Lifting The Veil...
Veils and other head coverings such as tiaras, floral crowns, bejewelled combs and even hats will often find a place in thoroughly modern Western weddings.
Finding the perfect accessory to go with the perfect wedding gown is a feverish task for many brides.
So many choices... how do you choose?
The first question to ask yourself is: do I really want to wear something in my hair?
Veils have had a long history with weddings, dating back to the Ancient Greek and Roman times. Over time they have played different roles and have generally tended to be used to preserve or symbolise female modesty. In some cultures, veils have also been worn to obscure the bride's identity from her intended spouse.
In modern Australian weddings, veils tend to be more an accessory than a mandatory item of wedding attire. They can also be worn in many different ways. Veils can cascade down the back or the front, partly obscure the face, or even frame the face. They can be part of various hat designs, too, sliding down to cover the eyes and sometimes most of the face.
Unlike tiaras, floral crowns, bejewelled combs or hats, which generally sit in place once applied, free-flowing veils can be a little more tricky to manage at weddings. In outdoor weddings they are at the mercy of the breeze, and may fly around a bit depending on how light they are and how they are placed on the bride's head.
I have seen more than one panicked bride struggling to manage a wayward veil on a windy day. One of the most difficult situations involved a veil getting snagged in the low hanging branches of a tree. Another involved a veil coming precariously close to some free standing candles thanks to a sudden breeze arising.
I ask my brides if they are wearing veils so we can plan how to manage them on the day. If a bride is wearing a veil that covers her face as she makes her entrance, we will plan when it will be drawn back from the face in the ceremony so the bride can see the proceedings. We also plan "who" will do that.
In some scenarios, the bride's father may take this role if walking her down the aisle. It certainly is a popular tradition in some cultures. But it's important to know that the bride's father doesn't have to be the only person who does this. In my weddings I discuss with the couple who will remove the veil, and more often than not, it's the groom who will do this. Or in situations where it is two brides getting married and one or both are wearing veils, they will generally pull back their partner's veil.
Veils... so much to think about! Let me help guide you through it.
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