Veils 101 - Veil Lengths

Friday, 28th April

To veil… or not to veil that is thy question! We often hear “Are veils too old fashioned? Will I still look like the bride if I don’t wear one? Or Will a veil get in the way throughout the day?” so lets put your mind at ease with a 101 masterclass in veils.

A veil is one of the most iconic bridal accessories and can completely change the vibe, look and style of a wedding dress - it could even be the singular thing that causes you to say ‘yes’ to your dream dress!

Veils are a minefield in themselves and it is essential to pick a veil that matches both you and your style. Making an impact whilst walking down the aisle and feeling like a million dollars is an absolute must on your big day and our amazing stylists at Rachel Ash Bridal Wear are here to help make that happen. Maybe you want a short veil to show off the stunning embroidery on your dress or perhaps you want to be like Kate Middleton or Kourtney Kardashian with a statement veil to wow your guests! Not sure where to start? Welcome to veils 101…

Did you know there are more than just long or short veils? We’re talking different lengths, different tulles, different colours (who knew?!), different edgings and much more. So, lets start with the simple stuff… lengths!

Birdcage - 4-9”

No, we aren't talking about the cage for your budgie! The birdcage veil originated in the 1940s when veils were made short due to the lack of fabric from the second world war. It is simply a short veil that is made of netting covering a portion of a bride's face, typically finishing below or above the chin and it is the shortest type of veil a bride can wear on her wedding day. The name comes from the fact that, once in place, the short veil sits almost like a cage over your face. The birdcage veil is great for the bride looking to accomplish a more vintage look on their big day and pairs perfectly with a shorter tea style dress. They can be worn with any hairstyle, but be sure to think about how you will wear your hair in advance on your big day to tie the look together.

Photo: Stock image of birdcage style veil

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Blusher- 30”

Blusher veils (also known as an angle veil or wedge veil) are made from tulle and have a unique historical significance. Blusher veils were supposedly worn to protect brides from evil and to prevent the groom from seeing her before the wedding, being a symbol of purity. The lifting of the blusher serves as a literal ‘unveiling’ of the bride to her spouse. The blusher is perfect for the traditional or conservative bride and works perfectly for that church wedding you dreamed of as a little girl. It can also act as a protector from the wind, sun and any debris on the day (because who wants to spoil their make-up before they make it down to the altar?!). Kate Middleton pulled off her blusher veil perfectly in her 2011 wedding at Westminster Abbey to Prince William (pictured). So elegant.

Photo: Stock image of blusher style veil.

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Elbow length Veil - 25”-32”

Elbow length veils are a great option for brides that want a short veil with a bit more ‘flow’, making them a great accessory for a retro inspired, 1950s bridal look. The length of such a veil will allow you the freedom to wear your veil throughout the day, without having to worry about it getting in the way. A perfect option for a stress and hassle free bridal look! Not only are they super easy to wear and style, they are a great bridal accessory to cover up exposed shoulders and to outline the silhouette of the upper body, pairing perfectly to dresses with back details and tea length dresses.

Photo: Satin edge 2-tier veil with blusher by Helen Martin - elbow length

Elbow length

Fingertip Veil - 38”-40”

The perfect wedding veil could be right at your fingertips (literally!). The fingertip veil lends itself perfectly to most (if not all) wedding dress designs and body shapes. It is a mid-length veil that finishes at the tip of the finger when the arms are relaxed to the sides. Working for both a formal bridal look and a casual look with a range of modern, alternative and traditional designs available through our boutique veil designers such as Helen Martin. Similarly to the elbow length veil, a mid-length such as the fingertip veil will allow you more freedom of movement without the fear of tripping or standing on your veil. We recommend a more sheer tulle so as to not cover up any gorgeous back detailing on your gown.

Photo: Satin edge waterfall veil by Helen Martin - fingertip length

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Floor Length - 72-78”

What is a floor length veil you may ask? Well, the name is on the tin. The floor length veil, is in fact… a floor length veil. The flowing fabric of this veil will add extra volume to your look, usually matching the length of your dress. They are great for achieving a chic contemporary look, combined with a traditional style without the fuss of having a long train - both practical and stylish!

Photo: Raw edge waterfall veil by Helen Martin - floor length

Floor length

Chapel Length - 90”

Want to make a statement and add a touch of drama to your look without going overboard? Then the chapel length veil is for you. Traditionally worn in a chapel or church ceremony, a chapel length veil will sweep across the floor extending slightly beyond your gown, extending the train for a more romantic and traditional look. Embellish your veil with lace edging, appliques or even Swarovski crystals or pearls for a bit of extra ‘spice’ on your big day.

Photo: Poppy veil by Helen Martin - chapel length

Chapel length

Cathedral/Royal - 108”-120”+

Think Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and Kourtney Kardashian. For the most regal entrance of them all, a cathedral veil is a MUST. The cathedral length veil is perfect for making a statement in large open space, long aisles and is most traditionally worn in a… (you got it!) cathedral. The extra long veil is a staple for lavish weddings and is a favourite amongst royalty and celebrities alike.

Photo: s19 pearl veil by Jupon - cathedral length

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So… to veil or not to veil is thy question..? We vote with a veil, but we are a bit biased.

Author: Carly Mancini Spicer

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