Like many traditions used today in weddings, the veil a bride wears has a couple of different origin stories about why it is used, who did it first and where it came from. Like its name, it is shrouded in mystery.
It is said that brides were susceptible to enchantment, so Roman brides used to wear flame-colored veils in order to ward off evil spirits and prevent any kind of possession. This origin story is also told in medieval times and includes the same idea of protecting a bride from evil using the veil. Other origin stories include arranged marriages, and a veil being a way to keep the groom guessing until the ceremony was over. The veil covered the brides features so that the groom would not be able to back out if she was not up to his standards. Even in religion, the veil is a sign of innocence and humility in front of God.
So if brides aren’t warding off evil spirits and have presumably let their husbands-to-be see their face, then why are veils still relevant in today’s wedding ceremonies?
The Victorian era created a kind of status for bridal veils; royal weddings produced the longest veils. When Princess Diana was wed, her veil was an astounding 25 feet long! However, now veils tend to be more of a ‘finishing touch’ when it comes to why brides wear them. Veils stand out in photos too, and photographers often come up with useful ways to display them, whether it is billowing in the wind behind a bride on a sunny beach or hiding a kiss between husband and wife under the fine material.
If a bride chooses not to wear a veil on her wedding day, that is her choice, and many brides now remove them for a more casual look for the reception. Don’t worry about evil spirits, apparently once you are married the only ones you may have to worry about are the in-laws….. lol
Thanks to Helen McConnell Photography as always for the stunning photos.
Ciao Monique x