3 Considerations when Choosing the Right Types of Wedding Veil

As a designer of wedding veils, it's no great surprise that I get brides asking me all the time, “How do I choose the right type of veil for my wedding dress”?

After all, buying a veil is usually a once in a lifetime purchase and finding the right one for your dress can be an overwhelming experience, especially since there are so many styles & lengths to choose from.

My answer is always the same, "that depends." Typically, I respond to their question with more questions because there are so many things to consider when picking the right veil for your dress. 

Bride wearing birdcage veil

Glossary of Veil Styles & Lengths

For starters, allow me to introduce you to the "language of veils" before I walk you through the top 3 things to consider when choosing the right types of wedding veils for your dress.

  • Birdcage/Blusher (9”- 11”): Perfect for unconventional brides looking for a touch of vintage glamour. Pair it with a short or tea-length dress and a ballerina bun (model pictured above is wearing Manon birdcage veil).

  • Shoulder (19” – 24”): I love this length with fullness (think retro '60's bouffant) and playful details like tiny flowers or chic bow headband. Wear it with a modern minimal gown with some fullness in the skirt to balance out the fullness at the top.
  • Elbow (28-30): Most commonly worn as a blusher veil tier (the veil that's worn over the face), elbow length veils also work well for a less formal look.
  • Fingertip (36” – 42”): As the timeless classic, the fingertip length veil works well with almost any style of wedding dress and hair. If you don't want a long veil, a fingertip veil is usually the next best bet. Whether you want to wear it with a simple A-line or ball gown with tulle skirt, it just works.
  • Waltz: 54”: Stunning with a fit and flare or mermaid dress & a great option to keep wearing while dancing. A well-designed shape is critical when choosing a waltz length veil as this length usually hits in-between the knee and mid-calf. A design that's too heavy at the bottom can really cut the line of your look, so opt for a dimensional cut that's a bit tapered for a lengthening effect.
  • Floor (60”-72"): Often the same length as the gown, lovely to complement a long, linear look if you don't want a veil that trails onto the floor, or, your dress has a heavily embellished train and you want that to take centre stage.
  • Chapel (85"-95"): A more petite version of the cathedral veil, a chapel length veil is perfect to complement a dress with a very slight train (often called a kick or sweep train, usually drags on the floor about 6-12").
  • Cathedral (108" and longer): Once thought to be more formal, a great cathedral veil adds an ethereal layer that leads the eye right down the back of the dress without cutting the line (model pictured below is wearing Romantique Lace Cathedral Veil).
Elegant and timeless, similar to the fingertip length veil, a great cathedral veil with the right styling can be paired with almost any bridal ensemble. If your dress has a train, in most cases, the perfect length will be 12-24" longer than your train.

    Top 3 Things to Consider Asking Yourself

    What silhouette is your wedding dress?

    This is a key consideration because the veil you choose needs to complement, not interrupt, your dress silhouette, or the line of your overall look. 

    To help you pinpoint the silhouette of your wedding gown, here are some popular dress shapes.

    • Mini, midi or tea-length dress: Shorter, retro vibe dresses that range from mid thigh to just above the ankle. Most fashionable with shorter veils: birdcage, shoulder or elbow length veils.

    • A-line: A classic shape that flares out from the waist to create an “A”. Pairs beautifully with almost any veil except waltz length.

    • Ball gown: A princess style silhouette that gives classic brides a cinched waist and big, “poufy” skirt. Charming with a fingertip, chapel or cathedral veil.

    • Sheath gown: A modern, straight up and down silhouette with minimal fabric. Glorious paired with elbow, fingertip, waltz or floor length.

    • Mermaid or trumpet: A sexy, body hugging silhouette that is fitted with a skirt that flares out just above the knee or mid-thigh. Striking paired with a sassy birdcage or dramatic matched with a chapel or cathedral veil.

    • Fit and flare: A flattering yet relaxed silhouette that is fitted with a skirt that flares out just under the hips giving brides the freedom to move. Stunning with a fingertip, chapel or cathedral veil (model pictured above is wearing a fit and flare gown with our Nera 3D Flower Cathedral Veil).

    Pro tip:  Make note of the distinctive lines on your dress (eg. neckline, a low back, a line where the skirt flares out at the waist or lower, ruffles, etc. For flow's sake, avoid all veils that interfere with these lines! 

    Bride pictured from the back wearing a cathedral veil with a gown that features a plunging back

    2) What are the key focal points on your dress?

    Not only does your veil have to balance the overall silhouette of your dress, it needs to accentuate and complement the style and key focal points of your gown.

    • Dress style: Does your dress have a simple, classic, modern, romantic, glamorous or vintage style? Pick a veil that exudes the vibe you're after. (insert 2-3 different LJ products to illustrate style).

    • Gown with a train: If your dress has a little or long train, choose a chapel or cathedral veil that goes beyond it like (model pictured above is wearing the Isla).

    • Low plunging back: Just because your dress has a low back doesn't mean you can't wear a veil. Make sure the veil is sheer and either falls above or below the line. Avoid using a blusher layer.

    • Gown with heavy embellishment: If your dress has a lot of beading, lace or other detail, consider going for a contrasting look with a simpler veil such as a raw edge with a touch of sparkle or a sheer bridal illusion tulle veil with satin trim. However, if your dress is simple with minimal embellishment, consider a veil that can dial up some drama such as (insert product). 

    3) Do you know how you plan to wear your hair? 

    Not to worry if you don't, but if you have an idea, feel free to share your vision with your stylist.

    If you're planning to wear your hair in a traditional bridal up-do with hair accessories, you'll likely want to position your veil low to show it off.

    On the other hand, if you're thinking of something less formal, like loose curls, you might want to add volume by positioning your veil higher up. 

    I’m confident the answers to these 3 simple questions will guide you to choose a veil that’s perfect for your dress.  

    Feeling inspired? We’re here for you!

    Get the process started by browsing and shopping our online collection of veils and more (including "Ready to Ship" items):

    Have a question or need something custom? Feel free to reach out to us via Instagram or our "Contact Us" page. 

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