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10 gorgeous updos for your big day

Much as I craved long, swingy, just-the-right-amount-of-mussed-up waves for my wedding do, a few things were against me. Firstly, the fact that my hair is beyond fine. It can’t hold a curl no matter how much hairspray is fired at it. Believe me, over the years I’ve had the likes of Nicky Clarke, Richard Ward, Andrew Barton, Johnnie Sapong and Ben Cooke give it their best try. I know that even before the big ‘I do’, I’d have had a hair flop on my hands. Secondly, the weather. When I got married a few days before Christmas, it was brass monkeys (to say the least) with a wind whipping round that threatened style suicide.  So I decided that the best way to weatherproof my fine wedding hair was to go for an updo.

A while back, I uploaded a gallery of beautifully braided looks from, my favourite stop for hairspiration. It proved really popular so I’m delighted to showcase some more of their stunning styles. This time it’s all about updos. Take a look at my top ten…


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  1. I love a faux bob. Her hair has been set in rollers and brushed smooth before the length has been rolled up and pinned in sections to make it seem shorter. The tonged face-framing tendrils falling free just add to the overall romance.

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2. You’ll come across quite a few ballet buns if you search this site – I absolutely love them. This one gets my two thumbs up for the softness on top (which saves it from looking too Swan Lake) and the tendrils.

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3. Chignons are a wedding classic – a style that’s bound to please your MOB if you add it in as a suggestion at your trial. The mini parting at the front allows for a gentle sweep of hair to fall over the forehead which looks really flattering. Pushing in a sparkly comb gives it a rocky modern feel.

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4. If a Bond girl got married I reckon she’d look just like this. Double O Heaven in the hair department. Random sections have been twisted and pinned up, allowing curls to fall free in a very Pre-Raphaelite way. Swoonsome!

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5. So I mentioned that I was a bun fan. Again, I heartily approve of the overall softness and how the length has been curled and pinned around a bun ring for extra interest. I think this is my favourite way to wear a veil too. At the back, sneaking out from the base of the bun. I heart it.

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6. Here’s another MOB pleaser. Chic, sleek and polished. The length has been folded up and caught with a vintage hair side. Just keep some grips and a mini hairspray close to hand as stragglers may fall.

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7. If you’re not naturally inclined towards prim and perfect hair, a less structured style like this more relaxed knot could be the way to go. This style will look as good during the last dance as it did when you said ‘I do’.

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8. Go for glam with high roots, plaits that have been woven halo-like around the front and down the crown, meeting gently pulled-back sides in a mass of curls caught up in a bun. Make that a bombshell bun.

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9. I’ve been known to be a sucker for a side roll. It ticks the traditional box plus oozes elegance. Because it’s so understated you can go all-out glam with accessories. It’s the perfect style to show off statement earrings or a stunning neckline.

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10. What I love about this updo is that if you’re not a tiara kinda gal, you can still get major interest up at hair level by winding some skinny plaits around your hair. They’ll also give your updo serious staying power if you’re planning on partying into the small hours. Sometimes less is more – but in the case of this style, more is definitely more! If you don’t have enough home-grown hair, get some extensions colour-matched for a swell-egant boost. is a Los Angeles-based hair and make-up agency who have made over 25,000 brides look and feel a-mazing over the last 11 years. I’ll be adding a few more galleries showcasing Elstile looks to give you inspo for your own Big Day look so please keep an eye out.

So are you planning an updo? Have any of the above made your shortlist? I’d love to hear.

Sarah x

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  • Now I know I want a bun! My hair is thick and prone to frizz. A bun will look sexy but stave off flyways

    1 year ago : Hattie
  • As a freshly engaged girl, whilst I have no idea what I want for my dress I do know that I want an up do. Thank you for these lovely ideas

    4 years ago : Leah
  • Thank you – I’ve just filled my pinterest board with your hair post pix! x

    5 years ago : Faye
  • I booked a trial with absolutely no idea how I wanted to wear my hair – up, down or in between the two. I spent 4 hours being curled, pinned and pulled and tbh, I hated every style. Your post has inspired me a lot. I’m going to book in another trial and ask them to try no 2, 8 and 10. My hair is pretty thick so I’m hopeful I’ll nail my hair look. Thanks for the post. Charlotte xo

    5 years ago : Charlotte
  • Some seriously good styles here Bbe. Thanks 👍🏻X

    5 years ago : Sdevine
  • Hah! A post for convertible hair please. Even the stiffest updo may not survive the trip to the church! 🚘Amanda

    5 years ago : asmith
    • on it, amanda x

      5 years ago : Sarah Green
  • So have I sariya. I check what celebs like Cameron Diaz and Diane Kruger do when on the red carpet. Great inspo. Dawn x

    5 years ago : Ddrakmer
  • I’ve got find hair too. Could you compile a gallery of fine up and down styles please? I’m really not keen on extensions. I wouldn’t feel like me. Sariya x

    5 years ago : Skhan
    • I am Sariya. Just trying to pin down more than limp side ponies and sad looking updos at the mo. There are gorgeous looks out there. x

      5 years ago : Sarah Green
  • Yeah, I agree. It’s your day. Go for it! Just ignore anyone who dares say something mean. Fiona

    5 years ago : Feefifo
  • Oh! Why your mum so mean! Just practice and dance around. By the day you’ll know how many clips n how much hairspray to use! 💥 X

    5 years ago : Jo19
  • I love the faux bob but can’t imagine it looking good after a stint on the dance floor. My biggest dread is my mum telling me off for messy hair! Just one day I don’t want to do that!🙏🏻Greta x

    5 years ago : Noregrets
  • No10 is my absolute dream bridal do!!!!!!!!! It’s a deffo!!!!!! 😀👍🏻👏🏻Debbie x

    5 years ago : Dweir
  • I’ve ordered a high neck wedding dress (I suffer from terrible nervous rashes so need to cover my chest.) either the first bun or the folded bun with the vintage slide would work for me. Tiana xx

    5 years ago : Tforhugh
  • Really really REALLY gorgeous pics!

    5 years ago : Lorien
  • Okay, so I’ve shared this post with my mum & maids. 3 votes for the side roll, 1 for the faux bob, 4 for the bum with the veil and 1 for the chignon. Looks like I’ll have a busy day at my hair trial. Reeva xo👰🏻🥂🤷🏻‍♀️

    5 years ago : Reeree
    • 4 votes for the Bum, Reeva? You saucy minx….x

      5 years ago : Sarah Green
  • Hi there – I’ve started doing wedding hair and can vouch that buns are quick, easy, look stunning and last! They’re timeless too! I’m working on a portfolio and will comment again with my details if you don’t mind. I’m in the Berkshire area but happy to travel. Tracie Evans-king

    5 years ago : traciehair
  • Ha! I’m hearing what you said about how updos work on windy situations 💨But I’m getting married in Dubai so I reckon updos are essential in the scorching 🌞Too!!!!! Dee xx

    5 years ago : Dcarpenter
  • I love so many of these styles. Thank you. My trial is booked for next week and now I’ve got some pictures to show my pro. Xanthe xx

    5 years ago : X+Yves
  • Ha! That’s so funny. My MOB totally wants me to have a beat chignon. I’m all for a scruffy bun! Maggie x

    5 years ago : Mags