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When Should the Bride Lift or Remove Her Veil?

A very common question that many brides-to-be encounter as they prepare for their big day is, “When am I going to take off this gorgeous veil?”...

A very common question that many brides-to-be encounter as they prepare for their big day is, “When am I going to take off this gorgeous veil?” The veil is more than just a lovely adornment; it is steeped in tradition and symbolism.

This guide will take you through all the do's and don'ts of wearing a veil so you can strut down the aisle knowing exactly when it's time to unveil that beautiful veil of mystery.

The significance of the veil

Back in ancient Roman times, the veil was an object of protection for the bride to ward off evil spirits on her wedding day. While we are not so keen on warding off evil spirits in this new age, the veil is still a symbol of purity and modesty in many cultures.

Veils come in all shapes and sizes, from understated single-layer veils to elaborate cathedral-length veils. Picking the right veil can embellish your wedding, and it must match the ambiance of your wedding and reflect your personal style while echoing your cultural background.

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Length of time to wear the veil

I believe most brides don't know how long it takes to wear the veil on the wedding day, usually the wedding ceremony in the United States is about 40 minutes, the bride may also wear the veil in advance:

  • Ceremony entrance:
    The bride walks down the aisle wearing a veil, which can greatly increase the drama and mystery of the wedding. Especially in more traditional settings such as churches, it can make the first appearance memorable.

  • During the ceremony:
    The veil usually stays in place throughout the ceremony, but there is usually a big reveal moment just before “you may kiss the bride.” At this point, the best man or groom may lift the veil, signaling the start of a new and exciting moment, and the whole process usually lasts 20-40 minutes.


When to remove the veil

Deciding when to take off the veil - timing is everything. Here are the details on when you can consider removing your veil and letting yourself go:

  • After the wedding ceremony:
    Once you've tied the knot and sealed it with a kiss, the formal part of the wedding is over. This is the perfect time to consider removing the veil, especially if you're about to enter the more relaxed atmosphere of the wedding reception. You don't want this beautiful but potentially cumbersome accessory to get in the way of your party activities!

  • Preparing for the wedding reception:
    As you switch from solemn ceremony to party mode, removing the veil symbolizes your transition from bride to the life of the party. It's like shifting gears, and it's time to let loose and celebrate!

  • During the reception:
    Some brides choose to keep their veil on for the first half of the reception, especially the first dance. This is purely for visual effect - it's romantic to have the veil floating around as you twirl around the dance floor. But over time, you may want to lose the veil before you hit the dance floor or eat cake.

If you want to learn more about wedding receptions, why not check out our wedding reception guide!


When to gracefully remove your veil

Let's get straight to the point - how do you remove your veil without messing up your hair or causing a scene? Here's the secret:

  • Choose the right time:
    Consider removing your veil after the first dance at the wedding reception or after the formal photos have been taken. These are natural transition points where you can subtly step away and make changes without disrupting the flow of the event.

  • Get Help:
    It's a good idea to ask your maid of honor or bridesmaids to help you remove your veil. They can help you gently remove the veil to ensure the hair styling remains intact.

  • Keep it smooth:
    Practice removing your veil ahead of time. You want to make sure that when you decide to remove the veil, it comes off smoothly without any problems that could lead to a hairstyle disaster.

  • Planning for the Veil:
    Decide ahead of time what you will do with your veil when you remove it. Whether you give it to someone else for safekeeping or put it somewhere special, have a game plan to keep it safe and out of the way.


To veil or not to veil

Deciding whether to wear the veil all day or give it up at the earliest opportunity can feel like choosing between cake and ice cream - both options have their own benefits! Here's how to decide which is best for you:

  • Comfort & Style:
    There's no doubt that veils are beautiful, but they're not always the most comfortable accessory, especially the longer, more delicate types. It will block your movement, right! If it's a shorter veil, without disrupting the rest of your party action, you may want to consider bringing it with you to show people that you're the real star of the night!

  • Venue and weather factors:
    Having an outdoor wedding on a breezy day? A long veil can turn into a kite if you're not careful! Venue and weather conditions can have a big impact on your decision. If you're in an environment that's prone to high winds, or if you'll be moving around a lot, it may be more practical to remove your veil sooner rather than later.

  • Personal Preferences and Traditions:
    Some brides consider the veil to be a central part of their bridal identity and choose to keep it on for as long as possible. For other brides, the veil is more of an accessory for a specific ceremony. Think about what the veil represents to you personally and how it fits into the traditions you hold dear.


Real Brides, Real Choices

To give you a better idea of how different brides handle veils, let's take a look at some true stories:

  • Case 1:
    Emily chose to wear her veil throughout her wedding day. She felt that the veil completed her look and she loved the dramatic effect it added to her photos, especially in the soft light of the evening.

  • Case 2:
    Sarah decided to remove her veil immediately after the ceremony. She wanted to let her hair down and enjoy the reception without worrying about the veil getting in the way during hugs and dancing.

  • Tips:
    Wedding planners often recommend considering the veil as part of the overall timeline and personal comfort of the day. They recommend having a clear plan for veil removal that is consistent with the rest of the wedding.


A call to action

Your wedding day is your time to shine, and whether you choose to wear your veil throughout the day or remove it at specific moments, it should reflect your personal style and comfort level. The veil is a beautiful tradition, but how you wear it (or don't) is entirely up to you. Embrace your choice and own your look - it's your day to remember!

Have a veil story to share, or still struggling with what to do with your veil? Leave us a comment below or share your thoughts and experiences.The designers at BRIDALVENUS love to listen to brides and help them express their style and confidence on their big day!

This concludes our guide! Let me know if you'd like to learn more, or if there are other topics you need help with.

Jennifer Evans (JALS)

A veteran designer with 12 years of experience in the wedding apparel industry, gowns and bridal accessories. With her deep understanding of fashion details and sensitivity in capturing trends, Jennifer has helped countless brides create the wedding look of their dreams. Her designs not only embody elegance and luxury, but also each bride's individualized story and vision.


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