Nail the Veil: A Cliff Notes Guide to Your Wedding-Day Headpiece

Jewelry & Accessories
Veil Guide

Photo: Christian Oth

After you find your dream wedding dress, you'll need to choose the perfect headpiece to top off your look. Whether you go for a flower crown, retro birdcage, or a traditional cathedral veil, a hair accessory ties a big day look together. Rule no. 1: The more formal your gown, the longer the veil should be. Here, a cliff notes guide to every type of veil, and which type wedding gown they look best with!

Cathedral: About 120 inches of pure drama; oft worn by royal brides.
Best with: A princessy ball gown (with train) and a titled groom.

Birdcage: A small, wide-net veil that covers only your face.
Best with: A vintage style or a short dress. (It's just the thing for a city-hall affair.)

Flyaway: Hits a little below your shoulders to create a voluminous triangle shape.
Best with: A more casual style, like a lacy sheath.

Elbow: Extends to your elbows for a semiformal look.
Best with: A full-skirted gown with little to no train. (And it won't overwhelm petites.)

Fingertip: Reaches just past your hands.
Best with: Both body skimmers and ball gowns. (Duchess Kate wore one!)

Ballet: A less-common choice, hits right at your ankles. Also known as a waltz veil.
Best with: An ankle-length dress for a clean silhouette.

Chapel: Ninety inches long; drags (a bit!) on the ground.
Best with: A statement gown that puddles so the veil can glide along with your dress.

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