Wedding Legends #3: Why Do Brides Wear Veils?

Okay, we admit that many brides these days choose not to wear a veil, especially at a more casual wedding, like on the beach in Hawaii. But we were curious about how the custom began, so we did a little research. There are lots of possible explanations, and we can’t be completely sure which one is true. In fact, the truth could be a combination of all of these reasons…

Brides wear veils to ward off evil spirits: Better cover up her beauty until she’s married, so that she isn’t abducted by the evil spirits lurking at the wedding—or by single friends of the groom! The evil-spirit theory dates all the way back to the ancient Romans and Greeks, but we’re not sure which bride-stealing best man is responsible for the other theory.

Brides wear veils to symbolize that they are pure: This is simply an extension of the theory that brides wear white dresses to signify that they are entering the marriage as pure women. If they’re going to cover their entire body with a pure white gown, then their head and face should be draped in white, too!

Brides wear veils to surprise their grooms: In traditional arranged marriages—maybe not today, but a long time ago—the parents arranged the marriage and the bride and groom didn’t meet until they were standing at the altar. This theory, however, implies that the bride had to keep her face covered so her looks wouldn’t scare her betrothed away. Another explanation is that wearing a veil is an extension of the custom that the groom shouldn’t see the bride at all before the wedding.

Brides wear veils to prove that they’re not just another pretty face: The groom loves all of her, not just her looks, and the veil symbolizes that his love is not just skin-deep.

Next up: Wedding Legends #4: Why Do Wedding Guests Throw Things at the Bride and Groom?