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The Wedding Veil Tradition—To Veil or Not to Veil?

Posted by Antoinette Abrahamsen on

Wedding veils are a long-standing bridal tradition. It is said that in ancient Rome, women wore wedding veils as a way to ward off evil spirits and negative energy.

Did you know that wedding veils weren’t always white? Some say in ancient Rome veils were red, while others say they were yellow.  The veils were dyed these flamboyant colors to make the bride look like a candle flame, in order to confuse the evil spirits bent on ruining the day.

Veils worn by brides were also often meant as a symbol of their purity. In ancient times, the veils were often wrapped around the bride from head to toe as a testimony of their maiden status. The veils during those times didn’t hide a woman’s face either, as more modern veil traditions did.

Veils that hid a woman’s face were thought to have emerged as a product of arranged marriages. The bride’s face was hidden from the groom until the ceremony was complete. Bizarre? A little. Romantic? We suppose it could be. It’s all perspective, ladies.  

Today, veils have lost much of their ancient symbolism and are often just viewed as a beautiful accessory. Some even attach new symbolism to the veil, such as wearing a veil in honor of a parent. So, the question remains… to veil or not to veil?

You should consider several factors when deciding whether or not to wear a veil. Obviously, tradition will play a role. Either you are a bride that loves traditions, or you’re a bride that loves to buck tradition. Both types are great, but you’ll have to decide which camp you fall into. Maybe you’ll fall somewhere in the middle, and wear a tiara or a crown instead, or try a little half veil. It’s your wedding, so do what suits and your personal style you best.

You’ll also want to consider your dress and your overall wedding style. A long, flowing veil simply may not fit the vibe if your wedding is more modern in style. For other weddings, it will be the perfect accompaniment to your dress and drape your silhouette like it was born for a veil. Vintage and whimsical weddings can rock this look like nobody’s business.

Comfort should also be a big factor. You don’t want to be miserable during the festivities. A long veil may not be practical depending on your wedding venue or even your chosen hairstyle. Even one of the shorter, arm-length veils may not be appropriate, and that’s okay. You have to decide what works best for you and don’t choose to wear a veil just because you think you should.

If you do decide to wear a veil, keep in mind there are handy little tools like weighted pins to help keep that lovely lace lying smooth and straight, even if your venue is outdoors on a windy day. Whatever route you take, just make sure your choice fits your style and comfort-level, first and foremost. All else is gravy.

Also, keep in mind that veils can be extremely personalized. If you’re on the fence about wearing one because you aren’t sure it really goes well with your dress, keep looking. A good bridal shop should be able to present you with several different veils to try. And there are so many styles and variations and types of adornments available, that we know there is something out there that will work perfectly. You can also ask your dress shop to customize a veil just for you. It will cost more, but you are designing your dream look and your dream day. We say, don’t skimp unless you have to!

Finally, make sure you give that veil a good test run. Your hairstyle has to be appropriate for the type of veil you choose to wear, and some hairstyles simply won’t work. It’s much better to figure that out ahead of time than to wait until the big day and realize your veil won’t stay put. Ultimately, the decision to veil or not to veil is yours.

You have to decide if it’s a look that’s right for you, or if it’s a look you can live without. You may only get one opportunity to wear a wedding veil, so if it’s something you are really attached to, then do it! Your wedding, your day, you deserve to feel completely special.


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