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Heritage and history is very important to us at Fitzpatricks Veils of Ireland.  You may wonder what is the history of the wedding veil or how did it come into being?  Whilst we look at it as a beautiful accessory that turns a wedding dress into a work of art, the story of the wedding veil is thousands of years old.  Veiling has a long history in European, Asian, and African societies. There are records of wedding veils as far back as the Persian empire. There are even records of elite women in the ancient Mesopotamia, Greek and Persian empires wearing the veil as a sign of respectability and high status. It was a marker of aristocratic rank.  Many top designers, such as Alexander McQueen,

refer back to these historical times to get inspiration for modern brides.  Here at Fitzpatricks Veils, for our customised veils, we wade through many history books to get the perfect veil for your wedding day.  


The wedding veil was considered the most intriguing detail of a bride’s clothing in ancient Rome.   Back then it was known as a flammeum.   Romantically its purpose was to make the bride look like she was a candle flame and that it was to ward off evil spirit son her special day.   As in modern times the veil covered the bride’s head, but not her face. These were very beautiful veils and were large enough to wrap around the bride.   

custom handmade wedding veils Fitzpatricks veils of Ireland 

Experts have still not agreed on the colour of the flammeum.  Some scholars think that because the word ‘flammeum’ is so close to the Latin word “flamma,” (meaning flame) that this may be a hint that the colour of a Roman bride’s veil may have actually been red.  However other scholars argue that it was yellow due to the fact that yellow was the earliest colour to be highly valued.  The wearing of the colour yellow was granted as an exclusive privilege to women for their bridal veils! 

 A customised handmade wedding veil inspired by the flammeum

The wearing of bridesmaids dresses which match the design of the bride can also be dated back to these Roman times.  This was thought to be used to confuse the evil spirits and so they wouldn’t be able to recognise which lady was the bride.  The expression ‘tying the knot’ comes from the simple white dress that was worn under the veil.  A woollen belt was tied around her waist and tied with a Hercules knot.  The belt was to only be untied by her husband.  Although there is a much more ancient ceremony to which this phrase could be associated.  This was the ‘handfasting’ where the bride and groom symbolically tie their hands together.

 handmade customised wedding veils inspired by Alexander McQueen


Did you know that May Roman weddings were held in June as it was the month associated with ‘Juno’ who presided over fertility and marital love?  We offer a custom made wedding veil service so if you would like something very special or different, please email Philomena at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include your phone number.    






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