A Guide to Wedding Veils

The Britten Guide To Wedding Veils

We thought all you lovely brides might want to know a little bit more about wedding veils so we are handing over to our sister company Britten to give you a bit more insight.

At first glance wedding veils can seem quite intimidating with their complicated words, what even is a bandeau?!, and the multitude of choices available. In truth though they are not hard to grasp, it's just lack of familiarity that makes them seem scary. Before we get down to the details you may have noticed that while we have an extensive range to choose from we don't offer a 'build your own veil' option. When we send a veil we have to know that it will look wonderful, the box has our name on it, so our range is carefully designed and curated to look fantastic on all brides. If you'd like more customisation than we can offer online then please do get in touch, we're always happy to have a chat about what you need.

"What are the different types of veil?"

  • Classic wedding veils. These are what most people imagine when asked to picture a veil. Many options are available, and explored below.
  • Bandeau veils. These are a more vintage feel and attached either side of the head. Some makers use this term interchangeably with 'birdcage' veils. They are technically wrong but the terms are beginning to merge somewhat so check images to be sure! 
  • Birdcage veils. These are attached at the top of the head (similar to the way a birdcage hangs). This terms can be used interchangeably with 'bandeau' on the internet, check the images to be sure! 
  • Drop veils. These are the simplest veils that drape over the head. They are often held in place with a headband, a shown in our images for our 'Rhiann' drop wedding veil, but if you don't plan to wear one we can sew a comb into our drop veils at no extra charge. Click for our 'How to secure a drop wedding veil' guide.
  • Juliette veils. A 'cap' of material holds the veil in place. This is a traditional vintage look, dating from 16th century England. It is believed the design dates to actors performing Juliet in the original performances of Shakespeares 'Romeo & Juliet'

"Can you explain 'classic' wedding in veils in depth please..."

Lets start with the length options. The names imply the setting they are expected to be used in but don't be put off. If you want to make a dramatic entrance to a small chapel then go for it and order the cathedral length; by contrast if you are getting married in a huge church or venue but wouldn't feel comfortable in a long veil then ignore the names and order what you like.

  • Cathedral length wedding veils. Our cathedral length veils are 300cm long and trail beautifully. The trim option you choose will determine how the tulle moves as you walk, more information on this is below.
  • Church length wedding veils (also called chapel sometimes). Our church length veils are 250cm long and still trail like the cathedral version, it's just a little shorter. It is this length that is shown in much of our imagery.
  • Floor length wedding veils. We make our floor length veils 200cm long. They should touch the floor with a small trailing edge that will vary according to your height. Without a long trail floor length veils move more freely in any breezes and as you move.
  • Fingertip length wedding veils (we have split this option from the others, except for our drop wedding veil 'Rhiann', as the effect is so different). As the name implies these should fall somewhere around your fingertips with your arms at your sides. At 122cm long there will be some natural variation depending on your height, especially if your wedding shoes have a significant heel. 

Now for the colour options. These are pretty simple really. Rather than attempt to describe each option the best bet is to order our tulle colour sample card. You won't find colour options on our lace edged veils as the lace has to match the tulle. 

We have three edging options. 

  • Full lace edged wedding veils. A lace edge runs all the way around, right up to the comb. The delicate lace frames the face and gives the most dramatic effect possible. All the lace we use, both at Britten and our sister company The Wedding Garter Co, comes from an English firm established since 1858 and still owned by the same family. It's now run by the 8th generation of the family and it's safe to say they make the best lace in the world. Not only do they provide the finest quality ecclesiastical lace to the church but they also supplied the lace for the dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge to Prince William in 2011. 
  • Semi lace edged wedding veils. The lace edge to the veil finishes around shoulder height. Compared to the full lace edged option a semi edged veil has a cleaner silhouette.
  • Cut edge wedding veils. A cut edged veil is very much lighter and more delicate than lace edged versions. For this reason it allows other accessories more attention and moves much more freely in light breezes; it's a beautiful effect.

Finally we have single and two tier versions of our cut edged classic veils

  • Single tier means that the veil flows from it's attachment point down the back. There is no blusher, section of veil in front of the face.
  • Two tier means that the veil flows from it's attachment point down the back whilst a separate section, the 'blusher', flows forward over the face. This is raised during the ceremony for the first kiss or at the exact moment you are married and is then swept back over the head to form a second layer at the back of the veil.

Sarah Jane Bates
Sarah Jane Bates


I'm Sarah, Creative Director at The Wedding Garter Co. I own Britten (parent company of The Wedding Garter Co) with my husband Matthew. We live in Bradford on Avon near Bath in England with our crazy golden retriever Alfie!