Being in the wedding photography industry, we get to find out ALOT about wedding traditions and their origins. Although the exact origin and usefulness of many early wedding traditions are not always clear, popular acceptance has allowed them to flourish! Plus, heaps of these wedding traditions are just plain fun!
Now, before we fill you full of facts we had to find out exactly what the dealio was and we found that wearing a veil, has many origins.
The veils’ earliest origins served to protect oneself from the wind and the desert sun, as well as to preserve the modesty of women in a time when the use of force was the rule of law. Ok great – veils were not only fashionable, but also practical for those who chose to get married in the sand dunes of the Sahara to a dominant groom! Camel ride anyone?
In ancient Greek times the veil was yellow and in Rome it was red. It denoted the subordination of a woman to man and symbolized the bride’s virginity, innocence, and modesty. In medieval times, the veil was used to protect the bride from “the evil eye”.
Others believe that the origin of the bridal veil was due to the circumstances of an arranged marriage. Way back when men bargained with an eligible young lady’s father for their hand in marriage, after the ceremony the veil was lifted to reveal the bride’s features. This was to keep a groom from backing out of the deal if he didn’t like what he saw. Imagine doing that these days? No chance!
Coming back to modern times, the veil is worn as a tradition and an accessory to the bridal gown with the veil coming in a variety of sizes:
- Blusher: A short veil that covers the bride’s face as she enters the ceremony,
- Flyaway: A short veil that ends at the shoulder.
- Fingertip: Extends just below the waist, brushing your fingertips.
- Sweep: Ends at the floor.
- Chapel: Measures 9 feet long and trails along the ground.
- Cathedral: Measures 12 feet long and has a significant train.
Many of the brides we photograph love the tradition of a wedding veil, but we’ve also seen some gorgeous fascinators and headpieces. Its really just a personal preference.