Wedding veils are a traditional element of wedding attire. A veil is a practical item of ornamentation or closing cloth, usually meant to cover an important decorative feature or part of the face or head. Wedding veils have a rich cultural history in Eastern and European cultures.
The tradition of wearing wedding veils dates back to the early Christianity. The veil was considered a sign of innocence and virtue. It separated the woman from the man and was reserved for the high priests and monks. The tradition continued on in some form through the eras in ancient Islamic, Jewish, and Arabic cultures.
Silk wedding veils in golden, blue, green, black, cream, lavender, white, and lilac were popular for the ancient Middle Ages. A variety of materials, including lace, satin, chenille, brocade, velvet, jacquard, grosgrain, and even beadwork, were used to design elaborate veils in gold, blue, green, black, and lilac. Traditional tulle was also used to tie the dresses. It could be woven from strands of rice, silk, cashmere, and jute. Tulle made of a variety of fabrics and colors became a favorite with affluent seamstresses in Europe. Woven tulle gowns were worn by European queens and princesses during the late Middle Ages.
Modern veils have evolved into much more than a wedding veil. Tulle and netting can be found in a variety of colors, patterns, lengths, and materials. More casual veils are available in bright colors, while elegant and full-length veils are very common. Even the type of fabric can vary; it can be fabric from silk, jute, cashmere, or synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon.
Some wedding veils are made of several layers of material, starting with a skimpy layer called a fascinator. The fascinator is tied around the back of the wearer's head. One layer is called the chiffon veil, which is a thin piece of fabric that sits on the top edge of the fascinator. The middle layer is called the mesh veil. Then there are several thin layers that finish the dress: the organza layer, the gauze, the chiffon, the netting, and finally the edge fascinators.
The fullness of the skirts can be created using a special comb known as a cornice. Traditionally used in churches, these veils are decorated with crystal beads and pearls. To achieve the fullness desired a woman's hair is braided in several places. This creates the desired fullness and allows the cornice to sit neatly on top.
Ethereal bridal veils have no real function other than to enhance the overall look and feel of a wedding gown. Many modern brides opt for these types of wedding veils because they can be worn with a regular wedding gown. They do not have to be a full length like the traditional style, they do not have to have a closure, they do not need to keep the wearer's hair from falling down, and most importantly, they do not have to have a fanciful design. Instead, many modern brides use an off-the-shelf wedding veil as a subtle way to compliment their wedding gown.
As the bride you will want to select a fabric that compliments and completes your wedding gown. Wedding veils do just that. Just like your bridal look, veils should be selected based on your personal preference and the look you are trying to create. For example, if you are looking to create a vintage or antique look, wedding veils made from organza, lace, chiffon, velvet, or netting may be the best option for you.
Many brides who are new to wearing veils are shocked when they discover the number of choices they have for their wedding veil. The traditional veil is simply a piece of cloth, usually made from tulle, satin, netting, or some other fabric. A fingertip veil, on the other hand, is much different. It is made up of a thin piece of material, usually silk or a light cotton, that covers the bride's eyes and forehead. This veil is used mainly for ceremony, as it provides the necessary focus to accentuate the gown and hair.
Other popular styles include the halter, which is much like the fingertip veil, but has an open top and a closed bottom. It is typically used for headpieces such as headpieces or floral arrangements. A tea length veil is also popular among brides, and comes in a variety of lengths and styles. Most tea length veils have an open top and a closed bottom, but some have a slit in the middle.
Wedding veils can be purchased from many bridal shops, department stores, and online. They can also be custom made to fit the bride and her gown. Prices for wedding veils vary greatly depending on the fabric, type, and size. Customization is also available for many designs. Weddings are an emotional time, so it is not surprising that wedding veils are a popular choice. Wedding veils provide a way for brides to dress themselves, and for the couple to veil themselves.