With a rise in elopements and small intimate weddings amid Covid-19, you might find yourself with your dream wedding dress, an elaborate veil and a much smaller wedding celebration to look forward to. These heartbreaking and unexpected changes have been challenging for many brides to say the least, with visions of large bridal parties and gatherings of distant families fading into the distance.

If you can’t imagine getting married without a long cascading veil on your wedding, there’s no reason why you can’t still wear it on your wedding day. A long veil isn’t just for the chapel and neither is a blusher layer. A veil that extends beyond your train is a beautiful way to capture a timeless wedding look even if it is an impromptu elopement on a mountain top.

Photo credit: I Got You Babe Weddings (Bride Ambar wears our bespoke AUDREY veil)

It's likely you've heard about bustling the train on a wedding dress

Did you know you can also bustle your wedding veil?

This is a handy trick if you don’t have a bridal party to help you with your long veil and the train on your dress. By bustling your veil and your dress separately, it won’t get in the way during your bridal dance and it reduces the chances of your veil getting damaged allowing your veil to become a beloved family heirloom for years to come.

Photo credit: Harwell Photography

The technique to bustle a veil is similar to how you would bustle a wedding dress. The main difference is it takes only a few seconds and you won’t need someone to crawl under your dress to secure the bustle into place.

Over the course of the day, your long wedding veil may have gathered leaves and dust on the underside of the netting. As you will be bringing the bottom section of the veil up towards the comb, it’s best to remove any dirty marks or leaf residue caught in the fine netting otherwise it will be on full display.

If your veil is lightly soiled, using baby wipes or moistened towelettes are a quick and easy way to dab away any marks before they set.

How to bustle a wedding veil in 3 steps

Step 1: Find the middle point of your veil

Locate the back centre of your veil. This doesn’t need to be an exact measurement but somewhere near the middle so your bustle will sit symmetrically. Ask a friend or a bridesmaid for help.

Step 2: Pinch the fabric and bring it up towards the comb

The exact point to pinch the fabric depends on your veil length.  If you’re wearing a cathedral veil, come in about 1-1.5 metres from the end of the train as a starting point. Pinch the fabric at different points and see how it looks when you bring it up to the comb. Ideally the shortened veil will fall to roughly fingertip or waltz length.

Step 3: Pin the fabric to the veil's comb

This is where a family heirloom like your grandmother’s brooch comes in handy. Using a brooch pin, carefully thread it through the netting. We recommend threading the pin through a section of fabric that’s about 1-2 inches wide so you have a good hold. Bring it up to the comb, pick up some of the fabric on the comb and secure it. Alternatively, you can pin the gathered section of your veil to the bustle on your dress.

If you don’t have a brooch pin or a family heirloom to secure the veil, a small standard safety pin will do the trick.

Styling tips:

  • This technique works best with veils that aren’t heavily gathered. The ideal veil is a sheer veil such as a drop veil, a mantilla veil or a Juliet cap veil. It can also be achieved on a veil with a blusher layer. If your veil is heavily gathered, this technique will still work but it will create a fuller silhouette.
  • This look isn’t for everyone. When in doubt, remove the veil and replace the veil with a different accessory such as a headband or comb.