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Under the veil

The tradition of brides wearing veils has a long and varied history. The Romans believed that garishly-coloured veils would ward off evil spirits from vulnerable brides. In arranged marriages where the bride and groom hadn’t even met each other, a veil was a precautionary measure against a groom’s adverse reaction to seeing his wife-to-be. The Victorian era took the traditional symbol of modesty and turned it into a status symbol – the longer the veil (and train), the more important the bride.

But across time and religions, the most common reason for brides wearing veils was as a symbol of humility, respect and purity. In fact, some still believe in the antiquated notion that pregnant brides and second-time-brides shouldn’t wear veils as they have already been ‘unveiled’These days, veils are mostly seen as an accessory and an optional one at that. For some, the history alone is enough to put a bride off the idea. For others it remains the single most iconic piece of bridal attire. I’ve seen that ‘moment’ too many times to deny where a woman in a beautiful gown puts on a veil for the first time and is transformed into a ‘bride’. For those considering wearing a veil, it should be seen as an accessory to compliment your bridal gown so the gown you choose will help determine the veil. Let’s take a look at some things to consider in choosing a veil that’s right for you.

  • LENGTH: A more formal wedding gown may call for a ‘cathedral length’ veil that extends a foot longer than the train of the dress. More popular is an elbow or fingertip length veil that is more likely to suit a broader range of dress styles and silhouettes. A ‘cage’ veil that essentially just covers the face may be better suited to shorter and more casual dresses.

  • ORNAMENTATION: Remember always that your veil should complement your dress, not compete with it. That’s not to say that it needs to match in every aspect but the decorative elements such as beads, crystals, lace, ribbons etc. should not overpower the dress, especially anything passed the point where the two meet.

  • BLUSHER: Do you want a blusher? This is the layer of a veil that sits over the brides face during the ceremony. If so, consider how this will look in both the covered and uncovered position.

  • WEIGHT: If you have chosen a dress with a beautiful back, the last thing you want to do is cover it up with a heavy veil. In this instance you may prefer to opt for a single layer, sheer veil. Conversely, a heavier fabric with multiple layers can help conceal a back view you’d rather hide.

  • ATTACHMENT: Will you want to wear your veil all day or would you like to ditch it after the ceremony and photos? If so, consider a veil that attaches and detaches easily from a headpiece that you can continue to wear throughout your reception. 

  • UNVEILED: If a veil just isn’t for you but you still want something that makes a statement, you can always opt for a headpiece such as a tiara, ornate headband, decorative hairclips, flower crown and so on. The possibilities are endless.



At Emerald Bridal, we’re proud to stock Julie Herbert Millinery Creations veils and accessories as well as Lavender & Lilac keepsake crowns and hair pins because we believe that only the best are good enough to compliment our gowns for our Brides. We’re delighted to offer assistance and advice on choosing accessories that best suit you. Call us on (02) 9808 5535 to make an appointment.