Everything You Need to Know About Veils

Everything You Need to Know About Veils

The veil is the quintessential bridal accessory: everyone associates the veil as a distinctly bridal piece. You typically only wear this accessory on your wedding day—and nothing quite says “here comes the bride” like a veil! 

Often, we find brides aren’t sure where to start when looking for the right veil to go with their dress. After all, there’s an abundance of lengths, cuts, and embellishments to make the process confusing if you’re unsure what is out there to choose from. To help our brides out, here’s our breakdown of everything you need to know about veils before choosing the perfect one. 




Veils come in a variety of lengths, from the super-short birdcage to the flowing cathedral. Picking a veil length to work with your dress is important, because you want to highlight your dress and not distract from it. The shortest veil begins with birdcage: this style hugs the face and does not go past the chin, and is perfect for brides looking for a bit of vintage flair. If you love the vintage look but want a bit more volume, the next length is the flyaway veil, stopping just short of your shoulders and giving that same vintage-y vibe. Both of these lengths work especially well with tea length wedding dresses!



 The next few lengths are denoted by body part, and are rather self explanatory: elbow length (54”),  fingertip length (72”), knee (90”)length, and full length, (from 90” to 144” long). We find our brides love elbow length with fuller skirts and fingertip or knee length with more fitted silhouettes, while full length works beautifully with everything.



If you want some real drama with your veil, or a touch of ethereal, floating beauty, the longest lengths are chapel and cathedral. Chapel length veils extend into a small train, and can add stunning detail to dresses with a shorter train. If your train is longer (or you just love a dramatic look), cathedral length veils extend into a long, three foot train behind you, making a gorgeous statement as you walk down the aisle.  Hugely popular at the moment, full length veils look amazing, either stopping at the tip of your train, or extending beyond the length of it for added impact.




Once you’ve settled on a few lengths you think may work with your dress, you still need to consider your veil’s cut. The classic cut is a simple, rounded look, and is always a safe bet as it looks amazing with everything. Another common cut is a half-gathered, or angel cut, which creates cascading folds around your face and ends in a soft point in the back. Manila cuts fold slightly forward, hugging your figure. Each cut looks beautiful on, and we can advise on the best shape for your dress!


On top of this, some veils can have multiple tiers. A two-tier veil, for example, has a top layer which can be moved in front of your face for a blusher. You don’t have to wear the blusher—some brides just prefer the voluminous look of tiers! Very popular right now is the single tier veil, which cascades over the gown without detracting from the beauty of the dress. The cut and tier of your veil is completely up to you.




The last thing to decide upon is embellishments. If you have a complicated dress, or just prefer simple, sleek looks, you don’t have to have embellishments—veils look perfectly gorgeous without them. However, embellishments are the perfect way to add a hint of detail to your dress. For example, if you wish your dress had a bit more lace for that romantic look, a lace edged veil is perfect to incorporate that into your look.



A trend that’s gaining popularity with veils is shimmer: some veils are now made with glitter tulle or floating pearls throughout for a subtly sparkling look we think gives a gorgeous magical tough to wedding dresses. You can also find bead edged veils to give your look a bit more overt sparkle. 

Looking for the perfect wedding veil? Book an appointment with us at Alta Costura Bridal and let us help you find the perfect veil to round out your wedding day look.