Bridal Veil Options and Style Guide

A groom pulls back the veil on his bride and kisses her.

The right veil is an accessory that can transform your entire wedding day look. Traditionally, the wedding veil is a piece of a bride’s wedding attire that can be pushed back to reveal her face, top off her princess look, or just hang there in pure beauty. Historically, the veil was actually worn so evil spirits couldn’t see the bride’s face and steal her away from the groom.

If you’re thinking about accessorizing with a gorgeous veil on your special day, check out this style guide to see what type may be right for your look.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Veil Style

Before you choose the type of veil you want, there are a few things you should consider. Think about your wedding dress and how it will harmonize with the veil. You want the veil to be an enhancement, not the star of the show.Evaluate where it will hit on the dress, especially if you are wearing a strapless or a halter-style dress. The last thing you want to do is take attention away from your dress.

Think about your hairstyle and how it will go with your veil. You will want to take the veil to your hairstylist so he or she can work the veil into your chosen hair design for the wedding. If you’re planning to go with an extensive updo, you don’t want a heavy veil that will conceal the beauty of your hair.

A bride wears a lace veil with her wedding gown

If you are wearing your hair down, you can choose almost any style of veil. You just don’t want the veil to hide your entire hairstyle.

Also, think about the location where you will be married. If you are in small, confined space, a long veil with a train isn’t likely your best option. Alternatively, if you’re getting married outdoors where it might be windy, you don’t want a long veil flying around hitting your guests in the face.

You should also decide if you want a simple or embellished style of veil. Any length or type of veil can be embellished with lace, embroidery, or jewels. If your dress is embellished, you may want to shy away from an embellished veil, but it’s your style and your day, so you can add anything you want to a simple white veil for your own flair if you choose to.

Birdcage Veil

It’s got a fun name with a vintage look. The birdcage veil is usually made with tulle. These veils traditionally cover a part of the bride’s face and usually fall right above the chin. This type of veil is beautiful with short dresses when you are going for the all-over romantic, vintage style.

A bride adjusts her birdcage veil before her wedding ceremony

Blusher Veil

The blusher veil is perfect for the bride that wants the beautiful, dramatic moment when the veil is lifted to reveal her lovely face. This type of veil covers the entire face, landing at the shoulders. It’s perfect for any length of dress, whether a long train or a shorter cocktail length.

Fingertip Veil

The fingertip veil reminds many brides of royal weddings, such as the wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William. It’s a flowing, extravagant veil that reaches your fingertips. The style is long and looks beautiful in photos, but it might get in your way for dancing and socializing all night. Many brides take this veil off after the actual wedding ceremony. Long veils are best with dresses that don’t have a train so the styles don’t compete with one another to be star of the show.

Ballet Veil

This is the perfect type of veil to wear when you want a long veil, but not too long. Commonly known as the “waltz veil” or “ballerina veil,” the ballet veil is usually knee or ankle length. It doesn’t traditionally touch the ground, making it easier for you to walk and dance if you want to wear it at the reception. It is still best worn with dresses that don’t trains.

Chapel Veil

A chapel veil is the perfect length for many brides. It’s not the longest veil of choice, yet short enough to allow movement. It’s perfect for updos and dresses without trains. The chapel veil is usually a few inches longer than the dress itself. It’s traditionally worn at more formal weddings, and many brides choose to take it off before the wedding reception. Although it’s short enough to walk in, dancing in a chapel veil might be difficult as guests try to navigate around it without bringing you down.

Cathedral Veil

The cathedral veil is traditionally one that expresses beauty and elegance. It’s mostly seen at formal weddings, and it flows at least 20 centimeters past a train of a dress. That being said, before you choose a cathedral veil to go with your dress that has a train, make sure the two complement one another. This veil looks beautiful in photos, and it can extend up to nine feet making a cascading look.

A bride models a cathedral veil as she walks with her father

Elbow Veil

An elbow veil is a gorgeous, yet lighter look for your big day. It’s flattering for any woman to wear and it falls to the elbows. The best thing about this type of veil is it won’t compete with a short or long gown. It looks good with just about anything. It’s usually without hassle as you aren’t fighting with it to get out of your face all day and night. Embellishments are perfect for this type of veil as well.

Flyaway Veil

Drama and style come together with a flyaway veil. This type of veil falls right at or below the shoulders. It offers volume and a vintage look to any type of dress. This type of veil isn’t as formal as some others, so it is traditionally worn in a more informal wedding.

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