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Wedding Traditions

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Wedding Traditions
Page 4a
The origin of the wedding veil is unclear but it is thought that it predates the wedding dress by many centuries.  There are a few plausible explanations of how a veil came to be used.  One is that the groom would throw a blanket over the head of the woman of his choice when he captured her and took her away.  Another is that during the times of arranged marriages, the bride’s face was covered until the groom was committed to her at the ceremony.

Among the Anglo-Saxons, it was the custom for four tall men to hold a veil or canopy over the bride at her wedding to hide her blushes.  The Romans believed that jealous demon spirits would try to cast spells on brides on their wedding days and covered the bride’s face with veils to ward off the evil spirits.  Eastern women wore it to ward off the evil eye: it protected not only the face, but the whole body as well.


The wearing of a veil was a sign to the groom that the bride was pure and innocent and the veil was not removed until after the wedding.  The symbolism of purity and innocence has continued to be associated with the veil and today it reflects modesty, obedience, chastity, youth and virginity.

To wear the old bridal veil of a happily married woman is considered lucky and many brides choose to wear their mother's or grandmother's veil.  But don't let a friend try on your veil, even after the wedding, for it is a warning that she may run off with your husband!

The Wedding Veil
There was a time when the bride would wear her favorite dress to the ceremony. In the eighteenth century, poor brides dressed in simple robes.  This symbolised to her future husband that she brought nothing with her into the marriage and would therefore not burden him with any debt.

The first recorded white bridal gown was worn by Anne of Brittany in 1499 when she married King Louis VII of France.  It was, however, Queen Victoria who wore an elegant all white gown to her wedding in 1840, that started the trend towards wearing white for weddings.  White was worn because people believed it represented affluence, virginity and purity.

White Bridal Gown

Wedding Clothes