Silk Tulle vs. Bridal Illusion

As of right now, I am still veil-less. My head is naked and I need to find the perfect veil to grace it. I know that I want a fingertip length, single-layer veil with an unfinished edge. My problem is that I am having a hard time making a decision on what type of material.

I don’t know about you, but I had never heard of silk tulle until Princess Kate. (I’m sorry, I mean Catherine… oh let’s get real, she’ll always be Princess Kate.) The way her veil flowed was just dreamy.


{Image via The Fan Club}

My only issue is  that if I get a veil made of silk tulle…I am worried it will look like nylons on my head. I know, I know…ridiculous. But it is a serious concern of mine.

The other option is bridal illusion, which is what most veils are made out of.


{Snippet and Ink / Lisa Lefkowitz via}

However, with bridal illusion I am worried about the poof factor. I want the veil to lay nicely, and flow effortlessly.

I need to figure out my veil situation so that I can get it off my mind and move on to obsessing over something else.

Hive, how do you weigh in on the silk tulle vs bridal illusion? If you have tried on a silk tulle veil? What did you think of it?


Mrs. Doe

Northern California
Wedding Date:
May 2012
Why I Don't Take a Million Photos at Weddings
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  1. Member
    amw511s 552 posts, Busy bee @ 10:44 am

    Silk tulle is VERY expensive. I had my veil custom made by a vendor I found here on weddingbee! Her name is Candi Merle and she owns her own company, Crowning Glory Designs in California. She is fantastic. She doesn’t advertise… most of her clients find her online and work with her strictly through email. I highly suggest you contact her. She uses bridal illusion fabric, but can create a drop veils like Kate’s so there is no “poof”… oh, and did I mention her prices are AT LEAST 50%+ cheaper than if you were to buy from a bridal salon? That includes shipping!!! My drop cathedral veil WITH blusher was only $73 + $13 for shipping (no tax) for a total of $86. If I were to buy that same veil at a salon, it would have been at least $200. She is super patient and worked with me on figuring out what I wanted. We probably exchanged 20+ emails. You can google her and you’ll find reviews from other brides who worked with her through email around the country. Contact her!

    Her email is:

  2. penguin Member
    penguin 3490 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:45 am

    My veil was silk (borrowed) and it didn’t look like nylons!!! :)

  3. aardvark Member
    aardvark 1129 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:46 am

    I would reccomend going to a fabric store and start touching and feeling. Even if you do not make a veil it helps to feel the fabric. Or if you are thinking or ordering from etsy or something, ask for swatches. And keep in mind, silk can have vastly different feels depending on how it is made as can nylon (what most other tulle is made from)

    Good luck!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    kaepo1, Guest @ 10:47 am

    If you decide to do silk tulle I would recommend making it really thick at the top so that you wouldn’t worry about it looking like a “nylon on your head”.
    I did bridal illusion and asked for it to be very bunched/thick at top to give that poof at the clip and I didn’t have a problem with stiffness because the tulle I used was very tightly netted? if that makes sense? Doesn’t help with your decision but a little more information..

  5. Member
    AlliRae 512 posts, Busy bee @ 10:48 am

    I wore a silk tulle veil, and yes, it was very expensive. But, it was gorgeous. It doesn’t look like nylons at all, and like you said, the flow is beautiful. At the bridal salon, I didn’t realize how much the veil cost while I had it on my head, but it matched perfectly with my dress, so even when I figured out the price it was all ready a done deal :)

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    kaepo1, Guest @ 10:50 am

    aka… I dont think silk tulle would get the poof… better summarization of that mess I just typed :)

  7. Member
    macdeez 26 posts, Newbee @ 11:05 am

    My veil is silk tulle, as well and it was VERY expensive (like $600). I am so excited about it, I feel very lucky because the Salon gifted it to me-I think mainly because I am plus and tall so I had 2 extra charges and in order to get the gown on time my mom drove 3 hours back to salon the day after I had my tonsils out! It flows amazing and almost melts into the tulle on my dress. It definitely doesn’t look like nylons. Now I am torn because I’m not sure what to use as a blusher, I’m worried that unless I get something else super luxe that it will look funny next to the fancy veil.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    AT, Guest @ 11:14 am

    Great resource:
    who knew you’d have to become an expert in so many areas to plan a wedding!

    She also shows how a poofy veil was changes to be smoother here:

  9. Member
    Kant 1531 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:19 am

    I don’t think I’ve tried on a silk tulle veil, and the veil I bought is bridal illusion. I personally like the “stiff” look and feel of bridal illusion vs. the flowy-ness of silk, but if you like flowy then silk might be your best bet. As PPs said though it is extremely expensive, so keep your budget in mind before you get too attached to the idea.

