Roundup: Wedding Veils


That (really) don't suck!

Roundup: Wedding Veils | A Practical Wedding

If you’ve ever gone wedding dress shopping or watched an episode of Say Yes to the Dress, you know that when you get close to finding the right dress the sales consultant will quickly slip a veil on your head in an effort to complete the “bridal look” (and close the sale). If you’re me, they may even tell you something like, “Eighty-five percent of men surveyed identified the veil as the biggest signifier of a woman looking like a bride”—which is pushy, bizarre (are these men trying to identify brides in a police lineup?), and I’m pretty sure completely made up. If you’re me, you went into dress shopping completely set on getting a tiny, practical, not-too-bridey birdcage veil, so maybe you spend a few minutes laughing with your best friend over the full-length cathedral veil and blusher currently on your head. You look like a Magazine-Ad Bride or a Movie Bride, not a Real-You Getting-Married Bride.

But then, a few months later, after the dress has been purchased and fitted, the ceremony written and the reception details finalized, you have a dream about your wedding day. In the dream, you’re standing outside of yourself, watching your ceremony. And when you see yourself, you’re wearing a veil. So maybe, if you’re me, you go out shopping again and find an elbow length veil trimmed in sparkly crystals and this time when you put it on with your dress, you really do feel like a Real-You Getting-Married Bride.

Roundup: Wedding Veils | A Practical Wedding

The veil was initially (for whatever reason) a symbol to me of a frou-frou traditional bride who wanted to be a princess on her wedding day. It was a symbol of everything about being a bride that I didn’t want to be. But over time, as our engagement progressed, I became more comfortable with the fact that I got to define what kind of bride I wanted to be; I wasn’t defined by what I put on my head. So I chose to put a sparkly veil on my head and on my wedding day I looked exactly how I had wanted (literally) in my dreams.

With that in mind, here is a roundup of veils that (really) don’t suck, for those of you who have suddenly decided that a veil won’t make you part of some patriarchal veil-selling conspiracy, but will instead make you awesome.

Roundup: Wedding Veils | A Practical Wedding

1.  Juliette Cap Veil by JulesVeils via Etsy ($99 and up for cap and veil) 2.  Draped Tulle Veil by sibodesigns via Etsy ($225) 3. Chapel-length Lace Veil by sibodesigns via Etsy ($295) 4. Drew Veil by Sara Gabriel via Bella Bleu Bridal ($157) 5. Charisse Veil by Sara Gabriel via Bella Bleu Bridal ($157) 6. Ellen Cathedral Veil by Wedding Belles New York via Nordstrom ($115) 7. Mantilla Veil by SmithaMenonbridal via Etsy ($105 and up) 8. Kate Veil by Sara Gabriel via Bella Bleu Bridal ($277) 9. Dotted Fingertip Veil by MelindaRoseDesign via Etsy ($250) 10. Beaded Scallop Juliet Veil by danani via Etsy ($230)

Editor’s Note: You’ll notice most of these veils are from Etsy. If you see something you like, but it’s not quite there, lots of Etsy sellers are happy to create a custom piece for you. Just ask!

Rachelle Rawlings

Rachelle is a wedding and portrait photographer in Houston, Texas where she lives with her husband Stephen, their sweet dogs Jezebelle and Pippa, and their cranky cat Roscoe. Three years ago, her now-husband convinced her to have a wedding instead of eloping (like she had always dreamed!) and she’s been hooked on weddings ever since!

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  • Laura C

    Several of those are really lovely, but the veil is one where I can’t even begin to get around the symbolism. A little too close to the surface, there, for me.

    Also I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t work on me at all, so easy for me to say.

    • MisterEHolmes

      Yeah, I just can’t get over the history/original purpose of the veil either.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      I would like to mention that I’m having some discomfort with how much I really want to wear a veil. The symbolism around it all (http://bit.ly/1hjfzyK) make me feel kind of weird too. I really consider myself a proud, vocal feminist but thinking of my partner lifting my veil on my wedding day makes my knees jelly and my heart floaty! So, not only do I want to wear a veil but I want my face to be shrouded and to be, in some respected, *presented* on my wedding day? WTF is going on there?

      Shit, I don’t know. I’m not changing my name but this is why I can’t hold it against people who decide to go that route. The heart wants what it wants, I guess and the symbolic stuff only has to mean what we decide it does…

      PS. NUMBER NINE – COME TO MAMA

      • Sarah

        Yup to this. Before my wedding, I envisioned my husband and I walking in together. However during planning I ended up being escorted in by my dad. I *know* this this is sexist in origin but it was important to my family and it truly became what I ended up wanting. The pictures of dad and me ended up being better than those of spouse and me!

      • Lisa

        I almost wish I hadn’t read the link and had remained in blissful ignorance… I’ve always loved the idea of having a veil with a blusher, but that symbolism definitely weirds me out.

