A veil! That is if bridal veils are your thing. Many women just don’t feel like a bride without one and that’s okay. How often to you get to wear a veil, anyway? If you’re like most of us, not that often. And that’s probably what makes bridal veils feel so special. Put one on and you immediately feel different. More regal. More beautiful. More bridal!
Can you be a bride without a veil? Of course, you’re every bit the bride even if you’re saying your “I dos” in jeans. But even if you have never considered wearing a bridal veil, don’t miss out on the opportunity to don a very fun wedding accessory because it’s unfamiliar. When you’re gown shopping, try one on!
In fact, try on several in different lengths to see what you like, what you definitely don’t like, and what works with the dresses you love. Even if you end up buying your bridal veil online (which I highly recommend you do for the discounts) trying on a multitude of veils in person is the best way to find the one you really and truly want.
While it might seem like veils are a pretty straightforward wedding accessory, they’re actually quite complex when it comes to the options available. In general, longer veils are considered more formal and shorter veils less – birdcage veils being the least formal of all. But length isn’t your only option! There are rhinestone and lace edges, thick and thin, single, double, and triple layers, corded veils, beaded veils, and more. It’s actually a bit dizzying when you’ve already been asked to choose a dress and jewelry and all the other bits and pieces that will become your wedding day look.
You’ll never hear me faulting a bride for skipping the veil, of course. I didn’t even wear one myself! But if I can tell you a little bitty secret, I actually kind of regret it. I felt beautiful on my wedding day but not particularly bridal, and since I don’t plan on ever getting married again it’s an experience I’ll never get to have.
No one is going to wear a winter coat to the beach. Or a tank top while skiing. Would you wear club attire to church – or vice versa? So doesn’t it seem just a little weird that no matter what the season, what the setting, and what the weather, wedding dress options seem frightfully limited? Even when you’re saying your vows, your surroundings should play a role in your sartorial choices.
Walking down the aisle in 2015? Consider not only the who and the how, but also the where. Here are four things to consider:
Air temperature and humidity: Did you know some fabrics can literally wilt in the heat? I, for one, didn’t until I started researching this post. If you’re getting married outdoors in somewhere like Florida look at lightweight gowns first. Fabrics like cotton eyelet will keep you cooler, more comfortable, and looking great for longer. On the other hand, do you really want to freeze your buns (and your bust) off in a strapless gowns in the dead of winter? A jacket works wonders out of doors but some ceremony venues can be surprisingly frosty.
The Mood: Kicky little 1950s style wedding dresses and simple pearl wedding jewelry looks amazing when the backdrop is city hall. A longer-than-long cathedral train? Not so much, but inside an actual cathedral and you’re rocking it. The one crossover option seems to be the basic sheath. You can dress it up with your bridal jewelry or wear it dressed down, Bohemian style, making it the chameleon of the wedding gown world.
Your backdrop: Will you be walking down the aisle in a church, a museum, or down on the farm? Will you dance the night away in a barn floor or on an old fashioned parquet floor? If it’s the former (and the barn hasn’t been entirely converted into an event venue) pass on the long, lace train and wear a lace wedding veil instead. In any weather, outdoor weddings call for dresses that won’t attract too much schmutz.
The laws of the land: Culture, religion, and even a family’s own culture can dictate what is appropriate and what isn’t when it comes to bridal fashion. Some religious faiths demand that brides wear modest gowns – and what modest means in any given faith can be quite different. One church may have different guidelines from another even within the same faith! Lots and lots of bridal jewelry is customary in some cultures. The less is more approach in others. When in doubt, ask or risk committing a faux pas that’s captured forever in your wedding photos!
How is your wedding venue driving your choices when it comes to your dress, shoes, and accessories?
Images: Sareh Nouri
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Brides wearing wedding veils take note! This is one of my favorite romantic wedding photo ideas. All you need is you, your veil, and the love of your life. A little wind can turn a veil into something more like a personal shroud for two in two seconds flat, but before you extricate yourselves have your photog snap a few pics. The results? Gorgeous. See for yourself:
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Go big or go home is not usually something you hear people say about wedding flowers but so what? Brides who want to go big with their bridal bouquets shouldn’t let convention – of all things – hold them back. Alternative bridal bouquets are one idea but the problem for some brides is that these options are not so alternative anymore. The wire bouquet. The prayer book. The lantern. The brooch bouquet. You get the idea. Of course, just because something is no longer making headlines in bridal magazines doesn’t mean it should be off the table. Love wire bouquets and want a big one? Go for it! Just like if what’s trending doesn’t appeal, kick it to the curb.
If you are committed to going big in all things related to your wedding, have we got the idea for you! Big… no, make that HUGE paper flowers carried in lieu of traditional bouquets are gaining speed as an alt bouquet and we love them.
