Crown Jewel

Crown Jewel

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Hairpiece by Nancy Rodrigues Spirito of Bridal Finery. Image by M Benedicte Verley Photography.

Seven expert tips on how to choose the perfect bridal headpiece.


By Jessica Miga

What’s more daunting than finding the perfect dress? Finding a veil or hairpiece that complements it, of course! To help alleviate that pressure, we spoke to Nancy Rodrigues Spirito of East Greenwich’s Bridal Finery. With twenty years of experience in style consultation and custom accessory design under her belt, she was more than ready to dish up some great advice.

Choose your dress first. Before the accessorizing begins, have something to accessorize. Besides, you don’t want to struggle with returns if a previously purchased veil or hairpiece doesn’t quite match your dress.

Have references ready. Keep plenty of references on hand while you shop for accessories. Spirito suggests brides take photos of themselves in their dress, know dress details (i.e. fabric type) and get swatches if possible. Also, take inventory on any pieces you already own (i.e. grandma’s locket) and want incorporated into your ensemble.

The Internet can help…and hinder. You’re bound to be inspired by visits to Pinterest, Style Me Pretty, and the Knot. There’s a wealth of information on the web for brides-to-be, so go crazy! However, Nancy cautions against shopping online for hairpieces. Unless you’ve already tried on something similar, buying without trying is risky.

Proportion and placement. Veils range greatly in length (more on that in an upcoming blog post) and should always complement the dress, not detract from it. “The length of a veil should be in proper proportion to the lines of the dress,” Spirito advises. She adds that placement is also important, as veils “should work with the hairstyle and frame the face.”

With vintage veils, color is key. “Though there is never such a thing as an exact match due to different materials, the [vintage] veil needs to blend with the dress color,” says Spirito. However, if the clash is too extreme, you may consider having your heirloom altered, or even reworked into a completely new accessory.

Let your hair down. If you don’t want to worry about your veil all day, consider switching it out for a reception piece. This fun and flirty hair accessory is a refreshing change after the solemnity of a traditional ceremony.

Don’t appear unfinished. Even if you’re skipping a veil, there are many other options to accentuate your hair. Hair jewelry is particularly popular right now, but even the most understated additions can leave a lasting impression. As Spirito says, “The smallest of hairpins can take the bride to a clean, simple and finished look.”

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