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french net veils

Accessories: Veils Q&A

Photo: Sandi Fellman

Though veils might seem shrouded in mystery, veil etiquette is actually really easy -- it's all about what works for you. Choose a veil that you'll be comfortable wearing, then wear it for as long as you feel comfortable wearing it! Here are answers to your top questions.

Q: Do I have to wear a veil?

A: Unless you need to cover your face in a conservative house of worship, wearing a veil is optional. Still, a veil is a bridal icon. You only get to wear one once -- and many designers make veils that complete and complement the gown -- so at least consider it.

Q: When do I take it off?

A: Your veil should be worn for the ceremony and your formal photo session. Afterward, it's up to you. Some brides remove it en route to the reception, some leave it on until the final farewell. Most take it off after the first dance. If you think it will bug you or are worried you'll trip over it on the dance floor, don't chance it. Another option: Wear a different, shorter veil for the reception.

Q: Can I wear a veil with a tiara?

A: Veils can be worn over just about any hairstyle or hair accessory. They just require the right placement. In fact, many tiaras actually feature loops just for attaching a veil. The trick is to choose a combo that works together -- if the tiara is up front and the veil is in back, it will look a bit disconnected. For a beautiful combination, find a way to attach your tiara to your veil.

Q: Do I have to wear a blusher?

A: Not if you don't want to. Traditionally, the blusher was used in an arranged marriage to prevent the bride and groom from seeing each other until the deal was sealed. Now (thankfully), it's a fashion decision. Plus, many brides love the picture-perfect moment of their dad or groom lifting the veil.

Q: Can I wear a veil if it's not my first wedding?

A: Modern tradition dictates there are no rules. These days veiling is more a question of style, than a signifier of the bride's virginity, innocence, and modesty. Even so, skip the blusher -- they are more appropriate for first-time brides.

-- Kate Wood

See More: Wedding Accessories + Wedding Jewelry