What is your most memorable wedding?
Our designer Jean's own wedding in Sicily of course! Not only her perfect day and the start of a wonderful new life with husband Dave, but also the inspiration for us to set up Crystal Heirlooms. Jean created her own, very unique headpiece that incorporated pearls from her Mum's own wedding plus small iconic jewels representing Dave's career as a helicopter pilot, some of the special shared memories leading up to the wedding, and not forgetting their 'babies' in the form of Harley, Morris and Flora the cats!
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Exquisite - unique - true vintage - ethical - sustainable
What about your business are you most proud of?
Creating exactly what you want for your special day - even if you're not sure yourself to begin with! Working with you to design and handcraft accessories that you love to wear, are comfortable, that perfectly complement your dress and wedding style, that make you feel truly special all day long, and that you'll want to keep forever!
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Don't buy your hair accessory until you've chosen your dress and worked out how you will wear your hair. With those two key decisions made you can really let your imagination fly, so allow time to shop around for the finishing touches. And remember that your headdress is the one thing that will be seen in every photo of you on the day - so it needs to be perfect!
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
The bride very much wanted to revive her look for the reception but a second dress was way beyond her budget. Instead she changed her headdress and created a completely fresh new look, with a contemporary tiara and veil for the church and a flurry of crystals and feathers for the reception!
Describe your typical process with a couple.
Your bespoke accessory will be designed and made by our creative Jean at her millhouse in the Charente Valley in France. The process starts with a video call or Zoom so that Jean can get to get to know you and your aspirations. We can make adjustments to pieces in our ready-to-wear-collections, or we can start from scratch with a bespoke design. Once the design for your unique accessory is agreed we’ll send photos of suggested vintage jewels and embellishments (and samples if appropriate) and whilst its being made we’ll send progress pictures to make sure you’re happy with everything. Please try to allow 8 weeks for a bespoke headdress, cape or sash - although we will always try to work to a tighter deadline if you need us to!
What do you love most about your job?
Feedback from our brides! Seeing how stunning they looked on their special day and having the opportunity to play a small part in making everything perfect.
What is your favourite style of wedding dress?
Art Deco or 1940s satin dresses, cut on the bias to drape beautifully. Simple, elegant and so feminine!
What is the best way to incorporate "Something Blue" into the wedding outfit?
A tiny blue crystal, pearl or vintage motif worked into your wedding headdress!
What is your favourite wedding dress of all time?
Norman Hartnell's embroidered silk satin dress for Margaret Whigham, Duchess of Argyll, for her marriage to Mr Charles Sweeny in the Brompton Oratory on 21 February 1933.