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There are many different wedding veil designs and lengths. Wedding veil length varies depending on several factors, such as ritual or religious requirements, family tradition, and a bride’s individual taste.

History of bridal veils

As is the case with many wedding traditions, it’s difficult to trace the origin of wedding veils. To the ancient Romans, wedding veils were used as a way to protect the bride from evil spirits. During medieval times, the veil was meant to symbolize the bride’s purity and chastity. Bridal veils may also have been invented as a result of arranged marriages, to prevent the groom from seeing the bride’s face until after the ceremony was complete.

Today, many bridal veils are worn as a way to pay homage to the tradition, or simply as an accessory to the bride’s gown.

Wedding veil types


There is no “perfect” wedding veil length; veils range from very short to very long. Some of the most common wedding veil types (by length) are:

Birdcage: 4”-12”
Shoulder or flyaway: 20”-22”
Elbow: 25”
Fingertip: 36”-45”
Knee length: 45”-54”
Ballet/waltz: 54”-84”
Chapel: 90”-126”
Cathedral: 108”-144”

With so many wedding veil designs, how’s a bride to choose?

When choosing wedding veil designs, there are a few things you should take into consideration:

Your dress. Overall, bridal veils should complement, not compete with, your dress. Take the opportunity to use your veil to highlight your dress’ focal points. Is there detailing in the bodice that you would like to showcase? Your veil should end at or around the bodice, so as not to distract from it. Similarly, if your dress is very elaborate, you may want to opt for a simpler veil to provide balance in your overall look.

Tiers or layers. Most veils come in one, two, or three layers. As expected, the more layers a veil has, the fuller it will be.

Length. As a general rule, the longer the veil, the more dramatic the overall look. Again, take into consideration your bridal gown and how formal your wedding is. The most common lengths are typically elbow length wedding veils or fingertip length wedding veils, which are appropriate lengths for most semi-formal weddings.

Shop for hundreds of different bridal veils at the Wedding Shoppe today!

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