Peonies and Polaroids: What To Wear on Your Head When You Wed

Next up, the divine Ms. Peonie, who’s style I always describe as “I’m Scottish. if you cross me I will eat your head for breakfast,” because it’s pretty and lovely but it’s also fierce. Which is just the right balance to strike as a bride, I think. P&P;’s post is the worlds most encyclopedic post on wedding head thingys. So, grab a cup of tea and settle in, becuase here, in one post is every single thing you need to know about your head when you wed (or close to it).

The desire to put something on your head when you wed strikes most brides. For most it is a veil; a long, white piece of tulle, wispy or poufy, over the face or behind the shoulders, undeniably bridal and for many women an integral and indispensable part of the whole Getting Wed thing. However there are some of us for whom the traditional veil, as lovely and romantic as it can be, just isn’t right. Perhaps you feel like an idiot in one, perhaps your partner is utterly freaked out by them and mutters something about horror films and zombies then shudders dramatically, just to emphasise the point when you even mention veils or perhaps they just whiff ever so slightly of all that you hate about weddings. Either way, there are alternatives aplenty, although finding them may take a little digging.As I see it the options fall into three categories

  • Hats – for something utterly different.
  • Fascinators (encompassing tulle and feather divisions) – for those who can’t resist a little bridal froth.
  • Flowers and head bands – for those who want something they could wear again after the wedding without inviting Miss Havisham comparisons.

I’m not going to lie to you, wearing a hat to your wedding takes guts. People will comment, they will stare at your head, you may frighten them just a little because even if your hat is really very understated for there is something about the hat that scares those too timid to wear one and you and your head wear will most certainly be remembered long after the event. However if that sounds like something you can be coping with then a hat might just be for you. Personally I think there is no more fabulous an option for a bridal outfit than a hat.There are modern hats and there are vintage hats, there are delicate hats and there are show stopping hats, tiny hats and enormous hats and personally I think that all of the following are fabulous hats. Some would have you believe that you can only pull off a hat if you’re six feet tall, terribly skinny and hip or British but that is rubbish, there is a hat for everyone. Let’s start modern shall we? Then move onto something a little more classic. I see some of these hats working for a city wedding and some in the country. Some are summer hats and some distinctly wintry. Some would bring a modern look to life while some, despite being modern hats would suit a more vintage vibe.

1. Tri Crowned and Brimmed by Jane Taylor Millinery, 2. Pagoda Hat by Jane Taylor Millinery, 3 & 4 Summer hats by James Lock & Co. 5, Felt beret by James Lock & Co., 6. Bridal hat by Twigs and Honey, 7. Torque with Jet Star by Jane Taylor Millinery

1. French 75 by stylesmith, 2. Snowman by Stephen Jones, 3. Rosalind Russel by Boring Sydney, 4. Gold Leaf Beret by Jane Taylor Millinery, 5. Ivory Beehive Hat by Antique Dress, 6. Flapper Hat by eastangelharborhatsI’m not sure quite where the line between a hat and a fascinator lies. Or a veil and a fascinator for that matter. Some of these are definitely crossing over into birdcage veil territory but as long as it is more head decor than face covering, I’ve included it. Perhaps this category would be better named Feather and Tulle Confections, for the bride who still wants to look weddingy without looking too Traditional Bride…

1. Double Poppy headband with Veiling by Jennifer Behr, 2. lili veil by 5eizen, 3 & 4 Feather veil and tulle pouf by Satanica, 5. Tulle bow by FeathersandFrills, 6. tulle Pouf by Twigs and Honey, 7. Feathered wing by RockingRetro, 8. Delicate Feathers by FeathersandFrills, 9. Starburst Flapper pin by TopsyturvyDesign

And then there are headbands which can add a relaxed, bohemian look to your wedding outfit or equally can be utterly elegant and sophisticated in satin, silk and sparkle. Either way headbands are pretty, feminine and decidedly unexpected…


1. Satin Headband by Jennifer Behr, 2. Lace Headband by Garlands of Grace, 3. Floral beaded headband by Emmy, 4. Satin Headband by Jennifer Behr, 5. Image from Elegant Bride, 6. Satin headband by Jennifer Behr, 7. Feather Headband by Emmy, 8. Cotton yarn headband by Hannah Carrie 9. Floral Headband by Twigs and Honey.
And flowers. Some of us just can’t resist wearing a flower in our hair. It’s so romantic, so whimsical and a great way to add a little dash of colour to your ensemble should you decide to wear a white dress. Fresh flowers are undeniably the most romantic of all, however they are also heavy, prone to wilting and really difficult to encourage to sit right in your do. There are some fabric flowers that are almost impossible to tell apart from the real thing (from a reasonable distance), there are fabric flowers in the softest colours and materials that mimic the prettiness of the weddings favourites of garden roses and peonies and then there are flowers that are utterly out there, the plastic, the leather, the latex and the stripy flowers that make a girl who went for something very simple feel more than a little unimaginative….
1. Pink Flower by Twigs and Honey, 2. Pink Flower by Gabby Mac, photographed by Lillian and Leonard, 3. Red and Orange flower by Twigs and Honey, 4. Hydrangea Flower Headband by Bungalow, 5. Pink Latex Flower Garland by William Chambers, 6. Pink Gloss Plastic Rose by William Chambers, 7. Striped Silk Rose by Accessorize, 8. Pink Rose by Veiled Beauty, 9. Lace and Tulle Rose by Miss Selfridge.

