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How To Choose The Right Veil For Your Dress

How To Choose The Right Veil For Your Dress

Choosing the right veil for your dress is something our brides are concerned about at the best of times. But it’s especially tricky at the moment, during what is now our third National Lockdown, because those brides who would much prefer to come and see us in person for a wedding veil try-on session extravaganza, can’t. 🙁

That said, the rules of what to pair with what aren’t nearly as hard and fast as you might think. The idea some brides have that there is only one veil that’s right for your dress, isn’t true at all. There are always several veils that could work equally well with your gown, and in this blog, we going to show you a few things to look for as you pick yours out!

And may we also just say; you’re in good hands as this is nothing new for us even before Covid. As a bridal accessories retailer that’s 90% online and only 10% in-person, we’re very well-versed in helping our brides to choose their veils “virtually.” We’ve been doing it for over 15 years!

Beautiful Bride In A Bardot Dress And Long Veil

Let’s Talk Wedding Dress Details

The type of veil you choose all depends on your dress details, silhouette and train length (if it’s a long one).

There are so many different types of wedding dresses out there which is why we offer so many veils!

We’re going to start by looking at which veils match best with beautifully detailed dresses like beaded and lacey gowns. Which ones go best with super simple and chic styles. (HINT: it’s all of them). And finally, which veil lengths work well with particular dress silhouettes, and which length of veil you might need for your train.

Let’s go through each of the options below.

Sophia Tolli Nikita
Modern Floral Boho Lace Wedding Dress NIKITA | STYLE Y22051

Tip 1. What veil should I wear with a lace wedding dress?

Lace wedding dresses come in varying degrees of laciness. They can be all-over lace all the way up to a high neck with full lace sleeves, or they can be mostly tulle with just a few lace appliques dotted in the skirt.

If your dress is the former, you might want to keep it fairly simple with the veil. If it’s the latter, you’re free to go to town on the veil without reservation. The key is to aim for a nice balance and keep the ‘busyness’ levels under control. Once you’ve entered the realms of too much, it’s hard to dial it back.

If you are going to add a lace veil to a lace dress, try to get as close as possible to the lace on your gown. We can help you with this, don’t worry. Try to match up shapes and patterns within the lace; scrolling shapes, flowers, crisscross hatch marks, etc.

If the dress lace has sparkly beading on it, make sure the veil’s lace is sparkly too otherwise it can look a bit odd to have one matte and one shiny.

7328 Glamorous Beaded Wedding Dress With Slit By Stella York
7328 by Stella York

Tip 2. What veil should I wear with a beaded dress?

I think it makes sense if your dress is sparkly to have a few beads on your veil too. You can keep it subtle if you like, perhaps just a light scattering of diamantes. But you chose a sparkly dress for a reason, right? So you may as well add a few on the veil to catch the light. Otherwise, the front of your dress will be super-sparkly and the back will be toned down by the veil.

I know this idea might scare some brides, however. So if you want to keep it plain that’s okay too. The veiling tulle is so sheer the dress details will still show through.

Sadie Wedding Dress Style 2138 Morilee By Madeline Gardner
STYLE #2138 Sadie Wedding Dress

Tip 3. What veil should I wear with a plain dress?


Girl, you are a beautiful blank canvas and the world is your oyster. Your options are endless and the choice is yours.

Whether you’ve chosen a lustrous satin or silk dress, or a matte chiffon or crepe one, if your dress is understated and simple, you really do have the whole range of veils available to you.

Perhaps you’re one of the many brides I speak to who’s ended up with a dress they didn’t think they would choose. Maybe you were so sure you would get a lace or beaded dress and instead ended up falling for a simple but stunning gown? Well now’s your chance to claim back some of those pretty details you always wanted by way of your veil. You can literally have anything you’d like you lucky thing!

Tip 4. Which Veil Is Best For My Dress Silhouette?

There are certain dress silhouettes that suit different veil lengths really well. The silhouettes have certain features that create a good spot for the veil to end.

For example, a ballgown dress will tend to have a very nipped-in waist so you could go for a waist length veil to just draw the eye to that area even more.

Martin Thornburg Remington
Ball gown style dress | REMINGTON | STYLE 220282 by Martin Thornburg

A fishtail, mermaid or fit and flare dress will have a spot, usually around fingertip level, where the train starts to kick out. A fingertip veil that ends just above that looks great.

Blush Fishtail Wedding Dress
Mermaid dress Ferne by House of Mooshki

A tea length dress often has quite a fluffy triangular shaped skirt. A full and fluffy elbow length veil can echo that shape and give a great retro vibe.

Justin Alexander - Style 88089 English Net A-Line Tea Length Gown With Detachable Jacket
English Net A-Line Tea Length Gown STYLE 88089

Slim sheath and column dresses often have very minimal trains and so look great with an equally slim floor length veil.

Brooke dress by Charlie Brear

And lastly, I’ve yet to find a dress that doesn’t look AMAZING with a full-length floor, chapel or cathedral length veil. They just completely encompass and surround the dress in an ephemeral, gauzy layer that looks absolutely beautiful no matter which dress shape you have.

We’re rather fond of a long veil here, in case you can’t tell. 😉

Long Veil

Tip 5. What Length of Veil Goes With My Dress’ Train?

There are three veil lengths that touch the floor: Floor length, chapel length and cathedral length.

Most designers will list on their website what the train length is for a particular dress, but to be honest you can usually just eyeball it.

No train or hardly any train would be floor length. A modest train with 2-3 feet of fabric on the floor would be chapel length, and any longer than that, 4-5 feet plus, would be cathedral length.

Some examples below.

Bride Wearing A Typical Floor Length Veil
Example of floor length
Bride Wearing A Typical Chapel Length Veil
Example of chapel length
Bride Wearing A Typical Cathedral Length Veil
Example of cathedral length

One Final Thought On Veil Lengths

It used to be that the venue dictated the length of your veil. That’s how we ended up with veil lengths like chapel length, cathedral length, etc. This really isn’t as important anymore. If you’re getting married in a church, a hotel or a barn these are all fair game as far as I’m concerned for rocking any length of veil up to and including a cathedral veil!

You go for it.

Bride In Long Lace Veil

So that’s the end of our blog on choosing the right veil for your dress and/or choosing your veil during lockdown. I hope it was very helpful.

And let me just remind you that at the end of the day, what you choose for your wedding ensemble should be 100% your choice, your personal preference. Brides are free to choose whatever they want and this is intended as a guide only. You do you. 🙂

Check out some of our other helpful posts:

Wedding Veil Care: Helpful Storage, Cleaning & Steaming Tips

9 Beautiful Wedding Veil Styles You Should Know About

Comments (10)

  1. I have a beaded 1920’s vibes sheath dress and getting married in Greece in May, do you have any tips for veils and wind? There’s also a short boat trip involved, I’m all for the floating veil drama but dont want my head to be ripped off, are veil weights a thing? I’m thinking of a long veil with some dotted diamantes and my hair down, are there any tricks for keeping it in check? Thanks 😊

    1. Veil weights are a thing that exists but I’ve never used or recommended them. I’d much rather see a veil caught in a breeze than clamped to the floor. But maybe that’s just me, lol. Of course, if it’s really reeeeaaaallly windy you might have to hold your veil over your arm for a bit. Having said that – look at this! https://www.instagram.com/p/CTPzKH1sBZ6

  2. Warning on gowns with heavily beaded bodices that go past your waste, be cautious about beaded edged fingertip veils. I bought a beautiful one that looked great with my dress, but when I walked in it across seamstress floor, it got snagged and the beading started to rip away. I now have to do a raw edge veil as I have no time to find another to match my unique colored gown.

    1. Oh no!! Heavily beaded bodices are tricky for veils, defintiely. I find the ones with diamante/rhinestone set in those little clawed settings the worst culprits for snagging on veils!

  3. My actual dress is cathedral length and its satin off the shoulder, I’m worried a cathedral length veil will compete with the dress. Should I get a floor length or chapel? I’m not sure quite what to do. Thanks!

    1. I personally prefer veils that extend past the train rather than sitting on it, but all this is just personal preference, of course. You can have a shorter one if you wish! 🙂

  4. Lynsey Help!!!!
    I’m a plus size bride with a off the shoulder fitted dress. I was hoping to wear a cape veil due to my Star WEs themed wedding but I got one custom made ans it takes to much away from the dress. But I need a veil that will hel0 hide my arms.

    Got any ideas?

    1. Sure! Anything in our full width tulle that’s two layered will have nice cascading sides that will float around the arms and shoulders. A drop veil is even kind of cape-like…👀 somethign like our Caitlyn veil perhaps? https://theweddingveilshop.co.uk/shop/veils/plain-veils/caitlyn-two-layer-chapel-length-drop-veil-with-a-cut-edge-and-extra-long-blusher/ And maybe we could embroider something on it to tie in with your theme? Just a thought! 🥰

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