Now that you’ve got your dress and it’s fitting properly, it’s time to talk about what you’ll be wearing on top: headband, clip/comb, a flower, or the traditional veil?
I’ll begin with discussing veils since it is the most in-depth option. There is a large amount of information all over the internet about veils, and how to choose one. Below I’ve compiled the information that I found to make it easier for you.
Note: Depending on your source, different names are used for the various lengths. I am using the term that seemed to be the most popular. If you have a specific length in mind when shopping for your veil you can tell your stylist the name of the veil (ex. waltz, ballet, chapel, etc.) but also say where you want it to end to make sure there is no misunderstanding due to different terminology.
- Usually sits at the front of the head and covers the eyes; it may extend to chin length
- Goes well with a vintage or eclectic looks
- Goes in front and covers the face
- Usually stops at the top of the dress
- Usually worn while walking down the aisle and turned back either when you reach the groom, or when you have your first kiss as husband and wife at the end of the ceremony
- Make sure to keep it off your face so you don’t get make-up on it
- Stops at or just below your shoulders
- Works well on brides of any height
- Highlights the bust, waist, or lower back
- Ends around your elbow
- Often creates a romantic look
- Works well with all dresses, especially those that are strapless and/or with a sweetheart neckline
- Also pairs well with a ballgown since the veil stops where the skirt fullness begins
- Stops around your waist
- Suits dresses that do not have a train
- Ends around your fingertips
- Works well with most dresses and is the most popular choice for a veil
- Provides focus on the bodice of a dress
- Works well on tall brides, but can make shorter brides look shorter
- Stops around the back of your knee
- Highlights the waist and bodice of a dress
- Pairs well with mid-calf length dresses
- Also nice if you want a longer veil but still want to wear it at the reception without worrying about it getting in the way while dancing (hence the name waltz)
- Is a less common length, so it tends to be more unique
- Similar to the waltz veil, but ends at mid-calf
- Stops at the floor, or a couple inches draping on the floor
- Can lengthen your overall look
- Goes well with dresses that have a train
- A veil with a train and is up to 120” long
- Works well on brides of any height
- Creates a more formal look
- Is a way to add a train without having to worry about dragging your dress around, or needing to bustle it
- Pairs well with a dress that already has a train
- A veil that has a train and is longer than 120”
- Usually only used in very formal weddings (hence the name royal)
- Creates a formal look and dramatic effect
Width of Veil
- Is the sleekest of the 3 main choices
- Limits the fullness on the top and sides
- Is a good choice to allow details of the dress to shine through
- Is the compromise between sleek and full
- Provides some arm coverage
- Works well with dresses which have spaghetti straps
- Generally considered more romantic than then 54” width
- Provides the most fullness
- Covers your arms and shoulders, which can be nice for strapless dresses
- Can create an “overdone” look if paired with a sleek and sophisticated dress
Number of Tiers
- Most veils have 1, 2, or 3 tiers. If there is more than 1 tier, the top tier is usually used as a blusher
- A 1 tier veil is good if you like a sleek, sophisticated look
- For a more romantic look a 2 or 3 tier veil is a good choice
Most brides want a veil that is the same colour as their dress. If you can’t get an exact match it’s recommended that you choose a veil colour that is one shade lighter than your dress.
If you have a coloured dress you can choose to have a veil of the same colour, or get a white/ivory veil. It is common for brides to do either option.
- Round Face
- You want to look longer and slimmer, so a veil that is shoulder length or longer is a good choice, as well as a veil that has more fullness on the top and not the sides
- Square Face
- You want to soften the edges and add length to your face, so a veil that is shoulder length or longer, has volume on top, and is circular and cascading is a good option
- Oval Face
- Since your face is well proportioned most veil styles work. You just want to avoid anything with extreme volume or width to keep your proportion
- Rectangular Face
- You want to choose a veil that was width/volume on the sides to balance out the length of your face, so avoid veils with volume on top
- Large Bust or Stomach
- A veil that is fingertip length or longer is a good choice to elongate your body
- A shoulder, elbow, or waist length veil is a good choice to highlight the smallest portion of your body
- A single tier, narrow width veil is a good choice to avoid extreme volume
How you wear your hair should also be considered when choosing a veil. Your hairstyle will affect how far front/back your veil will sit, which will affect the length of the veil as well. Wider veils usually need to sit further front, while veils with no gathers usually sit further back.
- All Up
- Longer veils, and multi-tiered veils usually require the support of an up-do like a bun
- Half Up/Down
- Work well for veils that are moderate length and width
- All Down
- Lighter and shorter veils are a good choice since they don’t require the support of an up-do
It’s a good idea to take your veil to your hairstylist when you do your hair trial so you can determine what will work with your hair and veil so you don’t have to worry about that the morning of your big day.
The location of your wedding is another factor to consider when picking a veil.
- Small Ceremony Space
- Don’t choose a veil with a long train since you won’t be able to show it off
- Outside Ceremony
- You could be dealing with dirt/sand, grass, wind, etc so a shorter veil may be a better choice (note: veil weights can be purchased at some stores to prevent blowing veils)
- Hot, humid weather could cause your veil to stick to your body which makes a short veil (or just a headpiece) a good choice
General Tips on Veils
- If you have a detailed back, a veil that stops above the detail, or is longer than the detail and sheer so the detail can been seen through the veil is recommended
- If your dress has a train, a shorter veil (ie ballet or shorter) or a veil that is longer than the train to show off the dress is advised
- Opposites attract is the common theory when matching a veil with a wedding dress. If your dress has lots of detail a simple veil will keep the focus on the dress, where as a more embellished veil pairs well with a simpler dress
Not a veil person, or want something in addition to your veil? There is a large selection of headpieces for brides to choose from today. Options include: flower(s), embellished clips/combs and pins, headbands/wraps, and tiaras. Below are a couple of pictures of options for headpieces we have in store
When choosing a headpiece make sure to consider how you will be wearing your hair on the big day, and how much weight your hair is able to support.
If your dress has beading/embellishments on it, a headpiece with similar beads/embellishment will create a unified look.
If you are wearing some statement jewellery you might want to consider a more simple headpiece so it doesn’t compete for focus with the jewellery.
Take your headpiece to your hair trial so you and the stylist can decide where and how to secure the piece(s) to your hair so there are no surprises, and stress, the morning of your wedding.
Please keep in mind the above advice is simply suggestions and not rules that must be followed. Your wedding day is your day to wear what makes you feel beautiful. If you want to wear a cathedral veil with a short dress, or a birdcage with a large ballgown, I say go for it!