Have you ever leafed through a bridal magazine or scoured Pinterest and thought, hmm, all this froufrou just isn’t me? We hear you! No shade to the unapologetically romantic or traditionally feminine aesthetic, but we think it’s time the minimalist also got more time in the sun. Not only is a sleek silhouette elegant and uncomplicated, but also simple wedding hairstyles like easy buns and sweet half-updos remind us of a beloved era we can’t seem to rhapsodize enough over (cough, the ’90s).
Best of all? These are looks you can actually, gasp, recreate yourself. Chic, economical, willing to D.I.Y.—all hallmarks of a bonafide stylish city bride, if you ask us! Read on:
24 Simple Wedding Hair Looks for the Modern Bride
FOR THE COOL GIRL: SOFT MIDDLE PARTS
Cardinal rule of unfussy brides everywhere: Never stress about asymmetry. So-called styling mistakes, such as rogue wisps, uneven hair partings, even the occasional flyaway can’t and shouldn’t dampen the mood—in fact, they giveth, and not taketh away, from your look’s overall charm. The truly stylish minimalist knows that the only thing sexier than some imperfections is an understated glamour that never, ever seems untouchable.
1. Diffused Part
Softly parted with a fine-toothed comb, this off-center low bun hugs behind the ears for a romantic touch.
2. Twisted Half-Updo
About as romantic as it gets for the city bride, this shiny half-up twist is the perfect subtle foil for a lacy neckline.
3. Regular Half-Updo
’90s babes will appreciate the easy, boho-chic feel of a dainty, middle-parted half-updo.
4. Rich Girl Hair
We love the uptown-meets-downtown vibe of a classic white stunner of a dress paired with a modern, slightly staticky down-do.
FOR THE MODERN PRINCESS: CHIC HEADBANDS
Sometimes, a touch of flair on the hair is more than enough to make a (regal) statement, as these stunning accessories prove below. Ideal for softer silhouettes rather than more graphic gowns, easy-to-wear headbands—whether rendered in ballerina-worthy satin or lightly embellished to match your dress’ minutiae—are a quick and easy way to literally pull your entire look together.
The trick to wearing wedding-day regalia without looking like a royal wannabe or worse, a Christmas tree: Keep things streamlined and on-theme, as seen in this matching filigree tiara and shoulder-duster set.
6. Quirky Headband
Play up those East Asian-inspired see-through bangs with a cute, youthful headband. Smaller, more understated details keep the look more grown-up.
7. Pastel Crown
A delicate, tastefully designed flower crown is a beautiful way to integrate your wedding theme into your own ensemble without looking extra.
8. White Crown
…Or do a hers-and-hers version with your bridesmaids, with yours in white and theirs in color.
9. Satin Headband
A simple, solid headband is the sweetest punctuation mark to a delicately embroidered, blush-tinged dress.
FOR THE UPTOWN GIRL: EASY TOP KNOTS
What’s not to love about a proper high bun? These neat, high-perching chignons are universally flattering and are 60-second facelifts, not to mention make great bases for non-cathedral veils. Fake that perfect fan with a bumper or a hair donut, or simply coil as you normally would, albeit with just a tad more hairspray. We love the extra control we get from TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hairspray, which keeps things budge-free without the stiffness.
10. Bumper Bun
Finer, thinner hair types can achieve more fullness with the help of a hair donut, or a foam bumper slid underneath a high pony before coiling.
11. Classic Top Knot
No secrets to this look, except use a fine-toothed comb to create a smooth base and employ pins instead of a hair tie!
12. Spiky Top Knot
For a bit of an edge, leave some ends out to soften the look.
FOR THE NEW ROMANTICS: LOOSE WAVES
These looks feature more natural-looking bends and waves that are left a tad askew—a far cry from the artfully sculpted spirals and corkscrew curls seen in many a bridal party today. A slightly haphazard rumple makes these simple wedding hair looks a lot more forgiving than their more polished predecessors; loose, bouncy and fun, these have a bit more personality and major after-party wearability.
13. Side-Parted Waves
Like your usual night-out wave but dialed down a notch, this look features a beachier bend that starts from the jawline. A small dollop of texturizing cream, like Bed Head by TIGI Manipulator, helps give texture and shape without the frizz.
14. Prom Princess Bends
Long hair that’s been gently blown out and parted a tad off-kilter oozes understated polish (and a youthful, more relaxed sense of style).
15. Twisted Lob
If you’re caught in that awkward stage, go with the flow with some rope twists and an air-dried tousle.
Upgrade your everyday chunky bob for the big day by creating a side part and tighter curls, which are then to be stretched while still warm.
FOR THE CLASSICIST: LOW BUNS
Low chignons are probably one of the most popular simple wedding hairstyles we’ve come to know, beloved for their straightforwardness and ease of wear (no tension migraines, because the event is tricky enough!). They’re also more forgiving than a tight ballerina updo, while still keeping your face fresh and strand-free from the ceremony to the conga line. Bonus: They’re also a great foil for all sorts of jewelry and accessories across the board.
17. Spiky Middle Part
A one-two punch for brides who really like their ’90s-inspired hairstyles: a wide-set middle part and some spiky ends. Even better: a half-pulled-through knot!
18. Classic Low Bun
Sweetheart, Sabrina, deep V, cap-sleeved, illusion—there’s no neckline that this look does not go with.
Pull hair into a regular mid-height ponytail, and instead of tucking the ends into a complete circle to create the bun, leave the last bit parallel to the rest of the circle. Secure with pins on the underside.
20. Shallow Side Part
A clean, classic side part that’s not too dramatic doesn’t take away from an intricate Art Deco neckline.
21. Graphic Side Part
On the other hand, you can add interest to a starkly simple halter neckline with a razor-sharp side part done with a bit of a bump at the crown.
FOR THE ICONOCLAST: THE WET LOOK
Wearing a slicked-back look at your own wedding definitely imparts a certain sense of bravado and star power. This unusual bridal choice is best for those who love a good runway moment (even though the stages are a bit different this time around), and whose sense of style was never that of the rest of the pack. Brides who want the sleek, clean vibe of a wet look but without the graphic “man-eater” bent can simply switch out their trusted hair products to one with a glossy sheen. You can also cocktail a lightweight hair oil, like Nexxus New York Oil Infinite Nourishing Hair Oil, under some hairspray as you style.
22. Pulled Back
A genius (and tongue-in-cheek) way to rev up a conventional chignon is do render it in a wet-look finish.
23. Finger Waves
Recreate a vintage-inspired 1920s wave by taking a flat iron to your bob and pressing down the tops with some gel.
24. Slicked-Back Volume
A two-textured hairstyle is a fun way to update and modernize a classic bombshell ’do. Curl the mid-lengths to ends as normal, and comb through some sculpting gel, like TRESemmé TRES Two Mega Firm Control Gel from the hairline to just below the crown.