Whether you have visions of yourself walking down the aisle dressed like Maria aka Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music or you fancy yourself as a more relaxed, informal bride á la Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses, choosing a veil (or not to wear a veil) is a minefield!
Some strongly feminist brides take real issue with wearing a veil because of the tradition’s history. It certainly screams bride the second you put one on but are you comfortable with the fact that it is rooted in Ancient Greek and Roman beliefs which felt that wearing a veil was important for a bride in order to protect her from evil spirits? There’s also the issue that it helped to disguise the appearance of the bride during arranged marriage ceremonies when the bride and groom were meeting for the first time at the altar after the ‘I Dos’, making it too late for the groom to back out if the bride wasn’t floating his Lordship’s boat after the big reveal!
If you decide that, for you, wearing a veil is a vital aspect of being a bride, then you next have to decide what sort of veil you want to wear. Most importantly, the veil needs to compliment your wedding dress but I’ve written a helpful list of tips to guide you through this challenging area.
The first thing to do is to choose your length. From birdcage to cathedral length, there’s so much choice! Cathedral length veils are all about glamour and drama. They are the epitome of fairytale princess bride, think Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey. They can be anything from 7ft long to an awe-inspiring 20 foot long! The excellent thing about cathedral length veil is that they work with any wedding dress.
If a Cathedral length veil is too ostentatious for you and you’d prefer something less cumbersome, then a Ballet length veil might be just the ticket. They usually finish somewhere between your fingertips and just above the ground. Like a cathedral length veil, a ballet length veil works with the majority of wedding dresses.
Floor length, or Chapel length as they are sometimes called, add a soft flush of romance to your bridal look without the stress of needing someone to monitor your veil for potential slips, trips or falls. Falling to the floor and sometimes a couple of inches more, the chapel length veil is an excellent choice as it combines the drama of the cathedral length veil with the convenience of a shorter veil. It works perfectly with a wide variety of dresses.
Fingertip length veils brush softly against your skin anywhere from your elbows to your fingertips. It is famed for being the most flattering length veil for any body shape as it lengthens your body. Its length is also excellent for highlighting your gown.
A Blusher or Birdcage veil is normally a single layer of tulle or net which graces just your face. The tradition evolves from the ‘unveiling’ of the bride after the marriage ceremony when, in an arranged marriage, the groom would be permitted to see his wife for the first time. Now, this is simple fashion forward idea can add either a dash of delicate fairy mystery or creates a strong, sassy retro look.
Bling, Lace and Ribbons
Adornments of any type need to be kept firmly away from any razzle dazzle on your dress so that the look isn’t too fussy and the two designs are competing with each other. Of course, if you have a really simple, plain dress you can go as wild as you want with your veil. Ribbon running across the bottom of your veil can look stunning and very ‘50s, however some people feel that it has a tendency to make you look shorted buy slicing you through the middle with its white or creamy horizontal edge.
If you have sequins, appliqué, lace or beads on your dress, don’t worry! Your veil does not have to match your dress. They only need to flatter each other. The same can be said of the trend towards antique veils. If you have elected to wear a family heirloom, don’t get it dyed! You not only run the risk of ruining the veil, it’s also surely not the point of wearing your utterly unique piece of fashion history?
Think About The Pics
Crystals reflect the light better than rhinestones, which have a tendency to look like black spots in wedding pics because of their sharp outline.
Check how you look from every angle for the best photos. Make sure your veil shows off as much, or as little as you want of your outfit. Speak to me about this for some more ideas!
Free to Shake Your Booty
Many brides wait until after the first dance before removing their veil because you do run the slight risk of altering your perfectly styled hair. You can have it attached to a comb so that it slides easily out of your hair leaving you free to shake your booty on the dance floor after your romantic first whirl around the dance floor with your dashing new husband.