To Veil or Not to Veil: How Does a Bride Decide?

Should you wear a veil on your wedding day? There are unlimited options for veils. Follow these expert tips for choosing (or not choosing) a veil.

By: Katie Morton

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Few things say "bridal" like the ethereal beauty of a veil. A cascading lace and tulle creation trailing down the aisle as the bride makes her entrance is an undeniably dramatic moment.

The wedding veil has historic significance. It was said to represent purity, deter evil spirits, and shield the bride from the groom's eyes during arranged marriages.

Modern women might question whether to embrace the veil and all of its traditional connotations. Even if you suspect a veil might not be your style, consider trying one on during your dress fitting. You might be surprised by the bridal transformation you see in the mirror.

As "Say Yes to the Dress" style expert Randy Fenoli always says, "You NEED to wear some kind of veil. Without a veil, you're just a pretty girl in a white dress." See if a veil is right for you.

Tips on Choosing a Bridal Veil

First things first: you'll want to finalize your choice of wedding gown before picking a veil, as the color of the veil and the style (long or short, formal or informal) will be informed by your dress.

Of course, sometimes the veil comes first. If you're considering donning a vintage family heirloom veil, bring this with you while dress shopping (bonus points for making your mom cry tears of joy!) While the veil doesn't need to be an exact match to your dress, you'll want to aim for similar tones and formality.

Say you decide that a dramatic veil is the perfect touch for your gown, but you're worried about wrangling yards of tulle during the post-ceremony party. You can have the best of both worlds! Many brides decide on one style of veil for the ceremony, then either remove it after photos or switch it out for a shorter one at the reception.

Which veil best fits your unique bridal style? Here are some images to consider as you decide which veil is perfect for you.

Even if you're not marrying into royalty, you can feel like a princess by adorning your dress with a cathedral length veil (this one is from David's Bridal).

Photo by: David's Bridal

David's Bridal

Are you a fashion-forward bride? Try a quirky birdcage veil for a nod to tradition while showcasing your free spirit.

Photo by: Nordstrom


This Alencon lace-edged veil is a romantic and timeless look designed to complement traditional gowns.

Photo by:

A sheer, single-layer, fingertip-length veil is a simple, sleek look that elevates many types of gowns.

Photo by: J. Crew

J. Crew

If you do decide on a veil, ask your stylist to demonstrate different ways to adhere it to your hair. Some veils look best perched low on the nape of the neck, while others are best fastened at the crown.

Know that whether or not you opt for a veil, your glowing happiness on your big day is the ultimate bridal accessory!

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