How To Choose A Headpiece

How to choose a headpiece for your wedding ensemble?  The more weddings I do, the more brides I see without a wedding veil.  Perhaps because many of the weddings I’m involved with are outside?  What are my thoughts on this?  My thoughts… the choice is not mine.  Whatever a bride wants is what’s correct.  Personally?  For my own daughters?  I love the wedding veil. I think it makes a bride look like a bride.  If one chooses to wear a veil, then there are more decisions to make.  Will you have a “blusher” – meaning will you cover your face with a veil?  If so, you may want to consider some sort of headpiece to elevate the blusher on your hair and create the best possible platform.

Below is my own headpiece nestled in my veil.  I had my dress and veil preserved.  As clean as I thought my gown was, it was stained.  My veil and headpiece, however, looked great.  I was thrilled when my two oldest daughters chose to wear it, with their own veils, of course.

(If you’d like to read more about the wedding veil, and it’s history, click on the link below).

History of the wedding veil

Mary P. Karnes Photos

Below, my oldest, Kathleen, in my headpiece.  She is pictured with her sisters.  In the next photo, daughter number two, Maggie, with me, wears my headpiece as well.

Hannah Rachael Colt Photos

Stephan Wang

But maybe you need a little direction in how to choose your headpiece.  Below is an EXCELLENT chart to direct you.  When you shop for your dress, even if you think you have decided AGAINST a veil, just try one on.  The vision you will see in the mirror, with the iconic veil, just may change your mind!

 

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What about a headpiece with no veil?  Well, I think the creation below is exquisite.  If you’re a brunette, clear stones are a great choice.  A blond? Perhaps a tiara with colored stones, or a floral headpiece.

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Would you like to wear a veil, but don’t desire something on top of your head?  Then this comb is for you.  it will hold your veil in place, but not compete with your hairstyle.

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And what would a post about my headpiece be without a photo of me wearing it?  Below, there I am with my husband of almost 34 years.

 

Flowers In Your Hair? Your Wedding Headpiece

Flowers in your hair?  Or will you choose a veil?  Some brides today choose to forgo the traditional veil and meet their groom bareheaded, or with an alternative to a veil.  The most common choice is flowers. It’s a lovely choice, especially for a spring or summer wedding.  Below are a few gorgeous options.

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A particular favorite is the photo below.  I love the bright colors in contrast to the bride’s white gown.

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One of the most famous brides to opt for flowers AND a veil?  Miss Sarah Ferguson, who married Prince Andrew and became the HRH, Sarah The Duchess of York.  Proper aristocratic etiquette is that only MARRIED aristocratic women wear tiaras.  Here, Sarah adheres to the mandate, wearing orange blossoms under her veil.  As soon as she was married, signed the marriage license, and returned to the public eye in Westminster Abbey?  She sported the tiara the Queen gave her as a wedding gift.  Legend has it that the tiara was already in place under all those orange blossoms.  Not sure I buy into that, but I like the story.  Look how happy she is.  Too bad that level of joy could not be maintained.

TheenchantedAnnie.com

Perhaps you want to wear a veil, but want a little something to adorn your hair when the veil comes off at the reception.  Below is a picture of my daughter, Maggie.  That was her choice.  She wore my headpiece, her own veil, and a small floral decoration for after the wedding ceremony.  A nice compromise.  Remember, if you choose to do this, take your “flowers” to your hair appointment so your stylist can attach them for you.  The photo below is by Stephen Wang.  It’s from my wedding business Instagram.  Perhaps you’d like to follow?  🙂  @marypkarnesweddings

 

Above is daughter Kathleen with her “after ceremony” wreath.  She also wore my headpiece with her own veil.  I love this tradition!

The History of the Wedding Veil

The history of the wedding veil… Do you know why a bride wears one?  I wore one, and most of my generation did.  It was important to my mother, and well, important to me too.  There is something so symbolic about your new husband raising that veil and placing a chaste kiss upon your lips.

