Wearing a tiara does not have to make you look like Princess Diana unless you want it to. Putting a little bling in your hair lightens up your face and can be a great design element to your wedding ensemble if you do it right. We may call them tiaras but they don't have to have the typical princess shape. It could be shaped like a headband or have a uniformly low profile.
- Before you go shopping for your 'hair ornament', decide how you will be wearing your hair on your wedding day. Most brides wear their hair up because it's more controllable. With enough hair products, your hair can stay in place for the whole day and you won't have to worry about it. It's also easier to anchor a veil or ornament in hair that is locked in place and not loose. Half-up and half-down could be a compromise. You want to look beautiful for the camera for 8 hours. However, if you have the kind of hair that is not possible to put up, there are hair ornaments that will still work for you.
- Take your gown with you when shopping for your veil/hair ornament. Leave it in the car until you have a serious contender to try it on with so you are not lugging it around unnecessarily.
- Prices vary dramatically from bridal store to bridal store. If you have had a good experience in a bridal store and thought their prices were fair in the past, stick with them. Don't try to buy a veil/tiara on-line. You cannot tell from a picture what something will look like on you.
- In a perfect world, you want to find a bridal store that will offer veils and tiaras (or hair ornaments) sold separately. You want the option of changing the length of the veil, the fullness, the edging, the color and the embellishments. If a salesperson tells you that they can get in a veil and shorten it for you, run to the nearest exit. You are in hostile territory. You do not want to pay to shorten a veil. You want it cut the right length to begin with. In most cases, there should not be any extra cost to do this, but a small fee of $20.00 would be acceptable.
- The exception to the shortening issue is if the veil is embellished with embroidery and beadwork. In that case, it probably comes from Asia or Europe and cannot be customized in production. A seamstress would have to detach it from the comb, cut it off at the top and re-attach.
- The experienced salesperson will know the difference between 72", 108" and 120" tulle and the affect the different widths has on the total look of the veil.
- The experienced salesperson will give you different options on how the veil is attached to the comb and give you layering options
- Edging options are endless but not always necessary. The bridal salon will encourage you to put on an edge because the minute you do, the price jumps dramatically. Consider no edge because it creates a dreamy, clean, uninterrupted line.
- Most brides order elbow or waist length veils. These work well for most styles. The problem is that what is waist length on a bride who is 5' 7" is not the same for a bride who is 5' 3". And that same veil anchored below your fancy chignon will not hit you in the same place if you anchor it at the top of your head. That's why customizing is so important.
- For chapel or cathedral length, you want to be measured with your wedding gown on. Do you want the veil to ride on the train or trail behind the train? All wedding gown manufacturers cut their trains different lengths. The only way to figure it out is to try on the veil with the dress and measure.
- Hair Ornaments: You can look like a princess or not. It can be a dramatic tiara or a low profile band or comb.
- Combs: They look good only when up against a veil or a clearly defined updo. Combs don't look good just sitting on top of your head, especially if your hair is down. Most importantly, if your hair is down, the comb will not stay in. If you are contemplating a French twist hair-do with a comb or other decorative hair pins, ask yourself how many pictures will be taken of the back of your head.
- Headbands: It may look like a headband but don't wear it like a headband. You don't want the sides to go down by your ears. Tilt is back so that the sides are at an angle toward the back of your head. Much prettier!
- When you are making your decision, remember that your wedding guests will be seeing you from a distance. You may be looking at yourself three feet from a mirror but at the church, people will be much further away. If the tiara or ornament is too conservative, no one will see it and it won't show up in the wedding photographs.
- Whether or not you attach the veil to the tiara or headband is a tricky issue. Do you plan to wear your veil the entire evening? If you're outside, what if the wind picks up? Every time you get a hug, your head will jerk back as long as you still have the veil on. If you find yourself tired of the veil, having it attached will mean that if you take it off, the bling goes too. Having them separate gives you the flexibility you might want. I can't imagine a scenario where you would want to take off the tiara. If it was put on correctly, it should be comfortable and secure. Tiaras bend, so adjust for comfort before the big day. We don't want it to give you a headache.
- Store your veil unfolded. Either hang it or lay it flat. Jeweled hair ornaments should be stored in a box, out of the light. Most are set in silver which will eventually tarnish and cannot be cleaned.
- The best tiaras/hair ornaments are made with Swarovski crystals. These crystals have a lot of fire and razzle-dazzle to them. Some stores are selling tiaras that are made with glue. The stones look dead but they are charging the same price as the better made pieces. You may ask your salesperson if the crystals are Swarovski but in many cases, they will not even know the difference.
A good salesperson will walk you through this process and help you pick the right piece. She will consider the scale of the piece and how it looks on you, taking into consideration the size of your head and the width of your shoulders. The veil and tiara are important because they frame your face for every photograph. It's a decision that needs to be made carefully.
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