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Veil Lengths

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.

 
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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.

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Fingertip Length

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Chapel Length

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Cathedral Length

 

 

Lace & Trim Options

There are so many types of lace and ways to apply them, it can be a maze to navigate! Here are a few helpful tips to help you decide.

 
 
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Alencon Lace

Alencon lace is one of the most iconic bridal lace styles. Originating in Alencon, France, Alencon has a characteristic netted background with a gorgeous heavy corded floral pattern spanning across. This lace comes in a full yardage piece, as just a trim, or in an applique style.


Venice Lace

This is a heavier lace with a raised floral or geometric design. The lace work is independent and is not sewn onto a mesh or net fabric. The floral or geometric pattern is connected by silk thread and comes as a fabric or as appliques. This lace is also ofter referred to as Guipure lace.

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Lace Applique

Lace appliques are a single lace motif that can applied independently. These can be alencon, venice lace, chantilly, beaded or any other type of lace.


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Silk Ribbon Trim

Ribbon trim veils have a soft silk ribbon sewn onto the edge. The ribbon is just as it sounds - a ribbon made with delicate silk thread - and it creates a subtle shape to the veil that cascades nicely.


Chantilly

Chantilly is a delicate French lace with a floral design made with silk thread on a net background. Chantilly comes in many colors and stands out due to the 'eyelash' style frayed edges along a scalloped edge. Due to its very delicate nature, Chantilly is a more expensive lace to purchase and apply as it is handmade requires careful hand-sewn application.

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Beaded Lace

AEB offers a selection of beaded laces and will also hand-bead custom laces per a bride's request. Beaded laces are designed with a variety of embellishments from sequins to rhinestones to pearls. Beaded laces are a heavier weight a pair well with English Net which holds up to their weight better.

Veil Materials

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Delicate French Tulle

This more delicate take on traditional bridal illusion tulle is AEB's best-seller. With the lightweight feel of traditional bridal tulle, the AEB Delicate French Tulle is slightly more opaque, holds up to wear a tear better, and has a slightly more romantic and soft drape than traditional bridal illusion tulle. It has a really nice raw edge and makes a great basic tulle veil but also pairs well wit almost any lace.

Fun fact - this tulle is used by Beyonce's costume designer as it stands up to movement and rhinestone application well. 

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English Net

English Net is a favorite to work with at AEB. Its soft texture and drape is romantic but not too heavy. It is woven in a hexagonal structire like silk tulle (called bobbinette) and its look mimics silk but doesn't come with the same price tag. In a single layer, it is transparent and has a beautiful float to it when it catches the breeze.

AEB uses REAL English Net manufactured in the UK on centuries old leavers machines. It is a polyester blend - not the cheap nylon net that is often advertised as English net. 

English Net also works very well with most laces as its weight holds up better to lace appliques or trims. English Net is a great alternative to tulle for brides looking for something slightly more traditional and romantic in drape.  
 

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Swiss Dot

Swiss Dot is a soft nylon tulle with polka dots adorning the finish. The Swiss Dot on the AEB Swiss Dot Veil is a softer, more finely woven material that is slightly opaque with a romantic drape similar to English Net.

 

Veil Styles

Just like veil lengths, veil styles have many names. Here is how we refer to them here at AEB.

 
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Traditional Comb Fasten

The most common veil style, a traditional comb fasten has a single 3 or 4 inch metal comb that attaches into the hair and allows the veil to cascade down in a teardrop shape. 

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2-Tier Blusher Veil

This style of veil has a traditional comb attachment but has two tiers of material coming from the comb. Sometimes the tiers are different lengths, sometimes the same length. The top tier can be flipped over the face or worn in the back - or both over the course of the day!

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Drop Veil

This stye is common in bridal editorial and is sometimes called an 'oval veil' or a 'over the face' veil. A single piece of material cut in a circular or oval shape, a drop veil drops evenly or unevenly over the face. AEB drop veils have a small comb attachment at the center of the veil so that a bride can flip the veil back and make a 2-tier style when they are done wearing it over the face.

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Mantilla Veil

The mantilla veil is a very old traditional style from Spain. Most often, a mantilla is cut in an oval shape, adorned with thick lace all the way around the cirumference, and attaches at the top of the head to cascade around the face. Some modern brides opt to wear the veil further back on the head.

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Juliet Cap

The Juliet Cap is a vintage style popularized in the 1920's and having another moment. The Juliet can be long or short and is styled with gathers on each side of the head above the ear to create a 'cap' look. The cap or veil can be plain or decorated with lace trim, floral pieces, brooches or appliques.