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How to wear hair accessories with a veil

Updated: 6 days ago

Bride wearing gypsophila hair pins and statement long veil
Hair pins: The Lucky Sixpence Veil: Rebecca Anne Designs Photo: Eleanor Bryant

I often hear brides say “I don’t want a headpiece because I’m having a veil”, or “I want a crown because I’m not having veil’. Industry experts (myself included) do not feel it is a matter of either or - its matter of teaming up the right headpiece to work with your veil.


I’m thrilled that Rebecca from Rebecca Anne Designs and Lisa from Lisa Carrington Couture; both leading experts in the world of veils, have been keen to share their expertise with me for this blog so that between us we can help you create your perfect look.


In this blog you will find (click to jump to):


Before we jump straight into teaming headpieces with veils lets just take a look at the different veil options which are available as this will make a difference as to what you want to wear with it.



How to pair your headpiece and veil - a guide. Bride wears satin headband with long 1 tier veil
Headband: The Lucky Sixpence, Veil: Rebecca Anne Designs, Photo: Weddings by Adrianna

What are the different veil styles / types?

Lisa explains...

1. Juliet cap - a veil which fits more like a cap, often with beading or lace work, sometimes with tule veil behind. These look super with simple modern gowns or a vintage look.

2. Mantilla veils - generally circular with decoration (lace, embroidery, ruffles etc) all the way around which is worn flat on the head. These can give an effortless romantic look.

3. Draped veil - rather than fitting in one position it is fixed to the head in 2 places to create a beautiful drape that acts as frame for neck, back and the perfect up-do. These can work for both modern and vintage looks. Often worn for etherial weddings.

4. Capes - Capes are fabulously elegant, whether short, long, full or a back cape. They can be fitted at the shoulders or around the neck.

5. Birdcage veils - the shortest type of veil with just goes over the face like a blusher. It can be made of netting or tulle. These can be fixed in place in either one or two places. Often worn for a vintage feel.

6. 1 or 2 tier veils - what most people think of when it comes to veils - fitted in one place. The two tier veils provide the ‘blush’ which goes over the face in a more traditional ceremony. These are available in a multitude of lengths and levels of ‘fullness’. The more full the veil the more swing and movement. The less full the flatter it will lie.


(Veils by Lisa Carrington Couture shown from left to right: Juliet Cap, Mantilla, Drape, Cape, Fingertip Length Single Tier. Click to expand each image)


When it comes to choosing a veil ...

Lisa states “you’ve never had such a wide selection as you do today! When choosing make sure you pick the correct shade and one that will compliment the style of your dress. Think about if you want a traditional, vintage, alternative or modern feel to your look.”


Bride wearing modern separates, statement veil and pearl headband
Veil: Rebecca Anne Designs Headpiece and Jewellery: The Lucky Sixpence Photo: With Love Rose

Rebecca agrees and adds “Opt for a veil that complements rather than competes with the embellishments or silhouette of your dress, ensuring a harmonious overall look.”


She goes on to say “Some brides might consider a shorter veil thinking it's 'easier' to wear for most of the day. But I honestly feel that if you've chosen the right veil for you and your dress, you won't want to take it off! My brides invest in a personalised veil which has been custom made not only for the embroidery design but so that the veil size complements their dress perfectly. You only get to wear a veil on your wedding day (unfortunately!) so make the most of it. If you want to wear a long veil, go for it and ENJOY it.”


Lisa agrees “I get a lot of destination brides who often have big open spaces. This means we can go the extra mile with length and personal detail giving a very dramatic effect for the photographs.”


How do I wear a veil?

Ok, so you’ve picked your veil - How do you actually wear it and how is it secured in your hair?


bride wearing a crown, with low bun hairstyle. embroidered veil is place underneath the bun
Crown: The Lucky Sixpence Veil: Rebecca Anne Designs Photo: Freeform Images

Rebecca explains: “Veils can be fixed in place using various fittings such as combs, clips, or pins, depending on the style and preference of the bride. The correct fitting method ensures it seamlessly integrates with the chosen hairstyle and veil design. Most of my veils are hand sewn onto my signature gold combs. If brides are wearing their hair in a low bun and want the veil to fall from beneath, there isn't a lot of space there so I recommend opting for veil loops which can be more easily pinned underneath.

Mantilla veils can have a comb fitting but your hair stylist may prefer just to pin it in place - it is best to discuss this with your stylist to find out their preference. I always recommend additional pins discreetly along the edges.”


Lisa adds “When adding the comb to your hair, have your hairdresser spray hairspray on the teeth both sides, this has a glue effect helping it stay in place. For additional stay, many hairdressers will use hair-grips slotted into the teeth. This is one of the reasons I would recommend metal combs for veils over plastic.”


