A helpful guide to choosing a Veil

This guide will help you to understand the basic terminology used to describe the styles and lengths of veils and how the choice of tulle and edge finish can help define the look and movement of a veil.

Style Terms

Single tier veil. The name refers to a veil which has one layer of fabric. It is generally fixed to a comb which is anchored into the hair at the back of the head.

Two tier veil. The name refers to a veil which has two layers of fabric, the upper layer being shorter than the under layer. The upper layer can vary in length, depending on the fullness and shape of the veil and the overall impact a bride wants to achieve. The two tiers are often worn together down the back of the dress from the start, with the upper layer (blusher) never being brought over the head, to cover the brides face.

Blusher. Traditionally the shorter top layer of a two tier veil, brought forward and worn over the face by the bride. Once married, the veil is lifted back by the groom to steal his first kiss. A blusher can be extended to a longer length if desired. If a bride is carrying a bouquet, she will want to consider if she wishes the blusher to finish above, or below the point, at which she is holding her flowers.

Mantilla veil. Also known as a Spanish veil, this is a single tier flat veil, that softly falls from the head. It can be anchored using a comb or clips that can be hidden with decorative accessories.

Drop Veil. This is a two tiered veil, worn as a blusher veil. It has no gathers, lays flat over the head and is usually held in place by a band or tiara. Drop veils are generally made from silk or a ‘silk like’ tulle as these are soft and sit close to the head.

Bird cage veil. So called because they attach at the crown of the head, like the top of a birdcage. These short veils, which cover the face, are generally made from millinery tulle, which has a more open structure than traditional veiling.  Teamed up with hats or fascinators, they offer an alternative option for a bride who does not want a traditional veil.

Bandeau veils. Popular with ‘vintage styled brides’, these veils are secured at the sides of the head and are often heavily decorated with lace and beads.

Veil Lengths

When ordering a veil, the name only serves a guide, so choose the length that is personally correct for you. As all of my veils are made to order, you can be very specific about the exact length that you require.


Shoulder  ~50cm length

Designed to fall mainly towards the back and softly touch the shoulders


Elbow  ~65cm length

If you have a bow, or other detail, along the back waistline of your dress, this veil is designed to sit above it.


Hip  ~95cm length

Sitting below the waistline, but falling softly around your arms.


Fingertip  ~125cm length

Finishing below the hipline, so that it does not interrupt the flow of detail, such as buttons, or a deep V back.


Ballet  ~150cm length

Finishing mid calf to that the veil is long, but does not touch the floor.


Floor  ~200cm length veil

Designed to touch the floor and trail slightly beyond the hemline of your dress.


Chapel  ~250cm length

Made to extend and flow approximately 50cm beyond the hemline of your dress. The choice of trim and decoration will determine its flow and movement.


Cathedral  ~300cm length

Designed as a long and flowing train. As with the chapel length veil, the choice of trim and decoration will determine the flow and movement of the veil.

Traditional Edgings

Cut Edge. A cut edge has a plain edge, with no finish, giving the fabric freedom of movement. It will float freely and give a ‘barely there’ appearance to the veil.

Pencil Edge. Named after the line drawn by a pencil, the whole veil is edged with a fine line of machine stitching. The stitching can be sewn in a matching, or alternative colour.

Satin edge. The edge of the veil is encased in a satin fabric, giving it more structure and a defined edge. The satin can be machine stitched in place, or sewn by hand to give it a more luxury finish.

Lace edge. With a wide choice of lace trimming available, a bride has many options to choose from. A veil can have a full lace edge, the lace trim being attached the whole edge of the veil. Alternatively it can be semi –edged, trimmed along the bottom and part way up the sides. The remaining edge of the veil usually has a cut edge finish.

Light weight trims will allow a veil to float and move more freely than deeper, or heavier weight trims. Chapel and Cathedral length veils will move and follow a bride differently, according to its decorative finish.

Tulle Options

When choosing a veil colour, it does not have to match your bridal gown exactly and sometimes a different shade can complement your gown better than you may think.

Your choice of tulle will depend on the style of veil you want to wear and possibly your budget. Tulles can vary in their weight and feel. They can be made from polyester, nylon or silk, the latter being considerably more expensive than the former. Polyester and nylon tulles are available in different finishes, some that are a close match to the appearance of silk. I am happy to supply swatches of tulle on request.

Standard colours available are white, soft white/ivory and ivory/pale cream. Other shades, including baby pink, pale blue, blush pink and champagne, can be made available upon request.

Colour can be added to a veil by incorporating coloured threads, trims or decorative embellishments, as well as choosing a coloured tulle.


As with any sheer fabric, the colour of tulle changes when opened out into a single layer and is dependent on the light and situation in which it is seen. Where possible, I would advise obtaining a tulle sample and place it against your bridal gown in a natural light. If your wedding photographs are all to be taken indoors, then an artificial light may be more suited for this test.

These two photographs show the same three tulles, white, ivory and cream. Plaited together, the tulles show a denser colour than when opened out.

Combs and Headings

Combs are used to secure a veil into the back of the hair. They come in a variety of sizes and finishes.

I use gold or silver plated metal combs, or a plastic clear comb if preferred. The head of the comb is wrapped in a matching tulle and the veil is then gathered and hand sewn to it. This makes the comb unseen when worn.

Narrower and wider combs can be used if the veil is to be anchored or styled in an alternative way.

The veil can be decorated with beads, flowers or other embellishment over the comb, if required.