Last year around this time, I was contacted on Etsy for an amazing project to create a bouquet and other wedding flowers with a rockabilly theme. This fun wedding took place last summer, and here's a link to the Rock n Roll Bride's blog for the full details!
Photo of the finished bouquet by Assassynation, from the Rock n Roll Bride's photo gallery.
Blue Lily Magnolia makes bespoke bridal and groom accessories using fabric and other textile and textile related materials. I love to create unique items, so whether you have a wild and wacky idea or a modestly quirky one, get in touch!
Some brides-to-be know for sure, even before they have their dress, that they're a veil type of girl. Some know exactly the type of veil they want to go for, and have pictured it for years in their head. Others could be swayed - how long should the veil be, should it cover their face, their head, or simply the shoulders or back? Should they wear the veil at the reception too? How much should they spend on the veil? Should it be embellished?
This lovely image above, which is from the Blog of Honor, illustrates some of the different lengths of veils typically worn at weddings. Although it excludes some more modern ones, such as the birdcage veil, alternative ways of wearing the veils (e.g. boho style) and any other funky or asymetrical styles, it is a great illustration for the traditional brides. Shopping for a veil could be as complex or simple as shopping for a wedding dress. Ultimately, the best advice is to try a few (with your dress on ideally), fall in love in one, and buy it.
For some other brides-to-be, a veil is out of the question. Perhaps because they don't like wearing big adornments on their head, perhaps because they're having a more modern wedding, or perhaps they're simply not bothered and it just seems a bit superfluous. I personally did not wear a veil, but to be honest, I don't really know why! I think that I was going with the flow and veils did not seem to be highly fashionable at the time I got married. In fact, I remember distinctly that of all the catwalk shows I attended, none had a model wearing a veil. Veils just seemed to be a very low priority for me a the time.
Now, as a bridal accessories designer, I love veils! Rather than the traditional styles seen in the illustration above, I love the new ways of wearing veils - short birdcages, boho styles, floral veils, coloured veils, funky ones with a statement headpiece, etc. But, of course, just like traditional veils, they're not for everyone. In fact, I'm not sure myself that my character and physionomy would allow me to wear a veil for any occasion!
If you're undecided, the best thing is to give it a try in a shop, preferably while you're wearing your dress. And perhaps you might be asking yourself some of the questions below. There are no right or wrong answers as often it depends on your personality, but here's what I personally think:
Am I too old for a veil?
More mature brides-to-be often wonder whether a veil is going to make them look like mutton dressed as lamb. It needn't be! For those opting for a vintage style dress, birdcage veils look amazing on mature brides. And for traditional brides, a finger-tip, elbow or waltz length veil hanging down from an updo (not covering the top of the head) still looks beautiful whatever your age, if you are thinking about one for the full wedding effect.
I have short hair, can I wear a veil?
Absolutely! Talk to your hair stylist about how your hair will be done on the day, and get their advice on the best way to secure the veil. Perhaps a standard comb may not work, but a headband, crown, circlet or pins will do.
Image above: Over-face veil with a bridal circlet by Blue Lily Magnolia. Works great with short hair, on a boho style wedding.
We are not very traditional or formal, should I bother?
Nowadays, veils come in all sorts of shapes, lengths, colours, textures and patterns. Whether you like feathers, stars, flowers, sparkles, bling, bright colours, it is possible to have any of these incorporated in a custom-made veil or headpiece with veil elements. If you love headdresses, then you should definitely look around for some quirky veil styles - you might find something that catches your eye.
Should I go for a long or short veil?
It all depends on your dress style, wedding theme and venue. There is no mathematical equation to define which veil you should go for, and the best advice is to try different ones with your dress, while considering the setting of the wedding too. A church wedding is a wonderful setting for a cathedral length veil, as the aisle is just the perfect setting to show off the veil. The traditional or formal wedding is a great match for longer veils as they are the perfect iconic representation of the bride. Shorter veils give a more informal, relaxed look - great for the modern or more casual wedding.
Should I go for an embellished veil or a plain one?
