How to Choose & Style a Veil
The quintessential finishing touch for your wedding day ensemble, a veil is the accessory guaranteed to make you feel like a bride. From short and sweet to long and dramatic, there are many types of veils to choose from; each one offers a distinctive look that works best with different gowns, hairstyles, and accessories. We'll guide you through ins and outs of wedding veils—and talk a little bit about their history—to help you find the perfect veil for your wedding dress!
Wear Your Veil
Veils can be fastened several ways; most come with a plastic or wire comb attached. If yours doesn't come with a comb, you can fasten it using pins or a headpiece. (Another opportunity to show off your own unique bridal style!)
For the most secure hold, fasten your veil by first flipping the comb upside-down (teeth facing up); if you're doing it right, the “U curve” of the comb will also curve away from your head. Gently slide the comb upward so it grabs a bit of hair and then flip over so the “U curve” correctly cups the back of your head; wiggle into place.
A bridal veil is easiest to wear with an updo, which provides a place to anchor the comb. However, a veil draped over loose hair can create an airy and ethereal vibe, perfect for the bohemian bride. If you plan to pin your veil into place, choose pins that will blend in with your hair color.
For a more traditional look, fix the veil to the top of your head. If you want a more modern or sophisticated look, try placing it on the crown or back of your head. Play around with the placement and see which you like best!
Tiers + Layers
Cakes aren't the only things that come in tiers—so do wedding veils! A two-tier veil has a second layer of material that you can wear over your face to be lifted during the ceremony. You can also choose not to wear it over your face, and let both tiers cascade down your back for a romantic waterfall effect. Single tier veils are more minimalist, with just one layer of fabric gathered at the comb. For a voluminous look, choose a veil with more than one layer of tulle, or look for one with a lot of tulle gathered along the comb.
Details & Embellishments
Once you've found your perfect wedding gown, look for a veil with details that will complement the style of your dress. Choose a clean veil with a raw edge to create a modern look or try a veil with luxe embellishments to match a detailed dress. A popular choice for romantic detail is the mantilla veil, a traditional single-tier Spanish veil that's edged in intricate lace. 3-D flowers, lace appliques, and beaded designs are becoming more sought-after as ways to distinguish and personalize your veil. There's also ample opportunity to hide some sweet details in your veil; consider embroidering your wedding date, your and your beloved's initials, or a meaningful phrase along the edge!
Styles & Lengths
Vibe: Dramatic, regal
Wear With: Sheath or ballgown
Hairstyle: Low bun
Vibe: Classic, romantic
Wear With: Mermaid or fitted
Hairstyle: Textured waves
Vibe: Versatile, modern
Wear With: Ballgown or A-line
Hairstyle: Half up/half down
Vibe: Traditional, sweet
Wear With: Backless gown or A-line
It's the most versatile veil style.
Tips & Tricks
Why Do Brides Wear Veils?
Veils were originally used to hide the bride's face, a gesture believed to keep her safe from evil spirits and bad energy. While that's not really a concern anymore, many brides still choose a veil that covers their face so it can be lifted during the ceremony in a romantic gesture. (Excuse us while we continue to swoon over the moment Prince Harry lifted Meghan Markle's veil!) If you plan on doing this with a long veil, consider layering it with a blusher during the ceremony.
Choosing Your Veil Color
Aim for the exact shade of your gown or a shade lighter; avoid anything darker. For a colorful twist, try an ombre veil!
Care + Maintenance
Hang up your veil when you first receive it to naturally loosen wrinkles. After a few days, steam out the remaining wrinkles. (Tip: do not use an iron, which can damage or discolor delicate veil material.) Store it hanging and away from sunlight until your wedding day. Not sure where to keep your veil after you've said I do? If you don't want to store it with your gown, you can frame the veil or use a piece of it as the background when framing your wedding photos.