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THE FIGURE FACTOR

Speaking of proportions, another thing to consider when shopping for a veil is your body type. Generally speaking, if you are tall, you can wear a veil that is more commanding. But a very fluffy veil with a large pouf can overwhelm a bride who’s petite. Instead, opt for a more narrowly cut veil, which will create a vertical line, giving the illusion of added height. And if you have a thick waistline, steer clear of a full veil that ends at the waist -- a more flattering option is an asymmetrical veil that cascades varying lengths of tulle down the back, creating a softer effect. If possible, stand in front of a full-length mirror when trying on veils to ensure that the proportions are right. Examine each veil from all angles. Remember: one that suits you from the back may not flatter your face in the front.

white veils

Wedding Accessories: Choosing the Right Veil for Your Face

Need help finding the right veil? We'll help you face facts...

Photo: Becky Burgin

Some say there are two types of brides: "hair brides" and "veil brides." Hair brides prefer the focus to be on their wedding hairstyle, and are quite content to just tack a veil into their updo, then remove it after the ceremony. On the other hand, a veil bride wants to keep her wedding veil on throughout the reception. Veil brides see the hairstyle as secondary; it's necessary only as support to help pouf up their veil. No matter which category you fall into, you'll want to choose a veil and wedding hairstyle that best highlights your face.

Face Facts

The eight basic face shapes are: oval, round, oblong, heart, diamond, square, rectangle, and triangle. The first four shapes are soft and curved, while the last four have more angles and corners. To determine your face shape, pull your hair away from your face and study the outer edge. Here's how to tell which category you fall into:
  • If your face is OVAL, it is slightly longer than is it wide, with soft, curved edges.
  • If your face is ROUND, there is equal distance all around, using the nose as a centerpoint. It will be as wide as it is long, with rounded edges.
  • If your face is OBLONG, it will look like an elongated oval. Many oblongs are mistaken for ovals, but when placed next to a true oval you can see that an oblong has added length.
  • If your face is HEART-SHAPED, it's wider at the eye, temple, and cheek area, with a narrow chin. The edges are soft and curved.
  • If your face is a DIAMOND, it's widest at the cheeks, narrow at the chin and
    forehead, with sharper features.
  • If your face is SQUARE, it's basically level at the forehead and down the sides. Your jaw is strong and square, and your chin may stick out a bit. If the distance from the top of your face to your chin matches the width, you have a square face.
  • If your face is REGTANGULAR, it's similar to a square, but longer than it is
    wide.
  • If your face is TRIANGULAR, it's similar to a heart shape, but the lines and edges are sharper and more angular.

Suiting Your Shape

When searching for hair and veil styles, a good rule to keep in mind is "opposites attract."
  • If you're lucky enough to have a DIAMOND- or OVAL-SHAPED face,congratulations -- you're perfectly symmetrical, so your choices areunlimited, as long as they complement your gown, neckline, andproportions.
  • A ROUND, full face will benefit from a veil that falls along the sidesof the face, thus working to help narrow it. As for your wedding hair:Wearing your hair down or in a face-framing bob is the best option.
  • A SQUARE jawline needs softness. Face-framing tendrils will help torelax a strong jaw, and a longer veil will work better than a shortwide one. Many people consider a strong jawline a striking feature, andthe confidant bride will want to show it off.
  • If you have an OBLONG face, complement it with a bit of width. Look forwaterfall veils paired with a wide tiara, wreath, or bun wrap. Stayaway from piled-high hair, which will only make you look moreelongated.
  • If your face is HEART-SHAPED or TRIANGULAR, you'll want to add width atthe jawline. Since most veils will be too full for you, the best choiceis a back piece, where the width shows up behind the neckline. As forhair, a chignon or flipped-up bob is a great look.
  • A RECTANGULAR face will benefit from softness too. Don't be afraid to try more voluminous veils, the poofy quality will make your face look more symmetrical. Paired with a sideswept updo, you can't go wrong.

-- Hollee Actman Becker

See More: Wedding Accessories + Wedding Jewelry