Again, the best advice here is to try different styles. As a general rule though, it is best to match the style of the dress with the style of the veil, while ensuring that there is the right balance of embellishment. More embellishment on the dress calls for less on the veil. On the other hand, a plainer dress can take a wider range of embellishment on the veil. If your dress has got lots of lace detail, a little bit of lace edging might look good, but not a lot of other embellishments such as flowers or sequins, which lend themselves to diffferent styles.
How would my veil be attached?
Generally, your hair stylist would be the best person to advise, depending on your hair style, the veil style, and where you want to position it. Veils tend to come with hair combs, which can be tucked into your hair; but can also be attached to headbands, hair grips, or secured to a bridal crown or circlet with hair pins. Tell your stylist if you want to remove your veil at the reception, or want it strongly secured to withstand all the party activities!
Blue Lily Magnolia makes bespoke bridal accessories, including veils and headpieces. If you would like to have a custom-made veil or other headdress, get in touch!!
Short lemon yellow veil with rainbow heart edging by Blue Lily Magnolia on Etsy.
Peek-a-blue! is the latest of my mini collections, and this time I have had lots of fun making wedding garters. Not everyone wears a garter at their wedding, and I must admit that I didn't wear one myself. Why I didn't embrace this lovely tradition is simply because I was wearing a silk gown which mostly clung to my hips, so a garter was more than likely going to ruin the smooth lines of my dress. However, with hindsight, I think that it would have been nice to have a garter that I could have worn on my wedding night (not while wearing my wedding dress though), if I did find a style that I liked. At the time of my wedding, I wasn't acquainted with Etsy, Folksy, NOTHS and other handmade marketplace, so all the garters that I saw were the shiny frilly type and frankly, not very exciting.
For this collection, I have tried to make bridal garters that are different to what you would normally see in a high street shop. I have designed them as items that I could actually wear myself, whether under an A-lined wedding dress, or under a nightie or other nightwear. As usual with my accessories, all the flower embellishments were handmade in my studio and this collection is characterised by the little dangling pearl bead strands or dangling crystal in each garter. For the ready-to-go sets, I used a lovely light blue, but everything can be customised to your liking, including using a flower colour of your choice to match your colour theme.
Here's a little more description on each of them:
Ava: Three circular layered flowers and a couple of beaded dangling strands adorn this ivory elasticated lace garter. This style is simple and basic, yet unique and beautiful. Great for someone who's looking for something different and handmade.
Belle: A single romantic blue flower flanked by a light ivory one and two strands, onto an ivory elasticated lace garter. This style is reminescent of the first garter I made, and has one of my favourite flower styles. Perfect for the romantic ones.
Clara: Three tiny blue fabric roses in a row, flanked on each side by light ivory leaves, and with a strand of beads hanging from one side to the other. This garter is made with a darker cream elasticated lace with a vintage style effect, and the beads supplement the vintage, 1920's look. This is spot on for vintage style lovers.
Donna: A non-frilly lace garter - if you don't like the bulk of the gathered ones, this is perfect. The little flowers are not totally flat, but this type of garter is definitely more slimline, and I tend to think, more modern looking too. In a way, they look like what hold-up stockings might have at the open ends. Ideal for the modern bride.
Eleni: The classic style, with a stylish corded blue ribbon and bow, and just a little smokey blue crystal to dangle from the bow to add a little bit of extra. This is the style favoured by the traditional bride.
Coming from a bride who did not wear a garter, I now think, why not?! If I had the choice of the above, I would personally have probably gone for the Donna style, flat lace, more modern garter, worn after the wedding party. In fact, my husband loves this style too, so it would have been perfect. If I was going to be tossing a garter in line with tradition, I probably would have gone for Eleni, the classic style. Not tossing any garters anytime soon, but just saying!
If you were unsure of whether to have a bridal garter or not, go on, have one!! And for a little bit of trivia on garters, have a read of this previous blog: Garters, a Little Bit of Trivia.
Blue Lily Magnolia makes bespoke and unique bridal accessories and accessories for special occasions. Everything is designed and handmade by designer / maker Vanessa Gilding (aka Sharon) in her studio in Nantwich. Vanessa particularly loves creating unique commissions, and has a growing interest in alternative weddings. So if you would like to get something unique made, why not get in touch!