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What is a Cathedral Length Veil?


If you’re a fan of royal wedding style or have always dreamed of a fairy tale wedding, you’ll probably already know the answer to the question ‘what is a cathedral length veil?’. Dramatic, regal, and utterly romantic, all brides-to-be should seriously consider wearing the longest bridal veil length for their big day.

A cathedral veil is so called because they’re traditionally worn for wedding ceremonies in churches and cathedrals. Large churches and cathedrals make the perfect setting for a statement veil made from extra lengths of luxury bridal fabrics thanks to their long wide aisles and open spaces.  

cathedral length veil

How Long is a Cathedral Length Veil?

Cathedral length veils start at a sensational 300cm long. This extra length creates an extravagant train to follow the bride as she walks down the aisle, ensuring she makes a show-stopping entrance and creating superb opportunities for stunning photographs on the day.  

Royal cathedral veil lengths can run even longer, and for those who can remember Princess Diana’s 1984 ultra-long taffeta bridal veil measuring at 7.62 metres, it would appear that the limits for cathedral veils are seemingly endless. 

Silk style barely there wedding veil - 'Ilona'

How to Wear a Cathedral Length Veil?

If your heart is set on a cathedral length veil, you’ll need to find a wedding dress style that will work with and accentuate the added volume and extra-long lines of this bridal classic.

Because cathedral veils are a slightly more formal and ostentatious choice of veil, you have the perfect excuse for choosing an equally opulent gown to match. Select a dress made from rich satin or silk or delicate vintage lace gown to complete a lavish high-class look.

Semi lace edged wedding veil - 'Calleva'

As well as choosing a luxury fabric, you’ll also need to consider the design of your dress.

The good news is that most wedding gowns will work wonderfully with a cathedral veil, although short length wedding dresses should be avoided. Brides wearing off-shoulder wedding gowns, or dresses with straps, will benefit from the extra tulle that will lightly cover arms and shoulders. Brides wearing form-fitting mermaid or trumpet shape dresses will also look fantastic with a cathedral veil, as the form-fitting upper body and voluminous lower work to create a balanced bridal look. 

And just because a cathedral veil brings added volume doesn’t necessarily mean you have to avoid a big dress either. Ball gown wedding dresses looking truly stunning with a long veil, helping to create an overall princess bride aesthetic.

Because of the weight and scale of the veil, you’re likely to need some help manoeuvring it as you walk amongst your guests or pose for photographs. Make sure you have a bridesmaid or two on hand to help you carry and position the veil throughout your wedding ceremony and afterward.

A Cathedral Veil and Hair

Most bridal hairstyles also partner well with cathedral length veils, so you’re guaranteed to look beautiful whether you choose loose long curls or a sophisticated chic updo.

Following the ceremony and photographs, many brides choose to remove a cathedral length veil for added comfort during the reception and evening celebrations. So, you might want to consider teaming your veil with other bridal hair accessories so you can still sparkle and shine, even when the veil comes off.

Take a look at some of our real brides wearing cathedral length veils.

Britten Weddings handcraft stunning wedding veils in their Bradford on avon workshop, answering the question ‘what is a cathedral length veil?’ with sumptuous yards of gorgeous tulle and lace embellishments. The Britten Weddings bridal veil collection hosts a range of extra-long bridal veil styles.  Whether you’re looking for a two tier cathedral veil, a cathedral veil with crystals, or a braid soutache edge cathedral veil, you’ll feel spoilt for choice with this lovingly handmade collection.