The Modern Bride's Guide to Cathedral Wedding Veils

You stand at the top of the aisle in your wedding dress, framed by light and the most gorgeous cathedral veil. There's a collective intake of breath, and straight ahead your favorite person in the world is completley awe-struck.

When it comes to the ceremony and making hearts flutter, nothing holds a candle to the drama of a cathedral length veil. While traditional, it can be tailored to read very modern, adding an extra layer of drama and excitement to your wedding day.

What is a cathedral wedding veil?


The longest of all veil styles, a cathedral length wedding veil extends beyond the train of your wedding gown to create a stunning visual effect. Cathedral length veils typically have a blusher layer that floats over your face down the aisle. However, if that's not your style, that's ok! Like almost everything else about your wedding day, you're not limited to what's been done before. We often create one incredible piece tailored to a woman's unique bridal style.


Beautiful brides in their lace edged cathedral wedding veils.


The beauty of a cathedral veil lies not only in its dramatic length but also in its versatility. It can complement any dress style, from form-fitting gowns to voluminous ball gowns. Far from just good with ball gown wedding dresses, this veil's length and flow can accentuate any dress's silhouette and highlight your shape in such an unforgettable way. They also look S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G with a wedding headpiece. While you're wearing your veil, the soft tulle enhances the magical, light-catching effect of your headpiece. Then, at the reception, it dazzles.

To illustrate how versatile and wonderful this accessory is, we've included some of our fabulous brides wearing their cathedral veils (and crystal headpieces)  throughout this post.

A beautiful bride standing in candlelight. Her lace-edged cathedral veil is spread all around her.

Types of cathedral length veils

Lace cathedral veil: Adorned with delicate lace, this cathedral veil exudes a timeless and romantic charm. The lace can be any type, and accenting it with pearls and crystals only makes the textlile more beautiful! The intricate lacework can cascade gracefully down the length of the veil and stay to the edges, or it can flourish into the center and pool into a dramatic finish at the bottom.

Crystal-and-pearl-encrusted cathedral veil: For brides who desire a touch of opulence and glamour, the crystal-and-pearl-encrusted cathedral veil is a lovely choice. This veil features shimmering crystals, lustrous pearls, or both! Either way, this special detail creates a dazzling effect as it catches the light.

Cut-edge cathedral veil: With its clean and minimalist design, this cathedral veil is a modern and sophisticated choice. This veil is characterized by its simple, raw edge that gracefully drapes down to the floor. The absence of embellishments or trimmings gives this veil a sleek and understated look.

Beautiful brides in their lace-edged cathedral wedding veils.


Royal length cathedral veil: Fit for a princess, the royal cathedral veil exudes grandeur and regal splendor. This majestic veil extends beyond the traditional cathedral length, creating drama as it sweeps across the floor well beyond the bride's train.


Mantilla cathedral veil:

Originating from Spain, the mantilla veil is characterized by delicate lace that drapes over the bride's head and shoulders, creating a romantic and ethereal effect. The lace typically adorns the entire edge of the veil, adding an old-world heirloom feel.

Embroidered cathedral veil:

Embroidered cathedral veils feature intricate embroidery designs that are stitched onto the veil's fabric. These designs can vary greatly, ranging from floral motifs to ornate patterns, and can be done in different thread colors to complement the bride's gown.

Two-tier cathedral veil:

This bridal veil type consists of two separate tiers. The first, also known as the blusher layer, is shorter. It's meant to be worn over the face during the ceremony and then lifted to reveal the bride's face. The second extends to the desired cathedral length, creating a cascading effect. This style offers versatility and an added dimension to the veil, allowing brides to have a traditional blusher and cathedral length in one veil.

Beautiful brides in their lace edged cathedral wedding veils.

How to wear a cathedral veil

Whether you want to wear your hair up or down, a cathedral veil looks fantastic! For instance, a sleek updo paired with a cathedral veil can create a look of timeless elegance, while loose, flowing hair can give off a more relaxed, bohemian feel. No matter how you wear your hair, the veil is affixed to your hair with a silver comb.

After the ceremony and wedding day photos, the cathedral veil is typically removed. This is great for ease of movement, as well as for the fact that it lets your crystal headpiece and bridal jewelry really shine! However, some women will wear the veil draped over an elbow or even bustled.
A gorgeous bride kissing her groom while her lace edged cathedral veil trails down steps.

If you'd like to find the perfect veil for your big day, we'd love for you to visit us at our NYC bridal accessory boutique. We've got all sorts of veil lengths and styles to choose from, incuding single layer and chapel length veils.

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