Fourteenth: A Fairytale Bride

Natalie Lyszyk came to to re-design her mother’s vintage veil into something current she could wear on her wedding day. Natalie shared the traditions of her Ukrainian culture but little did we know that in the end, she would become a fairytale bride.

Wedding Photography by Milton Gil

While the designs I create are quite significant for the bride, what I receive in return is invaluable. With each new client, I continue to learn about wedding customs and fashion traditions from different faiths and cultures.
— Marie Hunt
Natalie and Kile were married on September, 8th 2018. At St. Andrew Memorial Church, a Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral in South Bound Brook,NJ. It is the mother church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.

Natalie and Kile were married on September, 8th 2018. At St. Andrew Memorial Church, a Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral in South Bound Brook,NJ. It is the mother church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.

Natalie scheduled a consultation to see if her mother’s vintage wedding veil could be re-designed into a veil that would work with her fashion forward style, which included a gorgeous cape found at Kleinfeld in NYC.

I didn’t even know to have a cape was an option. It never crossed my mind. I went to Kleinfeld to try on dresses and as we walked around my aunt saw it hanging. We had no idea it was a cape at first. But when I tried it on, there was no question that I needed that cape!
— Natalie Lyszyk

Tradition is significant to Natalie, and she wanted to incorporate a part of her mother’s wedding day into her own. Re-designing her mom’s veil into a piece that she can pass down to future generations was her wish.

Annette Lyszyk, Natalie’s mom, married on November 21, 1987.

Annette Lyszyk, Natalie’s mom, married on November 21, 1987.

By coincidence, Natalie happened to pose the same way for a photo on her wedding day.

By coincidence, Natalie happened to pose the same way for a photo on her wedding day.

There are always challenges when I design a veil from a vintage veil. Holes, spots, and wrinkles are often things I need to deal with. In the case of Annette’s veil, I had very little fabric to work with for the new design. Natalie wanted her veil to gently flow into the cape and be very sheer.

Ukrainian wedding traditions begin at home and include blessings from the parents and grandparents. Natalie’s grandmother blesses her with Barvinok dipped in Holy Water. Barvinok is a sort of periwinkle that is very common in Ukraine, and it is a symbol of love and purity.


In the Ukrainian tradition, the father of the bride does not “give away” the bride. The ceremony begins at the rear of the church once the bride and groom enter arm-in-arm willingly and as equal partners. The priest meets them with a blessing of the rings. Natalie and Kile exchange rings, and the priest leads them to the altar, symbolizing that God is leading them into matrimony.


Natalie and Kile’s hands are joined together in a sign of unity. The priest then leads the bound couple around the altar three times in a circle, which symbolizes that marriage is never-ending. These are the first steps the couple takes as husband and wife.


The purpose of crowns is to signify that the bride and groom have just become the King and Queen of their newly created family, ruling side by side. Long ago, the bride and groom wore their crowns for an entire week. They would return to church on the seventh day to have the crown removing ceremony—another reason to celebrate!


The Brama (or gates in English) stops the bride and groom from entrance until a bribe is paid. Natalie and Kile were stopped at the doors of their wedding reception. They paid the bribe in the form of vodka!


The wedding reception begins with a ceremony of welcoming. The parents meet the newlyweds at the door with a tray of symbolic gifts of bread, salt, honey, and wine. The newly formed families unite in a toast. Only then does the master of ceremonies announce the bride and groom. Wedding bread is presented to the married couple to welcome them.


At the end of the night, Natalie’s mom removed her veil and replaced it with a shawl once worn by her great-grandmother, signifying leaving her single status and becoming a married woman. Folk songs are sung while the bride calls on each unmarried bridesmaid for a brief dance. Natalie places her veil upon her bridesmaids as a wish that they will find their life partner.

When Natalie shared all of her wedding customs with me for this blog, I wished I was at her wedding. There is something so beautiful about tradition. I am grateful that I am asked to design for my clients which also leads me to the unknown and to learning.
— Marie
You won’t believe what Natalie thought of next!

Photography by Amy Rose

Shortly after their wedding Natalie came up with the idea of taking a trip to England.

I always wanted to get married in a castle ever since I was a little. I wanted a fairytale wedding with a big princess dress. My husband is from England, but we married in the States. I casually came up with the idea to do a photoshoot in England.
— Natalie

Three months after their nuptials Natalie and Kile packed a suitcase and threw in their wedding attire heading for Birmingham, England.

There were no real challenges or obstacles besides bringing my dress over. I knew I would only wear the dress this one last time, so I didn’t mind packing it into one of those big plastic storage bags and vacuuming the air out. It was easy to travel with, and when I arrived in England I hung it up, and the weight of the dress took the wrinkles out.
Natalie and Kile-95.jpg
I absolutely loved the shoot in England. We didn’t have the stresses of a wedding day to interrupt us. I didn’t have the glammed up look that I had on my wedding day. It was simple and it was amazing!
Bride-of Kenilworth-2.jpg
Groom-of Kenilowrth-castle.jpg
The day was cold and windy. My hair was flying everywhere, but we had so much fun. The photographer did a great job and captured our genuine smiles and laughs throughout the shoot.

Natalie shared so many beautiful traditions at the beginning of this blog. Her spontaneous idea of a photoshoot in England is one of the coolest ideas in my history of bridal design. She lived a fairytale. For those brides who wish it isn’t over…pack your gown in a plastic bag, suck out the air, grab your hubby’s hand, and board a plane to your fairyland!


Next month on the Fourteenth:

A Wheel Bride in the Wheel World