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etsy.com

But..why is it done?  According to Wikipedia, “The lifting of the veil was often a part of ancient weddingritual, symbolizing the groom taking possession of the wife, either as lover or as property, or the revelation of the bride by her parents to the groom for his approval. In Judaism, the tradition of wearing a veil dates back to biblical times.” Wikipedia

Today’s bride may choose to wear some sort of headpiece, but not a veil, like the photo above.  And even if she chooses to wear a veil, it often doesn’t cover her face. Another source tells us:

“The veil and the bouquet that a bride carries may predate the wearing of white. Although there is no definitive reason for the wearing of a veil, many surmise it has to do with ancient Greeks and Romans’ fear of evil spirits and demons. In fact, this is where many of the bridal traditions actually come from, including bridesmaids wearing similar dresses in order to serve as decoys for the bride. In an effort to frighten away or disguise the bride from evil spirits, brides-to-be were dressed in brightly colored fabrics like red and obscured by a veil. But in many cases, the veil prevented the bride from seeing well. That is why her father or another person “gave her away.” He was actually escorting her down the aisle so she wouldn’t bump or trip into anything. The veil also served as a method of shielding the bride’s face from her future husband, especially in the cases of arranged marriages.

Superstition has it that it is bad luck for the groom to see the bride prior to the wedding. A veil hiding her face also ensured that the groom would not see his soon-to-be-betrothed up until the ceremony.

Eventually the meaning behind the veil transformed as weddings evolved into religious ceremonies. The veil came to symbolize modesty and obedience. In many religions it is seen as a symbol of reverence for women to cover their heads. When white wedding dresses were worn to symbolize chastity, the white veil followed suit.

Regardless of the origins, veils continue to be sported by today’s brides, who choose from a few different styles. A flyaway is a short veil that ends at the shoulders, while a sweep veil ends at the floor. Chapel and cathedral veils follow the bride at a significant length (nine and 12 feet, respectively). A blusher is a very short veil that covers just the bride’s face as she enters the ceremony. With a fingertip veil, the veil reaches the bride’s waist and brushes at her fingertips.

The veil should coordinate with the style of the gown, and many wedding attire consultants suggest choosing the gown prior to the headpiece and veil.”  Richmond.com

 Please enjoy viewing two iconic wedding veils below.
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bellethemagazine.com – Princess Grace of Monaco (the former US actress, Grace Kelly)
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 chicvintagebrides.com Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy
And what about the next two veils/headpieces?  Well I think they’re a perfect example of an accessory, not traditional bridal garb.  Beautiful, yes, classic…no.
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 020-1920s-vintage-unique-sophisticated-chic-wedding-birdcage-headpiece-veil
etsy.com

MORE Romantic Wedding Veil Photos

MORE Romantic Wedding Veil Photos … My most recent post about romantic wedding veils photos was well received, so I thought I’d showcase a few more.  The next two photos are from the photographer/artist, Hannah Colt.  If you click on the link under the first two photos, you’ll be taken to her website.

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Hannah Colt Photos – if you’re interested in her work, leave a moment here, and I’ll connect you, or check her out on Facebook – Hannah Rachael Colt

Hannah was the photographer at my oldest daughter, KK’s wedding.  Hannah is such a magician she even separated me from my iPhone for about 15 minutes.  A feat few have accomplished.  🙂 We couldn’t have been happier with her work.

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Hannah Colt Photos

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So what makes a photo a standout?  I think it’s the element of the ‘exceptional’.  Just take the photo above.  Few veils these days have such pattern.  The inclusion of the patterned lace work over this beautiful bride’s face adds the dimension of the exceptional.  And the flowered wreath barely visible underneath the veil, exquisite.

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A bride need not have a traditional veil to be romantic.  This netted 20’s era veil is the epitome of romance.  Her hair adds to the allure.

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Jewelry and headpieces can add to the overall drama of a bride’s ensemble.  I adore the above headband the bride is wearing.  Her veil is settled flat on her head, but the jeweled tiara adds the bridal “umpth” she is looking for.

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Patty Cloherty Photos

And don’t forget the back view of your veil.  Believe it or not, your guests may see more of your back than your front at your ceremony.  Remember to incorporate a look that is pleasing to both views.  This last photo is of my second daughter and her charming new husband walking back down the aisle as a newly married couple.  You can barely see the photographer in the aisle ahead of them.  But Patty Cloherty, the groom’s talented aunt, captured this beautiful shot.  One of my favorites.