Lynsey here, head veil designer at The Wedding Veil Shop popping in to bring you 9 gorgeous wedding veil styles!
What Are The Different Types Of Wedding Veils?
Whether you consider yourself to be an ultra-modern bride or a more traditional kind of gal, these wedding veil styles are all going to keep you beautifully in style for the year ahead.
We’ve included some example veils from our existing collection for each style, but you could also request a bespoke veil in any of these 9 styles. Just get in touch!
We’ve included wedding veil styles to suit all themes. From boho to vintage, contemporary to classic. We’ll also be offering tips and advice on how to style each type of veil, as well the kinds of dresses they would suit, and also what hairstyles they work best with.
So let’s dive in!
What are the different wedding veil styles?
So what are the different wedding veil styles? We’re going to take you through each style of veil in detail. Some of which you will definitely recognise, and others you may be seeing for the first time.
Let’s begin with perhaps the most recognisable type of veil, the one that you have likely seen many times before even if you’ve never looked much into veils or done any research, and that’s the two-tier veil.
The two-tier veil is by far the most traditional style of wedding veil in the UK. It has one layer that’s worn at the back of the bride’s head — which can be any length from shoulder length all the way to cathedral length — and a second, shorter layer, usually around waist length that goes over the bride’s face.
It’s also sometimes called a blusher veil. The “blusher” being the face veil part.
A two-tier veil gives brides that classic veiled look as she walks down the aisle. It also makes it possible to have the “lifting of the veil” moment during the ceremony which is also a big part of British wedding tradition.
Who Would Suit A Two-Tier Veil?
Anyone. It’s really a timeless classic look that can be worn by any bride with any wedding theme. See it on some of our real brides below. The two-tier veil can be made in so many designs and lengths so it’s an incredibly versatile option.
Can I Wear A Two-Tier Veil With Any Hairstyle?
Yes. Although if you do plan to wear the blusher layer over the face, wearing it at the crown or even further forward makes this slightly easier. Wearing it further back can make the blusher hang strangely especially if it has to come up and over a large hairstyle and tiara. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it can’t be done, but it is definitely preferable to wear it from the crown forward.
Our Real Brides Wearing Two-tier “Blusher” Veils
2. What Is A Single Tier Veil?
A single tier (or one-tier) veil is a modern evolvement of the traditional two-tier veil above. As brides decide to forgo the blusher layer over the face for the ceremony but still want the beauty and added drama of a veil from the back, it’s become common in recent decades to have a veil with one layer only. As with a two-tier veil, a single layer veil can be any length from short to long, but this layer stays behind the bride’s shoulders.
Who Would Suit A Single Tier Veil?
Again, anyone. It’s probably even more wearable than a two-tier veil in many ways as it stays quite neatly tucked behind the bride’s shoulders and doesn’t “interfere” in any way with the look of the bride’s dress from the front view.
Can I Wear A Single Tier Veil With Any Hairstyle?
Yes. And, again, it’s even easier to wear as it can go absolutely anywhere. Even tucked low down towards the nape of the brides neck. See our real bride images below. We love the single layer veil and are happy to customise any of our two-tier veils into a single layer version on request.
Our Real Brides Wearing Single Layer Veils
3. What Is A Drop Veil?
Moving on to one of the newer styles now, we have the beautiful and effortlessly sheer drop veil. Named for the way the veil drops straight down with zero gathering at the comb. This style is made to be worn over the face. The no-gather style means the blusher layer looks gossamer fine without any of the vertical lines caused by gathering to the comb.
Who Would Suit A Drop Veil?
The drop veil definitely produces a very soft and feminine look. So perfect for brides with soft, flowing gowns. Definitely a good option or any bohemian babes out there as well. Being a newer style, it can work equally well for more modern bridal gowns as well like the beautiful one worn by our real bride Siobhan below.
Can I Wear A Drop Veil With Any Hairstyle?
As with the two-tier veil above, a drop veil will work much better and hang more naturally if placed on the top of the head, somewhere between the crown and the front hairline. Therefore, it works really well with hair that allows for the comb to be inserted at the crown area. If you’re planning a hairstyle that involves really high curls at the crown then you might lose the “drop” effect. More natural, looser hair works best.
Our Real Brides Wearing Drop Veils
4. What Is A Mantilla Veil?
The beautiful Mantilla is a traditional Spanish wedding veil, almost always made from lace. Either an all-over lace, which is more typical for authentic Spanish brides. Or a full lace edge that is more commonly seen on brides in the United Kingdom. What makes a Mantilla veil different from a standard one or two-tier lace edge veil? It’s cut in an oval, ungathered (like a drop veil), and can either be worn with the lace over the head and no blusher, or it can be repositioned to include a blusher layer. See our beautiful real bride Abigail below wearing it both ways.
