Breaking "the rules" or missing out on a bit of the magic?

By Southern Living Editors
Bride with Veil and Open Back Dress
Credit: Vesnaandjic Via Getty Images

While planning a wedding, you learn everyone has a little something to say about your Big Day. From endearing questions about your bridal style to unsolicited opinions about color palettes, you'll hear a bit of it all – some helpful, some overbearing (though I'm sure they all meant well). Through all the planning chaos and questions, one thing stood out more than I expected: the affection yesterday's brides have for wedding veils.

Since many brides these days choose to forgo a wedding veil for a more modern look or a whimsical crown, I was a bit baffled by the various pro-veil appeals I heard during my year-long engagement. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't in need of convincing. But, everyone who mentioned a veil felt like they were campaigning for traditional bridal style to prevail. "It's a once in a lifetime accessory," some said. Others weren't afraid to boldly claim, "You won't look bridal without it."

While I knew that couldn't be true (I mean, have you seen the amazing bridal gown designs these days? How could you look like anything other than a bride in these white stunners), I also felt the passion for wedding veil bliss beaming from each and every pro-veil plea. Each comment left me wondering where the enthusiasm was coming from – was it about tradition? Just a style preference?

Though it's steeped in tradition, a veil is not required from an etiquette perspective. You won't necessary be breaking "the rules" by going in a different headpiece direction. But, the moment I tried on my veil during a dress fitting I got it what the fuss was all about.

There is some kind of secret magic hidden in that wispy white fabric. Sounds cheesy, I know, but ask any of your married friends. Sure you've got the white dress and the groom, but for many, the first time they actually feel like a bride is when that traditional piece is placed their head.

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Now, I can't say for certain whether a flower crown or any other wedding headpiece might hold the same magic. Every bride should follow her own wedding day vision. What I can guarantee is the tradition of wearing a veil will make everyone in the room over 40 happy and come with a side of bridal goose bumps, too