4 Tips for How to Choose a Veil for Your Wedding Dress

In my nearly two decades of styling brides I found that when it comes to the veil the first question for many of them was to veil or not to veil?  For some it came down to breaking away from an ancient tradition they felt no longer resonated with modern times and for others it was simply that they were overwhelmed by the many wedding veil styles there are to choose from and/or were not sure exactly how to wear a veil.

How to Choose a Veil

Choosing a long veil or short veil, embellished or simple, blusher or no blusher, or to even wear one at all is ultimately the decision you have to make, but here are some things to consider as you’re pondering whether to incorporate a veil into your aisle style.

Keep an Open Mind

how to choose a veil - open mind

You probably were given this same advice when you were shopping for your wedding gown.  It also rings true for the veil because once you put one on it completely transforms your entire wedding day look.  What I like most about veils (other than tradition) is how they delicately frame the face and gown silhouette (when wearing a long veil).  So, when your stylist asks if she can put a veil on you after you’ve chosen your dream gown, I suggest saying yes.  In the end, you may not end up choosing to wear a veil, but at least you can say you gave it a consideration.

Consider your Hairstyle

Consider bridal Hair Style

How to pick a veil for your hairstyle can be tricky, and it’s all about where you want to incorporate the veil into your mane - top of head, center back or low.  If you plan on wearing your hair down with loose casual curls, maybe you forgo a veil, or wear a simple one layer or circular cut chapel or cathedral length veil that will sit atop your crown with ease.  For low pulled back hairstyles you may want to secure the veil at the base of your head.  However, if you plan on wearing a blusher then it should sit higher up on your head.

Indoor or Outdoor Ceremony

Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

Let me preface this by reminding you that this post consists of suggestions not rules - so please take the parts you think you can benefit from and leave the rest behind.  In the process of asking yourself, “what type of veil should I wear?”, also consider how much you’re willing to fuss with it.  If you’re getting married outside, there’s a chance that the weather may not cooperate, and since most wedding veils material are of weightless tulle it may be blowing right in your face.  With this said, while you may have to bag the veil for exchanging “I do’s”, you can still use it for epic photo ops.  

For indoor ceremonies know how long the aisle is your working with and how formal of a setting it is.  If you’re getting married in a cathedral with an aisle the length of a football field then a cathedral length veil may be the perfect accessory to complete your look.  If your ceremony is in a family home or estate with no aisle then perhaps you choose an elbow length or even a birdcage veil with your dress.

Let Your Gown Do the Choosing

How to Choose a Veil

I’m going to let you in on a little secret:  any wedding gown can benefit from a veil!  If you’re worried that a long sleeve wedding dress with veil or a tea length wedding dress with veil is too much or won’t look right, there’s no need to fret.  The key is making sure that from the many different types of veils there are to choose from that you’ve chosen a one that enhances as opposed to overpowers your wedding day beauty.  

When pondering wedding veil ideas the best advice I can give you about picking the perfect one is to make sure you create balance and harmony:

With gowns of understated detail consider an edged veil in crystals, ribbon or lace.  Perhaps it’s choosing a veil that adds dimension in terms of the cut or embellishments.  You can really go as dramatic or simple as you choose.

If you’re wearing a heavily beaded or all over lace gown you can either level up the grandeur with a crystal encrusted veil or lace mantilla or choose a minimal style that frames you and your gown to perfection.

For vintage and short dresses add some whimsy with either a birdcage veil or a voluminous short wedding veil that brushes your shoulders or elbows.

Now that I’ve got you obsessing over whether to veil or not to veil, I want to leave you with a wedding veil length guide to help make the process as easy as possible!


Birdcage Veil

J Picone Birdcage Veil with Crystal Encrusted Comb


Elbow Length Veil

Paloma Blanca Circular Veil


Fingertip Length Veil

Scalloped Lace Paloma Blanca Veil


Chapel Length Veil


Cathedral Length Veil

Sara Gabriel Annie Veil