“The wedding veil is at once sacred and seductive.”
Vera Wang has is right. When looking into the history of the veil, it takes you from the convent to the harem. It represents modesty and mystery, virginity and provocation, and even today it can still be found at the heart of political and religious debate. Like many issues surrounding symbols of femininity, the purpose and view of the veil seems to bounce between two poles – an either/or rather than a series of possibilities. In the west, the imagery surrounding the wedding veil is disconnected from its more quotidien variations. As a bride to be, I don’t see a nun’s habit, a hijab, or a medieval princess when I thinking about my wedding veil, but now, it’s hard not to be struck by the profound symbolism and history attached to it. Am I comfortable with having a blusher, which means my dad or fiancé would lift the veil, marking the symbolic transference from one man to another? Do I want to keep my face open, but have a long veil down the back, representing the end of my “maidenhood”? It’s hard not to get caught up in archaic language and thought when contemplating the veil. Its roots are ancient, and its meaning can be as deep as you want it to be. However, this isn’t to say everyone should spend pensive hours wondering about it. If you simply like how a veil looks, wear it. If it means a transition into a new journey for you, then that is its meaning.
So if you’re choosing to rock a veil on your wedding day (I’m pretty sure I am, not sure exactly what style though), here is a handy cheat sheet on the lengths and a few styles to look out for. Typically, the longer, more formal styles, are flattering on everyone; the shorter styles require a little more finesse and picking one that matches your personality. Not everyone can pull off a jaunty birdcage veil, I know I certainly can’t! Which type of veil is your favorite? I’m pretty fond of the Juliet Cap situation (Kate Moss’s veil of choice and the favorite of Art Deco brides), but we’ll see. I just know I’m going to end up trying on a ton until one feels right.