My latest obsession is with Wedding Veils. As a photographer, I love when the bride has a veil as it can add so much beauty to the bridal portraits. I love using the veil to create interest and movement. Recently I have added veils to my boutique and just love, love, love. I get such great pleasure from the veils, love feeling the softness, admiring the uniqueness from each one - from the simple to the embellished. But it's not enough to just sell them, I felt like I had to educate myself on veils and wondered - where did this tradition even come from?
The word 'veil' means to shroud, mask or cover. Did some online reading and found that the veil originated with the ancient Greeks and Romans fear of evil spirits and demons. To scare away and confuse demons, brides were obscured by a veil. These were so thick that the bride couldn't even see through the veil. That is where the tradition of the father "giving her away" also came from - he was actually helping her down the aisle so she couldn't bump into anything!!!
The veil was also important in arranged weddings. The veil was used to cover the brides face, only to be revealed after the wedding ceremony was completed. This was to keep the groom from backing out from the deal if he didn’t like what he saw.
Superstition says that it is bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony. That superstition remains until this day. The veil can ensure that the groom will not see the bride until the ceremony.
Today the veil is really more about style. It is used as an accessory to enhance the bridal gown. They can range from a short birdcage to a Cathedral length. A veil can certainly add drama to the look. Everyone remembers Princess Diana's 25 foot wedding veil!
Veils are usually described by length. This is a simple guide!
Does a bride have to wear a veil? No - not at all! I have photographed brides who choose to not use a veil - instead use flowers or gems in their hair. All equally as beautiful. It is a personal decision for sure. A bride should make her choice based on her personal style and what makes her feel most beautiful on her wedding day. In the end - that is what is important!!