For hundreds of years until the end of the 12th Century, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo Norman women wore veils. The tradition was part of almost all married women. Only unmarried girls wore no veils. The veils had covered the woman’s hair, their neck and the chins. Veils had served a practical purpose, protecting women’s skin from wind and sun damage. By the 15th century, hoods become popular, and veils became less common.

Historically, brides wore their hair flowing down their back on their wedding day to symbolize their virginity, now the white veil is often said to symbolize purity.

The bridal veil may have some of its origins in the mists of mythology. Ishtar, ancient Goddess of Love, came from the depths to me her betrothed; the vapors of the earth and sea covering her “like a veil”. According to tradition, the tradition of the veil changed to include a blusher after Jacob was tricked into marrying his beloved Rachel’s sister, Leah, who was distinguished under the full veiling. It seems there is much to be said for scrutinizing the bride before it is too late!

The invention of the wide loom and silk tulle in the 19th century gave women a sheer covering that enhanced their beauty. The wedding veil symbolizes modesty, privacy, youth and virginity. That way of thinking still has a foothold on bridal etiquette, as only a first-time bride wears a veil.

Remember, your bridal veil should complement your wedding dress. The most popular colors are white, diamond white, and ivory. Diamond white is a great choice if your bridal gown has a sheen.

The lifting of the veil at the end of the ceremony symbolizes male dominance. If the bride takes the initiative in lifting it, thereby presenting herself to him, she is showing more independence.

White bridal veils represent the bride’s purity and modesty. In addition, veils are used to add to the final touches of a wedding dress and to frame the bride’s face.