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Topping off your bridal look with sparkle

A model wears a Boutique de Voile birdcage

A model wears a Boutique de Voile birdcage veil. Credit: Millimeter Photography

Remember that colorful bird Carrie Bradshaw mounted on her head to adorn her veil in the "Sex and the City" movie? Love it or hate it, our fictional fashionista's exotic plumage created quite a buzz and inspired a trend in headwear.

Brides are not exactly sporting birds, but they are forgoing traditional veils for distinctive looks, notes Rosemary Marsh of Angel Bridals in East Islip. Birdcage veils, feathers, flowers and jewels are now part of wedding day ensembles, to stunning effect.

"I went to a trunk show at Bridal Reflections for my headpiece. As soon as I saw the birdcage veil I wanted to try it on and I loved it!" says local newlywed Jaclyn Renna. She paired a birdcage veil designed by Boutique de Voile with her St. Pucchi gown.

A birdcage veil must be purchased in person rather than online, cautions Boutique de Voile designer Robin Meyer, who says her Westbury company has seen a huge uptick in demand over the past two years. When shopping, quality rules: brides should look for imported French net or supple tulle. And different effects can be achieved by working with a designer, who takes into account the bride's facial structure, her gown and the overall look desired (edgy, vintage, chic).

In addition to birdcage veils, Manhasset-based couture headpiece designer Denise Leli creates exquisite soft metal head jewelry featuring Swarovski crystals, which can add drama to a veil, or can work alone. The handmade pieces "are flexible, so brides can wear them in different ways," Leli explains. They can be simple or elaborate, depending on the bride's taste and style.

"Jeweled hair sticks are really popular now, and worn in clusters," says Raquel Knoell of headwear design firm, Thomas Knoell Designs in Mineola, adding that so are jeweled hair ribbons, worn as headbands and tied in the back. That's what November bride Cari Garcia of Syosset wore on her wedding day.

"Tiaras have never been my thing and I knew I wanted a headband-type piece," she says, "something that would lay flat on my head, and something unique, that you don't see every day on a bride."

When glitter isn't a desirable statement, brides are opting for feathers and floral head accessories. These can be attached to headbands, worn alone, or with veils, embellished with Swarovski crystals, pearls, tulle, lace or sprays of jewels.

There's no better time than now for a bride to be creative with her special look. The sky's the limit, so even the occasional winged creature is acceptable - if you're Carrie Bradshaw, that is!

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