Adventures in Veil-Making
Bride’s Eye View
There comes a time in planning a budget wedding where you have to put your money where your mouth is. Or, in my case, put our money where my head is. I have decided to follow all the advice I’ve read about “using your own creativity to save money,” and make my own veil.
I first considered this idea the day I bought my wedding dress. The shop attendant, Nancy, brought out a number of veils for me to try on with the gowns. Although I was mostly concentrating on choosing a dress (and/or feeling like a princess), I did notice that the veils seemed to be little more than silk flowers and rhinestones on plastic headbands or combs, for anywhere from $100 to $400, and nothing I saw really appealed to me.
Today I am standing in the wedding section of the craft store. I’ve reviewed the section of veil and hairstyle photos in my indexed, tabbed, color-coded, alphabetical-ordered wedding binder and decided that I want a circular headpiece that is large enough to gently hold a pile of loose curls at the crown. I grab several packages of small silk flowers, some floral wire, floral tape, narrow white ribbon and a few yards of soft tulle. I don’t know how all these things are going to somehow metamorphose into a veil, but hey, I’m creative, right? At the checkout, my pile of veil parts comes to less than $20 – and I probably have enough for a couple of practice attempts.
At home, I open all the packages and look more closely at my magazine clippings. I run into the bathroom with a measuring tape to figure out how big around I want the headpiece to be. Gary finds me in there with my hair in a crazy pile on my head as I wrestle with the measuring tape, and walks out with a “she’s crazy” look on his face. Never mind. Five inches! The darn thing needs to be exactly five inches across! I feel like a scientist who has just made an important discovery. A mad scientist.
Back at the table, I grab my floral wire and floral tape. I am going to try to bend several pieces of wire into this mythical five-inch circle and hold them together with the tape. It only takes me an hour and a half to wrestle several pieces the flexy, flimsy wire into the proper shape and secure them tightly. Whew. I need a beer.
Veil-making gets easier when I begin to attach the flowers. Each tiny bud comes on a long, thin wire stem, which I can easily attach to my wire ring. I try a random pattern at first, then realize that it looks too gappy and asymmetrical. I rip off all the flowers and start over. I place small bud-shaped flowers all around the ring, then go back and fill in the bare spots with tiny petal-style flowers to give it more shape and fullness, and hide all the tape and wire.
Into the bathroom again. I whip my hair up into a pile and slip the ring of flowers down over the top. Ooooooooh, it is just so perfect! I admire myself from all angles with the help of a hand mirror. Gary walks in again and this time he can actually tell what I am doing. “Is it against the rules for me to see you in that thing?” he asks. I laugh and tell him that he won’t see it again until the big day.
It takes a bit of experimenting to figure out how to attach the veil to the headpiece, but I discover that running a threaded needle through the tulle gives me a nice firm edge to work with. I easily complete the veil by attaching hook-and-eye fasteners to the headpiece and the tulle so the tulle can be removed separately for the reception. Thoughts of opening a veil-making business – with killer profits – fill my head as I work, marveling at how easy the whole process was. Twenty bucks, two hours, and a whole new respect for my creative skills. That’s not a bad day’s work in the wedding budget battle.