Picture a sit down dinner, heavy silver, crystal, classic floral centerpieces and you're probably picturing a formal wedding. A formal wedding gown can be elaborately beaded with seed pearls and crystals, have a long train and intricate embroidery. The veil is flowing and reaches the ground and trails beyond the train of the gown.
The men's attire differs whether the formal wedding takes place during the day or after . Before the groom and ushers wear a cutaway coat with tails, sometimes called a morning suit, gray pinstripe trousers, gray vest, black ascot or tie. After 6:00 PM the men wear black tailcoats, matching black pants, white shirt, white vest, and white tie, this is also known as full dress.
It has become acceptable that men can now wear a tuxedo in lieu of a morning suit or full dress for a formal wedding.
Semi-formal wedding gowns are less intricate, have a shorter train or none at all. The fabrics can be lighter as well. The wedding veil for a semi formal wedding can reach the floor but doesn’t extend much beyond that.
Informal wedding gowns are short with no train. If there is a veil it only reaches to the fingertips. Some brides select a headpiece of fresh flowers and forgo the veil completely.
Veils come in many lengths, materials and styles. They can be plain, embroidered with lace, embellished with seed pearls, crystals or silk flowers. The veil should match the color of the gown. If the gown is pure white, the veil should be pure white. If the gown is ivory, the veil should be ivory.
A blusher veil floats just above the shoulders and is appropriate for an informal or semi-formal wedding and short dress. It can also be combined with a longer veil for a formal wedding and brought forward to cover the brides' face, then lifted by the groom after the couple are married.
Elbow length comes to the elbows and is used with shorter informal or semi formal dresses.
Fingertip length reaches the fingers when the arm is held straight down by the side and is usually worn with a long gown with a short train or no train at all.
Waltz length barely skims the floor.
Mantilla is a veil trimmed with lace or all lace worn over the head usually without a head piece.
Cathedral Length is the most formal of the veil styles and extends at least six inches past the train of the dress. The train should be at least three feet long.