When it comes to wedding accessories, none is more hotly debated than the tiara – some brides-to-be believe that the traditional ‘princess’ tiara is an outdated piece that reminds them of children’s fancy dress, but we believe that a woman’s wedding day is a chance for her to go all out and make herself feel like royalty! Read our guide to the ultimate princess piece and see what you think…
If it’s good enough for royalty…
Ever since Kate Middleton married in a stunning Cartier piece designed for the late Queen Mother, the wedding tiara has been climbing in the popularity stakes. This traditional accessory is often associated with royalty, and we’ve seen many breathtaking designs on the heads of princesses (both real-life and on the silver screen!) over the years. Just take a look at these amazing creations on Princess Grace of Monaco and Audrey Hepburn as Princess Ann in Roman Holiday to see how a wedding tiara should be worn.
So should you wear a stunning wedding tiara on your wedding day? The first thing you have to ask yourself is whether your day is suited to such a formal piece – if your dress, venue or theme is fairly casual, then a traditional tiara is going to look out of place as part of your bridal ensemble. We also recommend that you give the tiara pride of place among your wedding accessories – this glamorous piece speaks for itself, so don’t overdo it with chandelier earrings or a large glitzy necklace.
We personally love the look of a tiara with a simple dress – one of the reasons that Kate’s look worked so well at the Royal Wedding is that her dress was fairly conservative. Try a lace gown with long sleeves to get the same romantic yet traditional style. We also think Lady Mary in Downton Abbey nailed the wedding tiara – her high-neck gown and simple jewellery meant that her stunning wreath headpiece was the standout feature of her look.
What style should I choose?
If you’ve decided that a tiara is right for you, then you’ve got plenty of beautiful styles to choose from that can complement your wedding day look and theme.
This is the most formal of all the tiaras, and the style that you’re most likely to see on royalty. It has more height than other styles on the list, which means that it’s probably best avoided by brides-to-be with a long face shape.
This is a vintage style that can either be single or double row – the curve up and rise to a small point above the crown of the head. These tiaras look beautiful in both crystals and pearls, which makes them a very versatile style.
This a popular option with modern brides as it looks more like a classic head band, which makes it easy to wear with lots of different dress types. The double band tiara can also be worn in several places on the head depending on your hairstyle.
Similar to the double band, this simple tiara is a popular low-key option. Worn flat against the head, this is the subtlest of the tiara styles – it looks particularly beautiful with loose hair to add a touch of elegance.
Worn further back on the head, the bun wrap (which is similar to a hair vine) is designed to perfectly complement a high updo. Traditional bun wrap tiaras are fairly formal, which makes them the perfect choice for a dramatic cathedral venue.
As the name suggests, this tiara is inspired by nature, and is designed to look like a floral wreath or a vine. This romantic style works particularly well with a Grecian goddess style wedding dress.
How do I wear one?
The key to wearing a tiara is placing it in the correct position – it should be on the crown of your head, not your forehead! This is often a little further back than many brides-to-be expect, but your hairstylist should be able to help you pin it correctly. If you’re wearing an updo, then make sure the tiara is placed flat against the hair – there should be no gap between your style and your headpiece, unless it’s one of the flatter styles such as a double band or headband.
Wearing a tiara doesn’t mean you have to abandon the veil, either – a headpiece can be the perfect finishing touch for the full bridal look. You can always attach the veil separately so that you can remove it after the ceremony without needing to take off your tiara too.
What do our real brides think?
As we say, the tiara is subject to a little controversy – we asked our Facebook fans if they would wear one and got a few mixed reactions!
Facebook bride Kerry is wearing a tiara on her wedding day – when she finds one! “It’s the one day that I can get away with wearing one, and I’ll feel like a princess!” she says.
“I can totally understand why most brides would wear a tiara,” says Phillipa. “It’s your wedding day and a beautiful sparkling tiara is a way to instantly look and feel special. However, being a dancer myself, I won’t be wearing one as I’ve spent my life wearing them so it longer feels special to me!”
Katy won’t be wearing a tiara on her day: “I felt like a child playing dress-up when I tried one on, so I’ll just be wearing a pretty hair pin.”
Nayema agrees – she opted for flowers in her hair to match her bouquet. “Tiaras are a big no-no for me,” she says. “Somehow they look a bit over the top!”
Whatever you decide to wear in your hair on the big day, we’d love to hear about it! Let us know on the Wedding Ideas Forum!