what does the veil mean in a wedding (3)

What Does the Veil Mean in a Wedding?

When it comes to weddings, the veil represents one of the most recognisable symbols, but what does it represent?

There is something incredibly ethereal about a bride wearing a veil. It's common practise to use a matching tulle fabric scrap for this, while it's not strictly necessary. The perfect complement to a cocktail dress or tea length dress.

We'll get into the updated and novel ways in which modern-day couples carry out this rite of passage later on.

One of the most eye-catching features of a bride's dress is her veil.

What, though, is the significance of a veiled face? What about the wedding? Must the bride wear one? Is it unlucky if you don't? Saying “I do” at Vines of the Yarra Valley is an elegant and luxurious affair.

We're here to dispel the myths around this beloved fabric so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to wear a veil on your big day.

Read on to gain insight into this fascinating custom and to have all of your questions about the bridal veil answered.

Table of Contents

Wedding Veils: Their Meaning and Origins

The veil has been worn by brides for hundreds of years. In olden history, when women were "wrapped from head to toe to represent the delivery of a modest and pure virgin," the custom of concealing the bride in a veil began.

You may be saying, "I just can't wrap my head around all that bad spirit nonsense." That's fine, you're just the more reasonable one. The veil's more utilitarian function, however, may be traced to the days of forced marriages, when it was common practise to conceal the bride's face from the groom.

As the first contemporary monarch to wear a veil for her wedding, Victoria wore a white wedding dress and a veil that trailed down her back when she said "I do." At that precise moment, the archetype of a bride had been established.

Traditionally worn as a protective amulet, the bridal veil is today more of a fashion accessory.

Although some brides want to wear theirs in front of their faces, most opt to wear them behind their heads, concealing the backs of their hair and dresses.

There is some debate regarding the origin of the veil, but most scholars agree that it dates back to ancient Rome, where the bride would cover her face before walking down the aisle to protect herself from evil spirits.

In any case, the symbolism of a veil varies from religion to religion.

According to the expert, veils fell out of favour for a while but gained popularity again after Queen Victoria's nuptials.

When Did Bridal Veils First Make an Appearance?

what does the veil mean in a wedding (2)

Veils, known as flammeum in ancient Rome, were worn by brides for spiritual protection and as an honour to the goddess Juno.

It has been theorised by scholars that the saffron colour of the veil worn by Roman brides represented the flaming talisman of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth and home and guardian of life.

There was a long-held belief that a bride who wore a veil at her wedding was also a virgin.

The bridal veil, which was once standard, fell out of favour for much of history until making a comeback in the 19th century thanks to Queen Victoria.

At royal marriages, the bride was not permitted to wear a veil that covered her face.

Since most royal weddings at the time were organised, there was some speculation that the bride may hire a decoy to attend in her place and wear a veil to conceal her identity.

Certain religions and cultures also place significance on the wearing of veils.

In the Jewish religion's Bedeken rite, for instance, the bridegroom covers the bride's face with the veil.

This alludes to the biblical tale of Jacob, who was duped into marrying Leah, the sister of Rachel, by the same con artists who had him believe that Rachel had died giving birth to a baby.

The Bedeken is when the groom "checks" to make sure he is marrying the right person.

Original Meaning of Wedding Veil

The use of veils during weddings has profound historical roots. Some modern brides prefer them since they simplify the bridal ensemble.

However, the traditional significance of the wedding veil dates back hundreds of years and is commonly associated with chastity and humility.

In ancient Greece, brides would traditionally wear a veil over their faces as part of their wedding attire.

Veils were originally worn by women during religious events to symbolise their modesty and innocence, but this meaning has since changed.

Veils are now considered a chic accessory that highlight each bride's unique personality and sense of style.

It has been theorised that the original purpose of wedding veils was to shield the bride from evil spirits and keep her secret from her future husband.

It was traditionally believed that the veil might ward off evil spirits. The bride's privacy was also a consideration.

A bride is not required to wear a veil because of this custom if doing so would make her uncomfortable.

You needn't hide your face behind a veil just because you're afraid of being seen, though; you can wear one if it flatters your face.

What Does the Wedding Veil Mean Today?

For modern brides, the veil has come to represent a more modern ideal of innocence and purity than it did in times past.

Not only that, but for some women, wearing a viel is a symbolic and obligatory part of the wedding experience.

