Sunday, March 16, 2014

To Veil or Not To Veil

Never in my professional life as a wedding stylist and accessory maker would I tell my brides NOT to wear a veil. Well, unless she is doing a City Hall wedding in t-shirts and jeans. (You can still wear some sort of veiling, like a veiled fascinator, if you attend your own wedding in an executive suit dress.)

The history of veil goes back a long time, with different cultures and beliefs of its origin and usage. According to Wikipedia, the first recorded veiling was in the 13th Century in Assyria, and only women of nobility could wear a veil. Other women from lower classes were forbidden to wear any.

However, the most "common" and the most romantic you and I have probably heard is the one about the general of George Washington, who, in the late 18th Century America, passed by and saw Washington's step-granddaughter (Washington himself had no issues with his wife Martha) behind a veiled window. On the day of their wedding, the bride recreated this moment by wearing a laced veil. That was when bridal veil became a fashion.

In other cultures, veils are used to ward off evil, and to "disguise" and "conceal" a bride should the devil decide to come take her away from the groom.

Because of my "dual culture" upbringing, I had chosen to wear both the Chinese and Western veils on my wedding day. 

My own veil was an inspiration from Queen Elizabeth II's Norman Hartnell design which she wore on her wedding day. It was definitely a labour of love...and torture. I spent a total of three months working on it (though not day and night) because I could only work on it during my free time. And on many sleepless nights I pricked my fingers absentmindedly. My original plan was to incorporate as many as 99 pieces of lace appliques. I have probably done around half only. Still, the final outcome is amazing. 

Wedding veils can be expensive, because of the workmanship involved. I would encourage brides never to not choose one because of the pricing concern. Choose one you can comfortably afford or even borrow from friends! When you don't have something new, you can always opt for something borrowed. 

I was still tirelessly working on my veil on my wedding day!
(Image by Thomas Galleria)

My all time favourite picture. 
My father was inspecting my Chinese wedding veil which I bought online and 
I was still working on the last few pieces of lace appliques on my "Western veil".
(Image by Thomas Galleria)

My inspiration. Queen Elizabeth II's wedding veil
(Image credit: 

.My own veil, trimmed with gold scalloped lace and sewn with many guipure lace appliques. 
This is my first time posting pictures of my own veil and the Queen's together. 
I guess I really did what I had wanted. Looking back, I never regret a moment. 
Perhaps when the day comes one of my daughters weds, 
I will finish the remaining sewing and completes this veil with 99 lace appliques. 
(The number 9 signifying eternity in our culture.)
(Image by Thomas Galleria)

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