bride in wedding dress

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Veils

Once you have found the perfect wedding dress, it is time to decide on the quintessential finishing touch for your bridal look, a veil. Wedding veils are the one bridal accessory that is guaranteed to make you feel like a bride from the moment you put it on. And yes, just like wedding dresses, veils come in various shapes, colors, and details. We know it can be challenging to decide which is best to complete your bridal look, so we created this ultimate guide to wedding veils to help you figure it out.

From plain to beaded, short, and dainty to long and dramatic, there are tons of different types of veils to choose from. And each veil offers a distinctive look that works best with different kinds of wedding gowns, hairdos, and bridal accessories. Today, we will guide you through all of the ins and outs of bridal veils to ultimately help you fall in love with the perfect veil. Your goal is to find the veil that will compliment your wedding dress and achieve the look you are after, whether that is traditional, boho, or bold.

Ultimate Guide to Understanding Wedding Veil Lengths

Birdcage Veil

This type of veil is excellent if you are trying to achieve a vintage look on your wedding day. A birdcage is a short face veil, generally 4” – 9” inches in length. It is a sassy, vintage style bridal veil that can simply cover your eyes or long enough to cover from your forehead down to your chin.

Bride wearing birdcage veil

Blusher Veil (Also referred to as Shoulder Length)

A blusher veil is the most versatile veil style as it looks great with any hairstyle. It is typically 30” in length and is intended to fall to your shoulder gently. Generally, a blusher veil is simple in design (not a lot of detail) and works perfectly for a bride that doesn’t want to ditch the “veil tradition” but also doesn’t want anything too over-the-top. A blusher is also the term for a veil that drapes over the bride’s face that the husband would lift for the first kiss as husband and wife. To achieve this, you will need a two-layer veil, one layer being the blusher.

Bride wearing blusher veil

Elbow Length Veil

An elbow-length veil in another beautiful option for brides that want a short and simple veil. These veils are 32” in length and can be plain tulle, have a beaded, ribbon, or lace edge. They can be one layer or two, including a blusher. An elbow-length veil looks amazing with A-line wedding dresses and can be a great way to cover your shoulders to meet church requirements.

Bride wearing elbow length veil

Photo credit: Victoria’s Queen

Fingertip Veil

Possibly one of the most loved wedding veils, the fingertip veil falls just below the bride’s hip. This type of veil can have a variety of embellishments such as lace or beaded edge, scattered crystals all over, or be completely plain. Fingertip veils are 38” – 40” in length. It just depends on if you want a simple veil, lace, some sparkle, or ribbon edge. Fingertip veils look great with ballgowns, A-line, and even fitted gowns. You truly can’t go wrong with this type of veil.

Bride wearing fingertip veil

Knee Length Veil

If you want a veil that adds an element of drama without being too fancy or heavy you may prefer a knee-length veil. They are generally 48” in length when purchased but can easily be shortened by your local seamstress to hit at the right length to be at “your” knee (you know because all brides aren’t the same height). A knee-length veil creates an elegant and romantic bridal look without a lot of fuss.

bride wearing knee length veil

Photo credit: Etsy

Ballet Veil (Sometimes known as Waltz length)

If you are a bride that wants a dreamy and romantic veil that you can wear during the reception, a ballet or waltz length veil is a perfect choice. The ballet veil is designed to fall behind the head down to mid-calf (approximately 60”). It creates the most magical and elegant look for both ceremony and reception.

bride wearing ballet veil

Photo credit: Bella Mera Bridal

Floor Length Veil

Yep! You guessed it. This veil is just as the name indicates – a veil that stops at the floor (doesn’t drape onto the floor). A floor-length veil is a simple piece of tulle that is shaped and designed to gracefully brush the floor. When purchased this veil will be 78”, and may need to be altered to your height. A floor-length veil looks stunning with slip dresses and sheath style wedding dresses.

Bride wearing floor length veil

Chapel Length Veil

Chapel length veils are extremely popular with many brides and look amazing with traditional gowns, boho gowns, and simple dresses. It is shaped and created at 90” long and is intended to gently sweep across the floor. The design of a chapel length veil is to extend slightly beyond your train. The vibe that you get from a chapel veil is classic and romantic.

