The perfect dress is on the wish list of many a bride-to-be, but no bridal ensemble is truly complete until the bride chooses her veil.
Veils have been worn by brides at their weddings for centuries. Veils can be traced back to the Middle East, where veils helped protect against the weather while also preserving the modesty of the bride. In Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, veils were used as protection against evil spirits.
According to popular wedding website The Knot.com, until Vatican II, all Catholic women were required to have their heads covered in church, including during their wedding ceremonies. Veils were worn for this purpose, but they also symbolized trust in the groom and his love and companionship. Some Christians also see the veil as a visual representation of submission to the Church and to God. Others think of the veil as another beautiful accompaniment to their bridal gown, without attaching any additional meaning to the veil itself.
Veils come in various lengths and can complement the style of a wedding gown. They also tend to add glamour to brides' looks. Here are the types of veils from shortest to longest.
• Blusher: Blushers cover the face, though some extend only to mid-cheek on the bride.
• Flyaway: Flyaways cover just the back of the head. Shorter veils may work better on petite women.
• Shoulder: Shoulder veils are about 20 inches in length and will hit at the bride's shoulders or just below.
• Waist: Waist-length veils cascade down to the middle of the bride's waist.
• Fingertip: These veils extend down 38 to 42 inches, brushing against the bride's fingertips.
• Waltz/Knee: For a dramatic look, many brides may opt for waltz-length veils, which fall to the back of the knees.
• Chapel/Floor: Veils that extend to the floor may be referred to as "chapel" or "floor-length" veils. Such veils cascade slightly behind the bride.
Veils can complete brides' wedding day looks. Shorter veils may be comfortable to wear throughout the day and evening, but brides may want to consider detachable veils if they are selecting lengthier options.