THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BRIDAL VEIL LENGTHS

Posted by Annie Lu on

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BRIDAL VEIL LENGTHS

The veil is a piece of material used by a bride as part of her bridal outfit. The origins of this profoundly symbolic cloth has many roots; The ancient Greeks and Persians used it to ward off evil and as a symbol of status and wealth. In Judaism, veils are placed over a bride by their husbands as a symbol of loving the bride’s inner beauty. For the instances of arranged marriages the veil is used to hide the bride’s face to prevent the groom from rejecting the bride due to her appearance, and for many religions, a veil is a sign of respect to their respective gods as well as a bride’s purity. The direct correlation of a veil’s length and quality to the status and wealth of the bride was solidified during the Victorian era. Today, veils are a tradition worn as a decorative part of the bridal outfit with some bride forgoing it altogether. The modern style of veils are endless and come with many embellishment styles, designs as well as lengths. Below is a summary of the typical lengths found today and tips for how to determine which one is right for you.

CATHEDRAL LENGTH VEIL

Length: Extra long, approximately 120"-144"

Layers: Most common is one or two layers

Channel your inner regal spirit with this dramatically long veil! This veil should extend well beyond a bride's dress. It is designed for the most formal of weddings and to match wedding dresses with semi-cathedral or cathedral-length trains. A genuinely well-cut cathedral veil should spread out to allow the gown underneath to be seen when the bride is stationary for photos of at the end of the aisle.

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CHAPEL LENGTH VEIL 

Length: Extra Long, approximately 90"-108"

Layers: Most common is one or two layers

Also named the sweep veil or full veil. The end of the fabric trail should finish between 6"-12" beyond the end of a wedding dress hem or train. This length is perfect for a formal, black-tie style wedding. I will also help create a softer illusion to the outfit. For bride's who has a trainless dress or a short dress train and still want the drama of a long trail during her ceremony, this is the option to experiment with.

FLOOR LENGTH VEIL 

Length: Long, approximately 72"

Layers: Most common is one or two layers

These veils are designed to graze the floor and match the length of a bride's gown. It marries perfectly with a trainless wedding dress and will add elegance to your wedding outfit. The veil is best-matched with ballgowns or sheath dresses. 

WALTZ/BALLET LENGTH VEIL 

Length: Long, approximately between 56"-60"

Layers: Most common is one or two layers 

Also known as the dancing veil, the material roughly falls between the knees and mid-calf. This veil will give a touch of drama to a bride's outfit without restricting her movement during dancing, catching up with guests or add too much weight to her hair throughout the day's activities. 

KNEE LENGTH VEIL 

Length: Medium-long, usually between 45"-48"

Layers: Most common is one or two layers but can be customised to be more.

Falling around the knees area, this is an elegant length which will still allow brides to move around freely without the weight of a long veil. It will always be short enough for brides to keep on after the ceremony and during the reception if she chooses to do so.

FINGERTIP LENGTH VEIL 

Length: Medium, usually between 36"-40"

Layers: Most common is one or two layers but can be customised to be more.

A popular bride's choice in the medium-length category, fingertip veils end at the fingertips of a bride. This veil will suit most styles of dresses and allows both front and back details of the dress bodice to be either hinted at or shown through the sheer fabric.

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ELBOW/WAIST LENGTH VEIL 

Length: Medium, between 25"- 32"

Layers: Most common is one or two layers but can be customised to be more.

This is one of the most commonly found veil length for short veils. This length is considered to be a flattering style and is both conservative and formal. The material should drop gracefully from the top of the comb and skim the shoulders to end at the elbows or waist (up to bride's preference). For bride's who have requirements from their ceremony venue to cover shoulders but do not want sleeves, bolero or a difficult to manage long veil, this length of will perfect. If the wind is a concern, add a few beads at the bottom edge of the veil to help weigh the fabric down and keep it in place. 

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BLUSHER VEIL

Length: Short, approximately 30"

Layers: two

The blusher is always designed to cover the face and up to the start of the bride's dress. Traditionally the blusher is pulled back to reveal the bride by the groom during the wedding ceremony. However today some brides may wear the short blusher veil with both layers at the back as a short two-layered veil instead of walking down the aisle with their face covered.  Blushers grow longer as the second layer or trail of the veil grows longer.

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SHOULDER /FLY AWAY LENGTH VEIL

Length: Short, usually between 18" - 22"

Layers: Usually two (including blusher), but can be one layer

As the name suggests, this more casual style of veil drops to where the shoulder starts on a bride. It is an excellent style to try if you have a dress with lots of details and embellishment work which may catch and tangle with a long veil.

A flyaway veil is a single layer version of shoulder-length veils. It is designed only to cover the face leaving the back to be fully exposed. If a bride has the intricate back-of-the-head hair design or dress details from behind which she would like to leave uncovered, this is an excellent style to try.

BIRDCAGE/BANDEAU/VISOR VEIL 

Length: Extra short, usually between 4-9"

Layers: one

This is the shortest of veils. It is designed to cover a bride's eyes, nose and sometimes up to the jawline using either lace or large-holed nets. This veil is similar to what can be found with dramatic fascinators at races. This style is perfect for a garden or tea-party styled weddings with a nod to more vintage-inspired themes.

 

Eternal Bridal boutiques and e-store offers a range of bridal veils with selected customisations provided (in-store by appointments only, not available online). Preview our most popular styles here.

 

IMAGE CREDITS

Photograhper: Gui Jorge Photography