Stylish Updos for a Beach Wedding

How to look outstanding on the sand while saying “I Do” with an updo.

By Emily Forrest

Couple embracing near palm tree
Photo by Emily Lynn Photography

Whether you’re saying “I do” beneath a homemade driftwood wedding arch or tying the knot with a few close friends on a seaside bluff, the beach is an incredible place for a wedding. The incredible views and the sounds of the surf seem to parallel the power of new love better than any other earthly destination.

Even amid the romance that a beach wedding supplies, there are still going to be elements that are out of your control. Weather, and especially wind, are fickle at the beach, and can often come and go without warning. In most circumstances, a light gust of wind is no big deal, but for the sake of your wedding photos, we want to make sure that you and your bridal hair are prepared.

Every bride knows that pictures are one of the most important events in the post-ceremony timeline. With little time for touch-ups in between ceremony and reception, you’ll want to make sure that your chosen wedding hairstyle looks as fantastic in your pics as it did when you walked down the aisle.

Updos are a great way to ensure your hair stays in place, and these brilliant bridal hairstyle choices are beach wedding friendly. Here are some beach wedding updo hairstyles that will keep you looking radiant from the beginning of the day to the end of the night.

Wrapped Bun

If you’ve ever seen a picture of a ballerina, you know what a wrapped bun looks like. It’s similar to a chignon, which we will get to later. A wrapped bun is a standalone hairstyle and a base for other more intricate updos.

To say a bun is wrapped is slightly redundant, as all buns are technically wrapped. The wrapped bun refers explicitly to the tightly woven style reminiscent of a dancer’s bun. Wear it high or low, this elegant bun may be simple, but it’s anything but understated. When executed correctly, a simple wrapped bun draws attention to the face, neck, and upper back, perfect for dresses with low necklines or other striking features.

Defined by its simplicity and class, the low bun is a staple for brides who wish to adorn themselves with an accent piece, such as a small hair accessory, perhaps a clip or a veil. The wrapped bun is first on our list of gorgeous wedding hairstyles, not only because it’s the basis for so many other updos, but because it will unleash your natural radiance as a bride.


The chignon is the structural base for almost every updo you’ll encounter. It’s timeless, elegant, durable, and, best of all, perfect for a beachfront wedding. The beauty of the chignon updo hairstyle is that, while being a superb foundation for extravagant updos, it can also stand on its own.

Unlike a bun, where the hair is wrapped around itself, a chignon can be wrapped, pinned, or woven. More often than not, a chignon uses a bobby pin or other centralized piece, as the base of the design. Chignons are classically worn in the low-mid part of the head, but they can be worn higher or lower as a bride’s preference dictates.

The chignon incorporates details, such as braids and twists with ease, allowing for some extravagant bridal updo options. One such option is the waterfall braid. This gorgeous braided chignon is woven in a manner that makes it appear as if the hair is cascading down the back of the head.

This stylish braided updo is perfect for a beach wedding, as it keeps the hair tucked back while allowing for a simply striking hairstyle statement. For functionality that can easily blossom into something breathtaking, start with a chignon.

Let’s Get Messy

A messy, yet controlled, loose updo looks gorgeous on any bride, especially in a beach setting. For the same reason that you love that bed head look for a night out, this sexy bridal hairstyle says “I am here for the party, and I’m going to look good for it.” The difference is all in the way that you wear it, and, when it comes to your beach wedding, throwing that beautiful mess into an elegant updo turns shab to chic in a snap.

A messy, somewhat loose updo, such as a pinned messy bun or a textured twist, are both excellent choices for a beach wedding. These stylish updos for a beach wedding ensure that your hair will never truly be out of place, even if it is. A messy updo allows you the flexibility to roll with the punches and enjoy a more carefree approach to your hair, without having to sacrifice style, elegance, or glamour.

Braids, Waves, and Twists

These hairstyle additions are more accents than a specific type of updo; however, braids, waves, and twists are the signature touches that will take your wedding updo to the next level. Any variation of updo that you choose for your beach wedding hairstyle will be elevated by adding a twist, braid, or teased waves.

The French plait updo is a beautiful way to take the voluminous French braid and seamlessly tie it up into the crown of the head. Typically, this updo stems from the back center and sweeps across the side of the head using the braid as a dignified accent. Similarly, the double dutch braid and braided crown achieve the same type of effect, wherein the braided hair is pinned to the side and top of the head to be worn like a tiara or crown.

For those who prefer a little less form without sacrificing texture, a textured bohemian twist features braids and twists, while including a messy chignon in the back. Along with several versions of boho wedding hairstyles, the bohemian twist is a glamorous modern updo that will have your hair looking like the perfect combination of princess and Instagram model.

Extensions Are Your Friend

There is nothing wrong with adding a little length to achieve your desired beach wedding hair. Some brides believe that hair extensions are something to be avoided, but we’re here to tell you that they will make your life so much easier. Extensions not only add length and volume to your hair, but they also help keep it in place. Trust us when we say that unless you have super long and luscious hair, extensions are a must when considering any kind of updo.

If you have short hair, we recommend either going all-in on an updo created with extensions, or achieving an elegant look with a headband or lace wrap. A popular beach wedding hairstyle for brides with bob cuts is to add braids or twists to the side of the hair and then wrap them around the sides. This elegant short length hairstyle can then be used as a mantle for a hair accessory, such as a headband, veil, or tiara.


This weaving style creates volume and adds flair to any hair consistency. Perfect for keeping your hair out of your face, this beach wedding updo is practically windproof. Thanks to the intricate weaving of your hair, this beach wedding hairstyle is guaranteed to stay in place throughout your special day.

Aside from being a practical choice, tendrils are absolutely stunning. Tendrils can be executed in a variety of fashions and styles, creating whatever pattern is most desirable for you. Many brides use hair extensions to add extra length, layer, and volume, but they are entirely optional.

Tendrils play well with curls and twists, so don’t be afraid to get a little daring with how you and your hairstylist weave this magnificent updo. Everyone on the beach will be amazed at how great your hair looks, especially as it remains perfectly woven with every delicate intricacy intact.

The Beehive and Other Classics

Once upon a time, but not so long ago, updo’s were very trendy hairstyles for high-society functions. Looking to the past to garner inspiration is a great way to figure out what kind of classy bridal updo you might want for your beach wedding.

One such fashionable updo of days gone by is the beehive. This classic and refined updo features a rounded chignon perched atop the crown of the head.

The beehive is perfect for any bride looking to add poise and sophistication to her updo in a natural and understated manner. The beehive uses a chignon method to wrap the hair in the back, and then the beehive shape is formed by teasing out the hair into the desired shape for the ultimate retro-glam look.

Some other classic retro updos include: pin up victory rolls, which are perfect for that ’60s sexy girl-next-door look, a back roll, if you’re channeling a modern Mrs. Cleaver, and, of course, a faux bob, because the roaring ’20s are back and in full swing.

Beach weddings and updos are both classic choices for a reason. A beach wedding is all about enjoying the natural beauty, and these stylish updos for a beach wedding will ensure that your natural beauty is on display for all to see.

Updos offer the versatility you want with the durability you require, and with a little imagination, can provide an exquisite element to your wedding day look. Whether you’re going for something simple and chic, or teasing and weaving something spectacular, your updo will keep your face free of hair and full of smiles.

Stylish Updos for a Beach Wedding Photo Credit // Robert Norman Photography
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