Nowadays, many brides are deciding to forego that customary piece of netting when walking down the aisle. There are many reasons behind it – it doesn’t go with the dress, it gets in the way, it costs too much… And of course, there’s the traditional meaning that may have some people deciding to leave it behind. Granted, the tradition behind having bridesmaids was to have decoy brides running around to confuse the evil spirits as to which one was the actual bride. The tradition behind the garter was that in the old days, having a piece of the bride’s attire was considered good luck, so guests would hungrily rip the bride’s dress to shreds (yikes!) in order to get a piece. So, the garter was thrown to ward off the masses. None of those original meanings behind our modern day traditions make a ton of sense anymore, so likewise, the meaning behind the veil has diminished into legend.
So, the question remains, should you or should you not add a veil to your ensemble? Well, as a photographer, when I was planning my wedding, my decisions were made from a photography eye. Should the bridesmaids where this dress or that? Well, that mint one will photograph well. Should we have old books and cameras on the tables? It’s a dangerous spot to have antiques sitting out, unprotected, but it’ll make great photographs! And so on and so forth. But one thing I knew early on – the moment I saw the bridge on the grounds of my wedding venue, an image clearly came to mind: my husband and I standing on the bridge, the wind catching my veil. I had this idea in my head for a year. It was unlikely that the wind would cooperate to get just that shot, but I decided to try anyway. To my surprise, that EXACT shot did in fact occur. I hadn’t even realized the wind had caught my veil until I saw the photographs. It was a complete “money shot” that was solely made because I wore a veil.
A veil also allows for some romantic shots. Who doesn’t love the look of the kiss under the veil? It’s a “hidden” moment that the photographer can capture, and thus it makes for a genuine and nice moment. I had seen other couples do this, so I made sure to take a moment to throw my veil over our heads as well. Our ShootAnyAngle photographer was ready to capture it.
Now, veils can be expensive. I worked in a bridal store for awhile, and I saw my fair share of veils – some of which were $5,000!!! Now, luckily, that price range is for a small number of veils (we’re talking cathedral length with lots of embroidery and detail work). Now, that makes for a gorgeous veil, but the wind is definitely not going to catch that. It’s just too heavy. I’m also a huge fan of the birdcage veil, and almost went with that myself, but they don’t look great with a full ballgown style dress (much better with slim-fitting wedding dresses, or mermaid/trumpet styles), and the wind will only make it a hindrance, not a photography moment. I found that what works best for the wind and won’t clash with any dress is a simple, one layer, tulle veil. The great thing about this is you can MAKE IT! Mine cost a whopping $3. Yes, you read that right. My veil was only $3 in comparison to the 2014 average of $128. With such a low price, you can easily throw one together to bring with you to the dress store to see how you like it. Or, if your set against wearing a longer veil for the wedding day, wear it for an engagement or announcement shoot!
As photographers, veils open up a wider range of moments for us to capture. So, try one on, look at sample photos online, and see if that fits what you’d like to see in your photographs.
Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.