Like a Belgian lace veil, my business has been passed down to me. My mother-in-law was a very successful bridal designer and owner of Tica Designs based in Birmingham Alabama. Tica fell in love with Belgian lace veils while on a trip to Brugge, Belgium. She began working with a Belgian lace family and started importing veils to the United States. She advertised her designs and veils in the first Martha Stewart Magazine. At that point, America fell in love with Belgian Lace veils and we continue the tradition today as Mariée Lace Veils.
I had my first experience with Belgian lace when I became the fourth bride to adorn the Sydnor Family Veil. What a true honor to be a part of such a rooted tradition. Ten years and three children later, I decided to ask Tica to send me some of her old files regarding Belgian lace. I became engrossed in the business and captivated by the history of the lace craft. I wanted to learn everything I could about the practice and present day process regarding the creation of the veils. I started working closely with our lace sources in Belgian and began importing custom handmade veils back to the United States. Today, my time is spent juggling home life with three young boys, and helping brides choose the most exquisite wedding accessory they will ever wear.
Tica and I on my wedding day June 2005
At the end of the 19th century, there was a lace boom. Women of every class wanted to possess lace. As the demand for lace was exceptionally high, the commercialization of lace was necessary. Therefore, a new type of lace was introduced at the end of the 19th century in Belgium. It was called Princess lace.
The introduction of this lace was an immediate success. By the end of the 19th century, the royal family of Belgium ordered the most wonderful Princess laces. Queen Maria-Hendrika was a dedicated fan of it, and the Belgian royals were so pleased that they granted the permission to call this Belgian lace Princess lace. In the past, it was sometimes also called Royal lace or Imperial lace as the courts of Europe ordered these laces.
Princess lace was mostly a home industry. This was very comfortable for the lace makers. In 1993, there were still 15 lace merchants who ordered lace makers to make Princess lace. But today, the number of Princess lace merchants and lace makers is decreasing, to only a few. Today Princess lace is a unique piece of art that, if passed down from generation to generation, will be treasured forever.