Veils have been a significant part of weddings since ancient days and were originally a piece of mask that covered the head and face of a bride during the wedding. During medieval times, brides wore their hair in such a manner that it flew down their back during their wedding, to represent their virginity. Later, wedding bridal veils were used to cover their face and hair, as a symbol of virginity.
It was in the time of Crusades that the wedding bridal veils came into existence in Europe. The process of unfolding the veil was a ritual that took place after the wedding process. With time, even the design, bridal wear and trend of veils have undergone a huge transformation.
During the 20s, brides used headdress made of lace cloche, which were rounded with flowers. The wedding veils had blossom flowers in wax orange with velvet leaves to complement the waist corsage.
During the 30s brides wore simple veils that hung loose to against their elegant wedding gowns highlighting their looks.
The 40s the several exorbitant veils with headpieces shaped as a half-crown and featuring wax blossoms and rhinestones.
During the 50s headpieces resembling skull caps were used as wedding veils. These circular bridal veils often featured satin and velvet and were 18 to 27 inches long.
The 60s designers started introducing different designs in wedding veils with various combinations that were taken after the popular movies. During the late '60s, the hippies, who inspired a 'flower child' appeal, introduced veils with real flowers.
During the 70s, brides moved toward creating custom wedding veils and bridal wear. These veils were adorned with various beads, pearls, mantilla, and lace designs.
Currently, hundreds of designs have emerged with varied colours to match their gowns and accessories.
The pattern designs displayed on wedding veils have become very important, as they form a significant part of the accessories and bridal wear. There are several patterns available from which the veils can be created. These are based on several aspects that include; the pattern of wedding gown, the budget and the style of finishes. Let us take a look at some of the more well known wedding veil finishes.
Plain or Cut Edge Finish: This is a common type, which complements all types of gowns. This has a very delicate and simple look and has no finish at the edges.
Cut Edge Scallops: This is similar to the cut edge veil but has a shape or pattern at the edge. This shape can be made according to one's own taste.
Pencil Edge: This style is considered as the universal design for bridal and wedding veils, as it matches every type of wedding gown design. This has a very thin edge finish with fine embroidery work.
Satin Robin Edge: These veils have satin ribbon of various thickness stitched at the edge. Normally the colours of the ribbon vary from white, to diamond white, from ivory to dark ivory, and black according to the requirement of the bride.
Rippled Edge: These wedding veils, as the name indicates, have an edge finish with a wavy or ripple design. Colors can vary according to one's choice.
Rhinestone Band: As the name speaks, these wedding veils have a gorgeous Rhinestone band at the edge, which makes the veils slightly heavy. Hence, brides opt for double layer veils or three layered veils and these match almost all design of gowns. However, this band is not suggested for centre gathered style of veils.
Crystal Band: Veils with crystal bands have 3mm crystals that are attached to the veil edges. These highlight the beauty with their sparkles and make the bride look like an angel.
Seed Bead Band: There are bands of small beads that are sewed to the edges of the wedding veils. The beads can vary in colors such as gold, silver, or crystal. This creates a beautiful affect that complements a huge range of bridal gowns.
Row of Beads Along the Edge: The design, colour, and spacing of beadings at the edge of a veil can be custom made according to one's desire and hence can vary in pattern. Beads that are placed with even spaces in between create a sense of elegance that highlights the bride's natural beauty.
As the wedding veil complements the dress and other accessories selecting the right type of veils can be as important as selecting the bridal gown itself. There are different types of wedding veils that have emerged in the current trend.
Blusher Veils: This design of veil covers the face of the bride and as tradition holds is pulled back to reveal the face to the groom after the wedding vows are made. Originally, the length of this veil was designed to be above the bust, the current trend has brought about changes in the length according to one's wish.
Birdcage Veils: Birdcage veils are often made of netting design to cover the face of brides over the chin area. However, these also can be designed to cover just the eyes or can be asymmetrical with varied length on either side of the face shielding one eye and revealing the other. This brings a chic look.
Cathedral Veil: This is most regal, of all the wedding veil styles and this is the longest of all veils. This extends down to the feet of the bride and can even extend beyond that as a train. It brings a traditional appeal with a great visual impact.
Fingertip Ballet Veils: These wedding veils flow down behind the bride but are not as long as the cathedral veils. These are a little shorter just below the waist level or maximum between the knee and toe of the bride.
Chapel Veils: These veils extend up to 4 feet from the waist region. These have their own beauty that enhances the looks of the brides.
Elbow Long Veils: As the name indicates, these wedding veils extend up to the elbow of the bride and contain several layers to complement the look.
Tiered Veils: These Veils feature several layers stitched into a single piece.
Wedding veil trends have evolved so much and it is presently in vogue for designers to use a variety of lace designs with overwhelming patterns with varied romantic tones. The fabric used to produce the veils plays an important role in providing the overall finished look of the veil. The various fabrics used to produce the bridal veils can result in differing finishing affects from a gentle, romantic, elegant look to a fancy, chic look and feel.