    If you find a silk tulle veil in your budget then I’d say head to a bridal salon and try one on in person (even if it’s not the same one you’ll be buying, i.e. if you buy it online, it’ll still give you an idea of the general feel of the fabric and how it looks and moves). That’ll be the best way to tell for sure.

  10. msdoe Member
    msdoe 639 posts, Busy bee @ 11:23 am

    @amw511s: Thanks for the great info! :)
    @Mrs. Penguin: I had no idea you had silk tulle! Officially stalking your photos now… :)
    @Miss Aardvark: Great idea!
    @kaepo1: Awesome tip, thank you!
    @AlliRae: Silk tulle sucks ya in like that haha :) I bet yours is beautiful!
    @macdeez: LUCKY YOU! Wow, that is amazing! Yes, it is expensive…but I think I might have found a deal 😉
    @Kant: thank you!

  11. Member
    mpine 47 posts, Newbee @ 12:16 pm

    english tulle is an option too- kind of in between silk and bridal illusion- lays nicely, less poofy and cheaper than silk.

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Dili, Guest @ 1:53 pm

    Funny- the thirty something bride just did a post on her website about veil material that I found useful. check it out:

  13. Member
    jennifer_nz 339 posts, Helper bee @ 5:00 pm

    I found this vendor here on weddingbee, she was very helpful! She can make whatever kind of veil you want, and customize it so that it is not as wide at the comb, hence cutting on down on the poof factor!

  14. Member
    VickyAurea 1382 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:45 am

    I have no veil suggestions, just wanted to be cheeky and chime in with a typical English-person response of “she’s not Princess Anything, she’s a Duchess!” Only to be cheeky. I really couldn’t care less. Hope you find the veil for you :)

  15. Member
    PasteMoo 924 posts, Busy bee @ 3:29 am

    mine was cheap fabric store tulle ($1/yd) and it was lovely and not poufy at all.

  16. Member
    Zusie 937 posts, Busy bee @ 7:54 pm

    “If you have the means I highly recommend it. It is so choice.”
    I doubt you’ve ever worn stockings made of silk, so there’s nothing to worry about because neither they nor a real silk veil will look anything but gorgeous atop your head. If I had the budget I would get one as it seems like the best item to pass down.

  17. Member
    Zusie 937 posts, Busy bee @ 7:56 pm

    @Zusie: Lol that was just supposed to say gorgeous full stop.

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    NataleeMDesigns, Guest @ 9:38 pm

    In all honesty, Princess Kates veil was not made of silk bridal illusion. It was made of silk english net. There is a huge difference between the two. I am a bridal and special occasion milliner in the state of Colorado and have been designing for more than 33 yrs. I specialize in Custom hats, veils, and other headpieces for women and children, of all ages. I block, design and create, all of my own designs. Anyone interested in having something designed, plese look at my website although, still a work in progress. I am happy to meet or speak with you to design the perfect hat, veil and/or headpiece.

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    Veebee, Guest @ 9:52 pm

    I just ordered my vail yesterday from occansey design. I too was torn b/w spending the extra for silk tulle. I fell in love with a silk tulle at the salon, but I can’t bring my self to pay $400 for it. Occansey Design has been super helpful, giving me advice and responding to all my emails. After returning to the bridal salon to feel and examine the silk tulle veil, I realized that I couldn’t really see the difference, so went with bridal illusion.

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    Sasha, Guest @ 10:49 pm

    You can use English Tulle, it’s midway between the pouf of Illusion and the flow of silk and costs half or less than half what silk would cost you and is made of cotton. You can also purchase nylon tulle which is supposed to be a cheap sub for silk, but it has a sheen to it that you may not like, especially when looking through your veil with lights on you ( or the sun)

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    NatleeMDesigns, Guest @ 7:50 pm

    I commented earlier about the veil Princess Kate wore and let everyone know that her veil was made of silk English net and not silk tulle. The reason there is no pouf is because there are no gathers in her veil to give it pouf for one thing, Also, If gathers were added to his type of netting, it is just very bunchy, not poufy. It does not give any height at all. It more hangs like a gathered curtain. If you are using silk tulle, it is very pricey and it will not be there in years to come if not taken care of. It is a natural fiber and very delicate. Chances are it will have holes in it when it is taken out of the box for another family member to wear later down the road. There are many grades of nylon illusion just like any other fabric. There are types/grades of nylon illusion that look just as beautiful as silk tulle and are a fraction of the cost. If you don’t want all the gathers or a lot of pouf, look for, or have your veil cut to a smaller width and then you can control the pouf. If you choose no gathers, you have no pouf but you will have a very beautiful delicate veil that will hang even softer than the veil of the Princess and be more sheer.

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