(illustration via Antique Lace Heirlooms)
The wedding veil.
Of all the bride’s possible accessories, this one is probably the single most controversial. To some, a woman is simply not a bride without one. To others it’s a symbol of virginity, lost to those who have sowed a wild oat or two before settling down and getting married. To yet others it’s a vicious reminder of the legal inequalities that for centuries kept women second-class citizens with no rights to their own property – or even their own children – until enough rabble rousers of both sexes managed to get women the vote and other legal protections.
Me? I just never liked wearing one. I had to in a couple plays I was in over the years, and I found the experience annoying. When I was planning my wedding, I knew from day one that there was no way in a million years of llama stampedes that I was putting one on my head again, if the choice was up to me.
Historically, the veil did start out as a specific requirement of all brides. In ancient Rome, it didn’t matter whether or not you were a virgin: if you were getting married, you wore a flame-colored veil. Period. First marriage or fifteenth, you wore it. Like another color better? Tough. It was flame-colored.
Over the centuries, though, this changed. Bridal headgear tended to be either a festive ring of flowers or else a version of whatever the currently accepted headgear of women in that area during that time. Brides wore hennins, gabled hoods, strands of jewels, or hats depending on when and where they were getting married.
And then at the very end of the eighteenth century, a world-wide mania for classical Greek and Roman styles hit everything from Architecture to women’s fashions. The veil was back for everyday wear. Soon it began being used for brides – in particular first time brides – again. And this is where things get odd.
Eventually fashions morphed into less and less classical styles and into the start of the Victorian sillhouette with the nipped in waist and very full skirt. The veil was replaced by fussy bonnets… but many first-time brides continued to wear veils. The bridal veil is the fashion version, in many ways, of an insect trapped in amber.
Whatever your personal feelings about the veil, it’s okay. Wear it. Don’t wear it. It doesn’t determine whether or not you’re a virgin or a tool of the patriarchy. You’re just as married whether or not you put a piece of lace and tulle on your head. The only way it really matters is whether you choose what makes you happy.
Weddings do usually require some professionals. Many use them for nearly everything short of reciting the vows – and that works for many couples just fine. Others, though, prefer to do most of these jobs themselves, or to have them done by volunteers. Some would prefer to hand it over to pros, but are forced by lack of funds to do it all themselves.
So I’m curious. Of the following list, which two items would you choose to have done professionally if the rest absolutely had to be done by volunteers?
Set up and clean up of the site
Making wedding clothes
Decorations other than flowers
Remember, there is no right or wrong answer here. There’s only what works for you.
A new professional has appeared on the wedding planning horizon… well, ahead of it, really. This smiling lady shown above is Sarah Pease, and she plans proposals. In fact, she calls herself the Proposal Planner. She’s one of a small but growing number of professional proposal planners. According to her Facebook page:
we’re the go-to source for men who want to create the perfect proposal. Not only do we know what girls want in their proposal, we know exactly what will knock their stilettos off.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would have wanted Mr. Twistie to go to a pro to figure out how to create some spectacular EVENT of a proposal. I like the fact that he chose the time and place on his own and said his own words.
There are a lot of people who wouldn’t have found Mr. Twistie’s proposal all that romantic. The setting wasn’t spectacular. In fact it was a family-style restaurant that still happened to be open when we got out of the theater ravenously hungry. The words weren’t poetic. In fact, it took me a while to get him to say enough words to figure out what he was trying to say.
But it was him and it him telling me in his own way that he’d thought hard about pleasing me.
To me, that was perfect. I didn’t need bells and whistles and hot air balloons. All I needed was for him to let me know that I come first with him.
And that doesn’t cost money.
My eyes don’t even know quite where to go on this one. Do I focus on the strips of colored… I think it might be lace? hanging down diagonally yet limply from the various layers of the dress? If so, do I watch the ones going left or right? Should I focus on the heinous belt? Or maybe the funky little hat consisting of a blue fabric rose and a sad peacock feather?
I can guarantee one thing: make your friends wear this and they will drink themselves under the tables to forget they ever knew you.
In short: HATE!
On January 4, Life With Archie #16 will feature the interracial same-sex marriage of war hero Kevin Keller to his physical therapist, Clay Walker.
While I admit I’ve never been that big on comic books so my knowledge may be somewhat lacking, this is the first time I’ve heard of a same-sex marriage in one. And the fact that it’s Archie, that inoffensive bastion of childhood innocence and suburban Leave it to Beaver golly gee whizness only makes this a more powerful statement, in my view.
So congratulations, Kevin and Clay! You may be imaginary, but your love is a big step along the way to marriage equality.
Now if only Archie would make up his mind between Betty and Veronica. You’d think seventy years would be plenty of time.