        • vegankitchendiaries
        • Lawyerette510

          IMHO a lot of the symbolism is out-dated, and while it’s valuable to be aware of the roots of it, it shouldn’t be a deal breaker and keep you from doing what you want to do. Weddings in general (at least in the western tradition) grew out of what was nearly exclusively a business transaction in which control of a woman was transferred from her father to her husband, but that doesn’t mean that now and to me that’s not reason to not have a wedding or get married.

        • Meg Keene

          AGAIN. That symbolism isn’t… true…. in a religious sense. I mean, it’s pretty liberally made up. And I’m not sure it’s VAUGLY true historically. On things like “what does the veil mean, what did it mean at the dawn of time?” people sort of make guesses. Make symbolism that works for you, that’s what ritual is. That’s what you’re doing with the rest of your wedding.

          • dogmouth

            A few years ago, I read a mostly-done dissertation on head coverings in 16th and 17th-century England, and guess what? Depending on the context, wearing a veil meant, modesty, penance, virginity, that the wearer was of a very high social class and did not wish to mingle with the hoi polloi, that the wearer had just gone through childbirth and was about to be ritually re-welcomed into the community, mourning, and I’m sure a bunch of other things I can’t remember (because the dissertation primarily focused on wigs, which came with a whole other super-complicated set of meanings).

      • Cleo

        totally, 100% agree with you. Especially on number 9!!

        While the original purpose of the veil and the meaning behind it is a bit icky, it, for me, has become a meaningful tradition outside its original context. It, like the vows, is something that has been done in my religious tradition for ages and ages. It’s a way of connecting me to the past and to my roots. For me, it’s not about ownership or the man making sure he’s marrying the right woman, it’s about the fact that my entire family and culture has done it forever. Plus, I love headgear and when else am I going to get a chance to wear a veil?!

        • Meg Keene

          Yeah. I like this. Also, the whole wedding ceremony has various strange roots that we’ve re-worked. We don’t say “obey” anymore. Men get rings too (the double ring ceremony is only about 100 years old). We re-work ritual till it works for us. That’s what tradition is! To hand off, or to hand over.

          • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

            “We re-work ritual till it works for us.” Love this so much. And it’s so true! Rituals weren’t set in stone hundreds or thousands of years in the past by other people. They have evolved over time, adapted and carried on by people like us. That’s the best part!

      • Dacia E.

        Ugh, I did not know this. It seems like all the stuff with symbolic, sexist meaning is the stuff I end up actually wanting, if I’m really honest with myself. (Dad walking down the aisle – he’d be so disappointed if he didn’t get to do that! Taking his last name – well, I actually like his name, and I don’t like mine that much, and I want our family to have the same name.)

        On the other hand, wearing a flaming Roman veil to ward off evil spirits sounds kind of awesome.

        • Meg Keene

          Yeah, you guys. That Wikipedia article isn’t particularly true. I’ve spent my life living with biblical scholarship, and that is some weak ass shit.

      • Amy March

        Typically poorly written wikicrap in my opinion. Article states that, currently, veils are commonly used in Christian weddings to signal virgin status or lack thereof. Horse. Shit. Doesn’t cite to a single church source confirming this is true of any major Christian faith at the moment.

        • Kat Robertson

          Yeah, I have never heard any church-pushed link between veils and virginity, and I’ve been involved in several denominations. I’ve heard all of the usual stuff about white dresses = virginity, but like it says in Meg’s book, that isn’t even accurate.

          • Meg Keene

            No. Not accurate AT ALL.

        • Meg Keene

          AMEN THANK YOU AMY.

          PLEAZE.

          • Katie

            So, my only comment here is that I agree, it doesn’t seem to be heavily substantiated as a Christian symbol. However, I thought I read somewhere that the veil lifting was tied to arranged marriages in cultures where veil-wearing is a normal tradition. Does anyone know whether or not that is actually true?

        • ElisabethJoanne

          I just posted above that veils can mean “just had a baby” in some churches.

        • Brittany

          As a veil wearing Catholic (like every Sunday, not just at my wedding, though that one was long and white and tulle, and my normal one is small and black and lace) it definitely is not a sign of virginity in the Catholic Church. It is instead a symbol of devotion and humility, two qualities I definitely strive for in my marriage. Obvs, a veil neither makes or breaks that, but there is something to be said about the idea that an object can be symbolic of many different things depending on the context.

      • Meg Keene

        Build symbolism that works for you. Your partner choosing you. Joining with your partner to unveil the next chapter of your life. Then write it down and put it in the program. Child of a liturgist here, I can guarantee you that’s how it works. You make up whatever you want a symbol to mean. BAM. Ritual.

