Wedding Dresses / Wedding Tips & Advice

To veil or unveil – the modern bride’s dilemma

Does the modern bride wear a veil?

In making this decision, it bears thinking about the origin of the veil. The symbolism is thought to tie in with an expression of virginity. In the past brides have worn their hair long and loose as a reference to virginity, and the veil came to mean much the same thing. The lifting of the veil formed an important part of ancient wedding ritual and symbolised the groom’s taking possession of his wife.

Small wonder then that a lot of modern brides often lose the veil. A symbol of either virginity or possession might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

But there is a recent trend for the return of the veiled bride, and certainly there are many brides who still opt for the tradition, specifically because it is a tradition, one of a number of customs followed in the wedding ceremony. So if you’re a bride who values tradition, then a veil is for you.

There is also nothing quite like the veil to distinguish the bride, something that says ‘bride’ and not ‘bridesmaid’, particularly as so many modern bride’s wedding dresses look more like ballgowns than bridal attire. There is something about the veil that gives you credibility.

In the same vein, if you’ve chosen an especially simple dress because you’re the type of bride who doesn’t go in for frills and fussy detail, then a veil adds visual appeal and can in fact make the whole look.

If you’re going for ornate hair accessories, like the tiara, the veil can balance the whole look – you might go for a smaller style of veil, but it can frame the face beautifully. In the same token, if the bride is wearing few accessories, a veil can make a rather dramatic statement.

There are many brides who regard the veil as the perfect wedding accessory, but for as many that do, there are those who don’t. These days though, brides can marry in practically any style or vintage and the veil can vary greatly in style and fabric. And much of the former symbolism of the veil has fallen away.

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