Traditional Wedding Hair Pieces – Orange Blossom

Orange Blossom

Tim and Nicola of Upwaltham Barns wedding venue both love all things vintage and enjoy collecting an eclectic assortment of treasures. One of Nicola’s favourite pass-times is to visit antique and brocante markets where she was recently thrilled to find these beautiful Victorian wedding hair pieces with wax orange blossom flowers. They are so delicate and such a beautiful piece of wedding history.

For centuries brides have worn some type of wedding hair piece during the wedding ceremony; a circlet, wreath, coronet of flowers and jewelled tiaras. Originally brides wore circlets of herbs and wild flowers in their hair. Roses have long been selected for their beauty and association with Venus the goddess of love before orange blossom became traditional in the Victorian era.

Incorporating orange blossoms into bridal hair accessories originated in China where the glossy green leaves and delicate flowers were emblems of virtue and fertility. The orange blossom bears fruit and flowers at the same time and so became symbolic of fruitfulness. During the crusades the custom was first brought to Spain, then France before arriving in England in the early 1800’s.

Queen Victoria created the vogue for orange blossom when she married in 1840. Choosing to marry as a future wife rather than monarch she wore a deep wreath of artificial orange-blossom with a Honiton lace veil. Although orange blossom trees were grown in England, most brides purchased artificial flowers made from wax, stiffened cotton or paper. This wedding hair piece then became tradition rather than just fashionable and remained popular until the 1950’s.

It is so special to find such a well-preserved circlet and headdress which Tim Simpson has kindly photographed bringing his artistic talent to show case these pretty pieces.


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