Fourteenth: The Lace Loving Bride

I admit I am a lace lover. Jeff and I married in June of 1982, at the end of my first year of fashion design studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I designed my wedding gown. The train on my gown had over100 yards of hand gathered lace.

Finding my daughter Brielle leaning in the direction of lace fabrications for her wedding gown and veil didn't surprise me. She was looking for a classic, timeless design. I love combining laces when creating and so does Lea-Ann Belter, the designer of Brielle's wedding gown. Mixing lace types adds dimension and texture to a garment.

Photography by Allison Kuhn

 Lea-Ann used both Chantilly and Alençon lace to design the bodice of Brielle's wedding dress.

Lea-Ann used both Chantilly and Alençon lace to design the bodice of Brielle's wedding dress.

 I used both Alençon scalloped trim and a soft Leavers lace for Brielle's two-tier wedding veil design.

I used both Alençon scalloped trim and a soft Leavers lace for Brielle's two-tier wedding veil design.

 My dress design for the wedding revolved around a sole piece of French lace I fell in love with.

My dress design for the wedding revolved around a sole piece of French lace I fell in love with.

 Brielle's veil was something never designed before. I wanted the world to know she was special.

Brielle's veil was something never designed before. I wanted the world to know she was special.

 Her two long cathedral tiers needed special handling before their remarkable trip down the very long aisle.

Her two long cathedral tiers needed special handling before their remarkable trip down the very long aisle.

I have always loved lace. Growing up in the shop, I always thought I wanted to wear a lace mantilla when I got married.
— Brielle Hunt

"I knew I wanted a simple and traditional wedding gown. I felt that my veil and headpiece were where I could jazz things up. The two tiers were so unique and unlike any veil I had ever seen. Once we decided to get married in the chapel I knew I wanted something dramatic."

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The highest level of femininity and grace in lace was achieved during the first quarter of the eighteenth century. France, the supreme dictator of fashion, produced lace and most of the terminology is still in use today.
— Lace The Poetry of Fashion by Bella Neksler

Lace has adorned royalty for centuries. The laces we use in design at Headpiece.com are the finest in the world. They are made in a tiny village in France, on 100 year old looms in small increments of five meters in length.

Our French laces are made by the same lace maker who loomed the delicate laces for the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton when she married Prince William.

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Once informed, a bride can differentiate between a quality lace and mass produced lace. We have pictured a few of our favorite laces below along with defining characterstics.

Leavers lace

 Delicate lace made on a Leavers machine which was invented by John Leavers in 1813.

Delicate lace made on a Leavers machine which was invented by John Leavers in 1813.

chantilly lace

 Chantilly is an extremely fine bobbin lace. It is so soft you can sleep in it. 

Chantilly is an extremely fine bobbin lace. It is so soft you can sleep in it. 

alençon lace

 Alençon lace is a corded lace made on a sheer netting. It is pronounced (a-lonh-sohn).

Alençon lace is a corded lace made on a sheer netting. It is pronounced (a-lonh-sohn).

guipure lace

 Guipure is a heavy lace created over a coarse mesh ground. It is pronounced (gee-poor).

Guipure is a heavy lace created over a coarse mesh ground. It is pronounced (gee-poor).

When shopping for a lace bridal veil you will recognize quality by noting a few things:

  1. Price point. Authentic laces come with a high price.
  2. Feel the lace. Fold it in your hand. A quality lace will not feel coarse, but soft no matter the lace type.
  3. The best laces are loomed in small increments and not sold in 50 yard spools.
  4. The delicate fringe on the border of the lace is called eyelash. This is a sign of quality and not to be cut off, as a few of my clients have requested.
  5. If you are shopping for a lace bridal veil. Check for stitching. The lace should be hand or machine stitched. There should never be any sign of glue. A true designer does not design a lace veil with a glue bottle.

Lauryn Stengel always knew she wanted a cathedral lace veil.

Photography by Ben Lau

"My mother had one, and I knew I wanted to emulate that on the day of my wedding, however, I wanted to do it my way. I was looking for something that fit with my dress and overall feel. I didn't want something I would need to fuss over or worry about laying perfectly. I wanted something carefree and just the right amount of wild!"

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"I remember how I felt in the moment this photo was taken. Looking at my veil, admiring the delicate lace and seeing how it tied everything together, was the first time I ever felt truly bridal. Most women have their bridal moment when they select their dress, surrounded by an excited group of family and friends. For me that moment came alone in my bridal suite after my veil was placed on my head, watching it lay perfectly, albeit wildly, over my dress."