      • Katie

        Could your enthusiasm for the veil-lifting perhaps be similar to unwrapping a christmas present? ie you are giving yourself (of your own volition) to your future husband (and he to you) by getting married, and having him lift your veil is like giving him the best present in the whole world and watching the joy in his face. To me this is different that this (unsubstantiated) symbolism of the women being given to the man (by another man), which I could understand struggling with.

    • Jessica

      I can’t get over the symbolism either, but I still have the “but, so pretty!” feeling toward veils that I’m struggling with. Sooo hard.

    • Meg Keene

      Said this above, I’ll say it down here too. They symbolize a lot of things (including whatever you want them too). I wanted to wear one (spoiler: I didn’t) because there is a jewish mystical tradition that when you put on a veil, all of your decedents/ future generations walk down the aisle with you. CHILLS Y’ALL.

      Also, having done a shit ton of research about wedding history, writing a book, I’m just not sure I buy the virginity argument. People say that’s what the white dress symbolizes as well, but that’s fundamentally historically inaccurate, aka, made up. Also, in Judaism, it’s a complicated symbol, and one I like quite a bit. Your partner puts the veil on you, so they can look at your face before the wedding and choose you (no trickery). That’s pretty lovely symbolism in my book.

      As a daughter of a liturgist and two biblical scholars AND a convert, reading that wikipedia entry, I’m struck by how much of that is created symbolism. You can argue back and forth till you die about biblical symbolism, and give citations for it, and it’s all art. If you argued to my face that “veiling may signify the waters of baptism” you would get a HUGE eyeroll from me. I mean, SURE. It can. If you construct that symbolism. But it’s hard to argue that’s universal symbolism. I could make up five other equally convincing symbols for you in five minutes.

      • Laura C

        I’m not sure I buy any particular argument about where the symbolism comes from or what it originally meant, but as a sociologist I also see invented traditions as powerful also. So I’m with you — the white dress wasn’t originally about virginity. But for a lot of people it has that significance now and that’s something I also take seriously. Same with the veil. Wherever it started, I personally am not comfortable with where it is now. But hey, I’m also not comfortable with practically any of the bride stuff. Ten years ago it was a different story, but for me, the more weddings I attend, rather than falling for the ritual and resonance, I see it more and more as a gender script I’m uncomfortable with. For myself.

        • Meg Keene

          Ritual is, by it’s definition, what we make it though.

          The white dress being about virginity, I just don’t see any basis in that ever being true. White dresses only started after 1840, and the idea that they were tied with virginity has always been EXPRESSLY untrue in terms of etiquette or any sort of high society (see: Miss Manners writing on the subject). It’s basically an idea people threw around, that regularly got shot down as false.

          If you want to be an uncomfortable with it, a far better reason (if you ask me) is that it’s tied to conspicuous consumption of wealth, and always has been. That you can absolutely track historically from decade to decade. I’ve never seen any proof that the white dress virginity association was anything other than that—an association people made (that was generally considered to be in TERRIBLE taste, historically).

          Gender scripts and weddings are a whole different story, however. I just don’t think the white dress equalling virginity gender script was ever a true one. There are plenty of other shitty ones to pick apart though.

        • http://adornyourhearts.tumblr.com Xomyx

          I actually never heard of the veil being tied to virginity. I always thought it had to do with warding off evil spirits.

  • Christina A.

    I’m just getting into the dress- and veil-purchasing process, and ohmigosh does it seem overwhelming. This post is a fun roundup! It’s also helpful to get another voice in my head saying “do it because of what it means to YOU, not because of what it means to (x).”

    My Illinoisian mother wore a mantilla as she married my Mexican father, only to be told later that she got it wrong: mantillas are Spanish. It was the thought that counted. And hey, now I can wear it not because I’m Spanish, but because it was my mother’s veil.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      and mantilas are so pretty!!

      • Christina A.

        Right?! That’s the part of dressing-up I’m looking forward to right now…going shopping for a bridal gown is enough to give me the nervous sweats at the moment.

  • Caitlin_DD

    Great timing as always APW. I’m digging that polka dot veil, yes indeed!

  • Kate

    These veils are lovely, but the look on model #4′s face is the best part of the roundup. Maybe someone needs to tell her that veils are ok? Or give her some cake and champagne already?

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      Seriously! Of course, I love that veil though. If I’d gone veil, it definitely would have been birdcage.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Maybe her caterer is stuck in traffic?

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      Wedding modeling is the most bizarre thing to me. The good news is that wedding attire almost always looks way better on real people than on the models, probably because of all the scowling. :)

    • Meg Keene

      WHAT? I love that model. I love a angry lady in tulle. She’s like “fuck you, and the horse you rode in on. I’m too awesome for you.”

