Just like you want to choose jewelry carefully to accent your wedding dress, you also want to do the same with a veil. Not only are there certain veils that fit with certain gowns, but you can choose a veil that adds formality to your overall look or makes things more vibrant and fun. When I got married, I had a cathedral length veil that was custom made by The Wedding Shoppe and full of a variety of butterflies. It showed off my personality, added some whimsy, and I still have friends talk about how it looked when I walked down the aisle!
A cathedral length veil might not be for everyone. They are normally saved for formal church weddings, and work best with a more simple gown, though they can be used with any long style. To amp up a cathedral veil, you can add layers of tulle that create an etherial sillouette around the bride. Another bonus of long veils is that they blow in the wind and make an instant diffuser to shoot through for extra romance and glamour.
Choosing a veil should start with the type of wedding gown you are wearing. A bias cut or simple narrow sillouette can be accentuated with an ankle length (called waltz length) single veil. This length gives more of a vintage vibe and was mostly worn in the 50’s. If you have a more elaborate dress with beading and layers, a flyaway veil can add some personality and fun without taking away from the decoration on the back of the dress.
Fingertip length veils seem the most popular and give the tradition of a veil without the formality of length. The more layers on the veil, the more “fashionista” it becomes. Want to be even more of a fashionista? Get a bubble hem veil that is shoulder length, they are so fun! And if you want to get more romantic and dramatic, you can wear a fountain veil, which is pinned high on the head and consists of many layers, so it falls down the sides of the face and over the front of the shoulders. It surrounds you in a gauzy cloud and can look really fantastic when paired with a very simple gown of buttery satin.
A tradition that I enjoy but don’t see very often is the blusher. This is where a front layer of the veil is placed over the bride’s face. Usually, the father lifts the veil off of his daughter’s face when she is presented to her soon-to-be husband at the front of the church. This is a very formal and also very tender moment for parents and the bride looks so lovely walking down the aisle with softness of the veil all around her head.
Birdcage veils are my favorite. This is a veil that ends at the chin or higher and is usually a blusher in front of the face, though some birdcages go around the back of the head as well. They can be made of french or russian netting (where you can see the diamond mesh pattern), bridal illusion, or tulle. The bigger the french netting’s diamond pattern is, the more edgy and trendy the look. You can keep the veil farther from your face, or have it be a bandeu where it is tighter to the face, or even a masque…where there is just a strip of the fabric across your eyes. Bunching the french netting around your hairline or having it go across your face at an angle can be a way to give a sauciness to your look without going too over the top. The beauty of a birdcage veil is that you can give a mod and vintage vibe at the same time. They are classy AND edgy, it just depends on how you design it.
You can use a veil to either complete a look, or take your look to the next level. You can tone down a dress for a more formal ceremony or funk up a dress that is more simple. You can remove your veil after the ceremony or re-wrap it around your hair for a different look. Including fascinators, tiaras, pins, combs or flowers with the veil can allow you to keep a cohesive look once you take off your veil for the reception.
A couple things to remember about veils?
Shop around. There are amazing online boutiques and etsy stores that specialize in hairpieces. This is one place where you can add a lot of style without breaking the bank, so shop around until you find the perfect fit. Just make sure that if you buy your veil seperately from your dress that you make sure they are both the same shade of white.
You don’t have to be matchy matchy with veils! Just because your dress has a lace applique detail, doesn’t mean the veil has to. If you want matchy matchy, that is great, but you don’t have to buy the recommended veil that the sales lady hands you at the dress boutique.
If your dress has a lot of beading on the back, it will probably catch on your veil over and over and drive you crazy…so keep your dress in mind when shopping for a veil.
You will be hugged by a LOT of people on your wedding day…and I guarantee you someone will pull too hard on your veil if it hangs down your back. So make plans to remove it before too much hugging starts.
Birdcage veils and fake lashes need to play well together. If you plan on wearing fake lashes, make sure your veil will stand out far enough away from your eyes.
Bring your veil to your trial hair appointment so your stylist can figure out where it will fit with your hair style. You can attach the veil above the crown of your head, in the middle of an updo with curls, or below the style. Specialty clips and pins might be needed depending on your hair type.
Of course any veil can be accented and personalized with satin trim, beading, lace or in my case, butterflies =) Make it personal and use this as yet another way to show your personality and style. I’ve included a couple pictures to show different styles of veils…enjoy!