To veil or not to veil - that is the question!

Veils can signify so much to a bride and can also be a great accessory to compliment your bridal hair, but choosing the right bridal veil length and type for you can be a bit of a headache!

A veil is one of the most iconic bridal accessories. From the birdcage to the grande cathedral veil, we’re sure there is a veil style for every bride.

Beautiful bride wearing romantic veil. Hair & Makeup by BEYOU weddings
Photography by Irenak Photography
Dress by The Bridal Edit
Accessories by Britten Weddings
Hair & Makeup by BEYOU weddings
Photography by Irenak Photography
Dress by The Bridal Edit
Accessories by Britten Weddings

Don’t write off your veil potential just yet, as we’ve put together the ultimate guide to compliment your vibe. You can also take a look at some of our beautiful brides on our Inspiration Board, and see if any of our real weddings and brides can inspire your look for your big day too.

Beautiful bride wearing romantic veil. Hair & Makeup by BEYOU weddings
Photography by Irenak Photography
Dress by The Bridal Edit
Accessories by Britten Weddings
Hair & Makeup by BEYOU weddings
Photography by Irenak Photography
Dress by The Bridal Edit
Accessories by Britten Weddings

Guide to Different Bridal Veil Types and Lengths

Choosing the perfect veil is an important part of pulling together your bridal look. With so many options for lengths, fabrics, trims and more, it can feel overwhelming to select the right veil style for your wedding vision. Use this bridal veil buyer’s guide to understand the most popular veil types and lengths to find your dream wedding veil.

Veil Types

Single Layer Veils: This classic veil style features one single layer of transparent fabric that drapes beautifully behind the bride. Single layer veils showcase dress details and are easy to style.

Two Layer Veils: Also known as a blusher veil, these veils have two separate sheer layers - a shorter top layer and a longer back layer. The blusher can be pulled down over the face during the ceremony for a dramatic reveal moment.

Birdcage Veils: A short decorative veil covering just the face, birdcage veils have a vintage, glam vibe. They are often embellished with feathers, flowers or rhinestones along the trim.

Beautiful bride wearing romantic veil over face

Bridal Veil Lengths

Short Veils:

  • Shoulder Length (20 inches): Just kissing the shoulders, this length is great for showing off dress details up top.
  • Elbow Length (25 inches): Falls just past the elbows with a touch more flow than shoulder length.

Medium Veils:

  • Waist Length (30 inches): Grazes the waist with ends around natural waistline on most gowns.
  • Hip/Wrist Length (36 inches): More coverage than waist length, hip veils cascade beautifully around arms with fluid movement.
  • Fingertip Length (42 inches): One of the most popular lengths, fingertip falls just past brides' fingertips for an elegant flow.

Long Veils:

  • Waltz/Ballet Length (60 inches): Reaching the calves or ankles, waltz length is great for keeping on while dancing at receptions.
  • Floor Length (78 inches): Just dusting the floor, floor length veils extend past gowns without trains for drama.
  • Chapel Length (96 inches): The top choice for full length veils, chapel length complements trains for a flawless finish.
  • Cathedral Length (114 inches+): The longest traditional veil length, cathedral veils trail behind the longest wedding gown trains.
Beautiful bride wearing ballet length veil. Bridal look by the Butterfly Hair and Makeup styling team.
Bridal look by the Butterfly Hair and Makeup styling team

Although a veil might not be your first thought (don’t worry, it normally isn’t!) speak to your professional hair stylist to see if they can incorporate a veil into your look, it’s always worth a try!

It’s important to remember your dress's style and if you have a veil in mind or have already brought it, take it along to your hair trials to ensure you are happy with the fitting.
Choosing the right veil is the finishing touch to your bridal transformation.

Browse through our veil guide to see which wedding veil style might suit you:

Bandeau Veils

These are the short in length similar to a birdcage veil but attached to the side of the head and are usually worn just so they cover your eyes or extending down to the chin. They give a lovely vintage feel to your bridal look.

Beautiful bride wearing bandeau veil. Image Credit: Typorama (Photographer: Juan Gomez).