    • Kelsey

      Also, I cannot discern how the veil is attached to the head of the angry woman in tulle. Which is important to me as I have very recently acquired a very similar veil as a hand me down and I would like to wear my free veil, but the comb part does not attach to my head in a way that makes the veil look like the above. I have a lot less hair. And I’m not usually so scowly. Those could be my problems.

      • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/ Jenny/Adventures Along the Way

        Maybe work on your scowl?

        • Kelsey

          These are helpful!! Thank you gals!!

      • Sarah McClelland

        see if adding a little spray starch on the part closest to the comb helps… if it’s been stored for any length of time it’ll lose that crispness… hairspray of the ridiculously strong type could do the trick too.

  • Candace Armstrong

    That polka dot veil is the first one I’ve seen that’s made me go “Oh…oh, yes.” I never really thought of what it symbolizes but i do know that when they put one on me at the dress shop, I reacted the way a confused baby does when you put a hat on it.

    • Lawyerette510

      ” the way a confused baby does when you put a hat on it.” made me laugh aloud at my desk!

    • Meg Keene

      HAHAHA the best sentence ever written.

      They symbolize a lot of things (including whatever you want them too). I wanted to wear one (spoiler: I didn’t) because there is a jewish mystical tradition that when you put on a veil, all of your decedents/ future generations walk down the aisle with you. CHILLS Y’ALL.

      • Candace Armstrong

        Meg, I didn’t know that! I’m marrying a Jewish man so I’ll have to keep that in mind.

  • Alyssa

    I love this post! I am such a theatre person that to me, plenty of the day did feel like “getting into costume” and “warming up backstage” but I kinda loved all that. The veil wasn’t just something that made me feel like a bride, but also connected me to my mom and my grandmothers, who wore veils on their wedding day as well. I had such good fun with it that the symbolism didn’t bother me – I just felt like Emma Woodhouse or Mary Crawley or Anne Shirley or any of my other favorite married fictional heroines.

  • Glen

    I couldn’t find what I wanted in a veil (something similar to #4, but shorter without the sparkles and with a jeweled comb). So I made mine for about $10 using instructions I googled. It took about 3 tries to get what I wanted (maybe 6 hours of work, and I am not a crafty person). But it was exactly what I wanted, and since it was only $10, I wasn’t too heartbroken when it went missing at the reception.

  • Lisa

    OMG #3. I am swooning at my desk.

    • Heather

      SAMESIES. A friend of mine wore one very similar to that, with her hair down, and I was floored. It was like flapper-esque and royalty all in one. AMAZING.

      • Lisa

        I’m planning to wear my (long) hair down as well! I’m sending my mom (who’s making my dress and veil…and my sisters’ bridesmaid dresses…and her own MOB dress) a photo now to see if she thinks she could put something similar together/if it would “go” with my dress.

    • Ragnhild

      I know! I have already pinned it a couple of times… Ended up with a vintage one like it, but with a more structured cap. I am only a little worried it will stay on my head, but Im mainly using it at the ceremony. It was really hard to choose though, and the polka dots almost won me over.

  • Amy A.

    So lovely! #3 is divine, but mine was closer to #7. It was my mom’s and I modified it slightly from a wire-headband style to a comb. I cut the tulle off of the wire, (carefully) removed the lace with a seam ripper, folded the tulle and sewed it on the comb, and covered the comb with the lace that had been on the headband. I am so glad my mom didn’t mind the change because it was SO much more comfortable that way. She was fussed that the lace on her veil wasn’t the same as the lace on my dress, but I was like, “Whatever, they’re both floral patterns, and who is going to notice? No one.” I loved it!

  • ART

    Woah. I was all set to forget the veil and #2 made me rethink. That is…so good.

  • Mallory2

    I loved my veil. Loved. And never thought I would wear one. But I put one on, in jest, and had a moment. I took it off, thought about it for a few months, then, head held high, went back and bought one. I owned it on my wedding day, because it was special to me, and had not a thought about the historical symbolism. To me, so much of our wedding planning process was about thoughtful reclaiming of traditions and leaving out the ones that didn’t fit us.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    If you didn’t include #6, I might understand what veils you think suck. (I’m guessing the rather plain but pooffy ones that they have at bridal salons but which I didn’t actually see a lot of in bridal magazines c. 2011-12.) But since #6 looks very normal/typical/traditional to me, I’m curious what problem this post is trying to solve. Maybe I need more stories like Rachelle’s of people who didn’t want veils until they did, or stories of people who had an idea of the kind of veil they wanted, but had a hard time executing their vision.

    Me, I think I found an article online or in a big bridal magazine on the basic veil concepts (bird cage, comb, lengths, types of tulle, etc.), looked at pictures to get an idea of what I wanted, fiddled with some light cloth and tried on my mother’s veil to confirm, then custom-ordered exactly what I wanted from etsy.

