Then&Now: Wedding Veils

I’m curious by nature and found my interest piqued on the subject of wedding veils. I limited my focus to the Victorian era (1837-1901) where the wedding dress followed two main styles- either a day dress or an evening dress. And the veil would be adjusted accordingly. For example, if a bride chose a day dress with a modest neckline a veil would be attached to a flower-trimmed bonnet. But if she decided on an evening dress with a low neckline and short sleeves a long veil was pinned to the back of her head with flowers.

Then- A Victorian American bride chose this wedding dress made of ivory watered silk. Note the low neck and short sleeves typical of an evening dress and consistent with that style of dress is a long veil. Worn in 1844.

Then- Sprigs of artificial orange blossoms decorate the bottom of this Victorian cream silk bridal dress- another example of an evening dress with a train and lace veil. Worn in 1872.

Now- Today’s bride has so many different lengths and styles of veils to choose from. The most traditional called a chapel veil is long and skims the floor. Dress and veil by Lusan Mandongus.

NowMid-length veils are the easiest to wear as they often fall to the elbow or to the fingertips. Dress by Paul Costlloe at Harrods. Tulle veil from Pronovias.

Now- The one above is referred to as a fascinator- a short stiff netting that’s attached to a variety of headpieces. This veil appeals to the most modern bride. Dress by Ralph Lauren. Veil is stylist’s own.

(Photos- Victorian Dress Exhibit-The Met, British Brides Magazine, British You & Your Wedding– photograph by Constantinos Tsiliacos, Genlux– photo- Heidi Niemala. Styled by Jennifer Krako)

3 thoughts on “Then&Now: Wedding Veils

  1. I love those old dresses!! I always find it interesting to actually see the real old clothes that people used to wear back in their day.

    I’m going with a “fingertip” veil as it will be easier to wear and not cover up the back of my dress so much. I decided to wear a veil because it’s the only time in my life that I will get to.

    The last picture makes me think of the song “Copacabana” by Barry Manilow…. for some reason I can just see her dancing along as Lola… ;-) It’s fun.

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