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Bride from Climax, Minn., to include family veil in wedding, carrying on a 99-year-old tradition

At her upcoming wedding, Bailey Solheim plans to have pictures taken with a veil that's nearly a century old. Solheim is marrying Mason Grimes, whose great-great-great-grandmother made the veil.

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Bonnie Grimes and Bailey Solheim of Climax, MN, talk about ways to incorporate the family veil into Bailey and Mason Grime's upcoming wedding. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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CLIMAX, Minn. – Bailey Solheim will carry on a 99-year-old family tradition when she accents her May wedding to Mason Grimes with a veil that’s been worn by generations of his family’s brides.

The 5-feet-long lace veil, handmade by Grimes’ great-great-great-grandmother, Paulina Rickford, was first worn at the Dec. 14, 1922, wedding of Rickford’s daughter, Hazel, to Mansfield Ronningen. The ceremony was held on the family farm near Binford, N.D.

Solheim, who grew up in Climax, and Grimes, from nearby Fisher, Minn., are high school sweethearts. The two met during a cooperative sports practice when she was 14 and he was 16. They will be married in a courtyard in Moorhead, and live on their farm near Climax, where Solheim does in-home day care. Grimes, who works at Climax-Shelly Public Schools, will continue to teach physical education.

Bonnie Grimes, Solheim's future grandmother-in-law, was hesitant to ask Solheim if she wanted to include the veil in her wedding because she didn’t want to pressure her, Grimes said. However, she decided to forge ahead, despite her misgivings, to give another generation an opportunity to be part of the family history

“I thought I might as well continue the tradition,” Bonnie Grimes said.

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The most recent bride to wear the veil was Bonnie Grimes’ daughter-in-law – Mason Grimes' mother – the former Karla Wynne, who married Jamie Grimes on April 30, 1993, at Augustana Lutheran Church in Grand Forks.

A few decades before that, Bonnie Grimes , whose maiden name was Naas, wore it on Dec. 9, 1967, when she was wedded to Ed Grimes.

“I tripled it up and put it under my headpiece,” said Bonnie Grimes.

In 1943, Grimes’ mother, Harriett Ronningen, wore it at her wedding to Lester Naas. A wedding photo of a newly-married Harriet Naas shows her wearing the crown of the veil like a headband, with the lace cascading behind her.

The veil is one of Grimes’ most precious keepsakes and she appreciates both its longevity and the connection it has to family members. She was delighted when Solheim said “yes” to her question about including the veil in her wedding, even before Grimes finished her sentence.

“I get all choked up, and I feel very honored," Grimes said.

The veil doesn’t add any stress to Solheim’s wedding plans, Solheim said. To the contrary, she’s honored to be included in the tradition.

“It’s just another detail that I love to think about,” she said.

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Solheim plans to have pictures taken with the veil and to display it at her wedding. She also will display several Grimes family photos that show the various brides wearing the veil. Included in the collage of photos will be one of Rickford, the veil’s maker, who is pictured seated in the midst of family members.

Mason Grimes also is gratified that his fiancé wants to share in family history in the making.

“Not many families have something so special they can hold on to, and pass on like this and celebrate,” Grimes said.

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Bailey Solheim and Mason Grimes, of Climax, MN, who will be married May 28, are honored that the family veil will be part of the wedding. The veil was first worn at a 1922 wedding. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Related Topics: FAMILYWEDDINGSGFH INSTAGRAM
Ann is a journalism veteran with nearly 40 years of reporting and editing experiences on a variety of topics including agriculture and business. Story ideas or questions can be sent to Ann by email at: abailey@agweek.com or phone at: 218-779-8093.
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