hat etiquette
Wearing hats, Wedding hats and fascinators

Wedding Hat Etiquette

Fascinators and hats are beautiful accessories that can add personality your outfit for a wedding. While there are no written rules, it is wise to keep in mind the basic principles of hat etiquette for weddings.

Choose the right hat for time and place

When planning your wedding and defining the dress code for the guests, it would only be polite to inform your guests also about the type of headwear that is/ is not appropriate. Informal ceremony in your backyard or elegant reception in a manor, these are two different things and each requires a different dress code. For formal weddings/ church weddings the outfit of the guests will be sleek, elegant. A pillbox style hat or elegant fascinator will underline this style and add some personality to the outfit. Countryside weddings are more relaxed, you can choose a more romantic, boho-style outfit and compliment it with a fun fascinator or sun hat with romantic details.

Another thing to consider is the time of the wedding. There is an unwritten rule that, the size of a hat should decrease as the evening comes closer. Fell free to choose a larger, wide-brimmed creation if the ceremony is planned for the first half of the day, but opt for a smaller fascinator, pillbox hat if the event is planned in the evening.

If you are the wedding guest and not sure about the dress/ hat code, it is always better to call the bride/ groom in advance and clarify if your chosen hat style will be appropriate for their event. Remember, this is the big day of the bride and groom and you keep that in mind when choosing your wedding guest outfit.

Hats for mother of the bride and mother of the groom

A golden rule of thumb applies to the hats worn by the mother of the bride and mother of the groom. If the bride’s family is organizing the wedding, the mother of the groom should not wear a hat that is larger than the hat of the mother of the bride. However, if the young couple themselves are the organizers, there are no restrictions, both mothers can opt for any size of head-wear.

If you would prefer a smaller hat, then a pillbox hat is a great option. These hats are available in different shapes – rounded button hats, with straight sides, teardrop shaped, heart shaped etc. Depending on the style these hats can be worn perched on one side of the head or at the back Jackie O style. By adding a birdcage veil even the most simple hat adds a festive touch to the outfit. I have also mother of the bride/ groom confess that a birdcage veil will hide their face when the emotions take over and they can not hold back their tears of happiness. View my collection of cocktail hats

There is nothing more beautiful than a full size occasion hat. Depending on the season these hats can be made from different types fine straw – sinamay, pari-sisal – or felt. They can be decorated with ribbons, blows and crinoline, as well as flowers, feathers, birdcage veil etc. View my collection of occasion hats.

When should you remove your hat

Fascinators and hats for women are treated as accessories and therefore it is not necessary to remove them when entering a room or church. Men on the other side are required to remove their hats when entering a building or greeting a lady (especially their new mother-in-law).

When choosing a hat or fascinator, one should also consider how comfortable the chosen headpiece is. As a rule one should only remove the fascinator or hat when the hostess, e.g. mother of the bride, removes her headpiece. Usually hats are removed at some point during the reception.

You can read more about choosing the right hat and fascinator in my previous posts:

How to pick a hat or fascinator for your face shape

How to choose the perfect fascinator for you

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