RC Blog

Vintage Wedding Veils Throughout The Decades - 100 Years Of Style

This post may contain affiliate links that grant me a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Vintage wedding veil styles are so ornate and beautiful. Here are our veil picks for vintage-loving brides.

Vintage wedding veil.
updated on:
June 12, 2023

One of my favorite things to do is look at vintage wedding photos on Pinterest! I'm planning my own wedding and you know I'm going to have tons of vintage influence going on.

One thing I've noticed from looking at vintage brides is how much wedding dress and wedding veil styles have changed over the years. It may seem obvious, but what goes around comes around, and if you're a bride going for a vintage wedding feel, you'll need a vintage-inspired veil to complete your look!

Let's go over some different vintage veil styles from over the years and talk about ways to incorporate that romantic vintage vision into your own wedding.

This post is all about vintage wedding veil.

What are some vintage veil traditions?

vintage veils
Image via Flickr

The tradition of wearing a veil is older than even wearing a white wedding dress. The Romans believed a veil covering the face of the bride would mask her identity as she walked down the aisle, thus protecting her against evil spirits.

A veil can mean many different things to different religions and people. In Christianity, the veil came to be another symbol of purity. In Juadaism, a ceremony called Bedeken may be performed which involves the groom placing the veil over his bride. There are many different interpretations of this tradition, one of which being confirmation the groom is marrying the correct bride, and another is symbolizing the importance of inner beauty rather than outer beauty.

The veil today has a wide variety of meanings and is largely up for interpretation for each bride. Some use it simply as an ornamental and decorative piece, others see it as symbol with deeper meaning.

What are some vintage veil styles?

1920s wedding veils

vintage veil
1925, Image via Wikimedia Commons

In the 20s, drop waist sheaths were popular for dresses, along with extra long veils that involved hair coverage. Ornamental flower crowns or bejeweled headbands were placed on top of the wrapped veil. Sometimes pinned flowers were used on each side of the face to pin down the bride's veil, creating a gorgeous face-framing piece. These veils mostly did not have blushers or a method to walk down the aisle veiled. Bouquets were large and typically had strings of bows and ribbons hanging from the stems. The veils themselves were, for the most part, simple tulle with little to no adornment on the edges or bottom. The drama factors for 20s brides were their bridal headpieces and long, cathedral length veils.

I see a lot of modern brides today opting for extra long veils with no blusher. The long-lined, sleek look makes for gorgeous photos when the veil follows behind the bride or is picked up by wind. I don't, however, see a lot of hair coverage or headpieces. Covering the hair is a more conservative, almost biblical look. I think it's perfect for brides that want a more old-world, romantic ensemble.

Headband veil

Buy on Over The Moon

This veil gives the illusion of the hair-wrap veils of the 20s.

1930s wedding veils

vintage veil
1935, Image via Wikimedia Commons

In the 1930s, we still see headpieces with florals and jewels, but we see a small decrease in headbands that go around the forehead. Veils are still for the most part long and dramatic, with little adornment or lace. A large difference is the dramatic reduction of hair-wrapped veils. Most brides are showing their hair, which causes the veil to be pinned further back on the head. A common trend I'm seeing is a white silk crown placed at the top of the head, which gives the bride an almost halo-like effect. As before mentioned, smaller headpieces are still common.

Dresses from this decade underwent a major shift from the drop-waist gowns of the 20s. It was common to see silky, bias-cut gowns in this era.

Headpiece veil

Buy on Over The Moon

This veil is more of a modern twist on a long veil with a headpiece. I wish more veils nowadays incorporated more of a decorative piece on top to create visual interest. This one does just that with floral appliques on the crown of the head cascading down.

