Home Question Box Do brides wear veils because of Mary? By Ginny Kubitz Moyer July 30, 2012 This custom has its roots in ancient symbolism, not in Mary. Throughout history and across different cultures, women have worn veils as a sign of modesty or purity. Mary is usually depicted with a veil because as a Jewish woman of the first century, she would have worn a veil anytime she went outside the home and was seen by those outside her immediate family. Traditionally speaking, the custom of a bride wearing a veil also has its roots in the idea of modesty and purity. The veil was commonly seen as a symbol of the bride’s virginity (thus it was a big moment when the groom lifted the veil off the bride’s face for a kiss). But this symbolism did not begin with Mary.