A veil is a traditional part of a bride’s wedding outfit, and the history of the bridal veil is a long and interesting one. We’ve found some fun and unusual facts about its origin and uses across the centuries.
Veils predate wedding gowns
Whilst the exact era of the origin of the veil is unknown, it is known that the wearing of veils came before the wearing of wedding dresses. In ancient Greek and Roman times, a veil symbolised protection from evil spirits, which the bride would be protected from by covering her face. Some historians say that brides may have covered their faces so that a husband could not back out of a marriage if he did not like what he saw!
Veils are why brides are walked down the aisle
Early veils could be floor-length, and constructed of thick fabric which made it hard for the bride to see where she was going. This is where the role of the father assisting the bride to the wedding ceremony or later, down the aisle, came from, as the bride needed help walking to her destination without bumping into anything.
Veils were not always white
Like wedding gowns, veils were not always white. Red and yellow have been replaced by white and ivory, which are now seen as traditional colours of purity.
There were different veils for different wedding ceremony locations
The best known of these two are Chapel and Cathedral veils. Traditionally, the longer Cathedral veils would only be worn in a cathedral, and the shorter Chapel veils only worn in a chapel. This is a less common occurrence, as veils follow fashion rather than religious tradition.