Our Top 7 Wedding Veil Styles: The Ultimate Guide
By Raashka Mannie

07 June 2019

Veils are a classic part of every wedding – but which type is right for you?

Between blusher, chapel and flyaway veils, the choices can make your head spin. With so many styles to choose between, we've narrowed the choices down to 7 much loved veil types, from mantilla to fingertip. Wedding veils have the added benefit of slimming and softening your silhouette, along with adding a touch more romance that's bound to suit the theme of your wedding, be it vintage, rustic or wholly unique.

1/ Birdcage veil

Image by Notonthehighstreet

The birdcage veil (or visor veil, as it is otherwise known) has enjoyed huge popularity over the last few years. Half-veil and half-headpiece, this short yet stylish veil is usually made from French or Russian netting and is perfect for a vintage themed weddings. This style is flexible and can be worn covering the eyes or extending all the way down to the chin. To add some variety, trying accessorising your birdcage veil with diamanté, feathers or lace to complete your retro look.

2/ Shoulder-length veil

Image by DHgate

Shoulder-length veils are perfect for the contemporary bride – especially if your dress has exquisite detailing on the back that you’d love to show off. This style adds a dash of tradition, but is fun, playful and much easier to manage than a classic, longer veil. There are many versions of the shoulder-length veil: you can choose a flyaway style, which is made of multiple layers of tulle and just brushes the shoulders, ideal for a modern city wedding; or there's the blusher style, which rests romantically over your face in clouds of sheer white.

3/ Fingertip veil

Image by Atelier Elise

One of the most popular veil styles to date, the fingertip veil is the epitome of classic weddings and romance. With its adaptability, it's no wonder it's been adored for so long! Whether you're after a clean, sleek look, or trimmed with lace and sprinkled with shine, the fingertip veil offers a shade to match each and every wedding theme. The fingertip veil is so easy to manage that brides can commit to wearing it for most of the night, rather like a princess' crown. If that's not incentive to opt for this veil type, we don't know what is.

4/ Waltz veil

Image by Cathy Telle

The waltz veil, otherwise known as the ballerina veil (so aptly named because it graciously permits you to dance with it on sans any mishaps), is a gem of the wedding fashion of the 1940s. This style sits beneath a small crown or flowered headpiece, but can also be worn on its own in sheer simple beauty. The waltz veil is the perfect option for brides that want the drama and the flair of a longer, full veil without having to commit to a style as demanding as a voluminous chapel or cathedral-length piece. 

5/ Chapel veil

The chapel-length veil is a statement piece that falls all the way to the ground. While it may drape a little, the chapel veil doesn’t have a train and instead finishes where your wedding dress does. This style is incredibly romantic and graceful, therefore best suited to weddings with a more formal air. The chapel veil can be combined with a second layer of tulle which finishes at your elbows, or with an added blusher for some mystique. With its hem melting into your dress, it lends your wedding look an ethereal, soft air that will leave you feeling royal.

6/ Cathedral veil

Image by SIBO Designs

Bring the drama, bring the decadence. A cathedral-length veil is a traditional option with stunning results, a throwback to the queens of old and the glamouristas of today. The most classic example of the cathedral veil is Princess Diana's in 1981, a testament to the beauty and glitz of royalty. Although this veil style requires a bit more maintenance than others, it also brings with it tricks and tools for making your life easier: stylists will employ little clips to pin your veil back and alleviate the weight of the veil if you choose to wear it all night long.

7/ Mantilla lace veil

Image by Melinda Rose Design

A veil with an exciting twist, the mantilla lace veil is of Spanish heritage and offers a striking option for your veil style. The mantilla veil is made from either traditional Spanish lace or silk, draped over the head and shoulders with a high comb (known as a peineta) to fasten it in place. This style is particular to certain dress types and settings, but the lace-edged mantilla can be combined with a more traditional veil to retain more classic lengths and shapes.

Edited from an original article by Lydia Martin