Choosing the right hat or fascinator can be as important as choosing the right wedding dress. A bridal headpiece is like icing on a cake. It can underline your personal style, add colour to your outfit and compliment the wedding theme. In this post I have briefly explained the details that you need to consider when choosing a headpiece for your wedding.
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. On the right you can see how I have added custom details to hat RENEE – garnet beads and Swarovski crystals to compliment the wedding colours.
Bridal hat and wedding theme/ colour
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 fascinators and bridal headbands
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 or headband 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).
Bridal hats and fascinators with a removable veil
Some bridal hats and fascinators are constructed in a way that the veil is a separate piece. They can be fixed with comb, bobby pins or alligator clips. During the ceremony brides prefer to have a birdcage veil but for the reception the veil is removed so that nothing covers the eyes but the hat/ fascinator itself remains as an accessory complimenting the outfit. Below you will see some of my bridal fascinators and hats that come with a removable veil.
What you should know about 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.
If you are planning to wear the veil just for the ceremony there is no big difference, other than aesthetic preferences. However, if you are planning to wear the hat or fascinator with veil for most of the day I would recommend:
- choose a length that does not cover both eyes
- choose a type of veil that has larger holes, like Russian veil or Roman veil.
Hats 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. Traditional Jackie O style pillbox hats fixed at the back of the head are also very popular. 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. In many cases mature brides have chosen a dress in a colour that is not typical for weddings – peach, blush pink, grey or latte – and thus allow themselves the freedom to choose also a colourful headpiece.
Hope these six guidelines will help you find the right fascinator or hat for your wedding.
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