Firstly this piece is not about telling every bride that they should be wearing a veil. We know that veils aren’t everyone’s thing and we dig that! For those who are into veils we have put this together to help you work your way through the tulle and the netting to find out what the hell those wedding professionals are talking about and assist you to decide on the best veil style to suit you and your special day.
Veil types and definitions
- Shortest length
- Generally made out of larger netting instead of fine tulle
- Usually worn just covering eyes or down to chin
Fly away / Shoulder length
- A cute 60s inspired veil that finishes at around shoulder height to mid back
Elbow length / Fingertip
- The name speaks for itself as these veils finish at approximately the elbow or fingertip length
Ballet / Waltz
- Given this name as brides are able to Waltz while wearing the veil
- Usually falls between the knees and ankle
- Sometimes called a sweep veil
- This is quite a formal and traditional style that falls to the floor and usually extends a short distance to ‘sweep’ the ground
- Often worn with 2-3 tiers
- The grandest of the grand
- Think Royal weddings with this one, they not only touch the ground but extend up to a few metres beyond the ground
- An incredible statement piece but a tough veil to tame on the day!!
- This is the tier of the veil that is worn over the front of your face when walking down the aisle
Two tier / Three tier
- This is simply the number of layers of tulle in the veil
- Traditionally veils have 2 tiers with the top tier worn over the face during the ceremony but many brides also choose just one or even 3 tiers
- A circular shaped veil with lace edging all the way around
- It can also be an entire circle of lace fabric instead of tulle
Pouf / Bouffant
- Think swinging 60s – these short, mostly shoulder length veils are an absolute mass of gathered tulle creating a ‘pouf’ framing the face
Tips for choosing the right veil for you and your wedding dress
Try veils on when you go dress shopping to see what styles you are digging and what seems to work with your gown
When going for your hair trial, bring your veil along if you can so that you can see the hairstyle with the veil and double check it works with your dream hairstyle.
If you think you might want to take your veil off during your wedding day, have a bridesmaid watch how the veil was put in so that she knows what pins to remove without wrecking your whole hairstyle.
Look to your gown for hints on what veil to choose. For example, if you have a busy dress with all over lace and lots of detail, go for a very simple and understated veil. If you have quite a simple dress you can go all out with a fancy pants veil with lots of detail. If you are wearing a polka dot dress, generally avoid a polka dot veil as this can look a bit ‘twee’.
Consider a little detail on your veil such as a cute fabric bow on the gathered band or even a small beaded motif that matches your gown.
Try to match the colour of your veil. If you are wearing a champagne dress, go for a more dark cream veil, not a bright white one.
Consider a splash of colour. If your gown is a traditional ivory but you want a little colour in your outfit, why not go for a very pastel blue or blush coloured veil for something really different!
Think about the design of your dress when considering your veil length. If you have a lovely feature such as a low back, it’s always best to have the veil finish either above or below this feature so that it doesn’t cut it in half.
If you are wearing a shorter dress (ie knee or tea length), generally a veil shorter than the hem of the dress is best. The only exception to this would be an authentic looking 1920s dress as they traditionally wore a longer veil with a shorter dress. If you are wearing a floor length gown, a chapel or cathedral length veil can work well with this.
Birdcage veils work across one or both eyes can be annoying as hell to look through all day!! Mine drove me nuts and I ended up pinning it up on top of my head during the reception because I was sick of looking through netting all day. They look fabulous though!!
Advice by: Silver Sixpence Veils: All About Romance Photography: Living Light Photography