I had my first dress fitting last Thursday and it gave me an opportunity to give my new wedding accessories a spin to see how they look together with the dress. Now that I finally know what I will be wearing, I’d like to share some of my wedding accessories with you, starting with the most important one: the headpiece.
The days of rocking only a veil on your wedding day are long gone. There’s an overwhelming number and variety of bridal headpieces that you can wear on your big day. I knew that I didn’t want to wear a veil or a large flower, but that left a dizzying array of options from all over the internet. The biggest issue? Price. Many headpieces run anywhere from $100 to $700! I know girls who don’t even have a $700 dress budget! Unfortunately, the very high cost deterred me from purchasing any of the lovely headpieces above, but I did use them as inspiration to find something more in my price range.
Last time, I told you about my discovery that I (despite my previous intentions) wanted a veil. Once I decided I wanted one, the question became…which one? I had no idea that there were so many different choices of veils out there!!
Birdcage, blusher, mantilla, cathedral, chapel, ballet…what? Then there’s the choice of where to wear it. On top of your head with a little pouf? Further back on the head? Under your hairstyle? Or up front if you’ve got a birdcage…so many choices!!
Right off the bat, I nixed a few choices. No mantilla for me (that’s the veil with the lace on the edges).
Image from Bridal Styles Boutique
To me, mantilla veils are the stars of the show. Because I’ll be wearing a dress with a lot going on, the mantilla veil would be overkill in my opinion.
Also, no birdcage.
Hive, I have been kicking ass and taking names on finishing off the details of my bridal look. In the course of eight days I bought my wedding jewelry, ordered my shoes on Etsy, purchased a new corset bra for under my dress, my hair extensions were purchased, AND I received my something borrowed veil in the mail.
Who’s veil am I going to be wearing? I’ll give you a hint. Not only is she a fellow fairy tale/magic generation bee, but she’s also a fellow weapons related icon. Why, yes, the lovely and gorgeous Mrs. Archer of course!
The veil I’m borrowing is her fingertip length diamond white beauty and I’m so honored to be able to wear something on my wedding day that will remind me of this wonderful community.
Since I’m huge tease and haven’t revealed my dress yet, here are a few photos of me wearing the veil with my tiara. Let’s ignore the fact that I have no clue how to put on a veil, let alone a veil WITH a tiara. (Seriously I had no idea what I was doing.)
Veils are a peculiar thing. Before I was engaged, I had already decided that I didn’t want one. I wasn’t too crazy about the way they looked, and the symbolism didn’t really work for me. According to Wikipedia, the wedding veil symbolizes the bride’s virginity and modesty (in Western culture). This sentiment is a bit outdated for many modern brides. When I did a little online research about veils, I also found a few other interesting theories. Here, they suggest that the veil covers the bride’s face, so that her husband won’t be killed for her beauty. (I like that one!) Alternatively, the veil could be used to cover a not-so-beautiful bride in case the groom wanted to back out once he saw her. (Not very nice!) Or, the veil could protect the bride from evil spirits. (What? The spirits don’t attack the guests? I don’t understand…)
In any case, I wasn’t too crazy about veils. But as I’ve said before, one’s mind often changes while wedding planning…
During my very first dress shopping trip, I was with my mom. It was just us, and we had made a spur-of-the-moment decision to run in David’s Bridal. Nothing had really wowed us until I stepped into the gorgeous Vera Wang dress. I was dancing around, all giddy with excitement, when my mom asked the consultant, “Can we see it with a veil?”
I froze. I hadn’t wanted a veil. But then I realized, “What’s the harm in trying one on? It’ll make my mom happy, and then we’ll move on.”
The consultant asked me what type of veil I wanted, and I said honestly, “I haven’t considered the possibility of a veil, so bring whatever you think is best.” Apparently the elbow-length veil is the most popular at David’s Bridal, because that’s what she brought out. She put it on me and…
I was a bad bride. I ironed tulle.
I wanted a long, raw-edge veil that could be lifted up dramatically behind me by the wind:
A gorgeous, flowy veil…le sigh. Photo by Christian Oth Studio.
