I'm beginning to see the light

by The Ink Spots

1940s_silk_tulle_blusher_veil
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SHOULDER LENGTH: Often referred to as the “Madonna” veil because it resembles a beautiful shroud around the face. Dramatic and mysterious, it is made from doubled layers of tulle cut into a circle. Each layer is folded at the cap to form a face blusher. The cascade of tulle can range in length from 18″ to 27″ (just touching the shoulder or passing the shoulders)- shown here in nylon tulle in the photo at left. Simple style sheath gowns that accentuate the figure look fabulous with this length of veil. The Madonna veil was a favorite veil of the 1960’s. It is shown here in silk tulle from World War II.
ELBOW LENGTH: Just a bit longer than the shoulder length Madonna veil, it cascades over the shoulders and floats about the upper arms, ending at just about the elbow. This tulle veil can measure anywhere from 28″ to one yard at 36 ” in length and is the perfect classic for when you want a more dramatic fullness/floatiness at the back. The elbow length veil was a favorite veil of the postwar 1950’s. Shown here in Heathcoat silk tulle.
vintage_1950s_wedding_veil
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vintage 1930s wedding veil
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FINGERTIP: This veil is meant to extend to your outstretched fingertips and float around you almost like a cape. It is usually 48 inches in length and can be single layer or doubled with a blusher front. Most popular during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, it was made from delicate silk tulle that had a stiff, almost gossamer hand. Shown in silk tulle.
WALTZ LENGTH: Known as a “Walking Veil,” the tulle should end between the calf of the leg and the ankle. The usual length is 54″ to 60″ and the veil is usually double layer with a shorter blusher worn at the front. Very popular in the 1970’s during the Victorian Revival period.  
vintage 1970s wedding veil
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CHAPEL LENGTH: A Chapel length veil is meant to just barely skim the floor. This is a tricky veil to individually measure, as it may mean customizing a veil with a pair of scissors to suit your height. This was a favorite silk tulle veil length in the 1930’s Depression era and was generally worn with a buckram coronet tiara. Shown here in nylon tulle from Priscilla of Boston.

CATHEDRAL LENGTH: Cathedral Veils are meant for very formal weddings, and are so dramatic that they can be the focal point of attention over the dress. Many Brides choose to embellish a simple floor length dress with a Cathedral Veil to give the impression of a long train. A Cathedral Veil can extend for more than 5 yards if desired, but your best guide is to have the veil extend at least a foot beyond your gown’s train. Shown in silk tulle from the 1930’s. With the strapless styles of the 1990’s, many brides chose to wear an antique Spanish lace mantilla, which was less transparent and heavier than tulle, but looked stunning in contrast with the simple gown. The simpler your gown, the more it will offset any intricate lace or beadwork on your veil, and the combination of stripped down style with veil embellishment to lovely. Consequently, any heavily beaded or laced gown looks beautiful with a sheer or transparent fabric such as silk chiffon, voile or organza as an opaque veil. Be aware however, that any back beading or detail of your gown may be obscured by the opaqueness of the fabric, but the veil can be removed or pinned aside after the ceremony.

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