Best Hairstyles for a Beach Wedding

Don’t stick your head in the sand. Wear your hair with some beachy flair by using this ultimate guide to becoming a beautiful beach bride.

By The Zola Team

Couple kissing
Photo by Zola

The First Look ✨

  • An updo or a low bun offers elegance and functionality, which is perfect for keeping your hair out of your face on the beach.
  • Soft waves and curls are stunning looks that require little maintenance and are perfect for beach weddings.
  • Finally, braids and twists can be customized to compliment any look, and are super easy to take care of on the beach.

It should come as no surprise that the bride is the center of attention at any wedding. After all, why else would you wear such a stunning white dress? Knowing that you will have the spotlight, you may be tempted to become overwhelmed about looking perfect.

Rest assured that every guest, groomsman, great aunt, and family friend will be gushing about how amazing you look. Zola is the perfect companion for ensuring that your wedding goes off without a hitch, and that includes ensuring that you're ready for the big day from head to toe.

While most brides hire a hairstylist, there are instances where your budget or wedding location may get in the way of a standard hair prep appointment. One such case is a beach wedding. A beach wedding is incredibly romantic, but factors such as wind, sand, and lack of shelter may be something you want to consider.

Even if your beach wedding venue is steps away from an indoor area, there are plenty of ways to maximize your hair's potential. On the day of your wedding, all eyes will be on you, and Zola wouldn't have it any other way. This list of best hairstyles for a beach wedding will ensure that all those adoring gazes come with a side of jaw drops and watery eyes.

The Updo

This is one of the most common types of wedding hairstyles for a beach setting. A practical method of keeping hair out of your face, the updo ensures that strands of hair won't be blocking that beautiful smile, or getting in your eyes.

There are many different styles of updo, all of which are customizable based on the desire for nuances, such as curls, braids, twists, etc. One of the most significant advantages to the updo, aside from the apparent lack of hair in your face, is the assurance that your hair will not need to be retouched—that's a big deal at a beach wedding.

The updo, especially in a beachfront setting, ensures that your hair will stay in place while the elements dance around it. Rest assured that with beach wedding updo hairstyles, the wind will fail, and your hair will triumph. If you're a set-it-and-forget-it type of gal, the updo should be your go-to hairstyle of choice for a beach wedding.

Best Hairstyles for a Beach Wedding Photo Credit // Dolce Photography

Soft Waves

There is no hairstyle more fitting for a beach wedding than soft waves. Let's be honest, when the word "waves" is in the name of the hairstyle, it has to be a frontrunner for a beach wedding.

This elegantly simple hairdo will have you looking like you were born of the sea. Soft, beachy waves bring out every girl's inner mermaid, and highlight the fact that you and your hair were made special for this moment with your beloved on the sand.

Soft waves are often left down, which means wind could be a problem for your hair. However, not all wind is bad. Because it is not tightly woven together, soft waves is a wedding hairstyle that allows the wind to pass freely through your hair. If you are willing to risk it, a soft wave hairstyle could make it appear like you are a model at a photoshoot, where the wind is an ally instead of a foe.

Even if you are wanting a more wind-repellent hairstyle, but love the look of beachy waves, a hair clip or pin is an easy addition to any wavy hairstyle. This easy and elegant solution allows you to clip or pin your hair so that even down and free, it remains secure. Waves are the carefree cousin of loose curls and, when correctly executed, frame your face in a stunning fashion.


Curls, while similar to waves, offer some unique advantages for a hairstyle that is intended to be worn down. This style of beach wedding hairdo is also designed to be worn down, but, unlike waves that are better suited for long hair, curls are better suited for girls with mid-length hair.

Curls can be tight, loose, or anywhere in between, and they are great for one particular reason; security. Curls stay in place. No need to pin, or tuck, or braid—the beauty of the curl is their natural resilience without having to sacrifice volume or natural bounce.

While some girls have the benefit of natural curls, others may not be so lucky. If you’re interested in curls to complete your wedding look, you better plan ahead. The type of curl you want will determine how much prep time your curls need to set.