When it comes to where you wear it Rebecca explains:

bride with hollywood waves wears long veil and side headpiece
Headpiece: The Lucky Sixpence Photo: Charlotte Wise

“With a classic veil it should ideally be positioned just below the crown of the head, allowing it to cascade gracefully down the back. Different hairstyles can impact this; for example, a low bun may require placing the veil underneath, while an updo can support wearing it on top. There is often the myth that you can't wear a veil and wear your hair down but you can wear a veil with any hair style. If you are wearing your hair down, you just need a bit of hidden extra security. Every hairstylist has their own tips and tricks - a little back combing, a hidden plait... It's important to book a hair trial so you feel confident in your hairstyle choice and that your veil will feel secure and comfortable.


When it comes to mantilla veils to achieve the perfect positioning place the veil's edge so that it sits a couple of inches behind the hairline. This placement allows the veil to flow gracefully, framing your face and adding a touch of ethereal beauty.  Although, if you are wearing your hair up, you may prefer to wear the veil further back so it falls in a slimmer, more sleek shape behind you.”


What headpiece to wear with my veil?

So now you know what veil you will go for, how it will be fitted and where you will wear it let’s take a look at what accessories can be worn along side it.


70s bride wearing juliet cap veil
Juliet Cap Veil. Photo: Devlin Photos

1. The Juliet cape - either worn low across the forehead or pushed back towards the crown there is quite a lot going on around the face already. I would recommend hair pins which can be dotted into an undo or a small comb worn centrally or to the side at the back. Should your Juliet cap be gathered at the back or the side you may wish to consider a lightweight brooch (which has the look of a headpiece) pinned to the outside to add detail or a focal point.


2. Mantilla Veils - similar to the Juliet cap there is already a lot of detail to the front of the face so I would recommend hair pins or a comb at the back. However if you want a boho or etherial vibe a simple head chain across the forehead could compliment the look.


3. The Draped veil - here you have lots of choice - you may wish to go for a comb or pins to highlight your updo which is framed by the drape. Other options would be to have small headpieces that can go over the top of the combs with or without a draped head chain running between them (I will discuss options for headpieces over veil combs in the ‘comfort’ section below). A full tiara shaped crown or headband crown can also work - giving detail to the front of your look.

bride wearing cape veil with statement geometric crown
Cape veil with statement The Lucky Sixpence crown. Photo: Eclectachrome

4. Capes - again you can wear any headpiece with a cape. Just take into consideration any beadwork or lace that falls over the shoulders or around the neck - you do not want to be competing agains that. Bespoke headpieces can be created to compliment this beadwork and ensure the two work in harmony. 

Bespoke headpiece made for going over a birdcage veil
The Lucky Sixpence bride wearing bespoke headpiece with birdcage veil

5. Birdcage veils - statement headpieces really work well over the fitting of your single comb birdcage veil. Headbands can also work really well. Where you have a birdcage veil with two combs, a headpiece that goes over the combs would work well - either both the same size, one smaller and one larger or just one on one side. You may also want to consider wearing some small scatter pins in the back of your hair.


6. 1 and 2 tier veils… If you are going for a 1 tier veil really any headpiece will work. The same with a 2 tier veil but should you wish to wear the blush over your face you will need to be mindful of how it would flow over your headpiece. Traditional shaped tiaras and crowns will be fine with the veil coming up and over, but halos or very organic wirework crowns may get caught in the tulle or make it sit funny (however you can see below my star crown and leaf quartz crown works fine with a blusher but the star and moon crown would not due to the hovering small stars). Or you may want to go for super drama and place your crown over your veil (remember the iconic cover for Rock n Roll Bride Magazine with my crown? (see below) I am more than happy to discuss options with you to ensure they work together. 


Photo credits: Aimee Laoise Photography, Charlie Flounders Photography, Lex Fleming Photo, Salsabil Morrison Photography, Devlin Photos, Karo Meng


How to make sure a headpiece and veil sit comfortably together

One thing I discuss a lot with my clients is comfort - comfort of the headpiece alone but also how to ensure a headpiece and veil sit comfortably together.

A headpiece over a veil comb is a popular option but you do not want two combs wrestling against each other in the back of your head. This is where I suggest a ‘wrap’. This is similar to a vine in that it pins into the hair with bobby pins but it is more robust and larger than a thin vine. That way the headpiece can comfortably sit over the top of your veil giving a look as if the veil and headpiece were as one. This also means that should you want to take your veil off you can ask a friend or family member to just unpin one side of your headpiece, slip the veil comb out and then re-pin your headpiece.


