Do you know your birdcage from your drop? A guide to different veil lengths

Christine Fyfe of Tarbet-based boutique Bridal Atelier demystifies the various types of veils

Two-tier Chantilly lace fingertip-length veil by Paloma Blanca, from £335, available from Bridal Atelier

Birdcage veils

“These are short and extend just past the chin or are placed to one side of the head, covering one eye. They’re usually made from French net and are perfect for vintage-look dresses.”


“Measuring around 20in, these look great with detailed dresses and are best worn for a less formal look or beach-style wedding.”


“One of the most popular veils, it measures around 25in and can be worn with most styles. You get single and double-layered versions, with one layer used as a blusher (a short layer worn over the face to offer a romantic feel) or with more layers, for a full 1970s look.”

Two-tier floor-length veil by Paloma Blanca, from £210, available from Bridal Atelier


“These are around 36in and can be single or double-layered.”


“Best with a fitted gown. It’s around 45in and should fall between the knee and calf, giving a longer look without you having to carry it around with you.”


“This veil should match your dress length. It suits full-skirted gowns (with no train) or sheath silhouettes.”


“This is between 90 and 108in and falls between 6 to 12in past the hem or train of the gown. It is pretty with a blusher and suits a more formal wedding.”


“Looking for drama? Opt for cathedral-length, which is 120 to 144in and is best worn with a gown of the same length. It is worn at formal weddings.”


“A layer of tulle usually with a lace trim, cut in a circle. This veil should not be secured with a comb but rather placed on the head. Worn by Grace Kelly.”


“A mantilla veil is made from silk, tulle or, more traditionally, lace. It has a comb at the very top with no gather to it, allowing the veil to drape over the head.”