When I got married, almost fifteen years ago, bridal headwear options were minimal: if a tiara or flower crown wasn't for you, then you were basically left with a comb, clip or pins to choose from, and then, you were pretty much restricted to the limited and often uninspiring bridal shop collection. Today, however, with the likes of Etsy and Not on the High Street and increasing creative competition, the choice is vast; since entering the tiara making world (only two years ago) I have been amazed at the array of accessories on offer for today's bride: long vines, short vines, mini pin vines, halos, circlets, and wraps - the possibilities are endless! And that's before even considering veil options (more about that in another post). Exciting? Yes. Overwhelming? Maybe. For those of you who have definitively cast the tiara aside, here is a brief guide to other hair accessories out there, together with the terminology you can stick into your Etsy, Pinterest or google searches.
Hairvines come in many different shapes, sizes and forms. At their most basic, they are long wires sporadically decorated with crystals, pearls or beads. At their most elaborate, they are intricately adorned with different clusters of beads and come in extra long lengths.
Bohemian, romantic and rustic in style, their lack of uniformity appeals to the bride seeking a less formal look. Their flexibility also makes them extremely versatile and they can be worn in any number of different ways - either wound around the head, intertwined in a braid or haphazardly pinned into place amongst loose flowing curls.
Mostly vines are pinned into place, but if you require a little more structure, whilst still maintaining that boho feel, then look for a vine attached to a comb (or two mini combs) or for mini vines attached to a collection of pins.
Vines are also perfect for bridesmaids. I frequently recommend a set of hairvines for maids - it is the perfect way of ensuring matching colours and beads, but at the same time, allows bridesmaids to wear according to their individual preferences and different hair types.
These have the same flexibility and freedom of movement as a hair vine, but tend to be more simplistic in design and without bits jutting out- more like a long necklace - in fact, you could just go for a long necklace, or, even better, a vintage rhinestone encrusted find . They look stunning wrapped around a bun or in an up hair style.
Think Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones - and Cleopatra. A more structured headpiece almost like a half crown, but one that is worn straight across the forehead, usually with a dip in the centre - a little like an upside down tiara. If you are wanting to create a medieval, fantasy vibe, then search out the circlet - there are lots of beautiful examples on Etsy.
Halos/ Brow bands
Halos and brow bands come in many different styles - not so much angelic, but rather fairy crown, or vintage Gatsby. Worn straight across the forehead, or slightly higher, the halo or brow band is worn all the way around the head and is often secured with ribbons at the back. Embellishments can sit either at the side, centre or all the way around. Some even have drapes for that extra touch of vintage glamour.
Often worn as an alice band, the headband offers statement style without the formality or height, of a tiara. You could opt for a vintage style side embellished design, or go for a simple, but stunning arrangement of beads around the band - a bit like a jewel encrusted alice band. They are easy to place in the hair and versatile.
So, there we have it. My last piece of advice - don't rule out designing, or asking someone else to create a head piece just for you - bespoke design isn't always as expensive as you think!