Your veil can be any length, from a very short face veil to a yards-long royal veil–or anyplace in between. When shopping or researching, you will find merchants refer to different lengths in similar, but not identical, ways.
Many name the veils according to where they fall on a bride of average height. Others categorize by length of the veil. Very logical, but there are a couple of pitfalls to avoid:
- If you are not average height (and few of us are), elbow, fingertip, knee, and floor length veils will likely fall elsewhere.
- Where the veil falls will depend where you attach it. A veil fastened under a back bun will look much longer than the same veil secured on top of your head at the tiara.
There are a couple of solutions for this dilemma. If you are going to wear an unadorned, raw-edge veil buy one with more than enough length, then trim it after experimenting with different looks.
Alternately, decide exactly where you want to attach your veil and where you want it to fall, and then measure the length between those two points. That is how long your veil needs to be to create the look you want.
Here are some general guidelines on what to expect when shopping for veils, from shortest to longest in length:
- Shoulder length. This veil is sometimes called a flyaway when there are multiple layers. It is commonly 20 inches long, but can range from 18 to 30 inches, depending on where you purchase it.
- Elbow length. This veil generally ranges from 25 to 36 inches long and should end below a low backline but above the top of the skirt.
- Fingertip or wrist length veils. These veils range in length from 36 to 50 inches and are versatile, as they can be worn with tea length and longer gowns. Generally, wrist length veils are a bit shorter than fingertip.
- Knee, waltz, or ballet length veil. Knee length is generally around 45 inches, while waltz or ballet length is usually 54 to 60 inches long.
- Chapel or floor length veil. This veil is usually tiered and ranges from 60 to 90 inches long.
- Cathedral or royal veil. This veil will trail up to two feet or more behind you. The length ranges from 96 to 132 inches or longer.