When we think about getting ready for a wedding, we always immediately think of The Dress - what will wow your guy when you walk down the aisle? We always imagine the lace or the sparkle, the tiny details of the gown you will remember forever…
But that is not the only important part of your look on the big day. Often we forget about a key piece of the wedding look until we are put on the spot by others asking about it - Are you going to wear a veil?
Not all veils have to look like Princess Diana’s, the neverending train stretching for what seemed like miles behind her - but you can incorporate a veil in a way that works for you. They come in a variety of sizes and textures, even colors if you’re looking for something dramatic.
As with everything cultural, the meaning of wearing a veil has changed and evolved over the years.
It has become more and more of an option instead of a staple part of the ceremony, and lots of brides choose to skip the veil altogether. Let’s explore the significance of a veil and some reasons it is included in many ceremonies nationally and around the world.
Wedding historians have tracked evidence of veils being used a long time ago because of the protective, pure, and preservative appearance of the fabric. Women wanted to look untouched, demure, and free of blemish on their wedding day so that they would be more appealing to their husband-to-be. Obviously times have changed, and purity has a whole new meaning/set of connotations, but the idea still holds true that wearing a veil down the aisle, then removing it, signifies a new chapter in your life. Women in the past have had the one who walked them down the aisle remove the face veil when they reach the groom - usually, this has been the bride’s father, making this act pretty patriarchal and male-dominated. However, veils can be used in much more freeing and modern ways as well!
If wearing your mom’s wedding dress isn’t an option, including at least a piece of the veil can be a great way to keep her involved in your look.
Veils don’t have to cover your face either - in fact, having a small train, or even just a short veil in the back can add drama or sparkle to your already stunning dress. Other looks include a hairpiece with a touch of tulle or a flower so that you can add pizzazz without what one Brides Magazine writer affectionately, and hyperbolically, calls a “virgin curtain.”
Austrian wedding gowns often involve a veil because of the age-old superstition that it wards away evil spirits. The traditional color for a bride’s gown in Spain is black, and her veil, or mantilla, is an important accent piece that can add color. In countries where women typically wear hijabs, the extra lace or pattern of a veil can be a beautiful way to adorn the already beautiful style of the headwear. In Nigeria and some surrounding countries, the family of the bride and groom wear matching clothing to signify togetherness - so wearing a veil can help the bride stand out as she meets her true love for the ceremony.