For Better or Worse: The Best Updos for the Understated Wedding Gown

Understated: subtly restrained: achieving its effect through restraint, subtlety, and good taste. By no means does understated equal boring or bland. Think of understated, as it pertains to wedding gowns, as timeless elegance, sophistication in its simplest form. An understated wedding gown does not require lace, excessive beading or ruffles to promote its beauty – rather, its classic subtlety breaths the very essence of beauty through its simplistic silhouettes.

Below are some examples of understated wedding gowns:

This understated gown uses a simple silhouette with fabric detailing for added interest.

This understated gown uses a simple silhouette with fabric detailing for added interest.

Another example of a beautifully, elegant understated wedding gown.

Another example of a beautifully, elegant understated wedding gown.

What style of updo best suits an understated wedding gown? While an understated wedding gown quietly promotes its beauty, allow your updo to speak volumes, literally. Because a simpler wedding dress tends to be void of intricate detail, the contrast of a voluminous, dramatic updo proves to be most flattering. Updos or down hairstyles can both be worn with this style of gown – just be sure to try to incorporate lots of volume, curls or accessories to amp up the glam.

Here are some updos that would beautifully compliment an understated wedding gown:

An exquisite updo, accentuated with gorgeous blossoms will add dramatic interest to an understated wedding gown.

An exquisite updo, accentuated with gorgeous blossoms will add dramatic interest to an understated wedding gown.

Scarlett Johansson portrays a glamorous upswept updo with lots of volume. Paired with a sparkly hair accessory, flower, feathers or veil, this updo would be stunning with a simple wedding gown.

Scarlett Johansson portrays a glamorous upswept updo with lots of volume. Paired with a sparkly hair accessory, flower, feathers or veil, this updo would be stunning with a simple wedding gown.

Below are some examples of voluminous down hairstyles to flatter an understated wedding gown:

Here is a perfect example of a voluminous style, accessorized with an oversized flower, to beautifully flatter an understated wedding gown.

Here is a perfect example of a voluminous style, accessorized with an oversized flower, to beautifully flatter an understated wedding gown.

We love everything about Angelina's hair. Here, she depicts a down hairstyle that is wonderfully voluminous. Paired with an elegant, simple wedding gown, this look would be stunning.

We love everything about Angelina’s hair. Here, she depicts a down hairstyle that is wonderfully voluminous. Paired with an elegant, simple wedding gown, this look would be stunning.

Accessories are a great way to show off the lines of a simple wedding silhouette, as depicted below:

Feathers add vintage elegance to an understated wedding gown.

Feathers add vintage elegance to an understated wedding gown.

A birdcage veil is a stunning option when wanting to accessorize a simple wedding gown.

A birdcage veil is a stunning option when wanting to accessorize a simple wedding gown.

A jeweled headband adds appropriate glitter and sparkle to an elegant, understated gown.

A jeweled headband adds appropriate glitter and sparkle to an elegant, understated gown.

This draws us to a close on our series of wedding gowns and their corresponding updos. We hope that you’ve learned some guidelines to best suit the look that you are wishing to portray during one of the biggest days of your life. For hairstyles that flatter a glamorous, backless, and boho wedding gowns, please refer to our previous posts.

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How to Find the Best Bridal Hairstyle

We, here at Grotto Hair Studio, are in full swing wedding season! Maybe you have a wedding to attend, or you’re a bridesmaid, or even the bride herself. Over the next couple of posts, we would like to take you thru some steps on how to achieve the perfect wedding updo. Some of the guidelines to keep in mind are as follows:

1) Consider your wedding theme/atmosphere. Is your wedding going to be a casual garden party? Will it take place on the sandy shores of a romantic beach? Or maybe you’re going for a more formal mood with an ornate cathedral ceremony.

These beachy waves are a perfect example of an informal wedding hairstyle. Think a bohemian themed wedding, a beach ceremony, or a garden party wedding.

These beachy waves are a perfect example of an informal wedding hairstyle. Think a bohemian themed wedding, a beach ceremony, or a garden party wedding.


This updo is perfect for a more traditional wedding. It may look out of place when worn with a flowy, Bohemian style dress. However, this style, paired with an ornate gown, would suit an elegant, timeless atmosphere perfectly (think a cathedral or church wedding).

This updo is perfect for a more traditional wedding. It may look out of place when worn with a flowy, Bohemian style dress. However, this style, paired with an ornate gown, would suit an elegant, timeless atmosphere perfectly (think a cathedral or church wedding).

2) Consider the style of your dress. Our next post will delve into this topic in more detail, however, it is important to match the style of your dress to the style of your hair. You would not want one taking away from the other. Rather, the updo chosen should complement the wedding dress.

3) Be observant of your hair texture, thickness and length. Often brides find pictures of updos that they love without fully considering the texture, thickness, length and colour of their own hair. What looks good on the model in the picture may be entirely unflattering on the bride herself. Working with your natural hair will help achieve the best bridal updo. However, that does not leave you totally limited. Thankfully, there are many salon tools that can manipulate the hair into your dream updo. You can curl straight hair, straighten curly hair or add extensions to shorter or finer hair. Just remember to avoid making sudden changes in your hair too soon before your wedding to prevent a hair crisis!

Here is an example of a bride working with her natural hair.  A slight wave nicely complements her short bob.

Here is an example of a bride working with her natural hair. A slight wave nicely complements her short bob.

4) The guidelines for face shapes applies even for bridal updos. Refer to our previous posts for advice on face shape guidelines here.

5) Your choice of bridal hair accessories can often determine how you wll style your hair. There are so many beautiful options out there that the possibilities are really endless as to the beauty that can be created in your wedding updo. However, remember that accessories should always compliment rather than take away from the natural beauty of the bride. In other words – less is often more. Take a look below at some stunning options for creating an extra special updo on your big day.

Fresh (and fake) flowers add the perfect touch of whimsy to any bridal updo.

Fresh (and fake) flowers add the perfect touch of whimsy to any bridal updo.


Jeweled hair accessories often add the perfect glimmer of sparkle.

Jeweled hair accessories often add the perfect glimmer of sparkle.


Veils are probably one of the most common accessories. However, the different styles are anything but commonplace. Here, this veil adds a soft, romantic look to subtle waves.

Veils are probably one of the most common accessories. However, the different styles are anything but commonplace. Here, this veil adds a soft, romantic look to subtle waves.


A bird cage veil adds a flair for vintage glam.

A bird cage veil adds a flair for vintage glam.


A tiara adds the perfect princess sparkle to any updo.

A tiara adds the perfect princess sparkle to any updo.

Our hope is that these guidelines provide some inspiration for you to exhibit your natural beauty during one of the biggest moments of your life. Stay posted to learn how to pick the appropriate bridal updo for your wedding dress.