wedding hats and fascinators

wedding hats and fascinators
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What started part of normal dress attire for weddings in the United Kingdom has now become an international trend. Ever since Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, fascinators have become a sought-after, trendy accessory worldwide. Here’s our at-a-glance guide to wearing a fascinator to a wedding. 

What types of weddings can I wear a fascinator to? Is wearing a fascinator (or hat) necessary?

Wearing a fascinator to a wedding is always appropriate, unless the bride has specifically mentioned not to in the dress code. If you are uncertain about whether of not to wear a fascinator to a wedding, contact the bride and tell her you would like to, and if that is appropriate for her dress code.

If the wedding you are attending is in the evening, a hat may not be appropriate but a fascinator will be. It’s not necessary to wear a fascinator, but it can be a lot of fun! Fascinators can add color and personality to your outfit, and help pull together a look. Only wear a fascinator if you fee comfortable doing so, and enjoy the experience! 

Is there anything I should know about wearing a fascinator to a wedding?

There is some basic etiquette involved with wearing a fascinator to a wedding, but don’t let this put you off! Here’s what you need to remember:

  • Choose something small and appropriate for the occasion. Think of the venue and season, as well as your outfit.
  • Choose a fascinator that complements your body shape. If you are tall, choose a low fascinator, and if you are petite, choose a small fascinator.
  • Don’t choose something overly loud or large that may detract attention from the bride; remember—this is someone else’s special day!
  • Unlike a hat, there is no need to remove your fascinators if you are indoors, or when you enter a church (or other religious building, unless specified).
  • If you are attending a traditional wedding hosted by the bride’s family, only remove your fascinator if/when the mother of the bride removes hers.

Our top picks for wedding fascinators:

For the Bride:

Whether you’re wearing a traditional wedding gown or a more modern outfit, choose a simple fascinator with a veil (or not) in shades of cream or ivory, and match the fascinator to the same shade of white of your dress for a cohesive look. If you’re looking to add an element of surprise, wear a fascinator in a bright, bold color to add contrast to your look.

L-R: Bridal 10 Fascinator, Elle Fascinator, Bridal 6 Fascinator

For the Mother of the Bride:

Traditionally, the mother of the bride should wear the largest hat or fascinator at the wedding. Go for interesting pieces with architectural elements like feathers or loops that add height and volume.

L-R: Celine Fascinator, Kate Fascinator, Lilac Fascinator 

For the Mother of the Groom:

Traditionally, the mother of the groom should always look elegant and poised, but not wear a fascinator that overshadows the headpiece of the mother of the bride. Opt for smaller fascinators that still pack a punch thanks to exquisite, dramatic details.

L-R: Frankie Fascinator, Tillie Fascinator, Laura Fascinator 

For the Bridal Party/Bridesmaids:

Add a little bit of fun and whimsy to your bridal party with sweet fascinators to match your bridesmaids’ outfits. We like smaller pieces in interesting shapes that aren’t too overwhelming.

L-R: Pink Delphi Fascinator, Purple Frances Fascinator, Orange Beatrice Fascinator

For Wedding Guests:

Wear something fun and cheerful (it’s a happy occasion after all!), and opt for smaller fascinators in interesting shapes and bold colors.  When choosing your fascinator, don’t forget that this is the bride’s special day—don’t pick anything too loud that will detract attention from her.

Heads up: Your guide to wedding hats

Image: Clicks for a Cause Photography Services

Image: Clicks for a Cause Photography Services

When it comes to headgear, there are only two types of people: those who wear hats and those who most certainly do not!

The thing is, hats are not only useful (and just a little bit cool if you can pull it off), but they can really help a bride stand out from the crowd, so if you’re considering something a little different or just want something other than a traditional wedding veil, here are some of our favourite – and far from tacky – hats for brides but also every other member of the bridal party.

Big, floppy sun hats.

Bride wears hat on wedding day. Image: Jordan Brittley

There’s no denying this bride looks spectacular and aside from her own natural beauty, her large, white sun hat is what draws your eye to this picture.

She looks chic and modern and not at all like she should be down at the beach ready to spend the day sun baking, a natural image to conjure when one hears the term ‘sun hat’.

We love big hats. They’re outgoing, sometimes outrageous and absolutely demands attention. Also, as you can see, just because a hat is large, does not mean that it has to be tacky.

Brides in sun hatsWide brimmed hats needn't be tacky. This exquisite hat is a simple affair that has a big impact.

Wide brimmed hats needn’t be tacky or overwhelming. This exquisite hat is a simple but striking affair that has a big visual impact.


Fascinators for brides - hats. Image: Foxtale PhotographyFascinators are like mini hats. They're not huge and overbearing, but can still be elegantly ornate. Bridal fascinator
Not just for the races, Fascinators are a happy medium between a small veil and a hat. It’s less formal, less bulky and can be affixed with a hair pin or hairband and usually comes with some fabulously ornate decorations.

And, the best bit is that your bridesmaids can wear them, too. They don’t have to be overbearing and can add a charming pop of colour.

Fascinators are a charming way to add character to your bridesmaids' outfits.

Classic/Vintage hats

Bridal headgear: The Juliet Cap. Image: Etsy
With the vintage/retro look so hot right now, why not try an old-style headpiece, such as a Juliet cap, which is a smaller, tight fitting cap that is, often crocheted or made from mesh-like material then decorated with various pearls, gems and/or beads.

Of course, with thousands of years of bridal history to draw inspiration from the possibilities are endless from charming flower-covered wedding bonnets, which were popular in the early and mid 1800s to straw hats adorned in lace as well as spunky little hats (such as the champagne blush cocktail hat with a birdcage veil below) from more recent decades.

Vintage champagne blush cocktail hat with birdcage veil

Bride wearing a vintage cap

Drawing its inspiration from the 1920s, this ornately beaded cap looks absolutely stunning on this bride

Buttons and bows

It may not be a hat, but this giant bow is certainly a striking headpiece for a brideBows for the bride

Hats, hats, hats!

Bride with a hat

Bride with hat/veil

Hats on ring bearers and flower girls

Ring bearers and flower girls are cute as buttons on their own but whack them in a hat and their aww-factor quadruples. Don’t you agree?

Flower girl in a hat Flower girl in a crocheted capToo cute. Page boys in hats.Page boy hatsPage boy wearing a hat

Hats on ring bearers and flowergirls

Grooms donning hats

Hats off to grooms who walk down the aisle with a headpiece of their own. From formal top hats to cowboy hats and even caps, some of these grooms are rocking their headpieces.

Groom and groomsmen in hats

Grooms wearing hats. Image: Mark Tattersall.A groom and his groomsmen in vintage hats

Grooms in hats. Image: Holland Photo Arts

A groom and his groomsmen in cowboy hats


What style wedding car will you use to arrive at your ceremony?


Did you or your spouse wear a hat? If so, please send us the link or a picture!

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