Bridal headpieces for the modern bride

September 23, 2020

Does the thought of headwear make your head hurt? Whilst some of you might rather cancel the wedding than wear a tiara, there are plenty of headwear options - veils, headbands, combs, clips, pins and turbans - that will add a finishing flourish to your gown.


The 2020 Bridal hair accessories are all about bringing a touch of allure, adventure and nonchalant couture. Nailing the accessories can be tricky so The Curator is canvassing the options to help you make some headway on your crowning glory, all budgets and styles inclusive.


Karen Walker Brides wearing bridal veils
Karen Walker Atelier



The earliest practicalities of veils are for the most part wildly antiquated (records of jealous suiters uplifting brides pre-ceremony have plummeted so a guise isn’t generally necessary), however they remain the most popular of bridal headpieces and inevitably bring a dusting of drama.


While you don’t have to go full Carrie Bradshaw (beige veil licking her left side with an iridescent blue avian (dead peacock) clip flanking the right). But a subtler, more sensual touch of theatre is easily achieved and will bring your very own couture look. And don’t lie to us, feeling like you’re shooting for Vanity Fair wouldn’t be unwelcome…


Contemporary veils have their roots not just in high fashion, but fine art. Strong and striking silhouettes born form soft tulle and finer elements (think lace or beaded appliqué, pearl detailing, silk edges) will pinpoint the perfect profile, enhance dress details and bring together your hair with your overall look. The fact that veils make for great photo props is also not to be overlooked (…we’ve all swooned over pics of veils floating in Central Otago landscapes). Hera Couture, Daisy Brides and New Phrenology present stunning veils with the perfect amount of ornamental detailing that will instantly show that your veil wasn’t just an afterthought. If you’re looking for something a little simpler but with some serious volume, check out Karen Walker Bridal.


Hera Couture Bridal Veils and Headband
Hera Couture


With an array of ‘official’ lengths christened by where they fall on your body, you’re sure to find a veil that will complete your fashion statement with tour de force. If you’re going vintage, a birdcage veil that blushes your cheek will effuse retro charm. Whereas a cathedral veil (to the floor, plus some) will add a hint of timeless, ethereal, formality. A.B. Ellie and Daphne Newman showcase exquisite cathedrals that will convert even those who are most resistant to veils.


Quality, timeless veils will transcend fashions and keep well if stored properly, making them the perfect heirloom to bequest to future generations. Chances of your veil being genuinely well received and not deemed out of date are high.


New Phrenology Bridal Veils
New Phrenology



Not sure if the veil is for you? No problem. Steering away from tradition here is absolutely acceptable (and common) and there are many other options to adorn your dome. A headband will endure both ceremony and reception, anchor your hair, fit any budget, and can be re-worn to celebrations and of course, trackside. A headband could just be the pièce de résistance your outfit needs (and nana won’t even notice that you don’t have a veil).



If you’re looking for a modern band, think lush padded velvets, heavy satins ‘scrunchy style’, oversized pearls or white leather flowers. Ultra chic and voguish.


Carefree and whimsical might be more your style, in which case a flower crown, floral chain or a Grecian wraparound will have you looking frolicsome and fresh. Floral crowns are well within the repertoire of our lovely vendors and they'll be able to pair one with your bouquet. Floral crowns also make great keepsakes - dry them and reuse as wreaths or dressing table adornments.


Something intricate and bedazzled might be more appealing to bring the glitz. Just make sure the piece you choose doesn’t have too much height…the monarch vibes left with Meghan.

Women wearing bridal veils and headbands
Jennifer Behr


Ribbons & Scarves


Ribbons and scarves have come to sudden (and fair) glory in the world of bridal hair accessories. A modern and relaxed adornment, ideal if you’ll be braving the elements, need to lift a simple up-do or half-do or just need a bit of budget-relief (don’t we all). Or, for a reception-friendly option, swap out your veil for a ribbon or a scarf. Demure yet seductive, and always dance-floor-ready.


A slightly slouchy bow or knot with long streaming ends will effortlessly channel a European summer buzz with Chanel undertones… Just promise us that you’ll leave the tight bows with cropped ends to the flower girls. If you’re looking for an inoffensive way to bring in some colour or a pinch of black, this could be your chance.


To summon the full bridal feel we recommend the following:

•  Ribbons: look for velvet, satin, grosgrain (ribbed) or tulle

•  Scarves: anything heavy enough to drop and flow. Avoid stiffness so that the ends don’t stick out (leave the bunny ears to Bridget Jones). Whilst ribbons can be a very achievable DIY wedding hair accessories, we’d recommend going pro with scarves

•  Some slight texture or a similar toned print is also highly acceptable


Low maintenance, high fashion. Faultless.


Grace Loves Lace bridesmaids wearing hair ribbons and bridal ribbons
Grace Loves Lace


Sophie Store Headbands
Sophie Store


Cover photo: Hera Couture

For more bridal inspiration browse our Curator Pinterest board. Need help wedding planning? Create your personal Curator account and let us guide you through the entire process from "Yes" to "I Do"!