The Most Memorable Bridal Hairstyles of All Time
While most believe the wedding dress to be the hardest thing to decide for your Big Day, it’s only the beginning. When you jump down the rabbit hole of wedding bands, invitations, and bridesmaids’ dresses, the real fun begins. Not to mention, how do you begin to decide what your bridal beauty look is going to be? As far as bridal hairstyles, options are as endless and complicated as the different shades of white the consultant drilled off during your dress appointment. Sometimes when it’s hard to choose how to move forward, it’s best to take a look back. In this case, at the iconic brides to come before us. These famous ladies not only give major wedding inspiration, but also let us revisit some of the most memorable bridal hair moments in history. From sky-high bouffants to sleek buns, and from royal tiaras to baby’s breath halos, these famous brides made major statements with their wedding hair throughout the decades.
Princess Diana rocked her signature side-swept shaggy hairstyle for her wedding to Prince Charles at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on July 29, 1981. She topped her bridal ‘do with the stunning Spencer Tiara, opting not to wear the Lover’s Knot Tiara offered to her by Queen Elizabeth II.
When young Jacqueline Bouvier married Senator John F. Kennedy in 1953, she kept her wedding updo simple, with curls pinned away from the face and her veil placed further back on her head. She already showed a penchant for mega-volume, which would become her signature style later when embracing the bouffants of the time.
It was bridal hair worthy of the King of Rock n’ Roll and a lavish ceremony in Las Vegas. Priscilla chose a short, three-foot veil with a rhinestone tiara to top her huge, jet-black bouffant that cascaded long down her back. Her off-the-rack dress was purchased after Priscilla visited stores in disguise to keep the wedding plans a secret.
The model married rocker David Bowie in 1992 in Italy; and the couple remained together until Bowie’s recent passing in 2016. She wore a stunning halter Herve Leger gown with white gloves and her hair styled in long, cascading curls she pinned up on the sides.
Our favorite Hollywood starlet paired an incredibly romantic, elegant rose halo with her classy tea-length Balmain gown and short haircut when marrying Mel Ferrer in 1954. In true Hepburn fashion, she kept her hair and makeup simple and chic.
Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown were all smiles on their wedding day in 1992, though the marriage would later fall apart. The memorable moment for Houston’s bridal hair was decidedly the lack thereof. She sported a high-neck, custom wedding dress with a beaded, sequined satin hat that covered her hair completely.
This American socialite had one of the most dramatic romances of all time, as King Edward VIII abdicated his throne to marry the divorcee. She wore a custom, silk crepe dress that was dyed a pale blue to match her eyes, with a simple flower and tulle adorned halo-esque hat that made a personal fashion statement.
The singer married longtime love and manager in 1994, and the couple remained together until his passing in 2016. The singer wore a Marie Antoinette-inspired headpiece that reportedly weighed seven pounds and had to be sewn into her own hair.
The Vanderbilts boast some of the most extravagant, over-the-top weddings in history, and the bridal hair is not an exception. Gloria Vanderbilt’s marriage to Pasquale DiCicco in 1941 followed the lavish protocol, and Vanderbilt’s fanned tulle headband looked stylish and chic as it cascaded into a veil down her back.
Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias
While we know this hairstyle didn’t grace a real-life wedding ceremony, it still belongs in history as an iconic bridal moment. Sticking to Southern beauty classics, the sky-high hairdo with a massive tulle veil and flower accents perfectly captures 1980s style.
The singer married actor Sean Penn in Malibu in 1985, and the bride chose to wear a black bowler hat to accompany her tulle veil and very 80s wedding dress.
The singer wed Arne Naess Jr. in 1986, and Ross wore a silk gown with a detached lace overlay. The real standout was Ross’ hair, which she kept surprisingly sleek and framed with dainty white flowers behind each ear.
Nielsen married actor Sylvester Stallone in 1985, and her puffy sleeves made a statement about as much as her beaded headpiece with baby’s breath did.
Renowned as much for her marriages as for her jewels, Elizabeth Taylor had seven husbands, but eight marriages. She married Richard Burton twice. She wed Burton for the first time in 1965, donning a short dress and dramatic ponytail wrapped in flowers.
Farrah Fawcett married Lee Majors at the Hotel Bel-Air in 1973, rocking her signature feathery locks with a floppy, white sun hat that oozed California-girl style.
She kept her signature strawberry blonde locks down in loose curls, but pinned her bangs back with a simple white floral barrette, to marry Keith Urban in 2006.
The actress looked like royalty on her wedding day with a high, jeweled bun. She finally wed Michael Douglass in 2000 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, with the lavish affair being called the wedding of the year.
When Kate Middleton wed Prince William at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 2011, she opted for a beautifully curled half-up hairstyle adorned with a Cartier “halo” tiara. Opting out of a stiff updo, the duchess made a stunning bride in her Alexander McQueen gown and jewels.
Camilla Parker Bowles
After an overall scandalous few decades spent together, Prince Charles and Camilla married in 2005. She chose an interesting feather-like headpiece and fluffed hair.
The British model and style icon wed James Cook and hosted a star-studded reception at Kensington Gardens in 2014. The couple hosted an even more glamorous affair in Morocco later. She paired her couture gowns with a relaxed, vintage brushed-curl hairstyle that looked both classic and stylish.
The Spice Girl married soccer star David Beckham in 1999 in a romantic, private ceremony at a castle in Ireland. She wore a custom Vera Wang gown with a gold and diamond tiara to accentuate her spiky pixie cut.
Not only did the model wear a custom Grace Kelly-inspired gown, she blew us away with a gorgeous textured headband that topped her middle-parted, sleek bun.