If you’re curious about what is the purpose of a wedding veil, there are four symbolic meanings behind this iconic bridal piece according to history. The wedding veil has interesting and controversial origins compared to other bridal accessories.
We’ll also talk about why brides wear a wedding veil and if it’s still in nowadays. And if you bought one, make sure to know how to wear a wedding veil.
History And More: What Is The Purpose Of A Wedding Veil
Bridal veils symbolize modesty and obedience. The veil is known as a symbolic reference to the bride’s virginity, related to how brides back in the day should be pure.
It is similar to how the woman wears the white wedding gown during her wedding to show her chastity. And since the groom lifts the veil during the wedding, it represents the possession of the obedient woman.
But of course, modern times mean modern practices. Any bride can wear a white wedding dress and veil regardless of her virginity.
To ensure a marriage
A darker history of wedding veils revealed that the veil was used in arranged marriages. Having the bride’s face covered, the groom would not see her features as the veil is only lifted after the ceremony.
The meaning of obscuring the bride’s features with the veil is to ensure that the groom cannot escape the arranged marriage if he is not pleased with them. Another way that veils help secure a marriage between two people is because of the length of these bridal accessories.
The long veil is thought to keep the bride from running away from the groom she has not met yet.
Another reason for wearing a bridal veil at the wedding is it’s a method to disguise the bride from evil spirits. Back in Ancient Rome, covering the bride from head to toe with heavy veils could protect her from malicious intents and evil spirits.
Some references even mentioned that brides used to wear a veil that looked like a fire. This is believed to frighten away the evil spirits who are jealous of her happiness.
Most of the explanations behind the history of wedding traditions showed that the couple must always be protected from evil spirits. Remember that even joyous acts like ringing the bells can be attributed to the desire to drive off bad luck and malicious spirits during the wedding.
A symbol of privilege
Do you know that the wedding veil’s purpose in some ancient cultures is to represent privilege? Like other types of clothing, your social status dictates whether you can or cannot be veiled in some cultures years ago.
For example, free women from the high class are the only ones who can wear a veil while getting married. On the other hand, low-class women like slaves and prostitutes can’t wear a wedding veil.
Another reason the wedding veil’s purpose was used to represent social status is that grooms were required to cover the face of their wives. Women wearing veils were seen in society as wives of men.
What Is A Wedding Veil?
The wedding veil is made from various fabrics like lace and tulle intended to cover the bride. The meaning of wearing bridal veils differs from culture to culture, but they symbolize purity, protection from evil spirits, or being a wife that no other man can possess.
Modern brides, nowadays, wear wedding veils not just for following traditions. There are different wedding veils; some can make your bridal look even more eye-catching.
And if you don’t want to buy one, here’s how to make a wedding veil.
Bridal veil types
- Chapel veil: a traditional formal veil that is usually 108 inches long and worn with a sweep train for a dramatic look
- Blusher veil: a short veil with a single layer of fabric that can be flipped over the head after the ceremony
- Double-tier veil: a longer veil often combined with a blusher to create a more dramatic veil
- Cathedral veil: a 126-inch long veil that is considered the most formal type and sometimes called the royal veil
- Fingertip veil: a common veil for brides who want something eye-catching but not too long that it would be impractical to walk with
- Elbow veil: a veil that extends to the bride’s elbows, ideal for adding coverage to some wedding gowns
- Fountain veil: a veil that extends to the bride’s shoulders and creates a cascading effect around her face for an ethereal look
- Birdcage veil: a 9-inch piece veil that is designed to drape down the side of the head
- Mantilla veil: a Spanish veil surrounded by lace
Is It Okay Not To Wear A Veil At Your Wedding?
It’s perfectly okay for brides to omit wedding veils as more and more people prefer a non-traditional wedding. However, you might also find the wedding veil impractical to wear for comfort,, or you planned your bridal look where you’d like other hair accessories.
Was this guide helpful? To recap what is the purpose of a wedding veil, it’s a bridal accessory used to symbolize purity, ensure an arranged marriage, serve as protection from evil spirits, and as a social status.
But nowadays, know that you can wear a veil or not. You are free to put meaning into it or treat it as a bridal accessory.