Monday, February 7, 2011

The long and short of it

Having already picked out my dress, the next step in completing my bridal look was the veil.  You know how, on TV, whenever a bride goes dress shopping and a consultant slips a veil onto her head, everyone in a three-mile radius automatically begins tearing up because she finally looks like a real bride?  I definitely didn't have that experience when dress shopping.  I tried on a few veils, but never did I have an extra-bridal moment.  Instead, I felt kind of weird having a big piece of tulle hanging from my scalp.  Despite this lack of immediate attraction, I knew that I would be donning a veil, so I needed to do some research.

The Short
It seems like the most defining characteristic of a veil is its length; beyond that, you can play with different colors, materials, and adornments, but the length is kind of the go-to decision.  On the short end of things, you have the birdcage veil, which is usually a very short piece of netting or tulle that hangs no lower than the chin.  I had never even heard of this until I saw Reese Witherspoon's bridal look in Sweet Home Alabama.

Image via Astra Bridal / Artwork by Touchstone Studios

I immediately equated a birdcage veil with a traditional, quaint, Southern wedding... meaning it probably wasn't the look for me.  I love how sweet it looks, but it doesn't really mesh with the style of my dress or the entire event.  However, it seems like I may be in the minority with that opinion, because, as Heidi Klum would say, these things are selling like bagels.  The birdcage veil is cropping up all over the various wedding materials I peruse, even making into a celebrity wedding, so they clearly aren't restricted to the South.

Image via Elizabeth Anne Designs / Photo by OK! Magazine

The Long
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, we have the cathedral veil, which is usually made of over 100 inches of tulle.  Depending on the gown's train, the veil may actually be longer than the dress!  These veils are definitely high-drama, but they make for some pretty stunning photos.

During my research, though, whenever I saw a bride with a cathedral veil, I always had a similar reaction to seeing a bride in a birdcage veil: nice, but not for me.  I could just see myself wrestling with the yards of fabric, trying to keep it clean and pristine for the walk down the aisle.  A cathedral veil just seemed like more, in general, than what I was interested in.

Even though I had a gut feeling I wouldn't go with a birdcage or a cathedral, I had little to no idea beyond that what I wanted.  Multiple tiers?  A blusher?  Beading and/or lace?  It became pretty clear that the only way I could sort all this out was to pay a visit to a bridal salon, try my dress on, and begin the parade of veils.

What veil length did you select?  Would you consider a super-long or a super-short one?

1 comment:

  1. Good luck in your search! I went a super-long, 10 foot, cathedral veil! But, I'm getting married in a cathedral so it fits my venue. I will def. be taking it off for the reception! You are right, it is a lot of fabric!!!