Be sure to identify the type of curl you are looking to achieve and do your research about how to best achieve it. Taking a trial run or two is a good idea for curls, so that you’re prepared to flawlessly execute your curls come your wedding day.

Braids and Twists

From pigtails to side ponytails, whether you wear them up or down, braids and twists will almost certainly be a part of your wedding look. Especially in a beach setting, braids and twists come in handy for keeping your hair tamed and secured.

Braids and twists are a great way to accentuate a specific segment of hair, which can then be used as a stylistic feature, rather than a hairdo in and of itself. Aside from being a standalone hairstyle, braids and twists play nice with almost every other hairdo on this list.

If you’re looking for a beach wedding hairstyle that features braided locks, the French braid is a classically gorgeous choice. Bold and beautiful, while still being understated and unintrusive, the French braid brings elegance to any hair length long enough to hold a braid.

Voluminous and full-bodied, the French braid incorporates the body and volume of your hair instead of just pulling it back. As a result, the French braid succeeds where other braids fall short, by easily keeping your hair out of your face, while also allowing it to remain bouncy and free.

Much like braids, twists are an easy way to add volume and detail to any wedding hairstyle. More commonly associated with hairdos that are left down, such as loose curls or waves, a twist frequently features the sides of the hair.

Typically, a twist is a simple addition to a wavy hairstyle where the twists can be woven into the rest of the hair. Many brides choose to have two twists adorn the side of the head like a crown. This common type of beach wedding hairstyle allows the twists to meet in the back as a beautiful accent to be used as a mantle for a headband or tiara.

The Low Bun

Some women just do not like the way they look with their hair up. First of all, we think you are beautiful, and we're here to remind you that you can rock whatever hairstyle you want to. Second, if you're concerned about wind messing with your hair, but you hate the idea of an updo, the low bun is the perfect solution.

The low bun allows you to tie your hair back and keeps everything in place without having to expose as much neck and face. The low bun accentuates the cheekbones and helps the natural contours of your face to shine, all while effortlessly accentuating the jawline, nose, and eyes.

By bringing the hair down, the low bun offers a natural lift to all facial features, enhancing your gorgeous face with an elegant and hassle-free hairstyle.

Don't Forget to Accessorize

A beach wedding hairdo is a perfect excuse to add some flair to your hair. While something like a decorative hairpin may seem out of place in a more traditional church or clubhouse wedding, the beach offers a culture of invitation where you can let your hair down a little and keep it fun.

Many brides, especially those who choose a less formal hairstyle, such as loose curls or waves, love adding a nautical themed hairpin or accessory to their hair. Standard beach accessories include a small starfish pin or a sand dollar attached somewhere near the ear or back of the hair. A seaworthy hair accessory is a great way to tie your hairdo into the nautical theme of your wedding.

Even though your wedding is on the beach, don't feel pressured to use an ocean-themed accessory. Many brides choose local flowers or other aromatic plants to be woven into their beach hairstyle for an extra pop of color and aroma.

Other classic hair accessories, such as a headband or tiara, are also excellent for keeping your hair in place at a beach wedding. Plus, many hair accessories are attached to a wedding veil, for those of you who are keeping things traditional.

Whatever hairstyle you choose for your wedding, the most important thing is that you pick what makes YOU feel beautiful. You are gorgeous inside and out, and this is the day where that fact will be on display and utterly undeniable. Although it may be tempting to get frustrated with your hair, remember that there is no such thing as perfection, even on a wedding day.

Take time to test some hairstyles that you think you like, and if you have access to the beach, bring your preferred hairdo for a picnic to see how things go. Don't be afraid to take a risk with your hairstyle, and remember, you can always let your hair down and just go with the flow.

While it may not seem like the elements and your hair are a good duo, these hairstyles are the best starting point for identifying the perfect hairstyle for your beach wedding. Whatever the wind brings, you and your hair are sure to look stunning on your wedding day, especially as you walk down the sand and into the arms of your forever partner.

Best Hairstyles for a Beach Wedding Photo Credit // Hannah Bjorndal Photography
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