Brides are often a little confused by wedding veils…the blusher, mantilla, cathedral, puddle…as well finding the perfect wedding dress there is a whole new vocabulary when it comes to the veil – what is that all about?! So we thought a blog unveiling the mysteries of the veil might help.
Why Do Brides wear Veils?
Brides today wear the veil as the finishing touch which completes the bridal look with its sheer romance. Putting on the veil immediately brings out the tissues and the need for waterproof mascara on the wedding day; but originally brides were veiled to protect them from enchantment and hide them from evil spirits. Roman brides wore flame coloured veils to scare those spirits away.
In the days when a marriage was more of a financial arrangement and a bride given in exchange of land and cattle, she might be heavily veiled so the groom, seeing his fiancé for the first time at the alter, couldn’t back out at the last minute.
Also, in many religions, the veil is a sign of humility and respect during a religious ceremony and this helps to explain why, traditionally, the veil is made with a blusher and a train.
During Victorian times, the veil not only indicated modesty but the weight, length and quality became a status symbol. Royal brides had the longest veils and the longest trains.
How is a veil made? The blusher and train explained.
Brides wear veils in many different styles and lengths, but whatever the style, the veil is always cut from one oval length of sheer fabric, usually tulle.
The two tier veil is divided into the blush or blusher and the train. The blush is 27′ long and is traditionally the short tier worn over the face to indicate the brides modesty when she enters the ceremony approaches her groom – remember the expression the blushing bride ? The train is the longer tier falling down the back back of the head and dress in various lengths from shoulder to finger tip to beyond the length of the dress itself.
The single tier veil is less traditional and does not have a blush. It is usually worn further back on the head also in various lengths.
Can be customised but standard lengths work with most contemporary wedding dresses. single and double tier veils are made from one piece of oval fabric and the length is measured including the 27” of the blush even on a single tier veil.
54″ shoulder length very pretty on a dress with a simple bodice at it draws attention to the face
72″ finger tip veil finishes at the upper thigh and provides an elegant wedding wow factor for brides who do not want a full length veil
Full length veils
108″ is the perfect veil length finishing just at the hem of a wedding dress with a very short train forming a little ‘puddle’ of fabric behind the bride as she walks.
126″ sits nicely at the hem of most wedding dresses with an average length train.
144″ for ultimate drama the train on cathedral length veil extends beyond the length of all but the longest of wedding dress trains.
Which style of veil works best?
This entirely depends on your dress and your vision for your wedding. You can choose the embellishment on your veil to compliment your gown with lace or sparkle or you can go classically plain. Your bridal stylist will help advise and help you. The key to your veil style is the combing. The comb attaches the veil to your hair and the way the veil is gathered onto the comb determines the fullness:
The Two Tier Full Comb gives a vintage style fullness and height with a 50s 60s vibe
The Two Tier Half Comb has less fullness and softly drapes the shoulder
The flat comb has two tiers with a flat soft blush – Duchess of Cambridge style
The single tier veil works well with a half comb worn towards the back of the head so the detailing on the back of the dress is clearly visible through the dress.
The Mantilla Comb single tier gives a flat Spanish look and works best edged in lace that frames the face.
Birdcage veils are perfect for brides who want a sophisticated and sassy look with just a little veiling across the face.
If you work with an independent bridal retailer, they will have contacts with specialists who handmade veils here in the UK giving you endless options for lace, embroidered or beaded embellishments.
How to look after your veil
If you buy your wedding dress and veil from an independent bridal retailer, they will both be handed to you crease free and ready to wear. All you will need to do is let your veil hang full length until the day. After the wedding day store it with your dress boxed in acid free tissue to avoid discolouration.If you buy your veil on the internet or from an outlet and it arrives creased DO NOT IRON IT! It is made from very sheer fabric and may melt.You should also take care not to let your veil near hair straighteners or tongs at hair trials.
If a veil is not for you … there are other options romantic detail and nothing is more on trend right now than capes – lace edged or beaded they add bring that bridal wow factor !
If you are unsure about wearing a wedding veil, remember this is the one day in your life you will have the opportunity for the ultimate in romantic photos…
and nothing says bride like a veil!