By Libby MacCarthy
Choosing to wear a wedding veil comes with lots of decisions. What type of veil looks best with your face and wedding dress, to how to wear it, what hairstyles work best with a wedding veil and what accessories will work too. We asked accessories designers Liv Hart of Enchanted Atelier and Myra Callan of Twigs & Honey for their advice on choosing the perfect wedding veil style — plus placement and how to rock this classic topper.
First things first: choosing the right veil. Just like the rest of your bridal accessories, you want to put a little thought into your selection. A few things to consider: color, level of detail and your reception venue. Try to choose a veil in a similar shade to your gown (this probably isn’t the best time to color block…), but don’t get too hung up on this detail.
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“Your gown and veil probably won’t be from the same designer, so the colors won’t match perfectly,” says Liv Hart, “But as long as the veil is in a similar shade it will blend in with your gown. You won’t believe how many shades of ivory and white are available.” Myra Callan suggests choosing something simple for a dress that is heavily embellished, but for a more understated gown feel free to jazz things up with rhinestones, lace or other intricate details. (See more on choosing the right veil here.)
Once you’ve picked a style you love, it helps to know where and how to wear it. Both Hart and Callan agree that it depends on both the style of the veil and your personal preference. In general though, the veil sweet spot is the crown of the head, where your head starts to curve downward, or just below.
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“It really illuminates the bride’s face,” says Hart. Before your wedding day, Callan recommends testing out comb placement. “You want to see how the blusher (if there is one) hangs and where the bottom edge hits to find the spot that is most complimentary to your overall look,” she says. Veils can be fastened with combs or clips. “For extra hold, you can slide bobby pins at a perpendicular angle to the teeth of the comb or make an “x” along the teeth of the comb,” says Callan.
To help you figure out where your veil will go check out the most popular veils below and tips for styling each:
The Drop Wedding Veil
The halo or drop veil is on-trend right now and has a distinctly bohemian style. “An illusion comb is stitched in with invisible thread to allow the veil to almost float on top of your hairstyle. It can be placed at the crown of the head or just below,” explains Hart. And don’t worry too much about matching the color of your veil to your wedding dress. As long as the shades are close, they’ll blend nicely together.
Tip: To really highlight your veil, add a hair vine or elegant headpiece.
The Juliet Wedding Cap
To add a vintage or bohemian edge to your look a Juliet cap veil is it. “There are two ways to wear this style,” says Hart. “You can either take a lace or bead-trimmed veil and wear it as a cap, with the sides pinned back with combs or pins behind each ear, or with a veil attached to a separate cap.”
Tip: Add something extra to your veil between ceremony and reception. Flowers, combs and pins are all fun ideas.
The Cathedral Veil
Traditional veils like the elbow length, fingertip, chapel and cathedral styles can be worn with or without a blusher, depending on whether or not you plan to cover your face for the ceremony. “Typically, they are placed at the back of the head,” says Callan, “but longer veils can be placed further back.”
Tip: A long tulle veil like this one could crinkle easily. Have it steamed (not ironed!) before the wedding day.
The Blusher Veil
We love the modern edge of a blusher veil, especially when paired with a lacy, feminine gown. “Like the more classic styles, blusher veils are placed at the crown of the head, but can be made longer or shorter, depending on how far back you place the comb,” says Callan.
Tip: Want a more structured look? Instead of a nylon blend, choose a blusher in a heavier and more opaque silk tulle.
The Bandeau Veil
“The bandeau veil is perfect for the fashion-forward bride. It’s typically worn across the eyes to the tip of the nose. It can be secured with combs or alligator clips depending on the style,” says Hart.
Tip: Make sure your wedding dress truly complements (and doesn’t compete with) this fashion-forward veil.
The Cage Wedding Veil
The birdcage veil is the signature accessory for a vintage-glam wedding. “A cage veil is not always a standard size or shape, so you should find out which design is best for communicating your signature style,” says Hart. “I recommend a 9″ cage veil length. It’s the perfect length to place the veil off to the side of the head and drape across your face diagonally to allow your lips to be free.”
Tip: Try not to exceed 9″ — if the netting is any longer, it could come in contact with your lipstick, leaving you with a smudge on the netting and possibly your face.
One more thing: Not feeling the veil but plan to wear one to please mom or grandma? Callan and Hart recommend wearing your veil lower on your head to avoid having it distract from your gown or face. “Another thing to consider if you want a subtle veil is width,” says Hart. “A narrower cut will lay flatter and offer more transparency than a wider, gathering veil.”
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