How to choose your wedding veil

Choosing the perfect veil length to match your wedding dress can be tricky and there is a lot of jargon out there! Be an expert in seconds with our complete veil guide

How to choose your wedding veil
Gorgeous wedding veil by Ann-Marie Faulkner

If, after months of searching, you’ve finally found your dream gown, now’s the time to find its perfect partner-in-crime: your big day veil. You will have probably discovered that this classic accessory, turned ultimate fashion statement, comes in an array of different styles. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t worry – we’re here to help you get your head around it all (pun intended!). 


Birdcage veil
Usually popular with vintage brides, this is a short, netted veil that covers all or part of your face. For a modern look, you can team this with a figure-hugging mermaid gown for a mysterious and sultry style.

Image: Luna Bea

Elbow veil
Yep, you guessed it! This stunning style falls just around your elbow and looks perfect when worn with a full-skirted gown, as it ends just as the skirt begins. 

Image: Ann-Marie Faulkner

Chapel veil
A veil that ends at the bottom of the gown, or a couple of inches further. Totally gorgeous and dreamy, this is a failsafe way of creating a romantic, ethereal look

Image: Britten Weddings

Shoulder veil
Measuring around 20 inches in length, this style grazes or slightly covers your shoulders. Wearing your hair in a pretty updo? This length will look super-cute pinned at the back.

Image: Ann-Marie Faulkner


Fingertip veil
Kate Middleton brought this look back with a bang for the Royal Wedding. Timeless and elegant, this will suit most bridal looks without being too statement. 

Image: Viktor & Rolf 

Cathedral veil
Fashion lovers, this is for you – cathedral is the longest style of veil, trailing well beyond the gown. Not one for the faint-hearted, this will create a seriously dramatic impact and will look unbelievable in your photos.  

Image: Olivia the Wolf

Veil vocabulary
Be a bridal veil expert with this cheat sheet!

  • Blusher The shorter part of the veil that traditionally rests in front of the face and is lifted by the person giving the bride away.
  • One tier or two A two-tier veil is usually a blusher and a longer veil combined and is more voluminous than a single tier.
  • Juliet cap Fashionistas, this one’s for you! A veil with a cap worn by the likes of Lily Allen, Kate Moss and Grace Kelly.
  • Mantilla Pronounced man-tee-ya, this is a seriously romantic lace-edged style, that’s normally worn flat and on top of the head.
  • Drop veil An oval-shaped veil that looks like it’s been ‘dropped’ over the top of your head.
  • Ballet Falls below thefingertips, then tiers down in different lengths towards the ground. 

Want more? Here are 13 romantic veils that will make you swoon and 12 something blue wedding shoes

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