    • Meg Keene

      I don’t think the staff DOES particularly think one kind of veil sucks. Finding awesome ones can be tricky though (and people have very different tastes). And if this thread proves anything, it’s that a lot of us have verrryyyy conflicted feelings about veils and want to talk about them.

      Six is simple. It’s also a lot like a tutorial we produced ages ago, so we’re on record as thinking simple veils are cool: http://apracticalwedding.com/2012/03/how-to-make-wedding-veil/ Not to mention, six is a lot like what Rachelle wore.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Two years is “ages ago”? Ugh, internet time. Makes us all feel old. I loved that series. I was veil-shopping then.

        • Meg Keene

          I shot that series before my book came out, I got pregnant, and had my now 18 month old. So in non-internet time? Ages ago.

  • Nicole

    I felt the same way about the symbolism of a veil and blushing-bride motif. But I really do think they’re beautiful and when will I ever be able to wear one again (I’m not Beyoncé!). So I wore one, but had my mom remove it from my face at the start of the ceremony. That way I could still feel beautiful but symbolically say to the world, “I’m choosing this marriage with clear vision.”
    It was also a great way to incorporate my mom into the ceremony proceedings.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Same here. We really need more occasions to wear veils and big white dresses as adult women.

  • kris

    I WISH I liked veils. It’s been the biggest “pressure point” with me in that everyone I know keeps telling me I need to wear one (“or you won’t be a bride”…um, what?). But when I try it on I feel like …hey I got something stuck in my hair, get it off. They’re pretty, but it’s not my style at all and I feel so WEIRD with one on. My fiance knows this and is in full support of my plan to wear a floral crown :)

    However I will say, #2 and 9…might be able to persuade me if I could afford them

    • Jess

      don’t cave! be you!

      happy to be on the opposing side of “everyone” :)

    • JSwen

      Yes, I second not caving!

      Maybe get an awesome headband that sparkles or has some white in it, if you want to appease the, “nobody will know that you are the bride even though everyone knows you and you invited them to your wedding where you are the bride” haters.

    • Lawyerette510

      If you aren’t feeling the veil– don’t do it! I didn’t have a veil and I didn’t miss it. Originally I was going to have a flower crown, but the dress I fell for didn’t feel right to me with the crown, so I went for flowers on a comb, but I don’t think brides have to wear anything on their head to look like the bride. You’ll look like the bride because you are the bride!

    • Ragnhild

      Floral crowns are so beautiful! I kind of want one, but dont have the budget to change headpieces several times a day…

    • Meg Keene

      Dude. If you don’t want to wear a veil, PLEASE don’t wear a veil. I thought I wanted one, and couldn’t put one on without feeling like… not me. So at the last minute I didn’t. Just… make sure you feel like you.

      FLORAL CROWNS ARE THE BEST. I think we have a non-veil roundup coming up soon. That one’s for you.

      • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

        MOAR PRETTY STUFF FO YO HEAD! I am really excited to see the non-veil head accessory post :)

      • kris

        Yes! I’ll keep an eye out. My bohemian side is too strong to resist flowers in my hair.

      • Cecily

        Yes, please! Also, I would love to see floral crowns with more greenery and smaller flowers – I feel like a lot of the ones I see have really big flowers.

      • Ashlee

        Another “yes, please!!!” to the non-veil roundup. I’d love to see what you all come up with.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      If you’re looking for your floral crown can I suggest a great Etsy seller?

      https://www.etsy.com/shop/BloomDesignStudio

      Laura did the flower crown for my Junior Bridesmaid and it was so beautiful I’m STILL thinking about wearing one myself! The crazy thing was the price – about forty bucks. The pictures on her site don’t come close to doing her work justice. So very, very pretty…

    • Audrey

      I never even considered a veil – it was one of my easiest decisions. When I went in for my hair consultation (big splurge but I ended up loving it) my hairdresser suggested a single flower wrapped in my hair with ribbon as part of my (mostly down) hair. I LOVED it, it ended up being perfect. So if you second guess the floral crown, there are other awesome flower options!

  • Katarina

    I’m wearing my mom’s veil, but it’s attached to a little hat thing that I don’t want to wear. Any suggestions about getting it remade and maybe cleaned?

    • Brittany

      The tailor that did my dress altered my mom’s 1983 veil as well. She took the weird headband/cap thingy off and removed a layer and trimmed it down so it wasn’t so poofy. I know not all do that, but it’s worth asking. Otherwise, maybe the shop you got your dress at will have suggestions.

    • Amy A.

      APW also had a tutorial (Meg linked to it above) about how to make a simple veil. If you’re interested in doing it yourself and you like how theirs looks, give that a try, or, as Brittany suggested, take it to your tailor as inspiration. I talked below about how I changed my mom’s veil too. Good luck!

  • JSwen

    Is #7 even attached to her head or is it just draped on there for the product shot?

