Wedding Accessories - Brides Veil

veilWedding Veils were once used to conceal a bride's identity from the groom when arranged marriages took place and a couples' first meeting was at the altar just before they were to say their vows - not really as a wedding accessory for the bride.

The bride was 'delivered' at the altar by her father and the veil was not removed until after the ceremony once they had been pronounced man and wife.

Many a marriage took place with the groom not laying eyes on his bride and it was known to switch the bride just before she was to walk down the aisle towards a man who had previously seen and was happy with his intended but found out too late that he had been married to a different woman.

Today the veil is still seen in some religions as a symbol of purity and when the father of the bride lifts the veil off his daughter's face it signifies him 'giving his daughter' to the groom.

Whatever reason a bride wears a veil, whether for religious reason or simply as a wedding accessory, this wondrous piece of shimmering net can compliment any bridal outfit.  It says to those looking on that 'I am the bride' and gives the bride that extra chance to stand out amongst all her guests that she is the one woman the day is all about.

Which Veil to Choose

Choices of veils are like wedding dresses inasmuch there are many different styles with contrasting materials and decorations that can make a veil distinct from any other.

On choosing a veil you of course want one that will compliment your wedding outfit and different lengths can take away or add dimension to your dress. A veil that is too short or overlong can alter the look of your hairstyle and body and the last thing you want is to cover up the look that has taken you many months to achieve.

When trying on and choosing your veil it is always best, if possible, to wear your wedding outfit at the same time. Indeed the more of your outfit you can have such as tiara, hairstyle, dress etc. etc. the better it will be to help you ascertain that it is the look you truly want.

One idea is to try on as many different veils of various lengths and layers while having a dress fitting.

You may be wearing a veil that is a family heirloom and your whole outfit could be matched to it.  If this is the case then your hairstyle will be chosen to compliment the veil as will your dress.  Normally it is the hairstyle that comes before the chosen veil.

When you choose your veil give thought to your other wedding accessories to make sure that everything will create harmony with your wedding outfit.

Lengths of Wedding Veils

Your veil generally comes in set lengths, these are detailed below.

shoulder veil elbow veil fingertip veil
Shoulder Veil
From 12 to 16 in length and rests just on the shoulders.
Elbow Veil
24 long'
Fingertip Veil
Approximately 28-30 long.
ballet veil chapel veil veil blusher
Ballet or Waltz Veil
Falls to the ankles and can be up to 60 long.
Chapel Veil
Length falls to the floor with a measurement of 2-1/2 yards long and trails slightly on the floor.
Blusher Veil
The blusher covers the face just under the chin. This veil is a single layer that is designed to be lifted up and over head by the person giving the bride away. Length normally between 16" and 18" long although can be down to the waist.
cathedral veil

Cathedral Veils
These trailing veils are 3-1/2 yards long.



The length of a veil can be determined by the bride's height and if worn high on the head adds a few inches to overall visual height.  If you are tall your veil is best worn at the back of your head if you do not want to appear taller than you are.  Petite brides should not wear veils that swamp them.

Veil lengths that finish right where your bodice begins will visually cut you in half so do not go for a veil that ends at the waist if you have a defined waistline.

Veil Material

Your veil is one of the most important wedding accessories that you will wear on your day, choosing the right material can go a long way to making the veil work with your whole outfit.

Here are the common materials used :

  • Tulle
  • Chiffon
  • Georgette
  • Organza
  • English or French Net
  • Nylon
  • Silk

Veils can be in single, double or tripled staggered layers. They can be worn on the top of the head or tucked in-between curls at the back, completely cover the whole head, tucked under a hat or can even be used thrown  loosely over the head.

Veil Decoration

You can have you veil plain, or decorated in any number of ways. Here are some popular ways to decorate your veil.

  • Pearls
  • Crystals
  • Flowers
  • Embroidery
  • Ribbons

If your dress is elaborate and highly decorated the ideal veil would be a somewhat plain one with either a slight edging or a handful of tiny gems scattered around.

With a less elaborated dress your veil can be decorated to compliment the dress such as edgings of lace or highly embroidered.

Headdresses with Veils

To keep your veil from slipping and falling off you can use a multitude of different combs, barrettes, clips and/or a tiara.

If you want to keep your headdress on during your reception (and why not as after all you are the bride and why only wear something so wonderful for just a few hours) the best way is to use a separate clip/comb to hold your veil.  That way your veil can be removed safely without your headdress or hairstyle being disturbed and having to be rearranged.

Veil Tit Bits

Taking off your veil during the reception can be a good thing mainly because people will be coming up to you wanting to hug you and you could have your head pulled from side to side while all this hugging is going on. 

Dancing while wearing a long veil can be hazardous as there is always the chance somebody could step on it and stop you in your tracks while pulling your head backwards worse still your precious veil ripping.

Once you have purchased your veil and taken it home practice wearing it around the house.  Sit, kneel and stand, walk up stairs, go to the bathroom and hug people.  Think of all the different moves you will make on your wedding day and use as many as possible with your veil complete with tiara/clips on.

If you decide you want as a bride to wear a veil, remember it will hopefully be the only one you will ever wear choose wisely and make sure it really is the one for you.

Above all don't feel pressured into wearing a veil because everybody says you should do or your mother wants you to wear one. Remember you are going to be the bride. You are the one that will choose what you want to wear and feel most comfortable in.