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41 Half Up Half Down Wedding Hairstyles for the Modern Bride

Half up wedding hairstyles are the perfect compromise between practical and pretty. Find out which ones fit your specific bridal personality.

Half up half down wedding hairstyles are the ideal choice for the modern bride. Wedding planning can be super stressful : 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:

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.

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1. Retro Bang

half up half down wedding hairstyles retro bang
Sweep to the side for a cute, hipster-queen effect. Photo credit:

A full, side-swept fringe and a bumpy shoulder-length cut is so delightfully sweet.

2. Vintage Bump

half up half down wedding hairstyles vintage bump
Best paired with winged liner and bright lips. Photo credit: Dvora

Utilize that handy foam bump to create a burlesque-inspired half top knot.

3. Modern Beehive

half up half down wedding hairstyles modern beehive
Backcomb hair before gathering into a ponytail, or use the end of a fishtail comb to pick at the crown for height.

A center part—as well as a few face-softening wisps—keep this look in the now.

4. Princessy

princessy half up half down wedding hairstyles
Glamorous and feminine, this lush, middle-parted half-updo is a sure crowd-pleaser. Photo credit:

Long waves paired with a middle-parted beehive are reminiscent of the rock n’ roll wife life of the late ’50s.

5. Curly Highlights

half up half down wedding hairstyles curly highlights
Wedding hair: Half up half down curls emphasize bright highlights.

Streaky highlights were another hallmark of the era, and paired with flirty ringlets the look gets more modern.

6. ’60s High Pony

60s high pony half up half down wedding hairstyles
It doesn’t get any flirtier than this wavy 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

deep side part half up half down wedding hairstyles
Quintessentially mod, and oh-so-elegant.

A classic beehive calls for a high-shine sleeking serum (we like Emerge Glow Off Oil Serum) and some firm-hold hairspray, like TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hairspray.

8. Bump Back

bump back half up half down wedding hairstyles
Smooth down the base with a light touch to avoid deflating it.

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.

9. Middle-Parted

middle parted half up half down wedding hairstyles
Soft waves go seamlessly with a quiet center part. Photo credit:

Ear-tucked center parts are the ideal half up hairstyles for wedding looks that require a showcase of serious ear bling.

10. Double Pony

double pony half up half down wedding hairstyles
Play with some graphic partings for a fresh, modern spin. Photo credit:

Consider it your “something new:” This clever update to the traditional half-ponytail injects a bit of edge to a classic look. Tip: A product like Dove Style+Care Smooth and Shine Heat Protection Spray helps reinforce the straightness.

11. Floral Barrette

floral barrette half up half down wedding hairstyles
Use miniature versions of your actual flowers to avoid any fallout (or tension headaches!). Photo credit:

Tastefully coordinate with your bouquet with a stunning—yet still chic—floral accessory.

12. Side Twists, Long

side twists long half up half down wedding hairstyles
Use the end of a fishtail comb to split your hairline for a more precise part. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

For a romantic look that’s still not totally cliché, opt for some neat, clean temple twists.

13. Side Twists, Medium

side twists medium half up half down wedding hairstyles
A balayage lights up your features in a subtle way. Photo credit:

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

loosely tied half up half down wedding hairstyles
The symmetry between a soft lace veil and loose waves is on point! Photo credit:

This fresh, blown-out hairdo provides a beautiful foil for a mantilla veil.

15. Rope Twists with Veil

rope twists with veil half up half down wedding hairstyles
A veil attached to your twists gives a long-haired effect, for those who want some “length.” Photo credit:

Hair at an awkward length? Try cute rope twists topped off with a chapel veil.

16. Blown Out

blown out half up half down wedding hairstyles
A side part perfectly plays off a sweetheart neckline. Photo credit:

Smooth, shiny and with a seductively natural curl—what’s not to love?

17. Braided with Accessory

braided with accessory half up half down wedding hairstyles
A thick braid goes hand-in-hand with a Victorian-inspired hair comb.

Balance out an ornate barrette with a delicate braid on the opposite parting.

18. Straight

straight half up half down wedding hairstyles
We love this look with a minimalist strapless gown or sheath dress. Photo credit:

It doesn’t get any crisper and chicer than stick-straight hair pulled back into a true half-ponytail.

19. Twisted Tie-Back

twisted tie back half up half down wedding hairstyles
Use a medium-barrelled iron to create looser waves. Photo credit:

Hide the seams of this twisted updo with some pins and curls.

20. Twisted Lob

twisted lob half up half down wedding hairstyles
Hide the pins in the center seams. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

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

beach wave braid half up half down wedding hairstyles
Showcase your sunstreaked blonde with some ribbonish waves.

