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4 - Brides 2016

The Newtown Bee - January 29, 2016

Veils Are A Continuing Tradition For Brides By Nancy K. Crevier

The tradition of the bridal veil goes back many centuries, to the times when the Romans painted a bride’s veils with fire symbols, to scare off the evil spirits. It has also served as a religious symbol of humility and respect for God, to show honor to a space, and as a symbol of virginity. In Christian theology, the veil served as a reminder that the bride was dying from her previous life, and entering into her new life, with her husband. In arranged marriages of yore, the face of the bride was kept veiled, in order that her husband might not see her face — just in case it was displeasing to him. The husband’s lifting the veil up was considered symbolic of consummation of the marriage, and that she was now his possession. It is still customary in the 21st century for brides to wear a veil, but for very different reasons. While the veil once indicated modesty and purity, the modern bride considers the veil as an accessory that adds a special touch. Melanie Mattegat, owner of Julie Allen Bridals in Newtown, estimated that 80 percent of brides today wear some kind of a veil, “or something, in her hair,” she said. Less common, said daughter Lauren More-

house, her assistant, is the “blusher,” or veil over the face. “It’s not too common; maybe 10 to 15 percent of the brides choose a blusher, and it’s more common at religious ceremonies,” said Ms Morehouse. The bride who does opt for a blusher most likely will lift the veil herself, a sign of today’s women’s independence. A veil can be attached forward on the crown, fixed far to the back, or placed anywhere from crown to nape that the bride desires, using any number of attractive accessories. Julie Allen Bridals offers “loaner” veils for brides to take to the pre-wedding hair trials. Bobby pins and hairspray used during the experimentation of hair styles for the wedding day can cause damage to a veil. “A veil at the hair trial is really only needed for judging placement,” explained Ms Morehouse, and loaners ensure that the actual veil, which can range from $80 to more than $500, is in perfect shape on the big day. Nearly all veils are made of tulle, Ms Morehouse said, a thin, soft netting, but those veils come in many styles. The tiny, sheer “birdcage” veil falls forward, just below the eyes. A “fly away” veil barely brushes the shoulder, and the fingertip veil extends to below the hip. Ballet veils will fall below the knee, but not to the floor, as does a “Chapel” veil. The Cathedral veil sweeps down to the

A tiny birdcage veil is the perfect addition to a tailored gown, say experts at Julie Allen Bridals.

The floor-sweeping Cathedral veil is a traditional and still popular choice for brides this year. Many brides detach this trailing veil for the reception, says Julie Allen Bridals Owner Melanie Mattegat.

The Mantilla lace-edged veil is popular and gives a different look to any gown. —Bee Photos, Crevier

floor and trails behind the bride, anywhere from 96 to 120 inches in length, Ms Mattegat said. “For us, at Julie Allen,” said Ms Morehouse, “veils generally start at elbow length, although the birdcage veil is available.” But the most popular veil these days, said these two bridal experts, is the Cathedral veil. “The brides love the look of the Cathedral veil as they go down the aisle. Many of them, though, then take off the long veil at the reception,” said Ms Mattegat. An alternate hair ornament often replaces the veil, for that event. Brides who visit Julie Allen are currently drawn to the simple veil with a beaded edge, or the lace-edge Mantilla style, Ms Mattegat has observed. The veil is often dictated by the dress, she added. A fit and flare style of dress, or the trumpet dress, calls for the simplicity of the birdcage veil, for example, while a ball gown or A-line dress is complemented by a more traditional style of veil. The veil, Ms Morehouse pointed out, can change the whole look of the dress. With so many veil options, a bride can truly feel special in her bridal gown. There are occasions when a bride insists that she does not want a veil. But years of experience have shown Ms Mattegat that “There’s always that little bit of tradition that kicks in, at the end. We even suggest she get just a simple veil. Sometimes, the bride finds that she does want one, for the traditional photographs,” she said.

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Brides 2016