Accessories: In Your Hair
While you’ve been thinking about all your other accessories, the idea of accessorizing your head may have crossed your mind. While some brides forgo doing anything up top, it’s pretty common to see some sort of addition to their hair to draw attention to it and accent the rest of the ensemble. There are a million things you can do, and how you implement them will depend on the type of hair style you choose (you can’t do a veil down low in your hair if your hair is completely down, it won’t stay!). Here are some of the more common choices, but in all actuality you can do pretty much whatever you want!
The most common accessory is a veil. They can be made in any variety of lengths, styles, colors, layers, you name it. They are usually made of some sort of netting and attached to a clip or comb to secure it to the hair. Some are designed to cover the face, some to fall behind you, and some are a combination of the two. There are a multitude of names and styles, almost as many as there are dress types, so I won’t cover them all, but there are 3 main categories for veils: birdcage, blusher, and, well, everything else.
A birdcage veil is usually made of a stiffer material, and has more of an open netting. It is placed toward the top/front of the head and is designed to cover the face down to about the chin level, though they can be shorter. This is a more modern veil type and works well with plain dresses and modern styles, but can be applied to almost any situation (though they usually look pretty disproportionate to ball gowns). You can find them in varying netting sizes, and differing cut angles (some go straight across, some come down across the face diagonally). It is common to see some sort of detail where the veil and the comb/clip meet to add some presence to the veil.
A blusher is a short veil that covers the face that goes down to somewhere between the chin and the rib cage. These are usually made with fine netting like tulle (though they can also be made with the open netting that birdcage ones use), and are usually attached to a veil that goes down the back so the bride’s upper body and head are completely “covered”. When you see a wedding where a veil is lifted from a bride’s face and over her head, that is a blusher. Blushers don’t usually have much detail on them, partially to avoid creating a weird frame around the bride and partially to make it easier to lift it over her when she is being presented to the groom (though the back veil can have detailing on it, and you can find ones with detailing on the blusher). Once the blusher is lifted, it joins the back veil, making the final look a two-layer veil.
The everything else category is pretty broad, but there’s no other way to break what’s left down into smaller chunks without ending up with 20 chunks. Veils that fall behind you come in varying lengths, with the common lengths being elbow, finger tip, chapel, and cathedral. The first two are pretty self-explanatory (elbow is usually the length of veils that have blushers), and the second two follow the same convention that dress trains do (if you need a reminder you can see my previous post here). Keep in mind that veils are fragile (after all, it is just netting!), so the longer it is the more care you need to take with it. These can be cut straight across, but usually have some sort of rounded shape to them so they fall correctly behind you. It can also be plain, but it is not uncommon to see beading (either on the edge or dangling off) or lace around the edges.
Veils are usually attached to plain combs/clips, but some do have decorations on them. Swear you’ve seen pictures of brides with decorative combs on their veils? Most of the time, they’re cheating, which brings me to the next option…
Hair combs and pins are easy ways to add detail to your hair! They can be adorned with a wide variety of materials like rhinestones, feathers, beads, pearls, silk flowers, you name it. Pins are usually small, allowing you to use a couple at a time in different places in your hair. Combs can vary in size, but typically you can only wear one at a time (though, as with everything, there are exceptions). Combs can be worn on top of or on the side of buns and twists, on the top of your head like a tiara, or by themselves.
You can wear combs and pins with veils, and this is often how brides achieve the look of having a decorative veil comb (the cheating I mentioned a bit ago). It is not uncommon for a bride to wear a sparkly comb directly over where the veil comb is. This makes it look like they’re one piece, but allows you to remove the veil without losing that pretty detail. Sometimes it may be necessary to remove both pieces, then reinsert the hair comb. It’s worth having a mini practice session to find out what the best way to remove the pieces is without disturbing your hair style.
Tiaras and headbands are a great way to add serious sparkle to your look for the day! Since they wrap around your head, you get a bigger visual effect, not to mention something attention grabbing no matter which side someone sees you from.
Tiaras are usually set on a metal band since they need to sit on top of your head to be visible (they work really well when used around a high hair style). Because they are made to be almost crown like, the details are forward facing, and it is quite common to see a little height in them.
Headbands can also be set on a metal band, but they can also be made with a ribbon backing. Metal banded headbands are versatile in that they can easily be used as tiaras by simply turning them up on their sides a bit and placing them around higher hair styles (you can’t use a tiara as a headband though usually; the angle is typically wrong and inflexible). Ribbon headbands are great in that you tie them yourself, meaning you can make it however tight or loose you want it (and thus avoiding the infamous “headband headache” from tight bands). Ribbons bands typically focus on beading and flatter details, where as metal bands have more 3-dimensionality.
I’m doing a hair comb/veil combo (you can see the hair comb here if you don’t remember from my original post!). Have you decided what you’re doing?