Which type of wedding veil is best suited to my dress and body type
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Wedding Day Advice | Bridal Beauty

All Hail the Wedding Veil!

The wedding veil is perhaps the most iconic wedding accessory worn by a bride – in fact, long before the wedding dress became the main event, it was the veil which drew the most consideration and attention.

It’s most likely that the Ancient Greeks and Romans started the trend – noble brides wore bright yellow, red or orange floor-length veils to ward off evil spirits (and later on, in a strange twist which showed its importance in a woman’s life, the bridal veil would double as the burial shroud). Then, when England’s Queen Victoria chose to wear a white wedding dress (which started the rush for white weddings), it was to showcase a very specific, handmade lace veil she was wearing to make a strong political statement. In other words, it was the veil that was the showstopper, not the dress!

Which Wedding Veil to Choose?

The key lies in selecting a veil which will best complement your dress and show off you, the glowing bride. There are myriad styles from which to choose – and we outline some of the most popular below. But first, here’s some terminology you need to know:

  • Cut – This refers to how the material is cut to produce a certain look or style
  • Blusher – The part of the veil that covers a bride’s face during the ceremony
  • Tiers – layers of the veil, from one to four tiers
  • Length – Veils can be worn at the following lengths:
    • Shoulder
    • Elbow
    • Fingertip
    • Intermission – also known as ballet or waltz length
    • Chapel
    • Cathedral
  • Fullness – veils can be cut in varying degrees of fullness to produce less or more volume:
    • Sheer – 54 inches wide
    • Standard – 72 inches wide
    • Full – 108 inches wide.

How Long Should My Wedding Veil Be?

Which length you wear depends on the formality of the occasion, your style of dress and body type. Here are some pointers:

  • Simple dresses work well with more elaborate veils and vice versa
  • The blusher should fall between your neck and your bust
  • Cathedral, chapel and mantilla cuts work well for any body type and height
  • The waltz/ballerina length works well for any body type and height
  • Inverted triangles and full body types should avoid the bubble cut and any veils in elbow length
  • Rectangle body types should avoid arm length veils
  • Apple and pear-shaped bodies should avoid fingertip length veils, and should stick to a sheer volume

If you’re a column or hourglass body type, congratulations – you can wear any length, volume or cut!

veil-length-diagram

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Wedding Veil Cuts

Standard Cut – The safe choice, these veils are cut in a soft round shape with the edges gathered under a comb, which can be placed anywhere on the head. Standard cut veils can be worn in one, two or three tiers, with the second or third tier worn as a blusher, and in any fullness.

MATCH WITH Up-do | half up-do | Classic dress
WORKS FOR Semi-formal | Formal Occasions

bridal-veil-1

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Handkerchief Cut – Cut with square corners, which are gathered so that they hang down the centre of the veil, with edges pulled under a comb. Handkerchief veils look best in two or four tiers and can be in any placement on the head, with the option of using one of the layers as a blusher. Fullness is sheer.

MATCH WITH: Up-do/half up-do hair | Vintage dress
WORKS FOR:
Semi-formal | Formal Occasions

bridal-veil-2

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Oval Cut – The corners on this veil are slightly rounded, edges gathered under a comb at any placement on the head, with the sides hanging straight down. Oval cut veils can work with any fullness and with any number of tiers, from a single layer to four, with one being used as a blusher.

MATCH WITH: Up-do/half up-do | Classic dress
WORKS FOR: Semi-formal | Formal Occasions

bridal-veil-3

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Drop Cut – So-called because they’re ‘dropped’ over the head – not gathered with a comb, but held in place with pins – and worn over the face as a blusher, which can be folded back for the ‘big reveal’. Fullness is sheer.

MATCH WITH: Up-do/half up-do/loose hair | Vintage dress
WORKS FOR: Casual | Semi-formal | Formal Occasions

bridal-veil-4

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Angel Cut – As the name suggests, the veil resembles ‘angel’s wings’ when viewed from behind – the material cascading down the back and tapering to a point. This style – sometimes called a V-veil – is gathered with a comb at any placement on the head and can be worn in any fullness, with many tiers and with a blusher, or as a single layer, without. Usually, the length is waltz (ballet) or shorter.

MATCH WITH: Up-do | Classic dress
WORKS FOR: Casual | Semi-formal | Formal Occasions

bridal-veil-5

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Mantilla Cut – Usually cut with rounded edges so that it curves gently away from the shoulders, the Mantilla cut is worn at the crown if it isn’t edged or high on the head if it has a heavy lace edge. While held in place with a comb, there is minimal or no gathering in this single-tier, sheer style.

MATCH WITH: Up-do/Half up-do | Vintage dress
WORKS FOR: Semi-formal | Formal Occasions

bridal-veil-6

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Bubble Cut – Cut with rounded corners and so that it produces a ‘poof’ or bubble behind the comb when gathered, and with several tiers to give volume.

MATCH WITH: Up-do | Retro dress
WORKS FOR: Casual | Semi-formal | Formal Occasions

bridal-veil-7

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