  • emilyg25

    No veil; no regrets. Hair flowers are surprisingly easy to make!

    http://somethingturquoise.com/2011/08/03/diy-flower-hair-piece/

    • vegankitchendiaries

      @emilyg25:disqus, I love it when you leak bonus photos ;)

      • emilyg25

        Gosh, thanks! Kelly Prizel really does great work.

    • Jess

      I almost made a hair flower! but after making all the paper centerpiece flowers, i bailed. just had the hair stylist make lots of waves and twistys! yours looks lovely. :)

    • Lawyerette510

      Yep! Hair flowers FTW! We bought what looked good at whole foods a couple days before the wedding, a friend wired them to a comb, and I couldn’t have been happier!

  • Sarah Brown

    I was dead set against wearing a veil and then while browsing etsy in my downtime I found the cutest, retro birdcage veil in ivory with polka dot tulle instead of mesh. I LOVE it and it really completes my look. Now I just gotta figure out how to secure the clip in my pixie cut so it’s not flying off in the wind during the reception!

    • InTheBurbs

      Don’t be afraid to supplement the clip with bobby pins and hair spray – I had a hairpiece with a clip – and with a little help it didn’t move all day

    • Maggie

      As long as your hair is more than 1-1.5″, just backcomb/tease the spot where you want the veil to attach and then hairspray it, creating an anchor.

  • Bsquillo

    I ended up making my veil with my mom and grandmother- cost was around $50, most of which was for the lace trim. Now I’m trying to figure out exactly where to place it with my hairdo- it’s a low curly updo, so I’m wondering if the veil should be attached above or below it?

  • Lindsey d.

    I’m still pleased that I didn’t end up with a veil or any adornment in my hair (which I wore down, which also seems to be a huh? for brides these days). I felt plenty “bridal” without it.

    All of the serious expressions on these models crack me up. We did a mini bridal session before the wedding because I didn’t want to pay all that money for one beforehand and all my serious pictures are dumb looking. I couldn’t keep a straight face to save my life. Too happy!

    • Lawyerette510

      Oh I think hair worn down and unadorned is so stunning!

    • Lisa

      I’m planning to leave my hair down, and it is SO HARD to find “inspiration photos” on-line of something that is simple and pretty and not OTT. Glad to hear someone else left hers down, too!

      • Granola

        FWIW, I really thought Kim Kardashian’s hair looked pretty in her wedding to Kanye. So there might be that…

      • Lindsey d.

        Lisa — my photographer just added a bunch of my photos to her Pinterest page. Maybe there is some inspiration here for you? http://www.pinterest.com/jennocken/jop-weddings/. I’m not 100% thrilled with how my hair came out. It was a little too stiff in the beginning and then fell a lot by the end, but it was perfect for the ceremony and start of the reception.

        • Lisa

          You look gorgeous! I have super curly hair and want to do either a partial up-do or leave it completely down, and I haven’t found any partial up style that I’m in love with. I’m probably going to do it myself, too, since I don’t let too many other people touch my hair so I want to keep it somewhat simple. I like seeing another bride with beautiful down hair. :)

          • Lindsey d.

            Thank you! My hair is super straight and I was going for a Veronica Lake thing, but it didn’t quite work out since my hair doesn’t like to hold a curl for more than half an hour.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Maybe this will totally mess people up, or maybe it will just prove you can’t win, but…In her book “The Six Wives of Henry VIII,” (recommended, btw) Antonia Fraser says hair down was the sign of a virgin bride (as opposed to a widow) in the 16th century.

  • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

    These are beautiful! My veil was surprisingly my favorite part . . . I initially didn’t want one, but found a gorgeous veil that matched my dress perfectly (it was beaded). However, it was super expensive! Like, half the price of my dress (granted, my dress was $650, but that’s still crazy for bridal veiling! And my mother had made my sister’s veil). Anyways . . . my little brother came to one of my fittings with me and bought my wedding veil for me. Yes, let’s all cry at my then 22 year old brother buying my wedding veil :-)

  • Kelly

    It’s uncanny how much you’re in my head. That is my exact situation as of last night. We’re about 2 months out, and I never even considered the possibility of wearing a veil (I actually got a little aggressive about my insistence on not wearing one while trying on dresses), and then suddenly last night I saw a picture of someone in a beautiful mantilla and now I NEED ONE THEY’RE SO PRETTY. Still not sure if I can justify the money or my hesitations about the tradition, though. I think I’ll sit on it for a few weeks.

  • Molly Kopuru

    My sister bought my birdcage veil last minute (like a week before the wedding) on Etsy. I wasn’t sure how I felt about birdcage veils literally right up until I put it on. It was perfect and it really completed my look.

