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A Complete Guide to Wedding Veil Styles

Ahh, the wedding veil – the proverbial icing on the cake! While some brides choose to forego this accessory, veils are making quite the jump in popularity, and we can see why. There are so many swoon-worthy wedding veil styles to complement any bride’s look!


What percentage of modern brides choose to wear a veil? Well, after Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, the number skyrocketed from about 1 in 2 brides to 3 in 4. There’s no doubt royal wedding looks have inspired veil wearers around the world and popularized the accessory in a whole new way. Brides going for a truly royal, classic or timeless look typically opt for longer veil styles, while brides who aren’t afraid to rock a unique or modern look might opt more for a shorter veil.


Why do brides wear a veil? It’s an accessory steeped in tradition, tracing back to ancient times, when brides wore a veil as a covering to signify innocence and purity, or as some viewed the veil, as a tool to ward off evil spirits on such a happy day. As centuries went on, brides wore veils more as a way to keep their faces hidden from the groom until the big reveal at the altar. Nowadays, brides still wear veils as a symbol of tradition and sometimes to hide their faces as an element of surprise, but mostly they’re just a beautiful way to honor the special occasion. Like your wedding gown, you’ll never really have an excuse to wear a veil again – so now is the time!


Ready to see all the wedding veil styles you could rock on your special day? Let’s get to it!


wedding veil styles


Short Wedding Veil Styles

Birdcage veil | Typically made in a signature netted fabric, a birdcage veil covers the top part of the face and is perfect for brides who love a vintage aesthetic.


Bouffant/bubble veil | Did someone say 60s glam? Poofed at the crown and cascading with volume to a shoulder length, the Bouffant veil, or bubble veil, screams mod and sass.


Flyaway veil | Short and sweet and perfectly simple, the flyaway veil is comprised of fewer layers (sometimes just one), adding an understated but gorgeous crown that really highlights your décolletage.


wedding veil styles


Mid-Length Wedding Veil Styles

Elbow-length veil | Hitting right around the elbows with just enough tulle to cover the shoulders, the elbow-length veil is a contemporary style that looks great embellished or not.


Fingertip veil | Fingertip veils may be the most popular length, hitting just below your rear and allowing you to grasp the ends delicately in your fingertips and offering a modest shoulder/arm covering if you choose.


Waltz veil | Designed to be longer but not long enough to get in the way while dancing, the waltz style veil doesn’t add as much volume, but will certainly flounce beautifully as you twirl around the dance floor.


wedding veil styles


Long Wedding Veil Styles

Chapel/floor-length veil | If your dress doesn’t have much of a train or you’re wanting to avoid the hassle of bustling, the chapel length veil skims the floor and can create the look of a train without the extra weight. This length is very popular with boho brides!


Cathedral veil | Extending longer than the train of your dress and typically embellished with lace on the edges for definition and weight to hold its shape as you walk, a cathedral-style veil brings the jaw-dropping d-r-a-m-a while still staying timeless as ever.


Royal veil | Fit for a true queen, royal-length veils are rare but incredible. This longest style of veil makes a major statement – maybe more so than the gown!


wedding veil styles


Wedding Veil Styles In Any Length

The styles shown above can be made in just about any length, or added to a veil in any length.


Juliet cap veil | Reminiscent of Shakespearean actresses playing, you guessed it, Juliet, this style covers the top of the head with gathered tulle on both sides, just above or right behind the ears. This style is an ultra-feminine way to incorporate Grandmillennial style into your bridal look.


Blusher veil | A blusher is a piece of tulle often in addition to another veil style, meant to conceal the bride’s face so the entirety of her look is revealed when the groom lifts the blusher over and behind her head as he welcomes her at the altar. Can you say romantic?


Mantilla veil | You’ve probably seen many a Mantilla-style veil over the years, with its signature scalloped lace framing the bride’s face and very popular in religious ceremonies. It’s a stunner!


Pro Tips For The Wedding Veil

How to store a veil | Store it carefully, either in the bag along with your wedding dress, or for extra protection against wrinkles and snagging, in a separate bag – folded as minimally as possible.


Trial run | Don’t forget: you’ll want to bring your veil with you to your hair and makeup trial run so your hairstylist can make a plan for incorporating the veil with your ‘do for the big day!


Doing a first look? | Consider not wearing your veil for the first look, and putting it on before you walk down the aisle. Adds an element of surprise and will certainly add a wow factor for your groom!


Ultimately, whether you decide to wear a short veil, long veil, face-covering veil or no veil at all is completely up to you. It’s a way to complement your gown and show off your personal style. Your local bridal boutiques can help you find the perfect veil to top off your beautiful bridal look!


Cover Photo: Megan Kay Photography