I'm an American engaged to a Brit. We are both in our fifties and this will be the second wedding for both of us. We're planning a simple ceremony at the registrar's office and I will be wearing a skirt suit. Do English brides generally wear a hat? I was hoping to get away with not wearing one, if at all possible. I expect some of the guests might be wearing hats, so would it be a terrible breach of etiquette if I don't wear one?

The very simple answer is that you should wear whatever makes you feel the most comfortable – it is your day and the wishes of you and your husband-to-be should take centre stage.


Typically, UK Bride’s don’t wear hats – they often will wear a veil or tiara, but the wearing of hats is normally reserved for guests only (particularly Mothers of the Bride and Groom). However, when the Bride veers away from the quintessential white wedding dress and opts for a less elaborate outfit such as a suit or informal dress, (this is quite common for Register Office weddings here in the UK or for Brides who have been married before) then hats are an option, but still not a common one.


Our advice would be for a Bride to steer away from the wearing of a hat completely – they tend to be a little overpowering and can also make the ‘first kiss’ somewhat tricky! If you feel uncomfortable going without some sort of headpiece, an option would be to plump for a fascinator. Typically these are small items that clip or slide into the hair that can be accessorised with a wide range of items such as feathers or bows. They have quite a ‘classy’ appearance and are a good compromise – you can read more about hats and headpieces on Weddingsday by clicking here.


To conclude, if you don’t want to wear a hat, then don’t – you won’t be breaching etiquette and I’m absolutely sure none of your guests will mind at all.


Best of luck for the big day – I hope it goes well.

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