A pair of simple three-strand braids provides some structure to some beachy, loosely waved texture.

22. Feeder Fishtails

feeder fishtail half up half down wedding hairstyles
Braid two equal sections and cover the center hair tie with a loose sliver of hair.

The vlogger’s fave stitch, the fishtail braid, is all grown up when gathered into one wraparound pony.

23. Loose Crown Braid

loose crown braid half up half down wedding hairstyles
Weave the floral crown into the braid for a truly secure feel.

A medley of texture is pulled together by a dainty floral crown and coordinating ribbons.

24. Crown Twists

crown twists half up half down wedding hairstyles
A crown or halo twisted look takes the place of an actual floral crown, but with the same effect.

Make sure your guests know who the star of the evening is with a waterfall/crown twist hybrid.

25. Feeder Dutch

feeder dutch half up half down wedding hairstyles
Gather both feeder braids at the center, then split the middle pony to form a braid of its own. Photo credit: Faraz Essani Photography

Similar to feeder fishtails, this features Dutch or inverted braids on the sides that gather together for a thicker braided pony in the middle.

26. Fishtail with Sprigs

fishtail with sprigs half up half down wedding hairstyles
This springy hairstyle is great for garden/location weddings.

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.

27. Side French

side french half up half down wedding hairstyles
Snake the braid down your preferred “side” to make sure it gets in all the photos!

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.

28. Flower Braided Buns

flower braided buns half up half down wedding hairstyles
Create two Dutch braids starting at the hairline, then coil each around its own base to form a bun.

We’re guessing there’s a sci-fi movie geek or two that would go gaga over this quirky, meta rose braid.

29. Loose Hairline

loose hairline half up half down wedding hairstyles
You can also opt to slightly curl the fringe wisps for a softer effect.

Blend those growing-out bangs into your overall hairstyle by leaving them loose around the hairline.

30. Matching Accessories with Loose Twisted Waves

matching accesories half up half down wedding hairstyles
This charming look is a cute way to go matchy-matchy with your bridesmaids. Photo credit:

Tie in to that pretty garden theme without going too extra by pairing your accessories and leaving your locks relatively simple.

31. Pancaked Dutch

pancaked dutch half up half down wedding hairstyles
Loop the end of the braid near the ear for a graceful tie-off.

Make that wedding hashtag worth everyone’s while by donning an Instagram-worthy pancaked weave.

32. Waterfall Knot

waterfall knot half up half down wedding hairstyles
A waterfall also goes swimmingly well with an ombré color job.

No hair tie? No problem: Secure that cute waterfall braid by tying your pony shoelace-style in the middle.

33. Skinny Waterfall

skinny waterfall half up half down wedding hairstyles
Go full-on modern fairy princess.

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.

34. Baby Bangs

baby bangs half up half down wedding hairstyles
Side twists finish off this look.

A rooty bright blonde paired with a blunt micro fringe hits all the right pretty-in-punk notes.

35. Fauxhawk

fauxhawk half up half down wedding hairstyles
The bumpier and more staticky, the better! Photo credit:

A unicorn Dutch braid on the center, paired with two more on each side, create a fierce helmet effect that’s awesomely medieval.

36. Minimalist

minimalist half up half down wedding hairstyles
Layer two side twists atop each other and secure with pins.

Who says edgy can’t be classy? We’re getting major Scandi-chic vibes from this pared-down half-updo (love the crimped ends!).

37. Messy Half-Up Bun

messy half bun half up half down wedding hairstyles
A center part imparts a slightly retro vibe too. Photo credit:

Neo-boudoir is a hot runway trend, and this undone half-up chignon absolutely nails that feeling of easy luxury.

38. Natural Twists

natural twists half up half down wedding hairstyles
Rein in some volume with some temple twists. Photo credit:

Simple temple twists let you wear out your natural texture while still having a bit of structure to your hairdo.

39. Textured Twists

textured twists half up half down wedding hairstyles
Use your fingers to part hair for a more authentic feel. Photo credit:

An evenly rumpled bedhead look exudes a relaxed sex appeal.

40. Sci-Fi Knot

sci-fi knot half up half down wedding hairstyles
The spiky ends and medium length make this a textbook post-grunge choice. Photo credit:

Skinny accent braids balance out a spinky, statement-making top knot.

41. See-Through Side Part

see through side part half up half down hairstyles
The art of the dishevel includes a deliberately bumpy base. Photo credit:

Gives a natural, finger-raked effect—which may or may not actually be the case.

Are you thinking about wearing one of these styles on your wedding day? Be sure to tag us in the pictures over @AllThingsHairUS!


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