How to Choose the Right Wedding Veil for Your Look

Brides Live Wedding, Jewelry & Accessories
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Photo: Corbin Gurkin

Nothing makes for a more dramatic entrance than a bride walking in wearing a veil. "A veil highlights a bride's appearance when walking down the aisle," says Stephanie Caravella, Associate Vice President at Bel Aire Bridal. "It can also enhance the wedding dress by complementing the beading or embroidery on the gown." But the decision isn't as simple as "to veil or not to veil." Different types of veils and lengths can completely transform your wedding style. While a blusher may convey a retro-chic vibe, a cathedral-length veil feels traditional and so dramatic. To help decide the style that's right for your wedding, we asked Caravella to break down the options.

Blusher. Going for a less traditional look with vintage appeal? "A blusher is a short veil (usually 30" in length) that falls over the face and ends near the top of the dress," says Caravella. "During the ceremony, it's pulled back to reveal the bride, which makes for an exciting and moving moment—the first time the groom sees his bride's face."

Elbow. If you want a more conservative look for your ceremony, an elbow-length veil is an elegant way to cover-up without wearing a bulky bolero or shrug. "An elbow veil (usually 32" in length) falls gracefully over the shoulders to the bride's—you guessed it—elbow," says Caravella.

Fingertip. "A fingertip veil (usually 38-40" in length) falls beyond the bride's hips and is a popular choice because it allows any design on the back of a bride's gown to be seen through the sheer fabric," says Caravella. And with all of the gorgeous, detailed-back wedding dresses spotted on the runway this season, who wouldn't want to show off that angle?

Waltz. There's no rule that says you need to take off your veil for the reception. But if you do choose to keep it on, make sure it won't get the in the way of dancing and mingling. "A waltz veil (usually 60" in length) falls to the mid-calf and is a great option for those who want to wear a longer veil for the reception, but still want the freedom to move throughout the evening."

Floor. "A floor-length veil (usually 72" in length) just grazes the floor and matches the length of the bride's gown," says Caravella. The flowing fabric will add extra volume to your look, perfect for a bride who was torn between a ball gown and more streamlined silhouette.

Chapel. Opting to forgo a train? A chapel-length veil will create the illusion of a train, without any pesky bustling required. "A chapel-length veil (usually 90" in length) sweeps across the floor extending slightly beyond the bride's gown," says Caravella.

Cathedral. For the most regal entrance, you must have a cathedral-length veil. "A cathedral-length veil (usually 108"-120" in length) extends beyond the train of the bride's gown and is the most dramatic down-the-aisle length."

Before you decide on your perfect veil length, you should also consider your hairstyle. If you're thinking of wearing your hair down in loose romantic waves, a veil will probably look best pinned to top of your head. For a pretty (and easy!) finish to an updo, try a tiara or headband, says Caravella. And no matter what, don't forget to bring your hair accessories to your trial so that your stylist can create the perfect 'do.

—Lauren Frankfort

The winner of Brides Live Wedding will wear a gorgeous veil from Bel Aire Bridal! While the deadline to enter Brides Live Wedding has passed, you can still enter to win amazing prizes every week like a Microsoft Surface tablet, an iPad Mini, and more! Enter now on Facebook.

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