Bridal veils have been a wedding tradition for thousands of years. Opinions vary, but it is commonly accepted that the veil actually predated the wedding gown and became a tradition in Ancient Greece when a bride used a veil to cover her face through the pronouncement of the vows. Whether this was to give the impression of purity or to hide a potentially unattractive face from an arranged suitor is open for interpretation.
Today, the veil is as much an expression of the bride's personality, story, and background as any other part of her wedding. Veils received a bad reputation throughout the 1980's and early 1990's when brides used them to make a larger-than-life fashion statement out of WAY TOO MUCH TULLE. Today, veils are making an impressive comeback and can be made using nearly any material a bride dreams up.
Most newly-engaged-bride-to-be's haven't thought much about a veil. They've seen a few photos that they like - or more often have seen many that they dislike - and they have no idea how to navigate the world of veils. To help answer a few common questions, I have put a few descriptions and images below of various lengths, materials, and styles that are often mentioned in the wedding veil world.
All About Veil Length
Usually veil lengths are described with words like 'Chapel,' 'Cathedral,' or 'Waltz.' Most brides, tailors or bridal vendors find these names totally confusing - and quite honestly, what is a chapel-length to one person is likely a cathedral to another, or visa versa. So, here is a handy little chart to get you through. AEB's interpretation of these lengths is explained (in inches) below.
AEB VEIL LENGTHS
Elbow - Elbow length veils hit, you guessed it, just at the elbow. Approx. 20-25 inches long. We also make most of our blushers at this length.
Fingertip - Fingertip length veils should hit at the fingertip when the fingers are extended. Mantilla veils look gorgeous at this length. Approximately 35-40 inches.
Chapel - Quite possibly the most contested length...some designers create an ankle-length chapel, others design to have it sit on the floor. Here at AEB, we feel the Chapel length should hit at about the floor -approximately 70-90 inches depending on the bride's height.
Cathedral - A Cathedral veil is the most common AEB style. Most brides request that their cathedral veil hit at the train of their dress or just beyond. Lengths range from 90-105 inches.
Extended Train - A Regal Cathedral veil is just what it sounds like - absolutely regal! These veils measure over 105 inches long in their train and are generally made as custom veils.