Why do brides wear wedding veils? Are they just trying to make a fashion statement or is there a deeper significance and meaning? How did this tradition start anyways? Brides all around the world have wondered this, and the origins are actually quite fascinating.
The History of the Wedding Veil
Did you know that the bridal veil is actually the oldest part of the wedding day look? It’s true! Even before brides began wearing white dresses, the veil was already a standard practice.
Purity & Innocence: Historian Susan Waggoner says that this custom goes all the way back to Roman times when women would be wrapped up in fabric to symbolize their purity and innocence.
Protection against Evil Spirits: The wedding veil was also traditionally considered to protect against evil spirits who wished bad things upon the bride and her marriage.
Now I am guessing that many of you ladies these days do not think that a piece of fabric would protect you from evil spirits, but that still doesn’t mean that a wedding veil is not right for you. This is the one and only time in your life when you can wear a wedding veil, so I would recommend at least trying some on. In my opinion, a beautifully flowing wedding veil transforms a lovely woman in a white dress into a bride. Of course, I am admittedly quite biased!
Who Popularized the Wedding Veil?
The wedding veil is such a classic, well known wedding accessory because of Queen Victoria. This grandmother of Europe, who defined fashion and culture, and who was iconic enough to have a time period named after her (the Victorian Era), would cement the image of the wedding veil for centuries to come. She was married to the love of her life, Prince Albert, in a white dress and cascading veil. Her story is one of the beautiful love matches of the monarchs and royals.
A little-know fact is that Queen Victoria loved her wedding veil so much that she left instructions that she was to be buried wearing it.
Does the History of the Wedding Veil Impact you as Modern Bride?
The meaning of the wedding veil has changed over time. These days, a wedding veil no longer necessarily reflects innocence or the protection against spirits.
Not Just for Traditional Brides: The veil does have some traditional tones that make some people think of it in the context of a church wedding. That being said, wedding veils these days are not only for traditional weddings. Veils are appropriate for all modern brides. They represent this one sweet moment in time where you are being presented to your groom as a special “gift” to him (and he to you). It represents the vows and commitment you make to one another to honor and cherish one another no matter what life brings.
A Symbol of Your Commitment: Your veil is more than a pretty accessory – it represents cherished moments from your wedding day. The overwhelming joy when he first lays eyes on you, the eager anticipation as you walk down the aisle, the hopeful beginning of your “happily ever after”. As the years go on, your veil will become a precious keepsake that you can pass down to your children and grandchildren.
So while the unusual history of the bridal veil is interesting, women in the 21st century tend to view their veil differently. They view it as a physical symbol of their love, commitment, and self-sacrificing love to their groom.
If you would like to learn some of the Christian meanings and symbolism of the veil, then please read Do Wedding Veils Have a Christian Meaning?
The first easy step to choosing your perfect wedding veil only takes 30 seconds. Find out what it is here.