As you begin choosing a favorite wedding gown style, you will notice a selection of tiaras in most bridal shops. They sparkle, shine, and practically cry out to be modeled. Most brides-to-be cannot resist trying on at least a few of them. Before you make a final choice, however, first understand a few things about the best way to wear a wedding-day tiara.
Tiaras Come in Different Styles
Say the word "tiara" and most of us think of the stereotypical princess tiara -- rhinestones or crystals set in silver or white gold, gaily twinkling to a filigreed, front-and-center point. In reality, there are many variations. Pearl tiaras, with many designs of mixed pearls and crystals, are available. And they are not all set in silver. You can buy yellow gold or gold-plated tiaras, too.
The tiara's shape can vary as well. You can choose a headband style to hug your hair -- with one, two, or three bands -- or an inverted v-band to sit on your forehead. There are also crown-like designs that are a more uniform width than the classical princess styles (and may require a wider hairstyle than peaked versions).
Combs and Bands
Tiara construction can also vary. These different constructions dictate how you secure the tiara to your head. Some tiaras have small combs attached on each side, near the end of the bands, to more easily secure the wedding tiara from the sides. Others -- called comb tiaras -- are mounted on a larger, single comb, so you can slip the comb backward into your hair from the front. Still others are made with loops at the end, or plain bands so you can use your hair or hairpins to hold the tiara in place. Take into account your hairstyle and which type of design will be easier to hold in place when choosing your tiara.
A Princess, Beauty Queen, or Bride? It's About Emphasis.
Princesses and beauty queens wear their tiaras on display, predominantly as a status symbol. It is all about what (not who) they are. A wedding, on the other hand, is about the bride herself, not the status of being a Missus. For that reason, a bride's tiara is given a different emphasis than that of a princess or beauty queens. A bridal tiara accents the bride's ensemble. If you compare Princess Diana of Wales' wedding photos to official photos of her wearing the Spencer Family Tiara, for example, you can see the difference between Princess Diana and bride Diana (for photos, go to images.google.com and type in Diana Spencer Tiara). On her wedding day, the tiara was worn as an accessory, surrounded by the tremendous veil. When worn in an official capacity as a symbol of her status, the tiara was much more obvious.
Aside from surrounding a tiara with a veil, the way you wear the headpiece can also make the difference between accent piece and centerpiece. Balanced atop one's head, the tiara is a showpiece, drawing attention to itself. Integrated into the hairdo, it becomes part of the ensemble. You can wrap the tiara around your bun or a mass of curls. Or, tilt it backwards at an angle -- so it does not sit straight up -- and hide the ends beneath your hair. Puff your veil or hair behind a large tiara to de-emphasize it.
Your Hairstyle Matters
Which size and type of tiara works best for you partially depends on your hairstyle. Large hair can carry a large tiara. Small hair means a smaller scale tiara. Consider the front profile. If you wear your hair in a bun, for example, your tiara may be more conspicuous set against the bun or wrapped around it, but your hair will be more conspicuous as well, balancing out the effect. The same tiara that works with the bun may be too tall for a smaller profile hairstyle. If you plan to choose an inexpensive tiara, consider buying two or more and experiment until you find the best look.
However you choose to wear your bridal tiara, consult others throughout the process. Ask your hair stylist and those who know you, but will be honest with you about their opinions. Do this and you will find a tiara the looks fabulous and reflects your personality.