A Beginner’s Guide To Veils
The title of this post might seem a bit strange to you. After all, aren’t all veils basically the same but with different embellishments? Of course not! In reality, there are around 7 styles of veil a bride-to-be can choose from, and each one has many variations in colour, material, embellishments and texture. If you’re not sure what style of veil to go for, we are here to help you. Let’s start with understanding the 7 basic veil types:
The 7 Veils
Single Tier Veils: This is the most traditional form of veil, and what most people think of when asked to picture a veil. Single tier means that the veil flows in a single piece from the attachment point down the back. There is no blusher (second layer to cover the face) attached to a single tier veil.
Two Tier Veils: A two tier veil is a single tier veil that includes a blusher, which can be pulled forward to cover the face. These are often used to express purity, modesty and innocence. The blusher is typically raised to facilitate the first kiss and left away from the bride’s face for the rest of the day. Blushers can be any length, from a short one that just meets the chin to a full-length piece that will drape over your bouquet.
Drop Veils: This is a two tier veil with no gathering for an attachment point. They are usually held in place with a headband or hair pins instead to create a more free-flowing look. Invisible combs can be sewn in if no other hair accessories are being worn.
Mantilla Veils: A Mantilla veil is a single tier veil with no gather, again held in place by headbands, pins or invisible combs. These are typically worn from the top of the head and are sometimes referred to as ‘Spanish’ veils.
Juliet Veils: A slightly different approach, the Juliet veil involves a ‘cap’ of material which holds the veil in place on the head. This is a very vintage style veil, dating back to the 16th century. Its name comes from traditional performances or Romeo and Juliet, where this veil would be worn by actresses playing Juliet.
Bandeau Veils: For a vintage look, bandeau veils are typically made of thin, wide netting and attached to either or even both sides of the brides head. The term is used interchangeably with birdcage veils but there are some key aesthetic differences.
Birdcage Veils: A more contemporary look, birdcage veils are very popular at the moment, Attached with a small decorated comb or clip, a birdcage veil is made from tulle or other netting material and attached to the top of the head. They are sometimes called bandeau veils but are subtly different in style, so make sure you look up both to figure out which one you like!
Out of the veil styles above, most can be made in a variety of different lengths. The length you choose can be down to tradition, personal taste or convenience. The 6 key lengths for veils, from longest to shortest are:
Cathedral: A cathedral length veil is the longest out there and often blends into the train of a dress. It will start at the head and drape far down the brides back and trail far onto the floor on at least one layer. These are very popular for brides choosing a dress with a dramatic train.
Church: Church length veils are seen as a very traditional English veil worn in country church weddings. These veils reach the floor and create a small pooling effect around the bride. When walking, this veil will trail behind the bride and lift from the floor, as opposed to the cathedral which will stay in contact with the floor at all times.
Floor: Like the other 2 lengths, floor-length veils flow past the bride’s hips and reach the floor. The hem of these veils will usually be around 2 inches from the floor in order to preserve them and prevent tripping.
Ballet: The ballet veil is usually around 150 cm long (depending on the height of the bride), falling to around mid-calf length.
Fingertip: The fingertip veil, as the name implies, will fall past the waist and end around the bride’s fingertips. These veils may require some alteration depending on the height of the bride.
Elbow: Again, as the name suggests, elbow length veils are one of the shortest and will fall to around the elbow when arms are held relaxed.
Head: Finally, you have the shortest veil style – the head veil. This encompasses bandeau and birdcage veils, which encompass the head but do not generally pass below the ears. This style is very popular with older brides who have perhaps been married before.
All of these veils can be found in different materials and shades, from pure white and ivory to cream and even bold shades like red or black. Most can be decorated with embroidery, beading, glitter and any other embellishment you can think of. This makes every veil unique and ensures that there is a style out there for every bride. To find your perfect veil, or to just get some advice and tips on choosing the right veil for your wedding look, get in touch with the team at Riki Dalal today.
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