  • Dom

    My friends really tried to pressure me into getting a veil, but I really didn’t want one at all – too expensive, only going to wear it for the ceremony, all the history around it, etc. I tried one on, and still didn’t like it.

    But – I ended up making my own at a cost of $30 and a few hours. It is actually elbow length because it is made to my size (arms of a woman close to 6′ are not the same length as someone at 5’6″) so it is mine completely and fits me. Having the veil that suits your style and dress (and size) turns it from being this weird tulle contraption to an actual accessory.

  • Jane

    There was never a doubt in my mind that I would wear a veil. Tremendously exciting accessory that you really can only pull off once or twice in your life (you could wear one to a funeral, I guess, but funeral fashion is a lot less fun than wedding fashion, for obvious reasons). My veil was the first thing I bought (Etsy) and I wore it around my apartment when nobody was home because I loved it so, so, so much.

    After the wedding, I sold my dress (I loved my dress, too, but I didn’t $500 love it, which is how much I sold it for) but kept my veil. It was made in Israel, soft tulle with simple lace edging; oh, it was just perfect. HOWEVER, one thing I was not told about veils is that after the ceremony, there is a lot of hugging of the bride, and the veil keeps getting in the way (if it is not a birdcage veil. I love birdcage veils but they don’t really fit my style–I’m more classic/traditional, I guess). I loved my veil so much but I had to take it off after a while because it was driving me crazy.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Oh, gosh. An Israeli lace-edge veil. Do you have a link to the retailer? or, What etsy shop?

      • Jane

        Here it is! It was called Bridal Ambiance on Etsy. The veil was called:
        Waves – two layers wedding bridal veil, 30 inch length, lace finish, white or ivory

  • Hannah B

    On the flip side, as a person who works at one of those mythical non-pushy bridal shops, the reason we put a veil on at the end is because trying on a dress that doesn’t fit you and imagining yourself in it in the proper size is hard enough as it is, and adding the veil (or other headpiece) really helps the bride imagine/visualize herself at the ceremony–which can be key to them visualizing themselves in the dress. Twice, I have had brides yell “HOLY SHIT I AM REALLY GETTING MARRIED” as soon as I put a veil on them.

    Plenty of times, I ask if they want to see one and they say no, and that’s fine; also in my experience, the brides who end up wearing the long mantillas or cathedral veils are the ones who ask to see them and have actively wanted them (usually, sometimes it is mom) .

    I just hate that there are (apparently) so many terrible bridal stylists out there that make brides feel bad, spew bullshit like “you won’t look like a bride sans veil” and try to railroad them into choices they don’t want to make. The bride (or brides) is the one who invited you, the one who is up there in front saying vows; everyone knows who she is!! I myself am going to wear a veil, but something simple and no blusher because I tried one on and felt like I was in mosquito net, but lots of girls love the blusher. To each her own.

    Side note: IF you have the romantic idea that you may want a veil that can be passed down, check that the lace and/or embellishment is sewn on, not glued. Glue will yellow over time and discolor the tulle.

    • TeaforTwo

      Putting on the veil at my dressmaker’s totally gave me that moment – my dress was custom made, so it was only a big poofy lace skirt + plain muslin top, and the veil helped me picture the whole look a bit more. (The friend I brought did the whole squeal, “YOU LOOK LIKE A BRIDE” until I flipped the tulle over my face to try that look when she squealed “STOP NOW YOU LOOK LIKE CHATTLE” Such a fine line sometimes.)

      I’ll also add that putting the veil on on the morning of my wedding was a very memorable moment. My MOH teared up (she’s normally quite stoic), and I loved the reminder of all the tradition I was falling in line with, and all of the women who’d come before me. (And this has turned out to be one of my favourite photos from the day.)

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Gorgeous <3

      • Hannah B

        beautiful!!!

  • Granola

    Just want to add in this tutorial real quick. I used it to make my veil with my mom and it was pretty easy. Took a little thinking through how to properly cut and fold, so we ended up doing it twice. But I think overall it took maybe $40 of supplies (including the mistake) and could be done in a day easily.

    http://www.chicaandjo.com/2008/04/08/make-your-own-wedding-veil/

    The veil was something I wanted to have, but didn’t want to spend much on because I only wanted to wear it for the ceremony, so this worked really well.

  • Hope

    Man, I’ve been married 3 years and seeing these makes me wish I could wear a veil again for some occasion. (I did wear my sister’s handmade veil at my wedding, which was fine but not dreamy). They are just so majestic and dramatic and womanly! This society needs more head adornment in general, I think. Sometimes I wish I was born in another era when men and women were wearing hats in daily life!

  • Laura

    I was the first out of my close-knit group of girlfriends to get married and happened to choose a simple finger-tip length tulle veil. I have offered it to each friend if they are interested in borrowing it and by the time the last one gets married next summer, all five of us will have worn the veil. Each one of us has rocked it in our own unique way and I love that we have been able to share something that was present on all of our special days.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Great story! Love!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      So sweet!

