Congratulations! You are engaged! Time to celebrate with family and friends, sip margaritas, and plan that perfect wedding that you have been dreaming about for so many years. As you start to get down to the hard-core planning, some of the shine starts to wear off. Many brides started to feel stressed. The “To Do” List seems a mile long: booking a date and venue, finalizing a guest list, hiring a photographer, and calming down that one overcontrolling bridesmaid.
You are busy. And you have a lot of responsibilities. But when it comes to your wedding veil, it does not have to be complicated.
As a bridal expert in the wedding industry for over 10 years, I have condensed the process of choosing your veil into just 4 easy steps.
Learn the 4 easy steps to choosing your veil. Along the way, you will learn everything you ever needed to know about veil lengths, veil fabrics, embellishments, and veil colors.
This is your stress-free road map to finding the perfect wedding veil. Get ready to check at least this one item off of your “to do” list. Ooooh what a relief!
The 4 Easy Steps to Choosing your Perfect Wedding Veil
- Define your bridal style
- Choose a Length
- Pick a color
- Choose the embellishment
We are going to go into detail for each one of these topics.
Step 1: Define your Bridal Style
Choose just 1 word that describes you and your wedding.
Are you a classic bride, a bohemian bride, a traditional bride, an unorthodox bride? Are you elegant sophisticated, playful, relaxed, or formal?
Choose the one word that best describes your bridal style and how you have always envisioned yourself. This process will also help you to choose your wedding dress and accessories. It is the “lens” through which you will filter all your decision about your wedding attire, wedding accessories, and hairstyle.
Make sure to give this word to any wedding vendor, consultant, photographer, or small business that you are working with for your wedding. This way, they will be able to give you options and final results that are tailored to you and your style.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that they way that you envision yourself on your wedding day can change over time. Maybe as a teenager you always thought that you wanted to be a princess bride, but after trying on dresses you decide that you want something that is sophisticated. Be fluid and flexible, and don’t hold too tightly to your childhood fantasy.
Step 2: Choose a Length
Long or Short Wedding Veil?
There are a lot of wedding veil lengths and terminology, but start off by simply deciding whether you want a long wedding veil that drags on the grown or one that is shorter.
Long Wedding Veil
Short Wedding Veil
After you have narrowed down whether you want a long or short veil, then you can get more specific. Fingertip length veils are the most popular short veils while cathedral veils are the most popular long veils.
But my guess is that I may have some detail-oriented brides who want all of the options available. For my fellow detail-loving women, below is a list all of the veil lengths and what they mean in bridal lingo!
Blusher / Shoulder Length / Flyaway Veil: touches the shoulders or just covers your face
- Typically 15’’ or so
Elbow Length Veil: just reaches your elbows when your arms are down at your sides
- Typically 20-25’’
Fingertip Length: reaches the fingertips when your arms are at your sides
- Typically 35-40’’
Ballet Length / Waltz Length: reaches your knees or mid-calf
- Typically 45-50’’
Chapel Length: brushes the floor or extends a bit past the floor
- Typically 80-90’’
Cathedral Length: extends several feet past the train of your wedding dress
- Typically 108’’
Royal Length: the longer the better! This is the veil of the royals.
- Start at 120’’ and can go as long as 200’’+
If you want to learn more about which veils are best for certain venues and which style would best compliment the shape of your wedding dress, then read more here.
Step 3: Choose your Veil Color
Eggshell, pearl, natural white, diamond, blush, etc - it’s enough to make a bride’s head spin! Where so you even start when there are so many colors in the wedding industry?
Your veil should match your wedding dress exactly, right? WRONG!
Your veil does NOT have to match the color of your dress exactly (surprising, right?) It generally looks best in photos if your veil is just a tad bit lighter than your wedding dress. It brightens up your look a bit and avoids having your veil look yellow in comparison.
The top 3 wedding color categories are:
- "White": is a pure, bright white (similar to printer paper)
- "Diamond White": also called Off-White or Silk White. It is just a tad bit darker than white. It is a color between white and ivory, but is closer to white on the spectrum. This can be confusing for brides because “diamonds” seems like it would imply that this color should be a brighter “white”. However, diamonds do have a tinge of ivory or yellow – therefore the name! Diamond white wedding veils are perfect for “natural white” dresses, “light ivory” dresses, or off white dresses.