Advertisement - scroll to read more

1940s wedding veils

vintage veil
1947, Image via Wikimedia Commons

This era was similar to the 1930s in many ways, but we see a huge uptick in wearing crowns in the hair. Queen Elizabeth was married in 1947, and when a royal is married, wedding trends seem to follow suit. From this era, I also noticed some veil lengths starting to change. Long veils were not in short supply, but there are a few outliers that seemed to shorten their veils whether for convenience or style. WWII started in the early 40s, so I did see an uptick in more casual wedding garb in some cases, probably due to the rush to get married before the deployment of soldiers to aid in the war efforts. This was a huge shift in the decadent ceremonies of the past.

Long, dramatic veils and gowns still reigned supreme, but change was definitely in the air in the 40s! For today's bride, I haven't seen much of the wedding crown/tiara in a few years. This head adornment was super popular back in the day - I could definitely see it coming back after this era of veil-minimalism we seem to be experiencing currently. I also saw some more lace and beading on veils in this era than in eras past.

Lace veil

Buy on Over The Moon

Queen Elizabeth's veil was adorned with crystals and appliques. If you want your veil to have a little more *umph* opt for lace-trimmed or embellished.

1950s wedding veils

vintage veil
1954, Image via Wikimedia Commons

WWII ended in 1945, which might have something to do with the fact that the 50s seemed like a golden age to get married. The US rate of marriage dramatically increased in 1946 according to the CDC and remained high for the next decade or so. A lot of weddings from this era seemed to be a blend of the bridal traditions from the 20s to the 40s, with some women opting for new trending styles.

Wedding gowns from this era were typically less sleek. Jackie Kennedy married JFK in 1953 in an off-the-shoulder silk tulle bridal gown with volume at the bottom. Her veil incorporated some traditional elements of the 1920s, which makes sense because it was originally her grandmother's. It was long rosepoint lace with an orange blossom tiara.

In the 50s, the tea length dress was also more common, a departure from the covered ankles of the past. An example of this style was Audrey Hepburn's iconic wedding gown from Funny Face. Necklines were more unique, usually a boat style or off-the-shoulder.

Veils from the 1950s vary, but an element characteristic of many veils from this period was the shortened length. Use of a blusher was more common in this period as well. When Marilyn Monroe married Arthur Miller in 1956, her veil was shortened to her shoulders.

Blusher veil

Buy on Over The Moon

This modern take on a classic silhouette is everything! This veil is very reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn's in Funny Face.

1960s wedding veils

vintage veil
1962, Image via Wikimedia Commons

The 60s really signaled a shift in wedding veil trends with the emergence of the bubble veil. The bubble veil strayed from the sleek design of earlier veils and offered layers of tulle that created volume at the crown of the head and around the rest of the look. The bubble veil came in different lengths, but most wedding photos you will see from the 60s have a lot of volume in the veil. Notable bubble veil moments include Priscilla Presley's wedding to Elvis in 1967.

Another common theme was flowers in the hair. Some brides opted to completely forego the wedding veil and go with hundreds of flowers in their hair from top to bottom as we got closer to the 70s.

Dresses from this era were varied, with some opting for more sleek sheaths and others sticking with the volumized gowns from the 50s.

Bubble veil

Buy on Amazon

This bubble veil has all the volume you could ever need. Plus it's only $13 on Amazon!

1970s wedding veils

vintage veil
1968, Image via Wikimedia Commons

There was a lot going on in the 70s regarding wedding veils! If you look at photos from this era, you'll see some brides forewent their veils for white floppy hats! The flower crown and larger headpieces made a return for brides choosing to stick with a veil and the bubble veil seemed to remain popular. Headpieces were a lot more bold, with some brides choosing a large flower headpiece that sat right on top of her head.

There was also a huge shift in wedding dresses for this decade, with the popularization of the empire waist sleeved gown. There was a move away from the petticoats and volumized bottoms of the wedding dresses from the 50s and 60s. There was more lace in this decade as well.

White hat

Buy on Over The Moon

I'm not sure what originally sparked the trend of white wedding hats, but it was super popular there for a while. I could definitely see it coming back in style soon...

