The Ultimate 2024 Guide to Bridal Veils: Know Every Length & Style

There are countless choices to make when you are planning your wedding. The most influential decision is what you will wear on your big day. Personal style dictates most of these choices  — dress, shoes or jewelry — but one garment inspires ambivalence in many a bride.

Yes, we are here to talk about bridal veils for your wedding.

The bridal veil, with its rich symbolism and timeless elegance, is often the garment that brides have mixed feelings about. It can be challenging to navigate the different lengths and styles available and find the perfect veil that complements your overall bridal look.

These days, brides are expected to refrain from this traditional accessory entirely. Still, there are explanations for why even the most contemporary bride would like to wear a wedding veil. The most common reason is that the right veil compliments your dress and can complete your whole look.

There are numerous options for bridal veils out there on the market. Some of the most widespread styles of veils are the cathedral veil and the birdcage veil. A great source for finding veils is Etsy.

Wearing a veil or not is up to the bride and it is okay if she decides not to wear one as she enters the ceremony. 

Perfect Bridal Veils to Complement the Wedding Dress

If you do decide you want a veil, where do you start? Here’s a guide to the most popular types of veils that will help you make an informed decision.

1 Ballet Length Veil

Picture source Instagram @theweddingveilshop

The ballet-length veil is an oh-so-romantic, often lace-trimmed, option. The cover extends anywhere between your knees and ankles. It provides all the advantages found with shorter veil styles — namely, it provides a low-maintenance option that you will not step on. The extra precious and feminine look is a great choice. Wear this one high or down on the head and get at least one wedding photo of it billowing in the breeze.

2 Birdcage Veil

Picture source Instagram @twigsandhoney

These little veils measure approximately nine inches in size. They are meant to conceal only part of your face, although they can be angled to one side for more exposure. The birdcage veil’s material is often stiff structured netting.

You might see them with sheer tulle and a variety of embellishments. If you seek to glam up a retro piece, add some rhinestones. This type of veil is worn with updos as they can be connected to your hair with a headband, comb or pillbox hat, but you can work it with loose tresses, too.

3 Blusher Veil

Picture source Instagram @liahroebuck_bridal

A blusher veil refers to any light veil that attaches to the crown of the head. These veils also cover the entire face of the bride. In more traditional ceremonies, the groom will lift this type of veil once the bride has walked down the aisle. Sometimes the groom will even wait until the end of the vows before the kiss. The length of the blushers can be the chin, shoulder or waist.

Many brides decide to accompany this style with another veil. However, they can also be worn solo to rock a modern look. Either way, this veil provides a romantic touch to the bride’s wedding day ensemble.

4 Cathedral Veil

Picture source Instagram @bridalguide

You will want to wear a cathedral veil for a real fairytale wedding. The cover trails one to two feet behind the bride’s dress. It is the most extended type of veil out there (unless, of course, you are royalty). If you want a dramatic style, you should wear a cathedral veil. It should be no surprise that a cathedral-length cover is relatively high maintenance. 

The style typically requires at least one person to follow the bride. These individuals are there to prevent it from getting under the bride’s foot and assist with spreading and straightening it out.

5 Chapel Veil

Picture source Instagram

For more traditional brides, the chapel veil — a floor-length veil that extends a couple of inches beyond the hem of the dress is a go-to option. 

The choice is excellently suited for formal weddings. Still, it will add elegance and drama to virtually any full-length gown. The bride can use an A-line or sheath style. An ornate or minimalist hem style also works for this veil style. 

6 Double-Tier Veil

Picture source Instagram @feathersandflorence

The name of this veil tells you all you need to know. It has two layers, typically of different lengths. Beyond that, there aren’t any rules. A double-tier runs the gamut; you can find these in many different styles. The most common double-tier veil is a blusher attached to a second veil. You can wear these at the elbow, cathedral or between the two lengths.

7 Drop Veil

Picture source Instagram @wardrobebydulcinea

A drop veil is meant to sit over the face during the ceremony. Then it is pulled back afterward to create a two-layered veil. It is a traditional choice that is particularly well suited for dreamy and vintage-style celebrations. The veil lies against the head without any gathers, creating a streamlined look with no volume or puffiness.

8 Elbow Length Veil

Picture source Instagram @blushbridalalterations

As you might have guessed, the elbow-length veil is a style that lands right at the bride’s elbows. It usually is worn high on the crown of the head and was first made famous in the 60s. This veil is for you if you are seeking a more low-key aesthetic with an understated retro vibe. It is also perfect for those who prefer to avoid fussing over a long trailing style. An elbow-length veil will never get stepped on or become cumbersome when the bride walks down the aisle.

9 Fingertip Length Veil

Picture source Instagram @theweddingveilshop

The universal veil on our list is the fingertip length cover. As it sounds, this veil hits roughly around where the bride’s fingertips reach. The location is right around the hip area and the style is a nice compromise between a shorter elbow-length veil and a dramatic floor-length number. This style works well for casual and formal weddings. It’s also a neutral class that can be paired with nearly any dress or hairdo.

10 Juliet Cap Veil

Picture source Instagram @larcabarcelona

This one gets its name from how it fits the head’s top. It has a shrouded crown and covers part of the forehead. It is similar to a cloche hat and with a 1920s feel. As such, the veil is best with vintage-inspired wedding dresses. However, it can also work well with bohemian themes, à la Kate Moss.

11 Mantilla

Picture source Instagram @madametulle

This distinguished style of the veil was first seen in Spain and consisted of a single layer of fabric. The typical trim cover uses a lace material attached just a few inches from the hairline. It fits flat over the head and drapes over both shoulders. Mantillas are a characteristic of the country’s Catholic tradition. They were worn by brides and by all women when attending mass.

In the context of a wedding, wearing a mantilla veil might provide an added layer for a bride concerned with modesty. If you are wearing a dress with no bare shoulders or for religious or personal reasons, this is an excellent choice. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between a Cathedral and Chapel Veil?

The chapel veil is smaller at 50 inches compared to the cathedral veil. The fabric also means no extra support is required.

What Kind of Wedding Dress Goes with a Birdcage Veil?

A tea or mini dress usually pairs best with birdcage veils. Playsuits and short trousers help achieve an ultra-chic look with birdcage designs between 8 and 18 inches. 

What is the Purpose of a Bride’s Veil?

The veil symbolized modesty and loyalty. In some religions, the cover on a women’s head symbolizes remembrance. White wedding dresses symbolize chastity and the bridal veil is meant to add to this type of modesty. 

Are Veils In or Out for 2023?

In 2022, pearl details on veils reigned supreme. However, crystals have already been seen on the horizon.

When Should a Bride Wear a Veil?

Many brides will opt to wear their wedding veil throughout the wedding ceremony or even during the reception. It all depends on you. If you love this veil, you can wear it anywhere you prefer.

Final Thoughts

The bridal details, like a birdcage veil for the wedding day, can depend upon the experience the bride wants to have. When the husband pulls the veil back from her face, it presents a remarkable experience. The love shown on the first kiss is phenomenal and often provides the intended results at the ceremony. But there are many ways to present the first kiss. It is all up to the couple’s preferences. 

Also, you shouldn’t miss these other related posts for a stunning look on your wedding day:

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