Traditions & customs are a big point of discussion for most couples as they outline their wedding day. Often times, family & friends have opinions to contribute on the subject and this can lead to a couple making decisions to include or not include specific elements that they might not want to.

We definitely think there's something to be said for tradition- we love our family's holiday traditions and understand the beauty of participating in a custom that has been passed down from generation to generation.  Tradition has its place in our lives and special meaning to certain people so we don't believe you should bunk it all- unless of course, that's what you feel in your heart you want to do! But we definitely don't think couples should do something for the "sake of" tradition. 

In a series of posts this week, we're talking about the origin of some of these traditions as well as some of the elements of a wedding that our couples often reconsider or forgo altogether. 

#5 - Wearing a Veil

The Tradition

Veils are rumored to have originated in ancient Greece. In those times, a bride would be covered in a flame red cloth called a 'flammeum' to scare aware evil spirits by making her look like she was on fire.

Eventually, the idea was to confuse evil spirits but disguising the bride from those evil spirits, and, of course, her future husband as we discussed in our last post. The "unveiling" of the bride by the groom was meant to symbolize the transferring of ownership from father to groom. 

Over the years, popular styles have ranged from lace cloche headdresses, bird cage, skullcaps, long and floaty to the-bigger-the-better (hello Princess Diana). 


mint lola head piece alternative to wedding veil
mint lola head piece alternative to wedding veil

The Alternative

First of all, some bride's don't realize that you only wear the veil at the ceremony (and for some photos). It is a ceremony accessory. And it can be stunning. A long train down a church aisle... be still our hearts. But we're also super not into the history of the subject and love a modern take this traditional fashion statement. 

There are so many options for hair accessories that eliminate or replace the need for a veil including:

- flower crowns or other flower hair pieces like a comb
- headbands, hair clips or hair pins
- fascinators
- tiaras
- hair chains/hair jewelry (a la Kim K.'s first wedding or Alicia Keys)

But keeping in mind that the veil is a ceremony accessory, our favorite piece of advice is this:

Make a change:

Find an element of your beauty or fashion to change between the ceremony & reception (or before dancing). Some examples of this might be adding flowers to your hair, adding a statement necklace, wearing a lace jacket and then removing it later or perhaps changing dresses altogether. This will give you that "Ceremony Look" vs "Party Look" and help perhaps make you feel more "traditional" for the ceremony and more "fun" later on. 

Did you miss the other posts in this series of Wedding Traditions Reconsidered?
Check them out here:

#1 - The Bouquet & Garter Toss
#2 - Favors
#3 - Cake
#4 - Waiting to See Each Other Until the Ceremony
#6 - TheWedding Party

About Sincerely Pete

Sincerely Pete is a full service wedding planning and design company in Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, VA with over 13 years of experience. We believe in a personal, curated & customized approach to each wedding couple we work with taking their values & personalities into account and keeping the relationship as the focus of the wedding. We plan Washington DC weddings, Virginia weddings, Maryland weddings and destination weddings all over the world. 

Contact us today for more information!