A veil is a tissue dupatta that is used to cover a bride’s head on the day of her wedding. Quite essentially, it is lightweight so that it is easier to manage. Brides who choose a lehenga as their wedding drape have it easy, since the lehenga’s dupatta is used to cover their head as a veil. However, wedding sarees usually do not come with dupattas, and hence a veil needs to be bought separately. A traditional Bengali Bride would generally be seen in a red benarasi saree with a crimson red coloured veil. Ten years back, they would not come in as many varieties, and the bride would settle down for the common net veil with zari stitched on the sides. However, as time evolved, brides became choosy about their look for the D Day, and gave in some extra effort in planning their wedding attire, which would include a veil.
I was very fussy about what I wanted for my wedding, and planned the entire look well ahead in advance to avoid last minute disappointments. So after my wedding saree was finalised (Click Here to discover how I chose my wedding saree), I had literally decided that I would use the pallu of my saree to cover my head, and that buying a veil would be sheer wastage of money. But as the D day got closer, somehow the idea of using the pallu to cover my head did not seem very bright! I would often drape my wedding saree in that fashion to ascertain what it would actually look like! And to be very honest, the length of the saree was not long enough to cover my head. It would probably only cover my low bun. So gradually I dropped the idea of not buying a veil and started my hunt for the perfect veil.
In 2012, not many saree shops would have a variety of veils. Most of them sold the standard red netted dupatta with the zari border which failed to appease me. It barely matched my saree! After a lot of deliberations, I decided to go ahead and customise my own veil. I bought a maroon coloured net fabric (that matched with my saree) and golden beads to be stitched on all the four sides of the veil. Yet something felt amiss. The veil looked practically empty without the border.
Now, I did not want a very gaudy or flashy border for my veil. Also I had to keep it in my mind that the veil could later on be put to use in some way or the other. After a lot of brain racking sessions over my veil, I decided to customise a border for it. Off I went to a shop in Girish Park which customised saree borders. I told them about my idea. They were ready and willing to execute it. I explained them that they had to hand stitch the border on a piece of cloth, so that the cloth could later on be detached from the veil and used as a border for my saree.
So the plan was, my veil would have a border stitched to it along with the golden beads on its sides. The border of the veil had hand-zardousi work over it. And it made such a pretty sight. I literally jumped in joy when I saw that they had executed my idea so well. However, they took almost 3 months to create this. I got married on the 8th of December and received the veil on the 6th (after repeated reminders and follow ups). This could be a herculean task for the to-be brides if they do not follow up with the shop. So make sure you have plenty of time for the D day before you set out for customising your veil.
Maroon Veil Details :
Net Fabric purchased from Geeta (New Market)
Beads purchased from Mullick Stores (New Market)
Veil customised by Shilu, Girish Park
For my reception, I opted for a ready made veil from Vidhaata, New Market. They had few colour options to choose from, and I ended up picking the golden-beige combination. It complemented my saree, which had beige zari work over it. There was stone work on the entire veil along with its borders. And this could be reused as a dupatta on other festive/wedding attires (which I did for one of my sister’s wedding).
Beige Veil from Vidhaata. Priced at Rs.1800/- in 2012
They had other colour options like Red, Blue and Pink.
Photography by Prasanta Singha
Makeup by Ujjwal Debnath
So that’s it for this post. See you soon in another series of my wedding diaries.