The Origin of Wedding Veils

Claire via Twitter asks;
Your post Wedding Veils Explained explained the length of wedding veils, but not the reason why- what is their origin?
Well Claire, there are many stories of origin of a Bride’s Veil, the 3 main and widely acknowledged ones are the following. 
From Ancient Rome 
It is widely believed that wedding veils were first introduced in Ancient Rome. Romans believing heavily in evil spirits wanted to protect their Brides and so introduced the tradition of what we now call a Blusher veil; a veil generally 20″ long that covers the face. Interestingly in Ancient Rome a brides veil would have traditionally been an intensely flame-coloured and fulsome veil, called the flammeum.
Arranged Marriages 
Some say that the Wedding Veil came about as a result of arranged marriages. The veil was and still at times, is, used so that the groom-to-be cannot back out of the agreement/ arranged marriage should he not like what he sees, as the Bride walks down the aisle. Again here a Blusher Veil would most definitely have been worn and again is a very likely place for the tradition of a Wedding Veil to have begun.
Medieval Times  
 
As with the Romans, people living during the Medieval Ages were a superstitious lot. Seeking protection from the ‘evil eye’ and as a symbol of their purity, chastity and modesty Brides wore veils. 
The definition of veil is to ‘obscure, shroud, mask or cover’ so as a result we can see how any of these scenarios could have lead to a Wedding Veil being called a Wedding Veil. 
 

Image from: Bellz & Whistles

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Wedding Veils Explained

3 Comments

  1. by Claire Boyles on September 7, 2010  5:27 pm Reply

    Ah-ha!

    I was thinking something along those lines- ie to show that the bride to be was sweet and innocent, and even her looks had been protected from other people's gaze... to symbolize the purity.

    Didn't know the thing about warding off evil spirits!

    It's funny & a bit sad about the arranged marriage thing isn't it?

    Maybe I should go for one of them... might have more success :)

  2. by Bláithín on September 7, 2010  7:05 pm Reply

    Claire, no man looking for an arranged marriage could afford a woman of your calibre!

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