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This black birdcage veil from Batcakes is just one kind of alternative wedding veil…

As a woman with chronic illness, one of the many challenges I deal with is sun sickness. When I get too much sun, besides the dizziness and potential nausea, it can also cause me to lose hair. I would love an outdoor component to my wedding, so as you can imagine, there are some challenges to mitigate. In addition, I currently have patches of hair missing, and I am uncertain whether or not they will fully grow back in before my wedding.

So, as I approach my wedding day, I started considering what I could do if I found myself with less hair than I'd like on my wedding day. How could I protect myself from the sun if outside, while covering parts of my scalp all while still looking fabulous? When I asked the internet for head coverings for brides-to-be, the internet had one answer: veils. I never imagined myself wearing a veil down the aisle and didn't really want to change up my plans just because of a silly bald spot. Nor did I feel a veil would likely provide the coverage that I needed. So I began trying to think more outside the box.

As I began using more specific searches, I found some really unusual and gorgeous head covering options. And while many brides may not be navigating the same challenges that I have, I figure there are plenty of other brides desiring to challenge the traditional bridal look… so I decided to share these alternative wedding veils with you.

Just slightly offbeat alternative veils:

If you are looking to go just slightly off the beaten path, but are not sure about giving up a veil altogether, here are some ideas for you.

Colored veil

This blue ombre alternative veil goes all the way to the floor!

Whether a delicate blue ombre veil or a striking gold veil, straying away from the traditional white veil will is a way to show off your individuality while staying classic. You can go for any color — including black!

Black cathedral veil by Etsy seller StylishBrideAccs


Cap Veil:

How cute is this cap veil?

Also known as a Juliet Cap Veil, these can be worn short or long. What distinguishes a cap veil is the way it is fitted, much like a cap, on your head. Consider a short cap veil to combine the delicate veil look with modern trendiness.

This cap veil has glorious sparklies on it!


A birdcage veil like this is perfect for retro, midcentury themed weddings

A Birdcage veil is simply a veil; but small. Tiny in comparison to a traditional veil. Generally, they only cover your eyes or face. So you get some of the traditional veil look, but not the traditional fuss.

Cape Veil:

It's like a veil, but it's a cape!

Imagine the flow of a veil, but unattached to your head. A veil pinned to or draped around your shoulders is a way to get the look but allows your hair to be unobstructed.

Tulle Headband:

Tulle headband alternative veil for sale here

While headbands are generally considered a casual look, if you get a long tulle headband that trails down your back a bit, you get something similar to the veil feel, but in a look that may feel more “you.”

Noticeably Offbeat Alternative Veils:

You decided that you are not going for a traditional look. At the same time, you'd like to have some sort of adornment. Here are some ideas for you.

A Flower or Feather veil:

Loving the boho vibes of this feather veil

Small flowers or feathers have a beautiful daintiness to them that mimic the simplicity and beauty of a traditional veil, while at the same time, giving you a distinctively less common look.

A lightly different vibe from this feather veil

Macrame Veil:

Well, this one is still a veil, but the use of a series of knots makes a macrame veil seem a bit less delicate. But what macrame veils lack in delicateness, they make up for in alluring complexity, and isn't that a great metaphor for the beauty of marriage?!

Bridal bow

The biggest bow ever! Love it.

These alternative wedding veils just large tulle bows, that hang long down your back like a cathedral veil. Gorgeous, right?


This bridal fascinator is super alternative — perfect for a gothic wedding.

A fascinator is formal headwear worn as an alternative to a hat. When you see them, they often look like tiny hats with big adornments. A fascinator gives you some of the delicateness of a veil, but a distinctly non-traditional look.

This is the Alana Bridal Headress from Etsy seller The House of Kat Swank


This is what's known as a Halo headband

Whether a delicate halo headband made of pearls or flowers or a chunky braided or top-knot headband. The right headband will accentuate your look in a unique way.

An alternative veil on a whole new path:

If you have decided you want everyone to remember what you wore down the aisle for the rest of their lives, you'll find some ideas here…


Amethyst crown by MoondomUK

Instead of being the princess, be the queen! While you often see tiaras on brides, a crown is less common. If you are going fully off the beaten path, a crown might just be the royal statement you want to make. If you really want to stand out, go for crystals!


Custom headdress by The House Of Kat Swank

When people hear headdress, they often think of beautiful Native American pieces. However, if you are not Native, please don't appropriate these pieces. If you Google “Bridal Headdress,” there is a great number of large headpieces that are very likely hard to describe, and so have been described as a “headdress.” These pieces are made from metal, beads, flowers, shells, etc and are often custom made. The one thing these pieces tend to have in common is that they are big. So if you are looking for a large show stopper, a headdress might be right for you.

This headdress is by The Plumed Serpent


Loving the applique on this turban

If hair coverings are traditional in your culture, or if like me, you are considering covering a large area of your head, a turban might be the way to go. There are many gorgeous formal turbans that can be worn with or without a veil.


This bridal hat is by Etsy seller Cosmiksouls

Whether a small fedora, a medium church hat or a large sun hat, a hat with the right adornments could definitely accentuate your personality and enhance your look.

What did I miss? Any other alternative veils I should be considering?


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Comments on Alternative veils for nontraditional brides

  1. I will put a bookmark on this article and send it to all my future brides.

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