pony. The vivacious updo begins with (you guessed it!) loose waves. Grab the volumizing hairspray and tease the roots for a little zhuzh before smoothing it all back into a high, bouncy ponytail. Secure with an elastic and wrap a strand from the bottom around the base to class things up. This vibrant bride jazzed up her playful 'do with loose tendrils and a foxy pearlescent pin tucked into the base.

Milkmaid Crown Braid

Bride with milkmaid braids and posie of babys breath tucked in

Photo by Echoes & Wild Hearts

We love a bit of nostalgia in the bridal space, and there's nothing that screams of golden summer memories more than a milkmaid braid. To create your own, begin with day-old hair that's got some hold to it. Part down the middle all the way to the nape of the neck and divide into two sides. French braid each side back and down into pigtails. Secure each with an elastic at the end and thicken up by tugging to loosen the weave. Crisscross the two plaits at the nape and wrap them around to the front in a stacked formation. Secure with bobby pins and tuck in a posy of baby's breath for even more sweetness.

FAQ
  • How much time should I allot for doing my own hair?

    We recommend having several test runs before the actual day, not only to master the style itself but also to time how long it takes you to create it. Factor that amount of time, plus a little wiggle room for the unexpected, into your day-of itinerary.

  • Should I do my hair before or after makeup?

    Most professional stylists choose to do makeup second, but this is really a matter of personal preference. If the hairstyle you have in mind has a lot of face-framing pieces, it may be best to do the makeup first or prep the hairstyle, apply the makeup, and then finish off the hair.

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