How to style a dramatic wedding veil
When it comes to bridal styling, it’s often said your wedding veil should define your bridal look and not distract from your wedding dress. We generally agree to this. But, there’s always exceptions.
Let’s be honest: there’s no rule book and it’s highly unlikely the bridal police will be patrolling your wedding aisle. Yes, there are traditions and conventions that we should all be respectful of. For example, religious and cultural customs that require brides to cover their shoulders if they wed in a church, or to avoid certain symbolic colours. But beyond the walls of religious institutions and family/cultural traditions, brides today have more freedom than previous generations to be expressive and showcase their own style on their wedding day.
Above: RIVIERA wedding veil
Choosing a statement wedding veil
Before we explore how to style a dramatic veil, it’s important to cover how to choose the right veil in the first instance.
You might have chosen an exquisite and dramatic wedding dress and you’re looking for a simple veil to complete the look. Or, your style might be minimal and expressive, where you fell in love with a minimalist wedding dress and you’re searching for the perfect showstopper veil to capture your personality.
For other brides, they might like the best of both words – perhaps a wedding dress that’s classic with a touch of embellishment, and they’d love a veil which complements the style and details perfectly.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing the perfect veil. It’s important to think about the style of your dress, the venue, time of day, formality of the wedding, you and your partner’s style, and of course, your hairstyle. Find more information on this in a previous post – How to choose the perfect wedding veil.
Styling a dramatic wedding veil
A cathedral length veil is all about regal appeal but you don’t need to have an extra long veil to create an impact. A shorter veil combined with handcrafted couture details, such as the WEEPING CHERRY veil could be just as perfect as heavily embellished cathedral length veils such as the NIGHT GARDEN, ATHENA or the RIVIERA veils. Sometimes a shorter veil, or even a veil without a blusher layer can be the ultimate in bridal styling depending on your wedding dress and your personal style.
When styling a dramatic wedding veil, consider the following:
1.) Your wedding dress
Often the best starting point is to consider the style and shape of your wedding dress.
Are you looking to capture a mood of classic timelessness? Perhaps your style is more modern and sleek? Or are you hoping to exude a bohemian luxe vibe through your dress and wedding accessories?
Some brides are able to express their bridal style with a few words (free-spirited, relaxed and fashion forward versus modern, clean and high end). For other brides, it might find it helpful to pull together a Pinterest board to gather your thoughts and understand your vision. And of course, sometimes it’s easier to know what you don’t like rather than what you do like – the process of elimination can be just as effective!
As a general guide, your veil should accentuate and be proportional to your dress. When it comes to statement veils, we like to pair it with a simpler silhouette so that it doesn’t overpower or take away from the details of the dress.
- In other words, if your dress is busy and features lots of pretty details – stick with a simple veil, a clean raw edge and more delicate details such as scattered crystals or pearls across the whole veil rather than competing laces or 3D lace embellishments. Our favourite veils include the DEWBERRY, NADIA or ETOILE veils.
- Alternatively, if your dress is very simple, a trailing veil with couture embellishments will add the wow factor instantly. Think the NIGHT GARDEN, ATHENA or the RIVIERA veils.
- A gown covered in sequins from head to toe doesn’t necessarily need to be paired with a simple veil. Shimmering sequins can look exquisite with Swarovski crystal elements – the ETOILE, DEWBERRY, MORNING MIST or MARGAUX veils pair perfectly with sequins wedding gowns.
2.) Details on your wedding dress
It’s important to consider the placement of any defining details on your wedding dress. We like to look for any focal points on the dress to ensure that the veil doesn’t interrupt the flow or details of the dress. Some things we consider include:
- Are the embellishments on the dress mainly on the bodice, straps, on the skirt or all over?
- Where is the main structural focal point on the dress? Is it a dramatic neckline, a low back or extravagant train that draws your eyes.
- Does the dress feature a variety of embellishments such as flowers, lace, sequins and hand-beading?
- Or all of the above?
Other things to note:
- If your veil length falls where a focal point begins, for example a defined waist line, this will have the effect of visually cutting you in half. Instead, your veil length should be cut just above or below this line to elongate the silhouette.
- Your height is really important as it comes down to proportions. A knee length veil will often shorten the silhouette, whereas a veil that’s too short might look too top heavy.
- Embellishments on the veil can be localised to one area to be best showcase your dress. The details can be applied to the top section near the crown of the head or it could trail downwards across the train. For example, the THEODORE, MORNING MIST or IVY veils.
3.) Your other accessories
To quote Coco Chanel, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”. This is valuable advice generally, and especially when it comes to incorporating a showstopper wedding veil into your bridal look.
If you’re fond of dramatic wedding dress, minimise the rest of your wedding accessories. Think simpler shoes, no necklace or bracelet and perhaps just a set of elegant earrings to frame your face.
Need styling advice?
We’re here to help. We work with brides worldwide every day to help them coordinate and choose the perfect wedding accessories from our collection – including bespoke designs.
You’re welcome to send us photos of your wedding dress, bridal hairstyle and details of styles from our collection you love and we can go from there.