Wedding Veils have ancient origins. They have been used in many cultures and traditions dating back many, many centuries.
Traditionally veils were used to disguise the bride from preying evil spirits. The bride would be covered from head to toe so she would remain unseen. As traditions have progressed throughout the ages the veil has also come to be a symbol of chastity and modesty and is symbolic in the wedding ceremony as it is said to be a symbol of the pureness of the bride and when it is lifted by the groom that purity is then opened up for him. Think opening a present for Xmas. Now they tend to be more a statement piece and vary in types and styles depending on the look of the bride and her personal preference.
Types of Veil
There are many types of veil to choose from and the choice is usually determined by the choice of dress and the individual style of the bride. Here are a list of your typical veil lengths and styles.
Bird Cage (or Bandeau) Wedding Veil: 4-9"
This cute veil is popular for more vintage and retro wedding themes it is short, it is cute and it is flirty. Usually made or net or lace, this veil can just cover the eyes, touch your nose or cover the whole face down to the jaw line.veil can cover just the eyes, skim the nose or fall at the jawline.
Shoulder-Length Wedding Veil: 20-22"
The shoulder length veil stops at the shoulders and is usually worn by brides looking for a more traditional look that does no detract from the dress. These look great with heavily embellished and beaded gowns.
Blusher (or Wedge) Wedding Veil: 30"
A blusher veil covers the the brides face it is short and sweet and ends just where the dress begins. The blusher veil takes its name (allegedly) from the "blush" of the bride and groom when the veil is lifted and the groom sees his brides face for the first time on their wedding day during the ceremony.
Elbow Wedding Veil: 32"
This is a great all rounder slightly shorter than the fingertip length but similar in function and style. Covering the shoulders and falling to the elbow this veil offers snugness and style while remaining light and floaty. Because the veil stops at the elbow, any detailing on the dress is still very visibly on display this works well with dresses with detail but also ads something to simpler style more modern design dresses.
Fingertip Wedding Veil: 38-40"
A bit more snugly than the elbow length as this veil is the full length of the arm, ideal for cooler climates as it can offer some arm coverage of those who feel a little more self conscious. This is also a fab chic length which can match most dresses as it can tone down high detail in the back of the dress or offer some coverage to the backless dress. Being sheer it will not cover completely so will no will not overly detract. Also in more minimalist dresses this is also a great way to add a statement.
Knee-Length Wedding Veil: 48"
This is a great option to add elegance and a touch of drama without the heavy weight of a much longer veil. a little less floaty than the fingertip but still light enough to "swish" on the dance floor. This veil will hide quite a bit of detailing in the dress particularly at the back so is more suited to a simpler design. However the veil is well suited to any dress style.
Ballet Wedding Veil: 60"
Generally people will remove their veil after the ceremony for the reception but this is not a requirement and many brides like to keep their veil on for the who wedding. A ballet veil (also known as a waltz veil) pretty much does what it says on the tin. It is la long veil but short enough that it won't get in the way of your grooving during the reception. This veil falls to the mid-calf and is a great option for brides who want to wear a longer style veil for their wedding but still want the freedom to move.
Floor-Length Wedding Veil: 72"
The floor length veil will add more drama and volume to your bridal look. This veil matches the length of the bridal dress and just touches on the floor.
Chapel Wedding Veil: 90"
This veil is slightly longer than the dress so it sweeps along the ground when the bride walks similar to a train. This is a great option for dresses with no train if you would like the trailing effect without the weight and faff of a long trailing dress. These can add real drama to very simple dresses as well.
Cathedral Wedding Veil: 108-120"
For the most show stopping entrance perfect for a large venue and aisle a cathedral wedding veil is a must have. This is the longest of veils and extends way past the length of the dres and slong the aisle. These are a great accessory for dramatic wedding portraits ans ceremony shots. Not as practical for the reception though and can be a heavy weight to bear on your neck. It is helpful to have them easily removable after the photographer has those great drama shots.