Half up wedding hairstyles are the perfect compromise between practical and pretty. Find out which ones fit your specific bridal personality.
The dress, the caterers, the music, the theme—when planning a wedding, the options are seemingly endless and all equally appealing, which can be totally frustrating for a lot of brides. If you’re anything like us, even hair and makeup won’t be a cut-and-dry conversation, which is why if and when the big day happens, half up half down wedding hairstyles are so gonna be in the runner for us here at All Things Hair. The look just checks all the boxes: romantic, veil-friendly, photogenic, dance-proof.
The worst part of wedding planning is that no matter how much you try to stick to your guns, there are just too many shiny things to get distracted by. You can easily get overwhelmed to the point of an existential crisis (“But are we really a mid-century modern couple if we don’t have a martini bar?”). Well, fair warning now: The road to the altar is paved with many more Pinteresty intentions, and although we can’t exactly help you zero in on everything else—or whittle down your table setting choices—rest assured we’ve got the hair on lock. Read on for the best half up half down wedding hairstyles we’ve found, and maybe even get an a-ha moment on what type of bride you really are:
42 Half Up Wedding Hairstyles
Eras you love: 1950s, 1960s
Drink of choice: martinis, Old Fashioneds
Oldies but forever goodies, retro-inspired hair is for the bride who loves a good trip down memory lane—or maybe she simply looks fabulous with a beehive look. Either way, it’s an undeniably feminine, super-flattering hairstyle, what with its flirty bumps and deep side parts. The focus of this nostalgic hairstyle is almost always on the crown—whether with a baby beehive or a legit high ponytail—and is a perfect anchor for veils that begin at the ear, or, if you’re going for full mid-century Americana, for fascinators and birdcage veil blushers.
1. Retro Bang
A full, side-swept fringe and a bumpy shoulder-length cut is so delightfully sweet.
2. Vintage Bump
Utilize that handy foam bump to create a burlesque-inspired half top knot.
3. Modern Beehive
A center part—as well as a few face-softening wisps—keep this look in the now.
Long waves paired with a middle-parted beehive are reminiscent of the rock n’ roll wife life of the late ’50s.
5. Curly Highlights
Streaky highlights were another hallmark of the era, and paired with flirty ringlets the look gets more modern.
6. ’60s High Pony
So on-theme! Genie-esque half up half down wedding hair is not only super pretty, it also gives finer hair a fuller appearance (with the help of hot rollers, of course).
7. Deep Side Part
8. Bump Back
Want a hint of the era, but not for a full throttle throwback? Try a half-bump, which opens up your features without exaggerating your forehead.
Eras you love: the 1990s, 2000s
Drink of choice: champagne
City brides are known for a chic, streamlined and yes, practical leanings, and favor classy, elegant details over most else. “Whisper, not shout” is the undertone of their aesthetic, and their choice of wedding hairstyles, half up or otherwise, showcase this to a T. Tasteful curls, glossy, luxurious color, and immaculately straightened hair are callouts of this look.
Ear-tucked center parts are the ideal half up hairstyles for wedding looks that require a showcase of serious ear bling.
10. Double Pony
Consider it your “something new:” This clever update to the traditional half-ponytail injects a bit of edge to a classic look. Tip: A flat iron spray, like Catwalk by TIGI Haute Iron Spray, helps reinforce the straightness.
11. Floral Barrette
Tastefully coordinate with your bouquet with a stunning—yet still chic—floral accessory.
12. Side Twists, Long
For a romantic look that’s still not totally cliché, opt for some neat, clean temple twists.
13. Side Twists, Medium
The same look, but with a touch of balayage and a bit of texture at the hairline, gives this look a trendier feel.
14. Loosely Tied
This fresh, blown-out hairdo provides a beautiful foil for a mantilla veil.
15. Rope Twists with Veil
Hair at an awkward length? Try cute rope twists topped off with a chapel veil.
16. Blown Out
Smooth, shiny and with a seductively natural curl—what’s not to love?
17. Braided with Accessory
Balance out an ornate barrette with a delicate braid on the opposite parting.
