Monday, January 3, 2011


Wouldn't you agree since Chelsea's wedding last July there's more of a focus on long veils?  So what constitutes a long veil? Let's start at the ‘finger tip’ length and work all the way down to the twenty-five foot cathedral. Long veils sure paint a romantic mood by way of all that gossamer sheer. Wearing a veil dates back to ancient times and most cultures. The bridal veil in particular has been a symbol of purity as well as mystery in many traditions. Since Biblical times every era it seems has innovated the veil and how it’s worn. Victorians donned yards of handmade laces they passed on to daughters and granddaughters; 1960s brides popularized the pouf veil still stylish today.

Below: Fingertip drop veil tacked to the back of an updo


Fingertip-Most popular length; can be worn by nearly every figure type with most silhouettes. Waltz-Falls anywhere between knee and ankle.
Chapel-Considered formal. Extends about a two feet beyond the hemline.
Cathedral-Most formal. Extends three feet or more beyond the hem.
Double Tier-Two layers, typically the shorter one a blusher but not always.

Below: Chapel length drop veil

width of veil is gathered at the crown and can be attached to a headpiece. Generally made out of tulle or English netting.
Dropped-Yes, actually dropped onto the head in a single layer of tulle or lace; often bordered with lace or ribbon. A Mantilla is a type of dropped veil.

Below: Cathedral length veil

CHOOSING YOUR VEIL-Most brides will wait till the gown is ordered before making a decision. In addition to complimenting your dress, you’ll need to consider your body type. Petite brides want to create the impression of height. They can wear pouf veils as long as the volume up top doesn’t imitate an Indian-headdress, dwarfing rather than extending height. Also if you’re short, a cathedral length veil isn’t the best choice—even a dropped version with zero density. You can get the drama and extension you need by scaling down to a waltz or chapel length to fit your proportion. Heavier and/or thick-waisted brides look best in a one layer dropped veil tacked onto a bun, falling in a swirl down the back. Go long here if you can. Try keeping your lines back and delicate, avoiding elbow length veils with lots of volume. Ditto veils edged in ribbon; they can form lines across the waist, creating width. If you’re tall you’ll want to keep the poise of your height intact without going over the edge. Go ahead and wear that cathedral veil with your long-trained ball gown. But realize even tall, sylph-like women have limitations. Princess Diana who was a stunning 5’10”, over-volumized her height her wedding day when she piled layers of tulle atop a dress already screaming of über-pouf. Face it, we all have to work on getting the symmetry right.
Generally, more ornamental gowns look best with simple veils, like one layer of tulle with narrow edging or no edging at all; whereas all over lace veils or ones edged with wide borders require a simple gown with little adornment. Your dress might have some exquisite back details you want to show off. If this is the case select a shorter veil like a fly away or net pouf. Want a more romantic look? Try a layer of tulle— preferably in a dropped style that doesn’t fall in creases and folds across your back. Tulle is the best fabric for this; it’s transparent enough without being so opaque to fog detail. If your gown has no train, wearing a chapel or cathedral length veil can create one—especially elegant when bordered in wide-edged lace or there’s a concentration of lacework on the train portion.
AFTER THE CEREMONY-If you’re in a long veil and want to remove part of it for the reception, have your salon work out the fastening system with you and whomever is helping you. Taking off the entire veil? Exactly when during the reception is up to you; it depends on whether you want to be veiled in photos cutting cake, toasting, dancing, etc. Some brides wear their veil the entire day. And I suppose this is because there is nothing quite like a white veil that says . . . Today is the only day I will ever be a Bride . . .

Below: Two different versions of the chapel veil


Emily and Abigail said...

all of these look gorgeous!! Lusting this blog :)

david said...

wow beautiful!!!!