We have been told by many a bride that during the wedding dress shopping experience their mothers didn’t cry when they tried on the gown that would eventually become the dress they would wear on their wedding day. Mostly their mothers were proud or happy but didn’t shed any tears.
As many brides before you and to follow you, they have been lead to believe that through the emotions of your mother, this is the surest way to know that you have found THE dress. Hallmark movies, reality television, and Hollywood romances have us picturing ourselves twirling in front of the fitting room mirror as Mom sobs huge, silent tears of unbridled joy, and you would both just know it was ‘the one’.
However, it has been our experience that mothers rarely weep. No misty eyes, no dabbing at their cheeks with a crumpled tissue and certainly no unladylike sniffing as Mom fights to compose herself. We have learned from our brides that their mothers simply tell them how much they like the dress, how beautiful they look, and of course with a big smile they encouraged them to buy it.
However, once purchased, you will find that your attentive bridal boutique sales assistant may select a beautiful wedding veil to compliment your dress to, in their opinion, fully complete the look. This is more than likely when your mom and your future mother in law, will stand there weeping. Exchanging smiles, dabbing at tears, while you may gaze at yourself in the mirror wondering, "Is a veil really for me?"
‘Oh no!’ you may think. ‘I’m going to have to wear a veil, aren’t I?!’
Wedding veils are beautiful. Whether you try the masses of fine, billowy silk that cascade elegantly down the back of your wedding dress or something neater and fuller that pauses just short of your bare shoulders or even a delicate whisper of netting that almost obscures your watery eyes as you gazes adoringly at your true love. They are all stunning, but if you never saw yourself in any of them do not panic.
Veils have been part of Western wedding tradition for hundreds of years. Roman brides wore a vibrant flame-coloured veil supposedly intended to protect them from evil spirits. In the 19th century, veils came to be associated with a woman’s modesty and quickly evolved into a symbol of purity.
This tradition, which is still sometimes observed today, welcomes a virgin bride as she enters into the marriage ritual with a veiled face and head. She remains this way until the full conclusion of the wedding ceremony when either the bride’s father or the groom lifts the veil, symbolising the groom’s right to enter into conjugal relations with his bride. Similarly, veils are linked to ancient wedding rituals that symbolise the groom taking possession of his new wife, either as a lover or as property.
Wherever the tradition comes from, whatever the rituals behind it, there are few things that say ‘bride’ quite like the wearing of a veil. While a woman might have occasion to wear a floor-sweeping gown beyond their special day, there aren’t many that could get away with sporting a cathedral length wedding veil anywhere other than a cathedral on her wedding day.
This is why mom tears up. The veil, this is what made it all feel real. Her daughter is getting married. You are going to be a bride.
Although deep down you may just know that wearing a veil isn't for you. And that is ok! You may still agonize over the decision since this day is very important to your mom, too. It is normal to feel overcome with a gnawing sense of doubt. It is perfectly normal to think "What if I regret not wearing a veil on the day? Will I still look like a bride without one? Will I still feel like a bride?" Rest assured, there are death of alternatives to wearing a veil on your wedding day. Just be sure that whether you wear a veil, flowers in your hair, a tiara or even a statement making fascinator, you make the right decision for YOU. No regrets. Because looking like a bride is a very personal thing. What works for one may not work for another. Just be sure you explore all avenues and try on as many options as possible to ensure you find what is right for you. Just try not to be swayed by weeping mothers.
In the end, walking down the aisle towards your future husband, this more than anything, will make you feel most like a bride. You won't even think of what you are wearing.