1980s wedding veils

vintage veil
1981, Image via Flickr

The 1980s were such a fun time for wedding fashion! This decade had some of the most ornate wedding gowns and dramatic veils. One of the most iconic weddings during this decade was Princess Diana's 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. Diana's gown popularized luxurious wedding dresses with long trains. Another hallmark of the 80s was big puffy sleeves/bows.

In terms of wedding veils, the 80s still had a lot of volume. Headpieces like headbands with flowers became more popular. In photos you'll see some veils with a "floof" on the back and longer layers underneath.

Royal length veil w/ blusher

Buy on Amazon

A royal veil is one of the longest veils you can get! If you're a girl who considers herself a princess, go for a super long veil!

1990s wedding veils

vintage veil
90s, Image via Wikimedia Commons

90s wedding style definitely still had some elements of the 80s. Gowns with off-the-shoulder necklines became more popular and as the 90s started to turn into the 2000s, sleek wedding gowns started to completely overtake the poufy gowns of the 80s. Veils were still poufy but started to become more simple in the late 90s. Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy's 1996 wedding to JFK Jr. completely shifted wedding fashion at the time from puffy ornate gowns to simple, silky sheaths.

A lot of 90s wedding veils were a medium length.

Shoulder length veil

Buy on Amazon

This simple but beautiful veil will let your dress do all the talking. If you have a busier-style dress, a simple veil can add the perfect touch to your wedding day.

If you like this post you may enjoy this post: Trend Alert For 2023 Brides: Vintage Wedding Cake Designs

Advertisement - scroll to read more

2000s wedding veils

vintage veil

As we roll into the 2000s, we see a big shift in bridalwear. Simpler, sleeker dresses became more popular. Satin and silk were used more frequently and strapless/sleeveless gowns had a shining moment. Sweetheart necklines were also a common choice. Veils from this period had a lot less embellishment for the most part and featured less layers than the bubble veil.

Tiaras were popular among some brides, while others opted for a simple long veil with or without a blusher.

Silk-trimmed veil

Buy on Over The Moon

A silk-trimmed veil was a popular choice in the 00s. It adds a little something extra to an otherwise simple ensemble.

2010s wedding veils

vintage veil
2016, Image via Wikimedia Commons

A lot of weddings in the 2010s drew vintage inspiration from traditional weddings. The tea length became more popular along with the mermaid gown. Strapless and sweetheart necklines were still common as well. Embellishments and bling came back in this period to jazz up otherwise simple silky dresses.

In terms of veils, we saw some of the birdcage style for retro brides as well as the more classic veils inspired by Kate Middleton's 2011 wedding to Prince William. Some brides even opted to not wear veils.

Classic cathedral veil w/ blusher

Buy on Over The Moon

You can't go wrong with a classic cathedral length veil. The blusher adds some extra drama when you're walking down the aisle. This veil will go with almost any dress.

2020s wedding veils


I would say wedding veils today take inspiration from a lot of the past decades. I definitely see the bubble veil gaining traction again due to celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Ariana Grande opting for more retro styles for their weddings. Probably the most popular style today is a super long chapel or cathedral length veil with no layers and minimal adornment.

Brides are wearing their hair down more than they were in past years. Some brides have opted to wear a veil with pearls or even flower decals. Wedding dresses today are pretty much a mixed bag but I would say the sleek, classic sheath dress is pretty popular as well as lace mermaid gowns. 3D appliques are popular as well as A-line gowns.

Classic veil without blusher

Buy on Over The Moon

This veil is super classic and sleek. It's no wonder lots of brides choose this look for their wedding ensembles today.


I think veils are my absolute favorite part of the bridal ensemble. A veil can turn any dress into a gorgeous wedding gown. It's also a great way to express yourself. There are so many different kinds of styles that you can choose from for your big day!

Which era of wedding veils is your favorite? I absolutely love them all but I think my favorite is a cathedral length veil with a blusher.

If you're married, which veil did you pick for your wedding outfit?

This post was all about vintage veil.

Get Your Free Download

Download Now
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.


Stay in the loop!

Subscribe to the Roseglass Collective Newsletter.

get freebies, hacks, and more