Fashion trends and styles come and go. A good leading indicator for fashion trends is to look at what the celebrities are wearing. For example, after Kate Middleton was married in 2011, the wedding veil trend was leaning towards soft & romantic fingertip drop veils with lace embellishment. In previous years it was birdcage veils that dominated. When choosing a veil for your wedding ensemble keep in mind the following factors: (1) personal style, (2) the venue, and most importantly (3) your wedding dress.
Historically, veils were steeped in tradition and were a way to ward off evil. In modern times, veils have become a style statement that accentuates the overall look of a bride. Nothing says “bride” quite like wearing the right veil. Of course a perfect dress will make you feel like a princess, but the veil is that one accessory that will give any gown — from casual tea length to extremely elegant — a certain je ne sais quoi to transform the wearer from engaged gal to blushing bride.
The many different styles and lengths of veils can make veil shopping confusing. That’s why I wrote this guide to get you started and learn the lingo — the ultimate guide to wedding veil lengths!
Birdcage Veils Length
Also known as a cage veil, face veil, or pouf veil, the birdcage veil is a throw back to the 1940/50s style and gives off a feminine, flirtatious, and vintage vibe. Great for those who want to rock a 1950’s style wedding gown. They are typically made from French, Russian, or English Netting/Tulle and can be embellished with feathers or jeweled with rhinestones and pearl hair accessories for a dramatic look. The birdcage veil is a great option for outdoor ceremonies when there is risk of a pesky gust of wind. The distraction of taming your veil is the last thing you want while exchanging vows.
Length: Birdcage veils are the shortest among all veil types and may be worn in a variety of ways. Try wearing in front of the face, just over the eyes, or covering the entire head. Unlike some veils, this one is the perfect option for a bride that wants to wear her veil the entire wedding day.
Blusher Veil Length
Think back to a scene in any cheesy wedding movie (probably staring “Jennifer Lopez”) when the groom pulls the veil back to reveal the lovely blushing bride. This is called the blusher veil. Most of the time blushers are incorporated with other veil lengths, but can be worn on their own. If you choose to have the blusher attached to your veil it will add more volume to your wedding look; if you opt to wear the blusher on its own then it will fall forward to cover the bride’s face without any back length.
Length: 15-30 inches
Shoulder Length Veil
The shoulder length veil was made popular in the 1960’s. It is made of tulle cut in a circular pattern and its lengths range from 19” just touching the bride’s shoulders to 20” sitting in line with the bride’s shoulder blades. This veil option gives off a casual style – perfect for tea-length dresses to long sheath style gowns. Also, it can be worn with a blusher for a fuller look.
Length: 20 Inches
Elbow Length Veil
Elbow length veils are considered the universal length: not too long nor too short. They tend to complement a shorter bride and are great for gowns with waist accents when you want everyone to see the details from all angles. The Elbow length will flatter any wedding dress and will not swamp the bride with too much fabric. There are tons of variations for the trim of this veil type: cut edge finish with no embellishment; leaving the look subtle and soft; or adding a touch of elegance through lace or embroidery without over powering your gown.
Length: 25 inches
Fingertip Length Veil
This veil is a great option for taller brides and one of the more popular veils. The fingertip veil is a versatile choice that is able to work with most styles of wedding dresses – from elaborate ball gowns to trumpet style gowns. It was made popular in the 1940’s and early 1950’s. The length falls to the brides natural fingertip length when her arms are hanging naturally and appears to float around the bride like a cape.
Length: 36 inches
Floor Length Veil (Waltz/Ballet)
The floor length veil also know as the Waltz Veil because it is long, yet still manageable to walk in. The veil falls between the calf and ankle and is usually made with 2 tiers to be worn with a blusher in the front. This veil type works well if the bride-to-be would like to wear a long veil, but isn’t wearing a gown with a train.
Length: 72 inches
Chapel Length Veil
In true fairytale fashion, the chapel length veil flows all the way to the floor and will usually match the length of the brides gown. A good rule of thumb is ‘the longer the veil, the more formal the wedding.’ The chapel length veil adds a soft touch as the wedding dress goes down the aisle; a Blusher can also be added for a fuller effect.
Length: 90-108 inches
Cathedral Length Veil
When thinking of dramatic entrances, we think of Cathedral veils. Made popular in the 1930’s, this is the extra, extra long veil that can reach around 144” and will trail and extend well past the train of wedding gown. This veil needs to be worn with a competing gown because of the length it can take away from the gown all together and also watch because it can obscure the gowns fine details in the back. This is definitely the way to go to make a grand formal church entrances, like Princess Diana did in 1980’s, just don’t forget the tiara!
Length: 120-144 inches
As you can see, there are an array of veil types, lengths, trims, options, and materials to choose from! Above all, when choosing the right veil for the overall look you want to create keep in mind your dress, the venue and your personal style. Do you want the veil to soften the overall look or jazz it up? Besides your perfect dress, the veil is the one unmistakable element that sets you apart from the crowd!
Phew that was a lot of info! Do you have a better idea of which veil you want? Check out our Custom Bridal Veil Page to create your veil own one of a kind veil!