How to Choose Your Perfect Wedding Hair Accessory
Do you start thinking of purchasing a hair accessory for your big day and wonder 'what on earth is the difference between a hair vine, a pin, a comb and a crown?!'
Well wander no further! I am here to tell you exactly what each of those are, alongside the extremely talented bridal hair stylist, Claire Hartley.
Ok, now you know you're in safe hands, let's jump straight in and start with...
The Hair Vine
My hair vines start life as a long flexible wire with two loops on the end. I then wire up and wrap the materials of your choice around it. Whether it be ceramic flowers or sprigs of diamantes, pearls and leaves, whatever you want! You can then choose to have a hair comb in the middle if you are worried about the security of it in your hair or you can have some further loops along the vine. Your hair stylist will attach it to your hair by pushing hair grips through the loops.
Because of its flexible nature you can be sure the hair vine will work with most hair styles. You could wear it across the head like a crown, stood up like a tiara, on the side of the head or at the back. It can be as long or as short as you want and it is also flexible so your stylist can wrap it around a bun for example or give it a wavy effect. Here are some examples...
The hair vine above has a medium sized hair comb in the middle... you can't see it at all can you? And yes you can still have a veil with a hair comb beneath... I advise putting a metal hair comb on your veil so you can slot them in on top of one another (I can supply you with one of these to ask your seamstress to swap over)
The above photo is without a veil and below photo is with a veil
Claire Hartley, Bridal Hair Stylist says, ‘I love working with hair vines, there are so many different ways they can be positioned within a style. Being able to manipulate them so they flow with the shape of the up style is just fabulous, placement really is key with these and they really can bring a wedding hairstyle to life. Be sure to have an idea of where in your style you envision a vine, what length you will need and how it will be fixed. If you are unsure, contact your bridal hairstylist or accessory supplier we are more than happy to offer advice.’
The Hair Comb or Clip
Hair combs come in many different sizes and colours. You can have the materials (flowers, pearls etc) fitted onto the hair comb or I can make sprigs/branches that come off it making it appear longer (like the effect of a hair vine). A very popular look at the moment is to have a hair comb on the side of the head with Hollywood waves. You can also have a hair comb in half up half down dos and up dos. Again you can wear a hair comb with the comb from your veil sitting beneath it. There are a couple of tricks your hair stylist can do with plaiting your hair underneath or creating a firmer base with hair products to make sure your hair comb sits securely in your hair so don't worry if you have a shiny texture or finer hair. Alternatively instead of a hair comb you could have a slide/crocodile clip.
Don't worry if you already have a hair comb on your veil, my hair combs will slot into it nicely. I do always suggest having your plastic hair comb changed over to a silver one by your seamstress if that is the case. They fit more snuggly together, the wire teeth on the comb are flexible, it curves into the head more and I think they look a bit smarter.
Remember I can provide you with a metal hair comb for your seamstress to swap over from your plastic one if that is the case
Claire Hartley, Bridal Hair Stylist says, 'Combs sit beautifully in an up style and equally well in a half up style, as long as they have something to grab onto they can be positioned securely and really be the icing on the cake for your wedding hairstyle. Combs are the best option if you are wanting the sparkle or flower detail given by the accessory all clustered in one area.’
The Hair Pin
Hair pins are really versatile. You can just have one on its own if you're looking for a more understated look or you can put more together to create a statement piece. Another popular way of displaying them in the hair is to scatter them around an updo. Your hair stylist will have great fun playing around with them to create the perfect look. The sprigs and flowers are wired onto the hair pin and can be moved, this is especially useful when putting them together to look like one accessory.
Claire Hartley, Bridal Hair Stylist says, 'These are my favourite! As said above, the hair pin is such a versatile option. Have as many or as few as you like, cluster them all together or spread them around the style. They can easily be repositioned if needed and can be incorporated into just about any style. Absolutely my “go to” accessories!'
The headbands I used are very thin and covered in satin making them a lot more comfortable than the tightly fitted wire ones from yesteryear. These are perfect if you want a very fixed accessory (in look and security) to be worn over the crown of your head.
If you're not keen on wearing a satin covered headband, I can achieve the same look and placement with a hair vine (a flexible wire with loops for your hair stylist to attach it
with hair grips)
Claire Hartley, Bridal Hair Stylist says, '‘Headbands have seen a big comeback recently. I love that they can either be a big statement piece or a smaller, more subtle band, both beautiful but such different looks! I picture headbands with more modern, contemporary styles, they look great with a Hollywood wave which is everywhere at the moment!'
A Crown or Tiara
A tiara is semi circular and worn on the top of the head. A crown is circular, wore around the whole head. I make these on a wire base (like a hair vine). It can have little hair combs at the back to attach it along with/or loops to secure it to your head with hair grips.
If you're wearing a hair accessory at the back and want something to show off at the front, earrings are a great way of complimenting your headpiece and giving your guests something to marvel at at every point. They're also something you can wear again and again on your honeymoon, date nights and anniversaries.
The beauty of hair pins, vines and combs are that you can change up your look during the day. You might want to be adventurous and move it to another place in your head when you've taken your veil off to dance the night away. It's great to have your party piece on full show. I would definitely recommend keeping your bridal hair stylist around for that! They also make lovely gifts for your bridesmaids and flower girls which you can surprise them with on the morning of your wedding.
If you're not sure what would suit you and want to try some different headpiece styles on, you're more than welcome to book an appointment at my studio in Devon to have a play. Claire Hartley is an ambassador of my brand and has a selection to try on at her studio in Bude, Cornwall when you go for your trial. Claire is a National Award winning bridal hairstylist with over 20 years experience in the hair industry. She offers a multitude of wedding hair services to brides throughout Devon and Cornwall. I have a selection of other stylists around the country who also have some accessories to see so please get in touch with me so I can tell you your nearest recommended hair stylist.
Now you've chosen what accessory you'd like, it's time to choose which materials you want to have on it. I have a wide selection of ceramic flowers which I hand make myself and jewels such as gemstones, crystals, pearls, diamantes, filigree leaves and branches. You can can also choose from silver, gold or rose gold wiring. If you have a special piece of jewellery or a tiara from when your mum or grandma got married, I can incorporate them into your headpiece to create a family heirloom to continue passing down to generations below.
It is really useful for me to see a photograph of your wedding dress, other headpieces that you like elements of and how you're thinking of wearing your hair. I have a website shop where you can choose what you like and purchase right away (I'm working at a timescale of 10 -14 days at the moment as everything is made to order) or you can work with me on a bespoke headpiece for you. We can design this over video call or you can book a design consultation at my studio in Torquay.
I really hope this has helped. If you've got any questions at all please do not hesitate to get in touch on the contact form of my website or on social media.
Love Claire xxx
Organiser/bridal accessories @claireaustinengland
Dress boutique @bridesatwaterfieldsdevon
Claire Hartley @clairehartleystylist
James Fear @jamesfearphotography
Kasia Fortuna @kasia_fortuna
Fran Minifie Photography @franminifiebrandphotography