1950s Vintage Wedding Hair and Veil Ideas: Curls, Crowns, and Birdcage Veils

1950s african american black bride with cap wedding veil and groom sitting in back of car

Short with smartly styled pin curls was the common hairstyle formula of the 1950s and the wedding veils brides wore went well with these pretty vintage hairstyles. The veils coordinated well with the popular cinched-waste dress fashions and mimicked the evening hat styles of the decade.

The glamour and color of the 1950s makes an appealing inspiration for a vintage wedding. A full A-line tea length dress is fun for photos. If you are considering a 1950s themed look for your wedding, here are some tips on veils that will go great with it.

See all the posts about Vintage Wedding Veils of the mid-20th Century

Veil Length of the 1950s

Shoulder, elbow, and fingertip length were the most common veil lengths in the 1950s. These veil lengths balanced well with the cinched waist style of the 1950s A-line dress. The edge of longer veil wouldn’t work well, because it could get caught up too easily with the full skirt tea length dresses of the time.

1950s Birdcage Veil

The birdcage veil of the 1950s was a netting worn for many formal occasions. Usually attached to a cap headpiece or whimsy headpiece, which I’ll describe below, the birdcage veil was short, only reaching to the nose.

Birdcage veil

Birdcage netting was more commonly worn by wedding attendants, but it is a great option for brides who want to wear a veil that is less traditional.

Birdcage Veil Must-know Advice

Here is my “What you should consider” advice on purchasing and wearing a birdcage veil for your wedding. I’ve had to attach enough birdcage veils to brides’ hairstyles that I have come to make these major suggestions to them.

  1. The 2-comb attachment birdcage veil is the best option instead of 1-comb attachment. It allows you more placement options. With the often stiff netting of new veils, a single comb birdcage can stick out awkwardly if no time is taken ahead to steam and form it before the big day, which few brides have time for in the rush up.
  2. Buy any decorations as separate pieces. If you want to take the veil off after the ceremony, the lovely rhinestone or lace adornments attached to the veil will have to come off too. Just get the simple 2-comb birdcage and then also purchase hair flowers, sparkly combs, or pearl decorations separate.

Need a Vintage Hairstylist for your wedding day? Vintage Hair Specialists in a city near you.

Cap Wedding Veil

The short, curly hairstyles of the 1950s were exposed and protected from crushing when women wore small cap style hats. These half-hats generally just covered the apex and back area of the crown of the head. The cap styles were the same as the styles of hats women wore to church, formal occasions, and parties. They included scalloped edges, “Queen Anne” shell, juliet half hat caps,

In the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell have a double wedding wearing matching wedding dresses and wedding cap hats with birdcage veils.

Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe

Bridal Crown with Veil

The traditional bridal crown is an ancient custom and in the 1950s, the crown with veil attached enjoyed a resurgence in popularity that lasted into the 1960s. Tiaras were also still popular.


Whimsies are another fun option for a vintage wedding veil. A whimsy wasn’t an actual hat. It wasn’t going to protect your hair from the elements. They are purely decorative.

Whimsy headpiece

A whimsy is a piece of netting in a birdcage length attached to a decorative headpiece. The decoration might be ribbons, a decorated headband, or flowers.

They were more often worn by bridesmaids and wedding attendees. But for today’s bride, who is looking for a wedding headpiece that is less traditional then a full veil, a whimsy style headpiece is a lovely option. You can get the look by ordering a birdcage veil. (I recommend the 2-comb style.) And then pick up some decorative faux flowers or a large bow.

1950s Bridesmaid Headpieces

Bridesmaids in the 1950s wore headpieces of many styles. A matching cap or half hat, a popular headpieces during the time, were commonly worn by bridesmaids. Some brides asked their attendants to wear crowns or decorative tiaras with shoulder length veils… smaller versions of what the bride might be wearing. Whimsies, colored birdcage veils, and hair flowers are also lovely choices for a 1950s style wedding.

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Welcome to the Bobby Pin Blog! I am Lauren Rennells and as a hairstylist, makeup artist, writer, and generally artistic over-achiever, the Bobby Pin Blog is my outlet for thoughts and research about vintage hair and makeup trends and how to recreate them today. Thank you for stopping by!

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