Both traditional materials and exotic ones- seashells
and gears- adorn Stacie Tamaki's bridal veils.
JOSE MERCURY NEWS - SV Magazine
August 29, 1999
in nature, a veil traditionally covers a bride's face as she walks down
the aisle toward her future. At the end of the ceremony, it's lifted back
for the wedding kiss and then the bride turns to take her first walk as
a newlywed, allowing all to see her radiance.
all that, it seldom gets the consideration a wedding gown does. It's an
afterthought, says Stacie Tamaki, a bridal veil specialist. "[Brides]
know they need to do it, but they push it aside and then they panic."
should know. Owner of Happily Ever After, a bridal studio in San Jose,
she has carved out a niche for herself as the only person in the Bay Area
specializing in custom bridal veils.
find her working in her studio on several commissions at once, surrounded
by layers of tulle, jars of crystals and seed beads, reams of satin, boxes
of bobby pins and spools of wire. She'll take a month to make a simple
headpiece. Fancy veils take two to three. In a pinch, however, she has
whipped one out in just days. Her personal record: She once turned out
a headpiece overnight for a desperate bride.
fashions come and go. Tiaras are and the vintage look are big this year.
But some brides eschew fashion for a chance to make a personal statement.
For a wedding in Hawaii, Tamaki decorated a headband with little seashells,
starfish and Austrian crystals, twisted on wire to look like coral.
bride, inspired by Fergie, who had anchors embroidered on her wedding
gown in honor of Prince Andrew's Royal Navy career, wanted Tamaki to incorporate
her fiancee's occupation into the wedding get-up. Problem was, her fiance
was an engineer and she wanted tiny gears embroidered on her headpiece.
didn't quaver. "I said, 'Let's find real gears and paint them white.'"
It was the fiance, ever the engineer, who saved the day: He used a laser
cutter to make little white plastic gears that Tamaki hand stitched to
that was not Tamaki's most unusual project. Jill Bertaldo of Redwood City
wanted a veil for her best friend Amber. Amber is a golden retriever.
Feeling a bit dopey, Bertoldo put her request to the unflappable Tamaki.
"She was sure she could figure something out. We measured the dimensions
between Amber's ears and she made a tiny headpiece and a veil, kept in
place with Velcro and elastic," Bertaldo says.
was a model bridesmaid and managed to keep the veil on her head. Even
so the minister refused to let her into the church. So she got a special
spot in the reception line. "It was definitely a hit," said
when Tamaki was to wed, it was definitely not a case of the shoemakers
children without shoes. She spent 11 months handbeading her gown.
working with customers, Tamaki attends wedding gown fittings to ensure
that colors and details match. She advises customers on practical considerations
they may have never anticipated. Tamaki knows, for example, that a bride
needs to move freely at the reception, so she'll often make a detachable
longer section, or a headpiece that is attractive after the veil is removed.
will tell you, if you'll listen, that a 90-inch veil simply won't work
outdoors. One bride insisted anyway; later, her mother reported to Tamaki
that wind caught the veil and blew it straight into the air at just the
moment the bride's father kissed her on the cheek. She should have listened
to Tamaki.Tamaki stocks finished headpieces priced from $90 to $1,200
in her studio. Most custom orders fall between $200 to $400, or they'll
cost upward of $700. She works by appointment. Telephone (408) 559-4979.
Gottshalk is style writer for the Mercury News.
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