Your big day is approaching and after months of planning all of the exciting details are finally coming together – the invitations have been sent out, you’ve got your dress, and your bouquet has been picked. But what about that something special for your hair?
The best bridal hair accessories do much more than simply hold your hairstyle of choice in place, they can also help to pull together your entire wedding day look.
For many people, only a floor-sweeping veil will do but, for more contemporary brides or those hosting intimate ceremonies, this traditional accessory has had its day. The good news is that there are plenty of stylish alternatives for brides-to-be who want to walk down the aisle wearing something more fashion forward.
When picking the right one for you, it’s important to consider your chosen hairstyle – while fancy updos and voluminous coiffures will be able to hold up heavier pieces, daintier accessories are best suited to shorter or boho-inspired looks.
Whether you’re a minimalist or favour all-out extravagance, there are endless options to suit every type of style agenda, from designer options a la Simone Rocha and Jennifer Behr, to more affordable designs from high street favourites such as Phase Eight and Asos.
With headbands, barrettes, vines and hairpins, the sheer variety of accessories on offer can be overwhelming, so to help you find the crowning glory for your bridal hair, we’ve rounded up our favourites to buy right now. To narrow our selection down, we tested each product with a range of different hairstyles, from tousled waves to bouncy curls and sleek updos, rating each one for its style, comfort and affordability.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
The best wedding hair accessories for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Geraldine London Chelsea top knot headband ivory: £68, Geraldinelondon.com
- Best oversized accessory – Grace Loves Lace silk hair bow: £140, Graceloveslace.com
- Best for minimalist brides – Tortware Cora clip in pearl shell: £22, Tortware.com
- Best for updos – Henriette Von Grunberg oversized silk scrunchie: £30, Selfridges.com
- Best for alternative brides – Ashley Williams love hair pins: £100, Ashleywilliamslondon.com
- Best budget buy – Asos Design headband with graduated pearl embellishment: £6, Asos.com
- Best luxury buy – Jennifer Behr cream triple rosette veil headband: £275, Brownsfashion.com
- Best for bohemian brides – John Richard Lydia statement pearl and crystal hair vine: £55, Next.co.uk
- Best fascinator – Phase Eight pia twist disc fascinator: £65, Phase-eight.com
Geraldine London Chelsea top knot headband ivory
If a headband is top of your wishlist, consider this pared-back satin style from Geraldine London – a hair accessories brand that was founded by couture tailor Alexia Genta during lockdown. Made from crepe-backed satin with a signature grosgrain finish, the headband has a simple, clean look with a chunky top knot that makes for the perfect accent piece. The band is generously cushioned so it does not pinch at the sides and we loved the addition of the red contrasting lining. Place it on top of a sleek bun to add a bit of texture or use it to add some height to tousled waves.
Alexia’s headbands do more than look good, too – each piece is handmade using up-cycled designer fabrics and 20 per cent from each sale is donated to Women’s Aid’s live chat, aimed at giving women experiencing domestic abuse expert help online.
Grace Loves Lace silk hair bow
Best: Oversized accessory
Australian brand Grace Loves Lace is best-known for its bohemian-inspired wedding dresses, but it also has a great range of veils and hair accessories to complete your look. Our favourite is this oversized bow that’s made from 100 per cent ivory silk which looks suitably lavish but isn’t so heavy that it would weigh down your updo.
The bow features a 4.5cm gold hair comb which means it can be secured fuss-free into any hairstyle and we found it stayed put all day long with no need for readjustment. Sleek and Hailey Bieber-approved, this accessory proves that everything feels so much more special when it’s wrapped up with a bow.
Tortware cora clip in pearl shell
Best: For minimalist brides
If you’re looking for a minimalist accessory to accentuate your bridal hair look, these clips from Tortware will do the trick. The set is made from an eco-resin material and features a striking white pearlescent design. Each triangle-shaped clip has a gold hinge fastening with teeth effect, which we found really helped to keep them in place without catching our hair. Subtle enough not to detract from your dress, but sure to sparkle under the lights, these would look perfect on any bride.
We also love that the clips come delivered in a branded pink pouch, so you can keep them safe before your big day. Tortware has gone the extra mile to test these clips on every hair type so, whether you have long, short, afro, fine or curly hair, you can rest assured they will work for you.
