Bené, BM’s resident fashion contributor, here. And today, I have an extra special treat in store.
I’m taking an in-depth look at my absolute favorite bridal accessory—the veil.
If you’ve ever been to a bridal gown fitting, then you know that the time to cue the tissues is always the moment a bride first tries on a veil with her gown.
A veil is a seemingly simple accessory, but it has the power to completely transform an entire look.
It's pure magic.
Top Tips for Picking Out a Veil
Before we delve into all of today's veil goodness, take a peek at our top three tips to keep in mind when picking out a veil:
Tip 1 | Consider your wedding dress. It’s best to find a dress first and then choose a veil that enhances your gown. For example, if you have a lace or beaded dress, look for a veil that compliments those elements. Remember, a veil should never take center stage or draw attention away from you and your dress.
Tip 2 | Take your venue into account. If your ceremony is taking place in a large, elaborate church, you may want to consider a dramatic, long veil. Alternatively, if you’re getting married outdoors during a windy season, it’s best to opt for a veil that’s shorter in length. This will prevent the veil from blowing too much or even flying away.
Tip 3 | Keep your hairstyle in mind. Most veils work well with down hairstyles. But if you’re planning on a more intricate hairstyle, choose a thin or sheer veil that won't completely conceal your hair. Whether you’re doing your own hair or getting it done by a professional, it’s a good idea to practice placing and fastening your veil before the big day.
Photo by Brett Heidebrecht Photography
The Bridal Veil Style Guide
With so many different veil styles, the task to find the perfect veil might seem a bit overwhelming.
But you’re in luck—I’ve put together the ultimate bridal veil guide, featuring 10 of the most coveted veil styles. So without further ado…
Birdcage veils are short veils that are typically made out of netting. They only cover a portion of a bride’s face and fall above the chin.
These veils are perfect for brides with a vintage vibe, and they pair especially well with short wedding dresses.
A blusher covers a bride’s entire face and ends around the shoulders. This veil is commonly paired with a longer veil and worn during more conservative ceremonies.
At the beginning of a ceremony, the person that walks the bride down the aisle (often the father of the bride) pulls back the blusher to reveal the bride’s face. Or at the end of a ceremony, the groom pulls back the blusher right before kissing the bride.
A fly-away veil falls at or below the shoulders, and it’s another great option for vintage brides or for short wedding dresses.
Compared to birdcage veils, fly-away veils make a bigger statement and offer more volume.
Photo by Greg Finck
An elbow-length veil falls right around a bride’s elbows or waistline.
This pick looks flattering with almost any wedding dress style. It’s ideal for a bride looking for an easy, hassle-free veil.
A fingertip veil falls at or right below a bride’s fingertips. This is a timeless and elegant veil length. (Who could forget Kate Middleton’s stunning veil?)
Fingertip veils have just enough length to add a “wow” factor, but they’re not too over-the-top.
Also known as a waltz or ballerina veil, the ballet veil falls below the fingertips and above the ground. It’s typically knee or ankle length.
This style is perfect for brides that love the look of a long veil, but don’t want to commit to a veil that actually touches the ground.
With the ballet style, you don’t have to worry about someone stepping on or tripping over your veil.
Chapel veils fall at the ground or a couple of inches beyond a bridal gown. These veils are definitely statement pieces and instantly create a dreamy, romantic feel.
Veils at or beyond chapel-length are often removed after the wedding ceremony (and before the reception) so that a bride can walk and dance with ease.
A cathedral veil is the longest veil style—this veil trails behind a bride, well beyond her dress.
If you’re looking to create a dramatic effect, then a cathedral veil is the only way to go. Not to mention, this veil style is a wedding photographer’s dream because it lends itself to the most incredible bridal pictures. Case in point below.
Photo by Erich McVey
Juliet Cap Veils
Juliet cap veils come in a variety of lengths and have a vintage look that’s tied specifically to the 1920s and 30s.
The mantilla veil is another style that comes in different lengths. Typically, a mantilla veil is round and lined with lace.
A bride should pin a mantilla veil about two inches from her hairline so that the lace trimming frames the side of her face and drapes downward. This is a gorgeous option to draw attention to a blushing bride’s glowing features.
Photo by Clary Pfeiffer
There you have it, all the details and inspiration you need to complete your wedding-day look with the perfect veil.
We want to know, which veil styles are your favorite?
I must admit that I'm partial to the cathedral style since I wore a long, flowing veil on my own wedding day. Though, I can't help but swoon over the vintage look of the birdcage, fly-away, and juliet cap veils.
Still looking for pieces to polish off your wedding-day look? See even more bridal accessories.