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"The knowledge you have of lace was well above any other place I went which was so helpful for someone like me who had no knowledge base. The quality, attention to detail, personal touches, and recommendations were unrivaled."

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"My entire veil was bespoke--based off one of Marie's store designs and customized to match my dress, headpiece and jewelry. I cannot imagine there being a higher level of customization unless you flew to Europe and made the lace yourself!"

 We designed Lauryn's "Janel" headpiece and added white opal and a touch of pearl. Her veil was delicately edged with pieces of hand-cut Alençon and narrow Leavers lace. The final touch was the tedious application of Swarovski stones and white opals.

We designed Lauryn's "Janel" headpiece and added white opal and a touch of pearl. Her veil was delicately edged with pieces of hand-cut Alençon and narrow Leavers lace. The final touch was the tedious application of Swarovski stones and white opals.

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I love how creativity creates a chain in the world of bridal design. Bridal accessory design is often the final step before the bride faces the camera lens. The works of Jeff Tisman stood out when he photographed one of my favorite brides, Brianna Rendine. Jeff Tisman considers his style a mix between fashion and rock and roll.

Seeing the ordinary and making it extraordinary, seeing the light and the angles, and looking at things from every perspective, except of course the one everyone else sees, are the reasons I love taking pictures.
— Jeff Tisman
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Jeff began his career at a young age assisting photographer, Danny Sanchez. Danny introduced Jeff to his good friend, music industry photographer, Mark Weiss. At age seventeen, Jeff's first assignment with Mark was shooting Bon Jovi for the cover and promotional shot for their album Slippery When Wet. After seven years, Jeff went out on his own and toured with various bands and met amazing people. His images were published all over the world and on magazine covers as he spent weeks at a time on the road with the bands. Jeff discovered his true passion when a friend who worked for Atlantic Records asked him to shoot her wedding. He said, "I have never shot a wedding before." She replied, "That's ok. I've never been married before. Shoot it just like you do your Rock and Roll."

Brianna Rendine came into Headpiece.com as a spirited bride-to-be who was edgy, fashionable, artsy, and open to ideas.

Photography by Jeff Tisman

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Brianna wanted no veil. Her custom headpiece was the only accent she desired to add the artistic touch she was looking for. She wanted her headpiece to lay perfectly across her forehead. We created the stunning "Brina" headpiece with her in mind.

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This black and white photo is one of my favorite images through my entire design career. Emotion, art, edge, passion, and love are all captured at their peak.

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I was thrilled when I heard Jeff Tisman would be photographing my client, Laura Kholodenko. Laura was the perfect definition of a "lace lover".

It was not until I picked my dress that I knew I had to have a lace veil to match the lace detail in my dress. I wanted something that was elegant and delicate but would also compliment the shape of my dress.
— Laura Kholodenko
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"Marie was able to create the perfect amount of volume, length, and lace detail so that my vision came to life. It was put together flawlessly. I knew from our very first meeting that my veil would be a completely custom product. Marie was patient and brought so many ideas to the table. She is a perfectionist!"

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“ I wanted a veil that would show the intricacy of the back of my dress but that added drama and length. The way the sunlight shines through these photos shows the shape and curves of my veil design.”
— Laura

Laura's veil was quite intricate to design. Her lace was hand-cut, graduated, and perfectly mirrored on each side. We determined a precise start point for the lace, and the results were spectacular! The two photos below, taken by Jeff, are among the top ten in my designer life.

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"The beautiful grounds at our venue, TPC Jasna Polana, remind us of the grounds of the Palace of Versailles in France where Brian and I vacationed together."

 "This was one of our first photos taken after our ceremony. It was a quiet moment between Brian and me. We reflected on our marriage and the future ahead. I love how you can see the details of the elegant lace trim fluttering through the gentle breeze."

"This was one of our first photos taken after our ceremony. It was a quiet moment between Brian and me. We reflected on our marriage and the future ahead. I love how you can see the details of the elegant lace trim fluttering through the gentle breeze."

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Once a lace lover...always a lace lover! For me, I have been around lace since my design career was forming. My specialization while studying at F.I.T. was Intimate Apparel. My first job out of design school was designing lingerie. I then went on to design bras and panties. Lace has never left my soul. Exhilaration ensues when I see the newest collections from France, but nothing tops seeing my final designs through the hearts and minds of my lace loving brides and their photographers.

Next month on the Fourteenth:

Meet The Bride Trainer