For your wedding day, the dress is the biggest decision for a bride. Second to the dress is the veil. It is not uncommon for brides to forgo a veil, but we have heard more brides regret NOT wearing a veil than regret wearing one. It is the icing on the cake that truly completes your bridal look. I recommend when choosing a veil consider your dress, face shape, body shape, hairstyle and wedding location.
One of the most important considerations is selecting a veil that compliments your dress. All of these factors need to be considered when you choose your veil; length, width, color, tiers, and decoration. You need to consider the style and the level of decoration on your gown. The general rule of thumb is if you have a simple dress you can wear an elaborate veil. However if your dress is very detailed, a simple veil often looks more flattering.
Very short – though not very popular right now, very short veils such as visor veils do not extend past the chin. If your bridal gown has a high neck detail, this type of veil can work well. They are a good style to pair with sophisticated or eclectic style wedding gowns.
Shoulder length- shoulder length veils are around 20 inches in length. They are perfectly suited to dresses that have bust, waist, or lower back details. However, they are often too informal for classic, formal dresses.
Elbow Length- approximately 25 inches long, this veil falls to around the elbow. They can work well with romantic ball gown style dresses, because they end where the fullness in the skirt begins.
Waist Length- this veil is just slightly longer then an elbow length veil at approximately 30 inches. They suit most dress styles that do not feature a train.
Fingertip Length- one of the most popular lengths, when you stretch your arm out it reaches around your fingertips. They are approximately 36 inches long and also suit the majority of dress styles.
Knee Length- a knee length veil is approximately 45 inches and reaches to around your knees. It looks good with mid calf length wedding dresses.
Floor length- often referred to as a ballet length veil, they just brush the floor at around 72 inches. They are well suited to full length gowns that do not have a train.
Chapel Length- slightly shorter then cathedral length; these veils still drape onto the floor. They are typically around 90 inches long. They are best partnered with dresses that feature a train.
Cathedral Length- the longest and therefore most formal, these veils are usually around 120 inches long and some extend up to nine feet along the ground. They work best with full length, classic wedding gowns.
Your veil needs to be a suitable color match to your wedding gown. There are several white and ivory shades, pinks, beige’s and gold. You can also choose between a regular and a shimmer finish.
You can choose between a one, two and three tier veil. The choice is largely dependent on the style of your dress. A one tier veil is suited to a sophisticated look, but a romantic dress often benefits from a two or three tier veil. Classic dresses also tend to require at least two tiers. Multiple tier veils suit simple hairstyles because your hairstyle will not be clear to view under the layers. One of the tiers is typically a blusher. This is the part of the veil that is used to cover the brides face during the start of the ceremony. Today’s bride is free to choose whether she wants a veil that covers her face or not. It’s a purely personal decision; many brides find the idea of their husband lifting their veil for the first kiss very romantic.
Veils can be finished and detailed in a variety of ways. Again this is going to depend on the style of your dress. If your dress is simple, you might like to choose a more decorative edge. Structured dresses tend to look good with thicker ribbon edges. Soft, romantic dresses tend to work well with a simple cut edge. There is 5/8 inch sheer ribbon and multiple widths of plain ribbon in a wide range of colors. You can choose to either match your veil, or utilize a contrasting color. For example, you could choose to use an accent color that your bridesmaids are wearing.
Your veil has the ability to help correct the proportions of your body shape. If you have a large bust or stomach, you will benefit from wearing a long veil that extends to fingertip length or below. This is because it will help elongate your upper body. Pear shaped women tend to suit veils that end at shoulder, elbow, or waist level. These lengths draw attention to your smaller points, rather then the width of your hips. Full figured women should ideally stick to one tier, narrow width veils, because you don’t want to add an extra volume to your body. Tall women can typically carry off longer veils, but shorter women tend to suit veils that are waist height or above.
Your choice in hairstyle plays a role in determining what sort of veil and headpiece you can carry off. A heavy head piece, long veil, or multiple tiered veil all require a supportive up-do hairstyle like a bun. A half up/half down hairstyle will work with moderate weight and length veils. If you intend on wearing your hair all down, then it is probably best to stick to lightweight or shorter designs. You also need to consider the placement position on your head. Some hairstyles suit a veil that is attached to the front of your head, but others look good with veil that is attached further towards the back. If you have short hair you will need to attach the veil towards the front of your head. However, if you have long hair and want to show off an elaborate up-do you will need to position the veil further back. Wide veils typically need to be worn towards the front of your head and veils that do not have gathers look better worn towards the back of the head. Your veil can be attached with a comb and pins or combined with a tiara, crown or headband. It is a good idea to buy your veil well in advance of your wedding date, so that you can take it along to your hair trial. When you schedule your consultation and trial-run we are happy to work with you on the specific details for your perfect hairstyle and veil placement.
You also need to give some practical consideration to selecting a veil that is suitable for your wedding location. A cathedral style veil is the ultimate show stopper if you are having a formal wedding in a large church, with several attendants. However it could be disastrous in another setting. If you are getting married in an outdoor ceremony, there are extra considerations to be mindful of. Many brides are happy to live it up for the day and aren’t worried about trailing their veil behind them in the sand at the beach, or along a dirt path in a garden setting.
You may be surprised that there are so many details to consider when choosing a veil. We are happy to help you with all the final details such as placement and removal for your wedding day. If you’re not sure about how a veil will look with your particular hairstyle, I have your veil on hand at your trial run-through for you to see exactly how you will look on with your hairstyle.