Bridal Hairstyles Chignon Ideas

18 Wedding-Ready Buns, Knots and Chignon Updos for Every Type of Bride

Updated on February 7, 2017
Whether your vibe is beachy or boho, classic or casual — there’s a bridal bun for you.
Ashley Slater Photography via Instagram (@ashleyslaterphotography)

Tons of wedding trends come and go, but in our book, there’s hasn’t been a bridal hair bun we haven’t liked. The great thing about a chignon lies in its versatility — that, and the fact that there’s a version that looks good on pretty much everyone. “You can play around with your hair’s part, the looseness or tightness of the bun or your hair’s texture and it totally changes its vibe,” says Brian Zinno, senior education director of Antonio Prieto Salon. “A bridal chignon or bun can nod to the current trends — for instance, with lots of added texture — yet still have that timeless appeal,” he says.

Take this elegant style above, for example. “It has a nice, not overly done hint of wave with all-over volume and a matte finish,” says Michael Dueñas founder of Hair Room Service. “To achieve the look, you would set the hair with a 1 1/4″ curling iron after a blowout. After gathering all your hair at the nape of your neck, wrap the length of the ponytail around the base working in small sections. The brooch not only follows the shape of the bun in a flattering way, it also strategically hides some of your bobby pins. And I love that the not only is the bun a little off-center, but it has a few cool-girl lumps and bumps throughout the ‘do, so it reads more modern.”

Oh, and that part about a chignon’s versatility? Let us count the ways: It shows off a backless dress or a high-neck gown like a dream, it stays put for hours on end (key for getting down on the dance floor) and looks amazing in photos (from every angle!). That’s what a wedding hashtag is for, no?

Since we wouldn’t leave you with just one option to ogle, we have 17 other stunning ways to interpret the classic bun. Click through for tips and tricks to get the look and make it work for you.

See More: The Major Wedding Beauty Trends of 2017

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Love & Light Photographs via Instagram (@jessalovelight)

“This is a very classic type of chignon with volume and height in all the right places,” says Dueñas. “Start off with adding Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse to damp strands and give hair a smooth and sleek blowout. Create an asymmetrical side part and section off the back so it’s split behind the ear. Secure hair into a low ponytail and wrap the hair around itself. It’s a great style for a lob hair length and the added height in the back makes it interesting no matter which way you look at it.” (“Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse,” $38, Oribe)

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Jannie Baltzer via Instagram (@janniebaltzer)

“For ladies with finer, shorter hair, this is the bun for you,” says Dueñas. “Prep the hair with Garnier Fructis Sheer Set Ultra Strong Hold Breathable Hairspray—it gives the hair hold without making it crunchy. After blowing it out, create a ponytail with your fingers since using a brush will lose its texture. Create your low bun at the nape of your neck and blast it with a firm hold hairspray. The head scarf is not only ethereal and eye-catching, but it also supports the weight of the hair and the bun. Without it, finer, shorter hair will droop and it won’t have the same effect.” (“Sheer Set Ultra Strong Hold Breathable Hairspray,” $5.99, Garnier)

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Artiese Studios via Instagram (@artiesestudios)

“Start off this sweet hairstyle with Oribe Surfcomber Tousled Texture Mousse for some grip as well as R+Co Vicious Strong Hold Flexible Hairspray — it’s soft until you add some heat, but then you can still brush through it,” says Dueñas. “Use a 1″ curling iron throughout all the hair, pulling it back into a low pony and use a foam hair roller for a quick and easy bun. You could also wrap small sections into itself, but be prepared to have it take a while if you full or thick hair like this bride.” (“Surfcomber Tousled Texture Mousse,” $38, Oribe; “Vicious Strong Hold Flexible Hairspray,” $29, R+Co)

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Kurt Boomer via Instagram (@kurtboomerphoto)

“This classic ‘do stands the test of time,” says Dueñas. “After a smooth blowout, secure a ponytail at the crown of your head, making sure to look up as you do it so you don’t have bagginess at the nape of your neck. A foam bun or donut helps easily fake the look — pull the hair through the donut and wrap the tail around it to hide it, securing with bobby pins. Leave out a section of the tail to braid and wrap around the bun to cover the pins. This is for the bride who doesn’t want her look to budge — with a blast of hairspray, it’ll last from the first kiss to a night of dancing.”

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Michela Brooke Photo via Instagram (@michelabrookephoto)

“If you’re the carefree, casual beach bride with a knack for creating your own hair buns, try this simple, five-minute style,” says Dueñas. “Your biggest problem might be it falling apart, so start off with Unite Texturiza Spray before creating your bun to give it a gritty texture. Brush it smooth, create a ponytail and wrap the tail around your elastic using three-inch hair pins. Traditional bobbies are too short and don’t hold enough hair so you won’t have the same loose vibe with bobbies.” (“Texturiza Spray,” $29, Unite)

Actress Malin Akerman’s Boho Beach Wedding

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Love & Light Photographs via Instagram (@jessalovelight)

“Show off your fresh highlights with this swirly, super-romantic braided knot,” says Dueñas. “Between the twists that show off the tonality of her red hair and the complementary antique gold hair accessory, it reflects the light in a flattering way.”

