Unveiling the Veil

Last time, I told you about my discovery that I (despite my previous intentions) wanted a veil. Once I decided I wanted one, the question became”¦which one? I had no idea that there were so many different choices of veils out there!!

Birdcage, blusher, mantilla, cathedral, chapel, ballet”¦what? Then there’s the choice of where to wear it. On top of your head with a little pouf? Further back on the head? Under your hairstyle? Or up front if you’ve got a birdcage…so many choices!!

Right off the bat, I nixed a few choices. No mantilla for me (that’s the veil with the lace on the edges).


Image from Bridal Styles Boutique

To me, mantilla veils are the stars of the show. Because I’ll be wearing a dress with a lot going on, the mantilla veil would be overkill in my opinion.

Also, no birdcage.

Champagne Birdcage Veil with Ostrich Feather Fascinator Made to Order

Veil sold by Ann Leslie Designs at Artfire

I love birdcage veils. They’re so gorgeous. So why did I cross them off the list? Well”¦mostly because I’m not brave enough to wear one. I really don’t want to end up hating any part of my bridal attire in a few years (like all those ’80s poufy-sleeve brides). And while I don’t think birdcage veils are going to go that route”¦I’d rather not take a chance. I’ll stick to the more traditional just to be safe. (In the end, I don’t think it would have looked right with the dress I chose, but I never even put one on.)

I also crossed the blusher off my list. The blusher is very traditional, and while I was easily swayed from the no-veil camp to the wearing-a-veil one, wearing the blusher was too far for me.

With the blusher, birdcage, and mantilla gone, that left basically simple styles of veils and a choice of length. I had no idea there were so many length choices. I thought it was just short or long. Silly me. Of course not. They think of every possibility known to man when it comes to things wedding related. Here’s a nice little image of the different lengths:

The veil

Image from Blue Marker

And from what I’ve discovered, there’s also the waltz or ballet length, which falls to about where the “Sweep” arrow is pointing. Maybe they’re supposed to be the same thing, but I think ballet and waltz are a little shorter than the floor. (Maybe not? I never saw one in real life.)

Anyway, I initially thought I wanted an elbow-length or fingertip veil. I mostly thought this because they seemed like the least noticeable veils. Also, because I wanted a skirt with a lot of texture, I didn’t want my veil to cover up the skirt.

Two things changed my mind about the elbow-length and fingertip length.

First, I had a dress consultant tell me that shorter veils are often considered juvenile. Now, I don’t really think that’s the case, and I don’t think that about anyone else’s veil. But”¦she kind of ruined short veils for me. After that, I couldn’t stop wondering if the shorter veils seemed childish on me.

And second, the photos with long veils”¦

FIRST shots of our evening, city wedding! Pro photo previews. (Photo HEAVY). :  wedding bristol city contemporary modern watters wtoo JM QUICK SELECTS 00272

Image from fluffed on Weddingbee / Photo by Rick O’Brien


Image via Junebug Weddings / Photo by Sara Dicicco

wedding veil blowing wind

Photo by Luster Studios

I just love the photos of veils flying in the wind. It looks so magical. That totally sealed the deal. I decided I want a long veil. Crazy, right? I went from not wanting a veil at all to going all out. But I’m totally excited. I ordered a “chapel length” veil at a custom length so that it’s about three inches longer than my dress. At the store where I bought the dress, the owner makes all the veils herself, so they just always make them at exactly the length you want. Also, she can make the veil the exact color of my dress, which is awesome. I ordered it with a pencil edge, meaning it’s got just a little bit of edging. I originally wanted a raw edge, but my consultant suggested a pencil edge because the raw-edged ones apparently tend to blow around “too much.” I trust her judgment. Having never worn a veil, I just have to trust everyone else on this one.

So now I spend my downtime daydreaming about how awesome it would be if there was just enough wind on our wedding day to get some beautiful pictures of my veil blowing in the wind.

How do you feel about all the different veils? Were you dead set on one kind? How did you end up choosing?


Mrs. Blue Whale

College Park, MD
Wedding Date:
May 2013
Bubbling With Joy: The Happy Couple
Hawkily Ever After: Cheers
Add a comment


  1. Member
    courtoni 177 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:54 pm

    The great debate continues. I’m torn as I’m getting married on the beach and just figured it would blow in my face the whole time but I’m starting to consider it more lately.

  2. Member
    emma20130601 341 posts, Helper bee @ 12:55 pm

    I was totally indifferent to what type of veil I wanted until I started seeing all the different options! Finally, I chose the cathedral length veil because, like you, I saw amazing pictures with veils in the wind and I wanted that! When my veil came in the mail, I put it on to see and I walked around the house for about 15 minutes! I just love it so much! (Confession: I could have worn it longer if FI wasn’t on his way home!)

  3. Member
    kit_kath 1327 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:04 pm

    I never wanted a veil, until one day it clicked in my head that I would only wear it for the short ceremony and there would still be way more non-veil time. So now I want a long one, gotta go big or go home 😉

  4. Member
    scottishmrs 3213 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:05 pm

    Ooh! Those photos are so pretty! I hope that you’ll have a bit of wind on your wedding day so you can get the photos you want.
    I always wanted a fingertip length veil. Not so long as to be in the way, but long enough to cover my hair (I have waist length hair). I got it at Michaels for $25 and attached it to a fancy comb from Claire’s ($15). I was very pleased with it on my wedding day. Not juvenile at all (that consultant was probably trying to get you to spend more money).

