Wedding Veil; Everything you need to know

A Wedding veil is an absolute completion accessory. If you have watched any wedding shows like “Say Yes to the dress” you will notice that on most occasions, once that veil is put on, the bride’s doubt instantly goes away and most actually cries. From tulle, organza, illusions, lace, floral appliques, embellishments, or beaded detailing, the choice is entirely up to you. The veil ties everything together while giving the gown a perfect touch.

Think about how wedding attires have changed throughout history, but the wedding veils have definitely stood the test of time. This is probably because the veil brings such an ethereal, romantic, or fun look that gives the bride that special feeling.

History behind wedding veil

Let’s get the common theory out of the way. Supposedly to frighten or keep evil spirits away, the veil was used by the bride as a disguise. The Roman brides would wear a fire or flame-designed veil so as to frighten away vindictive spirits.

In ancient Mesopotamia and Persian cultures, a husband-to-be was required to cover a veil over his bride’s face in order to declare that she now was his wife. Besides, it was stated in the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi in 1790 B.C. that only high-class, free women were allowed to wear a veil when getting married while slaves, low-class women, and prostitutes were forbidden to be veiled.

There is a theory that because the veil covered the bride to an extent she couldn’t see, this is what consequently led to the parent escorting the bride down the aisle.

Another theory is that the veil symbolized modesty, and in many religions, the white wedding symbolized chastity.

The white Veil gained popularity after the wedding of Queen Elizabeth to Prince Albert. Queen Elizabeth wore a simple wedding gown and a white veil, However, Today the wedding veil is not associated with any superstitions and is simply used as an accessory to amplify the gown and the overall look.

Types of wedding veil

There are plenty of options to choose from to fulfill whatever desires you have. Truthfully, the veil is the best accessory you can have, and although the veil looks best when it is coordinated with the overall look, the choice is yours.

Ethereal cathedral

Approximately 108″ Inches in length, the veil offers a regal formality and sophistication like no other length of veil. A cathedral veil acts as an extension of your dress. An extended cathedral veil can be up to 5 feet on the floor. You may customize the veil to have a finished edge to show off the cascades as you desire! Due to the length, cathedral wedding veils are designed to be worn in a grand setting where the aisle is long and wide.

Cathedral Wedding Veil
Cathedral wedding veil
Meghan Markle in Cathedral wedding veil
Meghan Markle in her wedding cathedral/regal veil

Fingertip veil

This is a medium-length veil that is approximately 36 to 45 inches long. The veil stops at the bride’s waist and brushes at her fingertips. This veil is the most complimentary veil, Compliments most gown designs as well as hairstyles.

Fingertip length wedding veil
Fingertip veil
Fingertip length veil

A flyaway veil

An 18” short-length veil with many layers that is right at the shoulders. A short, fly-away veil that is 20 inches long and lies just past the shoulders of the bride is also called a Madonna-length wedding veil. The flyaway is mostly chosen when the wedding gown has beautiful embellishments that the bride wouldn’t want to hide.

Flyaway wedding veil
Flyaway veil

Chapel/Sweep veil

This is a veil about 90 inches long and sweeps the floor. Most brides looking for formal style will go for this. They could extend some 6 to 12 inches beyond the train of the gown.

Chapel length veil with blusher
Chapel with blusher veil

Vintage/eclectic blusher

A blusher wedding veil covers the bride’s face until presented to the groom. A veil can be worn as a single layer with no blusher or double tier with the blusher. Blushers can be fully attached to the veil (known as a butterfly cut) or cut as a separate layer. A blusher does not extend to the back.

Blusher veil
Blusher veil
short Blusher veil
short Blusher veil

Birdcage veils

A birdcage veil is a short veil (4-9 inches) that covers the upper half of the face and doesn’t extend beyond that. It is usually made with an intricate net or mesh. This veil is ideal for vintage wedding dresses. The style can be manipulated in different ways.

Birdcage veil
Birdcage wedding veil
Birdcage veil
Birdcage veil

Juliet Cap Veil

Popular in the 20th century, A Juliet veil is placed on the top of the head like a cap. The Juliet cap veil looks best on quaint ball gowns or traditional wedding dresses.

Juliet vap veil
Juliet cap veil
Juliet cap veil
Modern Juliet cap veil by Nadeau bridal

Mantilla Wedding Veil

Proof that simplicity doesn’t equal boring, the mantilla veil is simple yet stylish and elegant. A mantilla veil is a Spanish pretty lace edges veil that is draped flat over the head in a simple way. It is a circular or otherwise oval veil with a beautiful trim around its perimeter, made of lace, ribbon, or beads. What’s unique about this veil is that it can also be worn as a blusher veil.

