How to save money as a wedding guest: rent a fascinator!

Our very own social media guru, Ainsley Brolly, gives you a rundown on how a little Dursley-based business on the edge of the Cotswolds is saving wedding guests hundreds of pounds each year. How? By renting out her beautiful fascinators for a fraction of the usual purchase price. See how you could save money by renting a fascinator.

You’re attending a wedding; you’ve managed to choose an outfit that you love, and even some shoes and a bag that goes with it perfectly. But you need something more to finish off the whole look, and really make your outfit pop. A wedding hat or a fascinator will do the job perfectly!

There are only really a few occasions that I feel you can get away with a formal headpiece nowadays, it’s not like the days of old when hats and headdresses were worn almost as a staple part of fashion.

Doesn’t have to be a royal occasion

The Royal Family certainly seem to be advocates for hats and fascinators at the races, christenings and weddings, sometimes opting for a headdress that makes more of an impact than the outfit (remember Princess Eugenie’s boat-shaped fascinator at the Royal Wedding in 2011?)

Weddings are an excellent opportunity to pull out all the stops, and really jazz up your outfit. Hair accessories such as hats and fascinators are a bit of a no brainer in order to achieve this. Certainly, whenever I’m invited to a wedding, I take it as a great excuse to wear a hair accessory of some kind.

Why wear a wedding fascinator?

Fascinators and hats are designed to complement your outfit; you might choose an accent colour for your head-wear to pick up the tones of a specific colour in your dress; or maybe you’ll match your hat to your shoes and bag, in a contrasting colour to your dress, to complete your whole outfit. The possibilities are endless, and there’s so much choice out there, it means there are headpieces to suit everyone. Generally speaking, the headpiece is secondary to the outfit; they’re an accessory to help you make a statement, or add a touch of glamour to your wedding outfit.

Yet, here is where I encounter a problem – and I’m sure I’m not alone. Fascinators and hats, as an accessory, are expensive. Too expensive for something you may only wear once. I attended 5 weddings last year, and there was absolutely no way I could afford five different outfits, and five different hair accessories!

So what did I do?

I ended up buying a fascinator in a very basic (but lovely) colour, and planning my outfits around it, which is pretty much the opposite of what’s recommended.

Game changer – renting a wedding headpiece

If only I’d known that you can now RENT headpieces – it would have changed my life! And I stumbled across a locally-based business that does just that: Hat Borrower.

Joanne has adapted her personal garage into a gorgeous, specialist room dedicated specifically to occasion headwear. Her venture was started up out of a love for fun hair accessories, but a dislike of the expensive price tags and having to store them after the event. Think about it: if you buy a pricey hat for a wedding, and then have no occasions lined up in the near future which it could be reused for, then you’re left with a very expensive hat that needs to be stored properly to avoid damage.

This is where Joanne can really help you out, because instead of buying a new hat (a new one for every event in some cases), you can rent the hat or fascinator of your dreams for a fraction of the price, and then return it after the big event. We love the idea so much that we instantly featured Joanne on our Rings and Accessories page. When you consider you’re likely to pay £50 for a wedding fascinator, you can see how you could potentially save hundreds of pounds over several years of weddings and other prestigious events.

Finding the right hat for the right wedding

I know what you must be thinking, “This is great and all, but it can be difficult to find the right colour that matches what I need it to match”. Worry not, Joanne has an impressively extensive range!

You can search the Hat Borrower website to see just how much range Joanne has on offer, or browse and try different styles in person if you arrange to visit the hat room in person. There are hats and fascinators of all colours and designs, and even a bridal corner for the Bride who wants something a little different for her big day. Each hat or fascinator is given a name, adding a personal and fun touch to the entire process. For example:

  • Barbara: A shimmer taupe sinamay fascinator with a bow on top and whimsical feathers.
  • Carolina: Purple shimmer sinamay folded into bows, adourned with a floral purple and white feather arrangement with a gemstone decal in the centre.
  • Ginny: Dark gold and taupe hat with large gold sinamay bow and white feather flower with a diamante centre.
  • Wendy: Pink/light purple sinamay hat with matching side bow adourned with sheer ribbon and gemstones at the ends.

If you’re looking to minimise the cost of your wedding guest outfit, accessory renting could save you so much money if you want a stylish, eye-catching headpiece to complement your outfit. Buying a designer fascinator could set you back as much as £160, but renting one could cost you only £10, so you’ll likely to be saving around 90% on your next fascinator. That leaves you with plenty more money to enjoy yourself on the big day!

Thinking of tying the knot in the Cotswolds?

Find the best wedding venues & suppliers in the Cotswolds right here: