Veil or No Veil, Here's How Make a Decision You Won't Regret

We're unveiling the pros and cons of wearing a veil so you can make the right choice.
Meghan Markle, Sofia Richie, and Vanessa Hudgens on their wedding day wearing wedding dress and veil
Getty Images/German Larkin/Jorden DeGaetano
lauren whalley headshot
Lauren Whalley
lauren whalley headshot
Lauren Whalley
Fashion Editor, Beauty & Inclusivity
  • Lauren writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a specialty in fashion, beauty and size inclusivity.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Lauren worked in wedding editorial for Brides, Style Me Pretty and Enaura Bridal.
  • Lauren studied public relations and advertising at the University of Central Florida.
Updated Mar 20, 2024
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Veil or no veil—that's the question.Many brides-to-be grapple with the decision of whether or not to wear a wedding veil on their big day, but the truth is, you don't have to wear a veil with your dress if you don't want to. Wearing a bridal veil is laced in tradition and has been a staple in pop culture, from royal wedding veils on Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton to celebrity veils on stars like Sofia Richie and Vanessa Hudgens. but in recent years, more and more brides have chosen to forego the veil altogether or opt for an alternative hair accessory instead. If you find yourself questioning whether you should wear a veil or not, rest assured that it is perfectly acceptable to embrace whatever choice feels right for you. Below, I consulted with some of my fellow The Knot Editors to break down the top pros and cons of wearing a veil on your wedding day. We share everything you need to take into consideration to finalize your wedding outfit, so read our tips (and real-life advice!) to make a decision that's right for you.

Is it okay to not wear a veil?

Bride and groom kissing
Photo: ElephantGraphy

The beauty of weddings today is that you can easily customize your bridal look to reflect your unique personality. It is absolutely okay to skip the veil if it doesn't resonate with you or your wedding theme. Many brides nowadays are opting for alternative options that showcase their individual style and make a bold statement. Consider exploring tiaras, headbands and even hair bows as perfect substitutes for a traditional veil. These alternatives can add an element of elegance and charm to your ensemble while allowing you to express your own personal style.

Will I regret not wearing a veil?

One common fear among brides is the possibility of regretting their decision not to wear a veil. If wearing a wedding veil doesn't feel authentically you, then you won't regret wearing one. However, if you feel it doesn't represent your personality or the overall vibe of the event, don't feel obligated to wear one. Our Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor at The Knot, Sofia Deeb, suggests a practical solution: keep a budget-friendly veil on hand just in case. "There are plenty of budget-friendly options from online retailers like Lulus or Anthropologie that are perfect for brides who aren't quite sure they want to commit to something custom, which can be used for a few obligatory photo ops," she says. "This way, you can have memories both with and without a veil, easing any worries about potential regrets."

Veil or No Veil: How to Decide

Ultimately, your wedding day is about you and your partner. Choose what makes you feel most beautiful and confident, whether that includes a veil or not. Your wedding day should be a celebration of your love, and your bridal look should make you feel stunning and confident. If a veil doesn't align with that, then you certainly do not need one. "There are no rules when it comes to your wedding attire," says Deeb. "A lot of people think wearing a veil is required out of tradition, but maybe tradition just isn't your thing. That being said, don't feel pressured to wear a veil if you don't want to. There are plenty of other equally-elegant options when it comes to headwear." To help you navigate the big decision, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Reflect Your Style: Think about your personal style and how a veil would fit into your overall bridal look. If you lean towards a more classic or traditional aesthetic, a veil might be the perfect accessory to complete your ensemble. However, if you prefer a contemporary or non-traditional vibe, there are plenty of alternatives that can still make a fashion statement.
  • Think About Your Dress: Take a close look at your wedding dress. Consider its neckline, detailing, and overall design. Some dresses lend themselves beautifully to a veil, while others may be better highlighted on their own. Ensure that the veil and dress complement each other harmoniously.
  • Consider Practicality: Veils can be stunning but sometimes come with practical challenges. Consider your venue, weather conditions, and any potential hindrances caused by a long veil. Opting for a shorter length or a birdcage veil can provide a compromise between style and practicality.
  • Seek Professional Input: Don't hesitate to consult with a trusted wedding stylist or bridal boutique. They have extensive experience and can offer valuable insight into what style of veil might best enhance your bridal look.