It doesn’t get any crisper and chicer than stick-straight hair pulled back into a true half-ponytail.
19. Twisted Tie-Back
Hide the seams of this twisted updo with some pins and curls.
20. Twisted Lob
A series of double twists give a trompe l’oeil fishtail effect.
Eras you love: 1970s, 2014+
Drink of choice: mojitos/fauxjitos, Bloody Marys
When it comes to earthier, more bohemian wedding hairstyles, half up looks are practically top-of-mind. And with good reason: Nothing complements—and secures—a delicate floral crown or woodlandia better than some textured braids and tousled twists. Best for the laid-back bride, these looks marry the viral appeal of hipster, Pinterest-level artistry with an approach that’s a tad more eco-conscious and carefree. Needless to say, loose, flowy ’dos and an overall non-stuffy tone are the name of the game.
21. Beach Wave Braid
A pair of simple three-strand braids provides some structure to some beachy, loosely waved texture.
23. Feeder Fishtails
The vlogger’s fave stitch, the fishtail braid, is all grown up when gathered into one wraparound pony.
24. Loose Crown Braid
A medley of texture is pulled together by a dainty floral crown and coordinating ribbons.
25. Crown Twists
Make sure your guests know who the star of the evening is with a waterfall/crown twist hybrid.
26. Feeder Dutch
Similar to feeder fishtails, this features Dutch or inverted braids on the sides that gather together for a thicker braided pony in the middle.
27. Fishtail with Sprigs
If a mermaid got married, we’re surmising this pancaked fishtail look, complete with baby’s breath-inspired sprigs, would be her style of choice.
28. Side French
If you were ever at a loss for looks for beach wedding hair half up styles like this loose side French would be a one-two punch: They provide interest, while also keeping windswept strands in check.
29. Flower Braided Buns
We’re guessing there’s a sci-fi movie geek or two that would go gaga over this quirky, meta rose braid.
30. Loose Hairline
Blend those growing-out bangs into your overall hairstyle by leaving them loose around the hairline.
31. Matching Accessories with Loose Twisted Waves
Tie in to that pretty garden theme without going too extra by pairing your accessories and leaving your locks relatively simple.
32. Pancaked Dutch
Make that wedding hashtag worth everyone’s while by donning an Instagram-worthy pancaked weave.
33. Waterfall Knot
No hair tie? No problem: Secure that cute waterfall braid by tying your pony shoelace-style in the middle.
34. Skinny Waterfall
Keep that side part on-brand by affixing a tiny waterfall accent braid below your daisy-chain crown.
Eras you love: 1980s, 2010
Drinks of choice: G&Ts, whiskey sours
No ifs, ands or buts about it: There’s no diluting your original, fashion-forward sense of style on your big day (as it should be!). Trendy, cutting-edge details with hinting at the alternative are high on your list, which is why you won’t ever shy away from a micro fringe or all-out texture. Semi-punky touches (a crimped curl here, a stringy, see-through parting there) all convey a sense of confidence and a playful, musically aligned approach to fashion. And as for that after-party playlist… please: You’ve had it planned out since Day 1.
35. Baby Bangs
A rooty bright blonde paired with a blunt micro fringe hits all the right pretty-in-punk notes.
A unicorn Dutch braid on the center, paired with two more on each side, create a fierce helmet effect that’s awesomely medieval.
Who says edgy can’t be classy? We’re getting major Scandi-chic vibes from this pared-down half-updo (love the crimped ends!).
38. Messy Half-Up Bun
Neo-boudoir is a hot runway trend, and this undone half-up chignon absolutely nails that feeling of easy luxury.
39. Natural Twists
Simple temple twists let you wear out your natural texture while still having a bit of structure to your hairdo.
40. Textured Twists
An evenly rumpled bedhead look exudes a relaxed sex appeal.
41. Sci-Fi Knot
Skinny accent braids balance out a spinky, statement-making top knot.
42. See-Through Side Part
Gives a natural, finger-raked effect—which may or may not actually be the case.
Looking for even more wedding styles? Check out these cool wedding hairstyles with veils.