Let's talk birdcage veils

Birdcage veils, love them or hate them they are definitely here to stay.  If you hate them, I’m not here to convert you, there are way too many other great options out there for you (but not on this post).  If you love them, or are contemplating one then read on and I’ll impart a little of my expertise.

 

Things to consider

 

THE DRESS

I used to think that birdcage veils were simply the reserve of the 40’s 50’s vintage loving bride in a shorter dress but having seen the range of dresses my clients have rocked them with, I honestly think pretty much anything goes!

The way you choose to accessorise should have far more to do with your personality and attitude than the “rules” of the bridal fashion police. 

If you love what you are wearing you’ll wear it with confidence and this radiates from you on the day.

 

 

THE HAIR STYLE

Anything goes, or at least it does if you are having the veil made to order.

Your hair style, should suit you and your desired look.  It should take priority over choosing your veil.  The hair style will be far more dominant in photographs than a veil (unless you really are going for a “mahoosive” statement, and there is nothing wrong with that!).

I hand make every birdcage veil I sell, to order. I ascertain your exact requirements before starting out. 

Where on your head you wish to wear the veil (always best on an angle), and how far down your face you wish the veil to finish will all dictate the dimensions of the piece I make.  I often need to check on your head size too, this may seem ridiculously cheeky.

 “Have you got a big head?” 

I do need to know.  I never realised until I started meeting brides just how varied head sizes are!  Huge bushy (I’m sure there is a glamorous way of saying “bushy”) hair will require a different sized veil to sleek smooth hair etc.

 

THE WEDDING

The type of wedding you have planned will to an extent determine your sartorial choices.  If you are marrying at St Pauls Cathedral, a birdcage veil just isn’t going to cut it, likewise a cathedral length veil in a registry office with just 2 witnesses is definitely over the top. 

 

THE PRACTICALITIES

If a dress is heavily embellished, has a statement back, or beading that could snag on a traditional tulle veil, then a birdcage is definitely worth your consideration.

Bandeau veils.  These are the longer narrow ones that pin in at either side of the head like a visor.  I don’t offer any in my “collection” of birdcage veils as whilst they are a great editorial look , not so great in reality.  To sit well without sagging they need to sit quite close to the face and it leads to tangled lashes and mascara complications.  If it is what you’re set on, of course I’ll make it with the same love and attention I do every piece, but for me they just don’t quite work.

Veiling weights.  You will see on my website heavier and lighter weight veiling used in different pieces.  I generally recommend a lighter weight veiling for bridal birdcage veils that are going to go below eye length.  The heavier ones are great for other millinery pieces, for volume, trimming and balancing bigger designs, however on a sunny day a full face veil in heavy veiling can lead to strange spotty shadows on the face, not great unless you are emulating 50s pop art!

If you plan to do your own hair then I’d generally suggest mounting the veil on a headband (it could be narrow and covered in velvet to sit discreetly or a broader satin band to be seen). This would ensure correct placement and no nightmare comb to secure, particularly if your hair is short or being worn down.

The veil can be detachable, so long as the anchor piece is big enough to conceal the veil edge and attachment.  A replica comb or pin to match the detail of the piece, minus the veil can be supplied when detachable veiling isn’t an option.

 

ON THE DAY

People often ask me what the “rules” are for when they should take their birdcage veil off.  At risk of offending followers of really strict protocol, I honestly believe it is your choice.  This is your wedding, do it your way!

If you’ve chosen a shorter birdcage veil and it isn’t interfering with your eating, drinking, partying and fun, and you are loving wearing it, then keep it on.

If your veil is too long to wear over your face but you are loving wearing it, then fold it back inside itself (NEVER back up on itself unless you want your appearance to scream “hey I’ve been through a wind tunnel!”) and secure with a couple of bobby pins so that hey presto, you have a shorter veil.

If you want to change your look, simply, detach the veil for a different look.

 

Well, I’m way over the “recommended word limit” and there is lots I’ve not touched on but I hope I’ve provided you with something useful to mull on rather than the blindingly obvious stuff I could have said.

Any questions just ask, I’m really quite friendly!

Harriet x

Ps Don’t forget my sample service if you want to try before you order.

15th Feb 2017