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The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Veils: Everything You Need to Know

Welcome to the ultimate guide to wedding veils! Whether you're newly engaged or in the midst of wedding planning, choosing the right veil can be an overwhelming decision. Wedding veils are more than just a bridal accessory; they hold significant cultural and emotional value. In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about wedding veils, from their history and types to how to choose and care for them. Read on to discover how the perfect veil can elevate your bridal look and make your big day even more special.

What is a Wedding Veil? - read our guide to wedding veils..

A wedding veil is a piece of fabric worn by a bride during her wedding ceremony. Traditionally, veils are made from tulle, lace, or silk, and they come in various lengths and styles. The primary purpose of a wedding veil is to complement the bride's attire and add a touch of elegance and mystique. Historically, veils symbolised modesty and purity, and they have been an essential part of bridal attire for centuries.

Interesting Facts and History

- The tradition of wearing veils dates back to ancient Rome, where brides wore a red veil called a "flammeum" to protect themselves from evil spirits.

- In the Victorian era, Queen Victoria popularised the white wedding dress and veil, setting a trend that continues today.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert posing for their wedding
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert pose for a reenactment of their marriage in 1854. BY ROGER FENTON/GETTY IMAGES

Key Materials and Construction

Wedding veils are typically made from lightweight, sheer fabrics such as tulle, lace, and silk. The construction of a veil involves several key components:

- Blusher: A shorter layer of the veil that covers the bride's face and is lifted during the ceremony.

- Comb: The attachment that secures the veil to the bride's hair.

- Edging: The finish along the veil's edge, which can range from simple cuts to intricate lace or beading.

Veil Lengths and Styles

- Birdcage Veil: A short veil that covers part of the face, perfect for a vintage or retro look.

- Shoulder-Length Veil: Falls to the shoulders, offering a simple yet elegant look.

- Knee length Veil (Ballet): Reaches the bride's knee, also known as a balet length and can be tapered to give a delicate appearance.

- Floor length Veil: Extends to the floor just beyond the feet, ideal for brides who want a traditional yet manageable veil.

- Cathedral Veil: The longest veil, which trails behind the bride and creates a dramatic effect.

graphic showing the choice of veil lengths available

Comparing and Choosing the Right Veil

When choosing a veil, consider the style of your wedding dress, the formality of your ceremony, and your personal preferences. For instance, a cathedral veil pairs beautifully with a formal, full-length gown, while a birdcage veil complements a vintage or tea-length dress.

Opting for a bespoke wedding veil allows brides to customise every aspect of the accessory, ensuring it perfectly matches their wedding dress and personal style. A bespoke veil is crafted with attention to detail and can incorporate unique elements such as heirloom lace or personalised embroidery. This level of customisation not only enhances the bride's look but also creates a cherished keepsake that can be passed down through generations.

Benefits of Bespoke Wedding Veils

  • Customisation and Personalisation

One of the most significant benefits of a bespoke wedding veil is the ability to customise it to your exact specifications. This means you can choose the length, material, and embellishments that best complement your wedding dress and personal style.

  • Quality and Craftsmanship

Bespoke veils are crafted with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring high quality and durability. This level of craftsmanship guarantees that your veil will look stunning and withstand the demands of your wedding day.

  • Unique and Meaningful

A bespoke veil can incorporate personal touches such as embroidered initials, special dates, or even pieces of fabric from a family heirloom. These unique elements make your veil a meaningful part of your wedding attire.

3d floral flowers on a bespoke wedding veil
A bespoke veil by Garter & Veil for Bride Sarah

Practical Tips and Instructions

  • Attachment: Secure your veil with a comb or headpiece that matches your hair type and style, metal combs are better for gripping in to the hair than plastic ones.

  • Placement: Position the veil so it sits comfortably and enhances your hairstyle. High on the head for a retro feel, at the nape of the neck if you wish to show off your hair - or at the crown of the head for a timeless look.

  • Handling: Gently lift and arrange the veil when wearing, being careful not to snag or pull the fabric.

Dos and Don'ts

Do: Choose a veil that complements your dress and personal style, it's your wedding day and you should feel delighted with your entire look.

Don't: Wait until the last minute to decide on your veil; give yourself ample time to find the perfect match and don't feel pressured to buy a veil when shopping for your dress.

Cleaning and Storage

Cleaning: Follow the care instructions provided by the designer. Typically, veils can be spot-cleaned or professionally dry-cleaned.

Storage: Store your veil in a breathable garment bag, away from direct sunlight and humidity, to prevent discolouration and damage.

Common Questions About Wedding Veils

1. How do I choose the right veil length?

Consider the style of your dress and the formality of your wedding. A fairytale cathedral length veil may not be suitable for a London elopement for example, but a chic birdcage would!

2. Can I wear a veil with short hair?

Yes, veils can be attached to hair combs, headbands, or even hats for short-haired brides.

3. How do I secure my veil so it doesn't fall out?

Use a comb, pins, or clips that match your hair colour and style to keep the veil in place.

4. When should I order my veil?

Once you have found your dress then you can explore veil options to suite. Our standard veils have a lead time of 4-6 weeks however if you require a bespoke veil then it is best to allow 6-8 weeks.

bride wearing a pearl wedding veil
DARA | Pearl Veil by Garter & Veil - Image by Erin Okeeffe


In summary, a wedding veil is a timeless and elegant accessory that can elevate your bridal look. Whether you choose a bespoke veil for its customisation and quality or a classic design for its tradition, the right veil will enhance your wedding day. Remember to consider your dress style, wedding formality, and personal preferences when choosing your veil.

We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights and tips to find the perfect wedding veil.

Ready to find your dream veil? Explore our exquisite collection at Garter & Veil and start your journey to bridal perfection today.

Share your thoughts or experiences with wedding veils in the comments below!

Blog cover for the ultimate guide to wedding veils

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