Veils are a little bit like lace - you either love them or hate them, and in my experience there is very little in between! So, if you're a lover you are probably now wondering how on earth you will decide on a style. Here are a few straight forward pointers :
Toss the rule books and go with what you love. Long veils may be seen as more formal and the 'correct' option for a long gown, but they can also add some drama and fun to your (short) outfit . Perhaps shorter veils are seen to be more retro and more suited to short gowns - but again this really depends on how you wear it. Go with what you love and wear it your way.
There is one rule that is worth adhering to - that is in regards to a train. If you are going for a long veil it is worthwhile to have a veil that is longer than your train. Otherwise opt for something that stops at the elbow or fingertip. A veil that stops short of the train can tend make your outfit look a little unfinished otherwise.
Here are some popular veil lengths -
Elbow Length - 70cm/27inches
Hip Length - 80cm/32inches
Fingertip Length - 104cm/41inches
Waltz Length - 154cm/60inches
Chapel - 228cm/90inches
Cathedral - 308cm/120inches
Basic/minimal veils and birdcage styles can start from about $180 upwards, where as embellished veils can cost upwards of $1000 - sometimes even well above $2000. This is definitely something to factor into your wedding budget - in particular if you are wanting a more detailed style.
With 1 tier, 2 tier, blusher or not - things can get a little confusing.
Here are some common styles :
1 tier - one length of tulle
2 tiers - two layers - including 1 which can be worn over the face.
Blusher - generally a two or three tier veil. Blusher means one piece can be worn over the face, if desired. Sometimes (albeit rarely) these can be removed.
Drop Veil - a two tier veil, that doesn't have a lot of gathering at comb and is more minimal in style.
Mantilla Veil - a Mantilla veil is placed over the head, without being gathered at a comb. Usually two small combs are attached at the side to hold it into place, or this can be done with hair pins. Mantilla veils can come in a variety of lengths.
Ideally you want to match the veil to your dress - however if this isn't possible choose a shade lighter. It is not a huge issue if the veil isn't an exact match as long as the tone is similar (ie if your dress is a blue tone white, choose a similar veil - same with a cream tone. What you don't want to do is mix a cream and a blue undertone of white, as it can clash). If your gown is a colour rather than white, you can either choose a shade of white or go with a similar tone to your dress. Remember a colourful outfit and a bright veil will be a 'heavier' look than adding a veil in a sheer shade of white.
Generally a minimal gown will go very well with something embellished like a pearl veil or something with 3d flowers, where as a heavily beaded or a lace gown tends to work best with a simpler style. Again, these rules can be broken. If you're a true minimalist it's perfectly ok to go with a simple veil and outfit, and if you're a maximalist why not have an embellished outfit and veil. Both have the potential to look incredible, when styled well.
Most veils are made from a nylon or polyester tulle (also referred to as Bridal Illusion Tulle) however, there are also silk options amongst some rarer fabric choices such as Point D'Esprit. Each style falls a little differently and will give a different overall look. If you're unsure see if you can get a swatch of the material to check. Silk tends to be more expensive and can tear easier, but feels amazing where as nylon or polyester can be a little bit more durable but a different feel to silk.
Speak to your hairdresser about how to best wear your veil with the hairstyle you're after. Mantilla veils can be a little tricky to wear with your hair in a ponytail for example.
If the back of your outfit is a feature, choose a veil that doesn't have too much gathering so that you can still see it. If you're not fussed about wearing the drop veil (/blusher i.e. over the face), it may be worthwhile to choose a single tier style instead. Less gathering has a more modern and minimal appeal, where are a fuller veil can be more classic and dramatic.
When To Wear It
You may only want to wear your veil for the ceremony and ditch it for the photos, or keep it on until you enter your reception. Again, this really depends on what makes you happy. There is also nothing wrong with getting a few photos with and without your veil, if you wish. Just ask a friend to check the back of your head so it's not too birds nest like!
Caring For Your Veil
When you receive your veil unpack it and steam it (don't iron it, as it may melt!). Once it is looking less creased, gently place it over a hanger and put it somewhere where it isn't touching the floor or getting crushed by other items. Make sure to give it a refresh the night before your wedding. (Handy tip - a hand steamer is your best friend. Even a 30 dollar one from Kmart will do the job beautifully - and can be used for your wedding outfit too).
Image : Matt Godkin. Sabrina wears our Drop Veil.
Make sure to check out our online shop for our selection of Dove Grey Bridal veils.