How to Choose a Wedding Veil

A black bride and groom posing after their wedding with a veil swirling around them.

Are you looking for the perfect veil to match your dream wedding day? Because there are so many options to consider, choosing this ever-so-important accessory can be difficult. There is an almost endless supply of styles and lengths available and no such thing as a simple buying guide. Not to mention the fact that it is unlikely you have much experience buying a wedding veil. There are probably a dozen questions swirling in your mind. How do you know which one will complement your dress best? What will highlight your features most? Will it get in the way if it’s too long? Is a veil even necessary at all?

Choosing a veil can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep the following tips in mind as you start your search for a wedding veil.

Decide if a Veil Is Right for You

Before you can choose a wedding veil, you need to decide whether you actually want one. Many brides opt to forgo this accessory for one reason or another. Brides planning an outdoor wedding, for example, may be worried about a veil’s functionality in the wind. Others prefer to show off their hair instead of cover it up.

On the flip side, veils can greatly enhance your overall appearance. They are traditional and often make a beautiful addition to wedding day photos. Many photographers find ways to creatively incorporate veils into their shoot. Ultimately, however, the decision is yours. Spend some time considering the benefits and drawbacks before making the choice. The most important thing is that you are comfortable.

Choose the Right Length

A bride sitting in a black classic car and wearing an elbow-length veil.

One of the most important aspects of a wedding veil is the length. When you take your first trip to the dress shop, make sure you try on several different styles—birdcage, blusher, ballet, chapel, and cathedral are some popular options. While you want your veil to complement your dress selection, you also want it to suit your silhouette. Eliminate options as you discover they do not work and then try another.

It’s also a good idea to try on veils that are made by your specific designer. Many dress makers will tailor veils to match a specific gown. Your attendant should be able to pull these for you to try. If you have difficulty picking a length that suits both you and your dress, consider having one custom-made. There are many companies that take orders. They will be happy to create a veil to your exact specifications.

Choose the Right Color

A bride wearing a cream-colored dress and long veil.

Color is also important. Your goal should be to select a veil that is as close in color to your dress as possible. If you are unable to find the perfect pair at the same shop, make sure you request a swatch of fabric from your dress. You should then take this with you when shopping for your veil elsewhere.

An exact match is not completely necessary, however. This is especially true if you are using an antique veil or family heirloom. In these cases, the sentiment is more important that the aesthetic. Additionally, you should never attempt to dye an older veil. These pieces are extremely delicate and it simply is not worth the risk.

Keep Your Hair in Mind

A bride with a short birdcage veil.

When looking for the perfect wedding veil, you should also keep your hair in mind. In fact, it’s a good idea to plan how you’re going to wear your hair before making your veil selection. At the very least, you should decide whether you plan to have your hair up or down. This will greatly impact where the veil is placed and how it will need to be attached. If you plan to wear your hair down, focus your search on halo and mantilla veils, as well as bridal caps. If you want to have your hair pinned up, however, a blusher or birdcage may be more appropriate. If you can, you should also plan to bring your veil to your hair appointment. Your stylist will need to place and secure it for you.

Embellish Appropriately

Veils can be embellished with various items including sequins, silk flowers, rhinestones, and ribbon. Just because you enjoy these features, however, does not mean you should opt for them. Instead, make this decision based on your dress. If your gown is already embellished, it’s probably wiser to pick a simpler veil. In this case, a busy accessory may actually detract from the beautiful details on your dress.

Conversely, minimalist attire can often be improved with more extravagant accessories. If your dress is simple, consider experimenting with veil embellishments to spruce things up. Make sure you stick to specific design themes, though. Do not stray too far from the color of your dress and avoid selecting features that contrast together such as pearls and sequins.

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