By Sharon Townsend with Tiffanys Bridal

When a bride envisions finding her gown, it typically looks like this: turning slightly to admire her reflection, she smiles and wipes tears from her eyes, as her mom does the same while telling her how beautiful she looks. It doesn’t always happen this way, but when it does, it often plays out in a boutique just like it does in the movies. But, when the bridal consultant gently adds a veil, spreading the frothy tulle over her shoulders, the floodgates open.

Kristine Pringle Photographers

The veil truly is the “icing on the cake” when it comes to bridal ensembles. However, most brides don’t think about this accessory until that moment, and then they might be surprised by the options, unsure which will look best with the gown they’ve chosen.

A bride who wants the fairytale wedding might go the distance, with a cathedral veil. Think Maria in The Sound of Music. A cathedral style sweeps the ground and definitely suits a gown with a regal presence. The length can be custom-ordered, but they are typically longer than the train of the gown. If that sounds like overkill, add the perfect amount of drama with a less cumbersome (and less costly) ballerina-length veil. It will just miss the floor, finishing somewhere around the calves or ankles.

Hayes and Fisk Photography

The go-to option for all brides is a fingertip veil. This works with almost any style of gown due to its flattering length – it ends around the fingertips when your arms are at your side, as the name suggests. The fingertip option is elegant, and the elbow-length veil is its fun cousin. Perfect for partying on the dancefloor in a ball gown, it stops at the natural waist and lets the full skirt take over.

Any veil can be made more traditional by adding a blusher, the style that does what veils were intended to do: cover the bride’s face (historically to protect her from evil spirits). Blushers can be worn on their own as well, draping just below the shoulders.

Veils aren’t just tulle either, many can be embellished with beading and lace. Elaborate options pair well with the clean lines of unadorned gowns, and vice versa. Some veils add a very distinct vibe. A mantilla-style frames the face with lace, offering a traditional European look. Short, informal birdcage veils enhance with vintage style.

Sarah and Dave Photography

This accessory isn’t the only way to complete your look. A crystal headband, clip or comb might do the trick, providing a bit of sparkle, minus the tulle and lace. Silk or fresh flowers and even feather headpieces can be the finishing touch as well. But for many, there’s no substitute for a veil…it’s the ultimate icing on the gown.

Walk into Tiffanys Bridal on any given day and you’ll find  Sharon Townsend, the owner, and manager, working directly with brides, helping them try on gowns or get fitted. Sharon, her family, and her consultants make gown shopping a unique, memorable, and once-in-a-lifetime experience.