From the pages of magazines to the feeds of social media, celebrity style is everywhere. For years, we’ve been obsessing over what the ‘It’ girls of the world have been putting on every morning and taking inspiration for our own wardrobes. When it comes to wedding looks, this certainly isn’t any different!
After the dress, the veil is one of the most talked about aspects of any bridal outfit. With this in mind, we thought we’d put together a timeline of some of the most famous veils the world has seen, starting way back in 1911 and working our way to the present day.
1910 – 1939
Between 1910 and 1940, the Juliet cap wedding veil was probably the most popular choice amongst brides-to-be. In fact, the first real ‘It couple’ wedding of Hollywood featured this style, as Mary Pickford married Douglas Fairbanks in 1920. Pickford wore a gorgeous veil with a headpiece in a cloche style. A dramatically long length of silk tulle fell around her, giving a romantic, ethereal finish to her bridal look.
In 1927, another Hollywood star, Ingrid Bergman, also chose a Juliet cap veil when marrying Petter Aron Lindstrom, though it was very different to Pickford’s style. With a uniquely designed, beaded headpiece and plenty of tulle, hers was certainly a breathtaking piece designed to make an impact.
With the war bringing on an era of hard times and austerity, there were certainly less veils appearing on brides during the 40s – but appear they still did! The lengths were usually shorter and the designs more minimal, helping to create the still-popular birdcage-style veil but even in the war brides still found a way to wear a veil on their big day.
When Ava Gardener married Mickey Rooney in 1942, she donned a gorgeous veil made of blue tulle with black polka dots – something a little out of the ordinary for an extraordinary woman! The veil was short and didn’t use much fabric, but the colour and design made it striking nonetheless.
As we began to move out of the gloomy shadow of the war, opulent fashion and extravagant design began to make a comeback. A perfect example of this in the form of a wedding veil worn by Elizabeth Taylor in 1950. As she married Nicky Hilton, Taylor wore a gorgeous bridal look, complete with a long silk tulle veil that fell beautifully over her shoulders and down her back.
The year of simple aesthetics, the 60s wasn’t a hugely prominent year for wedding veils – or, that is, until the wedding of Elvis and Priscilla Presley. Priscilla, known for her large, voluminous hair, certainly didn’t disappoint with her veil, which was just as big! Sitting atop her hair along with a tiara were mounds of tulle that rose high before falling down her back, creating a look that won’t easily be beaten.
The iconic three-quarter length veil was held together by a crown of rhinestones, a beautiful piece of bridal jewellery which perched spectacularly on her bouffant hairdo.
The ceremony of Prince Charles and Diana was a truly landmark moment of the 1980s. The wedding was watched by an estimated sixth of the world’s population – representing the global significance of this event.
This meant that Princess Diana’s bridal outfit was one of the most influential wedding looks of the decade. Oversized and full of drama, her whole look is incredible! Her veil was made from a total of 150 feet of tulle fabric, which is pretty impressive, and was finished with the elegant Spencer Tiara. Even if there wasn’t the happy-ending we all hoped for, this look was certainly fit for a fairytale.
The first 19 years of the 2000s have already made their impact on the world of fashion – possibly enough to last the century! Surprisingly, a lot of the iconic wedding looks have been somewhat minimal, such as Jennifer Aniston’s simple yet beautiful veil when she married Brad Pitt in 2000. Kate Middleton, too, wore a minimaldrop veil with whisper-thin fabric and an embroidered edge when she married Prince William in 2011.
Of course, the most recent iconic wedding to grace our TV’s, magazines, and news feeds was the Royal Wedding of 2018, where Meghan Markle married Prince Harry. Her cathedral veil was far more extravagant than Kate’s, being a whopping 16-foot long and embroidered with flowers from all of the countries in the British Commonwealth.
Choosing the most iconic wedding veils of all time is no easy task with so many famous brides wearing beautiful veils on their big day.
Many of today’s fashion trends are inspired by the past, and with so much choice available to the modern bride, it’s useful to browse history’s back catalogue.
We hope this selection gives you some inspiration for choosing your perfect bridal veil if you are looking to recreate one of these stunning outfits from history!