A mantilla veil is a very, very beautiful bridal accessory that’s growing increasingly popular amongst modern brides. Covering the head and shoulders and typically made of silk or lace, it’s particularly common in Spain when worn with a peineta (an accessory not unlike a hair comb, which holds both the veil and the wearer’s hair in place whilst adding a semblance of height). Mantilla veils come in all kinds of styles and can be worn in numerous ways. Some are lightweight, floaty fabrics with pretty lace appliqué while others are heavier, more shawl-like designs. Here are some of our favourite tips on how to wear a mantilla veil.
First and foremost, you need to decide where you want to place your veil. It’s widely accepted that there are three main ways to go about it: you can place your veil at the top of your head, at the crown of your head, or at the nape of your neck.
Top of the Head
Placing your veil at the top of your head (usually a couple of inches back from the hairline, like where you’d place a headband) is more of a traditional way to way a mantilla veil. It allows the veil to frame the face and fall beautifully over the shoulders, making for one of the most graceful, timeless looks. However, for the most part, this hides your hair—even with a semi-transparent fabric like chiffon—and so you’re limited on the hairstyles you can use. Similarly, you can’t use ornate hairpieces lest they get in the way of the veil or are hidden altogether.
Crown of the Head
The crown of your head is roughly the area where you’d gather your hair into a ponytail. Using a mantilla veil here is a more modern approach to the previous style: the veil still frames the face, though not so dramatically, and it still drapes over the shoulders. But this style offers far more opportunity when styling your hair—for example, you can use decorative combs and pins to hold the veil in place rather than totally forgoing decorative headpieces.
Featured above: Dress style “Ofelia” by Pronovias with V_2877 veil
Nape of the Neck
Wearing a mantilla veil at the nape of the neck is often described as a “renaissance” look. It’s as regal-looking as it is striking, and is a popular choice for brides who want more creative freedom with their hair. With this style you can wear your hair down or partially up (like an elegant side bun), and a comb or hair piece is visible as it can be worn above the veil. It’s best that you experiment to see what you like best!
Despite these three tried and tested looks, many modern brides take these formulas to create something new: many brides pull their mantilla veil very far forward so that it falls across the brows, and some even further so that it covers the face like a drop veil. Still others tie the veil in a knot at the side of or behind the head.
Consider the Style of the Veil
Mantilla veils come in all kinds of styles and are therefore suited to any kind of bride—they come in the regal cathedral length, and the more demure elbow length, and also come in all manner of materials. A lightweight material like tulle gives a beautiful delicate effect, and heavier materials like silk are much bolder. Some brides opt for a plain veil, but others choose ornamental veils with delicate patterns—for example, lace veils with ornate appliqué that are perfect for a vintage style wedding.
Consider Your Wedding Dress
Finally, when choosing your mantilla veil you should also consider your wedding dress. A large dress like a ball gown will swallow the delicate look you have going with your mantilla veil, so you might prefer a smaller silhouette.