Bridal veils have been a wedding tradition for thousands of years. Opinions vary, but it is commonly accepted that the veil actually predated the wedding gown and became a tradition in Ancient Greece when a bride used a veil to cover her face through the pronouncement of the vows. Whether this was to give the impression of purity or to hide a potentially unattractive face from an arranged suitor is open for interpretation.
Today, the veil is as much an expression of the bride's personality, story, and background as any other part of her wedding. Veils received a bad reputation throughout the 1980's and early 1990's when brides used them to make a larger-than-life fashion statement out of WAY TOO MUCH TULLE. Today, veils are making an impressive comeback and can be made using nearly any material a bride dreams up.
Most newly-engaged-bride-to-be's haven't thought much about a veil. They've seen a few photos that they like - or more often have seen many that they dislike - and they have no idea how to navigate the world of veils. To help answer a few common questions, I have put a few descriptions and images below of various lengths, materials, and styles that are often mentioned in the wedding veil world.
English Net is a favorite to work with at AEB. Its soft texture and drape is romantic but not too heavy. In a single layer, it is transparent and has a beautiful float to it when it catches the breeze. English Net also works very well with most laces as it's weight holds up better to lace appliques or trims. English Net is a great alternative to tulle for brides looking for something slightly more traditional and romantic than tulle. English Net can be made from polyester, nylon or a blend.
Bridal Illusion Tulle
Bridal Illusion Tulle is the most commonly used bridal veil fabric. Higher quality tulle has a soft touch with a fine net. Often, to save money, veil designers will create veils with a lower quality tulle that is scratchy to the touch and wrinkles easily. Due to its light weight, tulle is often preferred for multi-layer veils or for a blusher. It also comes in a wider bolt and so can be used for larger cathedral or royal cathedral veil styles.
Silk Net Veil
At AEB, we refer to Silk Net as "Angel Fur." Spun on specific looms in France using silk, our silk net is so soft to touch you can hardly feel it between your fingers. It is less transparent than either English Net or Tulle and has an almost hosiery feel to it. While this material is soft, romantic and classic, it's handmade origins make it very expensive and unable to withstand lace application. This is best for Fingertip or Chapel-length veils without adornment.