Five great veil alternatives

"A Young Beauty With Flowers In Her Hair" by Albert Lynch

Beautiful floral inspiration

Veils are a popular way to top off your vintage bridal look, probably because they are beautiful as well as traditional. But as a retro gal that certainly doesn’t mean that you have to work within the box. In fact, history is full of amazing brides creating distinctive fashion looks for their big day. In their honor we’ve cultivated a list of five great veil alternatives. Let us know what you think in the comments…

Flowers in your hair

Flowers don’t have to just exist in your bouquet! Celebrate their innocence and grace by placing your favorites among your curls, tucked behind the ear, or as a crown on top of your head. This look is incredibly flexible: they can easily be dressed up for a formal occasion with the addition of jeweled hair pins, dressed down by remaining pure in their arrangement, or even used as your something blue (if it goes with your overall scheme of course).

Work with your florist and hair stylist to find the best flowers and the best look for you. Before your final dress fitting, bring a few flowers with you so you can see the complete picture prior to your special day!

Image by rddesigns

This french twist look makes us think brooches!

Amazing hair accessories

There is a whole world of decorative options when it comes to hair accessories (especially since the brides of yesteryear spent much more time accessorizing their hair in everyday fashion). Hair pins can be quite detailed and are easily used to help attach any flowers, hats, or fabrics you may incorporate.

Queen Alexandra with Queen Louise and the Duchess of Fife, image from Peter Symonds

Don’t you just love this picture?

Brooches or dress clips can be converted to hair clips with some carefully placed bobby pins and this is another great way to incorporate a family heirloom into a place of prominence. This can be a more subtle approach, however, and if you’re a bride that wants to go “big” then a tiara or bandeau headband is a show-stopping selection.

Hats, hats – glorious hats

The hat was a go-to choice for the war-time bride. These brides needed to get married in a hurry, usually on shore leave breaks and in a flurry of afternoon excitement. Nowadays hats can still be a great veil alternative. We think there is something really special about wearing hats. Since we don’t typically incorporate hats into our modern fashion routine, hats feel extra important. Capturing that sense of dignity is a wonderful vibe to carry with you as you walk down the aisle.

Photo by Bain News Service, ca. 1920

The gorgeous Viola Dana


Scarves were a common suggestion for alternatives during the 1940s as another way for the war-time bride to economically prepare for her wedding day. Now I know what you’re thinking: scarves, how in the world can I dress that up? Vintage scarves are often like little bits of luxury – the soft, sumptuous fabrics and the beautiful designs – they were an accessible form of wearable art.

To wear a scarf on your wedding day, play with different ways to drape and attach. Grab some yummy snacks or beverages and brainstorm with your stylist. Incorporate pins and brooches to make the style dazzle.

A hooded cap of tulle or lace

This is a timeless option – brides from the 40s turned to this in times of need and twenty years later, they were revived during the era of mini dresses and casual events. (Our 1960s cover girl wears it well) This quintessential look is very easy to pull off and with the addition of other accessories, dress it up to your liking!

Cause A Frockus would like to thank their tremendous resources: “Vintage Wedding: Simple Ideas for Creating a Romantic Vintage Wedding” by Daniela Turudich, “Style Me Vintage: An inspirational guide to styling the perfect vintage wedding” by Annabel Beeforth, and the people who post their images without restriction.

For our readers: What are your favorite veil alternatives?

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