The History of the Wedding Veil

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.

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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.
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bellethemagazine.com – Princess Grace of Monaco (the former US actress, Grace Kelly)
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 chicvintagebrides.com Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy
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.
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MORE Romantic Wedding Veil Photos

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.

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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.

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Hannah Colt Photos

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

A Wedding At Home?

Would you consider a wedding at home?

I recently worked on a “Home Wedding”.  It was one of he nicest I’ve ever been to, personally or professionally.  It didn’t hurt that it was not just an “Everyday Home”.  The wedding was held at the fabulous summer “Cottage” of the groom’s family.  The “Cottage” has been in the family for four generations.  Below is a photo of the three story wonder, situated right on a lake.

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It wasn’t only the beauty that appealed to the bride when she requested to be married here – although that can’t be denied – but the long standing tradition.  Many family members have been married here, right under the tree on the left, pictured below.

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The couple decided to have a tent, both for aesthetics and potential weather issues.   It was a good call.   It presented an air of elegance, and festivity.  They ended up having a perfect day, not too cold, not too hot…and NO rain! But it was a nice respite for the guests to get out of the sun.  The tables and chairs were perfectly proportioned for the tent’s dimensions, the dance floor ample.

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I love how the guests were encouraged to enjoy cocktail hour on the bistro tables below.  The view of the lake was absolutely stunning.

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Below, a photo of the tent.  Isn’t it lovely?

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And as the day turned into night, the stone wall dividing the property from the lakes’s beach was lined with luminarias – paper bags filled with sand with a candle, (in this case, an electric candle), in the center. It was an exquisite scene as night fell.

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The next shot gives you a little closer view of the luminarias AND the lake.  The wedding was a huge success.  The guests had a wonderful time – and  THAT is the goal!

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All photos: Mary P. Karnes

Unique Wedding Seating

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Your wedding seating…It doesn’t have to be in a straight line.  If you have an outdoor wedding, and weddings in the summer and fall are often outdoors, you can arrange the seating how you wish.  This option is a definite advantage over a church wedding.  While a church wedding is of vital importance to many, it means little to others.  In a church, you can not alter your seating arrangement.  But in an outdoor venue you can.

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If you choose an outdoor setting, I challenge you to think outside the box.  Try to choose the best option so the most people can enjoy your wedding ceremony with a clear view.  I know so many put the emphasis on the party following, but really…what is the real purpose of a wedding?  It’s the joining of two people into one, the joining of two families.  The top two photos employ the circular approach.  The top photo showcases the bridal couple at the top of the semicircle, the second picture centers the bride and groom in middle of the guests for optimal viewing.  The photo below is from a wedding where I was the coordinator.  The bride, groom, family and attendants were at the front in a semi-circle with the guests in a traditional formation behind.  I think of all the configurations on this page, this is my favorite.  Was the idea mine?  No.  It was the bride’s and it was brilliant.  It was my first time seeing it, and I would encourage any bride to use this plan.  The family and attendants were really a part of the rite, and the guests had a good view as well.

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Mary P. Karnes photo

If your ceremony is a rustic, short one, what about the hay bales on planks below?  It think it’s novel and cute. A word or caution…If you’re going to sit directly on the hay bales, pad them wth blankets.    Those stray pieces of straw can poke one!

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In mind for something really funky?  Just check out the seating from the photo below.  While lovely…not very practical.  Love it though.  Remember, whatever you decide, nothing is wrong.  If you like it, it’s perfect.

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