- "Ivory" - has pale cream undertones. This is by far the most popular color for wedding dresses, but there seem to be literally hundreds of names that designers use for their ivory-colored wedding dresses: pearl, vanilla, cream, eggshell, light ivory, etc.
PRO TIP: I would recommend ordering sample swatches from the designer to make sure that your version of white is the same as theirs. You can order free veil sample swatches here.
A fun new trend that you will see is brides who purposely choose to add a pop of color in their accessories. For example, the ombre veil below incorporates the navy blue from the couple's wedding decor, and she also mimicked the navy in her bouquet and her sapphire engagement ring.
Or, another fun way to incorporate a splash of color is with beading on your veil in a custom color or with a colored lace trim. Pictured below is silver and gold embroidery that is a personal favorite of mine.
Step 4: Choose your Embellishment
Whether understated or bold, a decorative finish is really the key to making your bridal veil a swoon-worthy masterpiece that elevates your wedding day look. Always keep in mind that embellishments are meant to enhance your wedding dress, and that it should never overpower you or your dress.
The most common embellishments are:
Lace: The lace on your veil does not have to be exact to the lace used on your wedding dress. However, it should tie in one or two similar design elements so that you have a consistent look.
- Chantilly Lace: the most delicate and sheer style of lace, very light and floaty.
French Alencon Lace: has a more 3 dimensional, textured look since the motifs are outlined in satin cords.
- Venice Lace: made from the heaviest material, so it has a more bold and distinctive shape and pattern
Finished / Trimmed Edges: This is the most understated style of trimming while still having a finished edge. This works well for brides who want to really keep the focus on their wedding dress while still looking polished and pulled together.
Ribbon Trim: available in many different widths and materials. The most common ribbon trims are satin ribbon trims or horsehair ribbon trims (as shown on the cascade veil below).
Pencil Edge: a very subtle edging that shines in its simplicity. It is extremely lightweight so that you can move freely. It look as though someone took a very fine white pencil and delicately outlined the edge of your veil, creating a polished finish that will not distract from your wedding dress.
Beading: pearls, beading, and crystals – oh my! There are several ways that you can add a bit of shine to your wedding veil.
- Crystals throughout the veil: a scattering of beadwork throughout the tulle will play up shimmery gown fabrics or dresses with rhinestones placed throughout your dress.
- Beaded Lace: add on artfully placed crystals or beading to the lace edging of your veil. This works beautifully with beaded lace wedding dresses.
- Continuous beaded edge: a single row of beading or crystals that are applied in a straight line to the edge of your veil
Raw edge: The most simple, unfinished edge for brides who think that less is more. The edge of the tulle is not hemmed or wrapped. Raw edge veils look like the fabric of the veil just naturally “disappears” into your wedding dress, and you will not see a clear separation between your dress and veil. It works well for very intricate dresses.
Coordinating your Accessories and Dress Instead of Matching
Your wedding veil does not have to match your wedding dress exactly, but it should use a similar fabric, lace, beading, or pattern to what is used in your wedding dress.
Pro Tip: The most eye-catching veils are ones that mimic one element of your wedding dress while still being unique enough to make it look like it all just "happened" to come together with effortless ease. Coordinate and compliment your veil with your dress rather than "matching" it.
Let’s look at some examples of effortless coordinating where the bride is not too “matchy”.
For the simple long-sleeved wedding dress in the photo below, the bride tied in the vintage simplicity of her gown with a vintage-inspired lace edging on her veil.
Or perhaps the lace on your dress has a beautiful scalloped border on the neckline or hem that can be mirrored in your veil with an understated scalloped lace trim as shown below.
If you have a wedding dress with heavy beading, then you can play off of this sparkle with some clear and silver lined Czech beading or Swarovski crystals throughout your veil or at strategic points of your veil. The bride below highlighted the heavily beaded bodice of her gown with a rhinestone juliet cap style wedding veil.
Highlight an effortlessly quirky and boho dress with a simple polished ribbon edged veil. Keeping it simple was better for this beach elopement.
In conclusion, you can be on your way to choosing the perfect wedding veil in just 4 easy steps. If you would like to claim your free bridal veil samples, then make sure to grab them here,