A Sisterly Veil

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Good news! My sister has volunteered to make my veil! Yay! For those of you just tuning in, she’s also hand letterpressing our invitations. She’s multi-talented, for a virologist. Anyway, the veil! This is exciting since it will save me a sizable amount of money and trouble, and because it will have sentimental value. I don’t have a dress yet, but the veil is more or less decided (I think). I’m going with something simple and un-edged and elbow length, like in the picture above. I thought about not wearing a veil at all (more on that later) but I decided I might as well go for it, since that is one accessory I’ll never get a chance to wear again. You even can’t pull off a veil at the Opera these days. It’s a shame.

When I was a flower girl at 9, the one piece of advice that the bride impressed on me was “Always make your own veil. They sell them at ridiculous prices.” Being wedding-struck even then, I remembered this information. Twenty years later, its probably even better advice. In One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding (if you haven’t read this book you must) you learn that a large part of the profit wedding salons make is in the bridal accessories. And it’s easy to tell why. Veils that cost $5 to make routinely sell for $1,000. Thats bridal blindness, right there! In real life would you pay a GRAND for a piece of tulle? Even a bedazzled piece of tulle? I’m going to go with no. So get one made for you, make one yourself, or shop online (but you knew that…)

Picture: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2007

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com. #NASTY

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  • Jenna

    I absolutely hate the way the salons attempt to pressure you into buying the veil they match up with the dress. They are always kind of ugly and bland, and they just won’t leave you alone about it. One salon even scoffed at me when I said I wanted a birdcage veil, telling me it was a terrible idea. I think she thought it was a terrible idea because she didn’t have any to sell to me :)

  • Meg

    Apparently, they are supposed to get you to spend AS MUCH on accessories as you spent on the dress. They talk about it in industry publications. It’s how they pay the bills.
    But the prices are SHOCKING. How I didn’t even know you could tacky up a veil like they manage to.

  • Hello!!
    I’m so glad I found your blog from “IN THIS INSTANCE”…. you are a girl after my own heart!

    Yes, veils can be a total rip. So can the fake fluffy flowers that one would pin on the side of her bun or updo. I would like one of those flowers (and a veil too), but I’m not going to pay lots of money for it. Yes, it’s the one day you can truly rock that look…. but it’s only one day! And I can think of several other longer-lasting things I’d like to spend my $$ on!

  • Oooh, almost forgot – when I showed my fiancee a birdcage veil, and asked him what he thought, first he laughed and then he offered to go to the fishing store and buy some netting to make one for me!
    So, evidently, my fiancee can make birdcage veils…. ;-)

  • since that is one accessory I’ll never get a chance to wear again.

    You know, I’ve often thought of making a veil specifically to wear to funerals. The kind just long enough to cover your hair in back, and just long enough to cover your eyes in front, in black (obviously), and with just the faintest hint of very subdued lace around the edge.

    Of course, the problem with a funeral veil is that wearing it would mean I had a funeral to go to, and I don’t want that. Also, I’m afraid it might make me look like an 80 year old Italian grandmother.

  • Meg

    I know. I almost mentioned funerals instead of Operas, but I didn’t want to be too depressing. It’s sort of a shame the good mourning veils are out.

    And heck YES you can make a birdcage veil. I bet your boyfriend could use bait to make a feather fascinator too.

  • we virologists are crafty!! ok so i’m still in school to be one, but i did make my own birdcage veil and even my mom and sister loved it!! my mom made both my sister’s veils, i think its fantastic that you have family making yours as well. enjoy!!

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  • my aunt made my birdcage style veil out of ÂŁ1.40 worth of netting and a ÂŁ5 cream rose the night before my wedding – hooray!

  • Megan

    Your sister sounds wonderful!

    I found my veil for under $60, handmade by abusymother on Etsy. Not being altogether crafty, I didn’t want to attempt to DIY my veil, as I think the hours of agonizing over it would be more than worth the price (which I think is pretty great considering it’s a long chapel length veil with a detachable fingertip length layer for dancing).