How to Choose a Veil to Complement Your Wedding Dress
You may be surprised to find out that veils have actually been around for much longer than other traditional wedding elements such as walking down the aisle clad in a white dress, for example (which if you're curious, you can read more about here).
In Ancient Roman and Greek eras, a bride would wear a red veil called flammeum to protect her from evil spirits. In the 19th century, it symbolized a woman's purity and modesty, while nowadays some wear it in keeping with the tradition of their future husbands not seeing their face before the ceremony. One thing is certain: Whatever your reason for wanting to add a veil to your wedding day look, it has to flawlessly match the style of your dress.
French bridal designer Rime Arodaky goes even further and says a veil is the "star of the overall look" (#nopressure), because "they add a sense of magic and whimsy." She uses 3D appliqués to add dimension to her designs and the result is absolutely breathtaking.
Here's what else designers are saying on acing the veiled look.
Berta Balilti of Berta stresses the importance of proportions when selecting a veil. "If your gown has a long train then I would suggest a cathedral-length veil to pair. The veil being longer than the dress allows one to see the detailing of the veil as it brushes against the floor," she suggests.
Adds Claire Pettibone: "Long veils that trail just past the hem of your gown are beautiful for a dramatic and dreamy look."
If you'd like to customize your veil, you could add a few elements to it that match the embellishments of your dress, for example.
Show off your back
There is nothing sexier than a dress with a low back if you ask us so if you've opted for a similar style for your big day, then consider a veil that's on the shorter side.
"A short veil is beautiful with a low, open back and gives a little coverage for the ceremony," says Claire Pettibone. "When you have a low back, or illusion back, make sure your veil hits below that dip. I like a finger-tip length that ends right below the bum."
A shorter veil also adds volume when pushed back, according to Berta. "I think having a blusher is a nice touch—this is when the veil has a double piece of semi-sheer fabric to cover one's face," she explains.
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Think outside of the box
Dear modern brides: If you think that a veil would look outdated on you then you'd want to hear what designer Alexandra Grecco has to say.
"Veils can be extremely delicate the way that the sheer tulle gently lays over your face and graces the floor as the bride walks but, certainly do not look at veils as a ‘must have’ item."
Her suggestion? Put a cape on it.
"There are so many amazing veil options that are extensions of the gown itself like the cape veil," she suggests. "It adds a fresh fashion-forward take on the traditional veil while still adding drama to a ceremony."
Another way to keep your look modern, say Tara Lauren designers Tara and Shaina Healy. To keep this look modern is to go for a veil made with softer tulle and lace and with less gathering at the comb. "Also, look for ivory instead of white. This softens your look, and often the shade appears lighter as tulle itself is very thin and therefore not super pigmented," they suggest.
Just a Hint of a Veil
The shortest type of veil is called a "birdcage veil," which reaches down to your cheeks (or your chin at the longest) and is made of simple netting.
"The birdcage veil paired with a simple beaded clip would give you the ultimate vintage look. This accessory would be the perfect balance for a vintage-inspired layered lace bridal gown. It may be a simple piece but it will make a great statement," say Moonlight designers Valerie and Stephanie Chin. "This one is great for someone who is rocking the chic, pixie haircut. A simple up-do will also go well with this style."
Another good thing about the birdcage veil? Your maid of honor doesn't have to follow your every step to make sure it's spread perfectly on the floor.