Veils are a peculiar thing. Before I was engaged, I had already decided that I didn’t want one. I wasn’t too crazy about the way they looked, and the symbolism didn’t really work for me. According to Wikipedia, the wedding veil symbolizes the bride’s virginity and modesty (in Western culture). This sentiment is a bit outdated for many modern brides. When I did a little online research about veils, I also found a few other interesting theories. Here, they suggest that the veil covers the bride’s face, so that her husband won’t be killed for her beauty. (I like that one!) Alternatively, the veil could be used to cover a not-so-beautiful bride in case the groom wanted to back out once he saw her. (Not very nice!) Or, the veil could protect the bride from evil spirits. (What? The spirits don’t attack the guests? I don’t understand…)
In any case, I wasn’t too crazy about veils. But as I’ve said before, one’s mind often changes while wedding planning…
During my very first dress shopping trip, I was with my mom. It was just us, and we had made a spur-of-the-moment decision to run in David’s Bridal. Nothing had really wowed us until I stepped into the gorgeous Vera Wang dress. I was dancing around, all giddy with excitement, when my mom asked the consultant, “Can we see it with a veil?”
I froze. I hadn’t wanted a veil. But then I realized, “What’s the harm in trying one on? It’ll make my mom happy, and then we’ll move on.”
The consultant asked me what type of veil I wanted, and I said honestly, “I haven’t considered the possibility of a veil, so bring whatever you think is best.” Apparently the elbow-length veil is the most popular at David’s Bridal, because that’s what she brought out. She put it on me and…
Wow. I felt like a bride!! (This picture doesn’t really demonstrate how much the veil improved the look, but it’s the only picture I have of me with that veil.) I knew in my head that I didn’t care for the pictures of veils on other brides, but for some reason, seeing it on myself just seemed so beautiful. My wise mother said, “See? It changes the entire look.” Moms sometimes know best. And Mama Whale is so smart about sharing her wisdom. She knew that she shouldn’t demand a veil (and honestly, if I had decided it wasn’t for me, she would have been fine with that too). She let me find out for myself that the veil was so right.
Of course, veils aren’t for everyone. But I know so many brides who are like me at the outset. They don’t really care for the look of the veil, and they just decide not to have one. If my mom hadn’t requested to see one, I might not have known how much I wanted one!! (I’m can’t even imagine not having the veil now.) So unless you’re vehemently opposed to veils, I would advise brides to give them a chance. You truly might be surprised.
I know most brides still go with this tradition. Are there other bees out there like me? Or alternatively (I’m really curious about this one), did anyone want a veil, try it on and decide against it?