What else should I consider when choosing a headpiece to go with a veil?

modern bride wearing pearl halo headpiece, polkadot dress and star spotted veil
Veil: Rebecca Anne Designs, Headpieces The Lucky Sixpence, Photo: Leesha Williams Photo & Film

You want your look to flow and look like it was all meant to be together. The headpiece should balance with the dress and veil, not overpower it or be overshadowed as well as be in keeping with the overall feel and style of the dress and veil.


Look at the details within your dress and veil and choose embellishment that coordinates such as bead types or motifs. Pearl veils are really popular at the moment as are florals. Should you have these elements in your veil reflect them in the headpiece that you choose.



How can I make my wedding day look personal to me?

“We are all so different style-wise, so why go with someone else's idea of perfect?” Lisa.


bride wering vintage style dress with bespoke handmade headpiece and long line veil
Bespoke bride Amy wears her vintage inspired crown with Eliza Jane Howell dress & long veil. Photo by Gabrielle Photos

I couldn’t have said it better myself! As you know here at The Lucky Sixpence my aim to to create personal accessories that allow you to shine and be yourself - be that in you choosing one of my one of a kind designs, personalising one of my existing designs or through my bespoke custom made service. Offering the opportunity to rework your own sentimental jewellery into your design is something I feel really honoured to be able to do - the ultimate personalisation of your headpiece! (You can see more about my bespoke service here, or how to incorporate sentimental jewellery into your headpiece .) By working with me I can ensure your headpiece will sit harmoniously with your veil ensuring all the details such as beadwork, motifs and textures flow throughout.



Photo credits: Kamila Nowak and Eleanor Bryant

Rebecca who specialises in personalise embroidered veils (see above) says “Personalise your veil by incorporating meaningful embroidery, such as initials, wedding dates, or symbols significant to you and your partner. Custom designs allow for a truly unique touch that reflects your personality and love story. When it comes to bespoke embroidery, the opportunities are truly endless.”


Lisa who specialised in beautiful lacework veils agrees. “Since I started out creating veils/accessories years ago, there was one thing I promised I'd never stray from; personalisation…and I haven't, it's a passion. My brides know about this and love it.” 


(Examples of Lisa's couture lace work - bespoke lettering and 3D florals above)


Get professional advice 

“Don't be afraid to reach out to the professionals, they will be only too happy to guide you.”Lisa.


Rebecca agrees and says “Don't hesitate to seek expert advice to find the perfect match. Working 1:1 with a veil designer means we discuss how to coordinate your veil to make sure it looks perfect with your dress but also reflects your personal style and the love story you're celebrating.”


I completely agree. Experienced suppliers are more than happy to give advice - we all want you to look and feel the best you can on your wedding day so do not shy away from talking to us! If you are buying a headpiece from my website or you are having a bespoke custom made design my emails or direct messages are always open to chat with you about pairing your headpiece with your veil. Just pop me a message and we can chat.

 

Huge thanks to Rebecca and Lisa for sharing your expertise with me. To find out more about them and their services head to their websites (details below)

Rebecca of Rebecca Anne Designs


Lisa of Lisa Carrington Couture





 

FAQs

Who do I get to make my veil / headpiece?

“As with all your wedding suppliers, work with a designer whose work you already love and aligns with your personal taste. Choose a designer you connect with and shares in your excitement in creating something unique and perfect for you.” Rebecca


Can I wear my headpiece under my veil?

Yes absolutely. Pins dotted through an undo or a comb at the back of the head can still be seen through the lightweight illusion tule. Just be mindful of the type of headpiece to ensure I does not snag your veil - I can discuss this with you.


How do I look after my veil?

“When you receive your veil, treat it with care. I provide all my brides with a veil bag and hanger - carefully hang the veil so allow any creases to fall before the big day. If you have any stubborn creases, the veil can be steamed.

On the day, handle your veil with care to prevent snags or tears. Assign a trusted bridesmaid or family member to assist with adjustments and ensure it stays in place beautifully throughout the celebration.

I provide all my brides with a keepsake box for their veil aftercare. The veil can be hand washed and then carefully folded into acid free tissue paper to keep safe - perhaps for future generations.” Rebecca


My veil keeps sticking to me. What can I do about static?

“The level of static will depend on the fibre content on both veil and gown. If any synthetic fibres, take a spray bottle, add a little fabric softener and water and spritz all over the veil (plus the scent adds a rather gorgeous, scent layer as your veil/cape blows in the breeze).” Lisa


 

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How to wear a hair accessory with a veil - a guide

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