Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows… Ok it’s not quite that serious, but the decision of whether or not to opt for the elegant associations of the traditional veil is a decision all brides will make at some point in the build up to the perfect wedding. A decision that, just as choosing the perfect dress, nay the perfect venue, requires quite some deliberation. Do you go uber traditional, eschew the diamond encrusted headpiece, the twenties inspired headdress or the festival centric headband? Would you rather walk down the aisle, view unimpaired, or keep the big reveal for the altar? What are the alternatives? ‘In my opinion the strongest trends in accessories are currently still very traditional but with an elegant wow factor and a touch of sparkle,’ says acclaimed accessories designer Aruna Seth. 'Get the most important accessories first, the shoes and then veil. Go for an amazing headpiece, tiaras work really well. Or a simple Swarovski piece in the hair would look amazing and can be carried on until the evening.’ Seth of course has a myriad of  options on offer, especially when it comes to shoes, like the Farfalla Pointy in Tiffany Blue, a serious Cinderella heel. 


At a recent wedding I attended, a much lauded society event, the bride wore flowers in her hair, a beautiful, simple garland, very free flowing and seventies, married with a chic Alice Temperely dress, then once the dancing got underway she replaced this with a diamante earpiece that instantly updated the look, going in a heartbeat from elegant romanticism, to edgy glamour. Play around is the message, experiment: ‘The strongest accessory trends for the upcoming season are designs with gold tones, floral circlets and vines, and forehead headpiece styles,’ says lauded bridal designer Liv Hart. ‘These were all in great demand at NYC Bridal Fashion Week. Although there are trends in bridal I love anything that is a beautifully crafted design that speaks to the bride.’


‘Some brides get very consumed with the idea of accessories matching perfectly and obsess over the sash, headpiece, and shoes all in the exact tone of ivory or white,’ Hart continues. ‘As long as it is a similar shade it will all blend together into a seamless look.’ Hart also gives welcome practical advice: ‘I have clients that fall in love with a headpiece, veil, and jewelry and purchase separately, then it doesn’t go together as a cohesive style. I suggest buying your look together if possible… It is so much easier than trying to imagine what your accessories will look like.’ Further: ‘Don't forget to have a budget for the accessories when you are preparing a budget for your gown. Veils, headpieces, accessories, and shoes add up quickly and may exceed it if you are not factoring this in with your gown.’


Acclaimed US designer Jennifer Behr also has this to say on the subject; ‘Headpieces are having a moment, people seem very drawn to the delicate, organic nature of gold in particular… The back of the head is a wonderful opportunity for hair accessories for brides. Barrettes and combs are perfect for adorning up dos and chignons, and I think some brides overlook the possibilities of elevating their look with a design detail at the back of the head.’


‘Circlets and head wraps can have just as much dramatic impact as a veil,’ Behr continues, ‘and often are easier to wear and more modern looking. A headpiece can take the place of a traditional veil, while still fulfilling the desire to have a special point of interest in the hair to complete the bridal look.’


‘I love to collect things,’ Behr says of the designing process, ‘an important part is always visiting the flea markets in Paris. I've been collecting interesting jewelry pieces from there for years and I often revisit my collection for early design inspiration.’


Inspiration, choices, decisions that seemingly will stay with you forever can seem just a little overwhelming. ‘Don't be afraid to express your personality through your wedding gown and accessories,’ Behr continues. ‘Stay focused on love,’ Hart adds, because at the end of the day…. ‘It’s so easy to be swept away by to-do lists, inspiration boards, and expectations.’ As Aruna Seth confirms: ‘Choose accessories that have history and mean something to you.’ Because after all, the perfect wedding is all about creating something ‘magical’ - veil or not.


by Alice Kahrmann