Bride wearing chapel length veil

Cathedral Length Veil

We know that understanding how a cathedral veil differs from a chapel veil can be difficult. For brides, these two types of veils can appear to be the same. And while they do have some likeness there is one major difference.

If you want a dramatic, ultra-regal, and traditional bridal look when you walk down the aisle get a cathedral length veil. These cathedral veils are the most glamorous as they are 108” – 120” long. They are designed to extend past the length of your train. Most experts say that a cathedral veil should extend at least an additional 5” past your train, not just match the length of it. This creates an ultra-glamorous and dramatic effect.

bride wearing cathedral length veil

Photo credit: Tania Maras

Waterfall Veil (Angel Wing Veil)

Bride wearing waterfall veil

An Angel wing or waterfall veil is probably our favorite of all wedding veils. The angel wing veil is one of the most romantic veils of all. You can get a waterfall veil in a variety of lengths (elbow-length, fingertip, ballerina length, or cathedral) and they look absolutely stunning with many different wedding dress styles.

What makes a waterfall or angel wing veil so dreamy? It’s the way that the tulle is cut and shaped to create the veil. Typically, when a delicate tulle is cut for any veil it is done so without much shape or design – the sides of the veil fall from the hair comb straight down without much flow or rhythm.

But a waterfall veil is different. The sides of this veil are crafted and shaped in a way that allows the romantic tulle to cascade down from the hair comb in a beautiful back-and-forth or wavy design. What makes the waterfall veil so lovely is that it frames the face with a soft wavy design that allows the bride’s inner beauty to shine.

Wedding Veil Details and Embellishments

Most wedding veils can be ordered or purchased with a variety of embellishments. It just depends on your personal style and what looks best with your wedding dress. Here is a list of some of the details or embellishments you can expect to find on a veil.

Raw Edge

A raw edge is simply a piece of tulle that has been cut in the shape and length of the veil style and left unfinished. These types of veils can be any length and add a completely romantic look to any bride. We love the way that the raw edge seems to disappear and doesn’t take away from the bride’s beauty.

bride wearing raw edge veil

Photo credit: ieie Bridal

Pencil Edge

This is a lovely veil design that simply has a fine sewn edge that gives just a tiny bit of definition to the edge. A pencil edge veil looks great with any type of wedding gown and is really popular.

Bride wearing pencil edge veil

Ribbon Edge

Just as the name implies, a ribbon edge veil has a thin ribbon trim sewn onto the tulle. This ribbon can come in a variety of widths from really thin to thick and bold.

bride wearing ribbon edge veil

Photo credit: Bella Mera Bridal

Lace Edge

This is probably one of the most popular edges for wedding veils. Lace trim is added along the edge of the tulle and looks traditional and romantic. There are thousands of different types of lace patterns that you will find available online and in boutiques. The key to wearing a lace edge veil is to buy one that closely resembles the lace on your wedding dress. New modern lace veils also have lace appliques scattered at the bottom of the veil creating a beautiful detail.

bride wearing lace edge veil

Photo credit: Bella Mera Bridal

Pearl Edge

Tiny pearls are placed together and lined all the way around the veil creating a breathtaking look.

bride wearing pearl edge veil

Photo credit: Dareth Colburn

Rhinestone Edge

For brides that want to add a little sparkle to their bridal look, a rhinestone edge veil is a great choice. Individual rhinestones are glued to the edge of the veil creating a beautiful and dazzling effect.

bride wearing rhinestone edge veil

Photo credit: Bella Mera Bridal

Conclusion

No matter what style of wedding dress you choose, adding a veil is a great way to put the finishing touch on your bridal style. But don’t get us wrong, in modern times many brides choose not to wear a veil at all opting on for some hair accessories such as combs, headbands or flower crowns, etc. Either way, stay true to your own personal style and you will look and feel amazing on your wedding day. Are you ready to find the perfect wedding veil, click here to shop and find some amazing deals!