Mantilla veil
Mantilla veil
Mantilla veil
spanish mantilla veil

Ballet/Waltz Length Veil

This is a medium-length veil that can fall anywhere between the waist and ankle. The length of the ballet veil is about 45 to 60 inches, while the Walking length veil could be 60″ – 70″ Inches. This type of veil is most ideal for brides who want to wear a long veil but not a sweeping floor-length one.

waltz length veil
waltz length veil

Waterfall veil / Angel cut veil

A romantic and soft type, A cascading or waterfall veil is cut in such a way that the sides of the veil fall in a cascading style. It falls with a lot of fullness and tapers to an almost narrow bottom edge. It is cut as a triangular shape so that the fabric forms gentle waves. There are other ways cascading styles can be made.

Angel cut waterfall veil
Angel cut waterfall

The important thing to note is that these styles can be combined. For example, you can have a mantilla with a cathedral length, fingertip waltz blusher veil, cathedral blusher veil, cathedral Juliet cap veil, etc. as this is an overall look on both style and length.

Choosing your Wedding Veil

To be honest, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing a wedding veil. You can opt to choose whichever style best suits your taste. Nonetheless, here are some guides in case you are confused about how to go about choosing your veil.

Wedding dress

As we know, the wedding dress is everything to the bride. Therefore, your wedding veil should never overpower the dress rather, it should complement it. The veil is there to add a touch of beauty to your dress. Fingertip length is the most suitable for most wedding dresses due to its versatility. Elbow-length is more popular with shorter dresses. The shape and style of your dress is the utmost guide to the veil choice. The more detailed the dress, the clean and simpler the veil, the simpler the dress, the more intricate the veil.

Length of the wedding Veil

The length of the veil really just depends on the aesthetic you are going for. Lengths can range from a birdcage veil (4-9 inches) to a cathedral veil (108-120 inches). As noted above, longer veils are more dramatic and elegant while shorter veils are fun and stylish as well.  Whatever length you decide to choose, it’s important to keep in mind that a long veil will require extra care and attention. From making sure it is laid perfectly during the ceremony to the ground of the venue.

Time of the Wedding veil purchase

While the gown is the first priority, it is recommended that You select your veil three to four months before your wedding. This gives you ample time to ensure it compliments your dress.

Price of the wedding veil

When it comes to price, the options go from affordable to pricey. The more intricate the detail the higher the price. The cost might be higher than what you think. Consider your budget before settling for one.

Colour of the wedding veil

When it comes to color, the veil mostly matches the color of the dress. That is why ordering a veil separately online could be a bad idea. White tulle comes with different undertones. There is pure white with a blue undertone, a white without the blue undertone, cream with a blue undertone, a cream with a grey undertone, and cream with a brown undertone.

Wedding Veil Fabric

Fabric is very important. The secret lies on a beautifully flowy drapey fabric that will fall graciously around you. Bridal illusion net, Silk chiffon, Organza, English net, Silk tulle, Polyester chiffon, Glimmer illusion are the most favorite fabrics to make wedding veils. China silk is beautifully flowy but inexpensive. Silk and polyester chiffon are options if you want more opaque veils. Organza is almost like chiffon but it is more transparent and best for a heavily embroidered veil as the base fabric. Bridal Illusion is the most preferred fabric for veils – it is a nylon net that is very soft and drapey. English silk tulle, as well as French silk tulle, are softer than a bridal illusion but more expensive. French tulle is the most luxurious and flowy. Keep in mind that tulle is delicate and fragile. 

Venue to suit the length of the wedding veil

Having gone through the lengths, you know how important the venue is. Fingertip is a versatile choice for a range of different venues, from the church to a beach or garden wedding.

Hairstyle to determine style of wedding veil

Just like the dress, your hairstyle is really important when choosing a wedding veil. The longer or heavier your veil, the more supportive your bun or hairstyle will need to be. The good news is, the veil can be customized to suit your hairstyle. For instance, using cotton loops instead of a comb. A big bridal bun means the veil may need to sit above it hence the veil appearing shorter. Measure from where the veil will sit to how far you want it to fall prior to deciding on length.

Keeping all these in mind, ultimately the choice is yours, don’t compromise what you want trying to fit in the requirements.


Tania Maras



Founder & Editor

My name is Queen. This blog is a back love platform showcasing African fashion, beauty, art, lifestyle, opportunities, and Mental Health. I like to call it Africa through my eyes. These as well topics around the globe.

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