Pros and Cons of Wearing a Veil

Pro: Veils make for epic pictures.

"It's hard to forget the aerial image of Priyanka Chopra's 75-foot-long veil or the blusher covering Kate Middleton's face before she walked into Westminster Abbey. Talk about bringing the wow factor. In both instances, these celeb brides donned veils for their vow exchange before taking them off to party the night away. You certainly don't need to wear a veil for the entirety of your wedding celebration, but adding one to your ceremony hairstyle ensures you'll end up with stunning, romantic wedding photographs that'll quickly turn into cherished heirlooms. Pro tip: Make sure your photographer has access to your veil while you're getting ready. The ethereal aesthetic of veils makes them a great styling accessory for detail shots of your wedding jewelry and invitation suite." - Hannah Nowack, Real Weddings Editor

Con: If you're having an outdoor wedding, proceed with caution.

"I'll start this by saying: I love veils and was so excited to wear a gorgeous, floor-length style on my wedding day. However, I spent much of my outdoor backyard wedding trying to tame the stunning piece of tulle, which was constantly being whipped around by the wind and stepped on by my wedding party members' muddy shoes. While this did make for some beautiful and memorable photos, it was a source of stress throughout the day. And at the end of the ceremony, after my husband and I kissed, I turned my head to face my guests a little too quickly and my veil literally flew off my head. The strong breeze picked it up and carried it away, never to be seen again. So while I think wearing some sort of headpiece is kind of a must, buyer beware: If you're having an outdoor wedding, you might try a shorter veil or alternative headpiece (and make sure it's pinned on tight!)." - Kim Forrest, Senior Editor

Pro: They bring romance and drama to your walk down the aisle.

If you're choosing to see your partner for the first time down the aisle (or at the end of whatever gorgeous ceremony setup you choose), the big veil reveal is such a romantic and dramatic moment that you'll never forget. Plus, if you're getting a little teary-eyed as you walk towards your partner, you'll have plenty of time to pull yourself together under the veil. - Sarah Hooper, Social Media Manager

Con: It's another accessory to fuss over.

"Even if you are the most minimalistic bride ever, there are just a lot of parts when it comes to your wedding day attire—dress, shoes, undergarments, jewelry, etc. Not to mention, all of those parts need to look picture perfect. A wedding veil is just one more thing to remember to steam and prep and not tear or step on. When I got married, I accidentally brushed up against a patch of grass full of stickers during my first look—my wonderful bridesmaids spent close to 20 minutes picking these out of my train (I do have to admit, those pictures are priceless). And had I had a veil, my poor friends would have been stuck doing this for half an hour!" - Morgan Gibson, Digital Director

Pro: A veil can transform your look.

"If you're not sold on the idea of wearing a second reception dress but you do want to switch up your style, a veil will transform your dress from the ceremony to the after-party. Wear it during your vows for a more traditional look, then take it off (and consider switching your hairstyle or adding a fun accessory, like a bridal headband) to give your outfit a quick and easy transformation." - Sarah Hanlon, Associate Editor

Con: It is another layer of fabric added to your dress.

"I love the look of a wedding veil—it's ethereal, dramatic and iconic, so I'm all for sporting the traditional accessory at your nuptials. However, the tradition of a bride walking down the aisle with the veil over her face has never resonated with me. As much as I love a "big reveal" moment, I would much rather treat the veil as just a cool hair accessory and be able to look at my loved ones and the love of my life without a layer of fabric in between us during this special moment." - Cathryn Haight, Commerce Editor

Pro: Your wedding is likely your only opportunity to wear a veil.

"Veils are special because they're a once-in-a-lifetime kind of accessory. Headbands, hair pins and fascinators are all fancy dress options you can wear to galas, cocktail parties or even New Year's Eve, but there is something inherently romantic about an accessory specifically meant for your wedding day and all the symbolism and tradition (some of it outdated, but some of it really beautiful) that goes along with it. And, it's a low-stakes kind of accessory. If you opt for a veil only to find it's particularly cumbersome or unwieldy, you can always remove it." - Shelley Brown, Senior Fashion & Beauty Editor

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