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Hats – An unusual subject for me, as a wedding photographer, to be commenting on?

Not really… nothing says hats like a wedding. This article is aimed at the Mother of the Bride or any of your various aunties. 

It was written specifically for my blog by Jay Knox of Manu Mea, an expert Milliner.

Read and enjoy.


P.S. – What is the most outrageous hat you’ve ever seen at a wedding? Please comment below!


You either love them or hate them! Obviously, because I am a milliner, I love them. Hats will instantly transform the way you look, from ordinary to extra-ordinary, enhancing your outfit, intensifying that first impression and giving you confidence. So don’t hide beneath it, rock that hat!

Weddings are an obvious choice when it comes to wearing a hat, but you really don’t need an excuse – you could be all dressed up for a garden party, a trip to the Races, a punt down a lazy river, or just because it’s Wednesday. Famous hat wearers are the Queen (ever wonder why she always wears the same style of hat? It’s usually a tall crowned hat – to put you in mind of her wearing a crown!!), Kate Middleton, who has done for the fascinator what Otto Rohwedder did for sliced bread (I love Google!!) and now, all those perfume adverts, fashionistas and catwalk models. Even the fellas are now getting in on the act – where would Johnny Depp be without his famous fedora? Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Kanye West and Wesley Snipes are all hat lovers.

With the current trend for all things vintage, boho or hippy, bridal headpieces have mostly moved away from the traditional tiara and veil combination, opting instead for a softer look with ribbons and lace featuring strongly in the design. Bling is also in, with jewelled headpieces, as are natural flowers. Colour is now playing a much larger part than before, with bridal gowns available in more than just the traditional white or ivory and this seasons ‘hot colours’ are marsala (a rich wine red), dusty blues and rose golds – all reasonably ‘soft’ colours for a romantic look.

But, for the rest of the wedding participants, it can be a real headache to decide – to wear a hat or not? As a guest, it may be a case of cost – why would you buy a hat which you know will end up at the back of the wardrobe, probably never to see the light of day again? Consider though, that a hat, headpiece or fascinator will finish off your outfit and turn it into something extra special. It does not have to be a huge elaborate formal hat – a small but classical button hat or simple fascinator would look fabulous and would not break the bank. However, if you really are not a hat fan, a feathered or floral headband or even a small pick of flowers in your hair say that you think that the day is very special. It may be that you think you don’t look good in a hat – frankly that’s an excuse! There is a hat style out there for everyone – it may be that you just haven’t found it yet!

Traditionally, mothers of the bride and groom really go to town on their outfits. This is the day when they can wear something that they would not normally choose for a night out and there is often a case of well-meaning rivalry between the mothers of bride and groom!  Of course they want to look their very best and a hat will make an outfit sing – something elegant with a lavish outfit or a really fabulous hat with an understated elegant outfit – the choice is down to the individual. My advice would be to see a professional milliner in plenty of time for the wedding and discuss what you want instead of buying the one in the shop “that comes with the outfit”. Go for something as individual and unique as you yourself are. Colours this season for ‘mothers’ outfits are bold – complimentary colours such as purple and yellow or blue and orange, turquoises and lime greens – so be bold in your choice of headwear too.

And while you are consulting with your milliner, you can pat yourself on the back – not only for choosing something designed for you and you alone but also the knowledge that you are contributing to the resurgence in a traditional British trade. Finally, from the ashes of the demise of the industry in the 60s, a new wave of hat making is here to stay, empowered by London Hat Week and various Hat Festivals across the UK, a beautiful millinery phoenix is emerging bringing British design back to the heads of the world.

Jay Ann Knox is the creator of beautiful, original and unique millinery at Manu Mea – www.manumea.wix.com/manumea or can be found at www.facebook.com/manumea1

She has exhibited at the Hat Museum in Stockport, Bridport Museum, won several international competitions for her millinery and is currently exhibiting her avant garde works in the Creative Quarter, Nottingham.




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