When thinking of weddings, besides the flowing white gowns and the symbolic rings, the most recognizable accessory is the bridal veil. A tradition that stretches back millennia, the veil has been woven into the fabric of the modern American wedding.
Nilah Petschelt of Nilah & Company has made the art of the veil her business. Along with being a seamstress, designer and tailor of custom-made dresses, Nilah has specialized in custom veils, bridal headpieces and fascinators since 1988. “Veils are feminine, romantic, alluring and captivating,” says Nilah, whose veils have adorned the pages of wedding magazines and brides across the country. “They can reflect a woman as innocent and demure, fun and flirty, or elegant and regal.
Using the finest crystals and laces, Nilah & Company creates custom veils and headpieces that suit the individual bride, not a mass market, and so makes the headpiece personal, an extension of the bride’s own personality and traditions. “No matter what culture or religion, veils are steeped in tradition,” says Nilah. “They are a keepsake to pass along from generation to generation.
So finding the right accessory to adorn the bride-to-be’s head can become a stressful and daunting task. Nilah has taken a moment to speak with weddingsillustrated.net on how to choose a veil, why custom over rack, and the latest trends in the headpiece world.
WI.NET: How should a bride go about finding the perfect veil
It is all about trying on various styles and shapes even if it doesn’t look like much on its own. She will know it when she puts it on, because it will feel right. Veils do not need to match the dress; they need to compliment it as well as the bride herself. As we try on different styles, we may end up narrowing it down to a couple and then combining it for the perfect look. All veils are not created equal; there is an engineered design to each and every veil style of which changes how it looks from bride to bride.
Why go custom versus a rack veil
First, you get the veil of your choice when it is custom. You get the exact length, the right amount of bling, the right shape, the right fabric selection, and the right lace that fits you. Most brides cannot narrow down just one, and they like elements of different veils. A custom veil allows you to get the best of both worlds and achieve the perfect look. Not to mention, who doesn’t want something custom made to fit her personal style A veil is the perfect way to make your look your own.
Should hair be based on the veil, or the other way around
Most of the time, the veil has no bearing on the hairstyle you choose. However, there are a few cases in which it does, so it is always good to have a basic idea as to your hairstyle for that day. If anything, a veil can really inspire a look for her hair. It is helpful for brides to have their veil when they go for their hair trial, that way they can really visualize their look for their wedding day.
What trends or new styles do you see walking down the aisle these days
Lace is very in right now as well as birdcage veils. I feel girls are going for more classic styles, for that Grace Kelly look, or they are going for a vintage 40’s style look with a fascinator. I love the vintage influences that are affecting looks today. But at the end of the day, our main goal is to find the veil that reflects our client’s personal style and vision.
What common questions do you hear from brides
Most common question I hear is ‘do I have to wear a veil’ The answer is no. There is no veil fairy that is going to come and smack you if you don’t wear one. But it is a beautiful tradition, and it unmistakably allows you to stand out as being the bride.
What is the first step in your design process on a custom made veil
We like to see our bride and the dress she is going to be wearing. From there we discuss her vision for her wedding day, as well as the venue so we can picture the setting. We want to make sure we can visualize as many elements of the day as possible; it is also a great chance for us to get to know our bride and her personal style.
What are some of your favorite materials for designing veils
I am a huge fan of lace. I love adding different textures and shades of color in veils. There is nothing more romantic than soft laces and the sparkle of the Swarovski crystals and components that we use.