Open to the public Nov 16th to 17th 2024 Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall at Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall CV37 6EF

The commissioned Wedding Hat



Well it has happened, my son and daughter-in-law’s Wedding took place this month and it was fabulous!


The weather was kind to us with only a sprinkle of rain as we ate our Wedding Breakfast and the rest of the day the sun shone as we explored the lavender partier and lushly planted gardens surrounded by the rolling hills of the Deer Park.


The Bride shimmered gloriously in her white silk satin and lace backless dress, and her Pearl back-to-front necklace by Emily Fermor looked beautiful as it enhanced her luminous and youthfully smooth skin.


For me the successes of the day were multilayered; the venue, the weather, our new family and old friends blended together, the speeches, the Wedding cake and my embarrassing late night dancing.


Most of all was the goodwill and love for the happy couple – it was palpable and went to straight to my heart. The tender innocence, simple beauty and searing emotions of a life transition remain with me, and still gladden my very being. I cried and laughed, hugged and kissed, giggled and needed a moment’s peace as the day turned to evening, echoing the emotional flow of the newly wedded pair.


I wore my hat throughout the day until the Wedding Party finished and I didn’t know I had it on. Created by Barry Flanagan from Alciston Model Millenary it was designed and made just for me and I couldn’t have been happier with the finished hat – I felt as comfortable as Mrs Tigge-winkle and as stylish as Frida Kohl.


Barry had captured the very essence of me with a rim of hand dyed and created purple Sweetpeas, each one slightly different with blushes of deep magenta, reflecting light from a polished finish, growing from a magenta crown constructed from original 1940’s green, then overlaid with cerise netting covered with hundreds of knots and bands culminating in a seductive side swirl to finish the floral band with a flourish.


I adored it the moment Barry showed me the hat displayed on a long necked black velvet display head, in front of a large antique gilded mirror so I could see the entire hat at one look.


We talked how to wear the hat on my head, what to do with my long hair, the art of backcombing day old hair, what jewellery I would wear, my make-up and nails; Barry took everything into consideration to make the overall look harmonious as he had already seen the rich fabric of two tone crinkled silk of my dress.


When I opened the black and white striped octagonal hatbox, folded back the crisp white tissue paper and saw my hat on the Wedding day I was so relaxed as I knew it would fit, be comfortable and I would look like me – a priceless gift from a true millenary artist. I thank you, salute your talent and look forward to the next Wedding….


Barry Flanagan’s website