Let’s be honest, you’ve probably never worn a veil before and the chances of wearing one again after your wedding is probably slim! Perhaps you’ve never really considered a veil before, or maybe you think it’s just a bit too traditional!
With all of the different lengths and styles of veils, shopping for something you're not comfortable with can make things overwhelming! Well, let's make veil shopping a bit less daunting- let's explore all of the different styles of veils together and learn about some new trends for this upcoming year along the way!
Choosing a veil will usually come down to the style of your dress. You want your veil to complement both you and your wedding dress without taking over either! Take a peek at the design of your gown for some inspiration. What parts of your dress really stand out to you? Maybe it's the patterning of the beads, jewels or the fabric. Use these as a way to tie your veil back into your look.
You also should consider your venue. As much as a chapel train offers the glamour and extravagance you might want, it may not have the desired effect when at your outdoors wedding, you start to snare half the garden in your veil's train!
Veils come in a broad array of lengths for you to explore. Here are some common terms and styles when it comes to veil shopping:
Veil Types and Trends
Ballet / Waltz / Knee length: the fabric falls below the hips
A ballet veil can also be known as a waltz length veil or knee length veil. The name for this veil comes from when couples would waltz together for their first dance. The shorter veil length allows the bride to continue wearing it from the ceremony to the reception without the worry of tripping.
A ballet or waltz length veil is around 130-150cm in length from the comb to the end of the tulle / lace edge and should finish somewhere between knee length and calf length.
Perfect for showing off the shape and detailing of a bodice, this length veil works best with simple and defined wedding gown silhouettes. Ballet veils look stunning with column style wedding dresses, A-line gowns and ankle length dresses.
Although this veil will complement most bridal looks, there are some dress styles you might want to avoid. If you are going for a ball gown wedding dress, you may want to consider a longer length veil.
Birdcage: a short, retro style veil, covering the top half of your face
A birdcage veil is a short veil that covers part of the face. These sized veils measure approximately 30-45cm from the comb to the edge of the material. The name of the birdcage veil is derived from the form it takes once attached at the top of the head, with the fabric falling into a hanging birdcage shape around the bride's head and face.
Birdcage veils work great with short wedding dresses. Imagine a birdcage veil paired with a mid-length wiggle-style bridal dress, or opt for a fun and flirty full-skirted tea length wedding dress.
The short length of a birdcage veil can also help to elongate the appearance of your neck and your silhouette, so take long, clean lines of a minimalist gown (like tonnnns of ours!) into consideration when looking to match a birdcage veil.
A birdcage veil will also allow you to show off every detail of your wedding dress, letting any intricate lace, beading or stunning back detail be the focus.
Blusher: the fabric covering your face
One aspect of a veil that you may or may not what to have added to your veil is the tulle piece that gets pulled over your face when walking down the aisle. The tulle piece that falls over your face is called a blusher.
Some brides find blushers extremely old fashioned, while others find that wearing a veil with a blusher makes them feel even more like a bride.
They can be plain or edged with lace or even embellished and will end up adding to the drama of your wedding look.
Cathedral-length: the fabric extends a foot or two behind your wedding gown
Cathedral veils get their name because they are traditionally worn for wedding ceremonies in churches and cathedrals.
Cathedral length veils start at an amazing 300cm long. This extra length creates an extravagant train to follow the bride as she walks down the aisle, making a show-stopping entrance and creating stunning photographs.
Royal veil lengths run even longer. For those who can remember, Princess Diana’s 1984 ultra-long taffeta bridal veil measured at 7.62 metres!
If Princess Di can pull off a royal lengthed cathedral veil, the limits for your cathedral veil are endless!
To complement a cathedral/ royal veil, choose a dress made from a rich satin, silk, or a delicate vintage lace to complete your lavish and luxe look. And all dress lengths and volumes work, except I recommend avoiding shorter wedding dress with such a long-length veil.
Chapel / Church length: the fabric reaches down to the floor
The chapel or church veil is one of the most long-standing of the bridal veils. Traditionally worn for church or chapel ceremonies, chapel length veils are slightly less extravagant than the extra long cathedral veil as discussed above. However, brides can still add drama to their look with a long and flowing chapel length wedding veil that cascades to the floor.
Chapel length wedding veils are usually around 250 cm from the comb to the end of the tulle or lace scalloping. Positioned perfectly between a floor length veil and a cathedral length veil, chapel veils will still be long enough to trail behind brides as they walk down the aisle, yet will not require as much assistance as a cathedral or royal length veil.
