January 29, 2009

Bridal Veil Series: The Long and Short on Veil Lengths

We're back to the Bridal Veil series. Now that you've selected your headpiece, the next step is choosing the length of your veil.

When considering lengths, first look at your gown's style and decide what you would like to accentuate. The veil should be above or below the gown's focal point. For example, if your gown has a very detailed bodice and your veil was short (ending where your bodice begins), then you will visually cut yourself in half. Not very flattering. In this case, choose a longer veil, such as a fingertip length, which won't distract from your gown's details.

Here are some silhouette rules to help you . . .

1. The slimmer the gown, the longer the veil. For example, a figure-hugging wedding gown with a short train looks fabulous with long chapel-length veil.

2. If you want a long veil, such as chapel, cathedral, or grand cathedral lengths, then your veil should be slightly longer than your train. This way it doesn't look like you ran out of fabric! Hint: Long veils should have more than one tier. Have the longest tier be detachable for the wedding reception.

3. For an A-Line wedding gown, try a fingertip length veil. It compliments the proportions of the gown perfectly. For a floaty, dreamy look, you can try a chapel length veil with gentle long tiers.

4. If your gown has a full, puffy princess skirt and a fitted bodice, then an elbow length or shorter veil will look best. For good balance between the skirt and veil, try a fuller volume veil.

Also, keep in mind your headpiece design and where the veil will be placed on your head. If it's on the back of your head, then it will be longer than if it were on the top of your head. Here's an easy way to figure out what length you like in the comfort of your own home. You'll need a friend to help you!

You'll need:
Your headpiece
Roll of string

Put your headpiece on. Then have your friend clip the end of the string on your head where the veil will start. Slowly unroll the string to until it's the length you like best. Cut the string and measure it. This will give you a general idea of what length you prefer, so you'll know where to start when you go veil shopping.

Now, on to veil lengths! To the left, you'll find an awesome veil chart to help you visualize your gown and veil courtesy of Veil Trends.

You'll find there are lots and lots and lots of different names for different lengths. Don't get overwhelmed! Also, don't get caught up in the romanticness of one name vs. another.

Lengths & Looks

Dramatic and Chic

*Courtesy of TJ Formal

Fly Away or Short Shoulder (20" or less) - This veil can be casual or very chic depending on what embellishments, style, or material is chosen. It should only be worn with gowns with no train.

Shoulder Length (25") - Once again, this veil should only be worn with gowns with no train.

Elbow Length (30") - This is the most popular length. It's generally used for a gown without a train or with a very short train. This length enhances detailing around the waist of the gown. It also compliments a full gown and ends just above the start of the skirt.

Romantic Looks

*Courtesy of TJ Formal

Fingertip or Waist Length (36") - Looks beautiful with any full length gown. The veil falls right at the fingertips of the bride if her hands are at her side. If this length has an oval cut, it will make your waist appear smaller as the fullest part of the veil is at your elbows.

Knee Length - (45") - This veil fall to about your knees. Perfect for a lovely, but dramatic look.

Waltz or Ballet Length ( 54-60") This veil length hits your body somewhere between your knees and calves. It's positively soft and romantic!

Formal Looks

*Courtesy of TJ Formal

Floor Length (72") - A floor length veil is very elegant and formal. If your gown has no train and you want a long veil, this is a wonderful choice.

Chapel Length (90") - Perfect if you are looking for a long veil to compliment a gown with a short train.

Cathedral Length ( 120") Worn only for formal weddings. Usually extends at least six inches past the train. Looks best with a cathedral or semi-cathedral length gown.

Grand Cathedral Length (144") - Unless you have a hugely long train, this veil will sweep past the end of the train for a richly elegant look.

Also, here are a few websites with wonderful pictures of veils in various lengths:

The Wedding Veil Shop

Distinctive Veils

I hope this answers many of your questions about veil lengths. If there's something you'd like to ask about, feel free to send me an email!

Happy Wedding Preparations!


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