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Artiese Studios via Instagram (@artiesestudios)

“If you already have relatively straight hair, this classic chignon can be achieved in under half an hour,” says Zinno. “To create a full, thick braid, prep hair with Kerastase Mousse Densimorphose, which has hyaluronic acid that plumps and swells the hair. There’s not hold, but it has a full, frothy feel. I love the way the hair drapes over her ear, it gives this classic style a touch of effortlessness.” (“Mousse Densimorphose,” $42, Kerastase)

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Meg Fish Photography via Instagram (@megfishphoto)

“The highlight of this look? The thick, eye-catching fishtail braid,” says Zinno. “The top fishtail is a separate section on its own. The rest is pulled back into a ponytail and also made into a fishtail braid so there’s two braids happening at once. Wrap them together in a bun, pinning in place. Gently pull the braids apart to rough it up — you can even use a toothbrush to gently go against the braid and create texture. Bonus: you’ll have the prettiest post-wedding brunch waves after you take out your ‘do.”

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Alexandra Grace Photography via Instagram (@alexandragracephoto)

“This is an awesome day to night style. There’s a cool juxtaposition of a taut, sleek braid that’s flat to her hairline and lots of texture throughout the crown and the bun,” says Zinno. “Braids are also great for anchoring pins in your bun. Plus, it’s perfect for adding interest to the side of your head where many profile photos will be taken, like when you’re standing at the alter, cutting your cake, etc. Finish it off with a few tendrils and a healthy dose of Kerastase Laque Couture hairspray.” (“Laque Couture” hairspray, $37, Kerastase)

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Kristin Ess via Instagram (@kristin_ess)

“Who says short hair can’t have a cool bun updo? This look is great for the short-haired bride who wants most of her hair up and out of the way,” says Zinno. “The top section is twisted into a mini bun, while the bottom is a little more deconstructed, twisted into place with a sleek gold hair clip. Don’t over think this style — you want that undone, bedhead feel to it.”

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Hushed Commotion via Instagram (@hushedcommotion)

“This style looks great for someone with super-thick, really long hair,” says Zinno. “Back brushing is key to this more formal style. Set the length of the ponytail with a curling iron, manipulating each section of curls into a bun shape. The hair piece adds an upscale touch, and for someone with a ton of hair like this, I’d say skip the veil.”

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Katie Shuler Photography via Instagram (@katieshuler)

“Most real-life brides don’t have on-site stylists to stay on call for the entire wedding day, and this braided style is something that’ll stay put through the night,” says Lorean Cairns, co-founder and creative director of Fox & Jane Salon. “As long as your hair is shoulder-length or longer, you can achieve this sweet look. Start with Ouai Texturizing Spray on dry hair. Create a side part on the front, backcomb for soft volume and create two twists on each side, bringing them together into a low bun.” (“Texturizing Spray,” $26, Ouai)

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Savan Photography via Instagram (@savanphotography)

“A huge trend we’re seeing on the red carpet is to show off your natural curls, and I love how this has translated into the wedding world,” says Cairns. “Wash, set and diffuse curly hair before putting it up into your bun. Embrace all the texture — this is for the girl who loves their curls and it feels fresh not to over style it. If you’re using a curly iron to create the coily look, make sure to curl in opposite directions so they don’t look so unnatural.”

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Katie Shuler Photography via Instagram (@katieshuler)

“We always think we need to tuck in the ends for updos, but the shagginess of this look adds to its young, modern appeal,” says Cairns. “This is for a bride who has shorter hair and a great example of how you can lean into a shorter ‘do without adding extensions. Just be mindful of keeping it too loose, because it may fall apart after a few dances.”

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Briana Wilbur via Instagram (@briannawilburphoto)

“Between the hair piece, the volume and the high placement of the bun, this hairstyle shows a ton of personality,” says Cairns. “This is for the bride that has a lot of hair, but wants it out of the way to show off the cool, interesting detail that may be happening at the back of your dress.”

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Sally Pinera Photo via Instagram (@sallypineraphoto)

“Her bronde hair color plays a big role in this look. It gives the mini bouffant and the low-slung bun a lot of dimension and interest,” says Cairns. “The gold flower head wrap plays off of her hair color really well. The hair accessory could even be used as an anchor to hold the bun together.”

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Gaby J Photography via Instagram (@hellogabyj)

“For the non-traditional bride, this is one of those styles that can be done on second-day waves without trying very hard,” says Cairns. “For a different type of girl, she might not feel like this ‘do is complete, but for the bride who doesn’t want a lot of fussiness with her hair, this messy bun is great for staying true to a laid-back style.”