I researched my options: I could make my own veil, or I could order a used veil from another bride. Buying a new one from a bridal shop was out of the question—veils seem to fetch a pretty high price around here. Feeling overwhelmed by the process of making invitations and tissue paper garlands, I opted to purchase a used veil—besides, reduce, reuse, recycle, right?!
I found a beautiful Vera Wang walking length veil that another bee was re-selling. The price was great. I ordered her veil, and waited patiently for her wedding to pass so she could ship the veil to me. When the veil finally arrived, it was pretty wrinkled in the shipping envelope. I was really excited to try it on, but the wrinkles bugged me. So I began to iron out the wrinkles with my roommate’s regular old household iron.
I posted a while ago that I was having second thoughts about my veil. I fell in love with lace-edged veils, and after some hemming and hawing, I decided to turn my plain veil into a showpiece. To accomplish this, I ordered a strip of lace trim off of Etsy.
To start, I cut the strip in half. In order to make one continuous strip of lace for the edge of my veil, I had to stitch the two pieces of trim together in the middle. I lined up the pattern on the lace and sewed it together with invisible thread.
I’ve mentioned before, in my talk about flowers, that I’m truly a flower child at heart. So when I think of the wedding and my headpiece, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that flowery thoughts like this were absolutely considered in choosing what I would wear on my wedding day.
Something like that, with a loose braid—it definitely stood out amongst the many other options there are for a modern headpiece. But, like other little girls, I’ve dreamed of my wedding for a long, long time and I knew that regardless of the kind of gown I got, I wanted a veil. Not a birdcage, not a tiara, not clips—an actual veil. The next question was…what kind?
In the spirit of doing things out of order, I’ve decided to wear Mama Dillo’s veil on my wedding day. It’s a bit ironic since I haven’t even gone shopping for my dress yet, but I’m totally psyched Mama Dillo offered it up to me, and it can’t hurt to have some of that good, successful marriage juju on me when I walk down the aisle on the big day. I’ve decidedly declared Mama Dillo’s veil as my “something borrowed.” (I obviously intend to return it to her after the ceremony just in case maybe Lil Dillo or someone wants to wear it on her wedding day!)
Now, my parents got married in 1987, which means Mama Dillo’s veil isn’t exactly…subtle. HOWEVER, in terms of how ’80s veils tended to look on brides back in the day, hers wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t tulle attached to a hat or to a weird halo she wore down on her forehead—in fact, as far as ’80s veils go, Mama Dillo’s was pretty tame. Maybe it’s because she was married in the late ’80s and styles had toned down a bit, or maybe she just had good taste.
(All upcoming photos by Miss Armadillo)
The veil is basically a simple, two-tiered veil with a finished edge—the only telltale ’80s signs are the tulle pouf at the crown and the pearl-encrusted headpiece that holds everything together:
I bought a veil. It’s very simple (and inexpensive), which is just what I wanted.
Image via Elaborate Stitches on Etsy
Do you remember when I said I wouldn’t wear a birdcage veil? Allow me to eat my words.
Mmmm, shame beignet…
I wanted to wear a two-tier, long-ish veil, with one tier pulled over my face as a blusher—or, a drop veil. It went along with Mr. Dragon’s idea of me as a bride, and who could argue with that?
But then I actually tried a long, two-tier veil…and I felt like I was stuck in a cage made of tulle. It was touching my face, my hair, my arms, everywhere, and I felt claustrophobic. It also added to the kid-playing-dress-up feeling I’ve been fighting. Big huge veil? Not my thing.
Wonderful Mr. Dragon told me, over and over, that I didn’t have to wear a veil, that I didn’t have to wear a veil over my face, that I could do whatever made me happy and comfortable. So I started idly wandering my way through the veils on Etsy, hoping I would find something that struck my fancy. I still wanted tulle, not netting, but I wanted something a lot shorter.