Here’s the idea: they’re like an awesome alternative nod to traditional wedding flowers and the bridal bouquet itself. After all, brides have been carrying single blossoms for, like, ever. Hello, calla lilies! This is just a new, fresh, and kind of rebellious take made from paper or silk – not an attempt to reinvent the wheel. Which is good if you’re basically a fan of all things traditional but want to incorporate something a little sassy into your ceremony.
Brides carrying huge flowers ARE sassy – and you have probably already discovered how hard it is to inject the sass into the ceremony half of your big day. After all, saying “I do” is a pretty momentous event. Some even go so far as to call it somber. We say be as playful as you want to be with your bridal accessories and otherwise.
Remember, it’s okay to be a rule breaker. Who cares how big a bridal bouquet should be? If you’re satisfying the basic requirements of etiquette as they pertain to taking care of your guests, you are golden. Giant flower. Colored wedding gown. Tart instead of cake. Whatever.
Will there be comments? Girrrrrrl, there are ALWAYS comments. Good, bad, and strangely insensitive, there will be comments. People can’t help opening their mouths to breathe their unwanted opinions on brides-to-be and the brides they become. Such is life. For whatever reason, our culture considers engaged women and brides to be public property.
Carry what you want. Do what you love. You’re going to look beautiful no matter what!
SO you’ve found a dress – or batch of bridesmaids’ dresses – that looks amazing on everyone from your best bestie to your big sister. Your ‘maids LOVE it. But if you think your work is done, think again. (Sorry, ladies.) Now it’s time to accessorize that perfect gown with some bridesmaid jewelry. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
Let the Dress Be Your Guide
You likely already know that necklaces should not hang down past necklines and bracelets seldom harmonize well with long sleeves, but the overall fanciness and style of your bridesmaids’ dresses can also help you choose jewelry and accessories. Very formal bridesmaids dresses demand bigger, bolder baubles.
Think of the Photos
Very ornate bridesmaid jewelry may not photograph particularly well when worn by a flock of identically dressed ‘maids. Some jewelry will look better in low light or candlelight while other pieces shine brightest in natural daylight.
Give Them a Little Freedom
Even if you don’t want to choose bridesmaid jewelry, you still have the final say when it comes to what your ladies will be wearing on your big day. You can dictate parameters. Crystal bridesmaid jewelry. A pearl wedding jewelry set. Colored bridesmaid jewelry. It’s your call, and having a few boundaries may actually make it easier for your bridesmaids to shop for their own accessories.
Keep It Simple
If you want to, that is. Bright dresses with something simple like a pair of understated stud earrings and a simple drop pendant necklace can make the bride, with her more ornate accessories, pop. Especially in the pictures. Bridesmaid jewelry can be barely there and still be impactful.
Or Go Big
Sometimes more is more, and your wedding day is not the day to stay small because you’re afraid of being too flashy. Flash away and let your bridesmaids do the same with big CZ sets or striking vintage look pieces that really stand out.
Make It a Gift
Your bridesmaids’ jewelry can be the gifts you give them to thank them for being a part of your big day, but in that case do your ladies a solid and choose something they can wear again (even if only for big events). They’ll appreciate not having yet another bridesmaids expense and you don’t have to worry about their jewelry. It’s win-win!
Are you letting your bridesmaids choose their own accessories or are you choosing for them?
Bridal veils are THE classic wedding accessory but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear one and still be fashion forward. Veils have their trends like everything else related to wedding fashion – in 2014 the diversity of the bridal veil trends you need to know about mean that veils are in for every kind of bride. Here are our picks for the bridal veil trends for the 2014/2015 wedding season:
It’s All About the Drama
Long and flowing, Cathedral length or short and sweet birdcage veils – however you wear yours, take things to the extreme. Expect to see modern shapes with traditional embellishments or statement veils. Yes, we said statement veils.
More Is More
Veils are bigger than ever with more volume in a nod to 80s fashion. Think billows and airiness and pouf! There is so much opportunity for expressing your personality with your veil – go big, or even bigger!
Bright Whites are Back
Forget ivory and cream, because starks and diamonds are where it’s at. This veil trend is probably the result of brides embracing pops of color yet again. Nothing highlights an accent color like bright white.
Lots of Lace
Lace is everywhere at weddings this year, including on the bride’s head. Lace edge veils are perfect for the bride who wants an ultra feminine, elegant wedding day look.
Casual weddings are a lot of fun, but more and more brides are planning sophisticated events with all the trimmings – and that includes ultra formal (and ultra romantic) bridal accessories like formal bridal veils.
