Whether you’re getting married in a church or out in the outdoors, a long wedding veil can add the perfect amount of grandeur and drama to a wedding dress. A long veil is, without a doubt, the defining wedding accessory that can instantly transform a bridal look with its timeless appeal and elongated silhouette.

A ‘long’ wedding veil is a relative term. How long is long? How long is a piece of string? What’s long for one bride might barely touch the floor for another. Throw in the added complexity of the length and width of the train on your dress, your height, your heel height, your venue…. and it’s no wonder it can be difficult to determine the best length for you.

Read below to learn more about how to choose the best long wedding veil for your dress.

Shop this look: THEODORE pearl chapel veil

When styling our brides, we want you to channel your inner royal, rather than be swamped in fabric with no way out. Our wedding veils are made to order so we are able to customise the length of our veils to suit your height, heel height and the length and width of your train

Which length is best?

Is a floor length, chapel veil or cathedral veil best for you? This is where it can get a bit grey. Why? Because so much depends on the style of your dress, the fabric it is made from, your height, and any distinctive horizontal lines that are visible on the dress.

Some brides like their veil to extend beyond the length of their train so their train and dress appear longer and grander. Other brides choose to have their veils puddle on the train so that it blends into the fabric of the skirt and won’t get in the way on the dance floor. And other brides want their veil to fall exactly to where their dress train ends as a longer length might feel excessive. It’s very much a personal preference.

We do have general guidelines which we apply:

The silhouette of your dress

Generally speaking, we feel that:

  • A ball gown: A full ball gown will look balanced with a veil that extends beyond the length of the train. Why? Because a ball gown is by its very nature a statement of grandeur so a longer veil with a classic silhouette will feel like a natural pairing. If you would prefer a shorter veil, a waist or fingertip length veil will also be flattering.
  • A fit and flare gown:  A fit and flare gown starts to flare out just under the hip and a longer veil will complement this style beautifully. Whether a chapel or cathedral length veil is better for you will depend on the actual length of your train. However, a floor or waltz length veil will interrupt the flow of your silhouette as these lengths end too abruptly and will interfere with the fit and flare silhouette.
  • A mermaid gown: As the name suggests, the skirt starts to flare out just above the knee, reminiscent of a mermaid. A fingertip length veil is an easy choice. However if you would like a longer veil, choose one that extends beyond the length of your actual train as it will feel like an extension of the distinctive mermaid’s tail.
  • A sheath dress: A figure hugging silhouette with a train is best suited with veil that matches the length of the train or extends beyond it. A column shape is quite simple visually so a veil that falls short will be quite noticeable. We often find a veil that’s at least 15cm longer than the end of the train will be flattering.
  • A floor length dress: If your dress has little to no train, a floor length or chapel length veil will suit it beautifully. Floor length doesn’t necessarily mean it should just touch the floor and match your height. A floor length veil flows better when it can create a tiny puddle on the ground, even if it’s just a 15cm longer.

Shop this look: OLIVIA floor wedding veil

The fabric of your dress

The fabric a dress is made from plays a huge role in how the dress and train will drape and flow onto the ground.

A gown made from frothy organza will provide structure to a veil as the dress will act as a frame on which the veil will sit. If your dress is made from a smooth satin or plain fabric, a veil that falls short of the length of this style of dress will be quite visible. However, if the train on a ball gown features a textured fabric of ruffles and 3D flowers, the end of the train will blend in better so a shorter veil won’t be as noticeable.

Horizontal lines

There are multiple horizontal lines that are visible on a dress. It could be the line that runs across your shoulders on an off-the-shoulder neckline. Or the line that’s created on a plunging back. Or there’s the line where the bodice is sewn onto the skirt at the waist on a ball gown. Or perhaps even a peplum detail. There can also be lines further down if your dress features a mermaid silhouette where the skirt starts to flare out above the knee.

The lines on a dress aren’t limited to the neckline or the silhouette of the dress. There can also be lines in the patterns of the lacework or the fabric. Think ruffles on a skirt or a dress where multiple laces are mixed and matched to create a distinctive pattern.

The importance of lines comes back to not wanting to take away from the beauty of the dress. Adding a new line with a shorter veil can interfere with how the dress flows. For example, if your dress features an oversized bow on the back, it’s best to avoid a veil that falls to the same spot.

