I hold up my hands. Guilty as charged. I’ve meaning to blog about this for ages but life events have just taken over.

Last September, we went off to witness and celebrate the civil partnership of Neal and Craigh, who have been together for many, many years. Despite early mishaps with blow-dries (cue hysterical laughter later in a conversation not fit for sensitive ears) and traffic jams on the A12, we managed to creep into Ipswich Register Office just as they exchanged their forever vows. Not a dry eye in the house, I can tell you. Lunch at Seckford Hall near Woodbridge rounded off a joyful occasion that brought together the two families.

But what does one wear to a civil partnership? Specifically, on one’s head? I love and adore hats, but they do tend to swamp me a little. Having been told that “outrageous, dahling,” is all the rage for a Civil Partnership, my thoughts turned to fascinators. Miss DD, the first girly on that side of the family for 100 years, and a soapbox feminist since the age of 2, was keen to rebel against her dolly image. She wore a  gorgeous ivory lace Claudie Pierrlot dress and matching shoes and belt from LK Bennett but topped it with a black leather Reiss jacket so her headgear had to be equally edgy.

Our friend Denise of  Damson Belle style consultants suggested her contact Dacia Halford, who makes fascinators to order in her spare time. After a couple of phone consultations and a meeting in an updated version of one of those League of Gentlemen pubs where everyone swivels to glare at strangers, Dacia had managed to dye our fascinators to the perfect match for our respective outfits. As you ask, my jacket and bag were hugely reduced from the Jaeger sale last summer – blame the horrid weather – and my dress was J Crew. Having started off with something quite simple, I wanted more ostentation and ended up with a long quill that hit the ceiling of the car every time I turned my head.

Anyway, I loved Dacia’s work, and so did everyone else at the ceremony, which is the main thing. I don’t go to these things often but I think a non-dwarfing fascinator will be the obvious choice for me next time. In fact, I might just order an elaborate one in black for the next time there’s a Wedding of the Year in The Archers.

So, on to some photos:

You can contact Dacia Halford on 07446 005447 or have a look at her Lilac and Lily Facebook page


No, this post isn’t sponsored and we paid in full for the gear. But it’s nice to publicise quality and help a small business.