As majestic as it can be difficult to wear, the cathedral length veil does not actually require a cathedral to make an appearance at your nuptials. If you want to make a serious statement, feel free to go long, longer, or longest when it comes to your veil.
Or Go Boho
Romantic and fresh, the boho look is still hot – albeit in a modified, more sophisticated form. Embrace this look without looking like a hippie by choosing upscale embellishments and luxe fabrics.
Here is the best advice we can offer when it comes to choosing a bridal headpiece or hair accessory!
1. Pick out your wedding gown first
2. Decide on your hairstyle second
3. Choose the headpiece and veil third
In my career as a bridal style adviser I have actually tore apart a headpiece on the bride’s wedding day and redesigned it because it did not go with the hairstyle she wanted. The best way of course is to have a couple of trial run appointments at the hair salon prior to the big day. This way an exchange can be made for a different style headpiece if that is what is necessary to create the look a bride wants.
Don’t feel pressured into purchasing a bridal headpiece because it “matches your dress”. Instead look for a detail from the gown you would like to enhance and find a headpiece that complements. It may be pearls, a flower detail, or the trim. Or maybe you want a hair accessory that will match the flowers in your bouquet.
Petite? If you are finding that the headpieces seem to big, look at what is offered for first communion headpieces and ask the bridal salon to add a longer veil.
Second marriage? Having a veil is fine if you want one, but you may want to skip the blusher. A beautiful tiara is perfect or ornament your hairstyle. Try a hat, they are coming back!
And here’s a new trend you can be a part of: ornament your hairstyle! There are also many beautiful decorative bridal hair pins, barrettes and bobby pins to add to your hairstyle! Simply attach a comb with netting to cascade down the back of the hairstyle – best part is you can remove it easily at the reception!
Bridal garters might seem like a somewhat outdated and far-from-essential wedding accessory, but this is one wedding tradition that actually boasts roots in truly ancient customs. Brides and grooms in more cultures than one would toss items of clothing at rowdy guests to avoid being ransacked by revelers as they made their exit. Whoever snagged pieces of the newlywed’s clothing would be blessed with good luck!
Today, it’s slightly less common to see the groom tossing the wedding garter over his shoulder at the reception, but the tradition isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The right time to buy your wedding garter — if you plan to wear one — is any time after you’ve chosen your wedding gown and your wedding colors. That way, if you want to coordinate fabrics or colors, you can.
Tips for Choosing Your Bridal Garter
Though bridal garters come in every possible color, pattern, and material, many brides opt to have their garters be their “something blue.” If you’re planning to do just that, don’t limit yourself to common hues like baby or Tiffany blue. Consider a wedding garter made of deep navy, cornflower, or Majorelle blue fabric.
Wedding garters are commonly made of beautiful feminine materials like satin, organza, lace, Swarovski crystals, pearls, and delicate ribbon, but why not think outside the box? These days, brides can choose garters featuring everything from sports teams logos to animal prints to vintage charms.
Finally, if your new husband is going to toss the garter at the reception and your garter is just too pretty (or meaningful) to give away, don’t forget to buy a tossing garter. These are wedding garters that are as pretty as, but usually less expensive than, your main garter. Sometimes garter sets will include a matching tosser.
But that said, consider that a lot of singletons are committed these days and don’t necessarily have plans to marry. The reason the toss is falling out of favor is because it turns out a lot of people just don’t like being paraded in front of a crowd of wedding guests! So our advice? Wear a gorgeous garter under your even more gorgeous gown, and let your new husband remove it in private 😉
We get SO many brides-to-be asking if they can wear sleeveless or strapless gowns for winter weddings or fall weddings. The weather, after all, doesn’t lend itself to baring arms unless you live somewhere down south. But that’s why bridal caps, bridal stoles, and bridal jackets were created! Sleeveless wedding dresses and strapless wedding dresses are still the norm, even with all manner of beautiful sleeved wedding gown options out there.
So, what’s the short answer to the question of sleeveless in cold weather?
Absolutely! Today’s most popular wedding gown styles include strapless and sleeveless gowns that you can wear year round if you bundle up.
With the help of some easy to wear bridal accessories, you can stay warm for your outdoor travels, events, or photo ops without sacrificing that traditional wedding day look. You can add a satin or faux fur wrap, bolero jacket, or glamorous long gloves. We love this amazing silk bridal jacket from Amada Wakeley:
The best part? Cold weather bridal accessories can add additional drama to your wedding photos. First, it’s jacket on and then jacket off… or jacket blowing in a chilly wind. Or think of a gorgeous fur or faux fur stole dripping from your bare shoulders. Sounds beautiful, no? And warm, too! We don’t want our brides to freeze their buns off no matter what the weather.