There are many elements that come together to create your bridal veil look, including its length and number of tiers you opt for.
If you’ve spent any time searching for bridal veil inspo on Pinterest or elsewhere on the Internet, you’ll have discovered that veils come in a wide variety of lengths and that some are full or ‘poufy’ thanks to multiple tiers, while others offer a more subtle 1-tiered look.
In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the options you’ll want to consider when it comes to the length of your veil and the number of tiers. I’ll also discuss how you can choose the best options based on factors such as your wedding gown, hairstyle, and the overall wedding look you are envisioning.
Let’s get started!
Wedding Veil Tiers
Tiers refer to the layers of a wedding veil. The number of tiers you choose for your veil will determine how voluminous or full it looks. Let’s take a closer look at the options.
How many tiers should my veil have?
The number of tiers you choose for your wedding veil is entirely up to you, but you’ll want to take a few things into consideration when deciding.
For example, if you want to cover your face with the veil, you’ll need to go with a veil that has 2 tiers or more, as the top layer of your veil will be used to cover the face.
If you’re aiming for a subtle veil look, a 1-tier veil is your best bet. On the other hand, if you love the idea of creating some volume with your veil, a multi-tier veil is the way to go.
At Classic Veils, our custom veils come in 1, 2, or 3 tiers. Most brides choose a 1 or 2-tier veil, but some brides want to go full-out and opt for more tiers.
What is a 1 tier wedding veil?
A 1-tier veil is a single-layer veil that offers a ‘barely there’ look. It’s ideal if you want to showcase the details of your wedding gown, while still including a veil in your wedding day look.
If you’re bypassing the tradition of covering your face with the veil and want a subtle veil look, a 1-tier veil is a great option.
What is a 2 tier wedding veil?
A 2-tier wedding veil features two layers. The top layer is typically shorter than the bottom layer and, in many cases, is used as a blusher to cover the face.
If you’re looking to create a fuller look with your veil or want to incorporate the tradition of wearing a veil over your face for part of the ceremony, a 2-tier is the way to go.
What is a blusher?
A blusher is the layer of the veil that is worn over the face. The top layer of the veil is drawn forward to conceal the bride’s face – typically until the father of the bride gives her away OR until it’s time for husband and wife to kiss.
The blusher tier is typically one of two or three layers in a veil, although you can also wear a blusher alone. If you choose to go with a 2- or 3-tier veil, the blusher is generally shorter than the bottom layer of the veil. This creates a cascading effect when the veil is pulled back from the face.
How long should my blusher be?
The length of your blusher is ultimately up to you. Most brides choose to go with a 30″ blusher. This provides coverage for the face, while allowing you to comfortably hold your bouquet in front of you without the veil getting in the way.
Some brides, on the other hand, choose to go for a longer blusher that covers the face and the upper body, so the bouquet of flowers is also hidden behind the veil. Still other brides who choose to go with a shorter style of veil (e.g. shoulder-length or elbow-length) will opt for a shorter blusher of 15″, 20″ or 25″.
Bear in mind that the placement of your veil will impact how far it is drawn over the face.
At Classic Veils, we are more than happy to create a blusher in whatever length you wish.
Can the blusher be detachable?
Some brides wish to remove the blusher after the ceremony. At Classic Veils we can create a veil with a detachable blusher by using Velcro underneath the comb and isn’t visible at all.
Wedding Veil Lengths
When it comes to veil lengths, you’ll have plenty of options – from barely-there short veils to dramatic, super long veils. Keep reading for the down-low on veil lengths and which may be best suited to your wedding look and dress.
What length should my veil be?
Again (and I know I sound like a broken record), the length of your veil should be the length you want it to be! That being said, there are a few considerations to take into account when trying to decide between the many lengths.
One key factor to consider is the style of your wedding dress and what length of veil would complement it. For example, if you’re going for a tea-length or midi dress, a shorter veil makes the most sense. On the other hand, if you’re wearing an elaborate gown that has a train of its own, a longer veil will help accentuate and frame your dress.
You’ll also want to think about the overall wedding look you’re going for. Want to create a casual, boho look? A short or mid-length veil will help complete this style. Looking to keep it formal and sophisticated? A longer style of veil will achieve your desired look.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the different veil lengths.
What veil lengths are available?
As you explore the world of veils, you’ll probably come across many less-than-familiar terms such as ‘elbow-length veil’ or ‘cathedral-length veil’. As it turns out, there are several standard veil lengths to chose from and they all have fancy names that mean little to the new bride-to-be.
Not to worry, I discuss the most common veil lengths below. At Classic Veils you can order any of these veil lengths or choose a custom length.
Before you choose your perfect length, you’ll also want to give some thought to where you’ll be placing it on your head. That is, will the comb be placed on top, at the crown, at the back of the head, or underneath the hairdo. A different placement will yield a different look.
