Deciding which veil to wear is a major moment in creating your wedding day look. With wedding veil styles ranging from a face-framing 4″ to a floor-sweeping 120″, many brides are overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. “A veil enhances a bride’s appearance as she walks down the aisle,” says Stephanie Caravella of Bel Aire Bridal. “It can also enhance the wedding dress by complementing the beading or embroidery on the dress.”
But the decision is not as simple as choosing a long or short veil. Different types of veils and lengths can completely transform your wedding style. While a blush can convey a retro-chic vibe, a cathedral-length veil looks traditional and so dramatic.
If you’re wondering how to choose a veil, look no further: we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to wedding veil styles, complete with expert advice from bridal stylists.
Wedding Veil Styles by Length
Birdcage Wedding Veil: 4-9″
This short and alluring bridal veil can cover only the eyes, skim the nose or fall to the jawline. Usually made of a net or lace, this style is also known as a bandeau veil.
Shoulder Length Bridal Veil: 20-22″
As the name suggests, this style of wedding veil hits your shoulders. Off-the-shoulder wedding veils are a great option for brides who want a traditional-looking veil that doesn’t compete with the detailing of their dress.
Blush Bridal Veil: 30″
Also known as a corner veil or corner veil, this style offers a less traditional look with a vintage appeal. “A blush is a short veil that falls over the face and ends near the top of the dress,” Caravella explains. “During the ceremony, it is removed to reveal the bride, creating an exciting and moving moment – the groom’s first time seeing his bride’s face.”
Elbow Bridal Veil: 32″
If you want a more conservative look for your ceremony, an elbow-length veil is a stylish way to cover up without wearing a bulky bolero or shrug. “An elbow veil falls gracefully from the shoulders to the elbow of the bride – you guessed it –,” says Caravella.
Fingertip Wedding Veil: 38-40″
“A fingertip veil falls past the bride’s hips and is a popular choice because it allows any design on the back of the bride’s dress to be seen through the sheer fabric,” says Caravella.
Veil at knee: 48″
Designed to fall to the knees, this bridal veil length offers drama and elegance without weighing you down. The veil can be adjusted to fall a little longer or a little shorter to fall just above your knee, depending on your height.
Waltz Bridal Veil: 60″
There is no rule that says you have to remove your veil for the reception. But if you choose to keep it on, make sure it won’t stop you from dancing and mingling with others. “A waltz veil falls mid-calf and is a great option for those who want to wear a longer veil for the reception, but still want the freedom to move throughout the evening.” This style of wedding veil is also called a ballet veil.
Bridal Veil to Floor: 72″
“A floor veil just skims the floor and matches the length of the bride’s dress,” says Caravella. The fluid fabric will add extra volume to your look, perfect for a bride who was hesitating between a ball gown and a more streamlined silhouette.
Chapel Bridal Veil: 90″
Opting to forgo a train? A chapel-length veil will create the illusion of a train, with no pesky fuss required. “A chapel-length veil sweeps the floor extending slightly beyond the bride’s dress,” says Caravella.
Cathedral Wedding Veil: 108-120″
For the most regal entrance, you must have a cathedral length veil. “A cathedral-length veil extends beyond the train of the bride’s dress and is the most dramatic length down the aisle,” says Caravella.
3 things to remember when choosing a wedding veil
1. Identify your budget
Have a price tag in mind. What might seem like a flimsy piece of fabric can actually cost a lot more than expected, easily adding to the cost of your wedding style. Some veils can even cost more than the dress itself. “Like dresses, veils can vary widely in price, usually depending on the detail,” says Briana Abedi, senior stylist at Carine’s Bridal Atelier in Washington DC. up to $3,000 or more.” Having an idea of what you can spend will help you narrow down your sailing options immediately.
2. Consider your hairstyle
A bun versus long, flowing curls can result in completely different veil placement. For example, if you’re wearing the former, you might want to pin your veil under the bun to show off your bun. If you’re considering the latter, you might want to pin the veil to the crown of your head to add volume.
If you’re hoping to add hair accessories to your look, let your bridal stylist know what you have in mind so she can help you choose the right style of veil to go with your accessories. You don’t want your head to look cluttered.
3. Try several bridal veils with your dress
Your veil will help shape your style on the big day, so naturally you’ll want something that balances the vibes of your dress without overshadowing it. Abedi, who likes to show the bride different styles that could complement her dress, says “I like to choose several options so the bride can experiment with different looks. The look can change completely just with the addition of a veil, so it’s It’s important that the bride feel the most beautiful whatever the vision.”
Don’t be afraid to try something you wouldn’t normally be attracted to. You might be surprised that keeping things together isn’t always the best way to complement your dress, depending on the look you want to achieve. “Sometimes mixing textures is a great way to add originality,” adds Abedi. “For example, a lace veil combined with a very clean dress.”
How to choose the right veil for your dress
Need more advice? We understood. There is a lot to do when it comes to choosing a veil. We asked expert bridal stylists which bridal veils they prefer, based on wedding dress styles. These aren’t hard and fast rules by any means, but they are helpful tips for brides looking for a starting point.
A very ornate dress
If you have your heart set on a heavily beaded or embellished dress, you can choose one of two ways with your veil. For the princess bride who loves herself a little sparkle, a classic raw-edged cathedral veil with scattered Swarovski crystals that will sparkle as you walk down the aisle is absolutely stunning, says Carla Imbriano, chief designer at Boutique de Voile. . Another fit option she suggests: “A veil with minimal matching beads along the edge.”
A simple but beautiful dress
If a bride has a simple dress and wants to amp up the drama without any embellishment, an angel-cut veil trimmed in satin, horsehair or organza is always a good choice, notes Terry Hall, Kleinfeld’s fashion director. “It will frame the bride’s face beautifully and as it cascades you will see a spiral of fabric around the edge which will make you look and feel spectacular.” A veil with hints of light lace also looks great with a simple dress, says bridal stylist and wedding expert Renée Strauss.
A dress with a strong back
A breathtaking embellished or sheer lace back is a popular trend. To show off your back, Imbriano recommends a special custom-cut cathedral without any accents (beading or crystals) in the body of the veil. Think sheer and chic and remember to avoid multiple layers of fabric.
A dress with a long train
As long as your dress doesn’t have a ton of detail in the back, you can pretty much wear any type of veil with a long train dress, says Hall. Her favorite, however, is by far a cathedral veil. “It’s so interesting and creates a dramatic and ethereal look.”
Just make sure the veil extends beyond the train.
A modern dress
For brides going the contemporary route (think fit-and-flare dresses, mermaid dresses and maxi dresses), a more modern-style veil is perfectly appropriate, points out Elisha Caplan, designer and owner of Elisha Caplan. “These are the cropped, layered, boxy, and blush styles. A cropped veil — from the shoulder to the elbow — is ideal for a maxi dress or a town hall dress,” she says.
A vintage wedding dress
If your borrowed something happens to be your wedding dress, why not go all out with a matching birdcage veil? “It will become the ornate part of the whole,” Strauss explains.
A short wedding dress
The shorter the dress, the shorter the veil. “For a sassy or shorter cocktail dress, we love a birdcage veil, or even better, a whimsical layered veil in a shorter length… Something reminiscent of an Audrey Hepburn movie,” says Imbriano .
A bohemian beach dress
Getting caught by the sea? According to Strauss, a chapel veil is ideal for a beach wedding when you want the veil to flutter in the wind but not be too bulky.