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A Practical Wedding: Things To Wear On Your Head When You Wed

I’ve been having a hard time figuring out what I want to wear on my head as a bride. I mean, really, it shocks me that it’s such a complicated decision. For my post, I was going to give you a list of all the hot indie places to get cool stylish veil alternatives (I’m looking at you, Bando) but thankfully Peonie has done all that and more. Instead, I’m going to give you the story of my search so far.

I’m a bit of a indie bride, so naturally, I’m drawn to hip and funky hairpieces. Like Miss Ten Thousand Only, I’m in love with this magical bit of feathers and netting by Sara Gabriel:

For similar reasons, I also love Christine’s, of Pretty.Pretty.Paper, rocking custom veil by Leah C. Give me some netting and some flowers and I’m a happy girl. (and how HOT is she in this picture?)
Remember Kara’s amazing pouf that everyone loved? It signals Bridal! Veil! While also saying ‘I’m stylish, I’m myself, I’m doing my own thing.’ It’s also by Sara Gabriel, who’s clearly got it going on.

I love all of these headpieces. So why is it not that simple? Well. The veil is actually a important concept in Jewish weddings. The old-school Jewish wedding had a veiling ceremony – the groom would veil the bride before the walk down the aisle, to make sure he knew who he was marrying. These days, in progressive/feminist Judaism, that bit of tradition has been scrapped, and then reinvented. These days, there is a new-school egalitarian ritual where the bride puts a kippah (yarmulke) on the grooms head, and the groom puts on the brides veil – in a private moment before walking down the aisle . The ceremony is a way to ground yourselves in each other, alone, before the you get to the bit with the crowd. It’s a way to say privately before it all begins – I see you for who exactly who you are, without all the fancy trappings, and I choose you.

And that’s not even the half of it. It turns out, the veil has mystical significance as well. There is an old Jewish mystical tradition that says when a bride wears a veil walking down the aisle, the veil connects her to the future, so that when she walks to the huppah, all her children and grandchildren to the end of time walk with her.


Now, seriously, how am I going to pass that up?

So the search is on. I want to find a slightly more traditional veil, one that I can wear across my face, that still holds true to my indie, etsy, feather loving roots. And you know, since we’re making the dress, we’ll be making the veil. Thus far, I’ve found these small bits of inspiration:

This bride (from an old MSW) helped inspire me to go with a short handmade dress. I like her veil too. It’s got a 1950’s simplicity about it, which I dig, and would go with my dress. It was my very first plan for a veil. The only problem is, I think it’s actually a little more traditional then I am.

his photo (via Oh So Beautiful Paper by Melissa Murphy) Makes me want to have piles of tulle blowing in the wind. My sister always says “Sadly, you can’t wear a good veil anywhere these days, not even in mourning. So you might as well wear it to your own wedding.” Good point, that. Makes you want to go with a full out veil like this, because to heck with it, it’s your one chance. But when you get down to it, is it for me? I’m wearing a short dress because I don’t want anything getting in my way, so I’d never pull this off.

Thus far, this is the closest I’ve come to finding a veil that is, yup, tulle, but still feels indie, personal, and like something I could make feel like me. This is from a beautiful Jewish wedding that was featured in MSW years ago, and has served an inspiration to us on many fronts. Above you see the bride is signing the Ketubah.

And here she is walking down the aisle. Her veil is short, it’s sassy. It says “Bite me. I’m a feminist and I’m wearing a veil,” which is more or less the look I’m going for. And it is eminently, eminently make-able.

Now, if I can just figure out a way to work in some feathers (and maybe some porcupine quills) we might be getting close.

(Tales from your veil or not to veil quandary’s welcome in the comments. Because darn it, this must be a hard and loaded decision for someone other then me.)

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