Crowning Achievement: Expert tips for incorporating a tiara into your modern wedding day style

CTW Features

Surprised to find yourself fawning over tiaras after watching Duchess Catherine don a classy crown for her I Do's?

"Popular culture has been obsessed with royal weddings lately, so I'm sure that some of that pageantry and rich tradition will influence decisions about gowns and accessories," says Laura Cassidy, editor-in-chief of Seattle Met Bride & Groom. "There are also plenty of lavish, sparkly embellishments on runways and department store racks right now - it's not as if women are afraid of sequins, rhinestones, studded metals and bling!"

That said, Cassidy would love to see designers create fresh takes on the tiara that use colorful stones and modern materials, such as tiny rose gold studs or dainty little spikes. Anne Chertoff, a New York-based wedding expert and author of "The Wedding Organizer" (russell+hazel, 2008), is especially fond of Jennifer Behr, whose retro-inspired headpieces make a bold statement without veering too ornate, as well as bridal couture designer Erin Cole. "Her headband-style tiaras with large, chunky, colored stones are a great way to project your personal style."

Of course, your first priority should be making sure your crown is suitable for your gown. A traditional style that would be appropriate to wear with a formal wedding dress may not work well with a slinkier model, says Chertoff. "But how fun to see an updated jeweled headpiece with a modern, architectural dress or even a really simple column shape," Cassidy adds.

Regardless, if you do decide to sport a sparkler, keep the rest of your accessories at a minimum. Cassidy recommends a light touch on the ears - perhaps small, colored gemstones - or a delicate necklace, such as an heirloom pendant on a special chain.

To avoid looking overdone, you'll also want to keep your makeup and hair on the simple side - bring the tiara to your hair trial so your stylist can work it into your wedding day look, advises Chertoff. And remember that you can't break in a tiara as you would with shoes, so if a piece hurts when you test it out, save yourself the headache and move on.

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