So How Do You Fasten A Mantilla Veil Into The Hair?
You might be wondering since the veil can be worn two ways – as a single layer or a two-layer – where does the comb go? Well, in many cases, to make it “dual-purpose” in this way Mantillas often won’t include a comb. They have to be pinned in place instead. This is not ideal for brides who would prefer a more simple solution. We have included a hidden comb under the lace of our Harmony veil (pictured), for example, so this now can only be worn as a one layer veil style as shown, but is super-easy to pop into the hair. The veil we made for real bride Abigail, on the other hand, didn’t have a comb. Luckily, it was so long, even at the blusher, it stayed put all by itself!
Who Would Suit A Mantilla Veil?
The Mantilla is a very striking wedding veil style. It can be used to create an exotic, Mediterranean vibe and looks amazing on dark-haired brides as the lace in the hair really pops. It can be combined with an equally lacey wedding gown or a simpler style to tone down the look.
Can I Wear A Mantilla Veil With Any Hairstyle?
Yes, pretty much. If you are going to have the no blusher option then the lace will be positioned across the top of your head close to the front hairline. As long as the hairstyle you choose can accommodate that, you should have no problems. If you plan to wear the Mantilla veil with a blusher, you might pin it slightly further back near the crown. If the Mantilla veil you choose does not have a comb, then there is a way you can pin the veil into the hair with a hatpin. Or you could request that a comb be added in the middle of the veil so you can wear it with a blusher, and sacrifice being able to reposition it later to wear as a single layer veil — you’d have a comb hanging halfway down your back which is not a good look for anyone.
Whew! This one was complicated, right?
Our Real Brides Wearing Mantilla Veils
5. What Is A Waterfall Veil?
A Waterfall veil is a single layer veil with shaped sides that cascade down like a… waterfall. 🙂
The sides on a typical single layer veil go straight up to the comb. A Waterfall cut veil’s sides are shaped which makes them bend and flow in a beautiful back-and-forth. A bold edge finish, like the satin binding in our example, help to really highlight this beautiful effect.
Who Would Suit A Waterfall Veil?
The waterfall cut is a really beautiful wedding veil style. It particularly suits longer veil lengths because the longer the veil the more the side shaping has a chance to show itself. I love to see a full-length waterfall cut veil paired with a mermaid dress. The shaping of the veil kind of scoops into the brides back at the slinky part of the dress and it’s just a really pretty effect.
Can I Wear A Waterfall Veil With Any Hairstyle?
Yes, you can. At its core it’s a single layer veil which as we know from above can go into the hair absolutely anywhere at all from the front hairline to the nape of your neck!
The Angel Cut Variation
There’s a close cousin to the Waterfall veil called Angel cut. It’s very similar except it comes to a soft point at the bottom like an angel wing.
Our Real Brides Wearing Waterfall Veils
6. What Is A Drape Veil?
A drape veil is a single layer veil that is attached to two separate combs worn on either side of the head connecting a draping section of tulle. It’s been increasing slowly in popularity over the last few seasons. It’s possible to create a very vintage 1920s look with this type of veil especially if combined with a draping headpiece and sheath or column gown. For the best effect, opt for a slightly heavier draping tulle like our Silk Effect tulle.
Who Would Suit A Drape Veil?
The drape wedding veil style would suit a vintage wedding theme. It always makes me think of the Downton Abbey era; 20s, 30s. I want to pair it with some chunky art-deco hair jewellery and a gorgeous slinky dress. Technically drape veils could be any length that’s longer than the draped section, but ideally this style suits full-length veils that reach the floor and beyond.
Can I Wear A Drape Veil With Any Hairstyle?
As with any veil attached to a comb, it’s always going to be easier with hair that’s at least partly up so that there’s some resistance for the comb to work against. So with two combs, perhaps completely loose hair isn’t the best idea. If you really want to play up the vintage look, you could go for a wide and low chignon and pop the combs above that on either side. Perhaps with a sparkly hair accessory in between like our beautiful bride Katie.
Our Real Brides Wearing Drape Veils
7. What Is A ‘Barely There’ Veil?
A ‘barely there’ veil is yet another variation on the ever-popular single layer veil. This time, as well as the sides being shaped as with the Waterfall veil above, ‘barely there’ veils are cut in such a way as to reduce the amount of tulle near the comb. This gives it a really sheer and ‘barely there’ appearance in the hair. The veil can be any length you like but they’re more popular in longer lengths.
