Sorry for the delay in this post but the more I looked into veils the deeper into the websites I went. The vintage photos on-line were so wonderful – it was hard to break away.
The bridal veil’s popularity has varied through time. It disappeared after the Romans (unfortunately don’t know why) and didn’t come back (in theory) until early Anglo Saxon times where the bride and groom each wore a wreath of flowers on their heads. In Christian ceremonies a square veil was held over the bride and groom during the ceremony. This was called a care-cloth.
Most of the veil’s popularity or lack of was also affected by costs of materials. The cost of the tulle, which is the material the veils were made of, was very expensive so many of the brides of the Renaissance and Elizabethan era wore Juliet-style caps that were enhanced with lace and pearls embroidery. Women have always been so resourceful – right??
The 19th Century brought the invention of the broadloom. This allowed for tulle to be produced at a more reasonable price. And so much more accessible for the brides. Up until that time the tulle was made on a lace machine. Doesn’t “Lace machine” just ring $$$.
Probably the veil’s real “comeback” was with Queen Victoria who was the first modern monarch to wear a veil to her wedding. And instead of having the veil cover her face – she let it fall down her back. Apparently Queen Victoria did this because of her subject’s desire to see her face. This remained the style until the 1870’s when the veil was used to cover the bride’s face. Just another example of the celebrity’s influence on trends.
Here are some of the images I love that cover 1900 – 1980’s.
What time period would you have liked to have been a bride?