CLIMAX, Minn. – Bailey Solheim will carry on a 99-year family tradition when she accentuates her May wedding to Mason Grimes with a veil that has been worn by generations of family brides.
The 5-foot-long lace veil, handmade by Grimes great-great-great-grandmother Paulina Rickford, was first worn on December 14, 1922, at the daughter’s wedding from Rickford, Hazel, with Mansfield Ronningen. The ceremony took place on the family farm near Binford, ND
Solheim, who grew up in Climax, and Grimes, of Fisher, Minnesota, are high school sweethearts. The two met at a co-op sport practice when she was 14 and he was 16. They will be married in a yard in Moorhead and live on their farm near Climax, where Solheim runs home day care. Grimes, who works in Climax-Shelly Public Schools, will continue to teach physical education.
Bonnie Grimes, Solheim’s future mother-in-law, was reluctant to ask Solheim if she wanted to include the veil in her marriage because she didn’t want to put pressure on her, Grimes said. However, she decided to go ahead, despite her reluctance, to give another generation the opportunity to be a part of family history.
âI thought I might as well continue the tradition,â said Bonnie Grimes.
The most recent bride to wear the veil was Bonnie Grimes ‘daughter-in-law – Mason Grimes’ mother – former Karla Wynne, who married Jamie Grimes on April 30, 1993, at Augustana Lutheran Church in Grand Forks.
A few decades earlier, Bonnie Grimes, whose maiden name was Naas, wore it on December 9, 1967, when she was married to Ed Grimes.
âI tripled it and put it under my helmet,â Bonnie Grimes said.
In 1943, Grimes’ mother Harriett Ronningen wore it to her marriage to Lester Naas. A wedding photo of a bride Harriet Naas shows her wearing the crown of the veil as a headband, with the lace cascading behind her.
The veil is one of Grimes’ most treasured memories and she values ââboth its longevity and the bond he has with family members. She was elated when Solheim said “yes” to her question about including the veil in her marriage, even before Grimes had finished his sentence.
âI’m all smothered and I feel very honored,â Grimes said.
The veil adds no stress to Solheim’s wedding plans, Solheim said. On the contrary, she is honored to be included in the tradition.
âIt’s just another detail that I like to think about,â she said.
Solheim plans to have photos taken with the veil and display it at her wedding. She will also display several Grimes family photos that show the different brides wearing the veil. The photo collage will feature one from Rickford, the maker of the veil, who is pictured sitting among family members.
Mason Grimes is also happy that his fiancÃ© wants to share the family history in the making.
âFew families have something so special that they can hold onto, pass on like this and celebrate,â Grimes said.