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Why do brides wear wedding veils?

Why do brides wear wedding veils?


Written by Katie Byrne


Spoiler: it's not always been a fashion statement...

 

The wedding veil is one of the most iconic aspects of a bride's wedding day attire: after the dress, it's the addition of the floaty veil that sets the bride apart. Re-imagined in various ways over the years, the veil now is a seriously fabulous style statement - but it hasn't always been that way.

As with most wedding traditions, the veil stems back to the Ancient Romans.

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Roman brides would wear an orange 'flammeum', so named because it was designed to look like a huge flame. Why? To scare off those pesky evil spirits (the same ones that the bridesmaids were enlisted to protect the bride from).

The theory was that if a bride appeared to be on fire, demons wouldn't try to whisk them away. Sound logic, no?

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However, that wasn't the only reason. Roman wedding dresses often featured trains, and the assumption was that the train and the veil combined would prevent the bride from running away at the last minute, as well as ensuring the safe delivery of her to her partner.

More often than not, the groom would have never seen his bride-to-be's face prior to the marriage - so the symbolic lifting of the veil would typically be the first time he set eyes on her.


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