In the 1920’s it was the cloche hat with a long, heavy lace edged veil attached.
In the early 1930’s it was an even longer veil with little or no lace edge but still attached to a smaller version of the cloche.
In the late 1930’s it evolved to a larger headpiece (not a hat at all) usually paired with a smaller, fingertip veil and no lace edge at all.
In the 1940’s the veil became less significant as women were wearing hats – decorative, embellished and grandiose!
The early 1950’s saw the return of the veil, mostly fingertip or even shorter along with a small hat (of course) and the latter part of the 1950’s was dominated by the return of the lace edge, thanks to Jacqueline Kennedy.
Along comes the 1960’s and the re-invention of the veil. BIG and short and long and wide, along with a pillbox hat or all by itself – the veil was back!
The most popular headpiece throughout the 1970’s was called a Juliet cap which sat on the back of the head with any and all kinds of veil, short or long.
The 1980’s was veil paradise – long veils embellished with sequins and the famous “pouf” which came in layers attached to the back of a headband that usually came to a point in the middle of the forehead, sometimes with a giant teardrop in the center. Or a huge bow on the back of your head with an even huger veil attached. Everything over-embellished bend your imagination.
The 1990’s brought an end to the era of big is better and more is not enough. The headpieces were streamlined just like the gowns and most of the time you would see a woman with nothing more than a silk or some kind of embellished flower on the side of her hair, low in the back with a long simple veil.
At the turn of the century, Tiaras were the headpiece of choice and veils were attached to them in various ways, almost always so they could be removed after the ceremony and you could wear the headpiece without the veil for the reception.
The current trend in headpieces is crystal headbands and hair ornaments. Most are worn with some sort of detachable veil, some are worn without any kind of veil at all.
The veil has gone through many different changes and stood up to dozens of trends. However, brides across the board seem to agree on one thing: the veil is very important to the overall look and most don’t feel completely dressed for their wedding without it.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago