To complete their wedding day look, most brides choose to wear some form of a headpiece. Many women are surprised to discover how many different options there are to choose from when trying to find the perfect thing to wear. The traditional veil of so many lengths and types, mantillas, garlands, tiaras, hats, fascinators – it can be overwhelming! What follows is a little guide to help you think through the possibilities and find the best sort of headpiece for you.
The wedding veil is the most traditional choice for a wedding headpiece, a classic and classy approach to bridal headpieces. When choosing the right veil for you, there are many things to think about, the first of these being the veil’s length. And in considering your veil’s length, you’ll also want to keep in mind the detailing of your wedding gown. You don’t want your veil to cover up or detract from those aspects of your gown that make the dress you so carefully chose stand out. Give thought, too, to your dress’s color, and ensure that the veil you select matches up. Something else you’ll want to keep in mind is the visual complexity of your veil relative to your gown. Imagine, for example, a bouquet of multi-colored wild flowers sitting in a monotone jade green vase. Now imagine those same flowers in a vase with many colors in a “busy” pattern. The “busy” vase detracts from the beauty of the flowers by visually competing with them, whereas the monotone, simple vase gives the flowers a simple “backdrop” that shows off their beauty. The same principle is at work when choosing a veil. That is, the “busier” and more detailed the gown, the more simple the veil should be, while a gown with fewer details and “cleaner” lines wouldn’t be overwhelmed by a veil with lots of detail and “extras” such as embroidery, crystals, appliqués, etc. Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing a veil is the hairstyle you’ll be wearing as you walk down the aisle. You’ll need to think about how your veil will be secured given how you decide to wear your hair. For example, a veil that includes a cap would be hard, if not impossible, to wear when your hair is done up in a bun that sits high on your head.
From shortest to longest, options include: The birdcage and bandeau length veils: These veils are more like fascinators than the traditional veil. The birdcage style just covers the face, while the bandeau goes across the eyes. Whether made of tulle or netting, both give a definite dramatic, “fashionista” flair to a bride’s look, and evoke the 1940s and 1950s eras. The shoulder length veil: The shoulder length veil is a particularly good choice for vintage-style dresses that evoke the 1950s or 1960s, especially if the dress has particularly beautiful detailing at the waistline. Elbow length (or “waist length”) veil: Veils that hit at the elbow, or that are a tad longer and hit at the waist, tend to work with most dress styles, but look extra-special with dresses that have a princess, ball gown silhouette since they end just where the flare of the gown begins. Fingertip length: The fingertip length veil, like the elbow-length veil, tends to work well with most any type of dress – except for those dresses that flare out at the hips, such as the ball gown style of dress. Because of its versatility, the fingertip length veil is one of the most popular styles. This is the style that Kate Middleton chose. Floor length (“waltz length” or “ballet length”) veils: This type of veil hits somewhere between the knees and the ankles, and if you’ve chosen a floor-length wedding gown without a train, this could well be the veil style for you. Chapel (“Sweep” or “Full Length” and cathedral length: If your dress is full length, and especially if it has a train, a chapel length or the dramatic cathedral length veil can be an option. One thing to pay attention to if selecting a cathedral length veil is your venue: make sure the place you choose to have your wedding is large enough to fit all of your dress!
Fastening Your Veil
There are various ways to secure your veil to your head, and how you should end up going about it will depend on the veil itself and your hairstyle. The simplest means of wearing a veil is to use the “drop” style, such as was chosen by Kate Middleton for her wedding to Prince William. Secured simply with a comb or bobby pins, the drop style of wearing a veil is a timeless, classic choice. Next in line in terms of ease comes the use of a halo, or a garland. Your garland can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be. Using flowers in a ringlet will give you a distinctly romantic look, while a halo adorned by jewels or crystals can make you look more glamorous. The Juliet cap is a nice option for another type of romantic, especially for women with a passion for History. Such a style can look gorgeous in a medieval-themed wedding, or weddings with a 1920s or 1930s style.
A few more veil options
One of the biggest things to think about is whether to have a blusher or not. A blusher is the part of the veil that covers the face and is generally lifted by the father of the bride during the wedding ceremony, just after the walk down the aisle, or is lifted by the groom, just before he kisses his new wife. The birdcage and bandeau styles act as a type of blusher in themselves, though they’re not lifted, but the other types of veils can have blushers added. Blushers have come back into style in a big way after Kate Middleton chose to wear one at her wedding. And then there are so many things to consider when it comes to your veil’s edging (scalloped? Lace?), fabric (tulle? Silk?), and detailing (beading? Embroidery? Applique?) There’s a lot to think about – but not much could be more fun than considering all the possibilities and finding that perfect veil for you.
Hats, Fascinators, Headbands, Tiaras, and More
Some brides prefer to forego veils and wear hats or fascinators instead. With these options, a bride can get very distinctive (remember the headpiece worn by Carrie when she almost married Mr. Big?). A bride can go all out and get very creative using either of these, incorporating gorgeous beading, feathers, color, crystals – anything her heart desires. A woman can also evoke different historical eras with her choice of non-veil headpieces, such as by designing a 1920s-style bandeau, or through the use of beautiful scarves. For the woman who wants to feel like a princess, tiaras are a natural choice – and a veil can be worn along with one. Some brides might want to simply wear beautiful flowers in their hair. Depending on the flowers chosen, this choice can give off an air of elegance (roses and baby’s breath, for ex.) or laid-back, “natural woman” ease (daisies).
Visit up to find the perfect headpiece
When it’s time for you to select the perfect headpiece to complement your wedding gown, visit the Crystal Bridal Boutique at 110 Avenue U, Brooklyn, New York.
Our shop serves people throughout Brooklyn and Gravesend and we would be honored to serve you too. We’ll be more than happy to help you think through all of the fun options and decide on the headpiece that will make you and your dress look your best.
And, please, if you have any questions, call us at 347-462-4941.