Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wedding Season and Hats

As I've mentioned, I'm going to a wedding on Saturday as a member of the choir that will be singing for the ceremony.  We've been invited to the reception afterwards since the bride and groom are all friends with the singers, and I've been having lots of fun planning what to wear.  I've been told that English weddings - even the slightly informal ones - are generally more elegant than American weddings.

Case in point: I emailed a female English friend, panicking about what constituted wedding attire even after some desperate googling, and she wrote back, "It's just an excuse to dress up and put on a 'frock'.  Nothing to worry about - but a chance to get out your fascinators and high heels..."

Excuse me?  Nothing to worry about?  Frocks I can do.  High heels I've got.  But a fascinator?  Eek!

So I hied myself down to a milliner in Kensington - no joke, it really did say "milliner" on the door, just like in Colonial Williamsburg - and presented myself as a silly American who had no idea what she was doing but was very enthusiastic about head accessories.

The knowledgeable milliner took one look at my face and hair and decreed that I did indeed want a fascinator and not a proper hat.  I described my dress to her and we set about choosing a hairpiece.  My favorite was a fancy wispy feathered grey comb priced at £320.  On to the second choice: a headband with black bows and sparkly things, a steal at only £78.  I didn't want to buy anything impulsively - a girl's first fascinator is a big deal, you know - and so made a note of what I liked and said I'd come back in the afternoon.

But then... oops.  I wandered around High Street Ken for a little while, eventually stumbling on an Accessorize.  I meandered in without any real purpose.  But then!  Oh, then!  I saw headbands and combs and fascinators galore!  Five minutes and £24 later, I walked out with a relatively simple but lovely netted black headband.  Success!  I am now the proud owner of a fascinator.  It kind of looks like this but without the veil or the feathers:

(Photos from the wedding will be forthcoming, obviously, so that you can admire my new purchase.)

Oh, I feel terribly English!  I assimilate so well...  hehe.


  1. Haha, loved the post Betsy! I also got very excited about my first fascinator last summer (http://www.andoverhere.com/2010/09/fascinators-and-morning-suits/) The one in the photo is really glamorous! Excellent choice!

  2. Oooh, a fascinator! I have to admit, I'd never heard the term before reading your post so I checked out the Wikipedia link (thanks for that). I love the idea of wearing one as an alternative to a hat - so fun! (I may have to work a fascinator into one of my Ideal CandiDATES scenarios!)

    The one you bought sounds like a real beauty, too, as is the one in the photo you posted. I'd love to see a pic of you in it on the day. :)

  3. So fun!!!! Please wear one to my wedding :)


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