Wedding Hat Etiquette – CW Hats and Accessories Ltd


Wedding Hat Etiquette

Posted by Cheryl Warburton on

Dress Code

If the bride and groom have set a dress code for their wedding, it is important that you respect this and stick to it. However, if you are feeling unsure about the dress code it is better to ask the couple for a little more detail otherwise, you will stick out like a sore thumb at their celebration.

Should a Mother of the Bride wear a hat or fascinator?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it a large traditional church wedding?

A brim will almost certainly be the correct choice, whether that is a traditional crown and brim hat or a saucer.

Flowers and diamante hatinator

  • Is it a small wedding?

A fascinator or simply saucer is most likely to be the best choice in this instance, anything more could easily detract from the bride.

Long teardrop fascinator with leaves and ribbon with bead seeds

  • Is the wedding after 4pm?

A cocktail hat, pill box or button hat, or fascinator is likely the right option in this instance. Etiquette dictates that this is not the time of day for a large brim, also from a practical point of view it will throw you face into shadow as light will be sparse, it is also likely to be at odds with a more evening oriented dress code.

Pillar box fascinator with netting, feathers and bows

Hat Style that would suit you

Be confident but choose a style that ultimately, you are comfortable in and can wear all day. If a wedding hat is a little out of your comfort zone, make sure you choose one that you feel comfortable in for the duration of the day. Also, remember to choose something that complements your shape and height. We can help with this when ordering a hat or alternatively you can sign up for our Free Hat Shape Guide


Hat Decoration Tradition

When accessorising a hatband, or indeed your bridal headpiece, with flowers, feathers or any other embellishment, keep in mind that traditionally ladies decorate hats on the right-hand side. The opposite to that of men who always stick to the left.

Hat Etiquette

The mother of the groom should choose a smaller wedding hat than the mother of the bride. This is a set rule across all social situations that dictates that guests should never out-shine their hosts. If you and your groom are hosting the wedding, then the two mums can opt for equally grand creations. This comes from the tradition that the bride’s parents would normally pay for the wedding.

Wedding Photos and Hats

Ensure that your guests wear hats that do not drown their head and shoulders in pictures. Ask the photographer to kindly remind guests to adjust their hats for group photographs so that their faces are clearly visible.

Venue Etiquette

Your groom and groomsmen should know their etiquette if they are wearing top hats. As well as removing them when indoors especially when in the church or wedding reception, not even for photographs in these locations, they should remove their hats whenever they are speaking to a lady – in particular, their new mother-in-law. It is a sign of respect that dates back generations.

Women’s hats are fashion accessories and are part of their ensembles. Therefore, ladies are not required to remove their hats when going indoors.

The mother of the bride dictates when other ladies may remove their hats and fascinators. Until she removes her hat, other ladies are expected to leave theirs on.

Men when tipping your hat, It is considered rude to show the inside lining of your hat especially at mothers. When removing, tipping or doffing your hat. Always ensure that only the outside is visible. If you remove your hat for any reason, hold it with the lining facing towards your torso.



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