Veil Gathering Styles

We have a number of veil gathering styles available here at The Wedding Veil Shop. This can be a difficult topic to explain but hopefully, in combination with the images below, it will start to make sense. 

What Are The Different Gathering Styles For Veils?

In our veil collections, you’ll see our wedding veils are gathered in six main styles: For two-layer veils, they can be fully gathered, centre gathered or ‘drop veil’ style aka ungathered. For single-layer veils, they can have standard/traditional gathering, be ungathered in the “barely-there” style or mantilla style (specific to lace veils).

These six veil gathering styles create very different looks. Below, we’ll really get into the nitty-gritty of each one, but for a quick visual, check out the two videos below that show each of the six options.

Gathering - 1 Layer Veils

Gathering - Two Layer Veils

Gathering Options For Two Layer Veils

Centre Gathering

The centre gathered veil is the most popular of all the options by far when it comes to our two-layer veils. As its name may suggest, the veil is gathered only in the centre leaving sections of tulle on either side of the comb loose and flowing. We call these pieces “drop shoulders” and they create a very pretty effect around the bride’s arms and shoulders.

If you’re looking for a veil that has a little bit of gathering, but is still quite sheer and can be brought around the arms and shoulders or worn behind, then this popular and versatile gathering style is the one for you.

Let’s try and give you a sense of what this gathering style looks like now with a selection of veils in this style.

Two layer fingertip length veil guide
Wedding veil with satin edge on bride
Centre gathering from the front worn over the face
Carrie – two layer hip length veil with scattered diamantes
Centre gathered veil from the side
Bride wearing two layer bridal veil with lace appliques
Centre gathered veil from the back

Full Gathering

Let’s move on now to full gathering. Not nearly as popular today as either the centre or even the drop options, but it’s not without its benefits. For example, if you don’t want your veil to drape around your arms and shoulder as on our centre gathered option, or if you want more gathering and height at the comb area. The sides on a fully gathered veil style don’t drop down but rather go straight up to the comb on either side. 

As a picture speaks a thousand words, let’s have a look at some examples!

Wedding veil gathering short fully gathered
Bride wearing a pretty floor length veil with a simple edge
Fully gathered veil from the front
Beaded wedding veil
Fully gathered veil from the side
Full gathering from the back

Drop Veils

The drop veil is a pretty, sheer style that actually has zero gathering at the comb. A few folds will appear in the veil naturally as it’s shaped over the head. But there are no sewn gathered lines at the comb area making this type of veil the sheerest and most delicate of them all. 

The drop veil style is better suited to plain veils. Keeping the veil as light as possible puts less pressure on the ungathered tulle at the comb area. We wouldn’t recommend this style for a lace veil, for example. Best to go for centre gathered for that option.

Wedding veil gathering short drop veil
Matilda - two tier hip length drop veil with a cut edge and scattered pearls
Example of a drop veil
MATILDA – two tier hip length drop veil with a cut edge and scattered pearls (3)
Drop veil from the side worn over the face
Close up of bride wearing a beaded drop veil
Drop veil from the back worn over the face

As you can see, the drop veil is stunning and so beautifully sheer. Hopefully the benefits of this style are pretty self-explanatory!

What might still be confusing you though is the difference between the first two options. We have made a little video to show the main differences between centre gathering and fully gathering options below.

Gathering Options Single Layer Veils

For single-layer veils, there are another three options for how we can attach your veil comb. In the standard, traditional way gathered right across the top. In the “barely-there” style which has no gathering and is really sheer. And finally, the mantilla style which is similar to barely-there but also traditionally has a lace trim that, instead of finishing on either side of the comb, continues up and over for a very pretty effect.

Standard Gathering

This is the traditional and most commonly seen gathering style on a single layer veil, with its pleated gathering at the comb. If worn at the back of the head it will sit in a slim column down the bride’s back, or if worn slightly higher up it can frame the bride’s arms and shoulders too. When in doubt, this is the one to go for.

One layer fingertip length veil guide
Long veil
Back view of a standard gathered single layer veil.
Sophia - one layer hip length veil with rhinestone edging
Side view of a standard gathered one layer veil
LAYLA - one layer chapel length veil with pretty lace detailing
Front view of a standard gathered single layer veil

“Barely-there” (aka ungathered)

There is no gathering at the comb of a “barely there” veil making it ultra-sheer and minimal in style. With no vertical gathering lines in the tulle, you can really see every detail of your dress so they’re great for open or backless dresses or ornate lace illusion backs.

They’re not so great, however, with anything too heavy on the veil. Gathering equals strength, so if you want lace on your veil I would recommend the traditional gathered veil or a mantilla style which can both take the weight of the lace where the barely-there veils can’t. That said, barely-there veils are perfect for plain or lightly beaded veils.

barely there veil - violet edited no pearls
Violet – Single layer barely there veil in fingertip length with mixed size pearls
Side view of a barely there veil
Real bride Olivia wears our barely there Sia veil
Real bride Olivia wears our barely there Sia veil
Gloria - one layer chapel length barely there veil with a crystal beaded veil topper bride sitting down bw
Back view of a barely there veil with a decorative comb

Mantilla Style

The mantilla wedding veil describes a full lace-edged veil where the lace continues up and over the comb and really frames the bride’s hair as it cascades down each side. This traditional style veil typically has a thick lace trim all along the edge. For hundreds of years, Spanish, Latin, and even Italian brides have worn this look on their wedding day. It’s as stunning in modern ceremonies today as it was centuries ago.

Harmony mantilla lace veil closeup
Harmony – single layer chapel length lace edged mantilla veil with comb
Mantilla style as seen from the front
Harmony - single layer chapel length lace edged mantilla veil with comb closeup of hair
Side view of mantilla style
Harmony – single layer chapel length lace edged mantilla veil with comb
Example of a mantilla veil

Still Unsure?

We’re hoping this guide to veil gathering styles has been helpful, but if you’re still feeling lost, don’t worry! We’re always here to help and answer any questions. Just get in touch.

Or perhaps you’ve seen a veil you love but you can’t quite define which gathering style it has. We can help with that too. Send us your images and we will tell you what style you need to select to acheive the same look.

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