mother of the bride attaching brides veil

In ancient Greece, the bride's veil covered her from head to toe. Whilst her face was veiled, it represented her innocence and purity. Only after the vows had been spoken was the veil lifted for the first kiss, celebrating the couple's first moment as husband and wife.

Wedding veils these days are more fashionable than symbolic, with its style and length determined by what a bride wants to wear.

Some brides choose to wear a veil only at the ceremony and others choose to wear it throughout the entire wedding, pulled back off her face of course.

Don't immediately buy your veil when you get your wedding dress. Give yourself time to consider how you will wear your hair and what you want to wear in your hair.

How you wear your hair on your wedding day will affect the style of veil you choose. Some veils are designed to be worn on the top of your head and others at the back. First you need to decide if you want your wedding hairstyle to dictate the veil you choose or if your headpiece and veil will dictate how you will wear your hair.

Veils Come In All Shapes And Sizes

Ballerina veil: Also known as the waltz veil, walking veil or princess length veil. This is a tier of veiling hangs between the calf of your leg or ankle. Popular during the 1970's.

Wedding Veil Styles

via Auckland Weddings

Birdcage veil: Also known as madonna veil or french net veil, this veil is attached to a small metal comb and sits just below the chin, covering the face. The edges can be gorgeously trimmed in peals. Similar to a fascinator.

Birdcage Veil StyleBirdcage Veil Style

Percy Hand Made

Blusher or shoulder length veil: A single-layer veil that sits at the shoulders and covers the bride’s face as she enters the ceremony, and then is pushed back over her head or removed. A blusher veil is usually worn layered over a longer back veil.

Blusher Veil

Bubble veil: This chic veil is one layer doubled to create a bouffant style that sits under the shoulders. Works best with an up hair style at the back of the head.

Bubble Veil Style

Veils and Headpieces

Cathedral veil: A very dramatic veil that will cover the entire dress at the back and falls approximately three metres from the headpiece. Ornamentation on the cathedral veil should cover the end third of the veil, the part that drags along the ground. Brides often remove a cathedral veil after the wedding ceremony and replace it with a shorter veil to avoid whip lash from unsuspecting wedding guests standing on the back of it. The most memorable cathedral veil was worn by Lady Di on her wedding day.'

Cathedral VeilCathedral Veil

Lauren Peele Photography & Erich Mcvey

Chapel veil: About one metre shorter than the cathedral veil and barely scrapes the floor. This veil is often worn with a sweep train to give the illusion of a longer train and also coordinates well with a chapel train. The chapel veil was popular with brides in the 1930's.

Chapel VeilChapel Veil

Percy Hand Made

Elbow veil: Usually a multiple layered veil that extends to your elbows.

Elbow VeilElbow Veil

Winsome and Wright & Coco Tran

Fingertip veil: Extend to the fingertips and floats around you like a cape. A fingertip veil works well with ball gown style wedding dresses. This veil can be worn as a single layer or doubles with a blusher veil. Fingertip veils were popular during the 1940's and 1950's.

Fingertip Veils

via Auckland Weddings

Mantilla: A long, romantic style circular piece of lace or lace trimmed tulle that frames the face and is secured by a comb. As the fabric of the Mantilla veil is less transparent than tulle or chiffon any back beading or detail of your wedding dress will be mostly obscured by the fabric. This veil looks stunning with a simpler wedding dress and was very popular in the 1990's. This veil can be removed or pinned to the side after your wedding ceremony.

Mantilla VeilMantilla Veil

Sibo Designs

Pouf: A short, gathered veiling that attaches to a headpiece or comb at the top of the head to add height to the veil. A pouf veil is usually worn with a less formal wedding dress.

Pouf Veil

Heather Rothe

No veil: If the veil doesn’t suit you or the style of your wedding dress, simply do not wear one! You might prefer to wear a a simple fresh flower fastened in the hair, crystal hair clips, satin bows, gorgeous feathers, hair jewels or a head band.

If religious reasons requires you to wear a veil during the wedding ceremony and you want to remove it afterwards, then ask someone before your wedding day who has a flair for hair styling to remove the veil and secure any other wedding hair ornaments for you.

Wedding Dress Detail

Vicki Grafton Photography

The Cut

Veils are cut either circular, square or angel cut. The angel cut veil forms a gentle point in the back with wide sides, creating a look of angels’ wings. Circular and square cut veils can be any length and attach to the head with a flat comb to keep the veil in place. Worn long, this veil will create an ethereal look with the bride swathed in a cloud of tulle.

Veil Fabrics

Bridal Illusion: A very fine, soft nylon veil that is the most common veil fabric because it hangs nicely.

Tulle: Slightly heavier, stiffer fabric

Point D'esprit: A courser mesh with a dotted Point design.

Russian or French veiling: a stiff diamond shaped mesh used mostly in Birdcage veils and fascinators.

Fashion Tips For Choosing Your Veil

Balance an ornate wedding dress with a plain veil and add detail to a simple gown with a more elaborate veil. Any ornamentation on the veil should start where the ornamentation on your wedding dress ends. Veils can be decorated with Swarovski crystals, pearls, beading or lace.

The edge of a veil can be left raw, have a stylish satin ribbon or cord trim or an elegant lace or beaded trim. Edging your veil isn't always the best choice Take a look at where the veil hangs and consider if the trim creates too much of an obvious line across your centre. This can make you appear shorter. An unfinished tulle veil might be the better choice.

Wedding Veil StylesWedding Veil Styles

Allure Bridals

You don't need to match the ornamentation on your wedding dress and veil, choose decoration that complements each other. Keep in mind crystals reflect light better than sequins or rhinestones and won't look like black dots in wedding photos.

Veils don't suit all wedding dress styles. More modern styles such as Kimono or Grecian style, silk chiffon wedding dresses look better without. Choose gorgeous hair accessories instead such as hair jewellery, a tiara, fresh or silk flowers or a bridal headband.

Editors Tip:

Most brides choose to remove the veil at the end of the formalities, Don't try this alone! Always ask a competent friend or scan your guest list for any hairdressers to help you remove the veil without spoiling your hairstyle.

Removing your veil will change the overall look so you need to decide if the veil is to be a feature of your wedding dress, and you still feel the bride without it.

Share to Facebook Tweet Pin It Email