The history of the wedding veil… Do you know why a bride wears one? I wore one, and most of my generation did. It was important to my mother, and well, important to me too. There is something so symbolic about your new husband raising that veil and placing a chaste kiss upon your lips.
But..why is it done? According to Wikipedia, “The lifting of the veil was often a part of ancient weddingritual, symbolizing the groom taking possession of the wife, either as lover or as property, or the revelation of the bride by her parents to the groom for his approval. In Judaism, the tradition of wearing a veil dates back to biblical times.” Wikipedia
Today’s bride may choose to wear some sort of headpiece, but not a veil, like the photo above. And even if she chooses to wear a veil, it often doesn’t cover her face. Another source tells us:
“The veil and the bouquet that a bride carries may predate the wearing of white. Although there is no definitive reason for the wearing of a veil, many surmise it has to do with ancient Greeks and Romans’ fear of evil spirits and demons. In fact, this is where many of the bridal traditions actually come from, including bridesmaids wearing similar dresses in order to serve as decoys for the bride. In an effort to frighten away or disguise the bride from evil spirits, brides-to-be were dressed in brightly colored fabrics like red and obscured by a veil. But in many cases, the veil prevented the bride from seeing well. That is why her father or another person “gave her away.” He was actually escorting her down the aisle so she wouldn’t bump or trip into anything. The veil also served as a method of shielding the bride’s face from her future husband, especially in the cases of arranged marriages.
Superstition has it that it is bad luck for the groom to see the bride prior to the wedding. A veil hiding her face also ensured that the groom would not see his soon-to-be-betrothed up until the ceremony.
Eventually the meaning behind the veil transformed as weddings evolved into religious ceremonies. The veil came to symbolize modesty and obedience. In many religions it is seen as a symbol of reverence for women to cover their heads. When white wedding dresses were worn to symbolize chastity, the white veil followed suit.
Regardless of the origins, veils continue to be sported by today’s brides, who choose from a few different styles. A flyaway is a short veil that ends at the shoulders, while a sweep veil ends at the floor. Chapel and cathedral veils follow the bride at a significant length (nine and 12 feet, respectively). A blusher is a very short veil that covers just the bride’s face as she enters the ceremony. With a fingertip veil, the veil reaches the bride’s waist and brushes at her fingertips.
The veil should coordinate with the style of the gown, and many wedding attire consultants suggest choosing the gown prior to the headpiece and veil.” Richmond.com
Please enjoy viewing two iconic wedding veils below.
And what about the next two veils/headpieces? Well I think they’re a perfect example of an accessory, not traditional bridal garb. Beautiful, yes, classic…no.
MORE Romantic Wedding Veil Photos … My most recent post about romantic wedding veils photos was well received, so I thought I’d showcase a few more. The next two photos are from the photographer/artist, Hannah Colt. If you click on the link under the first two photos, you’ll be taken to her website.
Hannah Colt Photos – if you’re interested in her work, leave a moment here, and I’ll connect you, or check her out on Facebook – Hannah Rachael Colt
Hannah was the photographer at my oldest daughter, KK’s wedding. Hannah is such a magician she even separated me from my iPhone for about 15 minutes. A feat few have accomplished. 🙂 We couldn’t have been happier with her work.
Hannah Colt Photos
So what makes a photo a standout? I think it’s the element of the ‘exceptional’. Just take the photo above. Few veils these days have such pattern. The inclusion of the patterned lace work over this beautiful bride’s face adds the dimension of the exceptional. And the flowered wreath barely visible underneath the veil, exquisite.
A bride need not have a traditional veil to be romantic. This netted 20’s era veil is the epitome of romance. Her hair adds to the allure.
Jewelry and headpieces can add to the overall drama of a bride’s ensemble. I adore the above headband the bride is wearing. Her veil is settled flat on her head, but the jeweled tiara adds the bridal “umpth” she is looking for.
Patty Cloherty Photos
And don’t forget the back view of your veil. Believe it or not, your guests may see more of your back than your front at your ceremony. Remember to incorporate a look that is pleasing to both views. This last photo is of my second daughter and her charming new husband walking back down the aisle as a newly married couple. You can barely see the photographer in the aisle ahead of them. But Patty Cloherty, the groom’s talented aunt, captured this beautiful shot. One of my favorites.
Have you given enough thought to Romantic Wedding Veil Photos? If not, you may wish to do so. Veils define a bride. One reason? Women wear them one, maybe two times in their lifetime. Once perhaps, if you’re Roman Catholic and have a First Holy Communion. Then again if you’re a bride.
Love the photo above. You don’t have to show a bride’s face in a photo to have a beautiful shot. In fact it just may be more romantic for her profile to be obscured.
What about a photo with the bride and groom surrounded by a veil? I admit I am rather fond of the bride and groom in a steamy pose inside the gauze.
If you choose to wear a veil, (not all brides do), give great care when choosing the fabric. Yes, there is a difference. I didn’t realize that when I got married. If you’d like more information on wedding veil fabrics, click on the following link which will take you to a previous blog post on. Veil Fabrics
Hannah Colt Photos
Above, you see a photo of my oldest daughter in HER romantic veil photo. Think a veil just blows like that naturally? No… what you don’t see off camera, is my first son-in-law to the right of the photo who has flipped the veil in the wind and run off camera. Yes, it’s a beautiful shot, and yes, Robert is a great guy. 😉
Perhaps the above photo is my favorite of all the wedding veil photos. Exquisite, isn’t it?
And what are your thoughts about the photo above? Is TOO much of her face obscured? I don’t think so, but some might…
Patty Cloherty photos
And a wedding veil post would not be complete without a picture of daughter number two above. She is wearing her own veil, but MY headpiece…
This photo is of my headpiece and veil. They are 30 years old now. I had them preserved, along with my dress, by my local dry cleaner. I opened my “Memory Keepsake Box” when Maggie got engaged, and coincidentally close to Kenny’s and my 30 year anniversary. I was pleased at how well the dress and veil held up.
All four of our daughters are now taller than I. I do not hold onto hopes that one of them will wear my dress. Dresses can be hemmed, but not much can be done when when they are too short.
The veil/headpiece is another story. I would love it if someday one of the girls wore some component of my “Veil.”
This creates a problem. My dress and veil were pure white. It is the fashion now to wear an ivory shade. White is very harsh, and the off-white hue is much more flattering to most skin tones.
So what would one do to transform the pure white netting to a darker shade? I have read that it can be easily done by brewing weak tea and staining the gauze. It’s a scary proposition. If I ever do it, I’m going to go to my local fabric store and buy some white netting, and experiment. Or better yet, find a company that would do it for me. Maybe the type of company that sells “dyed to match shoes”?
Another option is to use just the headpiece with an ivory netting. We’ll see…I have four weddings to hope…
Update: Yea! Maggie decided to wear my Wedding Headpiece! And I have it on good authority that KK will as well. Each girl will have her own veil to better match the colors of her dresses – but the headpiece…that will be mine. Dare I hope my youngest two daughters will also wear it? I can only hope… 🙂
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Image: #1 Mary P Karnes photos
Image #2 Patty Cloherty photos
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