Henriette Von Grunberg oversized silk scrunchie
Best: For updos
Yes, that’s right, there is such a thing as a bridal scrunchie and we can’t get enough of it. Made by German designer Henriette Von Grunberg, this hair tie is reminiscent of the trendy styles once favoured in the 1980s and 1990s and would look perfect with everything from a frothy tulle dress to a pared-back trouser suit.
Designed to be oversized, it measures 14cm in diameter and is made from 100 per cent sustainably sourced silk, which not only gives it a fancy feel but reduces friction against your hair to prevent kinks or breakage.
Ashley Williams love hair pins
Best: For alternative brides
Calling all alternative brides, we’ve found the perfect hair accessory for you. If girlish bows and satin scrunchies aren’t quite your style, inject some attitude into your wedding day look with these crystal hair pins created by contemporary womenswear designer Ashley Williams.
Sold in a set of two, the clips are set on a dark metal bobby pin, which serves as a backdrop to crystal-embellished lettering reading “love” in all caps. The clips easily slip into hair and we think they would look best worn side-by-side to hold back side-parted curls.
Asos Design headband with graduated pearl embellishment
Best: Budget buy
A much slimmer style than the other headbands we’ve featured, this one is super versatile, meaning it can be worn by every type of bride, whether you’re after high glam or have a more relaxed boho style. It’s constructed from a series of shimmering faux pearls set upon a gold strip which, despite being made from metal, doesn’t feel too tight behind the ears. An accessory that promises to complement so many outfits, we think this is one you could still get a ton of wear out of post-nuptials.
Who says you can’t do style on a budget? Pearls have been dominating wedding trends for some time now, but we predict 2021 will officially be the year of pearl-adorned locks.
Jennifer Behr cream triple rosette veil headband
Best: Luxury buy
A headband makes for a contemporary alternative if you’re not into veils or tiaras but still want a statement accessory to complete your bridal look. This one comes courtesy of Jennifer Behr, one of fashion’s pioneering luxury hair accessory brands, and should definitely make your shortlist, should your budget allow.
It’s made with three knotted rosettes that are attached to a wide band that’s covered in a luxurious cream fabric and lined with silk, meaning it sits comfortably on your head without any pinching or sliding. We also love the birdcage mesh veil that finishes at just the right point so your lips are free for newlywed kisses and champagne toasts.
John Richard Lydia statement pearl and crystal hair vine
Best: For bohemian brides
If you’re looking for a more traditional hair accessory, you can’t go wrong with a hair vine, which promises to add a delicate sparkle to any ’do. Made from plated silver, it is one long strip that feels sturdy yet flexible enough so it can comfortably contour to suit your chosen look.
Ideal for a feminine, ethereal finish, you can wear it multiple ways – thread it through a braid, twist it around an updo or wear it as a halo and let the tiny pearl and crystal embellishments reflect the flight.
Phase Eight pia twist disc fascinator
If you’re inspired by the likes of Bianca Jagger and Emily Ratajowski, who both wore wide-brimmed hats to say “I do”, make an entrance in this elegant disc fascinator. Designed for maximum drama with eye-catching twist detailing on the round crow, it’s set on a thin yet supportive headband, which makes it easy to position. Simple and elegant, it’s comfortable to wear and would be the perfect choice for brides who want to buck the traditional veil. We think this would look particularly eye-catching worn with crisp tailoring.
The verdict: Bridal hair accessories
We absolutely adore headbands for finishing off your bridal look and think Geraldine London’s satin design is one of the best out there. Affordable, stylish and philanthropic, it’s hard to find fault with it. However, if your budget does allow, we urge you to consider Jennifer Behr’s version – the birdcage veil had us sold even before we tried it on.
For something more minimal, Tortware’s pearlescent clips are a great choice. Uncomplicated and chic, they work perfectly for adding a touch of interest to your hairstyle without overdoing it and can easily be re-worn after the big day.
For the latest offers on fashion and women’s accessories, try the links below:
Having an intimate wedding ceremony like Ariana Grande? Here’s the bridal outfit inspiration you need