Thank you Peonie, and squeek! I have so so much thinking to do. First thing to think about: Should I pick one of these amazing creations? Second thing to think about: How can I change my life to allow for more wearing of amazing headwear?

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  • I loved this – very comprehensive : )

    And Meg, your closing comment hit the nail on the head. There are so many fabulous alternatives to the traditional veil for your wedding, but they’re so gorgeous I want to find more room for them in my life!

  • Great ideas and beautiful pieces. I wore a hat with a birdcage to my wedding, then changed into a fascinator for the reception. I wear hats all the time, so it was natural for me to wear one on my wedding day. It was unexpected though in my inlaws uber-traditional family.

  • Very comprehensive indeed. I wasn’t sold on the whole headpiece until I read this, to be honest, but I think I found several with which I am in lust.

    Also, the Miss Haveshem comment…tee hee. Wonderful

  • I want to have babies with each of these hats. Little fascinatory, headbandy floral baby hats that sit on my head in order to effectively draw nutrients from my body. Is that too icky?

    p.s. Peonies=All Things Marvelous.

  • Cool! I like the feathers.

  • i am going to start wearing these types of things on my head on a regular basis from now on … this is my new years resolution (made well into the new year) and i think it will stick.

  • Wow, that’s a lot of information that’s still interesting 4 months after my wedding!

    I wore a Twigs and Honey fascinator with a dew drop veil that was detachable. I have since worn the fascinator a couple of times to parties. It always gets compliments.

  • How much do I LOVE Peonies?! Also, she found my girl — I’m getting a fascinator made by Satanica.

  • peonies, you should clearly be getting commissions on all the sales you're ringing in today. just saying. (and anybody who wants twigs & honey better hop on that now!)

    also, v. good advice about fresh vs. faux flowers for the head.

  • holy crap. awesome.

  • Mo

    Hats! I never even thought about a hat. Yet another option to consider.
    Thanks for this post, very informative.

  • Peonies. How do you always find the coolest things? I’m kind of loving #8 in the headbands. Not to mention that you’re hilarious.

    And Meg, great point in your footnote.

  • Thanks for these posts!! I’m still trying desperately to figure out what to put on my head. My dress isn’t structured enough for a hat or birdcage. It’ll probably end up being a simple flower, but seeing other ideas is so so helpful!

  • Ooh – lots of great ideas for wedding guests, parties, balls and just looking pretty for non-brides too!

    Re: if you’re brave enough to wear a hat, PLEASE don’t wear a top hat like Molly Ringwald in Betsy’s Wedding

  • What a great post.
    I love the first set of hats “modern hats”. Lovely.

  • Oooh, ooh, ‘my’ headband was featured! I am the proud owner of the Garlands of Grace lace headband. It’s so pretty, and I’m so excited about wearing it!

  • Now I wish I’d had some headgear… Even just a little band or a flower? Great post.

  • MegsDad

    I really like hats more than veils. Since I have the advantage of knowing Meg, let me venture some opinions.

    Tri-Crowned and Brimmed would do well. Summer Hat #4 would be fantastic.

    Meg is too fierce for the French 75. The Rosalind Russel would do except maybe for the color.

    Both the Lace Headband and the Satin Headband would be good, maybe even very good.

    So, my first choice would be #4 Summer Hat, followed by either of the headbands, and ending with Tri-Crowned and Brimmed. She would not go wrong with any of these. If she feels she must have a veil, the birdcage hat would be better than any confection.

  • I’m like, 90% sure I want to wear a hat to my wedding. But, I’m scaaaared!

  • love this post on headbands!

    as a wedding photographer and a lover of all things creative and beautiful your post is wonderful!

    xoxo :: katee grace

  • AntoniaB

    Ohhh my darlings – check out etsy for all sorts or wonderful bridlike headpieces. I’m getting my birdcage veil from an etsy vendor.

  • Lara Smithson

    I’m about to get a birdcage veil from, they might sound very old school but some companies managed to add more “flavor” to it.