Top Tip:  Keep it short...add a vintage wave or finger curls. If you have longer hair try a side bun.

Shoulder-length veils

The clue is in the name and can end anywhere from your shoulders to the middle of the back. This veil is popular as a two tiered option and can be considered modern look for a fashion-forward bride.

Image of bride wearing shoulder length veil. Image Credit: Typorama.
Image Credit: Typorama.

Top Tip: Keep it high...a glamorous high bun with plenty of volume will compliment this veil.

Fingertip length veils

If you’re after a touch of royalty than the unforgettable Kate Middleton style veil is the one for you. The fingertip veils are around 40” long and designed to fall lightly at your fingertips. Choose a lace trim detail for a romantic edge.

Beautiful bride wearing fingertip length veil. Makeup by Powder and Paint
Photography by Melanie East
Makeup by Powder and Paint
Photography by Melanie East
Beautiful bride wearing fingertip length veil. Makeup by Leanne O'neille
Hair by Mode Bridal
Photography by Katie Ingram
Makeup by Leanne O'neille
Hair by Mode Bridal
Photography by Katie Ingram

Top Tip:  Anything goes...this is a popular veil length that pairs beautifully with all bridal hairstyles but we particularly like it with a softly styled updo.

Ballet length veil

The great thing about the ballet length veil, also be known as the waltz veil, is that you can dance the night away in it as it falls just between your knees and ankles.

Beautiful bride wearing ballet length veil
Image Credit: Typorama

Top Tip: Keep your vibe ultra modern with a sleek chic bun or go pretty and romantic by wearing your hair all down with a soft wave.

Chapel length veil

Here comes the big ones. The romantic chapel length veil drapes all the way to the ground but does not include a train.

Beautiful bride wearing chapel length veil. Hair and makeup by Ellie Norman Makeup Photography by Eloise Nurse
Veil by Eden B. Studio
Hair and makeup by Ellie Norman Makeup
Photography by Eloise Nurse
Veil by Eden B. Studio

Beautiful bride wearing chapel length veil
Hair by The Artful Hairstylist
Photography by Tom and Lizzie Redman

Top Tip: A half up hairstyle is perfectly complimented with a chapel length veil.

Cathedral length veil

The grandest of them all. The cathedral length veil is without a doubt the most beautiful veil to photograph and the magnificent to wear - you are sure to be feeling like royalty! Just make sure you have your bridesmaids close by for perfect touch-ups and pick-ups throughout your day. 

Beautiful bride wearing cathedral length veil. Makeup by Artist Leanne O'Neill
Photography by Katie Ingram
Dress and Veil by Tilly Trotters
Makeup by Artist Leanne O'Neill
Photography by Katie Ingram
Dress and Veil by Tilly Trotters
Makeup and Hair by Melissa Clare
Photography by Helen Sarah Pictures
Makeup and Hair by Melissa Clare
Photography by Helen Sarah Pictures

Top Tip: Anything goes but we love it when this veil is worn with a wild and wonderful flower crown.

Choosing the Right Bridal Veil for Your Wedding Dress

As a general rule of thumb, your veil should accentuate and complement your wedding dress without taking away any details from your dress. There are plenty of styles and materials to also choose from and if you choose to wear a veil, it must be in keeping with the formality and style of your dress and venue.

Beautiful bride wearing veil over her head. Makeup by Leanne O'neille
Hair by Mode Bridal
Photography by Katie Ingram
Makeup by Leanne O'neille
Hair by Mode Bridal
Photography by Katie Ingram

For weddings set in churches, it may be customary for the bride to wear a long veil that covers her shoulders whereas a beach setting or garden venue you may want a less formal and shorter veil. It is worth remembering that veils can also make excellent props for your wedding photos.

Bride having a beautiful hair style by Gavin Harvie. Photography by PJ Photography
Hair by Gavin Harvie Hair
Photography by PJ Photography

If you have any questions about your bridal hairstyle and wedding veils, contact one of our Professional Bridal Hair and Makeup Artists!

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