No wedding accessory says “I can transform you into a ravishing bride” better than a veil.
There's something magical about this seemingly basic headpiece. Firstly, a veil has the power to turn a girl into a ravishing bride in just a split second. It's one of the most defining elements of a bridal look. Lose the gloves, lose the sparkly necklace, but a bride is not a bride without her veil.
Secondly, it has the power to make or break your look. It's more than just an accessory. It is often the last finishing touch that binds everything together.
Lastly, it has the power to evoke emotions. Topping off your head with this thin layer of fabric while wearing your dress is a surefire way to make your mom, sister, and bridesmaids (and even your tough dad and brother) burst out in tears.
With this, choosing the perfect veil shouldn't come as an afterthought.
Different Veil Styles and Lengths
Birdcage veils add a touch of quirkiness to one's bridal ensemble. They are short, vintage-inspired veils that cover only a portion of the bride's face, including the eyes and extending down to her chin. They are usually made out of netting, perfect for brides who want to ditch long veil traditions and let their sassy side rule. That being said, birdcage veils work well with short and tea-length wedding dresses.
If you love the suspense of waiting for your man to lift your veil to completely see your face, then consider the blushers. These short veils subtly cover the bride's entire face for an element of surprise, adding ethereal feel to any bridal look. Blushers are usually paired with a longer veil and are commonly worn during traditional wedding ceremonies.
Shoulder-length veils fall at or below the shoulders, usually to the middle of the back. Though they often resemble your communion veil, they are a perfect choice if you'd love to boast the detailing of your wedding dress while sticking to tradition. One popular, fun version of shoulder-length veils is the flyaway veil, which offers more volume and creates a bigger statement. Flyaway veils are a great option for brides with short, '50s-themed wedding dress who don't like the idea of birdcage veils.
As its name suggests, elbow-length veils fall right around the bride's elbows or waistline. Not just they are simple and easy to handle – elbow-length veils also look sophisticated and they flatter almost any wedding style. This type of veil, for instance, works well with a full dress or ball gown since they end at the area where the elaborate skirt of your dress begins.
If the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is your bridal peg, then the fingertip veil might be the one for you. The timeless and elegant veil length falls at or right below your fingertips. The length is a safe bet since it's just enough to add a wow factor to your overall bridal look without being too over-the-top.
Also renowned as “waltz” or “ballerina”, ballet veils are suitable for brides who love the drama of long veils but can't commit to a veil that kisses the ground. They are a little longer than fingertip veils and are typically knee or ankle-length. With this, you won't have to worry about stepping on or tripping over your veil.
Now let's talk about those long tulles that go all the way to the ground. Chapel veils, also called “sweep”, are floor-length veils that instantly create a dreamy, romantic feel as you walk down the aisle. They are a couple of inches beyond a typical long bridal gown and are perfect for formal ceremonies. Just keep in mind that long tulle veils wrinkle easily. You want to have a smooth, flowy look so make sure to have your veil steamed before your big day.
The grandest of them all – if you're up for a dramatic entrance on your big day, you can never go wrong with cathedral veils. They are also every wedding photographer's dream. The cathedral veil, which trails behind the dress, makes breathtaking bridal pictures. The elaborate veil style works best in traditional and formal wedding venues, like church weddings.
The only downside is they can be quite difficult to manage. You may want to take it off after the formal ceremony or switch to a shorter veil style for the reception.
Don't want to conceal your face until it's time to “kiss the bride”? Wearing a mantilla, which comes in different lengths, might be the best bet. A mantilla is a circular piece of lace or tulle with heavy lace edging, framing the blushing face of the bride. It should be pinned two inches from the hair line to let the veil drape beautifully downward. Since I love classic pieces that hit me with nostalgia, I consider this style as my favorite.
10. Juliet cap
Vintage lovers out there – Juliet cap is another stunning style that lets you travel back in time. Though it became a hit in the 1920s, the dated style was originally fashioned in the 16th century. In fact, its name stems from, well you guessed it, Shakespeare's Juliet Capulet. Today, the Juliet cap never fails to add a bohemian flair to one's modern bridal look. They come in a variety of lengths and they are worn mostly with your hair down.
Rules When Picking Out A Veil
1. Think about your wedding dress first then choose a veil that compliments the elements of your dress.
2. You should not outstage the dress with the veil nor compete with the dress' ornate details.
3. Take your venue, theme, and even wedding season and weather into consideration.
4. Keep your hairstyle in mind – most veils work with simple dos but if you're going for an elaborate hairstyle, opt for a thinner veil that won't completely hide the tresses you want to showcase.
5. Always bring your veil to your hair trial to practice placing and fastening it.
Carmina Natividad is one of the enthusiastic writers for Jennifer Regan, a shop in Sydney that caters to women who are looking for the perfect bridal dress to wear as they walk down the aisle. Her articles mainly focus on fashion and beauty, which help soon-to-be-brides prepare for their wedding day.