The Most Common Wedding Veil Types – How to Choose (With Images)

Types of wedding veils for modern brides

As Wedding Know How editors, we write about things that we love and we think you'll like too. We have affiliate partnerships and sponsorship and may generate some revenue from these at no cost to you.

One of the most anticipated moments in every wedding happens during the ceremony. All heads turn to the bride as she walks down the aisle and the groom holds his breath as a familiar silhouette slowly takes the form of the love of his life. At the end, he lifts up the veil and they kiss for the first time as husband and wife. Now it’s your turn to live out this magical moment, and every detail counts.

You succeeded in finding a wedding dress and shoes to match out of infinite options, and to top off your look is something light to the touch but heavy on impact – your wedding veil. Some brides go as far as saying that the second they put on their wedding veil marked the moment they truly felt like a bride.

Will it be the same for you? There’s only one way to find out!

Allow us to walk you through the types of wedding veils you’ll come across and how it will tie your look together.

1- Birdcage Veil

Beautiful Birdcage Veil

Beautiful birdcage veil by Queenie & Lily. Check price here.

This is a short veil (about 9-10 inches long) that covers part of the face when attached to the bride’s head, whether it is placed on the crown with the veil falling forward or worn at an angle. It is made with birdcage netting or Russian netting that features distinct diamond shapes.

This style originated in the early 40’s as a practical choice for brides, given that the second world war brought about some shortage in fabrics. Post-war, it evolved to include more elaborate embellishments, and would oftentimes be worn with a hat. It holds its popularity today because it’s simple, lightweight, and brings an old-world glamor to modern pieces.

Best Paired With: A Tea Length Dress

Short veils go best with short dresses as it won’t weigh you down or overpower your look. Clip on a birdcage veil for a worry-free night on the dance floor!

Set the Tone: Modern Minimalist

Large birdcage veil style

Modern birdcage veil by Nestina Brides Boutiq. Check price here.

The fabric of birdcage veils is quite stiff which makes it a breeze to pin in place and doesn’t get easily blown out of shape. Its manageability makes it a popular choice for casual outdoor affairs and low maintenance brides.

Although known for its vintage charm, the birdcage veil works just as well on the opposite end of the spectrum. This style works well with modern silhouettes and brings out the crisp, clean lines of a minimalist dress. Top off your structured boat neckline dress or silk sleeved number with this veil to elevate a seemingly understated ensemble.

Go-To Hairstyle: Updo or Pixie Cut

A short veil elongates the neck and works best with an updo or pixie haircut to bring attention to your face, neck, and collarbone. Without hair or fabric in the way, you’ll be able to highlight any subtle details of your dress like a lace-illusion or low-cut back.

2- Blusher Veil (a.k.a. Two-tier Veil)

Bride wearing blusher veil

Blusher veil by Davie and Chiyo. Check price here.

It has long been believed to be bad luck for the groom to see his bride before the wedding, and so she is covered with a veil. As brides commonly wear a white dress and a veil symbolizing her virginity, the act of lifting the veil before the groom kisses the bride signifies that he is symbolically consummating the marriage. The father of the bride can sometimes be the one to lift the veil when he presents her to the groom, as if a gift to be given away.

Regardless of whether you’re big on tradition or not, the act of lifting the veil feels almost like a rite of passage. If you don’t want to miss out on this experience, you’d want to have a blusher veil on your wedding day. It’s a layer of tulle that falls in front of your face, which can be added to an existing veil or be worn alone. Blusher veils are commonly elbow or waist-length in front, which makes it easy to lift up and all the more versatile.

Best Paired With: Any Silhouette

The blusher can be added to the front of any type of veil and will compliment any dress silhouettes, from narrow ones like column or empire, to fuller shapes like ballgown and A-line dresses.

Set the Tone: Timeless Elegance

This veil style can work for almost any look or theme you’re going for, from a classic princess vibe (note: Kate Middleton wore an elbow-length blusher over her gorgeous tiara!) to modern, and ethereal elegance. This style will stand the test of time.

Go-To Hairstyle: Swept Back

blusher veil fingertip

Fingertip length blusher veil by Jasmine Veils. Check price here.

We recommend that you keep your hair swept back, either in a classic up-do, or a half-up-do, to let the veil fall flawlessly without a hitch. Again, taking inspiration from Kate Middleton who tied half of her hair back, letting the blusher work its magic.

3- Bridal Cap Veil

bridal cap veil

Bridal cap or Juliet Cap by Smitha Menon Bridal. Check price here.

This style started in the 20’s art deco era and was dubbed the Juliet Cap veil after the style of 16th century Juliet Capulet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The veil is gathered on each side of the ear creating an illusion of a “cap”. This veil is usually made of fine tulle and features some form of embellishment in the form of lace, jewels, or florals.

