I bet your mind boggled when you read the title of this blog. So … what is a ‘fascinator’? Hmm, well, before you jump to any conclusions, the correct answer is ‘a headpiece – a style of millenary’.

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to wear one at my brother’s wedding. The invitation read “Ladies, a hat please” and I had to re-read that statement a few times, wondering what year we were in. A hat? I don’t own a hat, nor do I have the money to invest in one just for my brother’s third wedding! So instead of the typical hat, I decided to look for a fascinator – one for myself, one for my mother, my Aunt and my daughter. That would make four fascinators in total.

There were quite a few ‘fascinators’ available – you could buy the more expensive variety – $30+ ones from boutiques, however we opted for the cheap shop option for about $7 which looked just as good. I decided to enhance my fascinator by adding coloured feathers (again from the cheap shop) – to create a colour co-ordinated ensemble with my outfit. Seeing the incredible result, my mother requested I do the same with hers, so some more feathers and hot glue later, another fascinating fascinator was created.

As the weekend approached, the weather deteriorated and predictably it became stormy on the day of the wedding – 22nd January. You see, I have had a life time of storms, accidents, disasters and illnesses on the 23rd January, which happens to be my birthday, and I strongly warned my brother that I didn’t think it was a good idea to plan a wedding for the day before. However, what do sisters know?

So there we were, the day of the wedding, gathered for a lunch at my brother’s property, prior to us all going to get dressed up for the big event. We were standing on the covered deck, sheltered from the driving wind and rain but with a drip, drip, drip of water dripping down through the poorly erected corrugated plastic roofing, onto my head – just to remind me that my weather prediction had been spot on. Before long, the rain started to fall heavier, the winds grew stronger, the puddles became mini-lakes and all did not look good for an outside wedding on my brother’s property. I had visions of us ladies, dressed up to the nines, with hats and fascinators galore – a colorful symphony of frills and feathers – everyone leaning horizontally against the driving wind and rain, umbrellas flipping inside out … with our ‘fascinators in flight’. Flying feathers of fancy, floating on the stormy wind.

Luckily for us though, my brother had a plan ‘B’. We were going to be spared the spectacle of colored feathers and hats swirling up into the sky, never to be seen again – although the photos of that would have been amazing!

Instead we headed for the local theatre, where initially just the reception was going to be held. However at the last minute, a decision was made to hold the ceremony in the theatre as well. All we had to manage once we were all dressed in our finery, was the initial dash to the car, hand firmly placed on fascinators and the dash from the car to the entrance, avoiding swirling puddles of mud, driving rain and the never ending wind that wanted to part fascinators from heads.

Every guest received, on arrival, a small bottle of bubble blowing mixture as an alternative to confetti, rice or petals – so there we all were, seated in the audience of the theatre, all dressed up with hats and fascinators, waiting for the ceremony to begin. The bubble blowing started early because there wasn’t much else to do and this created a spectacle of hundreds of bubbles floating in the audience, out, over and onto fascinators, feathers and fidgeting children. It became a competition to see who could create the biggest bubble that would float the highest and farthest onto the stage, which we were hoping could then be repeated just as the bride and groom were saying their vows on stage. But alas, the bubble blowing power of the audience never got a single bubble to reach the stage, however some beautiful large rainbow coloured bubbles managed to float back and forth in front of the audience from time to time, amidst a multitude of mini bubbles.

The vows were exchanged between the columns on the stage, well actually the columns never spoke, it was the bride and groom that exchanged their vows standing ‘between’ the columns on the stage and then the bridal party exited stage right. This was soon followed by the busy bubble blowing audience, out into the foyer. Whilst the many photos were being taken, the guests headed off to the reception room to take their places at the tables.

Copious amounts of wine, beer, some spirits and soft drinks flowed throughout the night. Trays of food kept circulating, in a vain effort to keep excess intoxication at bay. Fascinators eventually became brooches, frisbees and men’s toupees – all before the wedding party had even taken their places at the head table.

After the formalities were over, it was time to crank up the music and hit the dance floor – and for some this meant ‘literally’, because by this time many bottles of wine and beer had been consumed. ?
One of the young bridesmaids brought her ipod and connected it through the speakers, to provide the dance music for the evening, however if you consider the age group of the bridesmaid, the music was somewhat alien to anyone over 35! This didn’t stop the keen movers and shakers and there too were my mother and aunt (one close to 80, the other 83!) grooving and gyrating on the dance floor. The more wine that flowed, the more groovy the dance moves – I was so proud of them! However I am not so sure that my mother’s grandchildren were as proud. Teenagers really need a sense of humour when it comes to older generations and dance floors.

All in all it was an entertaining evening. The stormy weather could not stop the happy couple from enjoying their special day, and by all accounts and eye witnesses, the guests had a very enjoyable time also.

So although we were denied the anticipated spectacle of ‘fascinators in flight’, the whole event turned out to be just plain fascinating in itself.Annaliese hat

Fascinating Linda!

Fascinating Linda!

Bianca fascinatorGrace fascinator