The wedding veil is a matrimonial symbol which is rooted in superstition and romance. Tradition has it that it may be a bad omen to the couple if the groom views his bride in a wedding gown right before the ceremony; hence, the veil was used to conceal the bride’s face. The lifting of the bridal veil by the groom is also a much-anticipated moment, awaited by everyone in attendance as an ushering symbol of the couple’s married life together.
Since there is this much emphasis on the veil as a wedding garment, naturally there would be a variety of these to be opted for, differing in lengths and styles, but with the same purpose; to conceal the bride before the groom makes his move for the kiss.
The blusher or shoulder veil is a short, single-tiered covering which is 24-26 inches in length, running from the headpiece cap to the veil’s hem lines (the hem falls just beneath the collarbone or just above the bust). This type of veil is meant to totally conceal the bride’s face, and is a symbol of her innocence and modesty; consequently, this veil is the popular choice among first-time brides.
The bubble-shaped veil is one which falls in a circle around the head, lending the headdress a more voluminous appearance. Fly-away veils have multiple layers, and are long enough to brush the shoulders; they are ideally meant as a non-formal accessory to less formal bridal gowns, but may be used with gowns which have details running along the back of the bodice. For older brides, the birdcage veil is more commonly used. It is a covering made out of sparsely-weaved open netting, and extends in length to just above the chin.
Semi-Cathedral and Cathedral veils are lengthy, and can extend for up to twelve inches beyond the limits of the gown’s train; these are ideally used for gowns with Cathedral trains. These types of veils are for formal weddings, and may be paired with shorter veils for a more regal look. Chapel-length veils are meant to be worn with wedding gowns which have chapel-length trains; the garment extends in length for up to four feet, starting from the waist.
Elbow-length veils are multi-layered coverings which extend in length to the elbows. The fingertip veil is commonly opted for by most brides, since it complements almost any dress with its ideal length. It may be worn with relative ease throughout the wedding ceremony and reception. Ballet-length veils are ideally used for sheath gowns, or for those without extended trains; it is lengthy, and drops down to the ankles, but without touching the ground.
Short veils are not worn by themselves, but instead serve as a complementing piece to longer veils for the wedding ceremony; because of the ease of their use, short veils are worn for the reception. Tiered veils are multi-layered, but essentially are composed of parts of the same garment piece; they may come in different combinations of lengths and styles.
Apart from varying lengths, veils are also worn in an assortment of styles, and in different ways. Some have scalloped trimmings on the edges, while others have an intricate piece of cloth which runs around the hem. The wedding veil may be worn with or without a headpiece; it may not be opted for use as well if the bride wishes to wear a headpiece by itself. If you like, check out our selection of bridal veils and dresses at Allure Bridal.