Why does the width of your wedding veil matter?
Wedding gowns come in all different shapes and sizes. Think of how surprised you would be to go to a salon only to find that they only carry sheath or slim cut dresses! Just like wedding dresses, bridal veils also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The width of your veil can have just as big of an impact on the style of your wedding veil as the length.
The problem is that most brides focus on the length of their veil, but they forget about the width. This means that they feel that they are drowning in fabric if they choose a veil that is too wide OR they can feel like their veil doesn’t have the dramatic impact and “fluff” that they had always imagined. Therefore, it is important to give some consideration to the width of your veil before saying “I do”.
What are the common wedding veil widths?
Most veils come in 3 standard veil widths: 54 inches in width (the slim veil), 72 inches in width (medium width), and 108 inches in width (full). Here at the studio, we also custom source a fabric that comes in a unique 120 inch width extra full fabric for the princess bride who really wants a statement, but many salons will not have this on hand. Because of this, we will focus on the three most common widths.
54 Inch Width Wedding Veils: Slim / Narrow
This ultra sheer, understated width has become popular for brides who are aiming for a modern and sophisticated look. It gives an ethereally light covering without overwhelming you with puffiness. The sheerness allows you to magnify the craftmanship of your gown without obscuring it in any way. It prettily pairs with sheath or form fitted gowns. I also adore how it looks with heavily beaded or detailed cap sleeved wedding dresses because it better shows off the sleeve detailing.
Certain fabrics such as silks and English net are only available in the narrow 54’’ width style. This generally works best for specialty fabrics as these are characterized by their opaque nature. So anything wider than the slim 54’’ width fabric can look bulky on these less see-through fabrics.
Silk Blend Long Narrow 54'' Width Veil
72 Inch Width Wedding Veils: Medium / Standard
Not too wide and not too narrow, this width is a common choice for brides who are not quite sure what they want. It provides a hint of shoulder coverage without looking too voluminous. It suites a wide variety of wedding dress silhouettes and venues.
108 Inch Wedding Veils: Full
A pure dramatic statement, this extra full covering of lightweight tulle will make you feel like a Disney princess. For the bride who has always dreamed of being the belle of the ball and who longs for that bridal magic, this extra fluffy width is ideal.
It is fuller throughout, which basically means that it is made with more fabric. The bottom "circle" of the veil would also be larger and more dramatic. It has significantly more fullness up at the comb, creating more volume. Most cathedral length veils are made from this fabric as it balances out the length for a more proportional look.
What if the fabric I love doesn’t come in the width I want?
If you want a full style but the fabric that you love doesn’t come in a wide enough width, then you should consider a two or three layer veil. Many brides are nervous about ordering a double layer veil as they think that this means that they must wear it over the face. But you don’t! Many brides choose a double layer veil as it gives more volume, and they will keep both layers to the back all night long without ever flipping it over the face.
Extra Full 108 inch 2 Tier Cathedral Veil
What if I want a veil width that is between the common sizes?
Some brides choose a bespoke or custom veil because they are specific in their bridal vision. Luckily, the wider fabrics can be cut down to create a veil width that is between the standard sizes.
In my many years of collaborating with brides, I have found that the most common custom request is for a 90’’ width veil that is between the 72’’ medium fullness and the 108’’ width extra fullness. Ask your designer to see if this customization would be possible for you.
Custom 90'' Width Cathedral Length Bridal Veil
What veil width is best for short veils?
I typically recommend the 54’’ or 72’’ width fabrics for short veils. Anything wider than this can look disproportional. Most of my short veils are made from 54’’ width veiling as I love how the sheerness perfectly balances out the shorter styles and allows you to see through to your gown. Most short styles can be customized in a fuller fabric upon request though.
Elbow Length Lace Bridal Veil from 54'' Width Tulle
What veil width is best for long veils?
I typically recommend the 72’’ or 108’’ width fabrics for cathedral length veils. The narrow 54'' style works well if you have a slim sheath style dress with a dainty train. But if you have a long train on your dress, then generally you want full veiling so that it is proportional. If your wedding dress train is exceptionally wide, then I recommend choosing the widest 108’’ width veil so that the bottom "circle" of the veil will frame your train.
Cathedral Lace Veil in Fullest 108'' Width Fabric
The general rule: The longer and more dramatic your dress train is and the longer your veil is, the wider you will want your veil to be.
As you can see from the photos, the width of your wedding veil can significantly impact the feeling that your wedding veil evokes. As you choose your wedding veil width, you should consider your wedding dress silhouette, the detailing on your veil (such as trim and finish), and the venue and formality of your wedding.
The question of wedding veil widths is closely tied to the question of length, so I would recommend reading more about common veil lengths. The veil length and veil width go hand in hand and should be considered together.