The history of the wedding veil
is unknown, though it has been around for a very long time. The earliest origins known to us began in the East, where the purpose of the veil
was to protect against the wind, sun and sand in the desert. It is said in ancient Greece the veil was used to defend the bride from evil spirits. Japanese brides wore it to hide attributes such as jealousy or selfishness from the groom and his family. But the most commonly and widely known purpose of the veil is to shield the bride's face from her groom, as it is bad luck for him to see her before the ceremony. Though the origin of the wedding veil
varies from source to source, we can at least declare that it is, in fact, what makes a bride a bride.
Over time the veil came to symbolize modesty; the fact that it shielded the bride declared this. It also came to symbolize purity, as the veils are traditionally white (a sign of virginity). This tradition still lives on today - many women getting re-married won't wear a veil. However, times have certainly changed. Some brides break the tradition and don't wear a veil at all, or don't put it over their faces. Others who choose to wear it will lift the veil themselves rather than the groom doing it. This has come to represent equality between the two.
Over the years veil styles have changed dramatically. In the early 20th century they had a very floral look: it was made of lace and encircled with flowers at the top. By the 30s they were simple, flowing pieces, then became more extravagant with over-the-top flowers, rhinestones and glitter. Twenty years later, velvet and satin materials were becoming popular, and veils were lengthening. Limits were endless by the 60s, and today there is a wide variety of styles and appearances. Brides can have their veils any way they want - long or short, satin or sheer, pearled or beaded, with rhinestones or glitter.
When it comes to choosing the right wedding veil
, the only person who can decide on the right one is the bride herself. After all, it is her big day and she is the one wearing it. Most commonly, veils are simple so all of the attention is focused on the dress; they are transparent to obscure the face rather than conceal it. Many brides will vouch for a low budget veil, as it is worn for such a short period of time (it is lowered right before the ceremony, and lifted during it).
Whether your preference is simple and classic, or extravagant and fancy, you'll definitely want to ensure you choose the right length for the veil. For example, if your gown is fancy at the waist, shoulders, or chest, or you're set on flaunting the bouquet, a short veil may be the best choice for you. Medium length veils are the most popular, hang as low as the elbow, and compliment most dresses. Long veils are suitable for dresses with long trains or for a taller bride. However, a long veil can also get in the way of linking arms or picking up the rings, and can be difficult to lift. So if you decide to go with a long veil, be sure to practice lifting!
Check out Veil Styles 101
to understand all different types of wedding veils. Then be sure to browse through our classy selection of wedding veils
© 2010 Kelsey Bowen, Little Things Favors
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