Universally flattering with almost every wedding dress shape and length, chapel veils tend to be one of the most popular veil lengths. We feel shorter veil lengths work with shorter dresses, but some chapel veils look incredible with a shorter length wedding dress so it is all up to your personal preference!
Drop Veil: a single, oval-shaped piece of tulle, simply draped over your head and body
A drop veil is a wedding veil made up of a single, circular piece of tulle. Sometimes referred to as a 'circle veil', they are the least complex veil available to brides-to-be. With no gathers or attachments, the tulle fabric is simply placed over the bride's head, resting flat against the top of the head and with the (optional) blusher covering the face. Depending on how the drop veil and blusher are attached, the blusher can be pulled back creating a two-tier veil effect.
Drop veils can come in many different lengths, the shortest starting around fingertip length. This means that you can really customize and style drop veils based on what length dress you have, creating the perfect bridal look!
Fingertip Length: the fabric falls slightly below the waist
A fingertip veil is a mid-length veil that works with both formal bridal looks and more casual ones.
A fingertip length veil is 122 cm in length, from the comb to the end of the tulle / lace edge. When worn, the length of the veil should finish around the bride’s fingertips as she stands with her arms resting at her side. This can vary depending on the height of the bride.
If you are planning on wearing a wedding dress that has detail on the back, the short length and the tulle fabric of these fingertip veils will allow you and all your guests to see any beadwork or lace details and the cut of the dress underneath.
Shorter in length than a floor-length, chapel length, or cathedral length veil, a fingertip veil won’t drag along the floor, allowing it to stay perfectly pristine from the ceremony to carriages. Most brides will usually have heirloom veils in a fingertip length, as they are easier to keep perfect throughout a wedding day.
A fingertip length veil also allows for more freedom to move, meaning you can wear it throughout your reception without worrying about anyone tripping or standing on your veil!
Juliet Cap: a cloche style cap fastened to a tulle veil
A Juliet cap veil is a wedding veil made up of a cloche style cap that is connected to a tulle veil. Popular with modern day brides, the Juliet cap bridal veil was originally the veil of choice for brides from 1910 to the 1940s. Juliet cap bridal veils also come in a range of lengths from a classic cathedral length to a floaty fairytale fingertip length.
Supposedly inspired by the traditional cloche cap worn by 16th-century actors portraying Juliet Capulet in William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet', this type of veil will forever be linked with one of the most famous romance stories!
Juliet cap wedding veils are typically made from traditional tulle or silk style tulle and can feature a variety of embellishments. Brides looking for a distinctly unique veil can opt for lace edging, delicate beadwork, and decorative crystal finishes that will both match their gown and reflect their personality (like the one above by BellezaNovia on Etsy). Because Juliet cap veils feature so many details, there's no need to add any other accessories!
Mantilla: of Spanish origin, a circular-cut veil with a lace trim
A Spanish mantilla veil is a circular veil that is edged with a delicate lace trim, beautifully framing a bride in her wedding gown. Mantilla veils are always a delight to look at as well as to wear- the lace often comes in a striking design and is always intricate. These veils are sometimes finished with beading or crystals, creating a very dramatic bridal look.
A mantilla veil is a single tier veil without any gather. A comb is normally sewn at the top of the veil so it can be worn right at the front of the head above the forehead to create its iconic look.
This style of veil is also available in different lengths from fingertip all the way through to cathedral length, which makes it perfect to pair with so many different dress styles and lengths. YuriChangBride on Etsy offers Mantilla veils in many different lengths.
Extra Tips and Tricks for Veils
Extra add-ons to stand out
Adding extra detailing in your veil like sparkles, pearls, diamantes, beading, appliques, satin-edging, lace-edging and even drop jewels is a fun way to showcase some of your personality into your veil as well.
Hair Trials and Veils
It’s always a good idea to take your veil along to your bridal hair trials, as it will make all the difference to have your veil positioned correctly within your chosen hairstyle. Your hairstylist will be able to position the veil so that it is secure, yet easily removed if you are not wanting to have it in for the whole day!
Changing up your look when the veil comes off
Many brides will only wear their veil for the ceremony and photos, then they'll remove it for when the party gets started or when the main photos have ended. You can always add a small headpiece or a pretty hair comb once you have removed it.
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So what do you think? Are you more of a birdcage or more of a cathedral bride? Let us know what you think down in the comments!