In Ukraine, there was a tradition for young girls who were ready for marriage and for brides to wear a wreath – female headdress made from fresh or artificial flowers, fabric, straw, or wood and embellished with beads, sequins, flowers, coins, pom-pons, metal adornments, etc. The wreath was a symbol that showed a woman’s marital status. It could be round or horseshoe-shaped. And the bridal wreaths were really ornate and exquisite. Here are some examples of such festive and wedding wreaths from the 19th – the beginning of the 20th century.
Delicate bridal wreath. The frame is made from wire; wax flowers and beads serve as adornments. Because of the wire, the elements move and the headpiece appears to shimmer and flutter
Another bridal wreath with wax embellishments, but its shape is different. It has wax beads, artificial flowers and leaves, and foil balls to reflect the sun
White bridal wax wreath with long vines. This headgear is special because it has two long front parts that go onto the bride’s shoulders and torso. The frame is made from wire; wax flowers, leaves, and beads serve as adornments. The wire is extremely delicate and flexible, so all the elements move and the headpiece appears to shimmer and flutter like leaves in the wind
By the way, did you know that white wreath made from wax flowers was brought into fashion by English Queen Victoria? She was the first person to wear a white wedding dress complemented with a delicate white wreath in her hair, with a white veil. After that, such a bridal outfit became trendy and, with some variations, is considered the classic wedding gown till this day.
Colorful wedding wreath made from artificial flowers and foil. The frame is made from wire. The most interesting thing about this unique headgear is that the flowers are made from wooden shavings, brightly dyed. There are a few blue and white ribbons attached to this wreath. This particular wreath is a modern replica
Several different headpieces, narrow and wide, decorated with beads, metal elements, sequins, etc.
Ornate bridal headdress. As you can see, the frame is made from straw and covered with fabric. On the fabric, there are various adornments: beading, sequins, artificial flowers at the back, and coins at the bottom (they would be on the forehead of a wearer). Also, it would be decorated with feather grass as well
Several various colorful headpieces. Some of them are for special occasions, others for wedding
Cute headbands made from pleated fabric. They were used by young girls as festive headgear
Bridal headdress called “chiltse” with lots of metal decorations. It is worn on the forehead. Such a headpiece is typical for Western Ukraine
Interesting fact! Ukrainian brides often had 2 wedding wreaths. The first was used during the ritual of inviting guests to the wedding, the second – during the wedding ceremony itself. It could be the same headpiece but altered for the ceremony with additional elements, or it could be two separate wreaths. After the wedding, the invitation wreath was often presented by the newlywed woman to a younger sister to play with. And the wreath used for the wedding ceremony was preserved by the woman during her whole life as something sacred.
Two different headdresses: the first one is a round wreath made from fabric, the second one is a beautifully adorned bridal cap. The wreath has a hard frame, covered with cloth and decorated with tiny pom-pons, artificial flowers, and pieces of mirror. The cap is very ornate, it is embellished with beading, metal and glass beads, artificial flowers, silver-thread embroidery, etc.
Festive headband adorned with beading. It has a red ribbon that ties it to the head