TIPS & ADVICE: VEIL LENGTHS
A bride's veil is steeped in tradition, having first been introduced in Ancient Rome with the belief that it protected the unmarried woman from evil spirits. Over the centuries, it has represented a symbolic view of the virgin bride and it also kept the bride concealed until her marriage was complete.
Whether you are considering a regal cathedral length veil or stylish birdcage veil there are many options available which can enhance your wedding dress and show off your personal style; and while some may decide not to wear a veil at all, many women say that it is a veil that is the final crowning touch to make them feel like a 'real bride’!
Below we explore the veil varieties, which should help you find the perfect style for you and your dress:
The birdcage veil sits closely to the face and falls just above the nose. It usually features wide French netting anchored at the top of the head with decorative embellishments such as feathers or flowers; and sometimes it is used together with a pillbox hat. This short and chic look works well for brides looking for something a bit different to the traditional long veil.
The playful blusher is a short and sheer veil draped loosely over the face. It can be short at the front as well as at the back, or it could be added to the front of a longer veil. It is customary for the groom or the father of the bride to lift it up during the ceremony to reveal the bride's lovely face.
The mantilla is a dramatic round veil that falls approximately elbow-length and is usually made of lace and worn without a headpiece. It was originally worn by Spanish women to cover their head and shoulders out of respect during formal ceremonies. This style works well with long, draped wedding gowns.
As the name suggests, this style reaches the bride's fingertips, though the length can vary slightly from bride to bride. This length is versatile and suits most dresses. The Duchess of Cambridge wore a silk tulle fingertip veil with decorative edging with her Sarah Burton dress on her wedding day to Prince William on 29th April 2011.
A ballet veil extends just below the knee, but stops above the ankle, and is typically 56 inches long. It is a flattering style for brides wearing a fitted gown without a train. It's a gorgeous long length, but doesn't overpower the wedding dress.
A chapel veil reaches about 90 inches in length, and just brushes the floor. This traditional style suits a more formal ceremony and complements a wedding gown with a bit of a train. It is slightly shorter than the cathedral length veil but extends 6 to 12 inches beyond the train of the dress.
The dramatic cathedral veil cascades to the floor in a fabulous fairytale fashion. This luxurious style of veil creates an elongated silhouette and is perfect for a bride having a formal ceremony with a long aisle to walk down. Princess Madeleine of Sweden walked down the aisle in Stockholm wearing an absolutely exquisite Valentino Haute Couture gown for her marriage to Christopher O’Neill. To her dress she added a cathedral veil of 236 inches embroidered with Chantilly lace flowers and her sparkling tiara, which was decorated with fresh orange blossoms for the lavish ceremony on 8th June 2013.
PS Did you know the Guinness World Record for the Longest Wedding Veil was worn by Italian bride Elena De Angelis in Naples measuring 3 kilometres (33 times longer than Westminster Abbey!) in September 2011. The veil was designed by Gianni Molaro Campania and required 600 people to carry the headpiece.