Wedding veils are not required by law, and some brides prefer not to wear them, but it's something to think about if you're one of them.

She recommends at least trying on a few different types to determine which one you prefer because your wedding day is the only time you'll get to wear something like this.

Symbolic Wedding Veil

The significance of this seemingly insignificant bridal adornment varies greatly between civilizations.

While the veil is often associated with symbols of modesty and chastity, it can also evoke feelings of femininity, mystery, sex, or the "bridal" atmosphere.

Is it part of the "fairy princess myth" to have the bride wear a veil?

Is it because she is leaving a trail of "princess blessings" in her bridal wake, or because she is wrapped in a cocoon of iridescent tulle, lace, and a veil?

Simply put, a veil's or other headpiece's symbolic significance is secondary to its aesthetic value.

Should Your Veil Complement Your Dress?

One's wedding attire is a chance to express one's individuality and sense of style.

You may be wondering if the veil needs to match the dress, given that brides are advised to wear what makes them feel their best.

Naturally, you have the freedom to choose how you want to look on your wedding day.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to getting the perfect headpiece, but experts do recommend buying a veil that fits in with the feel of your dress or the wedding theme.

When it comes down to it, the bride should decide how to style her wedding.

It's important to find a veil that complements your dress in terms of both material and colour so that the whole ensemble flows seamlessly.

Doing so will guarantee that they enhance one another.

Wedding Veil Length

Your veil's length is an important design element.

If you want to go the Meghan Markle route and wear a long veil, that's fine, but it's not your only option.

There are several options for shorter cuts that could be the finishing touch to your dress.

There are a variety of veils available to help you get the style you want, from cathedral length to fingertip veil to vintage blushers and birdcage veils.

Wedding veil length is not mandated by tradition, so feel free to experiment with different looks.

It's important to remember that a longer, more delicate veil will need extra attention leading up to (and after) the wedding.

And if you're having an outdoor ceremony, the wind could potentially mess up your carefully planned long veil.

We recommend charging your maid of honour with the responsibility of maintaining it in place as best she can as you say your vows.

Check with your hairstylist and makeup artists one more time before you go down the aisle to make sure your veil, however long it may be, is properly in place.

Make sure your veil, headpiece, or other hair accessory fits snugly and won't fall off during the ceremony.

We advise pre-wedding consultations with your hairstylist to guarantee a secure accessory on the big day.

Veils are optional, but if you do decide to wear one, I hope you'll do so with whatever style of veil makes you feel most beautiful, be it a whimsical blusher or a soaring cathedral cloak.

The best feature you can have on your marriage day is the confidence that comes from wearing an attire that accentuates your style.

When is the Best Time to Buy a Veil?

A veil designer will need at least three to four months' notice before a wedding to create the veil, so ordering early can help you avoid rush fees. Looking for Wedding Dress Shops? Look no further, Vines of the Yarra Valley has you covered.

Must You Wear Your Veil Throughout the Wedding?

It's entirely up to you if and when you decide to remove your veil.

After the ceremony and photos are finished, remove your cathedral-length veil so that no one trips over it during the cocktail reception. A shorter cut reduces the likelihood that it may be ripped off your head.

Trendiest Options for Wedding Veils

what does the veil mean in a wedding

Veils come in a wide variety of styles, colours, and materials, making it possible to find the perfect complement to your wedding dress, hair, face, and location.

When the ceremony is taking place indoors, the bride can choose from a variety of veil lengths and styles.

In a windy outdoor ceremony, however, a long veil could become a nuisance; on the other hand, a veil billowing in the breeze can create an ethereal and lovely effect.

Most veils will fall into one of these categories, but even then, there is a wide range of embellished and simple variations available.

Veils can be plain or decorated with lace, crystals, embroideries, or anything else the wearer desires.

Veil of Cathedral-Length

The cathedral-length design is the longest veil available, trailing a floor-length wedding gown by a foot or more.

Veil of Chapel Length

Your full-length wedding dress will peek out from under a chapel-length veil.

Blusher Viel Length

Protecting your complete face is the veil's purpose when it covers that area or when it is cut shorter.

Mantilla Viel

Veil with a flat top and lace trim, typical of the Spanish style.

Veil with Elbow Length

Veil from the 1960s that is placed high on the head and drapes to the elbows.

Veil with Fingertip Length

An average-length veil that falls just below the hips.

Veil with Ballet-Length

A long veil that reaches down to the hips.

Birdcage Veil

Covering only the upper half of the face, this short, retro-style veil is a great accessory.

Dupatta Scarf

Indian brides typically wear this long and elaborate veil, which covers their heads and shoulders.

Should You Wear a Veil?

No! Veiling is not required. Still, there are various factors to think about before settling on a final decision about veiling.

Once you've decided on your wedding dress, it's time to find the perfect veil to complement it.

This is your one and only chance to try on a veil, so even if you didn't think you'd like it before, you might after seeing yourself in one.

But if you'd rather not follow that particular wedding custom and instead wear something else, such as a floral crown, tiara, headband, or nothing at all, that's your prerogative as well.

Keep in mind that a veil, especially a lengthy one, is an accessory that needs regular attention and care.

To prevent wrinkles and creases, veils should be steamed before the big day. Veils that are longer will need to be carried, either by the bride or her attendants, to prevent them from getting filthy.

You or a member of your wedding party will need to learn how to "bust" the veil if you intend to wear it during the reception, as most brides do because it makes dancing much simpler.

Given its historical connotation, you may be debating whether or not to wear your wedding veil face down the aisle.

You can create an air of secrecy by draping your veil over your head, but you can alternatively leave it turned over or tucked under your hair.
Everyone will have a good look at your beaming smile as you make your way to your future spouse.  If you don't care about sticking to customs, you can wear whatever you like on your head on your wedding day.

You can wear your veil without hiding your face. Your desired emotion is the determining factor. Allow your lover to lift your veil at the altar if you're going for a mysterious, feminine look.

On the other hand, you can use it to adorn the back of your gown.

Covering one's face with a veil is a highly individual decision. The same can be said about formal attire, with a variety of dresses from which to pick.

No Wedding Veil for Me, Please! Any Alternatives?

There are plenty of ways to make a statement with your wedding dress throughout the ceremony even if you choose not to wear a veil.

You can add a Watteau (a separate piece of material that is not attached to a dress) to the back of your outfit by using tulle, and it will come off simply at the shoulders.

You can also make your ceremony appear unique by wearing a long train, a one-of-a-kind headpiece, or perhaps a cape.

Alternatives to Wedding Veils

There is a lot of room for individual expression within the wedding veil custom, and you can update it anyway you see fit in the present era.

A typical objection to wearing a veil down the aisle is the fear that it will blow up in the bride's face or get snagged on something and rip.

Flower crowns, tiaras, eye-catching hair ornaments, and statement headpieces are some of the alternatives that modern brides have adopted.

You can also take a cue from these brides by accessorising your special day with a veil. If the cost is prohibitive, you can make your own cover out of tulle and a hair clip.

And it's perfectly acceptable if some ladies don't feel the need to cover their hair at all.

If you want to break with tradition, don't worry about looking less bride-like as a result. After all, today is your lucky day. Don't change who you are just to fit in.

Keep These Wedding Veil Dos and Don'ts in Mind

Keeping your veil in place during the ceremony is essential to preserving the drama that wearing one brings, so give some thought to how you'll secure it to your head before the big day.

Don't worry too much about how it looks; the veil's whole aim is to float behind you and flow with your every move.

Think about the mood you want to set while selecting a veil's length.

Veils with more length exude drama and elegance, while shorter veils are more youthful and carefree.

The shorter portion of the veil, known as the blusher, is worn in front of the bride's face as she comes down the aisle.

While many modern brides forego the blusher, it is an option if you prefer a more conventional appearance.

CONCLUSION

Brides have been using veils at weddings for hundreds of years. In ancient Rome, the bride would hide her face to fend off evil spirits on her wedding day. These days, veils are more often worn as a fashion accessory than a talisman of some sort. In ancient Rome, bridal veils were called flammeum and were worn by brides for spiritual protection and as a tribute to the goddess Juno. Historically, wedding veils were unpopular until the 19th century, when they were revived by royal decree of Queen Victoria.

In different cultures, this seemingly small wedding accessory might hold quite different meanings. It has the potential to conjure up images of femininity, mystery, sex, or the "bridal" setting. Professionals advise picking a veil that complements the style of the bridal gown or the overall vibe of the event. The length of a bride's veil is not set in stone, so feel free to try something new. Your veil, headpiece, or other hair accessory should fit securely and not slip off throughout the ceremony.

If you want a custom veil made, you should give the designer at least three to four months' notice before the wedding. There is no right or wrong way to accessorise a veil; they can be as simple or elaborate as the wearer wishes. The longest veil style, the cathedral length, lags behind a gown that reaches the floor by a foot or more. To avoid wrinkles and creases on the big day, veils should be steamed the night before. Even if you don't want to wear a veil, your wedding dress can still make a bold statement during the service.

A Watteau (a removable fabric panel) can be affixed to the back of your dress so that it can be easily removed from the shoulders. Make your own cover out of tulle and a hair clip if the price is too high. There are females who don't see the point in wearing head coverings.

FAQS ABOUT WEDDING VEILS

The width of the fabric you adore may not be sufficient for the full style you desire; in this case, a two- or three-layer veil may be the best option. It's common for brides to worry that if they get a double-layered veil, they'll have to wear it over their face.

The veil eventually became a sign of submissiveness and modesty. Head coverings are worn by worshipping women in many faiths as a sign of respect. The tradition of wearing white for a wedding dress as a symbol of purity spread throughout the world, and the white veil soon followed.

It's up to you, but many brides opt to wear their veils for at least part of the wedding day, whether that's for the engagement photos, the ceremony, or the entire reception. After all, you should keep your veil on for as long as it brings you joy.

It is not necessary to have a perfectly matched veil and gown (we do not want your look to be too "matchy"). However, your veil should complement your dress without taking away from it, therefore you should include one or two details from your dress into your veil.

A veil's ideal length is right at, or slightly above, the waist, hem, or other specified detail. Off-the-shoulder wedding dresses look stunning with floral decorations across the shoulders.

CONTENT SUMMARY

  • Adding a wedding veil to your ensemble will make it one of the most memorable parts of your bridal look.
  • The veil has been worn by brides for hundreds of years.
  • The tradition of covering the bride in a veil extends back to ancient times, when women were "covered from head to toe to symbolise the delivery of a humble and untainted virgin.
  • The wedding veil is now worn more as a fashion statement than as a protective amulet.
  • There is some debate regarding the origin of the veil, but most scholars agree that it dates back to ancient Rome, where the bride would cover her face before walking down the aisle to protect herself from evil spirits.
  • Veils, known as flammeum in ancient Rome, were worn by brides for spiritual protection and as an honour to the goddess Juno.
  • There was a long-held belief that a bride who wore a veil at her wedding was also a virgin.
  • The bridal veil, which was once standard, fell out of favour for much of history until making a comeback in the 19th century thanks to Queen Victoria.
  • However, the traditional significance of the wedding veil dates back hundreds of years and is commonly associated with chastity and humility.
  • Veils were originally worn by women during religious events to symbolise their modesty and innocence, but this meaning has since changed.
  • It has been theorised that the original purpose of wedding veils was to shield the bride from evil spirits and keep her secret from her future husband.
  • Not only that, but for some women, wearing one is a symbolic and obligatory part of the wedding experience.
  • The way you dress for your wedding is, of course, entirely up to you.
  • There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to getting the perfect headpiece, but experts do recommend buying a veil that fits in with the feel of your dress or the wedding theme.
  • It's entirely up to you if and when you decide to remove your veil.
  • After the ceremony and photos are finished, remove your cathedral-length veil so that no one trips over it during the cocktail reception.
  • Once you've decided on your wedding dress, it's time to find the perfect veil to complement it.
  • You can create an air of secrecy by draping your veil over your head, but you can alternatively leave it turned over or tucked under your hair.
  •  If you don't care about sticking to customs, you can wear whatever you like on your head on your wedding day.
  • You can wear your veil without hiding your face.
  • Allow your lover to lift your veil at the altar if you're going for a mysterious, feminine look.
  • Covering one's face with a veil is a highly individual decision.
  • There are plenty of ways to make a statement with your wedding dress throughout the ceremony even if you choose not to wear a veil.
  • If the cost is prohibitive, you can make your own cover out of tulle and a hair clip.
  • Don't change who you are just to fit in.
  • Keeping your veil in place during the ceremony is essential to preserving the drama that wearing one brings, so give some thought to how you'll secure it to your head before the big day.
  • Think about the mood you want to set while selecting a veil's length.
  • The shorter portion of the veil, known as the blusher, is worn in front of the bride's face as she comes down the aisle.
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