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Wedding Veils - Alternative Ideas

Updated on May 7, 2013

Brief History of the Bridal Veil

Veils date back centuries and are used for many purposes.  Roman brides would wear bright red veils called flammeum , to protect them from evil spirits on their wedding day.

In Judaism, wedding veils date back to biblical times when the veil was both a symbol of modesty and of personal space, indicating the bride would still be her own person even as she lived her life as a married woman. (Great idea! )

The act of the groom lifting the veil was part of ancient wedding rituals and it was to symbolize the groom possessing his wife as property, or as his lover.  It was also as a final examination of the beauty of the wife-to-be.

Others say the veil symbolizes that the groom is marrying his bride for her inner beauty and his love will be everlasting, regardless of age. (I like this one too! )

Whatever the circumstance, veils, headpieces, fascinators, bird cage veils, fresh flowers, hair combs and headdresses always look beautiful in a brides hair regardless of history, circumstance or meaning (Unless the bride is being interpreted as a possession...Then it's just kind of scary ).  Below are some of my favorite picks for alternatives to the traditional veil.

Veil Alternatives - Photos

Vintage Inspired Hair Piece
Vintage Inspired Hair Piece | Source
Glamorous tribal headdress that reminds me of Alphonse Mucha Artwork
Glamorous tribal headdress that reminds me of Alphonse Mucha Artwork | Source
Fresh Gardenias
Fresh Gardenias
Feathered Wreath
Feathered Wreath | Source
Bird Cage Veil
Bird Cage Veil | Source
Bird Cage Veil
Bird Cage Veil | Source
Bird Cage Veil
Bird Cage Veil
Feather Fascinator
Feather Fascinator | Source
Glamorous Jewel Spray
Glamorous Jewel Spray
Feather Hair Ornament
Feather Hair Ornament | Source
Jeweled Hair Accessory
Jeweled Hair Accessory | Source
Floral Wreath of fresh flowers and berries
Floral Wreath of fresh flowers and berries
Beaded hair accessorie
Beaded hair accessorie | Source
Fresh Orchid
Fresh Orchid
Tribal headdress not for the shy bride
Tribal headdress not for the shy bride | Source

Brides Veils - Alternative Choices

There are limitless options for your wedding day. Many brides are looking for alternate options for wearing the long lace veil that so many before them have worn.

Choosing an alternative headpiece is also popular among women who have previously been married and are remarrying. It is also an elegant statement that is easier to wear for outdoor weddings to avoid problems with breezy weather. No bride should have to battle with her veil in the wind!

The photos on the right vary from vintage-inspired head pieces to funky and fun options for the alternative bride.

The vintage-inspired hairpiece (first photo), is blush colored and would fantastic with an ivory gown. I would recommend finding shoes that also have a flair of vintage to them.

The headdress, which seems really bizarre (there's two of them from the same designer, Aniella White, who is on Etsy.), actually isn't as weird of an option if you look at some Alphonse Much prints. His gorgeous models all wore headdresses with feathers, vintage fabrics and embedded beads and jewels. They make an amazing statement. I love the the white/ivory one. It would be fantastic for a Christmas wedding - imagine wearing a red velvet cloak over your dress with that headpiece - stunning!

Fresh flowers, the option I chose for my wedding - and loved, can be chosen by your florist and delivered the same time as your wedding flowers. If you hire a hair stylist, let them know ahead of time so they can bring pins for the flowers. A few gardenias tucked behind the ear make a great scent as you walk down the aisle. Make sure you're not allergic to the flowers you select - especially if they have a could cause you to become the sneezing bride.

A feather or floral wreath, can go one of two ways. It can be very earthy and rustic or it can be very vintage and classy. Both are amazing depending upon your wedding theme. I'd recommend choosing for your personality. Speak to a designer such as studiowedbymirela at etsy, or with your florist. The etsy designer can make a wreath as a keepsake with silk flowers, whereas your florist can make a fresh one that will last throughout your wedding day.

Bird Cage Veils are back in style and are gorgeous! I can't get enough of these glamorous photos. I've yet to see a bride that didn't look stunning and ready for camera action with one of these pieces. Of course, they are very vintage looking, but with a variety of colors and textures, they can even appear very modern. I personally am not a huge fan of super-bright-white veils. They do come in a variety of colors, I'd recommend finding a color that either matches your dress, your flower girls dress, your bridesmaids dresses or your skin tone. Also, less is more. Less veil, reveals more of your beautiful face and make up. The ones pictured are perfect!

Feather Fascinators are fascinating to look at. They just stick right into your hair and you're good to go. These are perfect for outdoor weddings whether you're at the beach or in a garden, they are sure to stay put regardless of wind or rain.

Jeweled hair accessories - you'll find a million of these all over the internet. Some are better made than others. The better made ones will be a little bit heavier made with better metal and the jewels (assuming they're not real), can either be set in prongs just like real jewels or hot glued into place. I highly recommend the ones that are pronged. Or, if they are out of budget (they can be rather expensive), when you purchase your hair jewelry, run your fingers over all the jewels while holding the jewelry over a table. If anything falls out, glue it back in with superglue.

Headbands - easy, easy, easy. This is the fastest way to go. If you are on a budget and will be doing your own hair - or if you have short hairstyle - these are the perfect solution! If you want more jazz in your headpiece, carefully hot glue loose rhinestones to the silk flowers or on the band. The one pictured is so much fun and is stunningly elegant as well. It would look great on anybody! You could probably find a replica with a smaller flower for your flower girl too.

Make sure you bring your headpiece or tell your hair stylist that you will have a hairpiece the day of your wedding so they can be prepared with hairpins and can suggest the perfect style for your special day.


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