The veil is a powerful symbol. It’s a statement. A gorgeous, crowning jewel that says “this is the bride.”
Most people pick their veil according to the length or style of their dress, but perhaps your face shape should really be what you’re taking into consideration.
Shay Yarbrough, senior bridal consultant at Kleinfeld Bridal, eloquently compares it to a dinner party. In order for it to be perfect from beginning to end, the beauty lies in the details. “Veils have a historic meaning behind them, a cultural meaning...I think it’s pretty; it signifies what the bride is.”
The idea of adoring yourself is to feel beautiful, inside and out.
“My process is to find what highlights the best parts of the bride, and what’s better than a woman’s face?,” Yarbrough explains. “You want people to say, Wow! you look beautiful! Not “Wow! What a beautiful dress or veil.”
You don’t want to distract from your features. “You want to elevate your own beauty instead of distracting from it,” he says. “It’s a visual. Everyone’s attention is on you. Period. You want them to look at the best parts, and you want to celebrate those things that you love about yourself...Your full lips, your great cheeks, your petite nose.”
“The face is equally as important as your figure, because it all goes together in combination; they work in tandem and the whole look needs to be flawless!” He adds, “The right veil amplifies your bridal look.”
People’s faces fall into eight shape categories: oval, round, oblong, heart, diamond, square, rectangle, and triangle. The first four have a fuller quality, while the others have features that are more defined and angular.
The rule of thumb seems to be to follow the lead of magnets; opposites attract for a reason, right?
For brides with softer faces complete with curved lines (oval, round, oblong), Yarbrough says, “Create some angles!”
He highly recommends snagging a blusher (the part of the veil worn over the face when the bride walks down the aisle) complete with trim—that’s important. “This will highlight how lovely and soft your face is,” Yarbrough says. “When you have a fuller face you also need to be mindful of the trim being too thick.”
Brides who possess features that are more sharp-cornered and pointed (cough, cough heart-face over here), these veils should create a softness.
“I would imagine people are wanting to soften those features (they have a stronger chin, higher cheek bone) so I think it’s important that the shape of the veil is more rounded, like a mantilla,” Yarbrough says. “I wouldn’t suggest a blusher; you don’t want to create any more angles. I'd also suggest a long veil because there’s no interruption on the face when it comes to photos. It’s about making the face appear rounder while also highlighting your features.”
You may want to frame your body instead of the face, and in order to accomplish this it’s all about placement. “Angel-cut veils that have certain type of beading that creates a wave-like effect would be especially pretty for someone, but you have to be careful of veil placement,” Yarbrough says. “You can place the comb close to a rounder face, but otherwise you want to make sure to place it closer to the crown of the head so that the veil is more about the shoulders instead of framing the face. That’s an important element.”
A classic option for angled faces is a birdcage veil. “The birdcage itself is a swoop, so you want the juxtaposition setup to be done beautifully,” he says. “Looking at the birdcage allows for those features, like high cheekbones, to shine.”
No matter what shape your face is, it’s important to flaunt what you’ve got. “If your face is square, that’s beautiful!” Yarbrough exclaims. “Highlight the squareness! We want to celebrate the shape of your face with the right veil. It’s not about taking away from you, but instead pulling the best parts of that wonderful face.”
Of course, a veil isn’t for everyone. You have to ask yourself: Am I someone who wants a veil?
“Picking hair accessories is as big a personal statement as the style of your dress,” Yarbrough says. “The headpiece or accessory needs to speak to the authenticity of the woman. You might want flowers, a halo, or a comb. Listen to who you are because there is nothing worse than putting a veil on someone and having it shrink them because it doesn’t feel natural. If the woman doesn’t feel her best self, that veil needs to come off. There is no other time in your life when you need to feel the most confident.”
See more: 35 Bridal Capes For The Extra Bride
Feeling a tad overwhelmed? Have no fear, there is a veil that almost anyone can flawlessly rock. “A piece of tulle that literally is a diaphanous piece of fabric, like a soft whisper of a veil,” is a good option, Yarbrough explains. “Really clean, trails behind you, and is good for any location. It’s just a cut edge, cathedral-length veil. It’s like a little bit of ground pepper. It’s not the paprika, it doesn’t have the spicy stuff. Just a little bit of seasoning.”