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Nothing symbolizes bride more than a wedding veil, and this is one tradition that most brides still keep.

Learn more about wedding symbolism.

The wedding veil comes in six standard lengths:

A Veil comes in six standard lengths:

  • Shoulder or Madonna - Touches the shoulder. This is the usual length for a blusher. The standard length is 24 inches.
  • Picture of bride wearing white fingertip veil.

  • Elbow - Touches the elbows when arms are straight at the sides. The most common length is 30 inches.
  • Fingertip - Touches the fingertips when arms are straight at the sides. It is usually 48 inches long.
  • Ballet or Waltz - Falls to the mid-calf or just above the ankles. The usual length is 54 inches to 60 inches. It should also end 8 to 12 inches above the floor.
  • Chapel - Brushes the floor and the standard length is 90 inches.

    The veil's length is measured from the point of attachment on the bridal headpiece to the specific point on the bride's body.

  • Cathedral - Trails on the floor and is usually only worn at very formal weddings. The standard length is 108 to 180 inches with at least one foot trailing on the floor.

Making Your Own Wedding Veil

By making your own veil, you can cut it to the exact length suitable for your height.

The length of your veil should be determined by the style of your wedding and the design of your gown.

Full skirted gowns look better when balanced with a long veil, while a sleek dress will look better with a shorter veil. The veil should fall below any design features on the back of the wedding dress so as not to distract from the dress.

Longer veils are worn for more formal weddings and shorter veils are for more casual settings and second-time brides.


  • Single Tier - Is the most common type. It is made with just one layer of illusion, and allows all the details of your dress to show through.
  • Tiered - Is usually two or three tiers and can be made so that all the tiers are one length, or each tier can be a different length. The longest tier is the undermost layer, and the shortest tier is the top layer.
  • Heart Shaped - There are three separate sections gathered to give the look of a multi-tiered veil but with not as much fullness as the tiered veil.
  • Cascade - Is made with two tiers. The tiers may be any length, and the shorter top tier may be used as a blusher.
  • Mantilla - Is a single layer of lace made in a circle or oval shape that is not gathered. The Mantilla may be any length. It is laid over the top of the headpiece or can be placed on the bride's head with a flower wreath on top.

Materials Used for Wedding Veils

Most veils are made from nylon netting called illusion.

They can also be made from silk illusion, which is much finer and softer than the nylon illusion. While very alluring, the silk illusion is also very fragile.

A veil can also be made from lace, such as Chantilly or Schiffli. However, if made from lace, it is usually not gathered, but worn as a mantilla.


Bridal illusion comes in white, ivory and off-white shades called, Candlelight, Diamond White and Silk White.

Since most silk wedding gowns are not exactly white, be sure to check the color of the veil to see which looks best with your wedding gown.

Edging and Trimming

The edging on a wedding veil is meant to enhance your dress. Therefore, if your dress is less ornate, you may want the veil to be more noticeable. If your dress is very elaborate, you may choose little or no edging, so as not to distract from your dress.

Today's veils are trimmed with pearls, beading, lace, and ribbon to match your dress or wedding colors.

Choosing your wedding veil should be influenced by the style of your wedding and should complement the wedding dress.

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