They are beautiful… Your mother’s antique lace dress, your great-aunt’s satin shoes, and your grandmother’s diamond ring; you’re perfectly outfitted for a truly vintage-style wedding. Then you see it. Your fiancé had it specially delivered. You open the box and feel like your stomach has dropped through the floor. His grandmother’s veil. It is not the lovely, lace creation of which you have dreamed. It is ugly. Really ugly.
What to do?
For fear of deeply offending his family, you dare not replace it with another veil. Can you go veilless to a wedding that is meant to look vintage? Happily, veils aren’t the only alternative for a truly vintage-style wedding. There’s a myriad of options from which to choose.
First consider a hat. And, no, this doesn’t automatically put you in the mother-of-the-bride category. Hats come in a variety of sizes and styles that are perfect for young brides. For a romantic look, try a broad-brimmed style. This goes well with an outdoor spring or summer wedding. For a more formal look, go with a small round or pill-box style. Add a little splash of netting to make the style truly vintage.
Another both retro and beautiful option is to use decorated combs and fasteners. These can work whether you have the hair of long hair of Lady Godiva or the pixie cut of Twiggy. For decorations, think beads, pearls, ribbons, flowers and, yes it can be pretty, even birds. No matter what your budget, don’t go for cheap plastic combs. Although you’ll probably only wear these once, you don’t want your hair to fall down in the middle of your first dance. Do opt for the pricier metal alternatives. To save a few dollars, consider buying nice combs and decorating them yourself. Fake pearls and glue guns can do wonders in this areal!
For a more bohemian look, consider a flower crown. No, these are not just for 70’s flower children. These were popular in Neo-classical times and in the 20’s as well. Today they are a perfect way to convey a vintage feel at any wedding. Although flower crowns are traditionally worn with loose hair, they work with up-dos as well. Roses or other formal flowers can be used to create a formal look while daisies or wildflowers can be used for a more relaxed feel. Don’t be afraid to use colors other than white. Bright red, purple or yellow flowers can add a pop of color to your total outfit.
A final option is to wear… a tiara! These are not just for beauty queens! Tiaras come in hundreds of styles, many of which say ‘here comes the bride’ rather than ‘here she comes… Miss America’. To make the tiara work well with you outfit, make sure to match with the style and fabric of your wedding gown. Tiaras go well with satins, silks and beading. They go less well with less formal fabrics such as eyelets. Also, before investing in this type of headpiece, determine how you want to wear your hair in conjunction with the tiara. You don’t want to buy an expensive headpiece only to realize that it won’t work well with your hair. Finally, make sure that you’ve practiced having it fastened tightly to your hair beforehand. You do NOT want to lose your crown while going down the aisle!
Whatever style of headpiece you choose, don’t just make sure that it goes with your dress, make sure that it says ‘you’. No matter how beautiful something is, if it isn’t you, you won’t like it on your big day. Most importantly, have it worked out well in advance so that they only thing you have to think about on your wedding day is how much you are enjoying yourself!
Athelia LeSueur is a wife, mother and the CEO of www.shabbyapple.com. She created Shabby Apple to empower women with vintage-inspired clothing while celebrating elegance in beauty.