As the idea behind this wedding veil style is for it to be really sheer and transparent you will often find they don’t have very bold edgings; usually a cut edge or a pencil edge. We love our most recent ‘barely there’ veil Violet dotted with oodles of pearls. They almost look like they’re in the hair itself!
Who Would Suit A ‘Barely There’ Veil?
The ‘barely there’ veil is quite a slim and narrow style. I therefore find it works best with slinkier dresses like sheaths and mermaids. The veil will naturally want to drop in a sleek column down the bride’s back but if the veil reaches the floor like on our chapel length Sia veil, then you will be able to create some nice floor spread.
Can I Wear A ‘Barely There’ Veil With Any Hairstyle?
Yes, absolutely. It is still a single layer veil so it’s the easiest wedding veil style in terms of hair placement. Our gorgeous real bride Olivia below opted for a half-up-half-down hairstyle which looked absolutely stunning.
Our Real Brides Wearing ‘Barely There’ Veils
8. What Is A Juliet Cap Veil?
A Juliet cap veil is yet another single layer wedding veil style — who knew there were so many! I’m even surprising myself as I write this list.
Instead of being topped with a traditional comb, the veil is finished with a shaped section of tulle that forms a little ‘cap’ over the bride’s head. It’s then almost always decorated in some way, usually with lace but it could be flowers, embroidery, etc. Because the capped top means you can’t wear a headpiece, the decoration on the Juliet cap veil takes the place of that detailing in your hair. A two-in-one, if you like.
Who Would Suit A Juliet Cap Veil?
The Juliet cap veil is absolutely one for the boho babes out there. It really has that bohemian vibe of carefree elegance. Kate Moss famously wore a Juliet cap veil for her wedding and if she isn’t the epitome of casual beauty then I don’t know who is!
Can I Wear A Juliet Cap Veil With Any Hairstyle?
Yes. However you might want to avoid too much height on top so as not to distort the cap. Most Juliet caps come without a comb. You’ll usually attach them on either side of the head either with Kirby grips or with a ribbon tied underneath your hair. If you’re trying to achieve boho perfection, a loose wavy hairstyle is a must.
The Skull Cap Variation
There is a slightly more exaggerated version of the Juliet cap veil called a Skull cap veil. Instead of the capped section being on the top only and fastened at the sides, the Skull cap veil completely encircles the head. This means you have to wear your hair up and tuck it all into the skull cap.
Our Real Brides Wearing Juliet Cap Veils
9. What Is A Birdcage Veil?
A birdcage veil is a very different style of wedding veil altogether. It’s a small face veil that usually stops somewhere between the nose and chin. Sometimes it can be a full face veil, and sometimes it’s worn just over one eye. It’s very common to see birdcage veils made from a wide, open kind of millinery netting, but you can also find them made from soft veiling tulle, as with our Maddison veil.
The other thing that makes birdcage veils very different is that you don’t necessarily need to lift the veil off the face during the ceremony. Unless it’s in the way of your kiss, of course! But the ones that end near the nose or just across one eye can stay in place. All day if you wish. Our gorgeous real bride Becky kept hers on right through to the first dance (which was epic, by the way — I was actually a guest at this wedding)!
Who Would Suit A Birdcage Veil?
A birdcage veil lends itself beautifully to a vintage wedding theme. It can also provide a dose of 1940s-1950s Hollywood glamour and suits brides with a chic sense of style. I love seeing a birdcage veil paired with a tea-length dress, and I especially loved Becky’s fabulous hi-low gown!
Technically you can. They come attached to a small comb that can be popped in anywhere. But I feel they’re generally best suited to an updo for two reasons:
One is the style. They provide such a distinctive vintage vibe that they look amazing with a matching retro hairstyle.
And the second reason is that birdcage veils are funny little things. When you first get yours out of the box and pop it in, expecting it to sit jauntily over one eye all by itself, you might be disappointed! They generally need a bit of extra help by the way of hairgrips at either side to get them to sit just how you want them and actually curve down over the forehead. So an updo is a much better base for this.
Our Real Brides Wearing Birdcage Veils
Aaand, that’s it. My round-up of the 9 most gorgeous wedding veil styles to choose from in 2021, with a few tips thrown in for good measure. I hope I’ve answered any questions you may have had as well as shown you a few veil styles you hadn’t considered before. As ever, if you need one-to-one help finding the perfect wedding veil style for your dress, we’re here to help. Get in touch here.