Most brides wait until the gown is ordered before deciding on a veil.  In addition to complimenting your dress, you’ll need to zero in on your body type.  For instance, petite brides want to create the impression of height.  Yes, petites 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.  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 ballgown.  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 allover 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 flyaway 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.


 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 whoever 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.

Veils and gowns by Amy Jo Tatum
Photos 1&2 by Photo Chic