Picking the right veil for your wedding dress.
Where does the tradition of wearing a wedding veil come from?
Although the veil’s history varies based on who you ask, most experts agree that you can trace its roots back to Rome, where a bride used to walk down the aisle with a veil over her face in order to disguise herself from any evil spirits who wanted to thwart her happiness.
Still today a veil means different things to different faiths. Despite their current popularity, the experts note that veils did go out style for some time, and only became a fashionable accessory again after Queen Victoria’s wedding.
So which veil goes best with which dress?
First and foremost, amid all of the choices you have available, finding a veil that compliments your dress should be top priority! Don’t just choose a veil because you like it. You want your dress to be the star of the show so it is important to find a veil that enhances that gown rather than competes with it.
Think about the shape of your dress.
When choosing your veil length you will want to figure out what shape or silhouette your dress is. Certain lengths go better with certain shapes. And certain lengths should be avoided for particular shapes.
After you have decided which shape best resembles your dress you can decide on your length. The basic rule of thumb for long dresses is that you want the veil to flow with the dress. This helps move the eye gracefully down the dress rather than creating an abrupt interruption. The most flattering and universal length is the fingertip length veil because it flows into the skirt or ends at a natural curve point on the body.
Here are a few suggestions for your dress style that are commonly the most flattering:
Almost any length works with this dress but avoid a ballet or waltz length. The ballet length will look fine from the front but from the back, it will end at an unnatural point and cut off the flow of your dress.
A-line or Modified A-line:
Basically the same length suggestions for the ball gown work for the A-line as well.
Trumpet or Mermaid:
The best lengths for these are either a fingertip length or a longer veil that has a train such as a chapel length or a cathedral length. Birdcage veils also look beautiful with these styles. Avoid the elbow length. It’s too short and creates more disruptions in an already curvy style.
The best lengths for this style are fingertip, ballet/waltz, or a floor-length. And elbow-length will work as well. Just make sure its not too short. It should end at least at the waist. If you would like a train I would choose a length that barely drags on the floor. Avoid anything longer as it is just too much veil for this simple shape.
The best lengths are shoulder length or birdcage veils. You could also go with an elbow-length veil if you want something a little longer.
Short Dress/Cocktail Length:
The birdcage veils work best with short styles but some brides pull off longer lengths. If you go longer just make sure the veil will feel balanced with the dress shape.
Train or no train?
Now that you have narrowed down your options it’s time to ask yourself if you want a long veil with a train/no train or a shorter veil.
Longer veils are beautiful, dramatic, and more formal but will typically need to be removed after the ceremony. However, you can leave the veil on it will just be more maintenance during the reception.
Shorter veils are a little less formal feeling and low maintenance.
Bling or no bling?
If your dress is busy and features lots of pretty details, find a simple veil with a clean raw edge. If your dress is simple, choose a veil with intricate details such as a lace embellishment or floral accents to add dimension to your gown.
If you choose to wear a veil, your veil may need a supportive base such as a bridal bun, messy updo, or half up/half down hairstyle. The longer or heavier your veil, the more supportive your bun or hairstyle will need to be.
The great thing about bridal hairstyles is your wedding veil can be made to frame your bridal hairstyle from behind. Instead of a metal bridal comb, your veil can be customised with cotton loops instead of a comb which means that your hairstylist can pin the veil to the natural curve of your bun.
Your hairstyle will affect how your veil sits and where the end of the veil will fall. If you’re planning on a big bridal bun, the veil may need to sit above the bun. As a result, your veil may appear slightly shorter.
What if I don’t want to wear a veil?
Then don’t! There is no ‘rule’ that says you have to. You could choose to wear nothing in place of a veil or you could pick one of these show-stopping alternatives:
Headpieces and Hair Accessories
A pretty headpiece or hair accessory gives your look a fuss-free flourish. Try a slim headband, a floral comb, or a sleek barrette for a touch of sparkle. Bridal chains, hair vines, or halos are pretty ways to spruce up your locks, too!
Feeling a little regal? Amp up the drama with a dazzling tiara. Whether you wear your hair up or down, it’s sure to captivate the crowd—cue the “oohs” and “aaahs.”
The more flowers the better! Add fresh blooms to your day for a romantic look! Try Baby’s Breath, roses, greenery, or an assortment of wildflowers that complement your day.
You don’t have to forgo the pleasure of a flowy finishing touch just because you’re not wearing a veil! Slip on a sheer chiffon or lace cape to complete your look.
Good Photo Op!
One things for certain, veils make for wonderful photo opportunities 😉