ABC’s of Veils & Headpieces

You have a perfect look in mind and try desperately to describe it to your friends, family and the sales clerk.

Do you want a cathedral length veil, chapel length or a mantilla? A wreath or tiara?

If you can precisely name the item you have in mind, it would make shopping for your perfect headgear, a perfect breeze!

Below you’ll find the different types of popular headpieces and veils as well as a brief description of each.

Ballet or Waltz Length
Single or multiple layers of veiling just grazing the ankles
Single veil worn over face before the ceremony, lifted up and back over headpiece by groom during the ceremony. Attached to longer veil in back
Cathedral Length
Three and a half yards of veiling, falling from headpiece to the floor.
Chapel Length
Two and a third yards of veiling, flowing from the headpiece to the floor.
One or several layers of veiling in a length just touching the fingertips.
Two layers of veiling consisting of one fingertip length and one blusher length.
Multiple layers of veiling that brush shoulders. Worn with an informal, ankle-length dress or a gown that has a decorative back you don’t want to cover.
Small gathering of veiling attached to the back or side of the headpiece.


Chanel Bow
Large, flat satin bow, fashioned to a barrette and worn flat against nape of neck.
Any combination of thick materials braided into a flat ring to wear on the head the way a wreath is.
Small, stiff-brimmed hat with a domed crown. Usually made of satin and lace and trimmed with crystals or pearls. worn on top of head, straight-on or tilted.
Small hat covering half of the head. Worn in any position.
A combination of pearls, silk flowers and ribbons. Worn low on the forehead, positioned on top of head or extending under the back hair.
Juliet Cap
Small cap that hugs the back of the head.

Lace veiling or lace-trimmed veiling secured in elegant Spanish style on crown of head by a comb or cap. Lies flat against hair and cascades down over shoulders.
Picture Hat
Large brimmed hat covered in satin and decorated with satin or ribbon flowers. Some pearls or other beads are added.
Pillbox Hat
Brimless, round, structured hat, worn on top of head or tilted to one side.
Cluster of silk flowers, ribbons, pearls, crystals or sprays attached to a comb and worn on one side of head.

Small, round, cover of lace and pearls worn over a chignon.
Small crown encrusted with gems, crystals or rhinestones worn centered on top of head.
Wreath Head-Piece
Delicate circlet of flowers or pearls worn on top of hair, extending onto the forehead.