Long or short? How long, how short? There seems to be a myriad of choices when it comes to wedding veils. The length of the veil speaks a lot about the nature of the wedding, whether it’s formal or casual, and also the personality of the bride who is wearing it.
Also called netting veil or fascinators, this is the shortest of all veils and is a perfect companion for an edgy or couture wedding dress and is best suited for a bride with spunky personality. Katherine Heigl looked modern yet sweet in this birdcage veil that accentuated a couture Oscar de la Renta wedding gown.
Shoulder length veil
Audiences’ eyes would naturally drawn to the edges of a veil. So if a lean back body is an asset that you’d like to highlight on your wedding day, this informal style shoulder veil is perfect for you. Courtney Ford, sweetheart of Superman star Brandon Routh, in shoulder length veil exuded a bride’s classic elegance without the fuss which a longer veil would normally entail.
Elbow length veil
Elbow veil or waist veil falls just around the waist area. Since audiences’ eyes will be drawn to the end of the veil, this style is best worn by brides with slim figure like Courtney Cox, as it would attract attention to the bride’s waistline. In Courtney’s example, a longer veil, if not styled correctly, would easily overwhelm her slender frame. However, this elbow length veil lent just the perfect measure of volume to highlight her bridal ensemble.
Fingertip length veil
This is said to be the most popular types of veil because it is flattering to brides of all shapes and body types, and it works well with almost any style of gowns as well. Paired with Tia Mowry’s one shoulder Greek-style gown or with tennis star Mardy Fish’s mermaid gown, this veil definitely lets the personality of each bride shines through without taking the spot away from them.
Knee length veil
This is a length that I don’t see many brides are wearing. Nicole Kidman wore this type of veil when she wed hubby Keith Urban. In my opinion, the veil’s length really balances her tall figure. A longer length would elongate her body even more, while a shorter length would look unbalanced compared to her height. Don’t you think so? But of course, being Nicole Kidman, she could wear anything she wants and still looks fantastic …
Ballet or Waltz veil
This is a floor length veil that just barely brushes the floor. The style is very simple yet elegant, and is best to balance a big and busy gown sans train. The famous Sex and the City train-less wedding gown worn by SJP’s character Carrie Bradshaw doesn’t need any more grandness since it’s already fabulous by itself. The simple floor length veil did the perfect job complementing the couture look.
Extending up to 90 inches in length, this veil lends a very formal and classic bridal look. Jessica Simpson wore this chapel veil with the length of her wedding gown’s train matching the length of the veil, creating a very sweet and feminine look.
This veil is from 120 to 144 inches in length, and is definitely suitable for a formal wedding. It is best paired with a big, long, formal wedding gown a la Elizabeth Hurley. I think this style would work well with almost all body types and personal styles, given that all the elements are well balanced. A full-figured bride could seem elongated with this extended veil. A more petite bride could also look proportionally beautiful and not overwhelmed by the length of the veil, as long as she has the right gown with the right silhouette.
Also, the details should be kept balanced. Liz’s long and beautifully detailed gown is busy enough by itself, thus the cathedral veil which accompanied it was kept very, very simple. On the other hand, if you want an intricate cathedral veil made of lace, for example, your best bet is to pair it with a gown that has simpler details, be it lace details around the hem of the skirt, or some kind of motifs that is subtly repeated throughout the fabric of the gown. All in all, you would want to keep the length of the train closely following the length of the veil in order to maintain a good continuity between the veil and the dress.
A veil fits for royalty measuring 16 feet was worn by Lady Di in her royal wedding to Prince Charles. The royal veil is basically any veil that is longer than cathedral-length veil, and is very suitable if you’re getting married in a castle or some place else similar, wearing a gown that is matching the grandiose of the veil. But especially for outdoor and simpler weddings, this veil can be impractical, not to mention costly and could appear out of place.
There you have it, the long and short of all the different length of bridal veils we see out there. Don’t choose your veil based on what’s popular now, but choose one that would enhance your best feature and not overwhelm you, and that which is closest to your personality and taste. Good luck!