Notes On A Wedding, Part 7 ~ A Load Of Old Hat!

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Good morning beautiful!  We're welcoming Thursday with a new feature from our regular contributor Emma Woodhouse, aka The Wedding Reporter, who this week, has her focus firmly fixed on all things wide brimmed, feather trimmed and head topping. Remember, you can read Emma's other posts as part of our 'Notes on a wedding' series right here.

One of my favourite things to do during down time at weddings is to
survey the scene for fabulous millinery and try to describe as best I
can the type of hats that by their very design defy not only
conventional narrative but in certain cases, basic principles of gravity
as well.

Aside from my aunt wearing a foul lime green straw hat that eclipsed
the view of a third of our wedding guests during our wedding ceremony,
no one wore hats to our wedding. As such, they had never really entered
my consciousness as ‘a thing’ until I started going to other people’s
weddings and realised what a missed opportunity it was.

Photographs: Moments Captured for Milliner Edwina Ibbotson

Wedding hats

me, one of the most glorious moments of a wedding is watching the
mothers of the bride and groom basking in the limelight as they make
their way through the church or ceremonial room attempting to bestow
kisses on their relatives from beneath impossibly wide brims. There’s
definitely something intriguing when there appears to be an underlying
hint of competition between the individual sides of the families about
to be conjoined, too.

Whilst hats are undoubtedly a traditional sartorial addition to any
outfit, I think that the contemporary lack of obligation to don one
makes them much more jolly and splendid when ladies do decide to wear a
titfer. In all likelihood, your wedding is going to be the most
spectacular day of your life and so it seems fitting that your guests
ought to join in with the spectacle as well.

Photographs: Moments Captured for Milliner Edwina Ibbotson

Wedding hats

can of course be confounding to find yourself sitting behind a
satellite of a hat and subsequently miss out on viewing much of the
nuptials. Nonetheless, I find my thoughts increasingly captivated, not
only be the stylistic statements of hat wearers, but by the overriding
consideration that there are very few occasions on which one can still
make this kind of statement these days.

Photographs: Moments Captured for Milliner Edwina Ibbotson

Wedding hats

Up until the 1950s
it was unheard of for a woman to leave the house without being
appropriately dressed in a hat and gloves – even to deposit a letter in a
postbox at the end of the road – no such restrictions apply in modern
life. As such, the hat has rather lost its prominence and place in
contemporary closets.

Perhaps for that reason, or perhaps because of my childlike love of
the dressing up box, I have to say I am a keen advocate of wearing hats
to weddings. When I walk into a sea of marvellous millinery, my little
heart quickens its pace, my eyes become enchanted with the fabulous
scene. After all, when else do you get chance to wear something so

Image Copyright (c) 2011, Marrz Photo for Strumpet Bride

Wedding hats

wasn’t aware until quite recently that Debrett’s insist that women “are
not in general supposed to remove their hats during a seated meal at a
formal event” in their etiquette guide, nor that hats weren’t
traditionally removed until the men took off their jacket and retired
for cigars and manly chat.

The slightly more relaxed current strain of thinking suggests
that wedding guests wearing hats ought to take guidance from the bride’s
mother and should not remove their own hats until the mother of the
bride has removed hers. From personal observation, mothers of the bride
tend to be so terribly busy being fabulous during the wedding day that
they’re completely oblivious to whether other guests have removed their
lids or not.

Image Copyright (c) 2011, Marrz Photo for Strumpet Bride

Wedding hats

most amusing thing I’ve been told about wedding hats is that it is
impolite for the mother of the groom’s hat to exceed the size of the
mother of the bride’s hat. This seems to go a little far in acquiescing
to the logic that a wedding day is all about the bride, and I’ve yet to
see the respective mothers coming to blows over their millinery, but
there’s a first time for everything…

Image Source: Jane Taylor Imagery

Wedding hats

you will find that I am becoming an increasingly staunch advocate of
the role of the wedding hat, I must spare a thought for my photographer
colleagues. Should your mothers, aunties, friends or spare parts decide
to adopt a hat for the purpose of your wedding, do ensure that they are
all asked to adjust their rims accordingly for the photos in order to
make sure their faces are not obscured forever from your photos.

Photography Credit: Niall Walker, designs by William Chambers

Wedding hats

Personally, I’m a bit sad that hats obscure my vision too much to be
able to legitimately add them to my work wardrobe when I’m out reporting
at weddings. Nonetheless, a couple of my friends have just been so kind
as to get engaged and I’m already on the hunt for the hat I shall be
wearing to celebrate their weddings with them.



The Wedding Reporter




Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

3 thoughts on “Notes On A Wedding, Part 7 ~ A Load Of Old Hat!

  1. Great article Emma. I adore hats and so wish I had the confidence to wear them myself. The taupe coloured design by Edwina Ibbotson is beautiful! Maybe it’s time for me to experiment 🙂 xx

  2. I LOVE hats! I’m afraid I was rather bossy and told as many people to wear them to my wedding as possible! I felt quite emotional when I saw my Mum in hers. She’s not really one for dressing up so it felt even more special.
    I even got in on the hat action myself and added a sweet cocktail hat from Hello Strumpet {pictured above} to my going away outfit at the end of the night. I will definitely be wearing a hat to the two weddings I’m attending later this year too! Any excuse and all that 😉
    Franky xxx

  3. As a very excited Mother of the Bride I have commisioned a beautiful hatinator to match my outfit. (A hatinator for those that don’t know, is larger than a fascinator but doesn’t obsure your face like a traditional hat so in between the two really) When else will I get the opportunity to go full on with an outfit apart from my darling daughters special day in August and she positivly enouraged me! So excited to get dressed up and see all the guests and what they are wearing too! As it is a big church wedding followed by a country house reception, we know that many of the guests are also wearing head attire.
    It was also so much fun trying all the different styles on. So go on for those of you who are not too sure about fasinators and hats have a bit of fun and try some on, you just might fall in love.

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