  • Katie

    hmm… a veil didn’t even occur to me, and looking at these veils all I can think is “but wouldn’t having a pile of (pretty) tulle on your head be annoying?”

  • ElisabethJoanne

    So, Anglican liturgics and other occasions to wear a veil, following up on multiple posts…It has a
    different name in today’s Prayer Books, but in older editions of the
    Book of Common Prayer, there’s a rite called “The Churching of Women, or, the Thanksgiving of Women After Childbirth.” One of the rubrics says the woman has to be “decently appareled.” Historically, there has been much debate about what this means, a lot of it focused on head coverings. Some parishes have veils to borrow in case the new mother doesn’t have her own proper head covering. And then there’s debate about how big the church veils have to be. So, a veil doesn’t have to have anything to do with virginity or weddings.

    Link to one version of the rite:
    http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1928/Marriage.htm#Churching_Women

  • Valerie

    I’m shocked that nobody knows that the real reason brides wear veils is to keep their faces from flying off: http://the-toast.net/2014/04/16/popular-wedding-traditions/

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      OMG.

      “The flower girl strews petals along the floor of the wedding chapel as a sign of disrespect to the church’s custodial staff; generally a girl is chosen for her bad temper and class snobbery.”

  • macaroni

    I was STAUNCHLY anti-veil when I first went to try on gowns…then we tried one on once I’d found “the dress.” It’s super simple, fingertip length, trimmed in satin. Everyone was right. To me, it made me look like a bride. AND we found a freaking badass and beautiful headband/headpiece to go with it!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      hi, this is amazing.

      • macaroni

        Thank you!! I love the headpiece SO MUCH.

  • Justine Pollitt

    I wore a mantilla veil and my hair up for my wedding. If I had my time again I would wear my long hair down and a crown of fresh red roses or something else completely romantic and awesome.

  • Channa

    I heart these veils, but I didn’t wear a veil at my wedding. Didn’t regret it then and don’t regret it now (the dress I chose, being very not bridey at all, didn’t go with a veil anyway).

    • Channa

      I should note that everyone still identified me as a bride, including “men”. Ahem. What a silly thing to say.

  • Kelsey

    I wore a veil for most of my ceremony, until after our vows. I did it because, as a Christian, my favorite part of the bible is when the temple veil was torn in two from top to bottom, and I love the passage in 1 Corinthians where it says that for anyone who is in Christ, the veil is lifted. It was one of the most emotionally charged moment in my ceremony for me, when we had finished saying our vows, and our officiate pronounced us, and Alex lifted my veil. The whole room looked clear and bright, to a surreal degree, and it was a really beautiful moment that I made for myself by wearing a veil.

  • KathleenH

    These are all so, so beautiful (draped veil oh my god are you serious), but I’m worried that my budget realities are going to dash my very real veil dreams. Any gorgeous and decently-made veils that are about half of these prices? I’ve seen quite a few on etsy but not a lot of reviews on quality. I know I’ll have to sacrifice ornateness for price but there’s gotta be something out there. Anybody? Anybody?

  • H

    I had a veil I really liked (from this shop that I highly recommend on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BridalAmbiance), and a cute story from my wedding day. I mostly wanted a veil because I wanted that moment with my dad where he lifts the veil over my head. In any case, on the actual wedding day, just before we all walked in, the priest sees me and says, “Make sure your dad lifts your veil up. We don’t want your husband to accidentally marry the wrong woman and then have to work 7 more years for you.” It was an adorable little joke for a priest to make, and it made me smile. That is all.

    • Jane

      My veil was from Bridal Ambiance on Etsy, too! I loved it!

  • Stefanie

    The veil I wore was elbow length with some small beading along the edge. And I got it at Amazon for about $14. It looked great with my formal princess-like dress. And I didn’t feel too concerned (due to the price), when I duct taped it to my motorcycle helmet at the end of the wedding when we rode off into the sunset. We got some great responses from people as we rode around.

  • VenusAD

    I got my veil from Honeycomb veils and it is amaaazing. It’s waltz length, which apparenly means it hits my ankles in the front and trails a tiny bit on the floor in the back. It has silver flower embroidered down the side with purple swarovski crystals in them. It’s so so sooo pretty.

    I never had a problem with veils though. I always wanted one, though I found that I did not like blushers at all.

  • Christy

    Can you do a post like this on boleros? While my church isn’t requiring that I wear one, growing up in Catholic schools has left me a feeling a little awkward about walking into church in a strapless dress. My dress is being custom made (by Mom!) so I have some flexibility, but we’re having a hard time finding inspiration. I hate the look of a shawl and every bolero I’ve seen is hideous.