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Episode 08: The Wedding Veil

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birdcage wedding veil
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Episode 8 of The Bouquet Toss is all about the tradition of the bride wearing a wedding veil! Learn where this tradition came from and some fun facts about wedding veils to help you decide whether to wear a veil on your own big day. Subscribe to The Bouquet Toss Podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app!

birdcage wedding veil
Birdcage wedding veil from Florentes on Etsy

Listen to Episode #08: The Wedding Veil

Below you’ll find the details of what we covered in the episode. Learn all about the tradition of bride’s wearing veils, plus alternatives, money-saving tips, and more!

Why does a bride wear a wedding veil?

The veil is considered “the oldest part of the bridal ensemble,” according to historian Susan Waggoner. The tradition of wearing a wedding veil dates back to ancient times when people would “wrap brides from head to toe to represent the delivery of a modest and untouched maiden.”

Roman brides were swaddled in super long flame-colored veils known as the “flammeum” to scare off evil spirits. The idea was to make them look as if they were on fire to scare the evil spirits away.

Even if you’re not interested in thwarting evil spirits, you may want to choose to incorporate a veil into your wedding day look. “A more practical reason for the veil, said to stem from the days of arranged marriages, was the desire to hide the bride’s face from the groom,” Waggoner says. Check out her book I do! I do! The Origins of 100 Classic Wedding Traditions.

The veil and train also prevented a bride from running away, which was a genuine concern in those days. So, in essence, the veil served as a “demon-scaring, theatrical marital straitjacket,” according to Bustle.

The evolution into a modern wedding veil

Queen Victoria, the ultimate bridal trendsetter, wore a white dress and a veil that draped down her back on her wedding day. As the first modern monarch to be married in a veil, she became the image of what brides aspire to emulate on their wedding day.

Eventually, the meaning behind the veil transformed as weddings evolved into religious ceremonies. The veil symbolized modesty and obedience. Women covering their heads is seen as a symbol of reverence in many religions, so the veil reinforces this concept. Combined with white dresses which were worn to symbolize chastity, the white veil solidified the idea of a virginal look.

WeddingVeilLengths

Different Wedding Veil Lengths

Veils continue to be worn by most of today’s brides, but there are more options and styles than ever to choose from. Each of the different lengths of veils has a different name, which may include or potentially differ from this list:

  • Blusher veil – a very short veil that covers just the bride’s face.
  • Flyaway veil – a short veil that ends at the shoulders
  • Sweep veil – a veil that just skims the floor
  • Fingertip veil – a veil that extends to the bride’s fingertips
  • Chapel veil – a veil that extends past the floor, typically 9 feet in length
  • Cathedral veil – a very long veil, 12 feet in length
  • Royal veil – an epicly-long veil over 12 feet in length

Alternatives to wedding veils:

What if you don’t want to wear a wedding veil on your big day?

You probably know what we’re going to say here. The good news is, you don’t have to. Maybe you’d rather wear a fabulous hair clip or flower crown instead. Not feeling the traditional bridal look? Wear a fabulous hair clip. Want something more bohemian? Sport a flower crown. Looking for something glamorous? Consider a bridal tiara.

Wedding veil alternatives:

  • Jeweled Hair Clip
  • Flower Crown
  • Tiara
  • Fresh Flowers
  • Feathers
  • Headbands
  • Go completely veil-free!

Our advice is always going to be the same: do what feels most authentic to you. Wear what makes you feel best. Traditions be damned. Do you, boo!

Ways to save money on a wedding veil

Borrow a veil from a family member or friend.

A great way to cut costs on your wedding attire is to borrow your veil from a family member or friend. Because veils don’t have to be super customized or altered to fit your body or wedding style, they make the perfect type of item to borrow.

Rent your wedding veil or accessories.

Designer wedding veils can be so expensive– sometimes up to thousands of dollars. Renting items that will only be worn once is a great option. Check out sites like Little Things Borrowed or Happily Ever Borrowed to browse veils, headpieces, and more.

DIY your wedding veil.

Create your own wedding veil out of tulle, netting and a comb. It’s actually fairly simple– here are a few tutorials to check out:

Buy a wedding veil from a handmade seller

Browse Etsy for different veils. There is a wide variety of styles and designs from thousands of handmade sellers. We rounded up a group of our favorites in the post below!

Links mentioned in this episode:


As with everything we discuss here on The Bouquet Toss, it doesn’t *really* matter what we think, it’s about choosing what works for YOU and tossing the rest!

We want to know what YOU think about honeymoons and what your plans are for yours! Join us in our private community where we’re discussing this, or visit our Instagram page to comment on the post about this episode!

The Bouquet Toss Podcast

About The Bouquet Toss Podcast

The Bouquet Toss is a wedding planning podcast that empowers couples to plan a meaningful, authentic, and affordable wedding celebration! On the show, we will have candid conversations all about weddings and why we do them the way we do so that couples can plan their weddings based on their own values, and not on the expectations of others.

In our Budget-Savvy Wedding Planning Community, we see the same questions asked over and over again. So many couples seem to be seeking permission to plan their weddings on their own terms, and we’re here to say go for it! We believe you should have your day, your way and our goal is to help empower you to plan a wedding celebration that actually feels authentic to you. 

This podcast is brought to you by TheBudgetSavvyBride.com and is hosted by the founder, Jessica Bishop, and real weddings editor Sari Weinerman. Subscribe on Apple or Spotify today!

In case you missed it, check out our other episodes:


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The Bouquet Toss is a wedding planning podcast dedicated to helping couples plan a wedding day that feels authentic to them! We examine wedding traditions and trends so you can decide what to keep and what to toss from your wedding day plans! Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app!