Your Day, Your Way: Fascinating Fascinators

These adorable accessories have been all the rage in Europe for years, but they are recently emerging as a new trend in the U.S., thanks to Kate Middleton’s keen fashion sense.

We think a fascinator is the perfect alternative to the traditional wedding veil or the recent birdcage veil trend.

One of our favorite wedding blogs, Snippet & Ink, did a great article on fascinators. Click HERE to see some fabulous photos!

The term fascinator originally referred to a lacy head covering, but now refers to a delicate head accessory worn by women—a stylish alternative to a hat. While many hats have a purpose, such as protecting the wearer from the sun or rain, today’s fascinators are decorative and just plain fun!

Fascinators are typically made of feathers or include them in their design. Feathers aren’t new to hats—the Greeks and Romans wore feathers in their helmets thousands of years ago.

During the era of Henry VIII, hats flaunted feathers, jewels and precious stones, but were almost exclusively worn by men of fashion or musketeers. During the 16th century, these elaborate hats made their way onto the heads of women, while men were drawn more to plumed hats.

With the turn of the century, wigs for both men and women became extremely popular, and were decorated with all types of items, such as feathers and flowers. Marie Antoinette was known for wearing wigs almost three feet tall!

Hair wigs and headpieces became simple and understated over the next century, but continued to be beautiful. In the Victorian era, women would reserve features and fascinators for special occasions. It was during this period that hats became more elaborate again with artificial flowers, ribbons and tulle, but were still reserved for special occasions or royal events.

(Thanks to Oh La La Plume for most of these facts!)

Today’s fascinator is regaining popularity and is appropriate for both indoor and outdoor events.

If you’re looking for something unique to wear for your wedding as a bride or as a guest to a summer wedding , visit local bridal shops in the area and ask about hair accessories and headpieces. If they don't carry them, they can often connect you with someone local who does.  For information on some of the bridal shops in Hampton Roads, visit this previous post:

Why not ask Virginia Beach’s very own Leslie Leadbeater of Lovely Things Boutique to create you something! Send her an email ( and ask about having a custom piece created!

There are also plenty of sellers on online, such as LA-based Arturo Rios (pictured below), who take the idea of hair accessories to a whole new level!

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