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History of Bridal Hair Accessories

Pre Classical period still had its influences going into the 1900s where the bridal accessories could be rather lavish, statement pieces. Brides often wore veils and sometimes their bridal headdresses were more like headpieces due to their size and ornateness. Many were encrusted with crystals and pearls and silk flowers to create a large and beautiful picture. However, after the wedding of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert, with her own real Orange Blossom hair vine was the start of brides who could afford, to wear real flowers in their hair. Queen Victoria’s Orange Blossom Hair Vine was preserved in wax and replicated using wax flowers, designs that my sister and I have reproduced with modern sophistication and charm in our little boutique in Bakewell, Derbyshire.

Moving into the 1920′s you have the ‘Flapper’ inspired pieces that were worn with short, sharp cropped hair styles and were, in some cases dramatic and would set a fashion scene that would appear decades later. Headpieces were often worn low down over the forehead with the bridal headdresses being lace, feathers, diamantes, crystals and bling. With drop waist dresses that would still play an important fashion role going into the 1930s.

The 1930′s saw a traditional revival with veils playing an important role and often would cover the entire head creating a laced veiled cap effect known as the ‘Juliet Cap’. Sometimes brides chose halos of lace, ribbon and flowers to create a soft and feminine look for their bridal headdress, each very striking and demure.

Not all 1940′s brides had the same choice of bridal headdresses as Queen Elizabeth who married in 1947 but in these austere war years, brides wanted traditional, princess tiaras with crystal and shine. With long flowing cathedral length veils being the order of the day and at times the full headpiece being chosen, brides of the 40′s looked simply stunning.

Jackie O and the actresses of the roaring 50′s created a new wave of glamour that filtered its way through to the everyday bride. With short, crisp and sassy veils teamed with sophisticated bridal headdresses, the 1950′s brides wanted glitz and glamour and although lace played a big part and full Juliet caps still being fashionable, things were hotting up.

The 60′s saw a few different styles vying for attention. The hippy movement saw daisy chains, flowery, blousy, natural and simple creations whereas there were the brides with the big bouffant hair styles who wanted the traditional crystal tiara and long flowing veil. Larger styles of bridal headdresses seemed to appear again in the 60′s with some brides wanting fuller halo effect pieces to create a statement against the more simplistic waist cinching dresses.

In the 1970′s, our personal favourite era for bridal dresses and accessories that saw a huge amount of bohemian brides with the flower circlets and flowing locks. Yet too, just as popular were the full tiaras, bonnets, headpieces and in some cases large blousy hats that were beginning to become a choice for some, along with the more demure and alluring pill box hats with birdcage veils.

Wow, the 1980′s! Bows, bows everywhere along with satin, ribbon, flowers and hoops. The 1980′s saw big hair, big veils, ruffles and bows and big wedding dress trains, although not many brides opted for the 25ft beauty that Princess Diana had!

Into the 90′s with a real contrast in fashion and a bit of a mixture when it came to bridal accessories. Brides were opting for traditional tiaras full of crystal and bling, yet others were experimenting with revivals and dresses that leaned towards a Tudoresque rather pre-classical style with full length capes or watteau, full arms, embroidered lace and Maid Marion inspired innocence. Towards the end of the 90’s and into the 00’s the vintage pieces were starting to play a part with beautiful pieces being made entirely of antique and vintage jewellery. The heirlooms of tomorrow were being created.