When it comes to this bridal accessory, you have plenty of options, so we broke 'em down.
Although the bridal veil may seem to be a bit traditional, fashion designers seem to think otherwise. In fact, veils are very much of the moment--check out these recent runway versions from Carolina Herrera (below left) and Monique Lhuillier (below right). Want to know more about this all-important accessory? Just read on.
Veil Lengths and Styles
Before you start searching in stores, know what you're looking for in a veil with respect to its length (and thus its formality). A face veil is a short single layer, usually made of netting, while elbow-length veils are about two feet long. One of the most popular lengths, the fingertip veil, extends a bit longer, to the end of your fingers. Another option is the mantilla, a traditional Spanish oval-shaped veil made of lace. It's typically worn high around the head and set in place with a comb. Longer and more formal options include the chapel veil, which is about two-and-a-half yards long and traditionally paired with dresses that have trains. The ultimate? The cathedral veil, which is about three-and-a-half yards long (and we'd bet Kate Middleton will be wearing one come April).
Brides-to-be will always inquire to whether their own veil should match their gown. A good rule of thumb? The veil you choose should be a shade equal to or lighter than your dress--never darker, or else you'll run the risk of having your dress look dingy. Most bridal designers offer complementary veils with their gowns, which will have matching color and trim. But, if you're a fashion-forward bride, feel free to experiment--an of-the-moment birdcage veil looks incredibly chic when dipped in a baby blue or deep, ruby red.
Trends & Additional Accessories
Aside from the traditional gossamer and tulle confections, there are new shapes, like the bubble (also known as pouf) veil, which is gathered at the crown and affixed with a comb. There's the super-short, less fancy birdcage veil, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, the extremely formal bustle veil. This dramatic iteration is gathered at the arch of your back. Also look for unique details like swiss dots, crystal embellishments, or custom monogramming.If you're itching for a personal touch, try incorporating an additional hair accessory or fresh flower. Bejeweled pins are easy to use, special combs indeed affix many of the above-mentioned veils, and flowers can be softly pinned to one side of the head. Going all out with a feathered flower? Let this stand alone--or save it for the reception after you've removed your veil.