When I got married I was adamant I wanted a veil but I had absolutely no idea what type to go for. Should I go for a long lace-edged veil or a shorter shoulder-length one? I also had no idea if it would work with the dress I eventually chose. To ensure you lovely lot don't have the same dilemma, we have rolled in the experts at Britten Weddings to explain everything we need to know about all the types of wedding veils.
At first glance wedding veils can seem quite confusing; what even is a tier?! In truth they are not hard to grasp, it's just a lack of familiarity that makes wedding veils seem overwhelming.
What are the different types of wedding veils?
- Single tier wedding veils - These are what most people imagine when asked to picture a veil. Single tier means that the veil flows from its attachment point (normally a comb) down the back. There is no blusher, section of the veil in front of the face.
- Two-tier wedding veils - means that the veil includes a 'blusher' that can be pulled forward over the face. This is raised during the ceremony for the first kiss or at the exact moment, you are married and is then swept back over the head to form a second layer at the back of the veil. We make our blushers 72cm long but they can be made to any length if requested. Remember you may be carrying a bouquet, would you like the veil to finish above the bouquet or drape over it?
- Drop veils - this is a two-tier veil with no gather. They are often held in place with a headband or hairpins. If you don't plan to wear any other accessories we can sew an invisible comb into our drop veils. We can advise on this.
- Mantilla veils - This is a single-tier veil with no gather. We sew a comb to the top of the veil so it can be worn at the top of the head. They are sometimes described as Spanish veils.
- Juliet veils - A 'cap' of material holds the veil in place. This is a traditional vintage look, dating from 16th century England. It is believed the design dates to actors performing Juliet in the original performances of Shakespeares 'Romeo & Juliet'
- Bandeau veils. These are a more vintage feel and attached to either side of the head.
- Birdcage veils. These are attached at the top of the head (similar to the way a birdcage hangs).
What are the different lengths of wedding veils?
Some of the names imply the setting they are expected to be used in but don't be put off. If you want to make a dramatic entrance to a small chapel then go for it and order the cathedral length. By contrast, if you are getting married in a huge church or venue but wouldn't feel comfortable in a long veil then ignore the names and order what you like. For longer veils, we normally recommend they are about 20-30cm longer than the end of your dress.
To work this out, measure from the top of your head where you plan on wearing the veil, straight down your back to the end of the train of your dress. If this measurement was 220cm our church length (250cm) would be perfect for you. We can make all of our veils in any length.
- Cathedral length wedding veils. Our cathedral length veils are 300cm long and trail beautifully. The trim option you choose will determine how the tulle moves as you walk, more information on this is below.
- Church length wedding veils (also called chapel sometimes). Our church length veils are 250cm long and still trail like the cathedral version, it's just a little shorter.
- Floor-length wedding veils. We make our floor-length veils 200cm long. They should touch the floor with a small trailing edge that will vary according to your height. Without a long trail, floor-length veils move more freely in any breezes and as you move.
- Ballet length wedding veils. We make our ballet length veils 150cm long, they fall to about mid-calf length.
- Fingertip length wedding veils. As the name implies these should fall somewhere around your fingertips with your arms at your sides. At 122cm long there will be some natural variation depending on your height.
- Elbow-length wedding veils. These veils are 72cm and generally fall around the elbows.
What are the colour options for wedding veils?
These are pretty simple really. The main three colours we offer are ivory, off white and white.
Our ivory is a warm colour with a slight creaminess, off white is a very pale ivory/ soft white and white is an optic white. We also stock champagne and blush pink in our traditional tulle. The tulle colour does not need to match your dress exactly they just need to tone in well together. If you are unsure then order our traditional tulle colour samples or our silk style tulle colour samples
What are the edging options for wedding veils?
We have various edging options. You can buy our lace sample packs to compare the lace to your wedding dress. Don't worry they don't need to match exactly, you just want them to compliment each other.
- Full lace edged wedding veils. A lace edge runs all the way around, right up to the comb. The delicate lace frames the face and gives the most dramatic effect possible. A lot of the lace we use, both at Britten and our sister company The Wedding Garter Co, comes from an English firm established in 1858 and still owned by the same family. It's now run by the 8th generation of the family and it's safe to say they make some of the best lace in the world. Not only do they provide the finest quality ecclesiastical lace to the church, but they also supplied the lace for the dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge to Prince William in 2011.
- Semi lace edged wedding veils. The lace edge to the veil finishes around shoulder height in most of our designs but you can have the lace start and finish anywhere you would like.
- Satin edge veils. A satin edge runs all the way around the veil giving it more structure.
- Pencil edge veils. A very fine line of stitching runs around the whole veil. We can do this in most colours.
- Cut edge wedding veils A cut edged veil is very much lighter and more delicate than lace-edged versions. For this reason, it allows other accessories more attention and moves much more freely in light breezes; it's a beautiful effect.
- Bespoke edge- We can edge our veils in a variety of other options. We love lace motifs and are sure to be adding some new designs with these soon!
Do you have different types of tulle?
- Our 'traditional tulle' which has a little body and volume and gives you that very traditional veil look
- Our 'silk style tulle' drapes and falls like silk without the hefty price tag. This tulle is very soft and falls straight down with no volume at all. This tulle works best with slim-fitting dresses.
- Our 'polka dot tulle' is covered in tiny dots and is also a limited edition! It adds a little more texture and interest to the veil. Our polka dot tulle is soft and falls more like our silk style tulle than our traditional tulle.