Types of Veils

Veils are such a unique piece of the bride’s wardrobe on her wedding day.  But there are so many options! And it must go with your dress and hair and the theme of the wedding.  So, how do you choose? 

First of all, did you know that the veil dates back to Biblical times?  The lifting of the veil was symbolic of the groom taking possession of the wife.  In our American culture, that is obviously not the case.  When brides have the veil raised, it’s symbolic of the father approving of her mate, or of the husband joining with the wife as a unified couple.

Ok, now that you know the back story of the wedding veil, let’s dive in to your options out there!

Veils are usually broken down by their length:  birdcage, shoulder length, elbow length, fingertip length, waltz length, chapel length, or cathedral length.  As I listed these, they increase in length, with birdcage veils covering the bride’s foreheads and the chapel length being very long, wide, and dramatic.  The waltz length does not touch the floor, but the chapel and cathedral are meant to act as a train as the bride walks down the aisle.

 This beautiful birdcage veil adds a romantic feel to her ensemble.

This beautiful birdcage veil adds a romantic feel to her ensemble.

 Shoulder length veils are perfect for strapless dresses.

Shoulder length veils are perfect for strapless dresses.

 The elbow length veil works as a blusher too!

The elbow length veil works as a blusher too!

Then, you must think of the type of veil.  A blusher is one that covers your face as you walk down the aisle.  Then, the two-tier veil has 2 layers that hit the bride at different lengths.  Typically, you’ll see these as elbow length or longer.  You’ve seen the mantilla style which drapes over the bride’s head and/or shoulders like a scarf.  These are typically known to have lace or detail on the edges.

Once you choose a length and style that you like, make sure that it works with your dress!  I definitely recommend that you try on the veil with the dress before making your final decision. 

 This two-tiered fingertip length has lovely detail on the edges.

This two-tiered fingertip length has lovely detail on the edges.

 This waltz length veil is long but doesn't quite touch the floor. 

This waltz length veil is long but doesn't quite touch the floor. 

Another thing you’ll need to decide in tandem with your veil is how you’ll wear your hair.  Will you want an up-do and have the veil clipped into your hair?  Do you want to wear your hair down and flowy?  Do you want the veil to cover your face (blusher) or not? Definitely practice your hair style with your veil.  Do not wait until your wedding day to have your hair stylist figure out where to put your veil and make sure it goes with your hair style! A practice run is a MUST, and please remember to take pictures from all angles of your hair style with the veil in place. Bring these back with you on your wedding day so your hair stylist doesn’t have to recreate the look from memory!

 This chapel veil works perfectly with the dress and creates a nice cascaded effect.

This chapel veil works perfectly with the dress and creates a nice cascaded effect.

 The cathedral veil acts like a train and makes for a dramatic look.

The cathedral veil acts like a train and makes for a dramatic look.

Some brides like to wear a mother or grandmother’s veil as her “something borrowed.”  I absolutely love that!  But if you’re going to do that, be mindful of the style of dress that you choose.  If your borrowed veil is an elbow length veil, you can pretty much buy any cut of wedding dress.  If your borrowed veil is a chapel length, I love the look of a mermaid dress or ballgown style.  Even a full A-line dress would work with a chapel veil!  Just be careful that it all goes together!

Any feedback or other pro tips to share? I’d love your comments below!

 

Thanks for providing great help during my research!

Southbound Bride  

Brittney Hogan