How Long Will You Wear Your Wedding Veil?

From just the ceremony to all day, and everything in between.

Although some women choose to forgo a veil altogether for the big day, there are many others who feel it completes their bridal ensemble.

Photo: Elizabeth Messina

Although some women choose to forgo a veil altogether for the big day, there are many others who feel it completes their bridal ensemble. However, while changing into a reception dress is relatively common, the majority of brides wear their wedding dress all day. Veils, on the other hand, are almost always removed at some point during the celebration – which raises the question: when should you wear your veil? There is no wrong answer, and it can depend on the type of veil you choose to wear.

when to wear your bridal veil, should you wear your veil during the first look?
Photo by Kesha Lambert Photography

Shorter veils are easier to wear for a longer period of time than chapel or cathedral styles, for the simple reason that you won’t have to deal with anyone stepping on it. At a minimum, most brides elect to remove it for the dancing portion of the reception, as veils can get in the way with crowds. Hugging your guests or even sitting down at dinner can also pull on your veil. If you go for a birdcage variety, it will be much easier to wear throughout the event. Some women change from a longer veil to a birdcage style, fascinator, or elaborate headpiece to keep the bridal look during the reception. 

Of course, the decision is not necessarily just about when to take a veil off, but also when to put it on. If you and your future spouse choose to do a “first look,” you may be debating whether or not to have your veil on during that moment. One reason why brides choose to put it on later is so there is still another surprise when walking down the aisle. The downside is that in most cases, the hairstylist will be gone once you’re ready to put the veil on; however, your mom or a bridesmaid can always be shown how to put it on securely while you’re still getting ready. It also depends on how many photos you want your veil in. If you have a detailed or intricate bridal veil, you may want to wear it for all of the portraits and other pictures taken, while if you kept it simple or only wore a veil to appease someone else like a family member, you might prefer to have it on for just the ceremony. 

For more advice, find out the right heel height for your big day and see examples of real flower crowns to inspire your bridal look.

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