Your height

A veil that’s 2 metres long will look very different on a bride who is 4’9 compared to a bride who’s 6’1.  This doesn’t mean a bride on the shorter side should only wear a shorter veil and that long veils aren’t an option.

Quite the opposite. A shorter bride can certainly wear a long veil so long as the veil isn’t excessively long in proportion to her silhouette. There are many shorter brides who wear wedding gowns with long trains and similarly, her veil can be just as long. The key is to ensure that the silhouette overall is balanced.

Next step: How to measure

If your wedding will be outdoors or if you have a short wedding aisle, choosing the right length will be really important.

The best way to determine your ideal length is to pull out a measuring tape. Grab a friend too to help you take an accurate measurement.

  • Put on your wedding dress and bridal shoes.  If you don’t have your shoes, guess how tall your shoes might be and add that to the final number.
  • Style your hair in a similar way to your wedding day hair as this will impact where the veil comb will sit.
  • Position the tape measure at the point in your hair where you plan to secure the veil comb.  This will be the top of your head if you’re planning to wear a mantilla veil.  If you’re planning an updo or half up hairstyle, this might be the crown of your head or a little lower.
  • Let the tape measure drape down onto the skirt and train of your dress.
  • Write the measurement down.

If you don’t have a long tape measure on hand, try using a long piece of ribbon or string. You can then measure the string in sections with a ruler.

If you haven’t picked a hairstyle yet, don’t worry. The difference will only be a few inches which won’t impact the length of your veil dramatically. However, this will be important if you are looking for a blusher layer as comb placement will impact where your blusher will fall to.

If your veil has a defined lace edge

It will flow better to have a slightly longer veil than shorter veil if your veil has a distinctive edge. If you do want a shorter veil with a lace trim, find one that’s significantly shorter.  A fingertip or waltz length veil will look more balanced overall compared to a chapel length veil on a cathedral length dress which will end too abruptly.

An overview: Wedding veil lengths

1. Floor length veil – 190cm or 75 inches

Our made to order mandate means we can design your veil your way – whether you love to have it pooling a little on the ground, or not quite reaching it.

The floor length veil is your introduction to long wedding veils. As the name suggests, a floor length veil is designed to gracefully touch the floor and is ideal for sheath or fitted wedding dresses without a train. We love to suggest a floor length veil for more casual weddings or for brides who want to wear their veil all day and all night – including for the bridal waltz. Our made to order mandate means we can design your veil your way – whether you love to have it pooling a little on the ground, or not quite reaching it. It’s up to you!

2. Chapel veil – 230cm or 90 inches

A beautifully versatile length, we love the chapel veil for its timeless beauty.

A beautifully versatile length, we love the chapel veil for its timeless beauty. A chapel veil complements a wide range of wedding dresses, from ballroom gowns to dazzling red carpet worthy dresses. For the vertically challenged brides, we find that veils that create a little puddle on the floor elongate the silhouette which always looks incredible.

Shop this look: WYNTER classic chapel veil

3. Cathedral veil – 300cm or 118 inches

If you want to make a statement, this is your go-to veil.

The cathedral veil is little grander than the versatile chapel veil and is best suited for cathedral and church weddings with long aisles. If you want to make a statement, this is your go-to veil. Some useful advice to know is that longer veils are often wider too. So bare in mind the potential proportions of your veil to your dress.

4. Royal cathedral veil – 400cm or 157 inches

This fabulous length looks amazing for medium to taller brides with a very long runway to walk down.

Lastly, we have the ever glorious royal cathedral length veil. Measuring anywhere from 4 metres plus, this fabulous length looks amazing for medium to taller brides with a very long runway to walk down.

Shop this look: ETOILE crystal wedding veil

Custom made for you

There are thousands of wedding dresses out there and it’s no wonder finding the perfect veil can be difficult. What you find on the rack in bridal boutiques may not be the right length, width or colour for your dress. A custom made veil  might be just the thing for you.

We work with brides worldwide to design and create their wedding veils taking into account their wedding dress, hairstyle, height and venues.

Feel free to send us an email with photos of your bridal look and we’d be happy to get back to you with ideas on how your favourite veil can be customised to suit you.