10 Wedding Veil Tips You Didn't Know You Needed

Here's how to make the right choice when it comes to your bridal headpiece.
The Knot
Updated Jun 05, 2018

Ask any of your married friends about the moment they first felt like a bride, and they'll tell you it was the moment they put on their veil. There's just something about a wispy piece of white fabric that completes the transformation from your daily persona to beautiful bride.

The ideal veil depends largely on the style of wedding gown you choose, as well as your face shape and personal style. Feel royal? Opt for a cathedral-length stunner like Meghan Markle's breathtaking embroidered headpiece. For something more minimal and modern, go short, and for something with a period feel, try a chic caged veil. Whatever veil style you choose, note the following pointers before making your final decision.

1. Work with your wedding vibes.

First and foremost, ask yourself if a veil is appropriate for your wedding style. Strict etiquette mavens used to consider veils inappropriate for second-time or pregnant brides, but obviously that's not a thing anymore—so don't worry about that. Think more practically. Are you getting married on a typically breezy beach or mountainside destination? Maybe you should take a 15-foot gossamer veil off the table.

2. Place your embellishments thoughtfully.

Any ornamentation on your veil, like beading or lace, should start below where your dress ornamentation ends. You want the two to complement each other, not compete.

3. Certain embellishments photograph differently.

Who would have thought such a tiny detail could affect your wedding photos? If you're bedazzling your veil with something sparkly, keep in mind that crystals reflect light and often photograph better than rhinestones (which can look like black dots in snapshots).

4. Be super careful with heirloom pieces.

Even if you're a DIY master, don't try to dye an antique veil—it's likely too delicate to withstand the treatment. Don't worry, it doesn't have to match your dress exactly—its appeal truly lies in its uniqueness.

5. It doesn't need to match your dress perfectly.

Likewise, any embellishments on a new veil—like pearls, crystals or sequins—don't need to match those on your dress. Just make sure they complement each other without overpowering one another.


6. Know what you look like from the back.

Don't forget to check your bridal look from behind. If showing off the back of your gown is important to you, you may want to opt for a very sheer veil of just one or two layers of tulle.

7. Plan for the ceremony.

Do you want to wear a blusher (a veil that covers your face) during your ceremony? Make sure it's long enough to flip up and over your head for your first kiss.

8. Plan for the reception.

If you want to remove your veil after the ceremony, have it attached to your headpiece with fabric hook and loop closures for easy attachment and removal. Keep in mind, if you remove your veil before the reception, it won't appear in pictures of the cake cutting or first dance. Many brides wait until after the first dance, but when you take your veil off is up to you.

9. Consider layers.

If you choose to keep your cathedral-length veil on for your entire wedding, try a multi-layered version with a fingertip-length top layer, which can be worn on its own during the reception.

10. Skip it if it doesn't feel like "you."

Though steeped in tradition, a veil isn't a prerequisite (though you should check with your officiant about any religious head-covering requirements). Sparkling tiaras, glittery barrettes, fresh flowers and hairpins are just a surface skim of other bridal headpiece options. Just keep in mind this could be your one chance to wear a beautiful veil. Why not try on a few to see how you look and feel?

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