You can wear a bridal cap low, covering a portion of the forehead, or pushed back to the crown of your head. It comes in varying lengths, from a flowy fingertip-length (around 36 inches) to a nostalgic floor-length (72 inches or longer).

Best Paired With: Any silhouette without a full-bodied skirt

This whimsical veil style looks lovely when it gets to freely flow, almost in a limp, carefree way. It’s perfect for silhouettes that elongate the body like serpentine, column, or sheath as it won’t fall on an awkward point in the body. Since this veil creates a defined cap or fitted look on your head, pairing it with a dress featuring a full-bodied skirt like a ballgown will create a disproportionate shape.

Set the Tone: Boho Chic

boho style bridal cap

Boho style bridal cap by Veils and Accessories. Check price here.

This veil style works like a dream when paired with flowy, bohemian attire. What’s great is you can mix and match colors and fabrics in true boho fashion. As long as you are comfortable in your attire, you’ll nail this look to a tee.

Go-To Hairstyle: Hair down with loose waves

No other hairstyle shouts boho chic like soft curls blowing in the wind. Let your hair down and enjoy feeling like a free-spirited soul straight out of a Shakespearean novel!

4- Mantilla Veil

mantilla veil bride wearing

Detailed mantilla veil by Alex Bridal. Check price here.

The mantilla veil has Spanish roots dating back to the 16th century. Women in Spain wore a lace or silk veil over their head and shoulders, often over a high comb called a peineta which holds up the mantilla for extra height and to keep hair in place. In the 19th century, wearing this veil style became limited to formal occasions such as religious events like Holy Week or weddings.

Nowadays, the mantilla used in weddings often comes without the peineta or high comb. The style comes in varying lengths, from shoulder length to a long, dramatic, cathedral length.

Best Paired With: A Trumpet or Mermaid Silhouette

Bride wearing mantilla veil with white trumpet dress

Mantilla veil full length style by Yuri C Wedding Shop. Check price here.

A mantilla veil will add a delicate charm to an already sultry silhouette such as a trumpet or mermaid dress. We recommend a floor-length or cathedral length veil which will frame your curves as it cascades down to a train.

Set the Tone: Truly Romantic

If you’re looking for romance in your wedding look, the mantilla will surely deliver! As long as you’ve got the right fit down, this veil looks great on almost any type of dress material from silk, satin, chiffon, or even lace!

Go-To Hairstyle: Low Bun or Short Bob

Our favourite placement of this veil is just at the top of the head (around 2 inches from the forehead), cascading down the shoulders and gracefully framing the face. Almost any hairstyle will look great with this placement, especially a low bun or soft curls on a short bob haircut. Do not attempt a high bun hairstyle with this placement as it will create an irregular shape above your head. You can opt to wear the mantilla veil at the lower back of the head instead.

5- Drop Veil

Bride wearing drop veil

Drop veil by Cassandra Silvestro. Check price here.

This is a single layer of tulle that has been gracefully “dropped” over your head and does not have any combs or pins to keep it in place. This classic style is versatile in more ways than one. It can be worn plainly and adjusted according to the desired length in the front and back. It can also be held in place with a tiara or a headband, so that when the front is lifted, it creates a two-tiered look. The edges are normally cut raw or lined with lace. The simplicity of this veil allows the details of the dress and the beauty of the bride to effortlessly shine through.

Best Paired With: Any Dress Silhouette and Length

This style is as classic as it gets. You can play around with styles to change up your look easily. Drop veils that fall on or above the shoulder are great to pair with dresses with intricate details so as not to cover them up. Elbow and Fingertip lengths are the most common and exude a more conservative vibe, while knee and floor length dresses are more romantic as it grazes every inch of your body. If you are looking for a dramatic look to go with your trained dress, go for a cathedral veil (around 120 inches or longer) that falls beyond your train.

Set the Tone: Classic

A classic veil style which will go with almost any theme and venue. For outdoor weddings, it’s best to pick a length from the elbow or longer or one with a lace edge so that the weight helps it stay in place easily. With the simplicity of the drop veil style, you can pick one with embellishments on the fabric such as sparkly studs or pearls to better suit your theme.

Go-To Hairstyle: Everything except a High Bun

There are no limits to the hairstyles and accessories you can add to a simple drop veil silhouette. You can’t go wrong with a classic low bun or soft curls but avoid a high bun as not to disrupt the way the fabric falls into place.

Trend Alert!

There is a hot wedding trend among Chinese brides which takes the term “Drop Veil” to a whole new level. The wedding veil, strung up on two runners, traverses along two rails on the ceiling and drops onto the bride as she walks down the aisle. Some say it’s mesmerizing to watch, some say it’s too gimmicky for a wedding. Whether you’re ever going to try it or not, it’s refreshing to see how you can make a classic bridal accessory your own with some imagination.

Watch it in action here and get inspired!