1914 Bridal Veils

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, June 4, 1914: Ditto

1914-05-48 b

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Oh dear. . . another slow day. . . The previous day Grandma wrote, “Nothing doing.”

While Grandma was doing nothing, maybe she flipped through Ladies Home Journal and pored over the pictures of bridal veils—and selected her favorite veil, while dreaming that she’d someday have a storybook wedding. . . .Or maybe the pictures depressed her and made her worry that she’d never get married.

The New Bridal Veils

As old as the wedding ceremony itself is the custom of wearing the bridal veil. Of course the bridal veil need not be an expensive article, for, unless there is rare old lace in the possession of the brides’ family, it would be perfectly charming and dainty made of fine tulle or of sheer net. Fine lace may edge the veil, or form or trim the cap or head covering, but this is not essential for the beauty of the veil.1914-05-48 c

Trimming the veil with orange blossoms is likewise a custom of long standing. Still there is no reason why other white flowers or strings of pearl beads cannot be substituted should one’s fancy so dictate.

1914-05-48 d

1914-05-48 a

If you enjoyed these pictures and would like to see some more bridal veils from the same issue of Ladies Home Journal, go to Fashion a Hundred Years Ago. It is the companion site to this blog, and I posted several additional pictures there.

34 Responses

  1. I’m sure Grandma dreamed of her wedding….don’t all of us gals? I think the first veil is my favorite!

  2. So pretty… I think the second one is my favourite, or maybe the first is… ;-)

    • I don’t think it’s exactly my favorite, but somehow I find the one with pearls really intriguing. (Maybe intriguing isn’t exactly the right word when describing bridal veils.)

  3. Did all the veils you saw start with bonnets? That’s so different from what we see now–I wonder about the history of the style.

  4. Aren’t these just lovely?

  5. I had no idea that trimming a bridal veil with orange blossoms was an old custom! The drawings are so pretty.

    • I wondered if brides in the North wore orange blossoms or if it was just a tradition in warm climates. Maybe rail transportation was fast enough to get orange blossoms to the North before they wilted.

  6. I guess dreaming of one’s wedding has always been a girl’s lot at some point in her life. <3
    Diana xo

  7. Your Poor Grandma, bless her soul, she seems like she was caught in a rut. I’m glad she added the days of ‘nothing doing’ and ‘ditto’ to her diary. It shows true reality of life regardless of the era.
    I like the first veil the best. It has an charming air of innocent about it.

    • I’m often surprised how important she apparently considered it to write something in the diary almost every day. I think that I might have a tendency to skip days if I didn’t have anything particular to write.

  8. I like the first two.

  9. I’m so happy you’re sharing Grandma’s diary. Stepping back in time and reflecting is just refreshing! Do you know if Grandma had a similar veil? Maybe she even elected not to wear one. Enjoy your day!

  10. Pretty and Feminine

  11. I wonder why this style never came back for veils. Or did they and I missed seeing them? They are sweet.

    • When I got married in the 1970s, I wore a veil attached to a small cap–but I think that the cap was made of straw (or maybe cloth) rather than lace.

  12. There is a demure air to all of these veils…don’t think they’d suit the mood today.

    • Styles for wedding dresses and veils sure have changed over the years. After the wedding of Kate Middleton, it seemed like styles got a little more traditional.

  13. What a lovely choice to fill us in on a ditto day.

  14. […] See additional Veils from the May, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal at A Hundred Years Ago. […]

  15. They are so lovely. Maybe a new bride today would consider wearing that kind of veil!

  16. My veil was ridiculous. A hat with an attached veil in back. That’s OK. But my mother wouldn’t come to the ceremony (she said) if I wore a veil, and my future mother-in-law wouldn’t come (she said) if I didn’t wear a veil. The milliner tried a compromise, but I thought it still was a little too long — looked like a wedding vail flowing down the back. So she took her scissors to it, and I had a hat with a snipped off veil sticking out stiffly behind. Maybe I’ll post a photo someday on my blog.

    • Whew, it sounds like you were in the middle of a lot of stuff. The planning process for weddings can be so difficult. It brings together the traditions and opinions of two families–and the young couple needs to somehow cut through all the craziness to get to the altar.

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