Brides Up North

lookbook: unveiled

July 22nd, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Lee Scullion Photography

So you’ve found your dream dress but how do you intend to top it all off?

For some brides choosing the accessories can prove more challenging than finding that one special dress. Perhaps the trickiest of accessories to decide on is what type of headdress you will wear.

Unlike the shoes, your headpiece and/or veil will be on show in the vast majority of your photos so it’s important to make sure you feel comfortable and confident with your decision. Problem is there are so many fabulously pretty options and styles to choose from – from classic veils and striking headpieces to sparkling hair accessories and whimsical floral crowns.

Clive Doyle Photography

When Real Weddings arrive in my inbox I’m always intrigued to find out what type of headdress the bride has plumped for – in particular I’m keen to see if they’ve stuck with tradition and gone down the route of an elegant veil, or instead chosen an individual headpiece that adds that extra wow-factor to their attire.

While I’m not a fan of all wedding traditions I am in favour of the veil – for me it’s the item that defines a bride and just looks incredibly pretty and timeless.

Dotmoxee Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Mark Newton Weddings

A veil was originally said to be worn by brides as a sign of their virginity or to ward off evil spirits – but just because the reasoning behind the garment has become dated, doesn’t mean the veil is no longer a highly desired bridal accessory.

Clive Doyle Photography

Those brides who do opt for a veil will need to take several elements into consideration when making their selection. The general rule is that a simple dress requires a more decorative veil and vice versa. So for example, if the dress is high-necked or has detail on the shoulders, a short veil such as a bird cage design would be a wise choice. Equally if a gown has back detailing you aren’t going to want to cover that up, so perhaps don’t go beyond shoulder length. Classic, princess style gowns often suit a veil that ends before the skirt projects out. Meanwhile for brides looking at longer lengths there are finger-tip, knee and chapel length veils, providing options right down to the floor. Alternatively brides could follow in the glam footsteps of Kim Kardashian with a show-stopping cathedral length veil that extends several feet along the ground. The reality star is such a fan that she wore an extended veil when she wed first hubby Chris Humphries in 2011, then again when she got hitched to Kanye West earlier this year.

Laura Calderwood Photography

Jamie Penfold Photography

Clive Doyle Photography

Clive Doyle Photography

As well as varying lengths there are also different widths to consider, depending on the fullness a bride requires. Wider veils can be favourable with brides wearing strapless dresses though wanting a little coverage around the arms. Fuller-figured brides may want to choose a sleeker veil that pulls attention to their slimmer areas rather than a voluminous design that frames their body from head to toe.

Next detailing – again brides won’t want to detract from the main spectacle of the dress, so if you’re wearing an elaborate gown it’s often better to select a subtle style veil while those with quieter dress designs can afford to make more noise with their headdress. There are shimmering veils, those with dazzling Swarovski crystal droplets or delicate lace appliqués, plus elegantly edged or beautiful scalloped creations. Some brides may even choose to have a tinted coloured veil in a soft playful hue or a regal metallic tone.

Melissa Kay Photography

Jonny Draper Photography

Katy Melling Photography

And a veil doesn’t have to be worn alone, it can be paired with a pretty tiara for the ultimate princess look, a glam hair accessory for a little bridal bling or to really stand out from the crowd – a totally bespoke headpiece. Any extra accessories and the positioning of the veil itself will often be governed on a bride’s chosen bridal hair style so it’s well worth taking your veil along with you for any hair trials ahead of the big day.

Dotmoxee Photography

Lee Scullion Photography

Final elements of consideration – how many layers should the veil have and most importantly will the bride want her face covered when she makes her journey up the aisle? This is a hot topic of discussion and one I noticed has already been raised on the fabulous new Brides Up North Facebook group (an interactive space where the blog’s bride-to-be readers, sponsors, exhibitors and industry friends can share inspiration, questions and recommendations). Opinion was split with some saying they couldn’t stand the thought of something covering their face while others said it was a good shield to hide their tears. Several said they loved the romantic elegance it brought, particularly in images, and one or two industry experts even tipped the “big reveal” as a huge wedding come-back.

To add my thoughts to the discussion, I think if it’s good enough for super bride Kate Middleton it’s certainly good enough for me but I tend to get makeup across everything I look so my only fear would be that I’d arrive beside my groom with my veil resembling a used tissue at a Mac counter.

Veil fail.

So will you be doing the big unveil at the altar?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as tagged, Dotmoxee Photography, Clive Doyle Photography, Lee Scullion, Mark Newton Weddings, Katy Melling Photography, Melissa Kay Photography, Helen Russell Photography, Laura Calderwood, Jamie Penfold Photography, Jonny Draper

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about the author

Rachel Parry
Regular guest blogger Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as features writer in May 2014. Senior Reporter at The Sheffield Star (a serious journalist then!) Rachel draws on her background as features, bridal & lifestyle editor for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...

learn more about Rachel Parry