Wedding Veils

Bride with bouquet and veil

Veils for a wedding gown are the most important piece of the bride's ensemble. Brides choosing an informal wedding may not opt for a veil, but most brides still love this traditional headpiece.

Coordinate Veil With Dress

Brides typically choose their wedding dress first. The style of the gown determines the type of veil you'll be wearing. You wouldn't wear a flowing veil and ornate headpiece with an informal wedding dress. Likewise, you wouldn't want a short, simple veil with a formal designer wedding dress.

How do you know what's right for you? One way to find out is to try on veils at the same time you try on dresses. This way you can see what style of veil works best, and most bridal shops have a selection of simple veil styles available for trying on with the gowns. For the best fit, however, be sure you are wearing the same type of hairstyle you plan to wear for your wedding day so you can see just how the veil will look.

The Length

Veils come in different lengths. To determine the length that works best with your dress, you should try a few on. They are:

Cathedral length veil
  • Cathedral length: These are formal veils most often worn with wedding dresses that have a long train. The length of the veil usually exceeds the length of the dress train by at least six inches.
  • Fingertip length: This is self explanatory. A fingertip length veil is about as long as the bride's fingertips. This veil can be worn with almost any wedding dress, with the exception being dresses with hemlines that fall above the ankles.
  • Elbow length: This veil is as long as the bride's elbow. This veil can be worn with any wedding dress.
  • Shoulder length: A short veil, this one lands on the shoulders usually with a piece called a "blusher" to be worn over the bride's face. This style also goes with almost any dress.

You can also pick up headpieces with extremely short veils, sometimes called visor or birdcage veils, just meant to cover the face. These are often attached to hats, vintage hair combs, and similar, more ornate headpieces.

The Headpiece

Headpiece veil

Before purchasing, consider the headpiece which should also be chosen based on the dress. A more formal gown might require an ornate headpiece or tiara while something plain might require the veil be free of embellishments. On the other hand, a simple veil can show off an elaborate headpiece, while a fancy veil can be attached with a basic comb or band.

To choose your headpiece, first decide where you want to wear your wedding veil. Will it sit on the back of your head? If so, you'll want something light. A tiara perched on top of your head might be a bit heavier. Clips, snaps, combs, and barrettes are alternatives to traditional tiaras and floral crowns, and they may not be attached to the veil at all.

Useful Tips for Wedding Veils

Follow these useful tips for choosing a veil:

Bride in wedding salon
  • Colors should match. Don't choose an ivory veil for a white dress. Even though the difference may look slight, the contrast will show.
  • Embellishments on a veil should match those on the dress. If your dress is studded with pearls, you'll probably want pearl embellishments on the veil.
  • Make sure the weight of the headpiece and veil combined is something you can deal with. Most headpieces are secured to the head with combs. If the veil is heavy, the combs can play havoc with your hairdo.
  • If you're in love with your veil but don't feel it will be comfortable for an all-day affair, consider getting a veil with a detachable headpiece. After the wedding ceremony and pictures, you can detach the veil and wear the headpiece only. You want to feel light as you dance the evening away.

Once you choose a veil, you'll be able to choose your hairstyle. If you'll be having your hair and makeup professionally done, it would be a good idea to bring your veil to the hairdresser's with you when you go for your initial consultation. You can discuss styles in advance and perhaps try a few for your consideration.

If you'll be doing your own hair, take some time and practice with styles that work best with your veil. The last thing you want on the day of your wedding is to have to experiment with different styles.

Where to Buy Veils

While brides often purchase their veils from the salon or shop where they purchased their dress, others may not find quite the right one. In this case, check out other retailers and shops for a wider selection.

USA Bride

USA Bride features affordable veils and headpieces, along with jewelry. Styles range from single layer, fingertip-length veils with beads and lace accents to dramatic cathedral-style veils. The store offers a selection of tiaras and headbands as well.

Birdcage Veils

A birdcage veil is a short, chic, netted veil style that allows you to see clearly. At Birdcage Veils, you can choose wedding fascinators with different types of nets. Check out their video gallery to get good examples of all the cool bridal styles they offer. Owner Melody Ginn receives each email order.

Drop veil
Drop veil by Occansey Designs

Illusions Bridal

Illusions Bridal has wedding hair accessories and veils, including headpieces. These beautiful headpieces fit on the crown or the forehead. Choose a simple or more complex style to pair with your veil. They typically ship within just a couple days of the order.

Occansey Designs

Want more control over your veil design? Partner with Occansey Designs and get the exact look you want. You'll choose important details like fullness, layers, cut, and color.

Store Your Veil Carefully

Before the wedding, hang the veil in a closet, preferably away from sunlight, moths and other elements. If it came in a garment bag, you'll want to keep storing it that way for protection. After the wedding, take your veil, along with your dress, to the person preserving the dress. The veil will be stored in the same box for future generations to use.

Wedding Veils