When it comes to wedding veils, one of the most important considerations to make is the length of the veil itself. There are seven basic lengths to wedding veils – very short, shoulder length, elbow length, fingertip length, floor length, chapel length, and cathedral length. The formality of the wedding ceremony and the type of wedding gown are important factors to consider when choosing the length of the veil. As a general rule, longer bridal veils should be worn with slim-fitting gowns and shorter veils should be worn with fuller dresses with puffy skirt styles. One exception to this is that the chapel or cathedral length veils will go well with either a slim or puffy styled gown. Keep in mind that while longer veils can be absolutely exquisite and truly add to the overall wedding attire, they can be quite burdensome. There is a solution, however, and that is to choose a veil that has detachable layers, where the longer layer can easily be removed.
About Wedding Veil Lengths
- Very Short – Very short bridal veils are also sometimes referred to as either visor veils or bird cage veils. As in the reference, these veils do not extend past the chin and can provide a beautiful, yet bold look. This type of veil evokes a sense of tradition and stems back to the chic 50’s. This type of veil works well with wedding gowns that have high neck detail.
- Shoulder Length – Shoulder length wedding veils are generally about 20 inches long and go well with the more simple styles. Shoulder length veils are a perfect match for wedding gowns with waist or lower-back details.
- Elbow Length – The elbow length veil is generally somewhere between 25 and 30 inches long and one of the more popular bridal veils. The veil falls right around the elbow (hence the name) and generally is worn with gowns without trains and romantic ball gown styles. These veils tend to compliment gowns with full skirts and can be worn for both semi-formal and formal ceremonies.
- Fingertip Length – Also one of the more popular choices, the fingertip length veil is somewhere between 36 and 40 inches long and extends to the bride’s fingertips when her arms are outstretched. This type of veil can be worn for any type of ceremony.
Floor Length – The floor length veil (sometimes referred to as the ballet length veil) is somewhere between 60 and 72 inches long and tends to fall between the ankle and the foot. This type of veil is perfect for those wanting the effect of a chapel length veil that at the same time allows for easy movement and dancing at the reception.
- Chapel Length – The chapel length veil is generally right around 90 inches long and tends to be shorter than the cathedral length wedding veil. It drapes onto the floor and provides a dreamy, fairytale look. The chapel length veil is best worn with gowns that feature trains.
- Cathedral Length – The cathedral length bridal veil is the longest and most formal of veils. This veil can be anywhere from 110 inches on up. Have you ever seen pictures of Princess Diana’s wedding dress and veil? Her gown had a 25-foot silk train and her wedding veil was almost as long. Cathedral length veils are most often worn at formal weddings only and work best with full length gowns with trains.