real wedding photo outdoor summer garden wedding portrait bride and groom in white mira zwillinger flower applique veil

Your Guide to Selecting the Right Veil Lengths for Your Wedding Dress

Find out which veil length is right for the silhouette of your bridal gown.

If you choose to wear a veil on your big day, there are a number of styles and lengths to choose from. If you’re stuck on what kind of veil might coordinate well with your dress, we’ve put together some suggestions for length based solely on the silhouette of your gown.

Accessories
real wedding photo outdoor summer garden wedding portrait bride and groom in white mira zwillinger flower applique veil
Photo: Max & Friends

You’ve done the impossible: you’ve narrowed down your choices and selected The One. While we’re excited you have decided on a life partner, in this particular article, “The One” refers to your wedding dress. So, you found a style and a silhouette that you feel stunning and confident in – what’s the next step? Most would say an accompanying veil is in order!

If you choose to wear a wedding veil on your big day, there are a number of styles and veil lengths to choose from. If you’re stuck on what kind of veil might coordinate well with your ensemble, we’ve put together some suggestions for length based solely on the silhouette of your bridal gown.

Your dream veil – for example, many brides love cathedral veils – may be a great option for one type of bridal gown but not for another, so if a long veil or cathedral veil length is what you've always desired, it's important to pair the length you desire with the right gown.

Find out which length of veil is the right choice for your wedding gown:

If your dress is a ball gown… 

-  You will be channeling your inner princess with the classic, full skirt. If you’d like to further enhance this romantic motif, consider the fingertip-length veil (40 to 45 inches). This wedding veil reaches about down to your fingertips and would blend perfectly into a full tulle skirt, giving the illusion of a veil with a longer length without covering any of the skirt detail.

- If your ball gown does not feature a tulle skirt, a thicker chapel veil (90-inch length) would bring a dramatic flair to your feminine look. 

-  If the back of your dress – bodice – is particularly low or generously embellished, a shoulder veil (19 to 22 inches) would allow you to show off the details you desire.

If your dress is an A-line… 

-  A-line gowns are incredibly versatile; many different wedding veil lengths can work very well with this particular silhouette. You’ll really have to consider the back of your gown and then elements you’d like in full view. 

- If the back features intricate beading, appliqués, or an interesting design, we recommend a thin elbow veil (24 to 30 inches) or a thick shoulder veil. 

-  If you want to add a boldness to the back of your gown, longer veil lengths would provide you with a healthy dose of drama. Longer veils – cathedral length (108 to 120 inches), chapel length, or even – if space and general awareness permit – a royal or regal length veil (over 120 inch length) will stun your guests.

If your dress is a modified A-line… 

-  Slightly different from the classic A-line, the modified version is more fitted on the hips, eventually flaring out around the top of the thigh. With such a dramatic jet-off, you’ll want the bottom of your gown to be in full view, so a mid-hip veil (33 to 36 inches) will likely hang just above the start of the skirt. 

-  Shorter veils such as the elbow, shoulder, and flyaway veil (20-inch length) will give your gown room to shine while simultaneously drawing attention up to your face.

If your dress is a trumpet… 

-  The trumpet gown lies right between the modified A-line and the mermaid in terms of a flared skirt. The dress will be fitted close to the body until about mid-thigh, where it jets out. 

- If you’re following the same pattern from the modified A-line, a fingertip veil should fall right around the origin of the flare and coordinate beautifully with the eye-catching skirt. 

-  To contrast the flare, a very short veil, such as the flyaway or even a birdcage veil (9 to 18 inches and typically covering the top of your head) would add a cheeky element to your attire and show your playful side.

Couple Under Veil

Photo by Haley Ringo Photography

If your dress is a mermaid… 

-  The same theory applies. Mermaid dresses generally flare out around the knee, so a semi-waltz length veil (61-inch length) or a waltz-length or knee veil (70 to 75 inches) would hit your lower legs in just the right spot, depending on your height, making your ensemble cohesive. 

- Additionally, mermaid dresses jet out close enough to the ground to get away with an even longer wedding veil. If you’re looking to bring a regal element to this playful silhouette, consider a thin chapel or cathedral veil as well.

If your dress is a sheath… 

-  For a narrow dress that stays at a consistent shape from neckline to hem, you have your choice of bridal veil styles. Depending on the intricacy of your full ensemble, most any veil style will look stunning – decide how much of your gown you’d like to show off, and select your veil based on this. 

-  If your dress is very simply bedecked, take the opportunity to get a thicker, or more heavily embellished veil. Similarly, a layered veil adds volume to your bridal look.

If your dress is tea length… 

-  For a dress with a hemline that falls between your knee or ankle, you might be looking to exude a vintage, time period-specific look on your big day. If this is the case, we recommend a stylish birdcage veil – available with a variety of small to large appliqués and embellishments. It will embolden your classic look! 

-  To layer your wedding attire, consider a chapel veil to give your ensemble a “high-low” concept or an elbow or mid-hip veil to add an element of traditional bridal charm to your avant-garde look.

If your dress is a mini… 

-  So you don’t believe you can wear a veil with your shorter dress – in which the hemline falls above the knee – for your wedding? Think again! Chances are, your heart is set on a more casual look for the big day: a style that typically works well with a shorter veil. 

- A flyaway, shoulder, or even elbow veil would give you an extra boost as far as the “classic wedding” motif is concerned, while having the correct length for a minidress. 

-  A birdcage veil is also a unique, causal accessory for this particular style of dress. Since the frock won’t create as much drama – fabric-wise – a large, even colorful veil can be your offbeat statement piece for the “I dos.”

If you're planning on wearing a veil for wedding photos only, that's totally okay! You'll still want to choose between a chapel-length veil, cathedral-length veil, elbow-length veil, and so on. For morewedding veil inspiration – including the famous cathedral veil, view our photo galleries! Be sure to also browse through hundreds of real weddings by your desired style, location, color palette, and more!


Opening photo by Max & Friends; Bridal Salon: Mark Ingram Atelier; Planning & Design by Beth Helmstetter Events. See the full real wedding here