One final note before we dive into the different veil lengths. Traditionally, if you were getting a veil from a bridal shop, they would give you the measurement of the two tiers added together. This is confusing, of course, because not every veil has two tiers. Also, it’s not always clear what length each tier is.
So, to keep things simple and sweet, we’ll just look at the different veil lengths as they apply to the bottom/longest tier.
What is a shoulder-length veil?
The shortest option, the shoulder-length veil runs 20″ and will fall to the top of your dress. It’s an ideal option if your dress has lots of detailing and you want to make it the centerpiece of your wedding look, while still paying homage to the veil tradition.
Similar in length, but with a different name, the flyaway veil (18″) offers a comparable look.
While the placement of your veil will dramatically affect the overall look, no matter what length you go with, it’s especially important to consider placement when you have a short veil. Check out our guide to veil placement for more details.
What is an elbow-length veil?
As the name implies, this veil tends to fall to the elbow. It is 25″ in length and offers just a touch more flow and romance than the shoulder-length veil.
Many consider it to be the standard veil length and it works very well with a variety of dresses, including a ballgown or vintage style dress. On the other hand, if you’re dress has a train, the elbow-length veil may look out-of-place and underwhelming.
The waist-length veil measures just slightly longer at 30″ and offers a similar look.
What is a fingertip length veil?
This is a very popular veil length that works well with many dress styles. It runs approximately 36″ – 38″ – approximately where your fingertips land when you have your arms at your side. If you’re wearing a mermaid or fish style gown, the fingertip veil will beautifully accentuate the point where the skirt starts to flow out.
What is a knee-length veil?
At 45″ in length, this veil tends to fall between the knee and mid-calf.
It’s a great option if you want some serious length to your veil and also want to wear it at your reception without worrying about anyone, including yourself, tripping over it.
What is a waltz-length veil?
No, you don’t have to know how to waltz to wear a waltz-length veil. At 60″ in length, it stops just above the floor. Like the knee-length veil, it offers length without any worries about tripping over it during your reception or first dance.
The waltz-length veil s an excellent option if your dress has a train with detailing that you want to showcase.
What is a floor-length veil?
As the name suggests at 72″ a floor-length veil will just barely touch the floor. It also goes by the tern ‘ballet-length veil’.
This veil will add volume to your wedding day look and pairs especially well with full-length dresses that don’t have a train, such as a ball gown, a sheath silhouette or slim boho style.
What is a chapel length veil?
If you want to make a grand statement with your veil, the chapel veil is guaranteed to do just this. Ranging in length from 90″ and 108″ and intended to extend between 6″ and 12″ longer than the train or hem of your dress, it’s perfectly suited to sophisticated gowns and more formal weddings.
Do take note that the chapel-length veil is sometimes referred to as a sweep or full veil.
What is a cathedral length veil?
If you want to make a royalty-inspired entrance courtesy of your veil (we’re looking at you Meghan Markle), the cathedral-length veil has got you covered. Ranging in length from 120″ to 144 ” (that’s 10 – 12 feet!), a cathedral veil is almost a complete wedding look unto itself.
If your gown has a cathedral train, a cathedral veil will pair better with it than a chapel length veil. And, as their names suggest, these veil lengths will serve to accentuate the grandness of these larger venues. If you’re getting married in a smaller venue with a narrow aisle or outdoors, you may want to consider a shorter veil.
Can I have a custom-length veil?
Yes, you can absolutely order a custom-length veil. We add an extra $10 charge for this customization option.
How to measure for your wedding veil.
Measuring for your wedding veil is important to achieve the look you desire on your big day. You’ll need the following in order to get an accurate measure:
- a friend or family member to assist with the measurements
- a long piece of string
- ruler or measuring tape
- footwear that is similar in height to what you’ll be wearing on the wedding day
If you are planning to wear a long veil, you will get the most accurate measurements if you actually wear your wedding dress, but this isn’t required. Similarly, if you are able to wear your hair in a similar style as you plan to on the wedding day, this will help with accuracy.
Here are the steps to follow to measure for a veil with a blusher:
- Determine where you plan to place the comb of your veil. (For more on veil placement, check out this guide).
- Next, place the end of the string on this spot and draw it forward over your face. Do not pull it tight, just let it drop. Determine where you want to blusher to end, measure the length of the string and make a note of the number.
- From the same spot on your head, let the string fall down your back to the point where you want it to end. Again, don’t pull the string tight, just let it drop. This length will be the bottom tier of your veil. Take note of the measurement.
If you are wearing a veil with no blusher or a blusher with no veil, simply follow the corresponding steps and take down your measurement(s).
While you’ll want to get a relatively accurate measurement for your blusher and/or bottom tier, it doesn’t have to be exact. As long as you’re within a couple of inches, you’ll get the look you’re after.
Let us help!
Unsure which veil length is best for your desired wedding look and gown? Please send us a note and we’ll help you determine the best option.