I tentatively clicked into the birdcage section. I wanted double-layer, that wouldn’t be all up in my face, and wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. This one caught my eye:
Like most brides, I find the sight of a UPS or FedEx truck in my neighborhood to be wildly exciting. If I see one, I usually rush home to see if it left something for MEEEEE!
One awesome day last month, I came home and found a slightly squashed package by the front door addressed to MEEEEE!
It was my veil!!!
I ordered it from a seller on Etsy, and I have to admit I was a little nervous about ordering a veil without first trying it on. But this particular seller had rave reviews, and the veil was ridiculously cheap…so I took the plunge and hit “Add to Cart.”
I’m sure you wanna see pictures.
I’m still not 100% sure how I’m supposed to attach the thing to my head, but this is what I think it’s going to end up looking like. It does have a hair comb sewn in, and I’m sure the hairstylist will know what to do. Please excuse my oh-so-comfy sweatshirt and crazy hair.
I love my wedding dress and I’m excited to wear it, but it’s not the thing I’m most excited to wear on my wedding day. I’m most excited to wear a veil. When I was a little girl, I was so excited for my First Communion so I could wear a veil, and I remember being so sad to take it off at the end of the day. My eight-year-old self couldn’t wait for my wedding day when I would wear a veil again.
So I’m using this opportunity to go big. Or at least go long. I want a floor-length veil, either cathedral- or chapel-length, without a blusher.
Image via Andrew Collings Photography
I think I want a plain, raw-edge veil…
I’ve always known I wanted to wear a veil with my wedding dress. I mean, when else in your life can you wear a veil? In my mind it completes the bridal look. There’s a reason that when you’re trying on wedding dresses they bring out the veil to seal the deal. They’re hoping you’re like me and start tearing up. It really did help me feel more like a bride seeing the whole picture.
Once I found my dress it was time to start thinking about my veil. What did I want? What length, trim, style?
I decided right off the bat that I didn’t want a long veil. No cathedral length for me. Don’t get my wrong—I love them, and seeing Mrs. Snow Cone’s recaps I know that a cathedral-length veil would look amazing with my dress. (We’re dress twins. ) But a cathedral-length veil seems too formal for our outdoor wedding. Of course I broke my mother’s heart with this decision. If it were up to her I would be wearing a Princess Diana veil with three or four little girls holding it behind me…
But that was not my dream. I pictured a simple veil, fingertip length at the most, with maybe a nice satin trim. With that in mind I began my search on Etsy. I found so many options, but one particular shop caught my eye.
This shop had just what I was looking for: simple but unique. There were so many great options! I ended up going with this one!
A month later it arrived at my apartment. I am so happy with it, and I can’t wait to try it on with my dress at my final fitting next week!
Sorry about my dirty mirror in this picture…
Personal photos / The detail of the edge
I heart my veil. I got really emotional when I tried it on. I don’t know what it is about veils, but it really brings out the “bride” feeling in me!
What about you? Are you wearing a veil? Does is make you feel more like a bride?
Before I get into the recaps, I still have to finish the rest of my pre-wedding posts I didn’t get to. First up is to talk about my veil. I found a veil I loved that perfectly matched my dress at the dress shop. Unfortunately, this lovely perfect veil was ~$300. That didn’t work for me. That much money for 1.5 yards of fabric glued to a comb? Um, hell no.
We thought about ordering extra fabric from the designer and having the veil made. The store offered to do it for $275. Solution fail. I sat on it for a while. I read post after post on the Weddingbee blog and boards and then it hit me: “Stop acting like you don’t have other ways to fix this problem, crazy lady!”
I turned to Etsy. I checked out really affordable veils by several Etsy stores I loved. I sent custom item requests to two sellers whose stuff looked very much like the veil I loved and in a price range I really loved.
|Image: Forget-me-not 30×36 wedding veil by Etsy seller simplebeautyveils|
So I kinda did things backwards here by showing you my hair flower without talking about any of my other wedding day accessories. I couldn’t help it! I was just super excited with how it came out and HAD to show it off right away!
What I should have told you is that I have a huge crush on wedding veils. More specifically, on cathedral length veils. How can I resist when I see photos like these: