Bridal Veil

The Bridal Veil

Bridal Veils have an interesting history and there are several theories for their origin.

Some think bridal veils go back to the ancient Greeks and Romans and were worn to protect from evil spirits and demons.

Others believe that bridal veils are a symbol of modesty and obedience and related to religious beliefs where women cover their heads as a symbol of reverence

In the cases of arranged marriages, the bridal veil was seen as a way of shielding the bride’s face from the future husband.

When a bridal veil was worn and prevented the bride from seeing well, it was necessary for her father to escort her down the aisle so she wouldn’t bump or trip on anything.

When white wedding dresses were worn to symbolize chastity, the white veil followed suit.

Regardless of origins, correct or fanciful, modern brides choose to wear bridal veils.

The veil should coordinate with the style of the gown, and wedding consultants suggest choosing the gown prior to the headpiece and veil.


A Flyaway                   a short veil that ends at the shoulders.

Sweep Veil                  one that ends at the floor

Cathedral Veil             one that follows the bride at a significant length of 3 or 3 metres

A Blusher                    a very short veil that covers the bride’s face as she enters the ceremony

Fingertip Veil               this reaches the bride’s waist and brushes at her fingertips

Brides once used to wear their hair flowing down their back to symbolise their virginity. The bridal veil covering the hair and face became a symbolic reference to this. The lifting of the face veil may be ceremonially recognised as the crowning event of the wedding when the beauty of the bride is finally revealed to the groom and the guests.

The first recorded instance of veiling for women was the 13th century BC. The use of a veil was restricted to noble women and common women and prostitutes were forbidden from adopting it.

It was common even in the 1960’s and 70’s for the bride to enter the church with a veil over her face and this was only lifted at that part of the ceremony when the groom was told he may kiss the bride. He then lifted the veil to kiss his bride.


1920’s              Bridal veils were usually made of silk materials and decorated with flowers and leaves that would match the bouquet. Brides also favoured the lace cloche headdresses, some of which would be encircled with flowers.

1930’s              Brides wore their bridal veil hanging loosely over their heads to compliment the sleek look of the form-fitting gowns making a simply statement.

1940’s              Small birdcage veils became popular in the post-war years.

1950’s              The tight-fitting skullcap veil was in vogue.

Now in 2016, brides usually choose to wear a veil but not many add the lifting of the veil as part of the ceremony.


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