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Latest Trend in Wedding Veils: the Birdcage Veil

by Benjamin Dover,  Staff Writer Factoidz.com

Although the “birdcage” name refers to the shaping of the veil to “float” over the face, head (or part of the face and head) and to extend no longer than the chin, it’s a common misconception that “birdcage” means anything made with large-gauge millinery netting.  But “birdcage” is the style (slightly bouffant and “enclosing” the face like a cage), not the fabric.  A birdcage-style short bridal veil can be made from the usual fine tulle of traditional veils–but the stiffness of the larger-gauge netting is more conducive to “floating” over the face without rubbing against the ends of the eyelashes.

Generally made of French, Russian or English netting–all essentially the same except for the ever-so-slightly increasing size (3/8-, 1/4-, or 1/2-inch, respectively) of the squares in the net, these veils may be unadorned and anchored by a clear comb, or have that stark simplicity offset by a dramatic ornament.  Even with the modern minimalist twist of cropping the length of the netting to just below eye-level or sweeping asymmetrically across the face, the statement of that big-gauge milliners’ netting lends the look a retro-chic tone from the 30’s and 40’s that couldn’t be more up-to-the-minute right now.



Actually, if our social customs were more attuned to the cocktail-hat set across “the Pond,” we would already be familiar with this type of headpiece as a “Fascinator,” as the English call them –a cocktail topper that’s more of an oversized hair ornament (often including a bit of this netting) than an actual hat.

Because of the bold geometry of the netting, the birdcage veil is at its best with simply-cut gowns in richly-draping fabrics, without lace, beading, or embroidery to vie for visual attention.  Perhaps, since brooches made their comeback a year or two ago and there are some fabulous ones available, you might purchase a matching pair of rhinestone brooches, one as a focal point on the gown, and the other by itself or as the center of the embellishment to the headpiece (often feathers or a circle of the gathered netting–but the overall look can also be softened by some retro-looking florals, keeping the monotone of ivory or white).

Less is definitely more with a birdcage veil; although it’s relatively small in comparison with other veils, it makes a strong, fashion-forward statement.  It needs to be carried off with confidence, so it’s not for a timid, traditional bride.

If that confidence and a love of being a little different sounds like you, consider the look of a birdcage veil.


To find a bridal shop near you visit our website at http://www.todaysbrideonline.com/topics/bridalattire.phtml


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