HomeDIY CraftThe Making of a Custom Wedding Veil

The Making of a Custom Wedding Veil

Harriet Falvey is the creator of Textile Gifts. She designs and manufactures that delicate, time-honored accessory that a bride wears right before she walks down the aisle: the wedding veil.

Instead of making wedding gowns and bridal party wear, Ms. Falve, 38, began designing custom veils in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea of ​​wearing a veil at a wedding is often misunderstood as an out-of-date tradition, she said, but “it is a form of self-expression and personal style.”

“It is one of the most important and transformative items that provide an instant finishing touch,” said Ms. Falvey, a New Zealand native. “It is the last piece worn by the bride to complete her outfit.” Ms. Falve hopes to re-establish the veil as a hero item for the modern bride.

She runs a one-woman, exclusive wedding veil business from her studio, which is designed like a bridal sanctuary—with an extensive garden of plum trees, white orchids, lilies, and clivia plants. Her studio is attached to her home in Auckland, which she shares with her fiancé, Alistair Gillies, 39, a freelance concept artist for films and television, and their two children: Albert, 7, and Florence, 6. Are.

Ms. Falvey’s standard veils — simple tulle attached to a metal comb — start at $200. A classic, two-layered blusher, in which one layer covers the face and the other extends over the bride’s hair, costs around $400. Adding gold embroidery, ornate lace, opulent pearl edging, hand-stitched embellishments or intricately designed flowers can raise the price to $2,000 or more.

“Bridal fashion is constantly evolving,” said Ms. Falve, who works with 50 to 60 brides each year on their veils. Part of the allure of conceptualizing and embroidering your own veil is that “not everyone can afford a designer wedding dress or design their own,” she says, but they can afford to design a veil. can afford.”

Ms. Falvey, who spoke to The New York Times by phone from her studio, discussed the intimacy of veil design, the importance of accessories, and one of her most popular veils. (Hint: It’s blue.)

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Over the years, you’ve designed wedding gowns, dresses for bridesmaids and bridesmaids, and dresses for graduation parties and receptions. Why did you decide to focus only on screen?

Wedding dresses involved a lot of different fitting and customization to suit a person’s body – this required a tremendous amount of work, which was difficult to accomplish. When Covid happened, in-person fitting was not allowed. This changed my business. Fitting is not required with a veil, and this has allowed me to work with international brides with ease, which I was previously unable to do.

You’ve described your designing process as an intimate one. How do you create and maintain that intimacy when almost all of your interactions with customers are on video?

During the lockdown, brides became very addicted to video shopping. Custom veil making is an intimate and unique experience where the bride and I are designing together. We can have up to five FaceTime video chats depending on how involved the bride wants to be. I literally show them around my studio discussing their veil wishes, and I sketch and lace on mannequins so they can see their veil come to life. I send videos of me making the veil, and I show the bride the veil before I box it up and send it off. It is just as intimate if not more so than a physical fitting.

Generally, what is your lead time for an order?

If ordering through my wedding veil shop on Etsy, where I have 60 or 70 different styles of veils for you to choose from, I usually have it made and shipped within a week or two. I can send For custom orders, the lead time depends on the complexity of the lace and the handwork involved, usually four to eight months. Brides send me pictures of their wedding dresses and I get matching laces. Currently, I have 30 different tulles and textures, which come in various shades of ivory. Then there are 100 different types of shapes, motifs and laces. It can take more than 10 hours for a simple veil or more than 65 hours for a three-tiered blusher—a very long, cathedral-like veil.

Does the veil really play any role or does it have any meaning?

Traditionally, the purpose of the veil is to wrap the bride from head to toe, protecting her from “evil spirits” and presenting her as submissive. Nowadays, the importance varies. For some brides, the veil serves a practical purpose, such as applying blusher to cover herself when she walks down the aisle, if she’s nervous about being the center of attention. For others, it holds sentimental value and symbolizes the transformation into a bride, which evokes feelings of excitement and adrenaline as the wedding dress elevates.

It was a surprise to learn, since the veil always seems to be the least important part of a wedding dress. Do you think it is underappreciated?

Yes. It’s a couture element that adds an extra layer of meaning and simple luxury. A veil transforms a bride’s image, introducing texture with its embellishments, whether it’s lace, pearls or glitter. It accentuates a minimalistic outfit, which is in trend right now. Veils with memorable details are also making a comeback, such as embellishments, hand-stitched lace edged mantilla and pearls. It is the last piece the bride wears – a special token, a symbol and sometimes a sentimental touch at a wedding. Many brides request to exchange their mother’s wedding dress or veil for a new modern piece that she can wear as part of her wedding veil. That legacy goes on and it becomes generational.

One of the most popular veils that brides are buying from you is blue. Why are people getting attracted to something so unconventional?

Brides search for fantasies that inspire them and explore alternative wedding options. Many people are looking for textile furnishings to have that “wow” moment. I accidentally made a blue veil when I dressed a bride in blue tulle and realized it could be a unique take on an old tradition.

People are wearing these as memorable statement pieces with their white outfits. It’s all about being different and making your wedding dress your own.

What are some personalized details or love notes you’ve added to your veil?

I have been asked to insert the date, the couple’s names or initials, or azure sea pearls – for any blue – into the veil. A bride whose father had just passed away asked me to sew her initials into her veil so she could “walk” him down the aisle, so to speak. Another asked to add the phrase “In the endless garden of love, I will always choose you” to her veil, and someone else wanted a Justin Bieber quote – “one less lonely girl” – to be added to her veil. A bride in Las Vegas wanted to have the Virgin Mary embroidered with lace on her veil. These touches add personal, important meaning that makes a bride’s veil even more important when she wears them.


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