Flowers in your hair? Or will you choose a veil? Some brides today choose to forgo the traditional veil and meet their groom bareheaded, or with an alternative to a veil. The most common choice is flowers. It’s a lovely choice, especially for a spring or summer wedding. Below are a few gorgeous options.
A particular favorite is the photo below. I love the bright colors in contrast to the bride’s white gown.
One of the most famous brides to opt for flowers AND a veil? Miss Sarah Ferguson, who married Prince Andrew and became the HRH, Sarah The Duchess of York. Proper aristocratic etiquette is that only MARRIED aristocratic women wear tiaras. Here, Sarah adheres to the mandate, wearing orange blossoms under her veil. As soon as she was married, signed the marriage license, and returned to the public eye in Westminster Abbey? She sported the tiara the Queen gave her as a wedding gift. Legend has it that the tiara was already in place under all those orange blossoms. Not sure I buy into that, but I like the story. Look how happy she is. Too bad that level of joy could not be maintained.
Perhaps you want to wear a veil, but want a little something to adorn your hair when the veil comes off at the reception. Below is a picture of my daughter, Maggie. That was her choice. She wore my headpiece, her own veil, and a small floral decoration for after the wedding ceremony. A nice compromise. Remember, if you choose to do this, take your “flowers” to your hair appointment so your stylist can attach them for you. The photo below is by Stephen Wang. It’s from my wedding business Instagram. Perhaps you’d like to follow? 🙂 @marypkarnesweddings
Above is daughter Kathleen with her “after ceremony” wreath. She also wore my headpiece with her own veil. I love this tradition!
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.
If You Choose To Wear a Veil… and a “blusher” (a blusher is the netting that goes over your face)…You need to consider what your coiffeur will look like once your veil is removed. Will you remove your headpiece? The headpiece is the part of the veil that the netting is attached to. If you’re a royal bride, you’ll wear a tiara. If you’re a regular bride – maybe a crown of orange blossoms. If you’re an American bride, anything goes. My daughter, Maggie, is in the photo above. She is wearing her own veil, (cathedral length), and my headpiece. Her vision was to always take the veil and headpiece off for the reception. It would be too cumbersome to wear all night. She needed to make sure her hairstyle was up to the formality of the event. And it was. Her hair style was spectacular, but she wanted some sort of adornment in her hair. She visited etsy.com, a wonderful website where individuals can shop from independent venders. You can find anything on etsy.com, and the vendors are everyday people who have something special to share.
Maggie purchased a lovely hair adornment for her hair to be showcased. Pease note the photos below, which show the adornment. Note, if you choose a hair ornament, buy it early enough so you can have a dry run with your hairdresser.
I chose to wear silk flowers to be showcased after I took MY veil off 30 years ago. They were pretty, and looked nice in my hair. But I made a mistake with my veil. The netting that went over my face was thick, and created a visual issue for me, and for my guests view of me. And it was hot! My photo is below. Compare it to my daughter’s, following photo. Note how fine and delicate my daughter’s veil is…a much better choice than mine.
But please notice…the headpieces are the same… I love tradition!
In my next two posts — please check back to read all about the different fabric options you will have for your veil…AND the lovely invitation my daughter, KK, chose from etsy.com!!
You can also follow me on twitter @marypkarnes, or my Facebook page: Simply the Best
Photos: Patty Cloherty