Everything but the Dress: Our Guide to Choosing Your Veil

So you’ve chosen your perfect dress - but what about the rest of the outfit? Many brides find the process of accessorising their dress even harder than choosing the dress itself. We’re here to impart our wisdom, to help you decide on the right accessories for your style - starting with the biggest debate-inducing item available: the veil!

Traditional wedding veils have a long and meaningful history: but in the 21st century, many brides just want their bridal look completed with an angelic-looking draping of tulle and finished with a delicate lace edging.

Originally included in a bride’s wedding day ensemble to symbolise virginity and pureness; a veil is intended to ‘introduce’ the bride to her new husband (hence the ‘blusher’ layer - the shorter piece covering the face on a traditional style of veil). Nowadays, many brides steer away from this classic look in favour of a hairpiece, crown or tiara, to focus the attention on the dress - particularly with the increasing popularity of backless and back-embellished designs.

But for those of you embracing the tradition, the world of wedding veils can be a confusing place! Take a look at our handy guide below to compare the most popular lengths. With every length of veil available, at MiliMili we can create the most perfect addition to your dress - even adding the exact lace that it features. Ribbon edge, crystal droplets, diamanté detail - you name it, we can create it.

Cathedral

If you’re a lover of the good kind of drama, you’ll probably be drawn to the most awe-inspiring length of veil.

Also referred to as royal or regal, these veils are typically 7ft up to an incredible 30ft. Unsurprisingly, this length is often favoured by celebrities - including the Royals themselves. The Duchess of Sussex wowed in a 16ft cathedral veil when marrying Prince Harry; adorned with intricate lace flowers symbolising all 53 countries in the Commonwealth. The veil was a sure nod to the late Princess Diana’s 25ft veil she wore at her own wedding in 1981.

kate moss and her chapel-length cap veil. photo: one fab day

kate moss and her chapel-length cap veil. photo: one fab day

Fingertip/Elbow

These veils are one of the most commonly opted-for lengths: they suit almost all styles of dress, as well as flattering every bride’s shape - falling romantically around the shoulders and extending down to around the lower arms.

Perfect if your gown features an intricate train; this look won’t detract from the dress, but will add a beautiful silhouette to the overall look, as well as adding a touch of elegance. Add a lace trim, and your fairytale look will be completed!

Possibly the most famous fingertip veil to have been showcased was worn by the Duchess of Cambridge’s - her ivory soft silk tulle design measured in at 70 inches and featured a French lace edging.

bandeau bow veil with pearl detail

bandeau bow veil with pearl detail

The Duchess of Sussex with her cathedral-length veil. Photo: glamour

The Duchess of Sussex with her cathedral-length veil. Photo: glamour

Chapel

Popular with brides for their train-complementing length, chapel veils meet the floor and often measure a few inches beyond the length of the dress. Ideal for those who don’t want someone tailing them all day, holding it up!

Kate Moss showed us how chapel is done during her wedding to Jamie Hince in 2011; her boho-inspired gown framed beautifully by the unusual floor-length cap veil.

kate middleton had a veil fit for a princess. photo: hello

kate middleton had a veil fit for a princess. photo: hello

Short/Shoulder Length

Keeping it simple, a short veil ensures the gown remains the star of the show. Traditionally, a short veil is worn with equal lengths on both the back and blusher, but with a multitude of options available to customise the perfect length for your veil, the world is your ivory oyster. Supermodel Lily Aldridge wowed in a classic but equally beautiful plain veil at her marriage to Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill - perfecting complementing her simple strapless gown.

Short certainly doesn’t have to equal boring - if you’re opting for something a little more unusual, how about a birdcage or bow veil?

lily aldridge opted for simple elegance with her short veil. photo: NME

lily aldridge opted for simple elegance with her short veil. photo: NME

fishnet birdcage embellished with crystals

fishnet birdcage embellished with crystals