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The art of the veil

Posted by Nicole Grant on

The wedding veil is one of the oldest wedding traditions, symbolising modesty, purity, and chastity. In this day and age, however, wearing a veil is not a requirement, which is why it's so much fun to let your style and personality shine when it comes to selecting your veil. But with so many lengths and styles available, how do you know which veil is the right one for you? 

Keep in mind the following when shopping for your veil:

► Your veil should complement your look, not compete with it.
► Simple gowns will offset any intricate lace or beadwork on your veil.
► Heavily beaded or laced gowns look best with sheer or transparent fabric veils (silk chiffon, voile, or organza).
► A blusher, a single layer worn over your face during procession, can be added to any veil.

The elbow veil cascades over the shoulders and floats along your upper arms, ending just above the elbow. It can measure anywhere from 28" to 36" in length, and it's a more casual veil alternative. This veil was a favorite of the postwar 1950s.

The fingertip veil is meant to float around you like a cape, extending to your outstretched fingertips and typically measuring 48”. It was most popular during the late 1940s and early 1950s. It's also a modern Royal favorite — Kate Middleton wore a silk tulle fingertip length veil when she married Prince William.

Waltz veils (also called the Ballet Veil) normally end between the calf of the leg and the ankle. They're often worn with a double layer, with a shorter blusher at the front.  It's a beautiful length that doesn't overpower a delicate or body-hugging dress. Known as a "Walking Veil,"  this was very popular in the 1970's during the Victorian Revival period.

The terms "sweep veil" and "chapel veil" are sometimes used interchangeably, but sweeps often just brush the ground whereas the chapel extends a few inches on the floor.

Cathedral veils are the most regal and formal of the veils. Often, they're so dramatic that they attract even more attention than the dress itself. This type of veil makes a definite statement and sets a feel for the bride's style and tone. The veil typically extends at least one metre beyond the gown's train, and it can even go on for more than four metres.

- Rosanna Casper Bridal Guide

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