The ultimate guide to wedding veils

08 Jun 2017

There are so many different styles and lengths of wedding veils that it can be confusing to try and select just one. Here is our guide to picking one to suit your venue, dress, and style

Image: Scott Webb via Unsplash

You’ve purchased your dress and accessories, and now there’s only one thing left to get: the veil. But how do you decide what style and length of veil to go for? Here is our definitive guide to selecting your perfect wedding veil.


Single tier: A single tier veil trails down from its attachment point, and doesn’t have any extra sections such as a blusher.

Double tier: A double tier veil will have a blusher, which comes over the face and is raised during the ceremony and pushed to the back of the head to form a second layer.

Drop veil: A drop veil is a double tiered veil that has no attachment point and simply drapes over the head. It can be held in place with a hair band or pins.

Mantilla: A mantilla veil is a single tier veil that is made of silk, tulle, or lace with lace edging. It drapes over the head and shoulders, framing the bride’s face.

Juliet cap: A cap of material holds the veil in place, giving the bride a vintage look.

Birdcage: A birdcage veil is a very short veil that attaches to the top of the head and provides a dramatic, vintage look.


Cathedral: Cathedral length veils make a statement. They are usually around 300cm long, extending beyond the length of the train of the dress.

Church: Church or chapel length veils fall just past the hem of the wedding dress, and are perfect for formal settings.

Floor: Floor length veils should just touch the floor, with a small trailing edge.

Ballet: Ballet length veils are perfect for those who want a long veil without worrying about it getting dirty from the floor. They fall at around calf-height.

Fingertip: As the name suggests, fingertip length veils are designed to reach the bride’s fingertips. This is the most commonly worn veil length as it suits any dress and body type.

Elbow: Slightly shorter than fingertip veils, elbow length veils are neither too long nor too short. These veils are perfect for ball gown style dresses, as the veil ends where the fullness of the skirt begins.


Full lace: A full lace edge will run all the way around, framing the face with dramatic effect.


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Semi lace: A semi lace edge will run part of the way around the veil, usually around the bottom ending at the shoulders.

Satin: A satin edge will run all the way around the veil to give it more structure

Pencil: A pencil edge is usually a thin edging that runs all the way around the veil to distinguish between the dress and the veil.

No edge: Edgeless veils work well with all dresses, and are a particularly good option for shorter veils where edging would disrupt any details or patterns on the dress.

Things to remember

Venue: Consider your venue when selecting your veil. If you’re getting married outdoors, a long veil may not be the best idea: when the wind whips up you could get swept away. Longer veils are more suitable for dramatic venues such as churches.

Dress: If you’re wearing a detailed, intricate dress, then get a plain veil that will not overpower it. On the other hand, if you are wearing a plain and simple dress, then purchase an elaborate veil to add an extra layer of glamour. Your veil should never be darker than your dress; otherwise, it will be too distracting. Aim for a colour that matches your dress or is a few shades lighter.

Hair: If you’re having a hair stylist, make sure to take your veil along to your hair trial. That way, you can work together to find a hairstyle that will work perfectly with your veil.

Accessories: If your veil is quite plain, try accessorising with a sparkly pin, hair band, or tiara.

Storage: Store your veil away from daylight and, a week before the wedding, bring it out of storage to hang it. Hanging it will get rid of any creases and ensure it drapes correctly on the day. Never iron your veil, though, as the material is delicate and ironing it could leave marks, burn it, or even melt it. 

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