Picture Perfect: A Veil Made with Love

OK. This one was a doozy to write, so bear with me.

So my veil. Originally, I was 100% in the anti-veil camp. I felt that they looked too formal for the feel of our wedding, and I wanted a fun headband or hair clip instead. Now you’re up to speed.

Friday before Mother’s Day 2013. I was on my regular Skype date with my mom (to remind you, I live in North Carolina and my parents live in Pennsylvania), and after a brief chit chat about what was going on with the wedding plans, she said something to me I’ll never forget, and I had to watch her face while she said it:

“I have breast cancer.”

I cried, she cried, my dad in the other room probably cried but didn’t show it.

My mom is amazingly awesome and tackles obstacles head on. This was no exception—a month later, she was undergoing a double mastectomy, which she and my dad opted for to minimize the chances of recurrence. Unfortunately, when they dissected her armpit lymph nodes, she tested positive, so they had to remove all of them—putting her at risk to develop lymphedema. Obstacle number two.

Obstacle number three came when they said their initial biopsy reports were wrong and these were much more aggressive tumors than they originally thought, and she would need chemotherapy for six months. Her only concern was if it could wait until after the wedding so she could have hair in photographs.

Right after her initial diagnosis, she mentioned to me that she needed a project to keep her busy, and did I want her to make my veil? How do you say no to that, hive? The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of the veil for two big reasons: a) when else in your life do you get to wear a veil? and b) if it kept my mom busy AND provided me with a memorable keepsake I was all for it.

During the four months these events took place, my mom was painstakingly hand sewing lace to the edges of a piece of tulle. Luckily, I was able to be measured one weekend when I was visiting for BM Hamster’s wedding.

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Fast forward to wedding day—when it came time to put the veil on, it was definitely more emotional than I had bargained for.

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I only wore this for the ceremony and photos, but I loved it. I know it meant a lot to my mom, and it sure meant a lot to me. I’m going to keep it safe and hopefully it will keep well so my (way in the future) daughter may have a chance at wearing it at her wedding.

Did you have any special projects like this?

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Previously on Picture Perfect

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Mrs. Camera

Location:
Charlotte, NC/Charleston, SC
Wedding Date:
September 2013
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  1. Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 2:55 pm

    This is such a beautiful and emotional story. Thank you for sharing with us and I’m so happy your mom got to create something so lovely for you. Wishing her a speedy recovery!!

  2. Member
    mscamera 300 posts, Helper bee @ 3:03 pm

    wow, thank you everyone!! Mama Camera is doing great – she lost her hair, but has a pretty sassy little wig and a fantastic attitude :) She’s just about halfway done with chemo and then she’ll be home free!! Thank you all for all of your support, it means a lot.

  3. Member
    texasaggiemom 595 posts, Busy bee @ 6:53 pm

    Thanks for the update on your mom – I was just about to ask you to keep us posted, as I know many of us will be keeping your mother in our prayers. Sounds like she’s doing a great job of fighting it, and I’m so glad she was able to enjoy your wedding and see you in that gorgeous veil. Hugs from Texas!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Babeba, Guest @ 5:52 pm

    You should contact your local museum for advice on how to preserve your veil to make sure that it keeps forever! I know you say that hopefully it will keep well, but talking to a conservator will definitely get you some tips on how to store it so ‘hopefully’ is more of a certainty.

    I’m not an expert on textiles, but at a minimum I would say invest in a hollinger box and some acid-free tissue to store it in. Make sure that the tissue is supporting the whole veil and that it’s touching itself as little as possible. Store it in whatever part of your house is the coolest/most temperature consistent, away from drafts and the basement floor (in case of flooding). Mark the box with the contents so you don’t have to open it to see what’s inside and it doesn’t get lost/forgotten.

    I would also write down the story of your veil on acid-free paper with either pencil or India ink (pigma micron pens are good for this) and put it in the box, so that of something happens to YOU before any future daughter of yours has a chance to see it, she might still know how special a time this was for you and your Mom. And do it now, while all the details are fresh and emotional and so it actually gets done! Also, when you and your husband have kids, you should put details about this and any other important family stuff you want them to eventually have into your will so they know to look for it if/when something were to happen to you.

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    chris, Guest @ 10:53 am

    Oh @Mrs Camera and Momma Camera– what a beautiful story. If I had a daughter I would want her to be just like you! Momma, prayers for total and permanent recovery :) and the veil ain’t bad either ;)

  6. Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:14 am

    Your mother is so amazing. What a beautiful story!

  7. Member
    roadtrip 803 posts, Busy bee @ 12:23 pm

    I hope your Mom is doing well with her treatments. Best wishes to her for a speedy recovery and no recurrence!

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