Whether you’ve attended 5 weddings or 50 weddings, you’ve likely seen the bride wear a veil at most of them.

A hallmark of the traditional wedding day look, veils have been a popular choice for brides for many, many years. But where did this tradition come from? And is it one you have to follow? Here is a quick history of the wedding veil. 

Depending on the part of the world, sources suggest that veils had their beginnings in being believed to keep evil spirits away, signifying innocence and purity, or hiding the bride’s face in instances of arranged marriages. Though not having such a clear purpose in more modern times, you can’t deny that veils add an element of elegance and grace to any bride’s wedding day attire.

The popular styles of veils have changed over the years

Often influenced by other fashion trends at the time. Headdress veils, or veils with a lace cap (right), were popular in the 1920s and into the 1930s. From there, veils became simpler, as did much of fashion, to conserve fabric for the war. The easily identifiable birdcage veil (left) also became popular during this time in a trend that lasted into the ‘50s.

In the 1960s and ‘70s, veils became more relaxed and often gave off a bohemian vibe, reflecting the more hippie style of the time. Veils started getting longer and fuller in 1980s after being popularized by Princess Diana’s, which was 24 feet long. Today, brides tend to opt for flowy veils in lengths ranging from elbow to cathedral. Some veils are made with intricately detailed lace or beading along the edges to fully accentuate the bride’s look.

Although veils are still commonly worn for weddings, they are by no means a requirement.

Perhaps you feel as though they’re outdated, maybe you’d rather let your beautiful dress stand alone as a focal point, or maybe a veil just seems like too much of a hassle. A modern alternative to veils is capes, which complement your dress like a veil but are attached at the shoulder.

Whether you choose a traditional veil, a cape, or neither at all, you’re sure to look beautiful on your big day. Our expert team of seamstresses at Vanya Designs can create both capes and veils alongside dresses, so let us know how we can bring your entire dream wedding look to life.

February 15, 2023