Hat Etiquette for Weddings

Wearing a hat or not seems less important in modern society. Men do not grow up with the same customs of wearing hats as their fathers and grandfathers, and formal hats are no longer common in daily life. But forward-thinking men still wear a hat as a great fashion statement by brilliantly using specific themes such as country or vintage. Many people believe that men should also remove their hats at outdoor weddings. If you want to be conservative, you can wear it on the way to and from your wedding, or during your photos.     

Fascinators and hats are beautiful accessories that add personality to your outfit for a wedding. Although there are no written rules, it is wise to keep in mind the basic principles of hat etiquette at weddings. When planning your wedding and defining dress codes for your guests, you would politely tell your guests what type of headwear is/is not appropriate. After all, a wedding is not like an informal ceremony or a tea party in your backyard. You should know that different dress codes for different occasions.  

At a formal wedding or church wedding, guests will be dressed in sleek, elegant attire. A pillbox hat or elegant fascinator will highlight the style and add some personality to your outfit. A countryside wedding is more relaxed, you can choose to wear a more romantic boho-chic outfit pairing with a fun fascinator or a sun hat with romantic details.

Another thing is to choose the right hat for the time and place. It is an unwritten rule that the size of the hat should decrease as the evening approaches. If the wedding is in the first half of the day, you can choose to wear a larger and wide-brimmed hat or fascinator; but if it is planned in the evening, you can choose a smaller pillbox hat or fascinator.

If you are the wedding guest and you don’t know about the dress/hat codes, it is best to call the bride/groom ahead of time to understand if the hat style you chose is suitable for their event. Keep in mind that it’s the big day for the bride and groom when choosing your wedding guest outfit.

A golden rule of thumb applies to the hats worn by the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom. If the bride’s family is organizing the wedding, the groom’s mother should not wear a hat that is larger than the hat of bride’s mother. However, if the young couple organizes the wedding by themselves, there are no restrictions. Both bride’s and groom’s mothers can choose any size of headwear.

Women’s fascinators and hats are treated as ornaments and therefore it is not need to be removed when entering a room or church. Men on the other side were asked to remove their hats when entering the building or greeting women, especially to their new mother-in-law. Generally speaking, people should take off their headwear only when the hostess removes her headpiece.

Indeed, people don’t necessarily wear hats at weddings in modern society, as long as you dress formally. But adding a hat will definitely give you a different feeling, just as many hip-hop rappers like to wear bucket hats these days.