The bride's veil goes back to an ancient tradition in antiquity, when the young man threw a sheet over the girl's head in order to carry her off from her village and marry her. Over time, the tradition changed, the bride wearing a veil so that her husband would not see her before they were officially engaged. This meant that the groom gave his consent without taking account of his betrothed's physical appearance.
The veil, often in white tulle, symbolises above all purity and virginity.
The veil is worn by the bride. At the ceremony, during the exchange of vows, she can lift it when she hears the words: "You may kiss the bride". The veil is a potent symbol as it gives protection from the evil eye, the devil and jealousy.
The bridesmaids stuck a pin in the bride's veil to try to find a husband before the year was out. Later, at the end of the wedding ceremony, it was the custom for the bride to cut her veil into ribbons for giving to her guests as a souvenir and good luck charm.
Today, this tradition survives in the form of giving guests little pieces of the same tulle that was used for the veil, together with sugared almonds as a souvenir of this very special day and to thank them for being there.