Fourteenth: Wax Flower Headpiece Designs

There is so much I love about my work. Vintage bridal headpiece restoration and re-design is my passion. Working with vintage wax flowers is my obsession! 


Amy's Wax Flower Headpiece

Mary Pelak married in 1945. Years ago, Mary's husband passed away unexpectedly. Through her grief, she ripped up her wedding gown. All that remained was her headpiece and veil. Her granddaughter, Amy, had hopes of using the wax flowers from her grandmother's headpiece to create something special for her wedding day. 

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In 2005, Amy brought the two tiny bundles of flowers saved from her grandmother's headpiece to Headpiece.com with a bit of skepticism. Amy had no idea these precious beauties were made of wax. The stamens had yellowed, but the blossoms were in perfect condition.

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I had so many ideas for Amy! She hoped we could utilize the wax flowers to design a back piece. Working with vintage wax flowers is a tedious process. Often hidden cracks are discovered while handling the most delicate part of the blossom. 

 We wanted nothing to interfere with the beauty of the pearlized blossoms. It was important that the hand-designed millinery structure was almost invisible behind the wax flowers. The yellowed stamens were removed and replaced with beading. Adding handmade Swarovski crystal flowers and pearled loops provided a unique and open crystalized bouquet feel to Amy's headpiece.

We wanted nothing to interfere with the beauty of the pearlized blossoms. It was important that the hand-designed millinery structure was almost invisible behind the wax flowers. The yellowed stamens were removed and replaced with beading. Adding handmade Swarovski crystal flowers and pearled loops provided a unique and open crystalized bouquet feel to Amy's headpiece.

I remember my grandmother could barely speak when she saw the headpiece. She just said it looked beautiful and brushed it with her fingers and then held my hand. It was a special moment.
— Amy
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 In 2009, Amy's sister Dana wore the wax flower headpiece for her wedding, followed by their cousin Alissa in 2013.

In 2009, Amy's sister Dana wore the wax flower headpiece for her wedding, followed by their cousin Alissa in 2013.

 Maid of honor, Amy, helps her sister Dana get wedding ready. This photo was taken nine years ago, but Dana's hair and accessory style are still current.

Maid of honor, Amy, helps her sister Dana get wedding ready. This photo was taken nine years ago, but Dana's hair and accessory style are still current.

There were a few wax flowers left when I completed the original back-piece design! Alissa brought the five blossoms back to me to see if we could come up with a bridal accessory for her to change into at her wedding reception. A bridal brooch design was a perfect idea. The results were elegant and rich!

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Antoinette's Wax Flower Hairpins

This bridal portrait was taken in 1943. Antoinette had a very close relationship with her grandmother, Anna Caruso, and they shared an extraordinary bond. 

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She was an amazing woman, and when I knew she could not be physically present at my wedding, I wanted to wear her wedding dress and headpiece to honor her.
— Antoinette

Antoinette came to us with no time to spare, just three weeks before her wedding. 

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I discovered Headpiece.com after hearing Lia from Bliss Salon talk highly about your work. You were my first inquiry and my last. I felt safe and comfortable with you working on my grandmother’s headpiece.
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Antionette didn't have anything specific in mind when she came to Headpiece.com. She was looking for someone to help guide her on the possibilities.

 My idea for Antoinette was to create different pieces to give her the freedom to style them however she wished on her wedding day. She had gorgeous hair and tons of it!  I used freshwater pearl, smoked opal, Swarovski stones and 14KG to surround her original vintage wax and make it come alive.

My idea for Antoinette was to create different pieces to give her the freedom to style them however she wished on her wedding day. She had gorgeous hair and tons of it!  I used freshwater pearl, smoked opal, Swarovski stones and 14KG to surround her original vintage wax and make it come alive.

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When it comes to accessory design, I love to add a subtle accent piece to balance out a statement piece! Antoinette is so beautiful she could have worn this tiny piece all by itself.

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This picture fills me with emotion. I can only imagine how Antoinette's grandmother would have felt seeing her granddaughter wear her wedding gown lovingly and adorn her hair with her wax flowers.

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Antoinette's mother was a beautiful part of the design process. I think I love this aspect of my work so much because of the life stories that initiate the original design. 

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Jen's Wax Flower Bridal Brooch

Jen had been looking for a vintage-style headpiece and asked her mom in the UK, to keep an eye out for her. During their conversations, her mom mentioned that her grandma would be happy give Jen the headpiece she wore in 1960. Jen's mom had reservations that it might not be quite what Jen was looking for.

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My heart skipped a few beats when Jen opened the box and revealed this gorgeous piece of millinery. It was in pristine condition! Its only flaw was the heavy patina on the settings of the aurora borealis rhinestones. I felt this piece was breathtaking!

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When someone is working on such a sentimental piece, you need to be sure you can trust that person. It was clear that Marie knew what she was doing with both vintage and custom pieces.
— Jen

The most challenging part of my work is taking apart something so beautiful when it has been a part of the family story. Jen was unaware that the beautiful buds on her grandmother's bridal cap were made of wax!

 Often I have to take a few breaths before taking the first snip. Once I begin, there is no going back in time. Then my creative mind takes over and the results are always spectacular!

Often I have to take a few breaths before taking the first snip. Once I begin, there is no going back in time. Then my creative mind takes over and the results are always spectacular!

 Many of my clients are unaware of the tedious nature of deconstructing a vintage piece. It took over an hour to clean and polish the settings of twelve tiny stones.

Many of my clients are unaware of the tedious nature of deconstructing a vintage piece. It took over an hour to clean and polish the settings of twelve tiny stones.

 Initially Jen didn't want the blackened rhinestones incorporated into her piece. I knew once polished they would add a hint of colored sparkle. The stamens inside her petite wax buds were yellow in nature, and I dotted them with the tiniest Swarovski crystals.

Initially Jen didn't want the blackened rhinestones incorporated into her piece. I knew once polished they would add a hint of colored sparkle. The stamens inside her petite wax buds were yellow in nature, and I dotted them with the tiniest Swarovski crystals.

 Jen came to pick her up headpiece the week she was leaving to go back home to the U.K. for her wedding.

Jen came to pick her up headpiece the week she was leaving to go back home to the U.K. for her wedding.

It was so lovely to see it in place on the day. I was a little worried that I might accidentally break it. It was like a piece of the puzzle fitting together, and once my wedding dress was on, I could see how perfect it looked. It complimented my dress and hair flawlessly!
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My Grandma, aunts, and cousins were all delighted by the headpiece. It was a real talking point, and they thought it was beautiful. My cousins were excited to hear that it will be available for any of them to use on their wedding days.
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You could never tell that Jen's hair brooch was made with vintage wax. Her bridal style was current and contemporary with so much love secretly nestled in one incredible and one-of-a-kind piece.

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Headpiece.com has again left its mark on the wedding stories of a younger generation after first capturing it from this history of another!

Next month on the Fourteenth:

The Cost of a Veil