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Emily, Guest @ 1:17 pm

    Do we think there is any point in a longer veil if 90-100% of your wedding and photos will be inside? No wind blowing :\

  6. Member
    cowpoke06 132 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:24 pm

    Oh my gosh, I’m in the same boat as you! I actually wanted a birdcage veil and bought one from a bee in the classifieds. When I went with my mom and stepdad back to the dress store to see my dress, my mom insisted I try on a veil. When they put a cathedral length veil on me, my stepdad almost cried. Even more telling was the fact that he didn’t even care that particular veil cost $400!

    Soooo…I’m going to be a two veil bride, lol. I love the birdcage but I’ll never get wear a big gorgeous veil again. I’m going to buy one on Etsy or used however, because there is no way I’m spending $400!

  7. Member
    courtoni 177 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:39 pm

    I bought my dress online so I’m not sure if I can go into a bridal salon to try on veils? You obviously have to see the whole package when deciding.

  8. Member
    fzesguer 1090 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:52 pm

    That’s kinda mean that the dress consultant said shorter veils look juvenile. It’s a matter of style, and unless you were of the same opinion and brought it up first, she shouldn’t have said that.

    I believe dress consultants should respect the bride’s sense of style, whether the bride voices what she likes or not. For example, I’m short and plus sized, and I’m dead set on a ballgown, and I don’t care if it’ll make me look plumper/shorter. If a consultant mentions the word “cupcake”, I’m walking out the door.

  9. Member
    anemonie 1578 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:04 pm

    Loved my veil. I feel like it really escalates you from girl-in-white-dress to Bride. And when else do you get to wear a veil? I ordered it at the same time I bought my dress: raw edge, waterfall length, single layer, diamond white.

    The “waterfall” length is what the consultant told me it was called, but I’ve since also heard it called ballet, waltz, and knee length. Apparently there is some confusion in Wedding World about that one.

  10. mstreasure Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:04 pm

    Love that you’re going with a long veil! I wore a chapel-length veil, and I absolutely loved it. You only get one day to wear a veil, so you might as well rock it!

  11. Member
    anemonie 1578 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:08 pm

    Oh, and let’s not forget the bump-it veil! The reason I had to order mine is that they had almost the one I wanted in store, except it had a weird “bump” in the fabric that stuck straight out behind my head. I think it’s technically called a bouffant veil.

  12. Member
    ZoetheMrs 907 posts, Busy bee @ 2:16 pm

    For most of the time before my wedding I was totally set on a long, cathedral-length veil. It’s what I tried on with my dress when I bought it, and I thought it was perfect. But just a couple months before the wedding, when I was actually buying veils, I tried on a ballet-length veil and I LOVED it! It basically ended a little below the backs of my knees, which was perfect for my dress. It had a train that was all lace, definitely the most showstopping part of the dress, and the veil ended where all that lace began.

  13. aardvark Member
    aardvark 1129 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:30 pm

    If there is not enough wind, you can always have someone “toss” the edge of your veil and then run out of the shot…We may or may not have done that during our photos :) you can’t really tell which ones are “real” wind and which ones had some help.

  14. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 3:14 pm

    I love the drama of long veils, and they make for some gorgeous photos!

  15. Member
    ecjohnson 157 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:08 pm

    i feel like i’m in the same boat…go long or go home!

  16. panda Member
    Mrs. Panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:56 pm

    I love longer veils but I’m not sure if they’re really appropriate for our wedding. They’re also much more insanely expensive than I ever imagined them to be. Trying to decide how much I want it… hm…

  17. bracelet Member
    Mrs. Bracelet 279 posts, Helper bee @ 10:11 pm

    I’m excited to see how things turn out!

  18. Member
    jilleeann 409 posts, Helper bee @ 10:43 pm

    I love this post, and the first two are actually my favorite. In the end I’m gunning for a birdcage veil (can’t tell you how in love with them I am). As for the dress, i’ve had it for a while and am planing to make some changes on it (can we say dip dye with silver/grey crinoline underneath?) so I’m not worried about the birdcage not working with it. However, I’m aiming for breaking the mold with this endeavor. If we’re going to do a wedding, then its going to be FUN!. You’ll find your perfect veil.

  19. hawk Member
    hawk 1117 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:33 am

    Long veils make for some gorgeous photography!

  20. graywolf Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 7:27 am

    what bad form for that consultant! but at least it helped make your decision!

  21. bluewhale Member
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 10:22 am

    @Emma20130601: haha. I would totally do the same thing if I had my veil at our apartment.

    @courtoni: I’m sure they would let you try on veils! I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t.

    @fzesguer: Yeah, I had one consultant who actually wouldn’t let me try on some dresses, because according to her they would be “too heavy”. Just let me try on the dang dress! And way to stick with your intentions. I also had a few consultants who didn’t necessarily agree with my dream of a giant dress. But I tried them on anyway! :)

    @anemonie: Gotta love the bump it :)

    @Mrs. Aardvark: Nice. If there’s no wind, I’ll put a bridesmaid on veil-tossing duty :)

    @jilleeann: Your dress sounds awesome! Is there a picture anywhere?

    @Miss Gray Wolf: Yeah… I really think she was just trying to be helpful, because she was so nice otherwise. But it was a bit of a misstep on her part.

  22. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:45 pm

    I like how it sounds a big, almost raw piece of tulle. Dreamy!

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