My personal experience and recommendations, practical advice and creative experiments


How to choose a bridal fascinator or hat

Though the classical bridal veil plays a vital role in most wedding ceremonies, new traditions are introduced as more and more brides opt for a wedding fascinator or hat for their Big Day. In this post I have briefly explained the hat etiquette for weddings. These six points can serve as guidelines to help you choose the right headpiece for your wedding day.

Where to start

What comes first – the dress or the headpiece? Unless there is some very special headpiece the bride wants to wear (family heirloom etc.) I would recommend starting with the dress. When creating bridal headpieces it is important to see the shape, style, color and material of the dress. The fascinator or hat has to compliment and underline the overall style and not stand out or overwhelm. It always looks nice if some detail in the fascinator like lace or rhinestone décor matches with the details in the dress (see picture on the right).

Wedding theme or color

In many cases there is a certain theme for the wedding that is reflected also in the wedding dress and headpiece. For example a 50s style wedding dress can be complimented with a classical pillbox with French veiling (see picture on the right).

A romantic, boho-style gown can be worn with a fascinator from soft hand-made silk flowers or a bridal crown. Lately many brides feel enchanted by the glamour and drama of 20s Art Deco style. There are different headpieces that will look perfect with this style of dress – starting from sparkly Great Gatsby style headbands with feathers, birdcage veiling and lace caps to romantic wedding cloche hats.

Bridal fascinator provides also lot of possibilities how to integrate your wedding color. You can choose a white or cream fascinator/ hat base and add some colorful detail – flowers, feathers, pearls, rhinestones or even a colorful birdcage veil. After all you can also have “something blue” in your wedding fascinator 😉

Bridal fascinator or veil

If you feel torn between traditions and your own personal style, there is always the option of wearing a full-size veil for the ceremony and changing it for a fascinator for the reception. This way you will honor the traditions of a wedding ceremony in the church and at the same time allow yourself more freedom to create a fun headpiece for the non-formal part of the wedding. Note to those who are planning to dance till the morning light – choose a fascinator or hat that allows you enough freedom of movement, especially pay attention to the size and the way of fixing the fascinator (read my blog post How to fix a fascinator or cocktail hat).

Transformable bridal fascinators

However if the budget is tight, it is possible to create a transformable fascinator. These are among the best selling bridal headpieces in my millinery studio 😉 So, how do transformable fascinators work? Usually it is all about the veil. During the ceremony brides prefer to have a birdcage veil that can be removed or re-arranged for the reception so that nothing covers the face.

Some details about the birdcage veil

There are also some other practical details about the veiling that should be considered. Spots or no spots – many brides, who want the typical 20s look, usually choose a hat or fascinator with a French veil with spots. This type of veiling looks chic, but there is one slight drawback – sometimes in wedding photos these spots appear in awkward places, so make sure your photographer takes pictures from different angles.

If you are planning to wear the fascinator all day long choose a veil length that is comfortable, e.g. to the eyebrow or to the nose. Longer veils can be quite messy – you can easily ruin it with lipstick, and eating with a chin-length veil can be quite a challenge.

Fascinators for mature brides

I have had the pleasure of working with brides from age 20-78. Mostly those are the mature brides who make bold choices for their wedding fascinators or hats. Mature ladies look beautiful in pillbox style hats that are decorated with feathers, ribbons, flowers and finished off with a short French veil. Others prefer an elegant wide-brim hat or hattinator, e.g. large-size fascinator that looks like a hat but in fact is mounted on a headband like a fascinator. In many cases mature brides have chosen a dress in a color that is not typical for weddings – peach, blush pink, grey or latte – and thus allow themselves the freedom to choose also a colorful headpiece.

Hope these six guidelines will help you find the right fascinator or hat for your wedding.

Read my other blog posts:

Hat etiquette for weddings
How to pick a perfect fascinator or hat for your face shape
How to fix a fascinator or hat

Choose a headpiece from my exclusive bridal collection, created with the finest materials and attention to detail!
Let your dreams come true and order a one-of-a-kind headpiece made specially for you!

About Rita

I have tried different crafts and found my love of life - MILLINERY. This is my source of passion, love and joy. My hats and fascinators are inspired by feminine beauty, classy elegance and glamour of the Art Deco era.

  • Facebook