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Wedding Hat Etiquette in England

St. Marys, Canada
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Wedding Hat Etiquette in England

I will be attending a wedding in England, and I was wondering what the etiquette behind hats was? I have heard that while many women wear fancy hats to the wedding, it is proper to remove the hat for the evening reception. Is this true? What about fascinators? And if so, what do you do about your hair-do? It is a late summer, early fall wedding, if that helps.

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Wales, United...
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1. Re: Wedding Hat Etiquette in England

You shouldn't remove your hat until the mother of the bride has done so. (What happens if she's not wearing a hat? Don't know!!)

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Wedding Hat Etiquette in England

Personally, I've never bothered wearing a hat to any wedding.

blissfullyeccentric.co.uk/2010/01/etiquette-…

Today’s burning question is – when do you take your hat off at a wedding, or to be more precise, when do ladies take their hats off? The etiquette at a English wedding is that ladies keep their hats on until the mother of the bride removes hers, which will normally be when the formality of the wedding breakfast is completed and gentlemen are free to remove their jackets i.e. when the coffee comes out.

That’s the theory, which assumes that your mother’s not wearing an enormous creation which makes things difficult for the waiting staff, in which case she should take the thing off when she sits down.

In practice, the rule is to follow the lead of the senior ladies present (normally the mums unless the nobility have turned out for a free meal) and not be surprised if they take theirs off as they go into the marquee or just before they go into the dining room. Watch out in the ladies loo for the seasoned veteran of many a garden party and wedding. She’s the older lady who will remove her hat, take out the rollers that are in her hair under it, produce a hairbrush from her handbag and in due course return to the fray with immaculate hair, carrying her hat.

Larger more elaborate fascinators count as hats, and if mum’s going to be signing the register as a witness and/or standing in a receiving line air-kissing for half an hour or more, a hat with a down-turned brim is not a good idea.

Finally, be prepared for guests contacting you or your mum for guidance in the run-up to the wedding when they realise that (a) they need to get a hat and (b) they’re not sure when it comes off …

weddingideasmag.com/the-12-rules-of-wedding-…

etiquette-tips.com/wedding-etiquette/wedding…

London, United...
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3. Re: Wedding Hat Etiquette in England

Hat wearing depends on how formal/traditional the wedding will be. The last wedding I was at, the men wore lounge (i.e. business) suits, not more formal attire. I wore a fascinator all day/evening but most of the women were not wearing hats/fascinators. Other weddings I have been to have been more formal and a greater proportion of the women have worn hats/fascinators.

Oakham, United...
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4. Re: Wedding Hat Etiquette in England

At the last wedding I went to, I don't think anybody wore a hat at all. Some did at my wedding, but I had no idea there was any etiquette attached to them. Unless this is a very high class wedding, I doubt anyone will be offended by whatever you do with your hat (within reason).

england
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5. Re: Wedding Hat Etiquette in England

'You shouldn't remove your hat until the mother of the bride has done so.' - I've never heard of this before, I would be worried that I had comitted a faux pas but since I have never worn a hat to a wedding that is unlikely.

Winchelsea, United...
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for West Sussex, East Sussex
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6. Re: Wedding Hat Etiquette in England

It's not very often you get to wear a hat these days, so I say go for it. But (and with apologies to RBGS), do make it a classic hat, not one of those fascinator things. One day, they'll go the way of flares, tank tops and leg warmers.

Trust me, you heard it here first (puts on tin hat)....

Mike

London, United...
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7. Re: Wedding Hat Etiquette in England

Traditionally by the evening everyone has drunk enough champagne not to worry about their hair do :))

London, United...
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8. Re: Wedding Hat Etiquette in England

You're a colonial. No-one will expect you to know the etiquette! .... :-)

Italy
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9. Re: Wedding Hat Etiquette in England

If your invited you must be a relative or friend of the family so I would ask them as we were at a wedding in England a couple of years ago and the bride said she didn't mind if we didn't wear hats but she would prefer it if we did so we wore a fascinator which we bought in england as you don't get them here and I have to say that most of the ladies were wearing hats.

Italy
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10. Re: Wedding Hat Etiquette in England

brittraveller31, great reply and so true Lol