When you begin to plan your wedding, your dress and veil are some of the most important details of the event. As you select your dress and veil you might be inspired by popular styles today or by styles from the past. Here is some interesting information of how wedding veil customs began and a few veil customs from around the world that can help you choose your own wedding veil style.
Ancient Veil Customs
If you choose to wear a veil on your wedding day, you are following an ancient custom where a bride's face is veiled from her future husband. It is believed that it is bad luck if a groom sees his bride before the wedding, and the bridal veil helps prevent this from occurring.
One legend suggests that the veil is also to conceal the bride from demons on her wedding day. Her family even sets up several decoys of attractively dressed and unveiled bridesmaids who are ready to sacrifice their souls for the bride. Bridesmaids are still used in weddings today.
Some suggest another historical reason a veil is worn by a bride on her wedding day is because many centuries ago bathing was not as common as it is today. The veil or headdress was worn by the bride to mask the unpleasant smell of her dirty hair on her wedding day.
In Japan, a bride wears a tsuno kakushi as her veil, which is a headdress to cover her horns of jealousy, ego, and selfishness. The word tsuno means "horns" and this headdress covering is to hide any negative attributes the bride should not display at her wedding in front of her groom and his family. This wedding veil headdress also symbolizes the bride's decision to be a gentle and obedient wife in her new marriage.
Beginning in 1867 and continuing today at traditional weddings, brides may also wear a wataboshi hood to conceal her face to everyone at the wedding except for her husband.
The legend of how the wedding veil came about in China began at the start of the universe. According to Duyi Zhi of the Tang Dynasty, a brother and sister were the only human beings in the world. They wanted to procreate to continue life on earth, but because they were brother and sister they felt shy about becoming husband and wife. They prayed at the top of a mountain for an answer of what they should do. They got the answer to get married, but the sister was still feeling shy so she made a fan with grass to hide her face. In Chinese the word for fan sounds the same as veil, so the veil replaced the fan to hide a bride's face.
A traditional wedding veil in Chinese culture today is made of a red silk cloth and is removed by the bridegroom in the bridal chamber. The color red is used as it symbolizes the happiness of the wedding celebration.
A traditional wedding veil in the United States is usually made of tulle or another sheer white fabric and can be designed in many different lengths. A veil is white in color to match your white wedding dress and representing purity of a virgin bride. Some veils are short and cover only your eyes, where other veils can be long and trail several yards after you in a cathedral-style veil. Your veil can be covered in beads, or edged in lace or ribbon.
You can follow this popular American tradition to wear a white veil, or add in pieces from other customs from around the world. It is not uncommon today to see brides wearing a dress of a color other than white or ivory with a veil to match. It is your wedding and your wedding day, so use this information to help you make it special for you.
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