Wedding Traditions Explained: Wedding Veils

Many traditions in our culture today can be traced back centuries to eras like the Roman Empire and pagan times. Wedding traditions are no exception.

The tradition of the bridal veil is the oldest wedding tradition. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that brides would attract evil spirits. To keep that from happening, the bride was shrouded in mesh-like material to confuse the spirits. The Greeks used yellow material, and the Romans covered their brides in red.

Some accounts of the history of wedding veils also claim that the tradition began back in the days when brides were bartered to grooms. The fathers of the young ladies covered the bride-to-be’s features with veils. The groom could only see the “merchandise” after the vows were completed. This assured that the young men would not back out once they saw their new life partner. Thank goodness times have changed.

Although many still think that it is bad luck to see the bride’s face until after the ceremony, anything goes these days. Veils can be worn by virgins and by brides getting remarried.

They can be worn concealing the face, flowing down like long locks of hair, under or over the bride’s hair style. The veil can be as long as the gown, short, or anywhere in between. In our western culture today, the bride chooses the veil that will make her happy.

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